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Pointers in Remedial Law

Bar Exams 2017


by Professor Victoria V. Loanzon
with the assistance of Atty. Sid Bautista,
Atty. Raniel Dayate, Atty. Paula Kintanar
Atty. Allan Pamis and Atty. Zarah Suarez

JURISDICTION

Q. What is Jurisdiction?
A. Jurisdiction is the authority to hear and determine a case.

Q. What are the kinds of jurisdiction? How does the Court acquire such jurisdiction?
A. (1) Jurisdiction over the plaintiff – Acquired by the filing of the complaint, petition, or initiatory pleading before the court by
the plaintiff; (2) Jurisdiction over the person of the Defendant – Acquired by the voluntary appearance or submission by the
defendant to the court or by coercive process issued by the court to him, generally by the service of summons; (3) Jurisdiction
over the subject matter - conferred by law, an unlike jurisdiction over the parties, cannot be conferred to the court by voluntary
act or mere agreement of the parties; Jurisdiction over the Issues - determined and conferred by the pleadings filed in the case by
the parties, or by their agreement in a pre-trial order or stipulation, or, at times by their implied consent as by the failure of a party
to object to evidence on an issue not covered by the pleadings, as provided in Sec. 5, Rule 10; (4) Jurisdiction over the res (or the
property or thing which is the subject matter of the litigation - acquired by the actual or constructive seizure by the court of the
thing in question, thus placing it in custodia legis, as in attachment or garnishment; or by provision of law which recognizes in the
court the power to deal with the property or subject matter within its territorial jurisdiction, as in land registration proceedings or
suits involving civil status or real property in the Philippines of a non-resident defendant

Q. Is venue synonymous with jurisdiction?


A. No. Hon. [Justice] Florenz D. Regalado differentiated jurisdiction and venue as follows: (a) Jurisdiction is the authority to hear
and determine a case; venue is the place where the case is to be heard or tried; (b) Jurisdiction is a matter of substantive law;
venue, of procedural law; (c) Jurisdiction establishes a relation between the court and the subject matter; venue, a relation between
plaintiff and defendant, or petitioner and respondent; and, (d) Jurisdiction is fixed by law and cannot be conferred by the parties;
venue may be conferred by the act or agreement of the parties. (Nocum v Lucio Tan, 2005)

Q. True or False: The adjudicators of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) have the original
and exclusive jurisdiction to determine just compensation under Republic Act No. 6657 (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law,
or CARL)? (Landbank v. Suntay, J. Bersamin, 2011)
A. False. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) as a Special Agrarian Court has the original and exclusive jurisdiction to determine just
compensation under Republic Act No. 6657 (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, or CARL). Any effort to transfer such
jurisdiction to the adjudicators of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) and to convert the original
jurisdiction of the RTC into appellate jurisdiction is void for being contrary to the CARL. DARAB adjudicators are only
empowered to determine in a preliminary manner the reasonable compensation to be paid to the landowners.

Q. The general rule is that the jurisdiction of the trial court, either as a probate court or an intestate court, relates only to
matters having to do with the probate of the will and/or settlement of the estate of deceased persons, but does not extend to
the determination of questions of ownership that arise during the proceedings. State the exceptions. (Aranas v. Mercado, J.
Bersamin, 2014)
A. First, the probate court may provisionally pass upon in an intestate or a testate proceeding the question of inclusion in, or
exclusion from, the inventory of a piece of property without prejudice to final determination of ownership in a separate
action. Second, if the interested parties are all heirs to the estate, or the question is one of collation or advancement, or the parties
consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court and the rights of third parties are not impaired, then the probate court
is competent to resolve issues on ownership. Verily, its jurisdiction extends to matters incidental or collateral to the settlement and
distribution of the estate, such as the determination of the status of each heir and whether the property in the inventory is conjugal
or exclusive property of the deceased spouse

Q. A filed a case for forcible entry before a first level court of Manila against B praying that the latter be ejected from a parcel
of land situated at the boundary of Manila and Quezon City. B filed a motion to dismiss claiming venue was improperly laid as
the larger part of the real property is situated in Quezon City. Is B correct?
A. No. Section 1. of Rule 4 states that actions affecting title to or possession of real property, or interest therein, shall be
commenced and tried in the proper court which has jurisdiction over the area wherein the real property involved, or a portion
thereof, is situated. It is also worth pointing out that B should not have filed a motion to dismiss based on an objection to venue as
said motion is a prohibited motion in an ejectment case under Sec. 13 Rule 70.

Q. What if A filed a motion to dismiss based on the fact that resort to conciliation had not been previously resorted to?

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A. The motion to dismiss may be allowed as the rules allow said motion if based on lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of
the case and failure to comply with the conciliation requirement under Section 12, Rule 70. (Sec. 13, Rule 70 in relation to
Section 12, Rule 70)

Q. What are factors determine which court has jurisdiction?


A.
Civil Action Criminal Action
Nature of action and amount of claim Nature of the offense, imposable penalty, and
territorial jurisdiction;

Some criminal cases you need to consider who


the Accused is [i.e. Sandiganbayan cases] or
who the victim is [i.e. Family Court cases]

Q. What is the rule on jurisdiction over cases involving real property?


A. The exclusive original jurisdiction of the first level courts [include] "all civil actions which involve title to, or possession of,
real property, or any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or interest therein does not exceed Twenty Thousand
Pesos (P20,000.00) [outside Metro Manila or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such assessed value does not exceed Fifty
Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs.

Q. Suppose an action for reconveyance of real property valued at P19,999.99 is filed before a Municipal Trial Court, would it
be correct to ask for the dismissal of the case for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter as reconveyance is incapable of
pecuniary estimation?
A. No. In several cases, the Court has held that actions for reconveyance of or for cancellation of title to or to quiet title over real
property are actions that fall under the classification of cases that involve "title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest
therein. (San Pedro v. Asdala, 2009) This means that the jurisdiction over the case will be determined based on the assessed value
of the real property involved.

Q. What is the rule on jurisdiction over money claims and personal property?
A. In all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of interests, damages of whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses,
and costs or the value of the property exceeds Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000.00) outside Metro Manila or Four hundred
thousand pesos (P400,000.00) in Metro Manila, the Regional Trial Court shall have jurisdiction. (Section 19 (8) of BP 129, as
amended - paraphrased)

Q. What is the rule on small claims cases?


A. Under the 2016 Revised Rules of Procedure for Small Claims Cases, Small claims cases are actions before the Metropolitan
Trial Courts (MeTCs), Municipal Trial Courts in Cities (MTCCs), Municipal Trial Courts (MTCs) and Municipal Circuit Trial
Courts (MCTCs) for payment of money where the value of the claim does not exceed Two Hundred Thousand Pesos
(P200,000.00) exclusive of interest and costs. These actions are purely civil in nature where the claim or relief prayed for by the
plaintiff is solely for payment or reimbursement of sum of money.

Q. Rosario filed a suit in the Small Claims Court. The judge ruled in her favor. When can she ask for execution of the
judgment? How can she execute it?
A. Immediately after a Decision is rendered because under Sec. 24 of the 2016 Revised Rules of Procedure for Small Claims
Cases, a Decision is final, executory, and unappealable. Meanwhile, Rosario can ask for the execution of the judgment through a
Motion. (Sec. 25, Id.)

Q. Can Fernando, the losing party appeal the ruling of the Small Claims Court?
A. No, because said decision is unappealable. To question the decision, a petition for certiorari must be filed. Considering that
small claims cases are exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities,
Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, certiorari petitions assailing its dispositions should be filed before
their corresponding Regional Trial Courts. (A.L. Ang Network, Inc. v. Mondejar, 2014)

Q. What is the doctrine of primary jurisdiction?


A. If a case is such that its determination requires the expertise, specialized training and knowledge of an administrative body,
relief must first be obtained in an administrative proceeding before resort to the courts is had even if the matter may well be within
their proper jurisdiction. Note that the courts of law HAVE jurisdiction but will defer to administrative bodies because of their
expertise. This is the essence of the principle of primary jurisdiction under administrative law. (Euro–Med Laboratory v. Province
of Batangas, 2006)

Q. What is the doctrine of adherence of jurisdiction?


A. Once the court acquires jurisdiction by virtue of a valid complaint, that jurisdiction shall continue up to the end of the case.
Intervening facts will not deprive the courts of jurisdiction. (Example: when a public officer resigns during the pendency of a case
against him before the Sandiganbayan, the Sandiganbayan should not dismiss the case because of this principle as it had already
acquired jurisdiction.)

Q. What is the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies?


A. The court will defer to the administrative agency before taking cognizance of the case. Otherwise stated, a party must exhaust
all remedies before administrative bodies before judicial recourse unless case falls within the exceptions.

Q. What are the exceptions?


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A. x x x (a) where there is estoppel on the part of the party invoking the doctrine; (b) where the challenged administrative act is
patently illegal, amounting to lack of jurisdiction; (c) where there is unreasonable delay or official inaction that will irretrievably
prejudice the complainant; (d) where the amount involved is relatively small so as to make the rule impractical and oppressive; (e)
where the question involved is purely legal and will ultimately have to be decided by the courts of justice; (f) where judicial
intervention is urgent; (g) when its application may cause great and irreparable damage; (h) where the controverted acts violate due
process; (i) when the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies has been rendered moot; (j) when there is no other plain,
speedy and adequate remedy; (k) when strong public interest is involved; and, (l) in quo warranto proceedings. (SAMELCO II v.
Seludo, 2012)

CAUSE OF ACTION

Q. How do you determine the sufficiency of a cause of action?


A. The test is whether or not admitting the facts alleged, the court could render a valid verdict in accordance with the prayer of the
complaint (Misamis Occidental II Cooperative, Inc. vs. David). To be taken into account are only the material allegations in the
complaint; extraneous facts and circumstances or other matter aliunde are not considered but the court may consider in addition to
the complaint the appended annexes or documents, other pleadings of the plaintiff, or admissions in the records. (Zepeda v. China
Banking Corp, 2006)

PARTIES

Q: M filed a collection suit against C and T, shareholders of Z Corp, which included an application for issuance of Writ of
Attachment. The Court granted the application. M posted the necessary bond. Two days later, the Court issued the Writ of
Attachment. The Sheriff then levied upon the equipment, supplies, materials and various other personal property belonging to
Z Corp. Who are real parties in interest? Can C & T claim for damages against arising from the wrongful attachment of Z
Corp’s assets? (Stronghold Insurance v. Cuenca, J. Bersamin, March 6, 2013)

A. Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court states that a real party in interest is one who stands to be benefited or injured by the
judgment in the suit, or one who is entitled to the avails of the suit. Here, C & T cannot claim for damages as they are not real
parties in interest. They were only stockholders of Z Corp, which had a personality distinct and separate from any or both of them.
Only the corporation is the real party in interest for that purpose.

