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G.R. Nos.

79937-38 February 13, 1989

HON. MAXIMIANO C. ASUNCION, Presiding Judge, Branch 104, Regional Trial Court, Quezon
City and MANUEL CHUA UY PO TIONG, respondents.


On February 28, 1984, petitioner Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. (SIOL) filed a complaint with the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Makati for the consignation of a premium refund on a fire insurance policy with
a prayer for the judicial declaration of its nullity against private respondent Manuel Uy Po Tiong.
Consequently, private respondent filed a complaint in the RTC of Quezon City for the refund of
premiums and the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment. The complaint of the respondent
sought, among others, the payment of actual, compensatory, moral, exemplary and liquidated
damages, attorney's fees, expenses of litigation and costs of the suit. Although the prayer in the
complaint did not quantify the amount of damages sought said amount may be inferred from the
body of the complaint to be about Fifty Million Pesos (P50,000,000.00).

Only the amount of P210.00 was paid by private respondent as docket fee which prompted
petitioners' counsel to raise his objection. On a later date, private respondent filed a "Re-Amended
Complaint" stating therein a claim of "not less than Pl0,000,000. 00 as actual compensatory damages"
in the prayer. Private respondent now alleges actual and compensatory damages and attorney's fees
in the total amount of about P44,601,623.70. Judge Asuncion admitted the amended complaint. Based
on the claim of private respondent, the docket fee now amounts to P39,786.00 which the private
respondent paid. Petitioners then filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals (CA)
questioning the order of Judge Asuncion. Petitioners contended with the CA that on the ground of
non-payment of the correct and proper docket fee by the respondent, the lower court did not acquire
jurisdiction over the case. CA ruled in favour of private respondent, hence this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not a court acquires jurisdiction over a case when the correct and proper docket
fee has not been paid.


NO. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of
the prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature
of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment of the docket
fee, the court may allow payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case beyond the
applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.

The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims, third party claims and similar pleadings, which
shall not be considered filed until and unless the filing fee prescribed therefor is paid. The court may
also allow payment of said fee within a reasonable time but also in no case beyond its applicable
prescriptive or reglementary period.

Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim by the filing of the appropriate pleading and
payment of the prescribed filing fee but, subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not specified in
the pleading, or if specified the same has been left for determination by the court, the additional filing
fee therefor shall constitute a lien on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of Court
or his duly authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the additional fee.
G.R. No. L-18936 May 23, 1967


NATIVIDAD E. IGNACIO and LEONOR E. ALMAZAN, administratrices-appellants,
PAMPANGA BUS COMPANY, INC., claimant appellee.


In August 29, 1951, Pampanga Bus Company, Inc. (referred to herein as Pambusco) lodged its
complaint in the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila against two (2) defendants Valentin Fernando
and Encarnacion Elchico Vda. de Fernando. The suit was to collect P105,000.00 upon a contractual
obligation. Encarnacion Elchico Vda. de Fernando died almost four years later. By this time,
Pambusco in the foregoing civil case had already presented its evidence and submitted its case.
Intestate proceedings were filed and on Pambusco's motion, the court in the civil case ordered Jose
Nicolas, then administrator, to substitute for the deceased Encarnacion Elchico Vda. de Fernando as
one of the defendants. Jose Nicolas, as such administrator, filed an amended answer with
counterclaim against Pambusco.

After trial on the merits, the CFI of Manila rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against the
defendants. The two defendants appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment.

Both defendants appealed by certiorari to this Court but both of their appeals were dismissed.

In February 25, 1959, we go back to Special Proceeding 25256, Intestate Estate of Encarnacion
Elchico Vda. Fernando. On this day, while defendants were perfecting their appeal from the judgment
the CFI , Pambusco registered its contingent claim in these special proceedings. The judgment in the
civil case having reached finality, Pambusco moved in the intestate proceedings that the heirs and/or
the present joint administratrices, Natividad E. Ignacio and Leonor E. Almazan, be ordered to pay
P46,500.00, the share of the deceased in the judgment debt.

The Court allowed said amount of P46,500.00 to be paid by the heirs and/or the joint
administratrices. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE: Was Pambusco's claim properly admitted by the probate court?


