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1 Civil Procedure for Atty.

Tranquil by Jason Arteche

Suson vs CA
Facts
Respondent Odilao filed a P5.15 million civil suit for damages against Suson before RTC
Leyte. Odilao claimed that Suson made false and groundless accusations of graft and corruption
against him before the Office of the Ombudsman, and thereafter caused their publication. Odilao paid
the sum of P25,600.00 in docket fees to the RTC Leyte. Later, Suson filed a motion to dismiss on the
ground of improper venue, alleging therein that Odilao resides in Cebu and not in Leyte. The motion
was granted.

Odilao then requested authorization from the SC Court Administrator to have the filing fees
previously paid in RTC Leyte be considered as payment for the filing fees to be paid in RTC Cebu.
The Administrator authorised the same and RTC Cebu docketed his case without requiring Odilao to
pay the prescribed filing fees. Afterwards, Suson filed a motion to dismiss arguing the lack of
payment of filing fees.

Issue
Whether or not a party litigant, whose complaint has been dismissed by an RTC due to improper
venue, seek an authorization from the Supreme Court thru the Deputy Court Administrator, to re-file
his complaint in the court of proper venue without paying the prescribed docket fee.

Held
Complaint can’t be filed without paying the prescribed docket fees.

Based on jurisprudence, the following are the pertinent rules:


1. It isn’t 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 fees within a reasonable time
but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
2. 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.
3. Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim by the filing fee but, subsequently, the
judgment awards a claim not specified in the pleading, or if specified the court has left the
same for determination, the additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien on the
judgment. It shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of Court of his duly authorized deputy to
enforce said lien and assess and collect the additional fee.

However, while paying the prescribed docket fee is a jurisdictional requirement, its non-payment
doesn’t automatically cause the dismissal of the case if the non-payment isn’t beyond the applicable
prescriptive or reglementary period.

Further, Odilao’s complaint can’t be deemed “re-filed” in RTC Cebu because it wasn’t originally filed
in the same court but in RTC Leyte. The case in RTC Cebu is an entirely separate case from that
dismissed by RTC Leyte. Also, the order dismissing the case in RTC Leyte is already final and to re-
file would be error. As a remedial measure, Odilao can still file another complaint, but this time in
the court of proper venue. Note, however, that the dismissal of the complaint filed in the court of
proper venue did not stop the running of the prescriptive period within which to file his complaint in
the court of proper venue.

Next, under the RoC pauper-litigants are exempted from paying court fees, which includes the filing
fee in instituting a complaint. Nonetheless, the rule provides that the legal fees shall be a lien on the
monetary or property judgment rendered in favor of the pauper-litigant. Odilao isn’t exempt from

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paying the docket fees because he’s neither a pauper-litigant nor a person expressly exempt by the
Rules of Court from payment thereof.

Lastly, the OCA has neither the power nor the authority to exempt any party not otherwise exempt
under the law or under the Rules of Court in paying the prescribed docket fees.

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Manchester Development Corp. vs CA


Facts
This is an action for damages and specific performance. Manchester’s original complaint didn’t
specify in the prayer the amount of damages sought but the complaint’s body alleges the amount of
P78 million as damages. Manchester then paid a docket fee of only P410.

The under-assessment of filing fees was brought to the SC’s attention and an investigation was
ordered. During the investigation, Manchester filed an amended complaint removing any mention of
the amount of damages in the complaint’s body. The RTC then ordered Manchester to amend the
amended complaint by stating the amounts asked for. Manchester then specific the amount of
damages in the complaint’s body in the reduced amount of P10 million. No amount of damages was
specified in the prayer.

Issue
Whether or not the filing fee should be assessed based on the amended or original complaint.

Held
Original complaint.

The docket fee paid upon filing of complaint in the amount only of P410.00 by considering the action
to be merely one for specific performance where the amount involved is not capable of pecuniary
estimation is obviously erroneous. Although the total amount of damages sought isn’t stated in the
prayer of the complaint yet it is spelled out in the body of the original complaint totalling in the
amount of P78,750,000.00 which should be the basis of assessment of the filing fee.

A case is deemed filed only upon payment of the docket fee regardless of the actual date of filing in
court. Thus, in the present case the RTC didn’t acquire jurisdiction over the case by the payment of
only P410.00 as docket fee. Neither can the amendment of the complaint thereby vest jurisdiction
upon the Court. For legal purposes there’s no such original complaint that was duly filed which could
be amended.

Manchester’s action of omitting any specification of the amount of damages in the prayer although
the amount of over P78 million is alleged in the body of the complaint is clearly intended to evade
paying the correct filing fees and mislead the docket clerk in assessing the filing fee. This fraudulent
practice was compounded when the amended complaint deleted all mention of the amount of damages
being asked for in the body of the complaint. Manchester then wrote the damages sought in the
reduced amount of P10 million in the body of the complaint but not in the prayer thereof. The design
to avoid payment of the required docket fee is obvious.

From now on, all complaints, petitions, answers and other similar pleadings should specify the
amount of damages being prayed for not only in the body of the pleading but also in the prayer, and
said damages shall be considered in assessing the filing fees in any case. Any pleading that fails to
comply with this requirement shall not be accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise be expunged from
the record.

The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon paying the prescribed docket fee. An
amendment of the complaint or similar pleading will not thereby vest jurisdiction in the Court, much
less paying the docket fee based on the amounts sought in the amended pleading.

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Do-All Metals vs Security Bank


Facts
The Sps. Lim (Lims) took out a loan from Security Bank secured by a building and the lot on which it
stands. Later, the Bank offered to lease the property to the Lims through Do-All Metals. Do-All
Metals and the Bank executed a giving the Bank the right to pre-terminate the lease and DMI the right
of first refusal.

Afterwards, the Bank decided to pre-terminate the lease and Do-All Metals exercised its right of first
refusal. While negotiations were ongoing, the Bank posted security guards at the building preventing
the Lims from using the same and retrieving the movable items left inside the building. The Lims then
filed suit.

During the case, the RTC directed the Bank to allow Do-All Metals and the Lims to enter the building
and get the things they left there. The latter claimed, however, that on entering the building, they were
unable to find the movable properties they left there. In a supplemental complaint, Do-All Metals and
the Lims alleged that the Bank surreptitiously took such properties, resulting in additional actual
damages to them of over P27 million.

The Bank moved for reconsideration of the decision, questioning among other things the RTC’s
authority to grant damages considering plaintiffs’ failure to pay the filing fees on their supplemental
complaint.

Issue
Whether or not the RTC acquired jurisdiction to hear and adjudicate plaintiff’s supplemental
complaint against the Bank considering their failure to pay the filing fees on the amounts of damages
they claim in it.

Held
The Supplemental Complaint is deemed not filed.

What the Lims’ failed to pay was merely the filing fees for their Supplemental Complaint. The RTC
acquired jurisdiction over Lims’ action from the moment they filed their original complaint
accompanied by the payment of the filing fees due on the same. The Lims’ non-payment of the
additional filing fees due on their additional claims didn’t divest the RTC of the jurisdiction it already
had over the case.

Next, an after-judgment lien, which implies that payment depends on a successful execution of the
judgment, applies to cases where the filing fees were incorrectly assessed or paid or where the court
has discretion to fix the amount of the award. None of these circumstances obtain in this case. Here,
the supplemental complaint specified from the beginning the actual damages that the Lims’ sought
against the Bank.

