12.

Marikina Valley vs Fojo APPEALS

FACTS: Jose Reyes Sytangco instituted a complaint for reconveyance of a piece of land against petitioner Marikina 13. CASOLITA vs CA
Valley Development Corporation ("Marikina Valley") and Milagros Liamzon. Jose Reyes Sytangco alleged that he
entrusted some funds to Milagros Liamzon in order to purchase a property from its former owners. Milagros Private respondent ATROP, Inc. filed a complaint against petitioners with the RTC of Manila for recovery of
Liamzon, however, in alleged violation of the trust reposed upon her, purchased the property in her own name and possession of a parcel of land which is owned by ATROP, Inc. Petitioner Casolita, through his counsel, Atty. Jose L.
had title to the same registered in her name. Thereafter, she transferred title over that property to petitioner Aguilar, filed his answer alleging that he and his family had been in continuous possession of the land since 1953,
Marikina Valley, a closed corporation owned by the Liamzon family.
having been designated as caretaker by the supposed "real owners" Ramon LeQuina and Portia Pueo. The other
The trial court ruled in favor of Sytangco. The trial court directed petitioner Marikina Valley to execute a Deed of petitioners, represented by Atty. Benito Gatpatan, Jr. filed their answer adopting and incorporating the allegations of
Conveyance covering the property involved in favor of Sytangco. Casolita in his answer to the complaint. After trial, the lower court ruled in favor of ATROP, Inc., ordering the
defendants to vacate the premises. Atty. Aguilar received a copy of the decision but failed to file a notice of appeal.
Petitioners moved for reconsideration. Reyes Sytangco opposed petitioners' motion for reconsideration upon the Atty. Gatpatan, Jr., on the other hand, filed a notice of appeal.
ground that it was a pro forma one. He contended that the allegations of insufficiency of evidence were couched in
very general terms, contrary to the requirements of Section 2, Rule 37 of the Rules of Court. In its omnibus motion to dismiss the appeal and for the issuance of a writ of execution, ATROP, Inc. argued that as
far as petitioner Casolita was concerned, the decision had become final and executory because his counsel, Atty.
ISSUE: WON the MR of Petitioners is pro forma.
Aguilar, received a copy of the decision without filing a notice of appeal. As to the other petitioners who filed the
HELD: No. The rule in our jurisdiction is that a party aggrieved by a decision of a trial court may move to set aside the notice of appeal, the same was fatally defective for they did not serve the same to the counsel of Atrop, Inc. The
decision and reconsideration thereof may be granted when (a) the judgment had awarded "excessive damages;" (b) lower court granted the omnibus motion to dismiss and ordered the issuance of a writ of execution.
there was "insufficiency of the evidence to justify the decision;" or (c) "the decision was against the law."
Atty. Alfredo C. Baylon, Jr. thereafter filed a notice of appearance as "counsel for all the defendants" and moved for
A motion for reconsideration based on ground (b) or (c) above must point out specifically the findings and
the reconsideration of the lower court’s order dismissing the appeal, alleging that the dismissal of the notice of
conclusions of the judgment which are not supported by the evidence or which are contrary to law, making express
reference to the testimonial or documentary evidence or to the provisions of law alleged to be contrary to such appeal and the issuance of the writ of execution violated the principle of due process, as it amounted to a denial of
findings and conclusions. justice. He contended that petitioners Casolita and companions were not properly notified of the decision since Atty.
Aguilar had withdrawn as counsel due to poor health; hence, the decision had not become final and executory. The
The movant is also required to point out succinctly why reconsideration is warranted. lower court denied the motion for reconsideration and the motion to admit appeal.