YES. It will be remembered that at the time Encarnacion Elchico Vda. de Fernando died, the civil case
against her and the other defendant Valentin Fernando had not yet been decided by the Court of First
Instance of Manila. That case, however, was prosecuted — with the assent of the administrator of her
estate — to final conclusion. The administrator did not complain of the substitution. At no time did
the estate of the deceased impugn the authority of the regular courts to determine the civil case. Much
less did it seek abatement of the civil suit. On the contrary, its administrator took active steps to
protect the interests of the estate. Now that the judgment has become final, the estate cannot be heard
to say that said judgment — reached after a full dress trial on the merits — will now go for naught.
The estate has thus waived its right to have Pambusco's claim re-litigated in the estate proceedings.
For, though presentment of probate claims is imperative, it is generally understood that it may be
waived by the estate's representative. And, waiver is to be determined from the administrator's "acts
and conduct." Certainly, the administrator's failure to plead the statute of nonclaims, his active
participation, and resistance to plaintiff's claim, in the civil suit, amount to such waiver.

The revival of the civil action against the administrator, the decedent's representative, "is generally
considered equivalent to presentation" of such claim in probate court, "dispenses with the actual
presentation of the claim." The soundness of this proposition commands assent. Because, the
administrator represent the deceased's estate itself, is an alter ego of the heirs. More than this, he is
an officer of the probate court. In the circumstances, presentment of Pambusco's 1950 claim ad
abundantiorem cautelam was at best reduced to a mere formality.

Here, the claim was filed in the probate court on February 25, 1959, while the defendants in the civil
case were still perfecting their appeal therein. The record does not show that the administrator
objected thereto upon the ground that it was filed out of time. The pendency of that case, we are
persuaded to say, is a good excuse for tardiness in the filing of the claim. And, the order of final
distribution is still to be given.
G.R. No. 169548 March 15, 2010



Manuel A. David, Sr. (Manuel) and Martha S. David (Martha) were married in 1957 and in 1970, the
spouses acquired a 602 square meter lot in Quezon City. In 1976, the spouses separated de facto.
Manuel then discovered that Martha had previously sold the property to Titan Construction
Corporation (Titan) for P1,500,000.00. Thus, Manuel filed a Complaint for Annulment of Contract
and Recovenyance against Titan before the RTC of Quezon City. Manuel alleged that the sale executed
by Martha in favor of Titan was without his knowledge and consent, and therefore void.
Titan claimed that it was a buyer in good faith and for value because it relied on a Special Power of
Attorney (SPA) signed by Manuel which authorized Martha to dispose of the property on behalf of
the spouses. Manuel claimed that the SPA was spurious, he later on filed an amended complaint
impleading Martha as a co-defendant in the proceedings. However, despite personal service of
summons upon Martha, she failed to file an Answer. Thus, she was declared in default. Trial then
RTC ruled in favour of Manuel. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Titan
moved for reconsideration but the motion was denied. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Deed of Sale between Martha and Titan is valid
NO. Since the property was undoubtedly part of the conjugal partnership, the sale to Titan required
the consent of both spouses. Article 165 of the Civil Code expressly provides that the husband is the
administrator of the conjugal partnership. Likewise, Article 172 of the Civil Code ordains that
(t)he wife cannot bind the conjugal partnership without the husbands consent, except in cases
provided by law.
As to the issue of the validity or invalidity of the subject Special Power of Attorney x x x the Court
rules that the same is invalid.
Titan also claimed that because Manuel failed to specifically deny the genuineness and due execution
of the SPA in his Reply, he is deemed to have admitted the veracity of said document, in accordance
with Rule 8, Sections 7 and 8, of the Rules of Court.
On this point, we fully concur with the findings of the CA that:
It is true that the reply filed by Manuel alleging that the special power of attorney is a forgery was
not made under oath. However, the complaint, which was verified by Manuel under oath, alleged that
the sale of the subject property executed by his wife, Martha, in favor of Titan was without his
knowledge, consent, and approval, express or implied; and that there is nothing on the face of the
deed of sale that would show that he gave his consent thereto. While Section 8, Rule 8 is mandatory,
it is a discovery procedure and must be reasonably construed to attain its purpose, and in a way as
not to effect a denial of substantial justice. The interpretation should be one which assists the parties
in obtaining a speedy, inexpensive, and most important, a just determination of the disputed issues.
Moreover, during the pre-trial, Titan requested for stipulation that the special power of attorney was
signed by Manuel authorizing his wife to sell the subject property, but Manuel refused to admit the
genuineness of said special power of attorney and stated that he is presenting an expert witness to
prove that his signature in the special power of attorney is a forgery. However, Titan did not register
any objection x x x. Furthermore, Titan did not object to the presentation of Atty. Desiderio Pagui,
who testified as an expert witness, on his Report finding that the signature on the special power of
attorney was not affixed by Manuel based on his analysis of the questioned and standard signatures
of the latter, and even cross-examined said witness. Neither did Titan object to the admission of said
Report when it was offered in evidence by Manuel on the ground that he is barred from denying his
signature on the special power of attorney. In fact, Titan admitted the existence of said Report and
objected only to the purpose for which it was offered. In Central Surety & Insurance Company v. C.N.
Hodges, it was held that where a party acted in complete disregard of or wholly overlooked Section
8, Rule 8 and did not object to the introduction and admission of evidence questioning the
genuineness and due execution of a document, he must be deemed to have waived the benefits of
said Rule. Consequently, Titan is deemed to have waived the mantle of protection given [it] by Section
8, Rule 8.
G.R. No. 171219 September 3, 2012