A supplemental complaint is like any complaint and the rule is that the filing fees due on a complaint
need to be paid upon its filing. The rules don’t require the court to make special assessments in cases
of supplemental complaints.

Lastly, it isn’t for a party to the case or even for the trial court to waive the payment of the additional
filing fees due on the supplemental complaint. Only the Supreme Court can grant exemptions to the
payment of the fees due the courts and these exemptions are embodied in its rules.

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Benguet Electric vs CA
Facts
Jose Bernardo managed a stall at the Baguio City meat market. Jose together with other meat vendors
went out of their stalls to meet a jeepney loaded with slaughtered pigs. Jose was the very first to reach
the parked jeepney. Upon entering the jeepney, Jose suddenly stiffened and trembled as though
suffering from an epileptic seizure. The other vendors discovered that the antenna of the jeepney
bearing the pigs had gotten entangled with an open electric wire at the top of the roof of a meat
stall. Jose was brought to the hospital but he died shortly after, Cause of death was death by
electrocution.

Jose’s family then filed suit against BENECO and the jeepney owner before the RTC. The RTC ruled
in favor of Jose’s family and awarded damages.

Issue
Whether or not exemplary damages should be awarded despite the fact the amount claimed wasn’t
specified in the either the body or prayer of the complaint.

Held
Exemplary damages should be awarded.

The amount of exemplary damages need not be pleaded in the complaint because the same can’t be
predetermined. One can merely ask that the court fix it as the evidence may warrant and be awarded
at its own discretion. In fact, the amount of exemplary damages need not be proved because its
determination is contingent upon or incidental to the amount of compensatory damages that may be
awarded to the claimant.

Moreover, this Court in a number of occasions ruled that the amount of docket fees to be paid should
be computed on the basis of the amount of the damages stated in the complaint. Where subsequently
however the judgment awarded a claim not specified in the pleading, or if specified, the same was left
for the determination of the court, an additional filing fee therefor may be assessed and considered to
constitute a lien on the judgment.

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CSC vs CA
Facts
Respondents Guevarra and Cezar were President and Vice President for Administration, respectively,
of PUP. Later, petitioner Cueva, then PUP Chief Legal Counsel, filed an administrative case against
Guevarra and Cezar before the CSC. Cueva charged Guevarra with falsification of a public document,
specifically the Application for Bond of Accountable Officials and Employees of the Republic of the
Philippines, in which the latter denied the existence of his pending criminal and administrative cases.

In the Application for Bond of Accountable Officials and Employees of the Republic of the
Philippines, Guevarra answered that he didn’t have any criminal or administrative record despite the
fact that, at that time, both Guevarra and Cezar admittedly had pending cases before the
Sandiganbayan. Cezar, knowing fully well that both he and Guevarra had existing cases before the
Sandiganbayan, endorsed and recommended the approval of the application.

The respondents argue the CSC has no jurisdiction over the case because a public officer, not a
private individual, filed the administrative complaint.

Issue
Whether or not the CSC has jurisdiction over administrative cases filed directly with it against
officials of a chartered state university.

Held
The CSC has jurisdiction.

The CSC, as the central personnel agency of the government, has the power to appoint and discipline
its officials and employees and to hear and decide administrative cases instituted by or brought before
it directly or on appeal. PUP is a chartered state university, thereby making it a government-owned or
controlled corporation with an original charter whose employees are part of the Civil Service.

A literal interpretation of E.O. 292 would mean that only private citizens can file a complaint directly
with the CSC. For administrative cases instituted by government employees against their fellow
public servants, the CSC would only have appellate jurisdiction over those. Such a plain reading of
the subject provision of E.O. 202 would effectively divest CSC of its original jurisdiction, albeit
shared, provided by law. There is no cogent reason to differentiate between a complaint filed by a
private citizen and one filed by a member of the civil service

It can’t be overemphasized that the identity of the complainant is immaterial to the acquisition of
jurisdiction over an administrative case by the CSC. The law is quite clear that the CSC may hear and
decide administrative disciplinary cases brought directly before it or it may deputize any department
or agency to conduct an investigation.

Next, the Board of Regents shares its authority to discipline erring school officials and employees
with the CSC. In other words, their is original concurrent jurisdiction between the Board of Regents
and the CSC.

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Melana vs Tappa
Facts
Melana filed suit before the RTC for declaratory relief and quieting of title against Tappa. However,
before Tappa could file his answer, the RTC motu proprio dismissed the complaint on the ground of
lack of jurisdiction. The RTC referred to Republic Act No. 7691, amending Batas Pambansa Blg. 129,
otherwise known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, which vests the RTC with jurisdiction
over real actions, where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds P20,000.00. It found that
the subject property had a value of less than P20,000.00; hence, Melana’s action to recover the same
was outside the RTC’s jurisdiction.

Issue
Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction over a case involving an action for declaratory relief and
quiet title where the real property involved is valued at less than P20 thousand.

Held
RTC has no jurisdiction.

The mandatory provision of the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, as amended, uses the word
“shall” and explicitly requires the MTC to exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all civil actions
which involve title to or possession of real property where the assessed value does not exceed
P20,000.00.

As found by the RTC, the assessed value of the subject property is only P410.00; therefore, Melana’s
Complaint involving title to and possession of the said property is within the exclusive original
jurisdiction of the MTC, not the RTC.

Further, since Melana averred in the Complaint that they had already been deprived of the possession
of their property, the proper remedy for them is the filing of an accion publiciana or an accion
reivindicatoria, not a case for declaratory relief. Jurisdiction over such an action would depend on the
value of the property involved. Given that the subject property herein is valued only at P410.00, then
the MTC, not the RTC, has jurisdiction over an action to recover the same.

As for the RTC dismissing the complaint motu proprio, it is axiomatic that the nature of an action and
the jurisdiction of a tribunal are determined by the material allegations of the complaint and the law at
the time the action was commenced. Jurisdiction of the tribunal over the subject matter or nature of an
action is conferred only by law and not by the consent or waiver upon a court which, otherwise,
would have no jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of an action. Lack of jurisdiction of the
court over an action or the subject matter of an action cannot be cured by the silence, acquiescence, or
even by express consent of the parties. If the court has no jurisdiction over the nature of an action, it
may dismiss the same ex mero motu or motu proprio.

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Herald Dacasin vs Sharon Dacasin


Facts
Herald, American, and Sharon, Filipino, were married in Manila and they have one daughter,
Stephanie. Later, Sharon sought and obtained from the Circuit Court, 19th Judicial Circuit, Lake
County, Illinois (Illinois court) a divorce decree against petitioner. In its ruling, the Illinois court
dissolved the marriage of petitioner and respondent, awarded to respondent sole custody of Stephanie
and retained jurisdiction over the case for enforcement purposes.

Afterwards, both parties executed in Manila a contract for Stephanie’s joint custody. The parties
chose Philippine courts as exclusive forum to adjudicate disputes arising from the Agreement. Sharon
undertook to obtain from the Illinois court an order “relinquishing” jurisdiction to Philippine courts.

Later, Herald sued Sharon in the RTC of Makati City to enforce the Agreement. Herald alleged that in
violation of the Agreement, Sharon exercised sole custody over Stephanie. Sharon sought the
complaint’s dismissal for, among others, lack of jurisdiction because of the Illinois court’s retention
of jurisdiction to enforce the divorce decree.

Issue
Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction to take cognizance of Herald’s suit and enforce the
Agreement on the joint custody of the parties’ child.

Held
The RTC has jurisdiction to entertain Herald’s suit but not to enforce the Agreement that is void.

