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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-21556 October 31, 1967

PHILIPPINE SURETY and INSURANCE CO., INC., petitioner,


vs.
BEATRIZ ZABAL, respondent.

Ariston J. Oblena for petitioner.


Domingo C. Aquino for respondent.

REYES, J.B.L., J.:

In this petition for review, petitioner Philippine Surety and Insurance Company, Inc. takes exception
from the ruling of the Court of Appeals (in CA-G. R. No. 31014-R) that notice to the occupant of a
real property is a prerequisite to a valid levy of execution upon that property, and reversing the
decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila (in Civil Case No. 49395).

Pursuant to a writ of execution duly issued by the Court of First Instance of Manila in favor of herein
petitioner surety company to enforce a money judgment against Amado de la Merced and Candido
Fajardo, the solidary judgment-debtors in Civil Case No. 42056, the Sheriff of Manila, on June 17,
1960, levied on all the interests and participation of Candido Fajardo in a parcel of land registered in
his name under TCT No. 21180. Notice of the levy was duly registered in the register of deeds of
Manila, and annotated in the corresponding title.

On August 28, 1961, Beatriz Zabal presented for registration a deed of sale dated August 28, 1959,
whereby Candido Fajardo appeared to have conveyed to her the parcel of land covered by TCT No.
21180. Thereupon, the Registrar of Deeds cancelled the certificate in the name of Fajardo and
issued in lieu thereof TCT No. 64730 in the name of Beatriz Zabal. But, as the notice of levy in favor
of the surety company was carried at the back of the new certificate, Zabal went to the Court of First
Instance of Manila (in Civil Case No. 49395), praying for the cancellation of the annotation, on the
ground that she was already the owner of the land when it was registered, and that the levy on the
property was irregular and improper.

Therein defendants Philippine Surety & Insurance Company, the Sheriff of Manila and the Register
of Deeds for Manila, set up as defense the alleged superiority of the lien, created by the prior
registration of the levy, over the sale in favor of the plaintiff. The trial court thereafter ruled adversely
against the plaintiff and ordered dismissal of the complaint.

On appeal by the plaintiff to the Court of Appeals, however, the decision of the trial court was
reversed. The appellate court, ordering the dissolution of the attachment and the cancellation of the
notice of levy at the back of TCT No. 64730, said:

. . . the rule (that registration of an attachment makes it superior to a prior unregistered sale)
presupposes a valid levy and plaintiff challenges the efficacy of the levy. She testified without
contradiction that she has been in occupation of the property even prior to the sale on
August 28, 1958 and particularly June 17, 1960 when the levy was made, yet she was not
served a copy of the notice of levy, order or attachment and description of the property, in
violation of the requirements of Section 7(a) of Rule 59. A proceeding by attachment being in
derogation of the common law, the officer must comply with the statutes in making the levy.
Under a statute similar to Section 7(a), Rule 59, it has been held that failure to comply with
such a requirement is fatal to the validity of the levy (Schwarts vs. Cowell, 12 P. 252, 71 Cal.
306; Fountain vs. 624 Pieces Timber, 140 Fed. 381; 6 CJ p. 234 Sec. 443 nn 9 & 10).
Otherwise stated, service on the occupant, if any "must appear from the return or else the
service on its face is unauthorized and invalid" (Hall vs. Stevenson, 19 Or 153, 23 P. 887, 20
Am. St. Rep. 803; Anderson vs. Moline Plow Co., 101 Iowa 747, 69 NW 1028 cited in 4 Am.
Jur. Sec. 575, p. 903). Moreover, the required notice to the defendant debtor under Section 5
of the same Rule has been held essential to the validity of an attachment lien; so where the
return of the sheriff shows that this step was not taken, the attachment is invalid and no lien
in favor of the attachment creditor is acquired thereby (Philippine National Bank vs. Atiles, 58
Phil. 240, 253; cf. Chua Hermanos vs. Register of Deeds of Batangas, 50 Phil. 670; 674). It
results that the notice to the occupant is essential to the validity of the attachment, non-
compliance with which renders the attachment invalid and ineffective particularly to herein
plaintiff who was in possession as vendee.

Section 7 of old Rule 59 (now Sec. 7 of Revised Rule 57), prescribes the procedure or mode of
effecting an attachment, thus:

Sec. 7. How various classes of real and personal property attached; duty of registrar of
deeds. — The property of the defendant shall be attached by the officer executing the order
of the following manner:

(a) Real property, or growing crops thereon, standing upon the records of the registrar of
deeds of the province in the name of the defendant, or not appearing at all upon such
records, by filing with the registrar of deeds a copy of the order, together with a description of
the property attached, and a notice that it is attached, and by leaving a copy of such order,
description, and notice with the occupant of the property, if any there be. Where the property
has been brought under the operation of the Land Registration Act, the notice shall contain a
reference to the number of the certificate of title and the volume and page in the registration
book where the certificate is registered. The registrar must index attachments filed under this
paragraph in the names both of the plaintiff and of the defendants. (Emphasis supplied.)

To effect a levy upon a realty, the sheriff is required to do two specific things: (1) file with the register
of deeds a copy of the order, description of the attached property and notice of attachment, and (2)
leave with the occupant of the property copy of the same order, description and notice. These are
prerequisites to a valid levy, non-compliance with any of which is fatal. For the weight of authority is
to the effect that a special statutory provision, respecting the manner of carrying out levy of
attachment, must be strictly complied with, and departure therefrom shall invalidate the levy.1 Thus,
in Llenares vs. Valdeavella and Zoreta, 46 Phil. pp. 358, 360, 361, this Court said:

The levy of an execution is defined as the acts by which an officer sets apart or appropriates
for the purpose of satisfying the command of the writ, a part or the whole of a judgment
debtor's property. In the absence of statutory provisions no special formalities are required
for a valid levy, and in regard to real property it has usually been held sufficient if the seizure
of the property is made known to the occupants thereof and endorsed on the writ. But it is
otherwise where, as in this jurisdiction, the matter is regulated by statute; there a substantial
compliance with the statute is indispensable.
The statutory provisions to this case are found in sections 450 and 429 of the Code of Civil
Procedure. Section 450 states that property "may be attached on execution in like manner as
upon writs of attachment." This provision while permissive in form must, nevertheless, be
regarded as mandatory. No other method of effecting the levy is prescribed and it is an old
rule that powers through the exercise of which a person may be divested of his property are
always strictly construed and that the provisions regulating the procedure in their exercise
are mandatory as to the essence of the thing to be done. (Lewis' Sutherland on Statutory
Construction, 2d ed., sec. 627.)

After quoting the provisions of section 429 of Act 190, similar to that of the Rules heretofore quoted,
this Court proceeded to rule:

In the present case it is admitted by the plaintiff that notice of attachment for the execution
was not filed with the registrar of deeds and that there was no copy thereof served on the
defendants. It is therefore clear that the attempted levy was not made in accordance with the
provisions of the statute, and, according to the great weight of authority, a proper levy is
indispensable to a valid sale on execution. A sale unless preceded by a valid levy, is void,
and the purchaser acquires no title. (Leath vs. Deweese, 162 Ky., 227; Jarboe vs. Hall, 37
Md., 345.)

Registration of levy was also declared invalid where the Sheriff's notice did not contain a reference
to the number of the certificate of title covering the levied property, the volume and page in the
registry book where the title is registered,2 or where the notice was not accompanied by a copy of
the order of attachment.3

The evident purpose of the law in imposing these requirements is to make the levy public and
notorious, to prevent liens from attaching secretly and by surreptitious entries and endorsements,
and to enable the affected party to inquire into the date and circumstances surrounding the creation
of the encumbrance,4 as well as to give him ample opportunity to file timely claim to the property
levied upon.

Since the Court of Appeals, in this case, found that no notice of the levy was given to respondent
who was then in occupancy of the land — a factual finding which we cannot now review — it is
obvious that there was no valid levy on the land, and, therefore, its registration in the registry of
deeds and annotation in the title were also invalid and ineffective.5 Petitioner's case is not even
helped by the allegation that Fajardo, in whose name the land was registered was duly notified of the
attachment. Where notice to the occupant is required by law for the validity, of a levy, personal
service of the copy of the writ, description of the property and notice to the owner, who is not the
occupant, does not constitute compliance with the statute.6

There being no valid levy nor sale thereunder, the question of priority of rights between the parties
does not really arise.

In view of the conclusion thus reached on the main issue, there is no necessity to pass upon the
nature and character of the deed of sale executed by Candido Fajardo in favor of respondent, which
is also here assailed by petitioner. The issue was not raised in the Courts below.

WHEREFORE, finding no error in the decision under review the petition is hereby dismissed, with
costs against petitioner. So ordered.

Concepcion, C.J., Dizon, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., Zaldivar, Sanchez, Castro, Angeles and
Fernando, JJ., concur.
EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-30871. December 28, 1970.]

AURORA P. DE LEON, Petitioner, v. HON. SERAFIN SALVADOR, as Judge of Branch XIV of the
Court of First Instance of Rizal (Caloocan City), and EUSEBIO BERNABE, ALBERTO A. VALINO,
Special Deputy Sheriff of the Office of the Provincial Sheriff, Province of Rizal, and the REGISTER
OF DEEDS for Caloocan City, Respondents.

[G.R. No. L-31603. December 28, 1970]

EUSEBIO BERNABE, Petitioner, v. THE HONORABLE JUDGE FERNANDO A. CRUZ of the Court of
First Instance of Rizal, Caloocan City, Branch XII, SPECIAL DEPUTY SHERIFF, ALBERTO A.
VALINO of the Provincial Sheriff of Rizal and AURORA P. DE LEON, Respondents.

Jose A. Garcia and Ismael M. Estrella for Petitioner.

De los Santos, De los Santos & De los Santos and Felipe L. Abel for Respondents.

Felipe L. Abel for Petitioner.

Ismael M. Estrella and Jose A. Garcia for Respondents.