CONSTANTINO ANGELES, substituted by LUZ G. ANGELES*, Respondent.


Respondent-appellee ANGELES is one of the registered owners of a parcel of land located in

Sampaloc, Manila. The subject parcel of land was occupied by one Jelly Galiga (GALIGA) as a lessee
with a lease contract. Subsequently, Fe Salvador (SALVADOR) alleged that she bought the subject
parcel of land from GALIGA who represented that he was the owner, being one in possession. The
registered owner, ANGELES, sent a letter to petitioner-appellant SALVADOR demanding that the
latter vacate the subject property, which was not heeded by petitioner-appellant SALVADOR.
Consequently, ANGELES, thru one Rosauro Diaz, Jr. (DIAZ), filed a complaint for ejectment with the
Metropolitan Trial Court [MeTC] of Manila.

The MeTC rendered its decision on November 29, 1999 in favour of ANGELES and ordered
SALVADOR to vacate the land.

In the appeal filed by SALVADOR, she alleged that DIAZ, who filed the complaint for ejectment, had
no authority whatsoever from ANGELES at the time of filing of the suit. SALVADOR's appeal was
denied by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in a Decision dated March 12, 2003. The Motion for
Reconsideration filed by SALVADOR was likewise denied.

Petitioner elevated the case to the CA via a petition for review, but the said petition was dismissed
for lack of merit. Hence, the present petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not Diaz had been authorized by respondent to initiate the action against


NO. There was no copy of any document attached to the complaint to prove Diaz's allegation
regarding the authority supposedly granted to him. This prompted petitioner to raise in her Answer
and in her Position Paper, the issue of Diaz's authority to file the case. On December 11, 1995, more
than a year after the complaint was filed, respondent attached to his Reply and/or Comment to
Respondent's (herein petitioner) Position Paper,4 a document entitled Special Power of Attorney
(SPA)5 supposedly executed by respondent in favor of Rosauro Diaz. However, said SPA was
executed only on November 16, 1994, or more than a month after the complaint was filed,
appearing to have been notarized by one Robert F. McGuire of Santa Clara County. Observe, further,
that there was no certification from the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, California,
U.S.A, that said person is indeed a notary public in Santa Clara County, California. Verily, the court
cannot give full faith and credit to the official acts of said Robert McGuire, and hence, no evidentiary
weight or value can be attached to the document designated as an SPA dated November 16, 1994.
Thus, there is nothing on record to show that Diaz had been authorized by respondent to initiate the
action against petitioner.
What then, is the effect of a complaint filed by one who has not proven his authority to represent a
plaintiff in filing an action? In Tamondong v. Court of Appeals, the Court categorically stated that "[i]f
a complaint is filed for and in behalf of the plaintiff [by one] who is not authorized to do so,
the complaint is not deemed filed. An unauthorized complaint does not produce any legal
effect. Hence, the court should dismiss the complaint on the ground that it has no jurisdiction over
the complaint and the plaintiff.

Pursuant to the foregoing rulings, therefore, the MeTC never acquired jurisdiction over this case and
all proceedings before it were null and void. The courts could not have delved into the very merits of
the case, because legally, there was no complaint to speak of. The court's jurisdiction cannot be
deemed to have been invoked at all.
G.R. No. 167398 August 9, 2011


RODRIGUEZ, Petitioners,
QUIRICO PE, Respondent.
Respondent Quirico Pe was engaged in the business of construction materials, and had been
transacting business with petitioner Spouses Nestor Victor Rodriguez and Ma. Lourdes Rodriguez. In
1998, respondent agreed to supply cement for the construction projects of petitioner Spouses
Rodriguez. As an advance payment, petitioner Nestor Rodriguez gave Land Bank of the Philippines
(LBP) Check No. 6563066 to respondent but leaving the amount and date in blank. The blank LBP
check was delivered to respondent to guarantee the payment of 15,698 bags of Portland cement
valued at P1,507,008.00, issued by respondent, in favour of petitioner Nestor Rodriguez. However, a
year later, respondent filled up blank LBP Check No. 6563066, by placing P2,062,000.00 and June 30,
1999, corresponding to the amount and date.