Law confers subject matter jurisdiction. At the time Herald filed his suit in the RTC, statutory law
vests on RTC’s exclusive original jurisdiction over civil actions incapable of pecuniary estimation. An
action for specific performance, such as Herald’s suit to enforce the Agreement on joint child custody,
belongs to this species of actions. Thus, jurisdiction-wise, Herald went to the right court.

Indeed, the RTC’s refusal to entertain Herald’s suit was grounded not on its lack of power to do so but
on its thinking that the Illinois court’s divorce decree stripped it of jurisdiction. This conclusion is
unfounded. What the Illinois court retained was “jurisdiction x x x for the purpose of enforcing all and
sundry the various provisions of [its] Judgment for Dissolution.” Herald’s suit seeks the enforcement
not of the “various provisions” of the divorce decree but of the post-divorce Agreement on joint child
custody. Thus, the action lies beyond the zone of the Illinois court’s so-called “retained jurisdiction.”

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FEBTC vs Shemberg
Facts
Shemberg entered into several credit transactions with FEBTC secured by several real estate
mortgages. The mortgage contract provided for an acceleration clause upon failure to pay the loan
when due. Later, Shemberg failed to pay the loans upon maturity causing FEBTC to foreclose the
mortgage.

Shemberg then filed suit.

Issue
Whether or not an action for cancellation of mortgage is capable of pecuniary estimation.

Held
Incapable of pecuniary estimation

A court acquires jurisdiction over a case only upon the payment of the prescribed fees. Under Batas
Pambansa Blg. 180, Regional Trial Courts have sole, exclusive, and original jurisdiction to hear, try,
and decide “all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary
estimation.”

The test for determining whether the subject matter of an action is incapable of pecuniary estimation,
thus: Ascertain the nature of the principal action or remedy sought. If the action is primarily for
recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation. Whether the
trial court has jurisdiction would depend upon the amount of the claim. However, where the basic
issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money, where the money claim is only
incidental or a consequence of the principal relief sought, the action is incapable of pecuniary
estimation.

Here, the primary reliefs prayed for are the cancellation of the real estate and chattel mortgages for
want of consideration. Where the issue involves the validity of a mortgage, the action is one incapable
of pecuniary estimation.

Since respondents paid the docket fees, as computed by the clerk of court, consequently, the trial
court acquired jurisdiction over the case.

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Virginia Gochan vs Mercedes Gochan


Facts
Respondents were stockholders of the Felix Gochan and Sons Realty Corporation and the Mactan
Realty Development Corporation. Respondents offered to sell their shares in the two corporations to
the individual petitioners in consideration of the sum of P200 million. Petitioners accepted and paid
the said amount to respondents. Afterwards, respondents required individual petitioners to execute a
promissory note, undertaking not to divulge the actual consideration they paid for the shares of stock.
For this purpose, a document entitled "promissory noted" was drafted but unknown to petitioners, it
contained a phrase that says, "Said amount is in partial consideration of the sale."

Later, respondents then filed suit against petitioners for specific performance and damages with the
RTC Cebu. Respondents alleged that in accordance with the Provisional Memorandum of Agreement,
which enumerated the consideration for the sale, respondents are additionally entitled to the
conveyance of certain properties. In court, respondents maintain that they paid the correct docket fees
in the amount of P165 thousand when they filed the complaint with the RTC. Petitioners, on the other
hand, contend that the complaint is in the nature of a real action that affects title to real properties;
hence, respondents should have alleged therein the value of the real properties that shall be the basis
for assessing the correct docket fees.

Issue
Whether or not Respondents paid the correct docket fees.

Held
Respondents didn’t pay the correct docket fees.

The rule is well-settled that the court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon paying the
prescribed docket fees. It isn’t 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.

In this jurisdiction, the dictum adhered to is that the nature of an action is determined by the
allegations in the body of the pleading or complaint itself, rather than by its title or heading. The
caption of the complaint below was denominated as one for "specific performance and damages." The
relief sought, however, is the conveyance or transfer of real property, or ultimately, the execution of
deeds of conveyance in their favor of the real properties enumerated in the provisional memorandum
of agreement. Under these circumstances, the case below was actually a real action, affecting as it
does title to or possession of real property. It has also been held that where a complaint is entitled as
one for specific performance but nonetheless prays for the issuance of a deed of sale for a parcel of
land, its primary objective and nature is one to recover the parcel of land itself and, thus, is deemed a
real action. In such a case, the action must be filed in the proper court where the property is located:

In the case at bar, therefore, the complaint filed with the trial court was in the nature of a real action,
although ostensibly denominated as one for specific performance. Consequently, the basis for
determining the correct docket fees shall be the assessed value of the property, or the estimated value
thereof as alleged by the claimant.

In case 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 period. However, the liberal interpretation of the rules relating to the payment of docket
fees can’t apply to the instant case, as respondents have never demonstrated any willingness to abide
by the rules and to pay the correct docket fees. Instead, respondents have stubbornly insisted that the
case they filed was one for specific performance and damages and they actually paid the correct
docket fees therefor at the time of the filing of the complaint.

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De Leon vs CA
Facts
Respondents filed in the RTC Quezon City a complaint for annulment or rescission of a contract of
sale of two (2) parcels of land against De Leon. Upon filing the complaint, the respondents paid the
docket and legal fees in the total amount of P610.00

Later, De Leon moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the RTC didn’t acquire jurisdiction
over the case because respondents' didn’t pay the correct amount of docket fees. Petitioners contended
that respondents should’ve paid docket fees in the amount of P21,640.00, based on the alleged value
of the two (2) parcels of land subject matter of the contract of sale sought to be annulled.

Issue
Whether or not in assessing the docket fees to be paid for the filing of an action for annulment or
rescission of a contract of sale, the value of the real property, subject matter of the contract, should be
used as basis, or whether the action should be considered as one which is not capable of pecuniary
estimation.

Held
One incapable of pecuniary estimation.

In determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary
estimation, this Court has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the principal action
or remedy sought. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered
capable of pecuniary estimation, and whether jurisdiction is in the municipal courts or in the courts of
first instance would depend on the amount of the claim. However, where the basic issue is something
other than the right to recover a sum of money, or where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a
consequence of, the principal relief sought, such actions are cases where the subject of the litigation
may not be estimated in terms of money, and are cognizable exclusively by courts of first instance.

Actions for specific performance of contracts have been expressly pronounced to be exclusively
cognizable by courts of first instance. And no cogent reason appears why an action for rescission (or
resolution) should be differently treated, a "rescission" being counterpart, so to speak, of "specific
performance".

An action for rescission of contract is one that cannot be estimated and although eventually the result
may be the recovery of land, it is the nature of the action as one for rescission of contract which is
controlling.

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Sta. Clara Homeowners Associations vs Gaston


Facts
The Sps. Gaston filed suit against Santa Clara Homeowners Association (SCHA for brevity) thru its
Board of Directors.

The Sps. Gaston were residents of Sta. Clara Subdivision, Bacolod City. At the time they purchased
the lots, there was no requirement of membership in any homeowners’ association. From that time on,
they have remained non-members of SCHA. An arrangement was made wherein homeowners who
were non-members of the association were issued ‘non-member’ gatepass stickers for their vehicles
for identification by the security guards manning the subdivision’s entrances and exits. This
arrangement remained undisturbed until sometime afterwards when SCHA disseminated a board
resolution that decreed that only its members in good standing were to be issued stickers for use in
their vehicles. Thereafter, the Sps. Gaston were prevented from entering the subdivision without
showing their driver’s licenses first.