Q. Can a law firm acting as counsel for one of the parties in the intestate proceedings a quo file a petition for certiorari
before the Court of Appeals to protect its own interests?
A. Yes. While the general rule (which limits the availability of the remedy of certiorari under Rule 65 only to parties in the
proceedings before the lower court) must be strictly adhered to, it is not without exception. In this case, the order of reimbursement
was directed to SRMO in its personal capacity—not in its capacity as counsel for either Remedios or Gerardo. Considering that the
RTC's order of reimbursement is specifically addressed to SRMO and the established fact that SRMO only received the subject
money in its capacity as counsel/agent of Gerardo, SRMO's interest can hardly be considered as merely incidental. That SRMO is
being required to reimburse from its own coffers money already transmitted to its client is sufficient to give SRMO direct interest
to challenge the RTC's order. Neither can SRMO be considered a total stranger to the proceedings. (Siguion Reyna Montecillo
and Ongsiako Law Offices v. Hon. Norma Chionlo-Sia, February 2016)

VENUE

Q. True or false. An action to recover the deficiency after the extrajudicial foreclosure of the real property mortgage may
be tried on the place where the main office of the petitioner (plaintiff) was located. Discuss the concept of venue in civil
actions. (BPI Family Savings Bank v. Sps Tujuico, J. Bersamin, 2015)
A. True. An action to recover the deficiency after the extrajudicial foreclosure of the real property mortgage is a personal action,
for it does not affect title to or possession of real property, or any interest therein. Thus, petitioner correctly brought the case in the
Makati RTC because Makati was the place where the main office of the petitioner was located.

The venue of an action depends on whether it is a real or a personal action. Under Section 1, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court,
a real action is one that affects title to or possession of real property, or an interest therein. A real action is to be commenced and
tried in the proper court having jurisdiction over the area wherein the real property involved, or a portion thereof, is situated. In
contrast, the Rules of Court declares all other actions as personal actions. The venue of a personal action is the place where the
plaintiff or any of the principal plaintiffs resides, or where the defendant or any of the principal defendants resides, or in the case
of a nonresident defendant where he may be found, at the election of the plaintiff.

KINDS OF PLEADINGS

Q. Define counterclaim. How do you determine if its compulsory or permissive?


A. A counterclaim is any claim which a defending party may have against an opposing party. A compulsory counterclaim is one
which, being cognizable by the regular courts of justice, arises out of or is connected with the transaction or occurrence
constituting the subject matter of the opposing party's claim and does not require for its adjudication the presence of third parties of
whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction. A counterclaim is permissive if it does not arise out of or is not necessarily connected
with the subject matter of the opposing party's claim. It is essentially an independent claim that may be filed separately in another
case. (Alba v. Malapajo, 2016)

PARTS OF A PLEADING

Q. What is forum shopping? (Sotto v. Palicte, J. Bersamin, 2014)


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A. Forum shopping is an act of malpractice by a party who repetitively avails of several judicial remedies in different courts,
simultaneously or successively, all substantially founded on the same transactions and the same essential facts and circumstances,
and all raising substantially the same issues either pending in or already resolved adversely by some other court.

Q. How is fórum shopping committed? (Sotto v. Palicte, J. Bersamin, 2014)


A. Forum shopping can be committed in either of three ways, namely: (1) filing multiple cases based on the same cause of action
and with the same prayer, the previous case not having been resolved yet (litis pendentia); (2) filing multiple cases based on the
same cause of action and the same prayer, the previous case having been finally resolved (res judicata); or (3) filing multiple
cases based on the same cause of action but with different prayers (splitting of causes of action, where the ground for dismissal is
also either litis pendentia or res judicata).

Q. Atty. Santos filed a pleading before the trial court. In the Certification of Non-Forum Shopping, he signed it on behalf of his
client. Atty. Reyes, opposing counsel, moved to dismiss the case. As the judge, will you grant the Motion to Dismiss?
A. I will grant the Motion to Dismiss. The Court held in a decided case: “In this light, the Court finds that the CA correctly
dismissed Anderson’s Petition for Review on the ground that the certificate of non-forum shopping attached thereto was signed by
Atty. Oliva on her behalf sans any authority to do so. While the Court notes that Anderson tried to correct this error by later
submitting an SPA and by explaining her failure to execute one prior to the filing of the petition, this does not automatically denote
substantial compliance. It must be remembered that a defective certification is generally not curable by its subsequent correction,
and while it is true that in some cases the Court considered such a belated submission as substantial compliance, it did so only on
sufficient and justifiable grounds that compelled a liberal approach while avoiding the effective negation of the intent of the rule
on non-forum shopping.” (Anderson v. Ho, 2013)

Q. What are the guidelines with respect to noncompliance with the requirements on or submission of a defective verification and
certification against forum shopping? (Fernandez v. Villegas, 2014)
A.
1. As to verification, non-compliance therewith or a defect therein does not necessarily render the pleading fatally defective.
The court may order its submission or correction or act on the pleading if the attending circumstances are such that strict
compliance with the Rule may be dispensed with in order that the ends of justice may be served thereby.
2. Verification is deemed substantially complied with when one who has ample knowledge to swear to the truth of the
allegations in the complaint or petition signs the verification, and when matters alleged in the petition have been made in
good faith or are true and correct.
3. As to certification against forum shopping, non-compliance therewith or a defect therein, unlike in verification, is
generally not curable by its subsequent submission or correction thereof, unless there is a need to relax the Rule on the
ground of substantial compliance or presence of special circumstances or compelling reasons.
4. The certification against forum shopping must be signed by all the plaintiffs or petitioners in a case; otherwise, those who
did not sign will be dropped as parties to the case. Under reasonable or justifiable circumstances, however, as when all the
plaintiffs or petitioners share a common interest and invoke a common cause of action or defense, the signature of only
one of them in the certification against forum shopping substantially complies with the Rule.
5. Finally, the certification against forum shopping must be executed by the party-pleader, not by his counsel. If, however,
for reasonable or justifiable reasons, the party-pleader is unable to sign, he must execute a Special Power of Attorney
designating his counsel of record to sign on his behalf.

Q. Who are the corporate officers allowed to sign the verification and certification against forum shopping?
A. Corporate officers who can sign the verification and certification against forum-shopping without need of an authorizing board
resolution: (1) Chairperson of the board of directors, (2) President, (3) General Manager or acting general manager, (4) Personnel
Officer, and (5) Employment Specialists in a labor case. (Mid-Pasig Land Development Corp. v. Tablante, 2010)

MANNER OF MAKING ALLEGATIONS IN PLEADINGS

Q. Section 10, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court recognizes only three modes by which the denial in the answer raises an issue of
fact. State these modes. (Fernando Medical Enterprises v. Wesleyan University, J. Bersamin, January 2016)

A. (1) Defendant specifying each material allegation of fact the truth of which he does not admit and, whenever practicable, setting
forth the substance of the matters upon which he relies to support his denial; (2) Defendant who desires to deny only a part of an
averment, and the denial is done by the defending party specifying so much of the material allegation of ultimate facts as is true
and material and denying only the remainder; (3) Defendant states in the answer that he is without knowledge or information
sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of a material averment made in the complaint by stating so in the answer

Considering that paragraphs no. 6, 7 and 8 of the complaint averred matters that the respondent ought to know or could
have easily known, the answer did not specifically deny such material averments. It is settled that denials based on lack of
knowledge or information of matters clearly known to the pleader, or ought to be known to it, or could have easily been known by
it are insufficient, and constitute ineffective or sham denials.

Q. May the trial court motu proprio dismiss a case without conducting any proceeding without violating the principle of due
process?
A. Yes. Section 1, Rule 9 provides for only four instances when the court may motu proprio dismiss the claim, namely: (a) lack of
jurisdiction over the subject matter; (b) litis pendentia; (c) res judicata; and (d) prescription of action.

FILING AND SERVICE OF PLEADINGS

Q. True or false. Service and filing of pleadings by courier service is a mode provided in the Rules
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A. False. Service and filing of pleadings by courier service is a mode not provided in the Rules.
Under Section 3, Rule 13 of the Rules of Court, pleadings may be filed in court either personally or by registered mail. In the first
case, the date of filing is the date of receipt. In the second case, the date of mailing is the date of receipt. In this case, however, the
counsel for petitioners filed the Notice of Appeal via a private courier, a mode of filing not provided in the Rules. Though not
prohibited by the Rules, we cannot consider the filing of petitioners’ Notice of Appeal via LBC timely filed. It is established
jurisprudence that “the date of delivery of pleadings to a private letter-forwarding agency is not to be considered as the date of
filing thereof in court”; instead, “the date of actual receipt by the court x x x is deemed the date of filing of that pleading.” Records
show that the Notice of Appeal was mailed on the 15th day and was received by the court on the 16th day or one day beyond the
reglementary period. Thus, the CA correctly ruled that the Notice of Appeal was filed out of time. (Heirs of Numeriano Miranda
v. Pablo Miranda, 2013)

SUMMONS

Q. Discuss the rule on service of summons.


A. The general rule in this jurisdiction is that summons must be served personally on the defendant. For justifiable reasons,
however, other modes of serving summons may be resorted to. When the defendant cannot be served personally within a
reasonable time after efforts to locate him have failed, the rules allow summons to be served by substituted service. Substituted
service is effected by leaving copies of the summons at the defendant's residence with some person of suitable age and discretion
then residing therein, or by leaving the copies at defendant's office or regular place of business with some competent person in
charge thereof.