DECISION

TEEHANKEE, J.:

Joint decision of two special civil actions which were ordered consolidated since they involve the same
properties and the common issue of conflict of jurisdiction of the two Caloocan City branches of the Court of
First Instance of Rizal.

Case L-30871 arose from the following facts: A judgment for P35,000.00-actual, moral and exemplary
damages obtained by Enrique de Leon against private respondent Eusebio Bernabe in Civil Case No. C-189
of Branch XII of the Rizal court of first instance, Caloocan City branch presided by Judge Fernando A. Cruz,
having become final and executory, a writ of execution was issued by said court. Pursuant thereto, the city
sheriff, on November 8, 1966 levied on execution on two parcels of land of 682.5 square meters each
registered in the names of Bernabe under T.C.T. Nos. 94985 and 94986 of Caloocan City. At the execution
sale held on February 14, 1967, the city sheriff sold the said properties to herein petitioner, Aurora (sister of
the judgment creditor) as the highest bidder for the total sum of P30,194.00, (the property then being
subject to an existing mortgage lien in the amount of P120,000.00). The sheriff executed the corresponding
certificate of sale in her favor, which was duly registered on February 21, 1967 with the Caloocan City
register of deeds.

On February 7, 1968, just about two weeks before the expiration of the one-year period to redeem the
properties sold in execution, the judgment debtor Bernabe filed a separate civil action docketed as Civil Case
No. C-1217 against his judgment creditor Enrique de Leon, herein petitioner Aurora P. de Leon as purchaser
and the sheriff as defendants for the setting aside or annulment of the execution sale on February 14, 1967
"for being anomalous and irregular," and for the ordering of a new auction sale. This second case, instead of
being referred to Judge Cruz presiding over Branch XII which had issued the writ of execution, was assigned
to Branch XIV, the other Caloocan City branch of the Rizal Court of First Instance presided by Judge Serafin
Salvador, who issued on February 19, 1968 a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining therein defendants,
particularly the sheriff to desist "from taking further proceedings against the properties of the plaintiff
[Bernabe] that were sold at public auction on February 14, 1967, and from issuing a sheriff’s deed of sale at
the expiration of the period of redemption on February 21, 1968 in favor of defendant Aurora P. de Leon."
Aurora moved to dissolve the injunction and to dismiss this second case on the grounds of laches and lack of
jurisdiction of Judge Salvador’s court to interfere with the execution proceedings pending in the first case
before Judge Cruz’ court which is of equal and co-ordinate jurisdiction, but Judge Salvador denied the same
for not being indubitable and tried the case, notwithstanding Aurora’s pleas before and after the trial to
resolve the issue of his court’s lack of jurisdiction.

Pending his decision, Judge Salvador issued on May 20, 1969 an order granting two ex-parte motions of
Bernabe of May 12, and May 15, 1969 and ordering the sheriff to allow Bernabe to redeem the two
properties sold at public auction more than two years ago on February 14, 1967 under the writ of execution
issued by Judge Cruz’ court in the first case. On the following day, May 21, 1969, Bernabe deposited with
the sheriff the sum of P33,817.28 as the redemption price (P15,987,00 per lot plus interests), who issued a
certificate of redemption. Bernabe then registered on the following day, May 22, 1969, the sheriff’s
certificate of redemption with the register of deeds, who in turn cancelled the entry of the execution sale in
favor of Aurora, as well as registered on one of the properties covered by T.C.T. No. 94986 a deed of first
mortgage executed on May 20, 1969 by Bernabe in favor of one Antonio de Zuzuarregui to secure a loan of
P130,000.00. Aurora’s motion of May 28, 1969 in the second case to set aside the order and certificate of
redemption and registration of mortgage on the ground of lack of jurisdiction was denied by Judge Salvador,
who ruled in his order of June 23, 1969 that "there is no question that this Court has jurisdiction to hear and
determine this case which questions the regularity and legality of the auction sale of properties held on
February 14, 1967, hence the authority granted by the Court to redeem said properties within the
redemption period in order to write finis to the pending case." 1 Hence, this action for certiorari filed by
Aurora impleading the sheriff and the register of deeds for the annulment and setting aside for lack of
jurisdiction of the questioned orders of Judge Salvador’s court as well as of the challenged actuations of the
other respondent officials pursuant thereto. As prayed for, the Court issued a writ of preliminary injunction
enjoining said respondents from doing or taking any other act in connection with the said properties.

On May 30, 1969, Aurora also filed in the first case before Judge Cruz’ court a motion with proper notice for
consolidation of title and for the court to order the sheriff to issue in her favor a final deed of sale over the
subject parcels of land. Judge Cruz’ order of September 5, 1969, granting Aurora’s motion over Bernabe’s
opposition that he had redeemed on May 21, 1969 the said properties by virtue of Judge Salvador’s order of
May 20, 1969 in the second case and ordering Bernabe to surrender his owner’s duplicates of title for
transfer to Aurora, in turn gave rise to Case L-31603 filed by Bernabe. After Bernabe’s motion for
reconsideration urging Judge Cruz to hold in abeyance Aurora’s motion for consolidation of title until this
Court’s decision in Case L-30871 "which will end once and for all the legal controversy" over the conflict of
jurisdiction between the two courts, was denied by Judge Cruz’ order of January 8, 1970, he filed this action
for certiorari, impleading the sheriff, for the annulment and revocation of the questioned orders of Judge
Cruz, on the ground of the latter’s lack of jurisdiction to issue the same. As prayed for, the Court also issued
a writ of preliminary injunction against the enforcement of Judge Cruz’ orders, until the conflict between the
parties could be finally resolved.

The decisive issue at bar is a simple one of jurisdiction: which court, Branch XII presided by Judge Cruz or
Branch XIV presided by Judge Salvador has exclusive jurisdiction to set aside for alleged irregularities the
execution sale held on February 14, 1967 by virtue of the writ for the execution of the final judgment in the
first case (No. C-189) issued by Judge Cruz’ court and to order a new auction sale — which was the relief
sought by the judgment debtor in the second case (No. C-1217) in Judge Salvador’s court?

It is patent that such exclusive jurisdiction was vested in Judge Cruz’ court. Having acquired jurisdiction over
Case No. C-189 and rendered judgment that had become final and executory, it retained jurisdiction over its
judgment, to the exclusion of all other co-ordinate courts for its execution and all incidents thereof, and to
control, in furtherance of justice, the conduct of its ministerial officers in connection therewith. 2 Execution
of its judgment having been carried out by the sheriff with the levy and sale of the judgment debtor’s
properties, Eusebio Bernabe as judgment debtor could not in the guise of a new and separate second action
(Case No. 1217) ask another court of coordinate jurisdiction, Judge Salvador’s court, to interfere by
injunction with the execution proceedings, to set them aside and to order the holding of a new execution
sale — instead of seeking such relief by proper motion and application from Judge Cruz’ court which had
exclusive jurisdiction over the execution proceedings and the properties sold at the execution sale.

As early as 1922, in Cabigao v. del Rosario, 3 this Court laid down the doctrine that "no court has power to
interfere by injunction with the judgments or decrees of a court of concurrent or coordinate jurisdiction
having power to grant the relief sought by injunction," pointing out that" (T)he various branches of the
Court of First Instance of Manila are in a sense coordinate courts and to allow them to interfere with each
other’s judgments or decrees by injunctions would obviously lead to confusion and might seriously hinder
the administration of justice." cralaw virt ua1aw lib ra ry

The Court similarly ruled in Hubahib v. Insular Drug Co., Inc., 4 with reference to Branch II of the Cebu
court of first instance having taken cognizance of an independent action for the annulment of a writ of
execution issued by Branch III of the same court which has rendered the judgment, that "the institution of
said action was not only improper but also absolutely unjustified, on the ground that the appellant had the
remedy of applying to the same Branch III of the lower court, which issued the orders in question, for
reconsideration thereof . . . or of appealing from said orders or from that denying his motion in case such
order has been issued. The various branches of a Court of First Instance of a province or city, having as they
have the same or equal authority and exercising as they do concurrent and coordinate jurisdiction, should
not, cannot, and are not permitted to interfere with their respective cases, much less with their orders or
judgments, by means of injunction." cralaw virtua 1aw lib rary

In National Power Corporation v. De Veyra, 5 the Court, through former Chief Justice Bengzon, thus
explained that the garnishment or levy of property on execution brings the property into custodia legis of
the court issuing the writ of execution, beyond the interference of all other co-ordinate courts, thereby
avoiding conflicts of power between such courts:" (T)he garnishment of property to satisfy a writ of
execution ‘operates as an attachment and fastens upon the property a lien by which the property is brought
under the jurisdiction of the court issuing the writ." It is brought into custodia legis, under the sole control of
such court. Property is in the custody of the court when it has been seized by an officer either under a writ
of attachment on mesne process or under a writ of execution. A court which has control of such property,
exercises exclusive jurisdiction over the same. No court, except one having a supervisory control or superior
jurisdiction in the premises, has a right to interfere with and change that possession." cralaw virtua1aw li bra ry

The Court in striking down the Baguio court’s issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction against the Baguio
City sheriff’s garnishment of cash funds of Baguio City deposited in the Baguio branch of the Philippine
National Bank pursuant to a writ of execution issued by the Manila court of first instance for the satisfaction
of a final judgment rendered in favor of the National Power Corporation, and its assuming cognizance of the
separate complaint filed with it, duly indicated the proper procedure in such cases and the fundamental
reason therefor:" (T)he reason advanced by the respondent court of Baguio City that it should grant relief
when ‘there is apparently an illegal service of the writ’ (the property garnished being allegedly exempt from
execution) may not be upheld, there being a better procedure to follow, i.e., a resort to the Manila court,
wherein the remedy may be obtained, it being the court under whose authority the illegal levy had been
made. Needless to say, an effective ordering of legal relationships in civil society is possible only when each
court is granted exclusive jurisdiction over the property brought to it." 6

The Court time and again has applied this long established doctrine admonishing court and litigant alike last
year in Luciano v. Provincial Governor 7 that a judge of a branch of a court may not interfere with the
proceedings before a judge of another branch of the same court.