Issue
Whether or not there is a sufficient cause of action despite there being no allegation that the Sps.
Gaston were actually prevented from accessing their residence.

Held
There’s a sufficient cause of action.

A defendant moving to dismiss a complaint on the ground of lack of cause of action is regarded as
having hypothetically admitted all the factual averments in the complaint. The test of the sufficiency
of the allegations constituting the cause of action is whether, admitting the facts alleged, the court
could render a valid judgment on the prayers. This test implies that the issue must be passed upon on
the basis of the bare allegations in the complaint. The court does not inquire into the truth of such
allegations and declare them to be false. To do so would constitute a procedural error and a denial of
the plaintiff’s right to due process.

A complaint states a cause of action when it contains these three essential elements:
1. The legal right of the plaintiff
2. The correlative obligation of the defendant
3. The act or omission of the defendant in violation of the said legal right.

Here, the records sufficiently establish a cause of action. First, the Complaint alleged that, under the
Constitution, respondents had a right of free access to and from their residential abode. Second, under
the law, petitioners have the obligation to respect this right. Third, petitioners impaired such right
when private respondents were refused access through the Sta. Clara Subdivision, unless they showed
their driver’s license for identification.

Given these hypothetically admitted facts, the RTC, in the exercise of its original and exclusive
jurisdiction, could have rendered judgment over the dispute.

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13 Civil Procedure for Atty. Tranquil by Jason Arteche

Cipriano Centeno vs Ignacio Centeno


Facts
Ignacio owns of two (2) parcels of riceland that were the subject of an earlier case filed by Ignacio
against Cipriano before the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), for cancellation of certificates of
land transfer. In said case, it was established that Cipriano, through fraud and misrepresentation,
obtained CLTs in their names. The Secretary, of Agrarian Reform issued an order directing the recall
and cancellation of Cipriano's CLTs

Ignacio then filed suit with the Department of Agrarian Reform and Adjudication Board (DARAB),
alleging that, despite the decision of the DAR recognizing her ownership, Cipriano have interfered
with and prevented her from exercising acts of possession over the landholdings earlier adjudicated to
her.

Issue
Whether or not the complaint alleges a cause of action.

Held
Alleges a cause of action.

A cause of action is an act or omission of one party in violation of the legal right or rights of another.
The elements of a cause of action are:
1. A right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is
created;
2. An obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate such right; and
3. An act or omission on the part of such defendant in violation of the right of the plaintiff or
constituting a breach of the obligations of the defendant to the plaintiff for which the latter
may maintain an action for recovery of damages.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION


8. Defendants are persistently interfering in and preventing plaintiff's possession and cultivation of farmlot no. 122, and continue to commit
acts tending to eject, oust and remove the plaintiff therefrom, to her great damage and injury;
9. Similarly, defendants are harassing, molesting and disturbing plaintiff's peaceful possession of Home Lot No. 111;
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
10. Without the knowledge and consent of herein plaintiffs, defendants constructed two (2) houses on two portions of Home Lot No. 111,
one house belonging to defendant Cipriano Centeno, and the other to defendant Leonila Centeno Calonzo, but occupied by defendant
Ramona Adriano;
11. The construction of said houses is patently illegal and deprives plaintiff of the possession and enjoyment thereof, to her great damage
and injury.

Here, the allegations in the complaint regarding Cipriano's actions with regard to the subject land, if
true, violate Ignacio’s rights as adjudicated by the DARAB; hence, these constitute causes of action
which entitle the respondent to the relief sought.

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14 Civil Procedure for Atty. Tranquil by Jason Arteche

City Trust Corporation vs Villanueva


Facts
Villanueva opened a savings account and a current account with Citytrust Banking Corporation
(hereafter the BANK). Later, Villanueva deposited money in his savings account with the BANK and
requested a new checkbook at the same time. He filled up a checkbook requisition slip with the
obligatory particulars, except for his current account number that he could not remember. The
customer service representative of the BANK assured him that she could supply the information from
the BANK’s account records. The representative examined the checkbook register and saw the name
"Isagani Villanueva -- Account No. 33-00446-3.” She copied the aforesaid account number on the
space intended for it in Villanueva requisition slip.

Villanueva then received from the BANK his requested checkbook. He later issued a check payable to
the order of Kingly Commodities Traders and Multi Resources, Inc. However, the check was
dishonoured despite Villaneuva having deposited sufficient funds in his account. It turns out the
account number assigned to his new checkbook was the account number of another depositor also
named "Isagani Villanueva" but with a different middle initial. Villanueva then filed suit for lost
profits and moral damages.

Issue
Whether or not Villanueva is entitled to moral damages.

Held
Not entitled to moral damages.

Moral damages include physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury. Although incapable
of pecuniary computation, moral damages may be recovered if they are the proximate result of the
defendant’s wrongful act or omission. Thus, case law establishes the requisites for the award of moral
damages namely
1. There must be an injury, whether physical, mental or psychological, clearly sustained by the
claimant;
2. There must be a culpable act or omission factually established;
3. The wrongful act or omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the injury sustained
by the claimant; and
4. The award of damages is predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219 of the Civil
Code.

Here, Villanueva had sufficient funds for the check. Had his account number been correct, the check
would not have been dishonored. Hence, Villanueva’s injury arose from the dishonor of his well-
funded check. Under the circumstances of this case, Villanueva might have suffered some form of
inconvenience and discomfort as a result of the dishonor of his check. However, the same could not
have been so grave or intolerable as he attempts to portray or impress upon us.

Further, the BANK was able to remedy the caveat of Kingly Commodities by issuing a manager’s
check in favor of Kingly Commodities before the deadline. It was able to likewise explain to Kingly
Commodities the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate situation. Verily, the alleged
embarrassment or inconvenience caused to Villanueva as a result of the incident was timely and
adequately contained, corrected, mitigated, if not entirely eradicated. Villanueva, thus, failed to
support his claim for moral damages. In short, none of the circumstances mentioned in Article 2219 of
the Civil Code exists to sanction the award for moral damages.

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Macaslang vs Zamora
Facts
Zamora filed a complaint for unlawful detainer in the MTCC, alleging that Macaslang sold to Zamora
a residential land and that Macaslang requested to be allowed to live in the house with a promise to
vacate as soon as she would be able to find a new residence. They further alleged that despite their
demand after a year, Macaslang failed or refused to vacate the premises.

Despite the due service of the summons and copy of the complaint, Macaslang did not file her answer.
The MTCC declared her in default upon Zamora’s motion and rendered judgment against Macaslang.

Issue
Whether or not there is a sufficient cause of action.

Held
There’s a sufficient cause of action.

In resolving whether the complaint states a cause of action or not, only the facts alleged in the
complaint are considered. The test is whether the court can render a valid judgment on the complaint
based on the facts alleged and the prayer asked for. Only ultimate facts, not legal conclusions or
evidentiary facts, are considered for purposes of applying the test.

Based on the complaint’s allegations, the complaint sufficiently stated a cause of action for unlawful
detainer. Firstly, it averred that Macaslang possessed the property by mere tolerance of Zamora.
Secondly, Zamora demanded that Macaslang vacate the property, thereby rendering her possession
illegal. Thirdly, she remained in possession of the property despite the demand to vacate. And,
fourthly, Zamora instituted the complaint within a year after the demand to vacate was made.