In Luzon Stevedoring Company v. Court of Industrial Relations, the Supreme Court declared that it is not enough that The petitioners through Atty. Baylon filed in the Court of Appeals a petition seeking the annulment of the two orders
a motion for reconsideration should state what part of the decision is contrary to law or the evidence; it should also
of the lower court, one granting the omnibus motion to dismiss and the other denying the motion for
point out why it is so. Failure to explain why will render the motion for reconsideration pro forma.
reconsideration. Petitioners contend that the Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion in denying their petition
In paragraph (a) of their motion, petitioners claimed that the evidence submitted was insufficient to show that the based on their failure to furnish private respondent with a copy of the notice of appeal. Such omission was a mere
downpayment for the purchase of the España Street property had in fact come from private respondents' technicality which should be cast aside to attain substantial justice.
predecessor-in-interest Jose Reyes Sytangco. The trial court had not discussed the presumption of regularity of
private transactions invoked by petitioners.
the decision had become final and executory because his counsel, Atty. Aguilar, received a copy of the decision
In paragraph (b) of their motion, petitioners, building upon their paragraph (a), argued that since the money used to without filing a notice of appeal. As to the other petitioners who filed the notice of appeal, the same was fatally
pay the property did not belong to the plaintiff, no constructive trust arose between Jose Reyes Sytangco and
defective for they did not serve the same to the counsel of Atrop, Inc. The lower court granted the omnibus motion
Milagros Liamzon. Accordingly, they argue that the Reyes Sytangco spouses would be entitled only to
reimbursement of the downpayment and not to reconveyance of the property itself. The trial court had not to dismiss and ordered the issuance of a writ of execution.
addressed this argument in its decision.
Ruling:

The contention lacks merit. Under the previous rule, an appeal may be taken "by serving upon the adverse party and
filing with the trial court within thirty (30) days from notice of order or judgment, a notice of appeal, an appeal bond,
and a record on appeal." This provision was amended by Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, particularly Section 39 thereof, by

14. allows a relaxation in the application of the rules..ENIQUEZ VS CA . He may also retire at any time from an action or special proceeding. While the Court. This requirement should be complied with so that he may be afforded the opportunity to register his opposition to the notice of appeal if he so desires. ID. In case of substitution. To deprive him of such notice is tantamount to depriving him of his right to be informed that the judgment in his favor is being challenged. — Procedural rules are tools designed to facilitate the adjudication of cases. and on hearing. without the consent of the client. While it is true that litigation is not a game of technicalities.. except in multiple appeals and in special proceedings. ID. and written notice of the change shall be given to the adverse party. EXCEPTION. by the written consent of his client filed in court. ATTORNEYS SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL.. however. — It is a rule that issues not properly brought and ventilated below may not be raised for the first time on appeal. JUDGMENT. And service of the notice of appeal upon him may not be dispensed with on the basis of the appellant’s whims and caprices. PROCEDURAL RULES. . on notice to the client and attorney. — It is a settled rule that a lawyer may not simply withdraw his appearance in a case without a formal petition filed in the case. The liberality in the interpretation and application of the rules applies only in proper cases and under justifiable causes and circumstances. 2. . in some instances. The entire original record of the case instead is transmitted to the appellate court.deleting the need to file an appeal bond and record on appeal. it is equally true that every case must be prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed procedure to insure an orderly and speedy administration of justice. and by fixing the period of appeal to fifteen (15) days. determine that he ought to be allowed to retire. The simplification of the procedure for elevating to a higher court final judgments or orders of the lower courts correspondingly underscored the importance of the notice of appeal. to wit: "Sec. The adverse party may only be apprised initially of the pendency of an appeal by the notice of appeal. A LIBERALITY IN THE INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION THEREOF APPLIES ONLY IN PROPER CASES AND UNDER JUSTIFIABLE CAUSES. ID. should the court. this was never intended to forge a bastion for erring litigants to violate the rules with impunity. APPEAL. ID."cralaw virtua1aw library 3. the name of the attorney newly employed shall be entered on the docket of the court in place of the former one. ISSUES NOT PROPERLY BROUGHT MAY NOT BE RAISED FOR THE FIRST TIME ON APPEAL. REQUIRES A FORMAL PETITION FILED IN THE CASE.. 4.. 26. obtain in this case. Appeals from final judgments or orders of the Regional Trial Court are now taken to public respondent Court of Appeals by simply filing a notice of appeal. save in exceptional circumstances none of which.. ID. ID. Change of Attorneys. — An attorney may retire at any time from any action or special proceeding. Substitution of counsel must be made in accordance with Rule 138 of the Rules of Court.