The properties in question were brought into custodia legis of Judge Cruz court and came under its exclusive
jurisdiction when they were levied upon by the sheriff pursuant to the writ for execution of the judgment
rendered by said court. The levy is the essential act by which the judgment debtor s property is set apart for
the satisfaction of the judgment and taken into custody of the law, and from such time the court issuing the
execution acquires exclusive jurisdiction over the property and all subsequent claims of other parties are
subordinated thereto, irrespective of the time when the property is actually sold. 8 The execution sale
having been carried out upon order of Judge Cruz court, any and all questions concerning the validity and
regularity of the sale necessarily had to be addressed to his court which had exclusive jurisdiction over the
properties and were beyond interference by Judge Salvador s court. Justice Cruz court alone had jurisdiction
— subject only to the supervisory control or appellate jurisdiction of superior courts — to rule upon the
regularity and validity of the sale conducted by its ministerial officers from the sheriff’s office, and his
affirmative ruling thereon could not be interfered with by injunction of, nor sought to be foreclosed by, the
challenged orders of Judge Salvador’s court.

Bernabe’s contention that "he does not attempt to annul or nullify the judgment or order issued by (Judge
Cruz’ court) . . . If (Judge Salvador’s Court) finds the allegations of the complaint to be true, then it has the
jurisdiction to order a new auction sale, which has nothing to do with the judgments or decrees issued by
Judge Cruz’ court)" 9 is untenable. As above stated, the properties upon being levied on and sold by virtue
of Judge Cruz’ order of execution were brought into the exclusive custodia legis of Judge Cruz’ court This is
but in accordance with the established principle that "A case in which an execution has been issued is
regarded as still pending, so that all proceedings on the execution are proceedings in the suit" 10 and that"
(A)n execution is the fruit and end of the suit, and is very aptly called the life of the law. The suit does not
terminate with the judgment; and all proceedings on the execution, are proceedings in the suit, and which
are expressly, by the act of Congress, put under the regulation and control of the Court of which it issues. It
is a power incident to every Court from which process issues, when delivered to the proper officer, to
enforce upon such officer a compliance with his duty." 11 Any and all questions involving the execution sale
concerned the proceedings in Judge Cruz’ court and had to be raised and determined in that court, subject
to review by the higher courts. They could not be improperly passed upon by another co-ordinate court —
behind the back, as it were — of Judge Cruz’ court.

Judge Salvador’s order of May 20, 1969 granting two ex-parte motions of the judgment debtor Bernabe and
directing the sheriff to allow the redemption of the properties notwithstanding that the one-year redemption
period had already lapsed more than one year ago on February 21, 1968 (one year after registration on May
21, 1967 of the sheriff’s sale of May 14, 1967) was equally untenable. It must be noted that Bernabe’s
action in Judge Salvador’s court filed on February 7, 1968 two weeks before the expiration of the
redemption period sought to set aside the execution sale and to have a new auction sale ordered, on the
grounds that the sheriff had allegedly sold the two parcels of land jointly instead of separately, and that the
total sales price of P30,194.00 was shocking to the conscience, alleging that the two parcels, if sold
separately, could easily be sold at P235,000.00 and P150,000.00. Pending decision and without ruling
squarely on his court’s lack of jurisdiction over the properties, Judge Salvador peremptorily issued his
redemption order on Bernabe’s bare manifestation that" (he) has but barely two days left of the one (1)
year period granted by law to redeem" and that" (he) is now ready and willing to redeem" the properties.

Aside from the basic lack of jurisdiction of Judge Salvador’s court to issue the redemption order, the order
per se suffered from other grave flaws. Bernabe’s motions in effect amounted to an abandonment of his
position on the alleged irregularity of the execution sale, and the logical consequence thereof which have
been the dismissal of his suit. (Thus, soon after Aurora’s filing of her action for certiorari in this Court,
Bernabe filed his so-called "Urgent Motion to Dismiss" of August 27, 1969 with Judge Salvador’s court
praying for the dismissal of the very case filed by him on the ground that having redeemed the properties,
"the case can therefore be considered closed and terminated considering that defendants [Aurora, Et. Al.]
did not interpose any appeal" from the redemption order) But Bernabe’s motions were presented on May 12
and May 15, 1969 and it was self-evident from the record that the one-year period for redemption had long
expired more than a year ago on February 21, 1968 as above stated and that Bernabe’s allegations that he
had two days left — of the redemption period was a gratuitous one. Nothing in the record indicates that
Bernabe had ever timely made a valid offer of redemption so as to safeguard his right thereto prior to his
filing his separate action questioning the validity of the execution sale. It was therefore void and illogical for
Judge Salvador to rule, in denying Aurora’s motion for reconsideration, that "there is no question that this
Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine this case which questions the regularity and legality of the
auction sale of properties held on February 14, 1967, hence the authority granted by the Court to redeem
said properties within the redemption period in order to write finis to the pending case." For Judge Salvador
thereby begged the basic prejudicial questions of his court’s lack of jurisdiction and the expiration over a
year ago of Bernabe’s alleged right of redemption, not to mention that any grant of such right to redeem
could not be decreed in a summary unreasoned order but would have to be adjudged in a formal decision
reciting the facts and the law on which it is based, and which may not be immediately executed, without a
special order therefor. Under Judge Salvador’s void orders, all that a judgment debtor whose properties
have been sold at execution sale but who does not have the funds to effect redemption has to do to
unilaterally extend the one-year redemption period would be to file a separate action before another court of
co-ordinate jurisdiction questioning the regularity of the execution sale and upon his getting the funds,
notwithstanding the expiration of the redemption period, get an order of redemption and ask the court "to
write finis to the pending case" — which should have been dismissed in the first instance for lack of
jurisdiction.

The doctrine cited that a court or a branch thereof may not interfere with the proceedings before a judge of
another court or branch of the same court since they are all courts of equal and co-ordinate jurisdiction is an
elementary doctrine that has been established with the very system of courts. Understandable as Bernabe’s
plight and financial predicament may be, still it is incomprehensible why he should futilely resort, as he did,
to filing his separate action with Judge Salvador’s court which patently lacked jurisdiction over the properties
sold in execution instead of questioning the regularity of the execution sale before Judge Cruz’ court as the
court of competent and exclusive jurisdiction, and properly applying, if he had just grounds, for extension of
the redemption period.

As to the alleged gross inadequacy of the price of P30,194.00 paid by Aurora when according to Bernabe the
properties could have been easily sold for a total price of P385,000.00, Bernabe has admitted that there was
an existing mortgage lien on the properties in the amount of P120,000,00 which necessarily affected their
value. This question was not raised at all before Judge Cruz’ court nor did Judge Salvador rule thereupon,
since he merely issued his void order of redemption. Suffice it to state on the basis of the record, however,
that the failure of Bernabe to timely sell the properties for their fair value through negotiated sales with third
persons either before or after the execution sale in order to be able to discharge his judgment debt or
redeem the properties within the redemption period, or to raise the necessary amount therefrom to so effect
redemption notwithstanding that they have been collecting the substantial monthly rentals thereof of
P2,500.00 monthly even up to now 12 can be attributed only to his own failings and gross improvidence.
They cannot be cited in law or in equity to defeat the lawful claim of Aurora nor to give validity to the void
orders of Judge Salvador’s court. The applicable rule on forced sales where the law gives the owner the right
of redemption was thus stated by the Court in Velasquez v. Coronel: 13 "However, while in ordinary sales
for reasons of equity a transaction may be invalidated on the ground of inadequacy of price, or when such
inadequacy shocks one’s conscience as to justify the courts to interfere, such does not follow when the law
gives to the owner the right to redeem, as when a sale is made at public auction, upon the theory that the
lesser the price the easier it is for the owner to effect the redemption. And so it was aptly said: ‘When there
is the right to redeem, inadequacy of price should not be material, because the judgment debtor may
reacquire the property or also sell his right to redeem and thus recover the loss he claims to have suffered
by reason of the price obtained at the auction sale.’"

Bernabe’s petition challenging the jurisdiction of Judge Cruz’ court to issue its orders of September 5, 1969
and January 5, 1970, confirming Aurora’s acquisition of title to the properties by virtue of the execution sale
and ordering Bernabe to transfer possession thereof to her, because of the separate civil action filed by him
in Judge Salvador’s court, must necessarily fail — since said orders were within the exclusive competence
and jurisdiction of Judge Cruz’ court.

ACCORDINGLY, in Case L-30871, the writ of certiorari prayed for his granted; respondent Judge Salvador’s
court is declared without jurisdiction over Civil Case No. C-1217 other than to dismiss the same and the writ
of preliminary injunction of February 19, 1968 therein issued and the orders of May 20, 1969 and June 23,
1969 therein issued, as well as respondent sheriff’s certificate of redemption issued on May 21, 1969 are set
aside and declared null and void; and the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the Court on September 2,
1969, is made permanent. In Case L-31603, the petition for certiorari is dismissed and the writ of
preliminary injunction issued by this Court on February 11, 1970 is dissolved. No pronouncement as to
costs.

Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, Zaldivar, Fernando, Barredo, Villamor and Makasiar, JJ., concur.

Concepcion, C.J., concurs in the result.

Castro, J., did not take part.


EN BANC

[G.R. No. 97238. July 15, 1991.]

JULIA L. TAN and JAMES L. TAN, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

Antonio M. Nuyles, for Petitioners.

The Solicitor General for Respondents.