When the defendant's whereabouts are unknown, the rules allow service of summons by publication. As an exception to
the preferred mode of service, service of summons by publication may only be resorted to when the whereabouts of the defendant
are not only unknown, but cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry. The diligence requirement means that there must be prior
resort to personal service under Section 7 and substituted service under Section 8, and proof that these modes were ineffective
before summons by publication may be allowed. This mode also requires the plaintiff to file a written motion for leave of court to
effect service of summons by publication, supported by affidavit of the plaintiff or some person on his behalf, setting forth the
grounds for the application. (Express Padala v. Ocampo, September 6, 2017)

Q. What happens if the Sheriff failed to serve the summons?


A. Failure to serve summons will mean that the court failed to acquire jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. However, the
filing of a motion for new trial or reconsideration is tantamount to voluntary appearance. (De Pedro v. Romasan, 2014)

Q. The lack of or defect in the service of summons may be cured by the defendant’s subsequent voluntary submission to the
court’s jurisdiction. Cite an example of voluntary submission.
A. The lack of or defect in the service of summons may be cured by the defendant’s subsequent voluntary submission to the
court’s jurisdiction through his filing a responsive pleading such as an answer. In this case, it is not disputed that QSC filed its
Answer despite the defective summons. Thus, jurisdiction over its person was acquired through voluntary appearance. (Guy v.
Gacott, January 13, 2016)

MOTIONS

Q. Discuss the 3-day notice rule viz-a vis the 10 day setting rule under Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 15 of the Rules of Court.
A. When a pleading is filed and served personally, there is no question that the requirements in Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 15 of the
Revised Rules of Civil Procedure pose no problem to the party pleading. Under this mode of service and filing of pleadings, the
party pleading is able to ensure receipt by the other party of his pleading at least three days prior to the date of hearing while at
the same time setting the hearing on a date not later than ten days from the filing of the pleading. (Palileo v. Planters
Development Bank, 2014)

PRE-TRIAL

Q. What is the effect of Defendant’s failure to appear during the pre-trial despite due notice?
A. Defendants runs the risk of not being able to dispute the evidence presented ex parte by Plaintiff. Plaintiff is given the privilege
to present his evidence without objection from the defendant, the likelihood being that the court will decide in favor of the
plaintiff, the defendant having forfeited the opportunity to rebut or present its own evidence. (Metrobank v. FADCOR, 2016)

MODES OF DISCOVERY

Q. S Bank availed of the discovery procedure under Rule 27. In its Motion for Production and Inspection of Documents, it
requested for inspection of all documents pertaining to, arising from, in connection with or involving the Back-end Services
Agreement. If you were the Judge, would you grant the Motion?
A. No. S Bank’s motion was fatally defective and must be struck down because of its failure to specify with particularity the
documents it required Gateway to produce. S Bank’s Motion called for a blanket inspection. S Bank’s request for inspection of “all
documents pertaining to, arising from, in connection with or involving the Back-end Services Agreement” was simply too broad
and too generalized in scope. A motion for production and inspection of documents should not demand a roving inspection of a
promiscuous mass of documents. The inspection should be limited to those documents designated with sufficient particularity in
the motion, such that the adverse party can easily identify the documents he is required to produce. (Solidbank v. Gateway
Electronics Corporation, 2008)

JUDGMENT

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Q: What is the doctrine of immutability of judgment? Are there exceptions? (Sofio v. Valenzuela, J. Bersamin, 2012)

A: The doctrine of immutability of judgment states that a decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable
and may no longer be modified in any respect even if the modification is intended to correct erroneous conclusions of fact or law.
Exceptions: (a) the correction of clerical errors; (b) the so-called nunc pro tunc entries that cause no prejudice to any party; (c)
void judgments; and (d) whenever circumstances transpire after the finality of the judgments rendering execution unjust and
inequitable.

NEW TRIAL OR RECONSIDERATION

Q. Plaintiff filed a complaint. Defendant, instead of filing an Answer, decided to file a Motion to Dismiss. The Court
granted the Motion. Plaintiff, then filed a Motion for Reconsideration (“MR”). However, the Court, through an Order,
denied the MR. Plaintiff then filed an appeal before the Court of Appeals. Defendant now questions the appeal on the
ground that the appeal is unmeritorious considering that the Order denying the MR is an interlocutory Order. Do you
agree? (Jose v. Javellana et al., J. Bersamin, 2012)

A: First of all, the denial of Javellana’s motion for reconsideration left nothing more to be done by the RTC because it confirmed
the dismissal of Civil Case No. 79-M-97. It was clearly a final order, not an interlocutory one. And, secondly, whether an order is
final or interlocutory determines whether appeal is the correct remedy or not. The Court has held that an appeal from an order
denying a motion for reconsideration of a final order or judgment is effectively an appeal from the final order or judgment itself;
and has expressly clarified that the prohibition against appealing an order denying a motion for reconsideration referred only to a
denial of a motion for reconsideration of an interlocutory order.

EXECUTION

Q. How to stay the immediate execution of the judgment in an ejectment case?


A. To stay the immediate execution of the judgment in an ejectment case, defendant must perfect an appeal, file a supersedeas
bond, and periodically deposit the rentals becoming due during the pendency of the appeal. Otherwise, the writ of execution will
issue upon motion of the plaintiff.

Q. Esteban is not a party to a case which has become final and executory. He was forewarned that the sheriff is about to
execute the judgment which would adversely affect his substantive right. What remedy is available to Esteban?
A. Section 16, Rule 39 specifically provides that a third person may avail himself of the remedies of either terceria, to determine
whether the sheriff has rightly or wrongly taken hold of the property not belonging to the judgment debtor or obligor, or an
independent “separate action” to vindicate his claim of ownership and/or possession over the foreclosed property. However, the
person other than the judgment debtor who claims ownership or right over levied properties is not precluded from taking other
legal remedies to prosecute his claim. The right of a third-party claimant to file a terceria is founded on his title or right of
possession. Corollary thereto, before the court can exercise its supervisory power to direct the release of the property mistakenly
levied and the restoration thereof to its rightful owner, the claimant must first unmistakably establish his ownership or right of
possession thereon. In Spouses Sy v. Hon. Discaya (260 Phil. 401 [1990]) we declared that for a third-party claim or a terceria to
prosper, the claimant must first sufficiently establish his right on the property. (Villasi v. Garcia 2014)

Q. What are the elements of res judicata? (Sotto v. Palicte, J. Bersamin, 2013)
A. Res judicata exists when as between the action sought to be dismissed and the other action these elements are present, namely;
(1) the former judgment must be final; (2) the former judgment must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction of the
subject matter and the parties; (3) the former judgment must be a judgment on the merits; and (4) there must be between the first
and subsequent actions (i) identity of parties or at least such as representing the same interest in both actions; (ii) identity of subject
matter, or of the rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts; and, (iii) identity of causes of
action in both actions such that any judgment that may be rendered in the other action will, regardless of which party is successful,
amount to res judicata in the action under consideration.

Q. Valentino Development Co. moved to dismiss the case filed by Production Bank against it since the new complaint raises the
same issues in a prior case which has become final and executory. As judge, will you grant the motion?
A. Yes. Under the principle of conclusiveness of judgment is binding and conclusive on the parties. The doctrine of res
judicata by conclusiveness of judgment postulates that when a right or fact has been judicially tried and determined by a court of
competent jurisdiction, or when an opportunity for such trial has been given, the judgment of the court, as long as it remains
unreversed, should be conclusive upon the parties and those in privity with them. (LZK Holdings and Development Corporation
v. Planters Development Bank, 2014)

APPEALS

Q. Differentiate the RTC’s equity jurisdiction from appellate jurisdiction.


A. The appellate jurisdiction of courts is conferred by law. The appellate court acquires jurisdiction over the subject matter and
parties when an appeal is perfected. On the other hand, equity jurisdiction aims to provide complete justice in cases where a court
of law is unable to adapt its judgments to the special circumstances of a case because of a resulting legal inflexibility when the law
is applied to a given situation. The purpose of the exercise of equity jurisdiction, among others, is to prevent unjust enrichment and
to ensure restitution. (Regulus Development v. Dela Cruz, 2016)

Distinguish a question of law from a question of fact.


A. A question of law arises when there is doubt as to what the law is on a certain state of facts, while there is a question of fact
when the doubt arises as to the truth or falsity of the alleged facts. For a question to be one of law, its resolution must not involve
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an examination of the probative value of the evidence presented by the litigants, but most solely rely on what the law provides on
the given set of facts.

Q: May the Supreme Court look into or determine questions of fact?


A. As a general rule, the Supreme Court may not look into the questions of facts passed to it on an appeal. However, the Supreme
Court may review the factual findings of the lower courts in the following instances: (1) when the findings are grounded entirely
on speculations, surmises or conjectures; (2) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) when there
is grave abuse of discretion; (4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; (5) when the findings of fact are
conflicting; (6) when in making its findings the Court of Appeals went beyond the issues of the case, or its findings are contrary to
the admissions of both the appellant and the appellee; (7) when the findings are contrary to that of the trial court; (8) when the
findings are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (9) when the facts set forth in the petition
as well as in the petitioners main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondent; (10) when the findings of fact are premised
on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record; or (11) when the Court of Appeals manifestly
overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties, which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion.

Q. Distinguish a Final Order from an Interlocutory Order. What is the relevance for the distinction? (Garrido v. Tortogo et
al., J. Bersamin, 2011)

A. The distinction is relevant in deciding whether the order is the proper subject of an appeal, or of a special civil action
for certiorari.

The distinction between a final order and an interlocutory order is well known. The first disposes of the subject matter in its
entirety or terminates a particular proceeding or action, leaving nothing more to be done except to enforce by execution what the
court has determined, but the latter does not completely dispose of the case but leaves something else to be decided upon. An
interlocutory order deals with preliminary matters and the trial on the merits is yet to be held and the judgment rendered. The test
to ascertain whether or not an order or a judgment is interlocutory or final is: does the order or judgment leave something to be
done in the trial court with respect to the merits of the case? If it does, the order or judgment is interlocutory; otherwise, it is final.