Petitioners filed an Amended Complaint for Declaration of Payment, Cancellation of Documents and
Damages against respondent with the RTC. The amended complaint alleged that they entrusted blank
LBP Check No. 6563066 to respondent. They stated that the blank LBP check would serve as
collateral to guarantee the payment for 15,698 bags to be used for the Kalibo project and that after
payment of the said amount, respondent would return the LBP check. According to them, after having
paid respondent, they were cleared of any liability.

The trial court, applying Section 14 of the Negotiable Instruments Law, found that respondents’
subsequent filling up of LBP Check No. 6563066 was not made strictly in accordance with the
authority given to him by petitioner Nestor Rodriguez, and that since one year had already lapsed,
the same was not done within a reasonable time.Consequently, the RTC rendered judgment in favour
of the petitioners and against the respondent. Respondent appealed the decision. The trial court gave
due course to respondent's appeal.

Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, to Dismiss Appeal, and for Issuance of Writ of
Execution, stating that respondents appeal should be dismissed as the same was not perfected due
to non-payment of docket and other lawful fees as required under Section 4, Rule 41 of the Rules of
Court. Claiming that since the respondents appeal was not perfected and, as a consequence, the RTC
Decision dated June 28, 2002 became final and executory, petitioners sought the issuance of a writ of
execution for the implementation of the said RTC Decision.

The trial court dismissed respondent's appeal and directed the issuance of a writ of execution to
implement the RTC Decision dated June 28, 2002. Respondent filed a Petition for Certiorari and
Prohibition with Application for Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Prayer for Temporary
Restraining Order, seeking to set aside the RTC Order and to enjoin the implementation of the Writ
of Execution.
CA granted the respondents’ prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and later on rendered a
Decision in favour of the respondent. Hence, petitioner filed this present petition

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the decision of the lower court and
allowing respondent to belatedly pay the required appellate docket and other legal fees


YES. In cases of ordinary appeal, Section 2, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court provides that the appeal to
the CA in cases decided by the RTC in the exercise of its original jurisdiction shall be taken by filing a
notice of appeal with the RTC (the court which rendered the judgment or final order appealed from)
and serving a copy thereof upon the adverse party. Section 3 thereof states that the appeal shall be
taken within fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment or final order appealed from. Concomitant
with the filing of a notice of appeal is the payment of the required appeal fees within the 15-day
reglementary period set forth in Section 4 of the said Rule. Thus,

SEC. 4. Appellate court docket and other lawful fees. Within the period for taking an appeal, the
appellant shall pay to the clerk of the court which rendered the judgment or final order appealed
from, the full amount of the appellate court docket and other lawful fees. Proof of payment of said
fees shall be transmitted to the appellate court together with the original record or the record on

The CA took cognizance over the case, based on the wrong premise that when the RTC issued the
Order dated August 5, 2002 giving due course to respondents Notice of Appeal and directing the
Branch Clerk of Court to transmit the entire records of the case to the CA, it ipso facto lost jurisdiction
over the case. Section 9, Rule 41 of the Rules explains that the court of origin loses jurisdiction over
the case only upon the perfection of the appeal filed in due time by the appellant and the expiration
of the time to appeal of the other parties. Withal, prior to the transmittal of the original records of the
case to the CA, the RTC may issue orders for the protection and preservation of the rights of the
prevailing party, as in this case, the issuance of the writ of execution because the respondents appeal
was not perfected.

Moreover, Section 13, Rule 41 of the Rules states that the CA may dismiss an appeal taken from the
RTC on the ground of non-payment of the docket and other lawful fees within the 15-day
reglementary period:

SEC 13. Dismissal of appeal. Prior to the transmittal of the original record or the record on appeal to
the appellate court, the trial court may motu proprio or on motion dismiss the appeal for having been
taken out of time, or for non-payment of the docket and other lawful fees within the reglementary
period. (As amended by A.M. No. 00-2-10-SC, May 1, 2000.)