SYLLABUS

1. REMEDIAL LAW; COURTS; THE DUTY OF LOWER COURT WHEN THE JUDGMENT OF A HIGHER COURT IS
RETURNED TO IT IS ONLY THE MINISTERIAL ONE OF ISSUING THE ORDER OF EXECUTION. — We stressed
in Ver v. Quetulio (163 SCRA 80 [1988]), citing Ang Ping v. Regional Trial Court of Manila, Br. 40 (154 SCRA
77 [1987]): "As early as 1922, this Court declared in Shioji v. Harvey (43 Phil. 333) that ‘the only function
of a lower court, when the judgment of a higher court is returned to it, is the ministerial one of issuing the
order of execution. A lower court is without supervisory jurisdiction to interpret or to reverse the judgment
of the higher court.’ This is especially true where it is a Supreme Court decision or resolution which states
with finality how the particular case before it has been resolved. We ruled in Tugade v. Court of Appeals (85
SCRA 226): ‘Respondent Court of Appeals is really devoid of any choice at all. It could not have ruled in any
other way on the legal question raised. This Tribunal having spoken, its duty was to obey. It is as simple as
that. There is relevance to this excerpt from Barrera v. Barrera (34 SCRA 98 [1970]).’The delicate task of
ascertaining the significance that attaches to a constitutional or statutory provision, an executive order, a
procedural norm or a municipal ordinance is committed to the judiciary. It thus discharges a role no less
crucial than that appertaining to the other two departments in the maintenance of the rule of law. To assure
stability in legal relations and avoid confusion, it has to speak with one voice. It does so with finality.
logically and rightly, through the highest judicial organ, this Court. What it says then should be definitive
and authoritative, binding on those occupying the lower ranks in the judicial hierarchy. They have to defer
and to submit.’ (Ibid, 107). The opinion in Barrera further emphasizes the point: Such a thought was
reiterated in an opinion of Justice J.B.L. Reyes and further emphasized in these words: ‘Judge Gaudencio
Cloribel need not be reminded that the Supreme Court, by tradition and in our system of judicial
administration, has the last word on what the law is; it is the final arbiter of any justiciable controversy.
There is only one Supreme Court from whose decisions all other courts should take their bearings. (Justice
J.B.L. Reyes spoke thus in Albert v. Court of First Instance of Manila (Branch VI, 23 SCRA 948, 961).’"
(Emphasis supplied)

2. ID.; ID.; EFFECT OF THE JUDGMENT OF LOWER COURT REVERSING THE JUDGMENT OF A HIGHER
COURT; CASE AT BAR. — The respondent Court of Appeals should have been aware that in the related case
(G.R. No. 90063), we had already set aside the writ of preliminary injunction similar to the writ from which
emanated the contempt order directing that the petitioners be imprisoned and made to pay fines. If this
Court had already found a preliminary injunction invalid and sustained the school’s position that there was
no unmistakable and indubitable right to enroll the petitioners’ children, any lower court’s decision to the
contrary is not only enforceable and ineffective, but certainly cannot be the basis for a contempt order.

3. ID.; CIVIL PROCEDURE; WRIT OF PRELIMINARY MANDATORY INJUNCTION; LIES ONLY WHEN THE RIGHT
SOUGHT TO BE ENFORCED IS CLEAR, UNMISTAKABLE AND INDUBITABLE; NOT PRESENT IN CASE AT BAR.
— A writ of preliminary mandatory injunction lies only when the right sought to be enforced is clear,
unmistakable and indubitable (Rivera v. Florendo, 144 SCRA 643 [1986]). In the instant case, no such clear
right was shown. It is true that private schools — not unlike public utilities and other private corporations
whose businesses impinge on the public interest — are subject to reasonable regulation and supervision of
the State (Const., Art. XIV [4] [1]). At the same time, however, private schools have the right to establish
reasonable rules and regulations for the admission, discipline and promotion of students. This right to
establish and enforce reasonable rules and regulations extends as well to parents and parent-teacher
associations, as parents are under a social and moral (if not legal) obligation, individually and collectively, to
assist and cooperate with the schools. In the instant case, since petitioners have failed to comply with the
conditions and prerequisites for admission, i.e., registration within the prescribed dates, payment of duly-
approved tuition fees, and compliance with school rules and regulations, Grace Christian cannot be regarded
as having acted arbitrarily or capriciously in refusing to re-enroll petitioners’ children. (Supra)
4. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES; NOT OBSERVED IN CASE AT BAR.
— Our ruling in the related case of Yap Chin Fah, Et. Al. v. Hon. Court of Appeals, Et Al., (G.R. No. 90063,
Dec. 12, 1989) states: "As the Court of Appeals pointed out, petitioners here failed to exhaust their
administrative remedies before resorting to court action, as they had failed to : (a) see the principal of
Grace Christian on 29 May 1987, their scheduled conference date; (b) wait for the resolution of the letter of
reconsideration/clarification of 1st Indorsement dated 1 June 1987 filed by Grace Christian with the DECS
Assistant Regional Director; and (c) appeal to the DECS Secretary to finally resolve their disagreements with
Grace Christian, the right to appeal from the decision of a subordinate officer to a superior one constituting
‘a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law’ within the meaning of the Rules of
Court. The Education Act of 1982 vests in the DECS the primary authority to hear and resolve disputes by
and among members of the educational community similar to those between petitioners and Grace
Christian.

5. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; EDUCATION; SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR MAY REQUIRE STUDENTS TO ENROLL IN


ANOTHER SCHOOL WHEN THERE IS PRE-EXISTING AND SUPERVENING STRAINED RELATIONS BETWEEN
THEM. — Where relations between parents and students on the one hand, and teachers and administrators
upon the other hand, have deteriorated to the level here exhibited, a private school may, in the interest of
the rest of the student body and of the faculty and the management as a whole, and of the children of the
parents affected, require the affected children to be enrolled elsewhere. The maintenance of a morally
conducive and orderly educational environment will be seriously imperilled if, under the circumstances of
this case, Grace Christian is forced to admit petitioners’ children and to reintegrate them to the student
body. It may even be argued that petitioners’ children have been innocent victims in a deplorable
confrontation between some parents and respondent School, but the situation here finds some analogy in
labor cases where, because of pre-existing and supervening strained relations, reinstatement is not always a
feasible solution." (Supra)

6. ID.; ID.; SCHOOL AND COLLEGES MUST MAINTAIN THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF EDUCATION. — No
thinking person can dispute the fact that our country is suffering from the effects of a serious deterioration
of academic and other standards in our educational system. This Court is disturbed by the big number of
candidates taking the bar examinations who, after six (6) years in the elementary grades, four (4) years in
high school, and eight (8) years in college appear to be functionally semi-illiterate judging from the answers
they give to bar examination questions. The same is true of other disciplines, professions, and occupations.
A drastic upgrading of educational standards especially in the elementary and high school levels is
imperative. It is for the above reason that Government should uphold and encourage schools and colleges
which endeavor to maintain the highest standards of education. We have consistently sustained the rights of
students to legitimately address their grievances both to school authorities, media, and the general public to
the extent of sometimes countenancing uncivil and rowdy behavior. However, we have not hesitated to
strike down violence and anarchy when certain students and their inevitable supporters misuse the grant of
"ordered liberty" mandated by the Constitution. Educators who insist on high standards and who enforce
reasonable rules and discipline deserve support from courts of justice and other branches of Government.

CRUZ, J., dissenting: chan rob1e s virtual 1aw l ibra ry

1. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; EDUCATION; SCHOOL IS AN ENTERPRISE AFFECTED WITH PUBLIC INTEREST


AND DOES NOT HAVE THE FULL FREEDOM IN DEFINING ITS POLICY. — J. Cruz have reservations about the
ponencia insofar as it suggests that if the parents are not satisfied with the policies of the school they are
free to enroll their children elsewhere. It is not as simple as that. The school is not a strictly private business
or an exclusive club admission to which is entirely discretionary in its officials or membership. It is an
enterprise affected with public interest and as such does not have full freedom in defining its policies. The
school has a missionary and visionary purpose. That purpose transcends personal animosities and
idiosyncrasies like those involved in the case before us.

2. ID.; ID.; COLLABORATIVE EFFORT BETWEEN SCHOOL AND PARENTS IN EDUCATING THE YOUTH. — The
policies of the school are not its concern alone but also that of the parents who have entrusted to it the
education of their children. No less than the Constitution recognizes the natural right and duty of the parents
in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character. The mere fact that
the parents have enrolled their children in the school does not mean they have surrendered to it full
authority in the pursuit of the said objectives. The education of the youth is a collaborative effort between
the parents and the school, and neither can deny the other its assigned role in this endeavor. The parents
should have the right to examine the policies of the school and to demand a higher quality of education for
their children. The method must, of course, be lawful. But refusing the children re-admission simply because
their parents have incurred the displeasure of the school is to me an arbitrary decision that this Court should
not condone.

3. ID.; ID.; SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR MAY REFUSE RE-ENROLLMENT OF STUDENT WHEN THERE IS
STRAINED RELATION BETWEEN SCHOOL AND PARENT; MUST BE APPLIED ON CASE TO CASE BASIS. — The
ponencia cites our earlier resolution in Yap Chin Fah v. Court of Appeals, where we said that the strained
relations between the parents and the school might justify the refusal of the latter to re-enroll the students,
in the interest of all concerned, including the students themselves. The analogy was there made of labor
cases, where reinstatement may not be considered a "feasible solution" because of strained relations
between the employee and management. While I do not disagree with the ruling as a general principle, I
think it should be applied on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the particular attendant
circumstances, especially the reason for the strained relations. Conceivably, these may have been caused by
the school itself, and not always innocently. Where, say, the school is run by an authoritarian who
obstinately refuses to listen to others, or it enforces clearly whimsical or arbitrary policies, or it deliberately
provokes the parents precisely to cause the strained relations, I do not think the parents should be faulted
for protesting. The doctrine would clearly be inapplicable in such cases notwithstanding the strained
relations. At any rate, there should be no question that not every complaint of the parents is per se
unreasonable. It should not follow that because their complaints have strained their relations with the
school, their children can on that score alone be denied re-enrollment.