Q. What is the Neypes Doctrine?


A. To standardize the appeal periods provided in the Rules and to afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their cases, the Court
ruled that a fresh period of 15 days within which to file the notice of appeal in the Regional Trial Court, counted from receipt of
the order dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for reconsideration should be given to litigants (Neypes v. CA, 2005)

Q. Is the Neypes Doctrine applicable to administrative cases?


A. No. The Neypes ruling applies to judicial proceedings only as the reason for such ruling also known as the "fresh period rule" is
to standardize the appeal period provided in the Rules of Court. Obviously, these Rules cover judicial proceedings under the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. (Jocson v. San Miguel, March 9, 2016)

Q. True or false. The Neypes Doctrine is applicable to Petition for Certiorari under Rule 64 as it is akin to a Petition for Review
under Rule 42 of the Rules of Court. (Fortune Life Insurance v. COA, J. Bersamin, 2015)
A. False. There is no parity between the petition for review under Rule 42 and the petition for certiorari under Rule 64.

Petition for Review under Rule 42 Petition for Certiorari under Rule 64
Rule 42 governs an appeal from the judgment Assails a judgment or final order of the
or final order rendered by the Regional Trial Commission on Elections (COMELEC), or the
Court in the exercise of its appellate Commission on Audit.
jurisdiction.
Question of fact, or of law, or of mixed Questions of fact cannot be raised except to
question of fact and law determine whether the COMELEC or the COA
were guilty of grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
Aggrieved party is allowed 15 days to file the Filed within 30 days from notice of the
petition for review from receipt of the assailed judgment or final order or resolution sought to
decision or final order, or from receipt of the be reviewed. The filing of a motion for new trial
denial of a motion for new trial or or reconsideration, if allowed under the
reconsideration. procedural rules of the Commission concerned,
interrupts the period; hence, should the motion
be denied, the aggrieved party may file the
petition within the remaining period, which
shall not be less than five days in any event,
reckoned from the notice of denial.

Q. Can a judicial compromise agreement be assailed by a Petition for Certiorari claiming that the compromise agreement
was patently unjust, one-sided, unfair, fraudulent and unconscionable? (Chung vs. Huang, J. Bersamin, 2016)
A. No. If the ground of the respondent to assail the judgment based on the compromise agreement was extrinsic fraud, his action
should be brought under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court. Under Section 2 of Rule 47, the original action for annulment may be
based only on extrinsic fraud or lack of jurisdiction, but extrinsic fraud, to be valid ground, should not have been availed of, or
could not have been availed of in a motion for new trial or petition for relief. Moreover, the remedy under Rule 47 is to be availed
of only if the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies are no longer available
through no fault of the petitioner. Ostensibly, the respondent could have availed himself of the petition for relief from judgment

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under Rule 38 of the Rules of Court. Hence, his failure to resort to such remedy precluded him from availing himself of the
remedy to annul the judgment based on the compromise agreement

INJUNCTION

Q: Can the RTC issue Restraining Orders or Preliminary Injunctions in cases involving infrastructure or National
Resources Development projects of, and public utilities operated by, the government? How about a CA? (Nerwin Industries
v. PNOC-ENERGY, J. Bersamin, 2012)
A. No. Republic Act No. 8975 expressly prohibits any court, except the Supreme Court, from issuing any temporary restraining
order (TRO), preliminary injunction, or preliminary mandatory injunction to restrain, prohibit or compel the Government, or any
of its subdivisions or officials, or any person or entity, whether public or private, acting under the Governments direction, from: (a)
acquiring, clearing, and developing the right-of-way, site or location of any National Government project; (b) bidding or awarding
of a contract or project of the National Government; (c) commencing, prosecuting, executing, implementing, or operating any such
contract or project; (d) terminating or rescinding any such contract or project; and (e) undertaking or authorizing any other lawful
activity necessary for such contract or project.

Accordingly, a Regional Trial Court (RTC) that ignores the statutory prohibition and issues a TRO or a writ of preliminary
injunction or preliminary mandatory injunction against a government contract or project acts contrary to law

CERTIORARI

Q. If a decision is rendered with grave abuse of discretion, should there always be resort to a petition for certiorari under Rule
65?
A. No. The general rule is that the remedy to obtain reversal or modification of the judgment on the merits is appeal. This is true
even if the error, or one of the errors, ascribed to the court rendering the judgment is its lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter,
or the exercise of power in excess thereof, or grave abuse of discretion in the findings of fact or of law set out in the decision
(Sawadjaan v. CA, 2005) Besides, the Rules expressly provide: Section 1. Petition for certiorari. — When any tribunal, board or
officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty
and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting such
incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.

Q. Distinguish a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 from a petition for review under Rule 43.
A. A petition for review is a mode of appeal, while a special civil action for certiorari is an extraordinary process for the correction
of errors of jurisdiction. It is basic remedial law that the two remedies are distinct, mutually exclusive, and antithetical. The
extraordinary remedy of certiorari is proper if the tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions acted
without or in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction and there is no appeal or any plain, speedy, and
adequate remedy in law. A petition for review, on the other hand, seeks to correct errors of judgment committed by the court,
tribunal, or officer. (Dee Ping Wee v. Lee Hiong Wee, 2010)

FORECLOSURE OF REAL ESTATE MORTGAGE

Q. A Real Estate Mortgage (REM) does not contain a power or authority to sell. Neither was there a special power to sell the
property in favor of the mortgagee (creditor) embodied in a separate instrument attached to the REM. Once the debtor defaults
on his loan, can the creditor proceed to extra-judicial foreclosure? (Sps. Baysa v. Sps. Plantilla, J. Bersamin, 2015)

A. No. To enable the extra judicial foreclosure of the REM, the special power to sell should have been either inserted in the REM
itself or embodied in a separate instrument attached to the REM. It is not disputed that no special power to sell was either inserted
in the REM or attached to the REM. Hence, the respondent spouses must resort to judicial foreclosure pursuant to the procedure
set forth in Rule 68 of the Rules of Court.

PARTITION

Q. Can an action to rescind a donation be joined with an action for partition?


A. As a general rule, no. An action for partition is a special civil action governed by Rule 69 of the Rules of Court while an action
for rescission is an ordinary civil action governed by the ordinary rules of civil procedure. The variance in the procedure in the
special civil action of partition and in the ordinary civil action of rescission precludes their joinder in one complaint or them being
tried in a single proceeding to avoid confusion in determining what rules shall govern the conduct of the proceedings as well as in
the determination of the presence of requisite elements of each particular cause of action.

Q. Is the foregoing rule absolute?


A. No. If there is no objection to the improper joinder or the court did not motu proprio direct a severance, then there exists no bar
in the simultaneous adjudication of all the erroneously joined causes of action. x x x It should be emphasized that the foregoing
rule only applies if the court trying the case has jurisdiction over all the causes of action therein notwithstanding the misjoinder of
the same. If the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over a misjoined cause of action, then such misjoined cause of action
should be severed from the other causes of action, and if not so severed, any adjudication rendered by the court with respect to the
same would be a nullity. (Ada v. Baylon, 2012)

FORCIBLE ENTRY AND UNLAWFUL DETAINER

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Q. P filed an action for Unlawful Detainer against D. MTC dismissed for lack of jurisdiction based on its finding that the
action involved an essentially boundary dispute that should be properly resolved in an accion reivindicatoria. On appeal,
the RTC reversed the MTC and remanded the case for further proceedings. Upon remand, MTC ultimately dismissed the
complaint for lack of merit. Once more, P appealed to the RTC. the RTC ordered the petitioners to conduct a relocation
survey to determine their allegation of encroachment, and also heard the testimony of the surveyor. Ultimately, RTC
rendered its judgment reversing the MTC decision. Did the RTC ruled correctly? (Manalang v. Bacani, J. Bersamin, 2015)
A. No. The RTC, in an appeal of the judgment in an ejectment case, shall not conduct a rehearing or trial de novo. The judgment or
final order shall be appealable to the appropriate RTC, which shall decide the same on the basis of the entire record of the
proceedings had in the court of origin and such memoranda and/or briefs as may be submitted by the parties or required by the
Regional Trial Court.
Hence, the RTC violated the foregoing rule by ordering the conduct of the relocation and verification survey
"in aid of its appellate jurisdiction" and by hearing the testimony of the surveyor, for its doing so was tantamount to its holding of a
trial de novo.

Q. Y was adjudged loser in an ejectment case. Considering that ejectment is summary proceeding, what remedy is available to Y
to postpone the effectivity of the judgment?
A. As a general rule, a judgment in favor of the plaintiff in an ejectment suit is immediately executory in order to prevent further
damage to him arising from the loss of possession of the property in question. To stay the immediate execution of the said
judgment while the appeal is pending the foregoing provision requires that the following requisites must concur: (1) the defendant
perfects his appeal; (2) he files a supersedeas bond; and (3) he periodically deposits the rentals which become due during the
pendency of the appeal. The failure of the defendant to comply with any of these conditions is a ground for the outright execution
of the judgment, the duty of the court in this respect being “ministerial and imperative.” Hence, if the defendant-appellant
perfected the appeal but failed to file a supersedeas bond, the immediate execution of the judgment would automatically follow.
Conversely, the filing of a supersedeas bond will not stay the execution of the judgment if the appeal is not perfected.
Necessarily then, the supersedeas bond should be filed within the period for the perfection of the appeal. In short, a judgment in
favor of the plaintiff in an ejectment suit is immediately executory, but the defendant, to stay its immediate execution, must: (1)
perfect an appeal; (2) file a supersedeas bond; and (3) periodically deposit the rentals becoming due during the pendency of the
appeal. (Acbang v. Hon. Luczon, Jr. 2014)

Q. Gabby filed an unlawful detainer case against Ali and won. Ali filed a petition for relief from judgment before the same
MTC that rendered the decision in the unlawful detainer case. Was Ali correct?
A. No. A Petition for relief from judgment is a prohibited pleading in an ejectment case under Section 13(4) of Rule 70 of the
Rules of Court.