But the real issue here isn’t the failure to state a cause of action, but the lack of a cause of action.
Failure to state a cause of action and lack of cause of action are different from each other. On the one
hand, failure to state a cause of action refers to the insufficiency of the pleading, and is a ground for
dismissal. On the other hand, lack of cause action refers to a situation where the evidence does not
prove the cause of action alleged in the pleading.

A complaint states a cause of action if it avers the existence of the three essential elements of a cause
of action, namely:
1. The legal right of the plaintiff;
2. The correlative obligation of the defendant; and
3. The act or omission of the defendant in violation of said legal right.

If the allegations of the complaint do not aver the concurrence of these elements, the complaint
becomes vulnerable to a motion to dismiss on the ground of failure to state a cause of action.
Evidently, it is not the lack or absence of a cause of action that is a ground for the dismissal of the
complaint but the fact that the complaint states no cause of action. Failure to state a cause of action
may be raised at the earliest stages of an action through a motion to dismiss, but lack of cause of
action may be raised at any time after the questions of fact have been resolved on the basis of the
stipulations, admissions, or evidence presented.

The case was dismissed due to lack of cause of action because Macaslang was able to prove
ownership over the disputed property. Hence, insufficient evidence.

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Korea Exchange Bank vs Filkor Business Integrated, Inc.


Facts
Filkor borrowed US$140,000 from Korea Exchange Bank. Of this amount, Filkor paid only
US$40,000. In addition, Filkor executed nine trust receipts in petitioner’s favour but failed to turn
over to petitioner the proceeds from the sale, or the goods themselves in case of non-sale. Filkor also
negotiated to petitioner the proceeds of seventeen letters of credit but were dishonored upon
presentment.

Prior to all the foregoing, as security, Filkor executed a Real Estate Mortgage. Respondents Kim Eung
Joe and Lee Han Sang also executed Continuing Suretyships binding themselves jointly and severally
with respondent Filkor to pay for the latter’s obligations to petitioner.

As respondents failed to make good on their obligations, petitioner filed suit to collect the amounts
due and have the properties foreclosed in case of failure to execute judgment.

Issue
Whether or not petitioner’s action is one for foreclosure of a real estate mortgage, or a collection suit.

Held
Foreclosure.

Petitioner’s allegations in its complaint, and its prayer that the mortgaged property be foreclosed and
sold at public auction indicate that petitioner’s action was one for foreclosure of real estate mortgage.
What determines the nature of an action, as well as which court or body has jurisdiction over it, are
the allegations of the complaint and the character of the relief sought.

In addition, petitioner had not waived its rights under the real estate mortgage executed in its favor.

On the propriety of the present appeal, what petitioner impugns is the determination by the trial court
of the nature of action filed by petitioner, based on the allegations in the complaint. Such a
determination as to the correctness of the conclusions drawn from the pleadings undoubtedly involves
a question of law. As the present appeal involves a question of law, petitioner appropriately filed it
with this Court.1

1
Petitioner went straight from RTC to SC

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17 Civil Procedure for Atty. Tranquil by Jason Arteche

Relucio vs Mejia Lopez


Facts
Mejia filed a petition for "APPOINTMENT AS SOLE ADMINISTRATIX OF CONJUGAL
PARTNERSHIP OF PROPERTIES, FORFEITURE, ETC.," against Relucio in the RTC. In the
petition, Mejia alleged that she is married to Lopez, and the latter abandoned her and their 4
legitimate children. Lopez later cohabited with Relucio.

Further, Lopez took exclusive control and administration of the conjugal properties, using the same
for the benefit solely of himself and Relucio. Lopez also placed substantial portions of these conjugal
properties in Relucio’s name in order to place them out of Mejia’s reach.

Relucio filed a motion to dismiss alleging Mejia has no cause of action against her.

Issue
Whether or not Relucio is an indispensable party.

Held
Not an indispensable party.

A real party in interest is one who stands "to be benefited or injured by the judgment of the suit. In
this case, petitioner would not be affected by any judgment in the special proceeding. If petitioner
isn’t a real party in interest, she can’t be an indispensable party. An indispensable party is one without
whom there can be no final determination of an action. Petitioner's participation in the special
proceeding is not indispensable.

Certainly, the RTC can issue a judgment ordering Lopez to make an accounting of his conjugal
partnership, give support, dissolve the conjugal partnership, and forfeit Lopez’ share in the conjugal
partnership. Such judgment would be perfectly valid and enforceable against Lopez even without
Relucio’s participation.

Nor can Relucio be a necessary party in the special proceeding. A necessary party is one who is not
indispensable but who ought to be joined as party if complete relief is to be accorded those already
parties, or for a complete determination or settlement of the claim subject of the action. In the context
of her petition in the lower court, Mejia would be accorded complete relief even if only Lopez was
made party to the suit.

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18 Civil Procedure for Atty. Tranquil by Jason Arteche

William Uy and Rodel Roxas vs CA


Facts
Petitioners William Uy and Rodel Roxas are agents authorized to sell eight parcels of land by the
owners thereof. By virtue of such authority, petitioners offered to sell the lands to respondent National
Housing Authority (NHA) to be utilized and developed as a housing project.

The NHA bought the lands but of the eight parcels of land, however, only five were paid for by the
NHA because of the report it received that the remaining area is located at an active landslide area and
therefore, not suitable for development into a housing project. The NHA cancelled the sale over the
three parcels of land.

Petitioners then filed suit.

Issue
Whether or not Petitioners are real parties-in-interest?

Held
Not real parties-in-interest.

Every action must be prosecuted and defended in the name of the real party-in-interest. The real
party-in-interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment or the party
entitled to the avails of the suit. Interest, within the meaning of the rule, means material interest, an
interest in the issue and to be affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the
question involved, or a mere incidental interest. Simply put, an action shall be prosecuted in the name
of the party who, by the substantive law, has the right sought to be enforced.

Petitioners are not parties to the contract of sale between their principals and NHA. They are mere
agents of the owners of the land subject of the sale. The rendering of such service did not make them
parties to the contracts of sale executed in behalf of the latter. Since a contract may be violated only
by the parties thereto as against each other, the real parties-in-interest, either as plaintiff or defendant,
in an action upon that contract must, generally, either be parties to said contract.

Further, petitioners have not shown that they are assignees of their principals to the subject contracts.
While they alleged that they made advances and that they suffered loss of commissions, they have not
established any agreement granting them "the right to receive payment and out of the proceeds to
reimburse [themselves] for advances and commissions before turning the balance over to the
principal[s].”

Finally, it does not appear that petitioners are beneficiaries of a stipulation pour autrui. Indeed, there
is no stipulation in any of the Deeds of Absolute Sale "clearly and deliberately" conferring a favor to
any third person.

As petitioners are not parties, heirs, assignees, or beneficiaries of a stipulation pour autrui under the
contracts of sale, they do not, under substantive law, possess the right they seek to enforce. Therefore,
they are not the real parties-in-interest in this case. Petitioners not being the real parties-in-interest,
any decision rendered herein would be pointless since the same would not bind the real parties-in-
interest.

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19 Civil Procedure for Atty. Tranquil by Jason Arteche

Clara Espiritu Borlongan vs Consuelo Madrideo


Facts
Ma. Dalisay Tongko-Camacho is the owner of a parcel of land. On it two (2) houses stand: one built
by petitioner and another built by private respondent. It was Consolacion Sempio, sister of Dominga
Sempio, who originally leased the lot from Camacho. Private respondent was a ward of Consolacion
and paid rentals therefor to Camacho.