Since respondents appeal was not perfected within the 15-day reglementary period, it was as if no
appeal was actually taken. Therefore, the RTC retains jurisdiction to rule on pending incidents lodged
before it, such as the petitioners Motion for Reconsideration, to Dismiss Appeal, and for Issuance of
Writ of Execution, filed on August 26, 2002, which sought to set aside its Order dated August 5, 2002
that gave due course to respondents Notice of Appeal, and directed the issuance of a writ of
execution. Having no jurisdiction over the case, the prudent thing that the CA should have done was
to dismiss the respondents appeal for failure to pay the appeal fees, and declare that the RTC Decision
dated June 28, 2002 has now become final and executory.
[G.R. No. 156829. June 8, 2004]
RAMON D. MONTENEGRO, petitioner,
vs. MA. TERESA L. MONTENEGRO, for herself and as the mother and natural guardian of the
surnamed MONTENEGRO, respondents.
Respondent Ma. Teresa V. Lizares-Montenegro (hereinafter, respondent Teresa), for herself and as
mother and guardian of her two minor children Antonio Amelo and Ana Maria Pia Isabel, filed with
the trial court below a complaint for support against her husband, herein petitioner Ramon D.
Montenegro. Four years after the filing of the complaint, petitioner and respondent Teresa executed
a compromise agreement and the same was approved by the court.
Petitioner failed to comply with his obligations under the compromise agreement despite the lapse
of the periods provided therein. Consequently,respondent Teresa filed a motion for the execution of
the judgment. The trial court granted the motion and issued a writ of execution on 15 February 1999.
A second writ of execution and a notice of garnishment, issued by the trial court on 21 May 2001 and
on 28 May 2001, respectively, were returned unsatisfied.
In several conferences called by the trial court, petitioner admitted his failure to comply with his
obligations under the compromise agreement but alleged that he was no longer in a position to do so
as he was already insolvent. Respondent Teresa filed a motion to examine petitioner as judgment
obligor under Sections 36 and 38 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. The trial court granted he motion
for examination of petitioner as judgment obligor. On that same day, petitioner filed with the court a
Manifestation alleging that the grant of the motion for examination was premature because he still
would have 30 days from receipt of the motion, or until April 14, 2002, within which to file a comment
or opposition thereto as agreed upon during the conference on 6 March 2002.
On 22 March 2002, neither petitioner nor his counsel appeared for the scheduled hearing. On that
date, the trial court issued an order re-scheduling the hearing to 10 April 2002 and requiring the
petitioner to explain why he should not be held in contempt of court for disobeying the 19 March
2002 Order.
Petitioner did not appear at the scheduled hearings, prompting the trial court to issue an order citing
him in contempt of court. The court imposed on him the penalty of imprisonment for three months
and ordered him to pay a fine of P20,000. His motion for reconsideration of the Order having been
denied by the trial court in its Order of 3 January 2003, petitioner filed the petition in the case at bar.
ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court erred in holding the petitioner guilty of indirect contempt for
wilfully disobeying the orders of the trial court requiring him to appear for examination as a
judgment obligor at the hearings scheduled.
NO. The totality of petitioners acts clearly indicated a deliberate and unjustified refusal to be
examined as a judgment obligor at the time the examination was scheduled for hearing by the trial
court. His acts tended to degrade the authority and respect for court processes and impaired the
judiciary’s duty to deliver and administer justice. Petitioner tried to impose his will on the trial court.
Contempt of court involves the doing of an act, or the failure to do an act, in such a manner as to
create an affront to the court and the sovereign dignity with which it is clothed. It is defined as
disobedience to the court by acting in opposition to its authority, justice and dignity. The power to
punish contempt is inherent in all courts, because it is essential to the preservation of order in judicial
proceedings, and to the enforcement of judgments, orders and mandates of the courts; and,
consequently, to the due administration of justice.
The Rules of Court penalizes two types of contempt, namely, direct contempt and indirect
contempt. Direct contempt is committed in the presence of or so near a court as to obstruct or
interrupt the proceedings before the same, and includes disrespect toward the court, offensive
personalities toward others, or refusal to be sworn or to answer as a witness, or to subscribe an
affidavit or deposition when lawfully required to do so.
In the present case, the contemptuous act was the petitioners refusal to attend a hearing for his
examination as judgment obligor, upon motion by the respondent Teresa. It must be pointed out that
the purpose of Section 36 of Rule 39 is to provide the judgment obligee a remedy in case where the
judgment obligor continues to fail to comply with its obligation under the judgment. Petitioner’s
refusal to be examined, without justifiable reason, constituted indirect contempt which is civil in
Thus, the trial court committed no abuse of discretion in scheduling the examination of petitioner
on 22 March 2002. On the contrary, it acted with utmost judiciousness to avoid a miscarriage of
justice because petitioner was reported to be about to leave for Canada, a fact which petitioner did
not refute in his Manifestation of 19 March 2002.