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Banares vs Balising

G.R. No. 132624

March 13, 2000

Petitioners: FIDEL M. BAÑARES II, LILIA C. VALERIANO,
EDGAR M. BAÑARES, EMILIA GATCHALIAN and FIDEL
BESARINO
Respondents: ELIZABETH BALISING, ROGER ALGER,
MERLINDA CAPARIC, EUSTAQUIO R. TEJONES, ANDREA
SAYAM, JENNY ISLA, WILMA ROGATERO, PABLITO
ALEGRIA, ROLANDO CANON, EDITHA ESTORES, EDMUNDO
DOROYA, TERESITA GUION, DANNY ANDARAYAN,
LOURDES CADAY, ROGELIO MANO, EVANGELINE CABILTES
AND PUBLIC PROSECUTOR OF RIZAL, Antipolo, Rizal.

Topic:

Facts:

Petitioners Fidel M. Bañares II, Lilia C. Valeriano, Edgar M.
Bañares, Emilia Gatchialian and Fidel Besarino were the
accused in sixteen criminal cases for estafa filed by the private
respondents.

After the petitioners were arraigned and entered their plea of not
guilty, they filed a Motion to Dismiss the aforementioned cases
on the ground that the filing of the same was premature, in view of
the failure of the parties to undergo conciliation proceedings
before the Lupong Tagapamayapa of Barangay Dalig, Antipolo,
Rizal. Petitioners averred that since they lived in the same
barangay as private respondents, and the amount involved in
each of the cases did not exceed Two Hundred Pesos (P200.00),
the said cases were required under Section 412 in relation to
Section 408 of the Local Government Code of 1991 and Section

18 of the 1991 Revised Rule on Summary Procedure to be referred to the Lupong Tagapamayapa or Pangkat ng Tagapagkasundo of the barangay concerned for conciliation proceedings before being filed in court. pursuant to Section 18 of the 1991 Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. Rizal stating that the parties appeared before said body regarding the charges of estafa filed by private respondents against petitioners but they failed to reach an amicable settlement with respect thereto. private respondents through counsel. The municipal trial court issued an Order denying petitioners' motion to dismiss on the ground that they failed to seasonably invoke the non-referral of the cases to the Lupong Tagapamayapa or Pangkat ng Tagapagkasundo. Antipolo. stating that the requirement of referral to the Lupon for conciliation had already been complied with. Petitioners filed a comment and opposition to motion to revive claiming that the Order of the municipal trial court dismissing the cases had long become final and executory. . The municipal trial court issued an Order dismissing the sixteen criminal cases against petitioners without prejudice. private respondents should have re-filed the cases instead of filing a motion to revive. It added that such failure to invoke non-referral of the case to the Lupon amounted to a waiver by petitioners of the right to use the said ground as basis for dismissing the cases. Attached to the motion was a Certification from the Lupong Tagapamayapa of Barangay Dalig. More than two months later. hence. filed a motion to revive the abovementioned criminal cases against petitioners. claiming that nowhere in the Revised Rules of Court is it stated that the ground of prematurity shall be deemed waived if not raised seasonably in a motion to dismiss. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the aforementioned Order.

In response thereto. injunction and prohibition assailing the Order of the municipal trial court. Rizal. After the parties submitted additional pleadings to support their respective contentions. likewise. stating that since the dismissal of said cases was without prejudice. They claimed that the said Order dismissing the criminal cases against them had long become final and executory considering that the prosecution did not file any motion for reconsideration of said Order. Petitioners thereafter filed with the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo. A "final order" issued by a court has been defined as one which disposes of the subject matter in its entirety or terminates a particular proceeding or action. private respondents filed their Comment. particularly Section 18 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. The regional trial court. arguing that the motion to revive the said cases was in accordance with law. a petition for certiorari. Issue: WON Ruling: Petitioners' contentions are meritorious. leaving nothing else to be done . denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration of the aforementioned decision for lack of merit.The municipal trial court issued an Order granting private respondents' motion to revive. injunction and prohibition. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the aforementioned Order which was denied by the municipal trial court. the questioned order has not attained finality at all. the regional trial court rendered the assailed decision denying the petition for certiorari.

the Court defined a provisional dismissal of a criminal case as a dismissal without prejudice to the reinstatement thereof before the order of dismissal becomes final or to the subsequent filing of a new information for the offense. a party who wishes to reinstate the case has no other remedy but to file a new complaint. This Court has previously held that an order dismissing a case without prejudice is a final order if no motion for reconsideration or appeal there from is timely filed. the foregoing rule applies not only to civil cases but to criminal cases as well. an order becomes final and executory and is beyond the power or jurisdiction of the court which rendered it to further amend or revoke. After the lapse of the fifteen-day period. but leaves something more to be adjudicated upon. A final judgment or order cannot be modified in any respect. and therefore becomes outside the court's power to amend and modify. an "interlocutory order" is one which does not dispose of a case completely. even if the modification sought is for the purpose of correcting an erroneous conclusion by the court which rendered the same. the regional trial court erred when it denied the petition for certiorari. After the order of dismissal of a case without prejudice has become final. In Jaca vs. Blanco. The law grants an aggrieved party a period of fifteen (15) days from his receipt of the court's decision or order disposing of the action or proceeding to appeal or move to reconsider the same. As distinguished there from. Thus.but to enforce by execution what has been determined by the court. Contrary to private respondents' claim. injunction and prohibition and ruled that the order of the municipal trial court dismissing without prejudice the criminal .

as required under Section 412 in relation to Section 408 of the Local Government Code. . Equally erroneous is private respondents' contention that the rules regarding finality of judgments under the Revised Rules of Court do not apply to cases covered by the 1991 Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. There is nothing in the aforecited provision which supports private respondents' view. Private respondents claim that Section 18 of the 1991 Revised Rule on Summary Procedure allows the revival of cases which were dismissed for failure to submit the same to conciliation at the barangay level. To construe Section 18 thereof as allowing the revival of dismissed cases by mere motion even after the lapse of the period for appealing the same would prevent the courts from settling justiciable controversies with finality. It is but logical to infer that the foregoing principle also applies to cases subject to summary procedure especially since the objective of the Rule governing the same is precisely to settle these cases expeditiously. There is no declaration to the effect that said case may be revived by mere motion even after the fifteen-day period within which to appeal or to file a motion for reconsideration has lapsed. Section 18 merely states that when a case covered by the 1991 Revised Rule on Summary Procedure is dismissed without prejudice for non-referral of the issues to the Lupon. could be reinstated by the mere filing of a motion to revive. thereby undermining the stability of our judicial system.cases against petitioners had not attained finality and hence. the same may be revived only after the dispute subject of the dismissed case is submitted to barangay conciliation as required under the Local Government Code.