4. ID.; ID.; ACADEMIC FREEDOM OF SCHOOL TO CHOOSE ITS STUDENTS; SHOULD NOT BE STRETCHED
BEYOND ITS CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITS. — I am also thinking of another situation that could perhaps cause
us more serious concern unless we define narrow perimeters for the doctrine. We have said often enough,
most recently in Non v. Dames, 185 SCRA 523, that the enrollment of the student does not connote the
forfeiture of his constitutional rights, which he does not leave at the "gateposts of the school." My fear is
that in exercising such rights, he may offend the sensibilities of the school and consequently become
persona non grata. Shall we, following the said doctrine, sustain the school when it refuses him re-admission
for the sake of peace on the campus? I submit that in this and similar cases — including the case at bar —
the academic freedom of the school to choose its students should not be stretched beyond its constitutional
limits. It is so easy to say that the parents may enroll their children elsewhere if they do not like the school,
and good riddance to all concerned. But there are other considerations that in fairness, and to be realistic,
should not just be disregarded. In the particular case of Gracee Christian High School, it may be that it is
the nearest school that can offer a Protestant upbringing to the children and their transfer to another school
of the same religion may entail more expense of time and money, not to mention the psychological trauma
of rejection and dislocation they may suffer. Such involuntary transfer may not be the most feasible
solution.

5. REMEDIAL LAW; CIVIL PROCEDURE; PARTIES ARE OBLIGED TO COMPLY WITH THE MANDATE OF THE
COURT IN THE INTEREST OF THE ORDERLY ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE. — The preliminary mandatory
injunction issued by Judge Solano was merely preliminary, subject to the results of the trial on the merits.
There was no deliberate defiance of the resolution cited because the reason for the strained relations
between the parents and the school, and the degree of their hostility, was a legitimate inquiry that had yet
to be made. Pending the decision of Civil Case No. 051039, the petitioners were obliged to comply with the
mandate of the court in the interest of the orderly administration of justice. I am not prepared to agree that
the preliminary mandatory injunction was a patently unlawful order that the petitioners could simply ignore
on their own inofficious decision that it was invalid. That judgment was not for them to make. They should
understand that, as litigants, they cannot reverse the judge; only a higher court may do that. The writ being
a presumably lawful process of the trial court, the petitioners should have dutifully obeyed it, without
prejudice to their right to challenge it later in the appropriate proceedings.

DECISION

GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:

This is a petition to review the decision as well as the resolution of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the
order dated June 16, 1989 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 88 in Civil Case No. Q-89-2357
convicting petitioners Julia L. Tan and James L. Tan of indirect contempt and sentencing each of them to
suffer a penalty of imprisonment of ten (10) days and to pay a fine of P500.00 each.
Petitioner Julia L. Tan is an 84 year old widow who is the Principal of Grace Christian High School offering
both elementary and secondary courses while petitioner James L. Tan is the Administrative Consultant of the
school.

This case arose from the refusal of the petitioners to admit and enroll certain students for the school year
1987-1988 because heated controversies, acts of misbehavior, and a refusal to dialogue with the school
administration led the school authorities to believe that it would be best for all concerned if these children
enrolled in other schools.

Two separate petitions for mandamus with prayers for preliminary mandatory injunction were eventually
filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. The first case docketed as Civil Case No. Q-51039 was
assigned to Branch 79 of the court. The second case which led to the present petition was docketed as Civil
Case No. Q-89-2357 and was assigned to Branch 88. The latter case was filed by Vicente Luy and his
daughter Vonette Luy, who were also petitioners in Civil Case No. Q-51039.

On July 1, 1987, Branch 79 in Civil Case No. Q-51039 issued an order granting the issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction. The school and the petitioners were ordered to allow enrollment of the subject
children.

While the two cases were pending in court, the children were enrolled and continued their studies. During
the enrollment period in May, 1989, however, the petitioners refused the enrollment in the first year high
school of Carmella Ang See, Michael Robert Ang, Karen Gay Dipasupil and Vonette Luy on the ground that
the school was under no legal duty to still accept them in the high school after graduating them from the
elementary course.

On May 23, 1989, Vicente Luy (father of Vonette Luy) together with other parents Josefina Ang, Teresita
Ang See and Teresita Dipasupil filed in Branch 79, a motion to hold in indirect contempt the petitioners for
refusing to enroll their children in alleged disobedience of the writ of preliminary injunction issued on July 1,
1987. chanro bles vi rtua l lawli bra ry

On May 25, 1989, Branch 88 issued an order in the second case granting the prayer for the issuance of the
writ of preliminary mandatory injunction and ordering the petitioners to enroll Vonette Luy in the first year
high school.

In the meantime, the herein petitioners challenged in the Court of Appeals (CA-G.R. SP No. 13179) the
order granting the writ of a preliminary mandatory injunction by Branch 79.

On June 26, 1989, the Court of Appeals set aside the order prompting the respondents to file a petition
for certiorari with us. The case was docketed as G.R. No. 90063.

In a resolution dated December 12, 1989, we dismissed the petition for lack of merit and resolved "that . . .
the children here affected shall be allowed to finish the current school year (including the summer term if
any), as the questioned order of the Court of Appeals shall take effect only as of the beginning of school
year 1990-1991." cralaw virtua1aw li bra ry

Meanwhile, the case in Branch 88 continued its independent course. Thus, on June 16, 1989, the trial court
upon motion of Vicente Luy issued the questioned order. This order is now challenged by the petitioners in
this case.

The facts of the controversy which led to the two cases against the petitioners are stated in this Court’s
Resolution in G.R. NO. 90063, "Yap Chin Fah, Et. Al. v. Court of Appeals, Et. Al.", December 12, 1989 as
follows: jgc:c hanrobles. com.ph

"Sometime in 1986, private respondent Grace Christian High School (’Grace Christian’) applied with the then
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (MECS) for a tuition-fee increase of fifteen percent (15%) for the
School Year (SY) 1986-87. Private respondent Grace Christian had applied for, and been granted, yearly
increments in tuition fees from SY 1973-74 (except for SY 1983-84) until SY 1985-1986. On 18 December
1986, Grace Christian received a notice from the MECS that its fee-increase application had been definitely
approved on 10 November 1986.

Meanwhile, a group of parents whose children are enrolled in Grace Christian, allegedly alarmed by what
they perceived to be deterioration — despite the periodic fee increases — in academic standards and
physical facilities of the school, formed the Grace Christian High School Parents-Teachers Association
(’Association’). The Association, composed of a majority of the parents (despite its name, no faculty member
sits on the executive committee) demanded: (a) recognition as an organization; and (b) representation in
Grace Christian’s policy-making process, viz., faculty selection and improvement of the physical plant.
Feeling that their demands had been largely ignored, the Association in October 1985 asked for a formal
dialogue with the school administration. During a heated exchange in this dialogue, one of the petitioners
herein, William Tiu, stood up and pointed a finger and shouted at Grace Christian’s vice-principal, and later
spat on the latter.

On 23 September 1986, Grace Christian had been granted provisional authority by the MECS to impose a
fifteen percent (15%) increase in tuition fee for SY 1986-1987. Thereupon, some of the above-mentioned
group of parents lobbied with the other parents urging non-payment of the fee increase. During the
enrollment period for the second semester of SY 1986-1987, a number of parents, among them petitioners
(comprising nine [9] members or officers of the 19-member executive committee, of the Association)
refused to pay the incremental fee: Grace Christian in turn refused to receive these parents’ payment of
regular (i.e., the fee before the fifteen [15%] increase) tuition fee for that semester. On 16 December 1986,
Grace Christian reminded the parents about the payment of the approved increased tuition fee for the
second semester.

From 23 February to 5 March 1987, a group of parents, petitioners included, staged a rally outside the
school gates. Banners and placards critical of the school administration were set up. The latent animosity
between the Association (or some members thereof) and Grace Christian began to flare up. Petitioners first
came out with statements in the print and broadcast media attacking Grace Christian’s periodic fee increases
and allegedly deteriorating academic standards. Some of the petitioners, armed with videocameras, forced
their way into the school premises and interrupted a class in session, urging students therein to speak —
using the allotted class hour against school policies. Some of the students walked out of their classrooms to
join their parents in the rally outside.

On 27 February 1987, the Association through a letter asked Secretary Quisumbing of the Department of
Education, Culture, and Sports (DECS) to reconsider the 23 September 1986 (as well as the 10 November
1986) order granting the school’s application for a fee increase. On 12 March 1987, the Association obtained
a ‘freeze-order’ from the DECS, enjoining Grace Christian from imposing the already approved fifteen
percent (15%) fee increase, until the DECS shall have received proof that sixty percent (60%) of the
increase had been apportioned to salaries of Grace Christian’s faculty. After submission by Grace Christian of
proof of payment of salary increases to the faculty, the DECS in an Indorsement dated 16 March 1987 lifted
the ‘freeze-order,’ thereby allowing the school to resume collection of the fifteen percent (15%) fee
increase.

Meanwhile, the already adversarial relationship between Grace Christian and the Association further
deteriorated when the school administrators overheard several of the Prep (preschool) students chanting
slogans against the school and its teachers, indicating that their parents had imbued them with hostility or
at least disdain and scorn for the school.

During the period 14-18 April 1987, petitioners were individually and personally informed through a letter by
the principal of Grace Christian that, as they were severely critical of the school’s policies, it would be best
for all concerned if their children enrolled in some other school. On 25 May 1987, the first day of the
enrollment period for SY 1987-88, petitioners were informed that as their respective children were in the list
of ‘referral’ cases, the school principal would confer with them either in the afternoon of 29 May 1987, the
last day of enrollment, or on 30 May 1987. Petitioners felt that their children were being singled out by the
school and decided not to see the principal and instead proceeded to the DECS for advise. The DECS in a 1st
Indorsement dated 1 June 1987 ordered private respondent School to enroll petitioner’s children. The latter
however refused to enroll these students, prompting petitioners to file an action for mandamus in court. The
trial court on 11 June 1987, to maintain the status quo between the parties, ordered the temporary
enrollment of petitioner’s children." (Resolution — G.R. No. 90063, pp. 1-4).

While Civil Case No. Q-51039 was being considered on appeal by the Court of Appeals and later the
Supreme Court, the proceedings were also going on in Civil Case No. Q-89-2357, which had been filed by
Vonette C. Luy and her father Vicente Luy and assigned to Branch 88 on April 26, 1989.