Q. May Ali file his petition for relief from judgment before the RTC?
A. No. The RTC has no jurisdiction over the petition. Section 1, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court provides:
“SEC. 1. Petition for relief from judgment, order or other proceedings. - When a judgment or final order
is entered, or any other proceeding is thereafter taken against a party in any court through fraud, accident,
mistake or excusable negligence, he may file a petition in such court and in the same case praying
that the judgment, order or proceeding be set aside.”

Q. What is Ali’s remedy? What court has jurisdiction?


A. The remedy is to file a petition for certiorari before the RTC. (Agdal v. Carlos, 2010)
*Note that the Court treated the petition for relief from judgment before the RTC as a petition for certiorari in this case.

WRIT OF AMPARO

Q: True or False. In a Petition for the Issuance of a Writ of Amparo, allegation and proof that the persons subject thereof are
missing suffice.
A. False. In Navia v. Padico, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that for the protective writ of amparo to issue, allegation and proof
that the persons subject thereof are missing are not enough. It must also be shown and proved by substantial evidence that the
disappearance was carried out by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, the State or a political organization,
followed by a refusal to acknowledge the same or give information on the fate or whereabouts of said missing persons, with the
intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time. Simply put, the petitioner in an amparo
case has the burden of proving by substantial evidence the indispensable element of government participation.

Q. Does the issuance of a Hold Departure Order impair one's right to travel and is the violation of the right to travel covered by
the Writ of Amparo?
A. A Hold Departure Order does not automatically impair a person's right to travel. There should be proof to establish that the right
to travel was impaired in the manner and to the extent that it amounted to a serious violation of his right to life, liberty and
security, for which there exists no readily available legal recourse or remedy (Reverend Father Robert Reyes v. CA, 2009).

Q: May a writ of amparo or other reliefs granted by the writ be filed in another court if a criminal action has been filed or is
pending?
A. No. When a criminal action has been commenced, no separate petition for the writ shall be filed. The writ or any relief
available under the writ should be filed by filing in the same court where the criminal action was pending. (Reverend Father
Robert Reyes v. CA, 2009).

WRIT OF KALIKASAN

Q. What should be alleged in a Petition for the Issuance of a Writ of Kalikasan?

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A. In a Writ of Kalikasan petitioner has the burden to prove the (1) environmental law, rule or regulation violated or threatened to
be violated; (2) act or omission complained of; and (3) the environmental damage of such magnitude as to prejudice the life, health
or property of inhabitants in two or more cities or provinces. Even the Annotation to the Rules of Procedure for Environmental
Cases states that the magnitude of environmental damage is a condition sine qua non in a petition for the issuance of a Writ of
Kalikasan and must be contained in the verified petition. (LNL Archipelago Minerals, Inc. vs. Agham Party List, 2016)

APPEALS IN SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

Q. In the estate proceedings of V, N filed a complaint-in-intervention to exclude the paraphernal properties of his deceased
sister I (I is the wife of V) from inclusion in the estate of V. The RTC dismissed the same. What is N’s remedy? (Chipongian
v. Lirio, J. Bersamin, 2015)
A. He should file a record on appeal within 30 days from notice of the final order dismissing the complaint-in-intervention. The
dismissal of the petitioner's intervention constituted "a final determination in the lower court of the rights of the party appealing,"
that is, his right in the paraphernal properties of his deceased sister. As such, it fell under paragraph (c) of Section 1, Rule
109, because it had the effect of disallowing his claim against the estate of Vicente, as well as under paragraph (e) of Section
1, supra, because it was a final determination in the trial court of his intervention. Conformably with either or both paragraphs,
which are boldly underscored above for easier reference, the dismissal was the proper subject of an appeal in due course by virtue
of its nature of completely disposing of his intervention. Thus, the proper mode of appealing a judgment or final order in special
proceedings is by filing a notice of appeal and record on appeal within 30 days from notice of judgment or final order.

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

Q. What is criminal jurisdiction?


A. It is the power of the State to try and punish a person for a violation of its penal laws.

Q. What is the rule on jurisdiction and venue in criminal cases?


A. In criminal cases, venue is jurisdictional. Section 15, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court provides:
a. Subject to existing laws, the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or territory where
the offense was committed or where any of its essential ingredients occurred;
b. Where an offense is committed in a train, aircraft, or other public or private vehicle while in the course of its trip, the
criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court of any municipality or territory where such train, aircraft or other
vehicle passed during such its trip, including the place of its departure and arrival;
c. Where an offense is committed on board a vessel in the course of its voyage, the criminal action shall be instituted and
tried in the court of the first port of entry or of any municipality or territory where the vessel passed during such voyage,
subject to the generally accepted principles of international law;
d. Crimes committed outside the Philippines but punishable under Article 2 of the Revised Penal Code shall be cognizable
by the court where the criminal action is first filed (the case must be filed, generally, where the crime is committed –
exceptions are provided by law and the rules such as the venue of actions for libel under Art. 360 of the Revised Penal
Code which provides multiple venues)

Q. What are the requisites for a valid exercise of jurisdiction?


A.
1. Jurisdiction over the Subject Matter - the offense is one which the court is by law authorized to take cognizance of;
2. Jurisdiction over the Territory - the offense must have been committed within its territorial jurisdiction;
3. Jurisdiction over the Person of the Accused - the person charged with the offense must have been brought to its presence
for trial, by warrant of arrest or upon his voluntary submission to the court.

Q. Are the criminal and civil liabilities ex delicto of appellant declared EXTINGUISHED by his death prior to final judgment?
A. Yes. Despite the recognition of the survival of the civil liability for claims under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code,
as well as from sources of obligation other than delict in both jurisprudence and the Rules, and our subsequent designation of the
PAO as the "legal representative of the estate of the deceased for purposes of representing the estate in the civil aspect of this
case," the current Rules, pursuant to our pronouncement in Bayotas, require the private offended party, or his heirs, in this case, to
institute a separate civil action to pursue their claims against the estate of the deceased appellant. The independent civil actions in
Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176, as well as claims from sources of obligation other than delict, are not deemed instituted with the
criminal action but may be filed separately by the offended party even without reservation. The separate civil action proceeds
independently of the criminal proceedings and requires only a preponderance of evidence. The civil action which may thereafter be
instituted against the estate or legal representatives of the decedent is taken from the new provisions of Section 16 of Rule 3 in
relation to the rules for prosecuting claims against his estate in Rules 86 and 87. (People of the Philippines vs. Lipata, 2016)

Q. Is “Pabatid Sakdal” or an Information filed by an Assistant City Prosecutor, sans an approval of the City Prosecutor,
defective and, therefore, subject to quashal pursuant to Section 3 (d), Rule 117 of the Rules of Court?
A. Yes. Section 4, Rule 112 of the 2000 Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure states that the filing of a complaint or information
requires a prior written authority or approval of the named officers therein before a complaint or information may be filed before
the courts. Thus, as a general rule, complaints or informations filed before the courts without the prior written authority or
approval of the foregoing authorized officers renders the same defective and, therefore, subject to quashal pursuant to Section 3
(d), Rule 11 7 of the same Rules. As held in People of the Philippines vs. Garfin, the filing of an Information by an officer
without the requisite authority to file the same constitutes a jurisdictional infirmity which cannot be cured by silence, waiver,
acquiescence, or even by express consent. Hence, such ground may be raised at any stage of the proceedings.

A Certification from the Assistant City Prosecutor to the effect that "the filing of the Information is with the prior
authority and approval of the City Prosecutor." The Court had already rejected similarly-worded certifications, uniformly holding
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that despite such certifications, the Informations were defective as it was shown that the officers filing the same in court either
lacked the authority to do so or failed to show that they obtained prior written authority from any of those authorized officers
enumerated in Section 4, Rule 112 of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. There must be definite and certain proof that
the Information was approved by either the City Prosecutor or any of the OCP's division chiefs or review prosecutors. (Quisay vs.
People of the Philippines, 2016)

Q. Is the action of the Secretary of Justice in affirming or reversing the finding of prosecutors be subject to judicial review?
A. Yes. In a preliminary investigation, the prosecutor does not determine the guilt or innocence of an accused. The prosecutor only
determines "whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the
respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial." As such, the prosecutor does not perform quasi-judicial
functions. The fact that the DOJ is the primary prosecution arm of the Government does not make it a quasi-judicial office or
agency. Its preliminary investigation of cases is not a quasi-judicial proceeding. Nor does the DOJ exercise a quasi-judicial
function when it reviews the findings of a public prosecutor on the finding of probable cause in any case. However, even when an
administrative agency does not perform a judicial, quasi-judicial, or ministerial function, the Constitution mandates the exercise of
judicial review when there is an allegation of grave abuse of discretion. Therefore, any question on whether the Secretary of
Justice committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in affirming, reversing, or modifying the
resolutions of prosecutors may be the subject of a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. (De Lima vs. Reyes,
2016)

Q. May the Secretary of Justice, even without a pending petition for review, motu proprio order the conduct of a
reinvestigation?
A. Yes. Although the 2000 NPS Rule on Appeal requires the filing of a petition for review before the Secretary of Justice can
reverse, affirm, or modify the appealed resolution of the provincial or city prosecutor or chief state prosecutor - Rule 112, Section
4 of the Rules of Court explicitly states that the Secretary of Justice may motu proprio reverse or modify resolutions of the
provincial or city prosecutor or the chief state prosecutor even without a pending petition for review. This is because the Secretary
of Justice exercises control and supervision over prosecutors and it is within her authority to affirm, nullify, reverse, or modify the
resolutions of her prosecutors. Section 4 of Republic Act No. 10071 also gives the Secretary of Justice the authority to directly act
on any "probable miscarriage of justice within the jurisdiction of the prosecution staff, regional prosecution office, and the
provincial prosecutor or the city prosecutor." Accordingly, the Secretary of Justice may step in and order a reinvestigation even
without a prior motion or petition from a party in order to prevent any probable miscarriage of justice. (De Lima vs. Reyes, 2016)