Later, private respondent filed a Complaint for unlawful detainer against petitioners in the
Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila. She averred "that without any monetary consideration and out of
pure liberality, [she] allowed [petitioners] to continue occupying the portion of the aforesaid parcel of
land . . . subject to the condition that upon demand, [they] will vacate and peacefully surrender the
possession thereof to [her]" but that they failed to do so upon her verbal demand sometime in
December 1992 and even after her letter directing them to vacate the subject lot.

Issue
Whether or not respondents are real party-in-interest.

Held
Not real party-in-interest.

One who has no right or interest to protect cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court as party-plaintiff
in action for it is jurisprudentially ordained that every action must be prosecuted or defended in the
name of the real party in interest. A "real party in interest" is one who stands to be benefited or injured
by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit.

Here, private respondent is not a real party in interest inasmuch as she failed to establish her claim of
being the sole lessee of the disputed property or the sublessor of petitioners. Thus, dismissal of the
case for lack of cause of action was properly ordered by the Metropolitan Trial Court, as affirmed by
the Regional Trial Court on appeal.

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20 Civil Procedure for Atty. Tranquil by Jason Arteche

International Express Travel vs CA


Facts
International Express Travel wrote a letter to the Philippine Football Federation (Federation), through
its President Kahn, wherein the former offered its services as a travel agency to the latter. The offer
was accepted.

Petitioner secured the airline tickets for the trips of the athletes and officials of the Federation to
various countries. Petitioner demanded payment for the tickets but respondent failed to pay, causing
petitioner to file suit.

Issue
Whether or not the Federation is a juridical person.

Held
Not a juridicial person.

The law recognizes the juridical existence of national sports association and allows these entities to
acquire a juridical personality. However, while national sports associations may be accorded
corporate status, such does not automatically take place by the mere passage of these laws.

Nowhere can it be found in R.A. 3135 or P.D. 604 any provision creating the Philippine Football
Federation. The law requires that before an entity may be considered as a national sports association,
such entity must be recognized by the accrediting organization, the Philippine Amateur Athletic
Federation under R.A. 3135, and the Department of Youth and Sports Development under P.D. 604.

Thus being said, it follows that Kahn should be held liable for the unpaid obligations of the
unincorporated Philippine Football Federation. It is a settled principal in corporation law that any
person acting or purporting to act on behalf of a corporation that has no valid existence assumes such
privileges and becomes personally liable for contract entered into or for other acts performed as such
agent. As president of the Federation, Henri Kahn is presumed to have known about the corporate
existence or non-existence of the Federation.

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21 Civil Procedure for Atty. Tranquil by Jason Arteche

Auction in Malinta Inc. vs Warren Embes Luyaben


Facts
Respondent, a resident of Magsaysay, Tabuk, Kalinga, filed with the Kalinga RTC a complaint for
damages against petitioner Auction in Malinta, Inc., a corporation with business address at Malinta,
Valenzuela City, and engaged in public auction of heavy equipment, trucks, and assorted machineries.
Respondent alleged that in an auction conducted by petitioner, he was declared the highest bidder for
a wheel loader. Respondent tendered the payment for the said item but petitioner could no longer
produce the loader. It offered a replacement but failed to deliver the same up to the filing of the
complaint. Hence, respondent instituted this case to recover actual, moral, and exemplary damages
plus attorney’s fees.

Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of improper venue. It argued that the correct venue
is the RTC of Valenzuela City pursuant to the stipulation in the Bidders Application and Registration
Bidding Agreement which states that:

ALL COURT LITIGATION PROCEDURES SHALL BE CONDUCTED IN THE APPROPRIATE


COURTS OF VALENZUELA CITY, METRO MANILA.

Issue
Whether or not Kalinga is a proper venue.

Held
Proper venue.

The general rule on the venue of personal actions is embodied in Section 2, Rule 4 of the Rules of
Court. The aforequoted rule, however, finds no application where the parties, before the filing of the
action, have validly agreed in writing on an exclusive venue. But the mere stipulation on the venue of
an action is not enough to preclude parties from bringing a case in other venues. It must be shown
that such stipulation is exclusive. In the absence of qualifying or restrictive words, such as
“exclusively” and “waiving for this purpose any other venue,” “shall only” preceding the designation
of venue, “to the exclusion of the other courts,” or words of similar import, the stipulation should be
deemed as merely an agreement on an additional forum, not as limiting venue to the specified place.

In the instant case, the stipulation in the parties’ agreement, i.e., “all Court litigation procedures shall
be conducted in the appropriate Courts of Valenzuela City, Metro Manila,” evidently lacks the
restrictive and qualifying words that will limit venue exclusively to the RTC of Valenzuela City.
Hence, the Valenzuela courts should only be considered as an additional choice of venue to those
mentioned under Section 2, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court.

Accordingly, the present case for damages may be filed with the:
1. RTC of Valenzuela City as stipulated in the bidding agreement;
2. RTC of Bulanao, Tabuk, Kalinga which has jurisdiction over the residence of respondent
(plaintiff); or with the
3. RTC of Valenzuela City that has jurisdiction over the business address of petitioner
(defendant). The filing of the complaint in the RTC of Bulanao, Tabuk, Kalinga, is therefore
proper, respondent being a resident of Tabuk, Kalinga.

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Gumabon vs Larin
Facts
Petitioners executed in favor of respondent Aquilino Larin a "Deed of Sale With Right of
Repurchase" over a parcel of land located in Pampanga.

Later, petitioners filed a complaint against respondent before the Regional Trial Court ("RTC") of
Quezon City, seeking the return of the certificate of title from Larin who, it was alleged, refused to
hand over the certificate despite the full payment, nearly seven times the original amount, of their
loan. The case was raffled to Branch 82 of RTC Quezon City, presided over by Judge Salvador C.
Ceguera. In due time, Judge Ceguera issued the assailed order, dismissing the complaint on the
ground that, being a real action, the case should have been filed before the RTC of Pampanga, not the
RTC of Quezon City, which could validly take cognizance of the controversy. The order came
unexpectedly, according to petitioners, for not only was it issued motu proprio; it was also made at the
homestretch stage of the proceedings.

Issue
Whether or not an RTC judge can dismiss a case motu proprio for improper venue.

Held
Can’t dismiss motu proprio.

Referring to the place where a civil action must be tried, venue, unlike jurisdiction that is conferred by
law, essentially concerns a rule of procedure which looks primarily at the convenience of the litigants.
A plaintiff impliedly elects venue by choosing the court where he files his complaint. Venue can even
be the subject of agreement by the parties.

Under the new rules, a court may motu proprio dismiss a claim when it appears from the pleadings or
evidence on record that it has no jurisdiction over the subject matter; when there is another cause of
action pending between the same parties for the same cause, or where the action is barred by a prior
judgment or by statute of limitations. Improper venue not being included in the enumeration, it should
follow that motu proprio dismissal on said ground would not be allowed. The Rules of Civil
Procedure further provides that if no motion to dismiss has been filed, any of the grounds for
dismissal provided under the rules, including improper venue, may be pleaded as an affirmative
defense in the answer, and upon the discretion of the court, a preliminary hearing may be made
thereon as if a motion to dismiss has been filed. But, as it is, improper venue not having been so
raised by respondent as a ground to dismiss, he must be deemed to have waived the same.

Jurisdiction, on the other hand, is more substantive than procedural and the matter ordinarily can be
raised at any stage of the trial, even upon appeal.