The Luy petition alleged:cha nrob 1es vi rtua l 1aw lib rary
x x x

". . . [T]hat during the school year 1989-1990 appellants unjustifiably refused to admit her in the High
School Department, despite the fact that she was given a reservation slip which she was instructed to fill up
and ‘return not later than April 15, 1989 together with report card for this year.’ Before April 16, 1989, she
submitted the reservation slip to the school principal, but the principal informed her that she would no
longer be admitted because her father was very vocal against certain school policies and activities. As the
school principal refused to allow her to enroll in the High School Department, her father wrote a letter
complaint dated April 7, 1989 to the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS). The Department
indorsed the letter to the school for immediate comment and/or appropriate action (Exhibits ‘E’ and ‘D’) . In
reply, the lawyer of the school wrote the DECS to reiterate the school’s decision not to enrol Vonette Luy in
its High School Department (Exhibit ‘E’)." (Rollo, pp. 40-41)

The school and herein petitioners Julia and James Tan opposed the issuance of the writ of preliminary
mandatory injunction on the grounds that: chanrob1e s virtual 1aw l ibra ry

x x x

". . . (a) the right of a student to enrol in a private school is not absolute; (b) Vonette C. Luy failed to
exhaust all administrative remedies; and (c) there is no clear legal basis for the issuance of a writ of
preliminary mandatory injunction." (Rollo, p. 41)

On May 25, 1989, Judge Tirso D.C. Velasco issued the writ, stating: jgc:chan roble s.com.p h

"‘In view of the foregoing, the petitioner has clearly established her right to be admitted to the First Year,
High School Department, Grace Christian School, Quezon City and the unmitigated duty of respondents to
admit the petitioner to the aforesaid High School Department.

The Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction is hereby GRANTED and the respondents are ordered to allow
the enrollment of petitioner in the High School Department, Grace Christian High School, Quezon City, after
posting a bond of Five Thousand Pesos of compliance to this Court within three (3) days from receipt hereof
(pp. 73-74, Records.)’" (Rollo, pp. 41-42).

A motion for reconsideration was filed followed by a supplemental motion for reconsideration. The
petitioners stated that the Department of Education, Culture, and Sports had decided their administrative
case upholding the right of the school to refuse enrollment in the first year high school of Vonette Luy as
well as the other students similarly situated. (See Annex "D", Rollo, pp. 52-53)

Significantly, the petitioners also pointed out to the court that Vicente Luy and his daughter were engaging
in forum shopping because Civil Case No. Q-51039 had been filed earlier by Mr. Luy himself and various
other parents. There was pending exactly the same cause of action on contempt and both cases were raising
the same issues. chanroble s virtualawl ibra ry cha nrob les.co m:chan roble s.com.p h

As earlier stated, the first case on the grant of mandatory injunction was at that time already with the Court
of Appeals.

On June 9, 1989, Vicente Luy filed a motion to declare the petitioners in contempt of court for refusing to
enroll Vonette Luy in high school.

We note that on this same date, June 9, 1989, the other court presided over by Judge Godofredo Legaspi
denied the similar motion for contempt filed by Mr. Luy, Josefina Ang, Teresita Ang See, and Teresita
Dipasupil.

On June 13, 1989, Judge Tirso Velasco ordered the petitioners to comply with the writ of preliminary
mandatory injunction or he would act on the motion for contempt. The petitioners opposed this order stating
that Judge Legaspi had just denied the similar motion for contempt in the other case (Civil Case No. Q-
51039). In this opposition, the petitioners again charged Mr. Luy with forum shopping contending that the
first case he filed with others should take precedence over Civil Case No. Q-89-2357 pending before Judge
Velasco’s court.
On June 16, 1989, Judge Velasco issued the order questioned in this petition, stating: jgc:chan roble s.com.p h

"IN VIEW HEREOF, and for continuously defying not only the writ of this court but also the three Orders of
June 7, June 13 and June 15, 1989, the Court finds the two respondents Julia L. Tan and James Tan guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of indirect contempt and hereby sentences each of them to suffer a penalty of
imprisonment of ten (10) days and to pay the cost. They are likewise fined P500.00 each.

The Court orders that a warrant of arrest be immediately issued and served upon them to start service of
sentence. The Court will determine whether, during this period of time, petitioner Vonette Luy shall have
been enrolled in respondent school for if not a determination shall be made whether respondents shall be
continuously held in custody until compliance by them of the court’s writ of preliminary mandatory
injunction." (Rollo, p. 57)

Only ten (10) days later, on June 26, 1989, the Court of Appeals set aside the writ issued by Judge Velasco
which had commanded the herein petitioners to enroll the protesting school children. It lifted the writ of
preliminary injunction it had issued. A motion for reconsideration was denied.

The parents went to our Court. We initially issued a status quo order, enjoining the parties to maintain the
situation existing before the decision of the Court of Appeals was rendered.

On December 12, 1989, however, we decided the controversy in favor of herein petitioners and the school.
The Court in G.R. No. 90063 declared the petition of the parents and their children unmeritorious. We
stated: jgc:chanro bles. com.ph

"‘ACCORDINGLY, the Court Resolved to DISMISS the Petition for lack of merit. However, the children here
affected shall be allowed to finish the current school year (including the summer term, if any), as the
questioned Order of the Court of Appeals shall take effect only as of the beginning of SY 1990-91.’
Padilla, J., took no part, Gutierrez, Jr., J., is on official leave)." (at p. 7).

The petition in this case is impressed with merit.

Our ruling in Yap Chin Fah, Et. Al. v. Hon. Court of Appeals, Et. Al. was already long final when the Fourth
Division of the Court of Appeals rendered its October 22, 1990 decision practically ignoring and rendering
naught the ratio decidendi which impelled us to dismiss the earlier petition. This cannot be countenanced.
chanrobles. com:cha nrob les.com. ph
chanrobles vi rtua lawlib rary

We stressed in Ver u. Quetulio (163 SCRA 80 [1988]), citing Ang Ping v. Regional Trial Court of Manila, Br.
40 (154 SCRA 77 [1987]): jgc:chanrob les.c om.ph

"As early as 1922, this Court declared in Shioji v. Harvey (43 Phil. 333) that ‘the only function of a lower
court, when the judgment of a higher court is returned to it, is the ministerial one of issuing the order of
execution. A lower court is without supervisory jurisdiction to interpret or to reverse the judgment of the
higher court.’

This is especially true where it is a Supreme Court decision or resolution which states with finality how the
particular case before it has been resolved. We ruled in Tugade v. Court of Appeals (85 SCRA 226): chanrob1es v irt ual 1aw li bra ry

‘Respondent Court of Appeals is really devoid of any choice at all. It could not have ruled in any other way
on the legal question raised. This Tribunal having spoken, its duty was to obey. It is a simple as that. There
is relevance to this excerpt from Barrera v. Barrera (34 SCRA 98 [1970]). The delicate task of ascertaining
the significance that attaches to a constitutional or statutory provision, an executive order, a procedural
norm or a municipal ordinance is committed to the judiciary. It thus discharges a role no less crucial than
that appertaining to the other two departments in the maintenance of the rule of law. To assure stability in
legal relations and avoid confusion, it has to speak with one voice. It does so with finality, logically and
rightly, through the highest judicial organ, this Court. What it says then should be definitive and
authoritative, binding on those occupying the lower ranks in the judicial hierarchy. They have to defer and to
submit.’ (Ibid, 107). The opinion in Barrera further emphasizes the point: ‘Such a thought was reiterated in
an opinion of Justice J.B.L. Reyes and further emphasized in these words: ‘Judge Gaudencio Cloribel need
not be reminded that the Supreme Court, by tradition and in our system of judicial administration, has the
last word on what the law is; it is the final arbiter of any justiciable controversy. There is only one Supreme
Court from whose decisions all other courts should take their bearings. (Justice J.B.L. Reyes spoke thus in
Albert v. Court of First Instance of Manila (Branch VI, 23 SCRA 948, 961).’" (Emphasis supplied).
The respondent Court of Appeals should have been aware that in the related case (G.R. No. 90063), we had
already set aside the writ of preliminary injunction similar to the writ from which emanated the contempt
order directing that the petitioners be imprisoned and made to pay fines. If this Court had already found a
preliminary injunction invalid and sustained the school’s position that there was no unmistakable and
indubitable right to enroll the petitioners’ children, any lower court’s decision to the contrary is not only
unenforceable and ineffective, but certainly cannot be the basis for a contempt order.

Our ruling in the related case of Yap Chin Fah, Et. Al. v. Hon. Court of Appeals, Et Al., states: jgc:chanrobles .com.p h

"As the Court of Appeals pointed out, petitioners here failed to exhaust their administrative remedies before
resorting to court action, as they had failed to: (a) see the principal of Grace Christian on 29 May 1987,
their scheduled conference date; (b) wait for the resolution of the letter of reconsideration/clarification of 1st
Indorsement dated 1 June 1987 filed by Grace Christian with the DECS Assistant Regional Director; and (c)
appeal to the DECS Secretary to finally resolve their disagreements with Grace Christian, the right to appeal
from the decision of a subordinate officer to a superior one constituting ‘a plain, speedy and adequate
remedy in the ordinary course of law’ within the meaning of the Rules of Court. The Education Act of 1982
vests in the DECS the primary authority to hear and resolve disputes by and among members of the
educational community similar to those between petitioners and Grace Christian.