Q. Does a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 questioning the regularity of preliminary investigation becomes moot after the
trial court completes its determination of probable cause and issues a warrant of arrest?
A. Yes. The rule in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or information is filed in Court, any disposition of the case as to its
dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the Court. Although the fiscal retains the
direction and control of the prosecution of criminal cases even while the case is already in Court, he cannot impose his opinion on
the trial court. The Court is the best and sole judge on what to do with the case before it. The determination of the case is within its
exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A motion to dismiss the case filed by the fiscal should be addressed to the Court who has
the option to grant or deny the same. It does not matter if this is done before or after the arraignment of the accused or that the
motion was filed after a reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the records of the
investigation. When the trial court has already determined, independently of any finding or recommendation by the prosecutors,
that probable cause exists for the issuance of the warrant of arrest against respondent. Probable cause has been judicially
determined. Jurisdiction over the case, therefore, has transferred to the trial court. A petition for certiorari questioning the validity
of the preliminary investigation in any other venue has been rendered moot by the issuance of the warrant of arrest and the conduct
of arraignment. The prudent course of action at this stage would be to proceed to trial. The accused, however, is not without
remedies. He may still file any appropriate action before the trial court or question any alleged irregularity in the preliminary
investigation during pre-trial. (De Lima vs. Reyes, 2016)

Q. What are the distinctions between ultimate facts and evidentiary facts?
A. The distinction between the elements of the offense and the evidence of these elements is analogous or akin to the difference
between ultimate facts and evidentiary facts in civil cases. Ultimate facts are the essential and substantial facts which either form
the basis of the primary right and duty or which directly make up the wrongful acts or omissions of the defendant, while
evidentiary facts are those which tend to prove or establish said ultimate facts. Applying this analogy to [a case under BP22 or the
Bouncing Checks Law], knowledge of insufficiency of funds is the ultimate fact, or element of the offense that needs to be proved,
while dishonor of the check presented within ninety (90) days is merely the evidentiary fact of such knowledge. (Bautista v. CA,
2001)

Q. What is the relevance of such distinction?


A. Every element of the offense must be alleged in the Information, matters of evidence – as distinguished from the facts essential
to the nature of the offense – do not need to be alleged.

Q. Does it, then, follow, that a motion for bill of particulars cannot be used by an accused to request that he be furnished with
evidence?
A. Yes. It is not the function of the bill to furnish the accused with the evidence of the prosecution. Thus, the prosecutor shall not
be required to include in the bill of particulars matters of evidence relating to how the people intend to prove the elements of the
offense charged or how the people intend to prove any item of factual information included in the bill of particular. (Enrile v.
People, 2015)

Q. When should a motion to quash be filed instead of a bill of particulars?


A. If the information does not charge an offense, then a motion to quash is in order.
But if the information charges an offense and the averments are so vague that the accused cannot prepare to plead or prepare for
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trial, then a motion for a bill of particulars is the proper remedy. Thus, a motion to quash and a motion for a bill of particulars are
distinct and separate remedies, the latter presupposing an information sufficient in law to charge an offense. (Enrile v. People,
2015)

Q. What is the remedy against a denial of a Motion to Quash?


A. The remedy against the denial of a motion to quash is for the movant accused to enter a plea, go to trial, and should the decision
be adverse, reiterate on appeal from the final judgment and assign as error the denial of the motion to quash. The denial, being an
interlocutory order, is not appealable, and may not be the subject of a petition for certiorari because of the availability of other
remedies in the ordinary course of law. (Enrile vs. Manalastas, 2014)

Q. How is conspiracy alleged?


A. A conspiracy indictment need not, of course, aver all the components of conspiracy or allege all the details thereof, like the part
that each of the parties therein have performed, the evidence proving the common design or the facts connecting all the accused
with one another in the web of the conspiracy. Neither is it necessary to describe conspiracy with the same degree of particularity
required in describing a substantive offense. It is enough that the indictment contains a statement of the facts relied upon to be
constitutive of the offense in ordinary and concise language, with as much certainty as the nature of the case will admit, in a
manner that can enable a person of common understanding to know what is intended, and with such precision that the accused may
plead his acquittal or conviction to a subsequent indictment based on the same facts. (People v. Quitlong, 1998)

Q. What are the elements of a prejudicial question?


A. (a) the previously instituted civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the subsequent
criminal action, and (b) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed (Sec. 7, Rule 111).

Q. Is it possible that an action before an administrative body may be the basis to suspend a criminal case due to a prejudicial
question?
A. Yes. The concept of a prejudicial question involves a civil action and a criminal case. Yet, contrary to San Miguel Properties’
submission that there could be no prejudicial question to speak of because no civil action where the prejudicial question arose was
pending, the action for specific performance in the HLURB raises a prejudicial question that sufficed to suspend the proceedings
determining the charge for the criminal violation of Section 2524 of Presidential Decree No. 957. This is true simply because the
action for specific performance was an action civil in nature but could not be instituted elsewhere except in the HLURB, whose
jurisdiction over the action was exclusive and original. (San Miguel v. Perez, 2013)

A prejudicial question is understood in law to be that which arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the
issue involved in the criminal case, and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal. It is determinative of the criminal
case, but the jurisdiction to try and resolve it is lodged in another court or tribunal. It is based on a fact distinct and separate from
the crime but is so intimately connected with the crime that it determines the guilt or innocence of the accused.

A prejudicial question need not conclusively resolve the guilt or innocence of the accused. It is enough for the prejudicial question
to simply test the sufficiency of the allegations in the information in order to sustain the further prosecution of the criminal case. A
party who raises a prejudicial question is deemed to have hypothetically admitted that all the essential elements of the crime have
been adequately alleged in the information, considering that the Prosecution has not yet presented a single piece of evidence on the
indictment or may not have rested its case. A challenge to the allegations in the information on the ground of prejudicial question
is in effect a
question on the merits of the criminal charge through a non-criminal suit. (San Miguel Properties, Inc. vs. Perez, 2013)

Q. What are the elements of double jeopardy?


A. Double jeopardy only applies when: (1) a first jeopardy attached; (2) it has been validly terminated; and (3) a second jeopardy
is for the same offense as in the first. A first jeopardy attaches only after the accused has been acquitted or convicted, or the case
has been dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent, by a competent court in a valid indictment for which the
accused has entered a valid plea during arraignment. (Ocampo v. Hon. Abando, 2014)

Q. When is bail a matter of right and when is it discretionary? (Enrile v. Sandiganbayan, J. Bersamin, 2015)

A. The general rule is x x x that any person, before being convicted of any criminal offense, shall be bailable, unless he is charged
with a capital offense, or with an offense punishable with reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, and the evidence of his guilt is
strong. Hence, from the moment he is placed under arrest, or is detained or restrained by the officers of the law, he can claim the
guarantee of his provisional liberty under the Bill of Rights, and he retains his right to bail unless he is charged with a capital
offense, or with an offense punishable with reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, and the evidence of his guilt is strong. Once it
has been established that the evidence of guilt is strong, no right to bail shall be recognized.

As a result, all criminal cases within the competence of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court
in Cities, or Municipal Circuit Trial Court are bailable as matter of right because these courts have no jurisdiction to try capital
offenses, or offenses punishable with reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. Likewise, bail is a matter of right prior to
conviction by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) for any offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, or
even prior to conviction for an offense punishable by death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment when evidence of guilt is not
strong.

On the other hand, the granting of bail is discretionary: (1) upon conviction by the RTC of an offense not punishable by
death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment; or (2) if the RTC has imposed a penalty of imprisonment exceeding six years,
provided none of the circumstances enumerated under paragraph 3 of Section 5, Rule 114 is present, as follows:

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a. That he is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual delinquent, or has committed the crime aggravated by the circumstance
of reiteration;
b. That he has previously escaped from legal confinement, evaded sentence, or violated the conditions of his bail without
valid justification;
c. That he committed the offense while under probation, parole, or conditional pardon;
d. That the circumstances of his case indicate the probability of flight if released on bail; or
e. That there is undue risk that he may commit another crime during the pendency of the appeal.

Q. Who determines whether the evidence of guilt is strong?


A. The trial court. For purposes of admission to bail, the determination of whether or not evidence of guilt is strong in criminal
cases involving capital offenses, or offenses punishable with reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment lies within the discretion of
the trial court. (Enrile v. Sandiganbayan, J. Bersamin, 2015)

Q. What must the trial judge consider in granting bail in favor of an accused charged with a capital offense or an offense
punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment?
In resolving bail applications of the accused who is charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion
perpetua or life imprisonment, the trial judge is expected to
comply with the guidelines outlined in Cortes v. Catral, to wit:

“In all cases, whether bail is a matter of right or of discretion, notify the prosecutor of the hearing of the
application for bail or require him to submit his recommendation (Section 18, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court,
as amended);
1. Where bail is a matter of discretion, conduct a hearing of the application for bail regardless of
whether or not the prosecution refuses to present evidence to show that the guilt of the accused is
strong for the purpose of enabling the court to exercise its sound discretion; (Sections 7 and 8)
2. Decide whether the guilt of the accused is strong based on the summary of evidence of the
prosecution; and
3. If the guilt of the accused is not strong, discharge the accused upon the approval of the bailbond.
(Section 19) Otherwise petition should be denied.” (Enrile v. Sandiganbayan, J. Bersamin, 2015)

Q. Can bail be granted based on humanitarian grounds, independent of the legal merits of the case?
A. Yes. Bail for the provisional liberty of the accused, regardless of the crime charged, should be allowed independently of the
merits of the charge, provided his continued incarceration is clearly shown to be injurious to his health or to endanger his life.
Indeed, denying him bail despite imperiling his health and life would not serve the true objective of preventive incarceration
during the trial. Granting bail x x x on the foregoing reasons is not unprecedented. The Court has already held in Dela Rama v.
The People’s Court: x x x [U]nless allowance of bail is forbidden by law in the particular case, the illness of the prisoner,
independently of the merits of the case, is a circumstance, and the humanity of the law makes it a consideration which should,
regardless of the charge and the stage of the proceeding, influence the court to exercise its discretion to admit the prisoner to
bail;47 x x x [G]ranting provisional liberty to [ill accused] will then enable him to have his medical condition be properly addressed
and better attended to by competent physicians in the hospitals of his choice. The grant of bail is proper if it will aid in accused’s
adequate preparation of his defense [and], more importantly, will guarantee his appearance in court for the trial. (Enrile v.
Sandiganbayan, J. Bersamin, 2015)