The wrong venue here being merely a procedural infirmity, not a jurisdictional impediment, does not,
without timely exception, disallow the RTC of Quezon City to take cognizance of, and to proceed
with, the case. In failing to raise his objection to it either in a motion to dismiss or in his answer,
coupled by his having sought relief from the court and favorable judgment on his demurrer to
evidence, respondent has himself evinced an acceptance on the venue of the action.

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Paglaum Management vs Unionbank


Facts
Paglaum owns parcels of land located in Cebu. These lots are co-owned by HealthTech. Later,
Unionbank extended HealthTech a credit line and to secure this obligation, Paglaum executed Real
Estate Mortgages on behalf of HealthTech and in favor of Union Bank. Unfortunately, according to
HealthTech, the 1997 Asian financial crisis adversely affected its business and caused it difficulty in
meeting its obligations with Union Bank. Thus, both parties entered into a Restructuring Agreement,
which states that

any action or proceeding arising out of or in connection therewith shall be commenced in Makati
City, with both parties waiving any other venue.

Despite the Restructuring Agreement, HealthTech failed to pay its obligation, prompting Union Bank
to extra-judicially foreclose the mortgaged properties. Consequently, HealthTech filed a Complaint to
Annul the Sale. The case was filed in Makati City.

Issue
Whether or not Makati City is the proper venue to assail the foreclosure of the real estate mortgage.

Held
Proper venue.

An action to annul a real estate foreclosure mortgage sale is a real action.

According to the Rules, real actions shall be commenced and tried in the court that has jurisdiction
over the area where the property is situated. In this case, all the mortgaged properties are located in
the Province of Cebu. Thus, following the general rule, Paglaum and HealthTech should have filed
their case in Cebu, and not in Makati.

However, the Rules provide an exception, in that real actions can be commenced and tried in a court
other than where the property is situated in instances where the parties have previously and validly
agreed in writing on the exclusive venue thereof. In the case at bar, the parties claim that such an
agreement exists. The only dispute is whether the venue that should be followed is that contained in
the Real Estate Mortgages, as contended by Union Bank, or that in the Restructuring Agreement, as
posited by Paglaum and HealthTech.

This Court rules that the venue stipulation in the Restructuring Agreement should be controlling.

The provisions of the Real Estate Mortgages and the later Restructuring Agreement clearly reveal the
intention of the parties to implement a restrictive venue stipulation, which applies not only to the
principal obligation, but also to the mortgages. The phrase “waiving any other venue” plainly shows
that the choice of Makati City as the venue for actions arising out of or in connection with the
Restructuring Agreement and the Collateral, with the Real Estate Mortgages being explicitly defined
as such, is exclusive.

Even if this Court were to consider the venue stipulations under the Real Estate Mortgages, it must be
underscored that those provisions did not contain words showing exclusivity or restrictiveness. In
fact, in the Real Estate Mortgages, the phrase “parties hereto waiving” – from the entire phrase “the
parties hereto waiving any other venue” – was stricken from the final executed contract.

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Republic vs Sunvar Development2


Facts
Petitioner leased parcels of land to Technology Resource Center Foundation Inc with the right to
sublease. Technology used its right to sublease and leased the lands to Respondent. When the main
lease and sublease contracts were about to expire, Respondent asked to have the lease contract
extended. However, Petitioner refused but Respondent continued occupying the properties. Petitioner
then filed an ejectment suit against Respondent with the MeTC.

Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss before the MeTC but the MeTC denied the motion. Respondent
later on filed its Answer but still filed a certiorari petition before the RTC questioning the denial of
the Motion to Dismiss. The RTC entertained the certiorari petitioner and ordered the MeTC to dismiss
the complaint. Petitioner then filed a petition for review on certiorari.

Issue
Whether or not Respondent’s certiorari petition assailing the denial of the Motion to Dismiss proper.

Held
Improper.

Propriety of the RTC entertaining the certiorari petition of Respondent Propriety

It was erroneous for the RTC to have taken cognizance of the Rule 65 Petition of respondent Sunvar,
since the Rules on Summary Procedure expressly prohibit this relief for unfavorable interlocutory
orders of the MeTC. Consequently, the assailed RTC Decision is annulled.

Under the Rules on Summary Procedure, a certiorari petition under Rule 65 against an interlocutory
order issued by the court in a summary proceeding is a prohibited pleading. The RTC should have
dismissed outright respondent Sunvar’s Rule 65 Petition, considering that it is a prohibited pleading.

The general rule is that no special civil action for certiorari may be filed with a superior court from
cases covered by the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure. The exception is if there are exceptional
circumstances, which however don’t appear here.

2
Take note of 2 exceptions in Bayog and Go case (mentioned in the case) which provide for exceptional
circumstances.

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Gerlie M. Uy vs Judge Erwin B. Javellana


Facts
This administrative case arose from a verified complaint1 for "gross ignorance of the law and
procedures, gross incompetence, neglect of duty, conduct improper and unbecoming of a judge, grave
misconduct and others," filed by Petitioner against Respondent MTC Judge.

First, Judge Javellana was grossly ignorant of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. These being:
1. In a criminal case for Malicious Mischief, Judge Javellana issued a warrant of arrest after the
filing of said case despite Section 16 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure;
2. In another criminal case for Trespass to Dwelling, Judge Javellana did not grant the motion to
dismiss for non-compliance with the Lupon requirement under Sections 18 and 19(a) of the
Revised Rule on Summary Procedure, insisting that said motion was a prohibited pleading;
3. In another criminal case for Malicious Mischief, Judge Javellana did not apply the Revised
Rule on Summary Procedure and, instead, conducted a preliminary examination and
preliminary investigation in accordance with the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, then
set the case for arraignment and pre-trial, despite confirming that therein complainant and her
witnesses had no personal knowledge of the material facts alleged in their affidavits, which
should have been a ground for dismissal of said case.

Issue
Whether or not Respondent is guilty of gross ignorance of the law.

Held
Guilty.

Judge Javellana committed a blatant error in denying the Motion to Dismiss filed by the accused in
the criminal case and in insisting that said Motion was a prohibited pleading, even though the case
was never previously referred to the Lupong Tagapamayapa as required by Sections 18 and 19(a) of
the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure.

The pertinent provisions of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure read:

Sec. 18. Referral to Lupon. — Cases requiring referral to the Lupon for conciliation under the
provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1508 where there is no showing of compliance with such
requirement, shall be dismissed without prejudice, and may be revived only after such requirement
shall have been complied with. This provision shall not apply to criminal cases where the accused
was arrested without a warrant.

Sec. 19. Prohibited pleadings and motions. — The following pleadings, motions, or petitions shall not
be allowed in the cases covered by this Rule:

(a) Motion to dismiss the complaint or to quash the complaint or information except on the ground of
lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, or failure to comply with the preceding section.

There’s no ambiguity in the aforequoted provisions. A case that has not been previously referred to
the Lupong Tagapamayapa shall be dismissed without prejudice. A motion to dismiss on the ground
of failure to comply with the Lupon requirement is an exception to the pleadings prohibited by the
Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. The following facts are undisputed: the criminal case wasn’t
referred to the Lupon, and the accused filed a Motion to Dismiss based on this ground. Judge
Javellana should have allowed and granted the Motion to Dismiss (albeit without prejudice) filed by
the accused in the criminal case.