Moreover, a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction lies only when the right sought to be enforced is clear,
unmistakable and indubitable (Rivera v. Florendo, 144 SCRA, 643 [1986]). In the instant case, no such clear
right was shown. It is true that private schools — not unlike public utilities and other private corporations
whose businesses impinge on the public interest — are subject to reasonable regulation and supervision of
the State (Const., Art. XIV [4] [1]). At the same time, however, private schools have the right to establish
reasonable rules and regulations for the admission, discipline and promotion of students. This right to
establish and enforce reasonable rules and regulations extends as well to parents and parent-teacher
associations, as parents are under a social and moral (if not legal obligation, individually and collectively, to
assist and cooperate with the schools. In the instant case, since petitioners have failed to comply with the
conditions and prerequisites for admission, i.e., registration within the prescribed dates, payment of duly-
approved tuition fees, and compliance with school rules and regulations, Grace Christian cannot be regarded
as having acted arbitrarily or capriciously in refusing to re-enroll petitioners’ children.

x x x

"Lastly, where relations between parents and students on the one hand, and teachers and administrators
upon the other hand, have deteriorated to the level here exhibited, a private school may, in the interest of
the rest of the student body and of the faculty and management as a whole, and of the children of the
parents affected, require the affected children to be enrolled elsewhere. The maintenance of a morally
conducive and orderly educational environment will be seriously imperilled if, under the circumstances of
this case, Grace Christian is forced to admit petitioners’ children and to reintegrate them to the student
body. It may even be argued that petitioners’ children have been innocent victims in a deplorable
confrontation between some parents and respondent School, but the situation here finds some analogy in
labor cases where, because of pre-existing and supervening strained relations, reinstatement is not always a
feasible solution." (G.R. No. 90063, December 12, 1989, pp. 5-6; 7)

The issue before us was the right to enroll in high school of students who graduated from the elementary
department of the same institution. Exactly the same issue is raised in the case which gave rise to the
contempt order and to the present petition. Under the common facts of the two cases, both the DECS and
this Court have found the petitioners’ position valid.

We cannot close this case without deploring the action of Vicente Luy and his counsel for filing Civil Case No.
Q-89-2357 in 1989 when exactly the same issues were already before Branch 79 in Civil Case No. Q-51039
filed by, among others, Mr. Luy in 1987. This results not only in unnecessarily clogging the heavily burdened
dockets of our courts but also in the unseemly sight of two Branches of the same trial court and two
Divisions of the Court of Appeals issuing contradictory decisions — one in favor of the school and the other
in favor of the students and their parents. This problem of forum-shopping is now before our Committee on
the Revision of the Rules of Court.chanrobles lawlib rary : rednad

Pending any amendment of the Rules or a circular remedying this problem, lawyers and litigants alike are
warned to be more candid with courts of justice and not engage in forum-shopping through deliberate
splitting of actions or appeals in the hope that even as one case is dismissed, another would still be open.
The Court of Appeals in this case was also misled. It ruled: jgc:chan roble s.com. ph

"It is important to note that Civil Case No. Q-51039 was filed for the purpose of requiring appellants to
maintain the eight (8) students in the roll of students in the Elementary Department. This prayer was
granted when the court issued the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction asked for. Herein appellants
thereafter complied with the said order. It was only when the school refused to admit the eight (8) students
in its High School Department that they filed the motion for contempt. Said motion was denied because
what the initial petition prayed for was for the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction to
maintain the enrollment in the Elementary Department of the students and not their admission in the High
School Department of said school. Therefore, the right of the students to be admitted in the High School
Department was not in issue hence, the court was correct in ruling that it had no jurisdiction to declare the
appellants in contempt of court for the act complained of, thereby dismissing the charge without considering
its merits." (Rollo, pp. 45-46)

Civil Case No. Q-51039 was filed by Vicente Luy and other parents not only to continue enrolling their
children in the elementary department but also to compel the enrollment of their other children in the high
school department of Grace Christian School. As pointed out by the petitioners, there were eighteen (18)
students involved in Civil Case No. Q-51039, not eight (8) as stated by the Court of Appeals. Vonette Luy
had two sisters, Vivian Luy and Virna Luy who were high school students and who joined in the petition. The
case involved not only elementary grade but also high school students.

No thinking person can dispute the fact that our country is suffering from the effects of a serious
deterioration of academic and other standards in our educational system. This Court is disturbed by the big
number of candidates taking the bar examinations who, after six (6) years in the elementary grades, four
(4) years in high school, and eight (8) years in college appear to be functionally semi-illiterate judging from
the answers they give to bar examination questions. The same is true of other disciplines, professions, and
occupations. A drastic upgrading of educational standards especially in the elementary and high school
levels is imperative.
c hanro bles law lib rary : red

It is for the above reason that Government should uphold and encourage schools and colleges which
endeavor to maintain the highest standards of education. We have consistently sustained the rights of
students to legitimately address their grievances both to school authorities, media, and the general public to
the extent of sometimes countenancing uncivil and rowdy behavior. However, we have not hesitated to
strike down violence and anarchy when certain students and their inevitable supporters misuse the grant of
"ordered liberty" mandated by the Constitution. Educators who insist on high standards and who enforce
reasonable rules of discipline deserve support from courts of justice and other branches of Government.

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The questioned DECISION and RESOLUTION of the Court of
Appeals are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The petitioners are ACQUITTED of the offense of indirect contempt
of court.

SO ORDERED.

Fernan, C.J., Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Paras, Feliciano, Bidin, Griño-Aquino, Medialdea, Regalado and
Davide, Jr., JJ., concur.

Padilla and Sarmiento, JJ., took no part.

Gancayco, J., is on leave.

Separate Opinions

CRUZ, J., dissenting: chan rob1e s virtual 1aw l ibra ry

I have reservations about the ponencia insofar as it suggests that if the parents are not satisfied with the
policies of the school they are free to enroll their children elsewhere. It is not as simple as that. The school
is not a strictly private business or an exclusive club admission to which is entirely discretionary in its
officials or membership. It is an enterprise affected with public interest and as such does not have full
freedom in defining its policies. The school has a missionary and visionary purpose. That purpose transcends
personal animosities and idiosyncrasies like those involved in the case before us.
The policies of the school are not its concern alone but also that of the parents who have entrusted to it the
education of their children. No less than the Constitution recognizes the natural right and duty of the parents
in the rearing of the youth for civil efficiency and the development of moral character. The mere fact that
the parents have enrolled their children in the school does not mean they have surrendered to it full
authority in the pursuit of the said objectives. The education of the youth is a collaborative effort between
the parents and the school, and neither can deny the other its assigned role in this endeavor.

The parents should have the right to examine the policies of the school and to demand a higher quality of
education for their children. The method must, of course, be lawful. But refusing the children re-admission
simply because their parents have incurred the displeasure of the school is to me an arbitrary decision that
this Court should not condone.

The ponencia cites our earlier resolution In Yap Chin Fah v. Court of Appeals, where we said that the
strained relations between the parents and the school might justify the refusal of the latter to re-enroll the
students, in the interest of all concerned, including the students themselves. The analogy was there made of
labor cases, where reinstatement may not be considered a "feasible solution" because of strained relations
between the employee and management.

While I do not disagree with the ruling as a general principle, I think it should be applied on a case-by-case
basis, taking into account the particular attendant circumstances, especially the reason for the strained
relations. Conceivably, these may have been caused by the school itself, and not always innocently. Where,
say, the school is run by an authoritarian who obstinately refuses to listen to others, or it enforces clearly
whimsical or arbitrary policies, or it deliberately provokes the parents precisely to cause the strained
relations, I do not think the parents should be faulted for protesting. The doctrine would clearly be
inapplicable in such cases notwithstanding the strained relations.

At any rate, there should be no question that not every complaint of the parents is per se unreasonable. It
should not follow that because their complaints have strained their relations with the school, their children
can on that score alone be denied re-enrollment.

I am also thinking of another situation that could perhaps cause us more serious concern unless we define
narrow perimeters for the doctrine. We have said often enough, most recently in Non v. Dames, 185 SCRA
523, that the enrollment of the student does not connote the forfeiture of his constitutional rights, which he
does not leave at the "gateposts of the school." My fear is that in exercising such rights, he may offend the
sensibilities of the school and consequently become persona non grata. Shall we, following the said doctrine,
sustain the school when it refuses him re-admission for the sake of peace on the campus? I submit that in
this and similar cases — including the case at bar — the academic freedom of the school to choose its
students should not be stretched beyond its constitutional limits.cha nrob les vi rtua lawlib rary c han robles. com:cha nrob les.co m.ph

It is so easy to say that the parents may enroll their children elsewhere if they do not like the school, and
good riddance to all concerned. But there are other considerations that in fairness, and to be realistic,
should not just be disregarded. In the particular case of Grace Christian High School, it may be that it is the
nearest school that can offer a Protestant upbringing to the children and their transfer to another school of
the same religion may entail more expense of time and money, not to mention the psychological trauma of
rejection and dislocation they may suffer. Such involuntary transfer may not be the most feasible solution.

In such circumstances, I suggest that the Court, instead of recognizing the belligerency, as it were, should
encourage an amicable arrangement that will allow the children to re-enroll while at the same time
according the school and the parents another opportunity to sit down and reason together (and in the
process provide an example to the students).

I venture the hope that the strained relations deplored by the Court in the said resolution, which was
promulgated on December 12, 1989, almost ore and a half years ago, may not be as acrimonious now as
they were then and that the tension between the parties may have sufficiently loosened by now to allow
mutual accommodation.

It is worth noting that the school has graduated the children from its elementary department, which would
suggest that they are eligible by its own standards for admission to its high school department. I agree with
the ponencia that education in this country must be improved, but it is not the academic proficiency of the
students that is the issue in this case.
The preliminary mandatory injunction issued by Judge Solano was merely preliminary, subject to the results
of the trial on the merits. There was no deliberate defiance of the resolution cited because the reason for the
strained relations between the parents and the school, and the degree of their hostility, was a legitimate
inquiry that had yet to be made. Pending the decision of Civil Case No. 051039, the petitioners were obliged
to comply with the mandate of the court in the interest of the orderly administration of justice.

I am not prepared to agree that the preliminary mandatory injunction was a patently unlawful order that the
petitioners could simply ignore on their own inofficious decision that it was invalid. That judgment was not
for them to make. They should understand that, as litigants, they cannot reverse the judge; only a higher
court may do that. The writ being a presumably lawful process of the trial court, the petitioners should have
dutifully obeyed it, without prejudice to their right to challenge it later in the appropriate proceedings.