NOTE: Once an accused escapes from prison or confinement, jumps bail (as in this case), or flees to a foreign country, he loses his
standing in court. Unless he surrenders or submits to the jurisdiction of the court, he is deemed to have waived any right to seek
relief from the court – and this includes the accused’s right to appeal. (People v. Piad, et al., 2016)

Q. Gerry, Ricky and Nikki were charged with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Upon finding probable
cause, the Ombudsman directed that a case be filed against the three accused. During trial, the Ombudsman wanted to grant
the request for immunity sought by Gerry and Ricky so that they may testify against the mastermind of the corrupt act, Nikki. Is
the power of the Ombudsman to grant immunity still subject to the provisions of the Rules of Court?
A. Yes. RA 6770 provides: Sec. 17. Immunities. x x x. Under such terms and conditions as it may determine, taking into account
the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court, the Ombudsman may grant immunity from criminal prosecution to any person
whose testimony or whose possession and production of documents or other evidence may be necessary to determine the truth in
any hearing, inquiry or proceeding being conducted by the Ombudsman or under its authority, in the performance or in the
furtherance of its constitutional functions and statutory objectives. The immunity granted under this and the immediately preceding
paragraph shall not exempt the witness from criminal prosecution for perjury or false testimony nor shall he be exempt from
demotion or removal from office. (Quarto v. Ombudsman, 2011)

Q. What are the requirements for the discharge of an accused as a state witness? What is the effect of an order granting the
discharge of an accused as a state witness?
A. The requirements for the discharge of an accused as a state witness are:
Section 17. Discharge of accused to be state witness. — When two or more persons are jointly charged with the commission of
any offense, upon motion of the prosecution before resting its case, the court may direct one or more of the accused to be
discharged with their consent so that they may be witnesses for the state when, after requiring the prosecution to present evidence
and the sworn statement of each proposed state witness at a hearing in support of the discharge, the court is satisfied that:
(ADSuMM)
(a) There is Absolute necessity for the testimony of the accused whose discharge is requested;
(b) The is no other Direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed, except the testimony of said
accused;
(c) The testimony of said accused can be Substantially corroborated in its material points;
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(d) Said accused does not appear to be the Most guilty; and
(e) Said accused has not at any time been convicted of any offense involving Moral turpitude.

Evidence adduced in support of the discharge shall automatically form part of the trial. If the court denies the motion for discharge
of the accused as state witness, his sworn statement shall be inadmissible in evidence. The effect of the discharge of an accused as
a state witness is that of an acquittal under Section 18 which states: Section 18. Discharge of accused operates as acquittal. —
The order indicated in the preceding section shall amount to an acquittal of the discharged accused and shall be a bar to future
prosecution for the same offense, unless the accused fails or refuses to testify against his co-accused in accordance with his sworn
statement constituting the basis for the discharge.

Q. Where can a party question orders and resolutions of the office of the Ombudsman?
A. It depends. If what the party wishes to question is an order or resolution in an administrative case, the party may appeal before
the CA via Rule 43. If it involves orders and resolutions involving criminal cases such as determination of probable cause (Baviera
v. Zoleta, 2006) or an order granting immunity to an accused (Quarto v. Ombudsman, 2011) and there is grave abuse of
discretion, the party may question the orders or resolutions before the Supreme Court via Rule 65.

Q: Can the courts interfere in the COMELEC's finding that probable cause exists?
A: Generally, the Court will not interfere with such finding of the COMELEC absent a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion.
This principle emanates from the COMELEC’s exclusive power to conduct preliminary investigation of all election offenses
punishable under the election laws and to prosecute the same, except as may otherwise be provided by law. The established rule is
that a preliminary investigation is not the occasion for the full and exhaustive display of the parties’ evidence. It is for the
presentation of only such evidence as may engender a well-grounded belief that an offense has been committed, and the accused is
probably guilty thereof.

Q. What is the nature of search warrant proceedings?


A. A search warrant proceeding is a special criminal and judicial process akin to a writ of discovery. It is designed by the Rules of
Criminal Procedure to respond only to an incident in the main case, if one has already been instituted, or in anticipation thereof.
Since it is at most incidental to the main criminal case, an order granting or denying a motion to quash a search warrant may be
questioned only via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65.

Q: After receiving a complaint from PLDT of the illegal activity of X Corporation of using Mabuhay card and other equipment
capable of receiving and transmitting calls from the USA to the Philippines without these calls passing through the facilities of
PLDT, PAOCTF filed two applications for the issuance of search warrant for Violation of Article 308 of the RPC for Theft of
Telephone Services and for Violation of P.D. 401 for unauthorized installation of telephone communication. The trial court
issued two search warrants for the said violations. In implementing the search warrants, the police team searched the premises
of X Corporation and seized the articles specified in the search warrants. Subsequently, the prosecutor conducted a preliminary
investigation and found that the officers of X Corporation were probably guilty thereof. X Corporation and its officers sought
to quash the search warrants on the grounds that there was no probable cause; and that the search warrants were general
warrants and were wrongly implemented. Should the trial court grant the Motion to Quash? What is probable cause? Are the
search warrants in this case in the nature of general warrants?
A. The court should not grant the Motion to Quash the search warrants on the ground that there was no probable cause. Probable
cause, as a condition for the issuance of a search warrant, is such reasons supported by facts and circumstances as will warrant a
cautious man to believe that his action and the means taken in prosecuting it are legally just and proper. It requires facts and
circumstances that would lead a reasonably prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought
in connection with that offense are in the place to be searched. PLDT was able to produce pieces of evidence that, if taken
together, are more than sufficient to support a finding that probable cause necessary to engender a belief that X Corporation, et al.
had probably committed the crime of Theft through illegal activities. Evidence to show probable cause to issue a search warrant
must be distinguished from proof beyond reasonable doubt which, at this juncture of the criminal case, is not required.
The subject search warrants are not general warrants because the items to be seized were sufficiently identified and
specifically identified by stating their relation to the offenses charged which are Theft and Violation of Presidential Decree No.
401 through the conduct of illegal ISR activities. A search warrant issued must particularly describe the place to be searched and
persons or things to be seized in order for it to be valid, otherwise, it is considered as a general warrant which is proscribed by both
jurisprudence and the 1987 Constitution. In Uy Kheytin v. Villareal, the Court explained the purpose of the aforementioned
requirement for a valid search warrant, to wit: A Search Warrant should particularly describe the place to be searched and the
things to be seized. The evident purpose and intent of this requirement is to limit the things to be seized to those, and only those,
particularly described in the search warrant - what articles they shall seize, to the end that “unreasonable searches and seizures”
may not be made, - that abuses may not be committed. (HPS Software and Communication v. PLDT, 2012)

EVIDENCE

Q. What is the Best Evidence Rule?


A. Section 3(d) of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides that when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no
evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself, except when the original is a public record in the custody of a
public officer or is recorded in a public office. Section 7 of the same Rule provides that when the original of a document is in the
custody of a public officer or is recorded in a public office, its contents may be proved by a certified copy issued by the public
officer in custody thereof. Section 24 of Rule 132 provides that the record of public documents may be evidenced by a copy
attested by the officer having the legal custody or the record.

Note: The Best Evidence Rule applies only when the terms of a written document are the subject of the inquiry. In an
action for quieting of title based on the inexistence of a deed of sale with right to repurchase that purportedly cast a cloud on the

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title of a property, therefore, the Best Evidence Rule does not apply, and the defendant is not precluded from presenting evidence
other than the original document. (Heirs of Prodon v. Heirs of Alvarez, J. Bersamin, 2013)

Q. Mr. Cayetano is the custodian of the record of birth of Charie Mae. He executed an affidavit attesting to the truthfulness of
the fact of birth of Charie Mae and he attached her duly-authenticated birth certificate of birth to his affidavit. Must
Mr.Cayetano affirm his affidavit in open court?
A. No. As to the hearsay rule, Section 44 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court similarly provides that entries in official records are an
exception to the rule. The rule provides that entries in official records made in the performance of the duty of a public officer of
the Philippines, or by a person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law, are prima facie evidence of the facts therein
stated. The necessity of this rule consists in the inconvenience and difficulty of requiring the official’s attendance as a witness to
testify to the innumerable transactions in the course of his duty. The document’s trustworthiness consists in the presumption of
regularity of performance of official duty. As such, they are exceptions to the hearsay rule and are prima facie evidence of the facts
stated therein. (Dimaguila v. Monteiro, 2014)

Q. What is the Parol Evidence Rule?


A. The Parol Evidence Rule applies to “the parties and their successors in interest.” Conversely, it has no application to a stranger
to a contract. For purposes of the Parol Evidence Rule, a person who claims to be the beneficiary of an alleged
stipulation pour autrui in a contract (such as petitioners) may be considered a party to that contract. It has been held that a third
party who avails himself of a stipulation pour autrui under a contract becomes a party to that contract. This is why under Article
1311, a beneficiary of a stipulation pour autrui is required to communicate his acceptance to the obligor before its revocation.
Moreover, to preclude the application of Parol Evidence Rule, it must be shown that “at least one of the parties to the suit is not
party or a privy of a party to the written instrument in question and does not base a claim on the instrument or assert a right
originating in the instrument or the relation established thereby.” A beneficiary of a stipulation pour autrui obviously bases his
claim on the contract. He therefore cannot claim to be a stranger to the contract and resist the application of the Parol Evidence
Rule. Thus, even assuming that the alleged oral undertakings invoked by petitioners may be deemed stipulations pour autrui, still
petitioners’ claim cannot prosper, because they are barred from proving them by oral evidence under the Parol Evidence Rule.
(Heirs of Pacres vs. Heirs of Ygoña, 2010)

Q. Can a void contract be admitted as evidence in court?


A. Yes. While the terms and provisions of a void contract cannot be enforced since it is deemed inexistent, it does not preclude the
admissibility of the contract as evidence to prove matters that occurred in the course of executing the contract, i.e., what each party
has given in the execution of the contract. Evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the law of
these rules. There is no provision in the Rules of Evidence which excludes the admissibility of a void document. The Rules only
require that the evidence is relevant and not excluded by the Rules for its admissibility. Hence, a void document is admissible as
evidence because the purpose of introducing it as evidence is to ascertain the truth respecting a matter of fact, not to enforce
the terms of the document itself. (Tan vs. Hosana, 2016)

Q. Is circumstantial evidence sufficient to warrant a conviction? (People of the Philippines vs. Baron, J. Bersamin, 2016)
A. Yes. Under Rule 133, Section 4 of the Rules of Court, Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if:
(a) There is more than one circumstance;
(b) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and
(c) The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

Q. What is the Hearsay Rule?


A. The Hearsay Rule renders inadmissible as evidence out-of-court statements made by persons who are not presented as witnesses
but are offered as proof of the matters stated. This rule proceeds from the basic rationale of fairness, as the party against whom it is
presented is unable to cross-examine the person making the statement.