I vote to affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals and to dismiss the petition.
JOSE P. TAMBUNTING, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS,
ESTANISLAWA PANER and HON. JUDGE LEAH S.
DOMINGO, respondents.

DECISION
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:

This refers to the petition for certiorari filed by Jose P. Tambunting


assailing the decision promulgated by the Court of Appeals (CA for brevity)
[1] [2]

on September 24, 1998 which affirmed the Resolution dated July 17,
1997 issued by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 226, Quezon City (RTC for
[3]

brevity), affirming with modification the Order of Branch 41, Metropolitain


[4]

Trial Court, Quezon City (MTC for brevity), granting the issuance of an alias
writ of execution.
The factual background of the case is as follows:
In the ejectment case filed by respondent against petitioner, parties
[5]

entered into a Compromise Agreement, to wit: [6]

COMPROMISE AGREEMENT

PARTIES, assisted by their respective undersigned counsels, to this Honorable Court,


respectfully submit the following Compromise Agreement:

1. The Defendant agrees to pay an increased rental from P12,589.05 to P19,000.00


per month effective upon the signing of this Compromise Agreement;

2. That in addition to the foregoing, the amount of P22,000.00 representing


additional rentals from March, 1990 to January, 1991 shall be paid in equal
proportions by the Defendant to the Plaintiff within a period of one (1) year, both of
which amounts shall be payable in advance not later than the first five (5) days of the
month;

3. This Lease agreement shall be effective for a period of one (1) year;

4. Both parties respectively waive their other claim/counter claims in the above-
entitled case;

5. The parties agree that if any of the provisions of this Compromise agreement is
violated by the Defendant, then execution shall issue on the basis of this agreement.
(SGD) ESTANISLAWA PANER (SGD) JOSE TAMBUNTING
Plaintiff Defendant
(SGD) ATTY. DANIEL T. SOLOMON (SGD) ATTY. PEDRO T.
SANTOS, JR.
Counsel for the Defendant Counsel for the Plaintiff

which was approved by the MTC in its Decision dated January 17, 1991,
enjoining the parties to abide by its terms and conditions.
A year later, upon motion for execution filed by respondent, the MTC
issued a Writ of Execution dated April 7, 1992 reproducing the Compromise
Agreement, and decreed as follows:

WHEREAS, upon motion of the plaintiffs counsel that a writ of execution be issued,
the same was granted on April 7, 1992.

WHEREFORE, you are hereby commanded to cause the above-named defendant and
all persons claiming rights under him to vacate the premises located at 490 Aurora
Blvd., cor. Sgt. Catolos, Cubao, Quezon City and you likewise make a return of this
writ of execution to this Court within sixty (60 ) days from the date of receipt hereof.
[7]

Petitioner questioned the same in the RTC which the latter dismissed
upon subsequent Manifestation and Motion, dated March 9, 1993, filed by
petitioner alleging that he had vacated the subject premises. Objecting to the
dismissal of the case, on the ground that she intends to pursue her
counterclaim against petitioner, respondent assailed the dismissal with the CA
which affirmed the dismissal order. Unperturbed, respondent brought the CA
decision to this Court docketed as G.R. No. 120913. The CA decision was
affirmed by the Court, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows:

Considering the allegations, issues, and arguments adduced in the petition for review
on certiorari, as well as private respondents comment thereon, the Court further
Resolved to DISMISS the petition without prejudice to his taking appropriate recourse
re compulsory counterclaim for moral damages and attorneys fees. [8]

and which became final and executory on January 3, 1996. [9]

Respondent then filed a Motion for Alias Writ of Execution with the MTC,
alleging, as follows:

...
7. That, however, during the time that the case was pending and before Defendant
finally vacated the premises on March 9, 1993 in the absence of any specific date in
his Manifestation and Motion of March 9, 1993, as to when he vacated the premises, it
is safe to presume that he left the same on March 9, 1993, the date he filed said
Manifestation and Motion (Annex A) which totals P259,033.00, itemized as follows:

Rentals from Jan. 18, 1992 to


February 18, 1993 (13 mos. x P 19,000.00) = P 247,000.00
Rentals from Feb. 18, 1963 to
March 9, 1993 (19 days x P 633.33) = P 12,033.27
P 259,033.00
plus cost of suit
[10]

and praying that an alias writ of execution be issued by the court for the
amounts therein indicated. Over and above the opposition of petitioner, the
MTC issued its Order dated March 11, 1997, the dispositive portion of which
reads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Motion for Alias Writ of Execution is


hereby GRANTED. Let an Alias Writ of Execution be issued for the satisfaction and
execution of the judgment herein rendered.

SO ORDERED. [11]

Claiming that the MTC order is a patent nullity on the ground that it
modified the tenor of the judgment based on the compromise agreement
executed by the parties, petitioner went up to the RTC in a petition
for certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction. In
its Resolution dated July 17, 1997, the RTC denied the writ prayed for and
dismissed the petition for failure of petitioner to show that the MTC Judge
committed grave abuse of discretion in the issuance of the alias writ of
execution. Petitioner assailed said RTC resolution before the CA which
affirmed the RTC with the modification that the payment of back rentals
should be computed from January 18, 1992 to February 15, 1993.
Hence, the present petition for review on certiorari claiming that the CA
committed the following errors, to wit:

SPECIFICATION OF ERRORS

The Court of Appeals committed the following errors:


1.) In, in effect, holding that the Alias Writ of Execution can go beyond the
provisions of the Original Writ of Execution and the Compromise Agreement;

2.) In holding that petitioner, will not suffer a grave and irreparable injury from the
enforcement of a clearly void Alias Writ of Execution. [12]

In her Comment, respondent submits that contrary to the claim of


petitioner, the alias writ of execution did not go beyond the provisions of the
original writ of execution and the compromise agreement; and petitioner would
not suffer any grave and irreparable injury from the enforcement of a clearly
valid alias writ of execution.
In his Reply, petitioner contends that neither did the original writ of
execution nor the compromise agreement direct him to pay respondent any
alleged unpaid rentals.
The resolution of the present petition relies mainly on the provisions of the
compromise agreement approved by the MTC and the tenor of the Alias Writ
of Execution issued by the MTC. A perusal of the Compromise Agreement
readily reveals the following:

1. The compromise agreement was signed by the parties on January 16,


1991;

2. Parties therein entered into a new lease agreement effective for a period
of one year from the date of signing of said Compromise Agreement, or,
from January 16, 1991 up to January 16, 1992;

3. The rental per month is P19,000.00 effective January 16, 1991;

4. Both parties agreed that if any of the provisions of their compromise


agreement is violated by petitioner, then execution shall issue on the
basis of said agreement.

The Court notes that on January 24, 1992, respondents motion for
execution merely prayed that a writ be issued directing the eviction of
petitioner as well as all persons or entities claiming rights under him. It is [13]

only when respondent filed her motion for issuance of alias writ of execution
that she demanded the payment of P259,033.00 representing unpaid rentals
from January 18, 1992 to February 18, 1993 at P19,000.00 per month,
or P247,000.00; and rentals from February 18, 1993 up to March 9, 1993, the
date when petitioner alleged that he had vacated the premises, at P633.33 for
nineteen days or P12,033.27.
Clearly therefrom, respondent had successfully obtained from the MTC
and affirmed by the RTC and the CA the execution of a judgment of the MTC
including those unpaid rentals that accrued after the one-year period agreed
upon by the parties which, by its very nature, is not covered by the
compromise agreement. Indeed, as aptly claimed by petitioner, the unpaid
rentals after the lapse of the one-year period agreed upon by the parties in
their compromise agreement, constitute another cause of action which may
not be demanded and awarded in the same case where the compromise
agreement was approved. It is for this reason that the Court dismissed the
earlier petition for certiorari filed by respondent without prejudice to her
[14]

taking appropriate action with respect to her compulsory counterclaim for


moral damages and attorneys fees. The Court refers to an appropriate action,
not to a mere motion for execution.
As the Court held in Lao Lim vs. Court of Appeals, while the compromise
[15]

agreement may be res judicata as far as the cause of action and issues in the
first ejectment case is concerned, any cause of action that arises from the
application or violation of the compromise agreement cannot be said to have
been settled in said first case. The compromise agreement was meant to
settle, as it did only settle, the first case. It did not, as it could not, cover any
cause of action that might arise thereafter. Thus, claims for damages,
[16]

whether actual or moral and attorneys fees are new causes of action that
cannot be recovered in Civil Case No. 2794.
Significantly, it is noted that in the first motion for a writ of execution,
respondent never claimed that the rentals due during the one-year period
agreed upon by the parties in the Compromise Agreement have not been paid
by petitioner; what respondent prayed for was only the eviction of petitioner
from the premises, not any unpaid rentals. Thus, there is all the more reason
that the alias writ of execution issued by the MTC, affirmed by both the RTC
and the CA, be declared null and void because the writ purports to execute
the alleged non-payment of rentals that accrued after the one-year period
agreed upon by the parties and for still occupying the property beyond the
one-year period which is not the subject of the original case for ejectment and
the compromise agreement therein entered into by the parties. Indeed, it is
for the best interest of orderly administration of justice that causes of action
that arise after the period mentioned in the compromise agreement may be
ventilated, awarded and enforced in a proper action for damages for unlawful
occupation of the property after January 16, 1992.
In fine, the CA and the RTC, as appellate courts, seriously erred in
affirming the patently void alias writ of execution issued by the MTC.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The decision, dated September
24, 1998 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 46452 and the Resolution
dated July 17, 1997 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City (Branch 226)
in Civil Case No. Q-97-30804 together with the Order dated March 11, 1997 of
the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City (Branch 41) are REVERSED AND
SET ASIDE. The said Metropolitan Trial Court is ordered to deny
respondents motion for alias writ of execution.
Costs against respondent.
SO ORDERED.
Puno, (Chairman), Callejo, Sr., Tinga, and Chico-Nazario, JJ., concur.