Q. What is a double hearsay?


A. An out-of-court statement offered as evidence contains another out-of-court statement. To be admissible, both layers
of hearsay must be found separately admissible.

Q. The rape victim sought to recant her testimony identifying the accused after the Prosecution had already filed its Formal
Offer of Evidence. The trial court dismissed the recantations as incredulous and unworthy of belief, and found the accused
guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of rape. Was the RTC correct in its ruling?
A. Yes. The victim’s recantation is unreliable. In fact, the RTC noted that the alleged real culprit had died in 2004, two (2) years
before the commission of the rape charges in 2006. The trial court dismissed the recantations as incredulous and unworthy of
belief. In her testimony, AAA intimated that she was not raped by her father, but was actually raped by her grandfather who had
already passed away. A retraction is looked upon with considerable disfavor by the courts. It is exceedingly unreliable for there is
always the probability that such recantation may later on be repudiated. It can easily be obtained from witnesses through
intimidation or monetary consideration. Like any other testimony, it is subject to the test of credibility based on the relevant
circumstances and, especially, on the demeanor of the witness on the stand. Finally, denial could not prevail over the victim’s
direct, positive and categorical assertion. Appellant’s guilt of the crime charged was established beyond reasonable doubt.

Q. Is a Traffic Accident Investigation Report admissible as evidence in court, as an exception to the Hearsay Rule? (DST
Movers Corporation vs. People’s General Insurance Corporation, J. Bersamin, 2016)
A. No. A traffic accident investigation report prepared by a police officer relying solely on the account of a supposed eyewitness
and not on his or her personal knowledge is not evidence that is admissible as an exception to the Hearsay Rule. One of the
exceptions of the Hearsay Rule is provided under Sec. 44 of Rule 130, in relation to entries in official record. Precisely as an
exception to the Hearsay Rule, Rule 130, Section 44 does away with the need for presenting as witness the public officer or person

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performing a duty specially enjoined by law who made the entry. This, however, is only true, for as long the following requisites
have been satisfied:
a. that the entry was made by a public officer or by another person specially enjoined by law to do so;
b. that it was made by the public officer in the performance of his duties, or by such other person in the
performance of a duty specially enjoined by law; and
c. that the public officer or other person had sufficient knowledge of the facts by him stated, which must have been
acquired by him personally or through official information.

Q. The witness Estao testified as follows: (1) Bolanon had gone to the residence of Estao, his uncle, to seek help right after
being stabbed by Salafranca; (2) Estao had hurriedly dressed up to bring his nephew to the Philippine General Hospital by
taxicab; (3) on the way to the hospital, Estao had asked Bolanon who had stabbed him, and the latter had told Estao that his
assailant had been Salafranca; (4) at the time of the utterance Bolanon had seemed to be having a hard time breathing,
causing Estao to advise him not to talk anymore; (5) about ten minutes after his admission at the emergency ward of the
hospital, Bolanon had expired and had been pronounced dead. Is the testimony of Estao admissible? (People v. Salafranca, J.
Bersamin, 2012)

A. Yes. An ante-mortem declaration of a victim of murder, homicide, or parricide that meets the conditions of admissibility under
the Rules of Court and pertinent jurisprudence is admissible either as a dying declaration or as a part of the res gestae, or both. The
above circumstances qualified the utterance of Bolanon as both a dying declaration and as part of the res gestae, considering that
the Court has recognized that the statement of the victim an hour before his death and right after the hacking incident bore all the
earmarks either of a dying declaration or part of the res gestae either of which was an exception to the hearsay rule.

A dying declaration, although generally inadmissible as evidence due to its hearsay character, may nonetheless be
admitted when the following requisites concur, namely: (a) that the declaration must concern the cause and surrounding
circumstances of the declarants death; (b) that at the time the declaration is made, the declarant is under a consciousness of an
impending death; (c) that the declarant is competent as a witness; and (d) that the declaration is offered in a criminal case for
homicide, murder, or parricide, in which the declarant is a victim. All the requisites were met herein. Bolanon communicated his
ante-mortem statement to Estao, identifying Salafranca as the person who had stabbed him. At the time of his statement, Bolanon
was conscious of his impending death, having sustained a stab wound in the chest and, according to Estao, was then experiencing
great difficulty in breathing. Bolanon succumbed in the hospital emergency room a few minutes from admission, which occurred
under three hours after the stabbing. There is ample authority for the view that the declarants belief in the imminence of his death
can be shown by the declarants own statements or from circumstantial evidence, such as the nature of his wounds, statements made
in his presence, or by the opinion of his physician. Bolanon would have been competent to testify on the subject of the declaration
had he survived. Lastly, the dying declaration was offered in this criminal prosecution for murder in which Bolanon was the
victim.

On the other hand, a declaration or an utterance is deemed as part of the res gestae and thus admissible in evidence as an
exception to the hearsay rule when the following requisites concur, to wit: (a) the principal act, the res gestae, is a startling
occurrence; (b) the statements are made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise; and (c) the statements must concern
the occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances. The requisites for admissibility of a declaration as part of
the res gestae concur herein. Surely, when he gave the identity of the assailant to Estao, Bolanon was referring to a startling
occurrence, i.e., his stabbing by Salafranca. Bolanon was then on board the taxicab that would bring him to the hospital, and thus
had no time to contrive his identification of Salafranca as the assailant. His utterance about Salafranca having stabbed him was
made in spontaneity and only in reaction to the startling occurrence. The statement was relevant because it identified Salafranca as
the perpetrator.

Q. Does a Protection Oder issued by a Barangay Chairman have any efficacy?


A. Yes. The issuance of a BPO by the Punong Barangay or, in his unavailability, by any available Barangay Kagawad, merely
orders the perpetrator to desist from (a) causing physical harm to the woman or her child; and (2) threatening to cause the woman
or her child physical harm. Such function of the Punong Barangay is, thus, purely executive in nature, in pursuance of his duty
under the Local Government Code to “enforce all laws and ordinances,” and to “maintain public order in the barangay.”

Q. Can a trial court issue a Temporary Protection Order without hearing without violating the constitutional guarantee to due
process?
A. Yes. Since “time is of the essence in cases of VAWC if further violence is to be prevented,” the court is authorized to issue ex
parte a TPO after raffle but before notice and hearing when the life, limb or property of the victim is in jeopardy and there is
reasonable ground to believe that the order is necessary to protect the victim from the immediate and imminent danger of VAWC
or to prevent such violence, which is about to recur. The scope of reliefs in protection orders is broadened to ensure that the victim
or offended party is afforded all the remedies necessary to curtail access by a perpetrator to the victim. The grant of a TPO ex
parte cannot, therefore, be challenged as violative of the right to due process. It is a constitutional commonplace that the ordinary
requirements of procedural due process must yield to the necessities of protecting vital public interests. (Tua v. Hon.
Mangrobang, 2014)

Q: Does failure to photograph or inventory the seized illegal drugs render them inadmissible as evidence against the accused?
May this failure be raised as a ground for the first time on appeal?
A. Failure to photograph or inventory the confiscated illegal drugs is not fatal to the prosecution of the case against the accused.
The seized items may still be admitted in evidence as long as the evidentiary value thereof is preserved. Section 21, paragraph 1,
Article II of RA9165 reads:
Sec. 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous
Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment.-The
PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors
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and essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated, seized and/or
surrendered, for proper disposition in the following manner:

The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation,
physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were
confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of
Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a
copy thereof.

On the other hand, Section 21(a), Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9165, which implements said
provision, stipulates:

(a)The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and
confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom
such items were confiscated and/ or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the
Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and
be given a copy thereof; Provided, that the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the place where the
search warrant is served; or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team,
whichever is practicable, in case of warrantless seizures; Provided, further, that non-compliance with these
requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are
properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody
over said items.”

The law excuses non-compliance under justifiable grounds. However, whatever justifiable grounds may excuse the police officers
involved in the buy-bust operation in this case from complying with Section 21 will remain unknown, because appellant did not
question during trial the safekeeping of the items seized from him. Indeed, the police officers’ alleged violations of Sections 21
and 86 of Republic Act No. 9165 were not raised before the trial court but were instead raised for the first time on appeal. In no
instance did appellant least intimate at the trial court that there were lapses in the safekeeping of seized items that affected their
integrity and evidentiary value. Objection to evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal; when a party desires the court
to reject the evidence offered, he must so state in the form of objection. Without such objection he cannot raise the question for the
first time on appeal. (People vs. Taculod, 2013)

Q. Can the accused be pronounced guilty of the offense if all the links of the chain of custody of the drug subject of the illegal
sale – the corpus delicti – are not shown?
A. No. The reason is that the drug presented as evidence at the trial is not shown beyond reasonable doubt that it was the drug
subject of the illegal sale. “Chain of Custody” means the duly recorded authorized movements and custody of seized drugs or
controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or laboratory equipment of each stage, from the time of
seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. The marking upon
seizure serves a two-fold function, the first being to give to succeeding handlers of the specimens a reference, and the second
being to separate the marked evidence from the corpus of all other similar or related evidence from the time of seizure from the
accused until their disposition at the end of criminal proceedings, thereby obviating switching, “planting,” or contamination of
evidence. (People of the Philippines vs. Alagarme, 2015)

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