The Revised Rule on Summary Procedure has been in effect since November 15, 1991. It finds
application in a substantial number of civil and criminal cases pending before Judge Javellana’s court.
Judge Javellana cannot claim to be unfamiliar with the same.
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26 Civil Procedure for Atty. Tranquil by Jason Arteche

Financial Building Corp. vs Forbes Park


Facts
The USSR was the owner of a residential lot located at Forbes Park. Later, the USSR engaged the
services of Financial Building to construct an apartment building at the said lot. Due to the USSR’s
representation that it would be building a residence, Forbes Park authorised its construction.

Despite this, Financial Building submitted to the Makati City Government a second building plan for
the construction of an apartment building. After finding out Financial Building’s true intention,
Forbes Park then enjoined further construction work and suspended all permits of entry for the
personnel and materials of Financial Building in the said construction site.

Financial Building filed in the RTC a Complaint for Injunction and Damages against Forbes Park.
Forbes Park filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of cause of action. The case was
dismissed against Financial Building. Later, Forbes Park filed another civil case for damages against
Financial Building.

Issue
Whether or not Forbes Park is barred from recovering damages because of its failure to set-up the
same as a counter-claim in the 1st civil case.

Held
Barred.

The instant case is barred due to Forbes Park’s failure to set it up as a compulsory counterclaim in the
civil case, the prior injunction suit initiated by Financial Building against Forbes Park.

A compulsory counterclaim is barred if it is not set up in the action filed by the opposing party. Thus,
a compulsory counterclaim cannot be the subject of a separate action but it should instead be asserted
in the same suit involving the same transaction that gave rise to it. To determine whether a
counterclaim is compulsory or not, we have devised the following tests:
1. Are the issues of fact or law raised by the claim and the counterclaim largely the same?
2. Would res judicata bar a subsequent suit on defendant’s claim absent the compulsory
counterclaim rule?
3. Will substantially the same evidence support or refute plaintiff’s claim as well as the
defendant’s counterclaim? and
4. Is there any logical relation between the claim and the counterclaim?

The 1st civil case and this 2nd case arose from the same occurrence – the construction work done by
Financial Building on the USSR’s lot in Forbes Park Village. The issues of fact and law in both cases
are identical. The factual issue is whether the structures erected by Financial Building violate Forbes
Park’s rules and regulations, whereas the legal issue is whether Financial Building, as an independent
contractor working for the USSR, could be enjoined from continuing with the construction and be
held liable for damages if it is found to have violated Forbes Park’s rules.

Second. Since Forbes Park filed a motion to dismiss, its existing compulsory counterclaim at that
time is now barred.

If the dismissal of the main action results in the dismissal of the counterclaim already filed, it stands
to reason that the filing of a motion to dismiss the complaint is an implied waiver of the compulsory
counterclaim because the grant of the motion ultimately results in the dismissal of the counterclaim.
Thus, the filing of a motion to dismiss and the setting up of a compulsory counterclaim are
incompatible remedies. In the event that a defending party has a ground for dismissal and a
compulsory counterclaim at the same time, he must choose only one remedy. If he decides to file a
motion to dismiss, he will lose his compulsory counterclaim. But if he opts to set up his compulsory
counterclaim, he may still plead this ground for dismissal as an affirmative defense in his answer.
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Arenas vs CA
Facts
Respondent Rojas was the co-owner of a two-story building and entered into a verbal contract of lease
with Arenas over one stall located at the ground floor of the building, on a month to month basis.
Arenas used the leased premises as an optical clinic.

Afterwards, Rojas wanted to demolish and reconstruct the building and terminated her lease contract
with Arenas. Respondents sent petitioners a notice of termination and a demand to vacate the
premises. However, petitioners refused to vacate the premises.

Rojas filed an ejectment suit against Arenas in the MTC. Meanwhile, Arenas filed a civil case in the
RTC for damages, certiorari with a writ of preliminary injunction and/or restraining order against
Rojas. The case for damages was based on Art. 19,20,21 of the Civil Code because Rojas:
1. Dumped the construction materials in front of the clinic preventing customers from
entering
2. Cutting of their electricity
3. Fencing the clinic

Issue
Whether or not the causes of action complained of in the RTC are in the nature of compulsory
counterclaims that must be pleaded in the MTC.

Held
Not in the nature of compulsory counterclaims.

A counterclaim is compulsory where:


1. it arises out of, or is necessary connected with, the transaction or occurrence that is
the subject matter of the opposing party’s claim;
2. it does not require the presence of third parties of whom the court cannot acquire
jurisdiction; and
3. The trial court has jurisdiction to entertain the claim.

First. in the RTC case, the damages prayed for arose not from contract but from quasi-delict. They
constitute separate and distinct causes of action. The MTC case involves a complaint for unlawful
detainer and damages. In an unlawful detainer case, the issue is the right to physical possession of the
premises or possession de facto. The basis is a contract of lease.

The acts complained of in the RTC case were not founded on the contract of lease but constitute
violations of the Civil Code provisions on Human Relations 3 . Respondents’ duty to respect
petitioners’ rights is an obligation sourced not from contract but from quasi-delict.

Second. Where the issues of the case extend beyond those commonly involved in unlawful detainer
suits, the case is converted from a mere detainer suit to one ‘incapable of pecuniary estimation’
thereby placing it under the exclusive jurisdiction of the RTC.” Verily, since the MTC could not have
taken cognizance of the claims in the RTC, then such claims could not be considered as compulsory
counterclaims in the MTC.

The fact that the rule on summary procedure governs ejectment cases emphasizes the point that an
action for damages incapable of pecuniary estimation can not be pleaded as counterclaims therein.

Third. The acts complained of were committed after the complaint and the answer were filed.

3
Art. 19,20,21

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Korean Technologies vs Alberto Lerma


Minute Digest

The rules on the payment of docket fees for counterclaims and cross claims were amended effective
August 16, 2004

KOGIES strongly argues that when PGSMC filed the counterclaims, it should have paid docket fees
and filed a certificate of non-forum shopping, and that its failure to do so was a fatal defect.

We disagree with KOGIES.

As aptly ruled by the CA, the counterclaims of PGSMC were incorporated in its Answer with
Compulsory Counterclaim dated July 17, 1998 in accordance with Section 8 of Rule 11, 1997 Revised
Rules of Civil Procedure, the rule that was effective at the time the Answer with Counterclaim was
filed. Sec. 8 on existing counterclaim or cross-claim states, “A compulsory counterclaim or a cross-
claim that a defending party has at the time he files his answer shall be contained therein.”

On July 17, 1998, at the time PGSMC filed its Answer incorporating its counterclaims against
KOGIES, it was not liable to pay filing fees for said counterclaims being compulsory in nature. We
stress, however, that effective August 16, 2004 under Sec. 7, Rule 141, as amended by A.M. No. 04-
2-04-SC, docket fees are now required in compulsory counterclaim or cross-claims.4

As to the failure to submit a certificate of forum shopping, PGSMC’s Answer is not an initiatory
pleading which requires a certification against forum shopping under Sec. 5[24] of Rule 7, 1997
Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. It is a responsive pleading, hence, the courts a quo did not commit
reversible error in denying KOGIES’ motion to dismiss PGSMC’s compulsory counterclaims.

4
An SC minute resolution suspended the rule on paying docket fees for compulsory counterclaims

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General Milling Corp. vs NLRC


Facts
The case originated from a complaint for illegal dismissal filed by private respondent Dativo M.
Cacho against petitioner General Milling Corporation. The Labor Arbiter found private respondent to
have been illegally dismissed by petitioner. On appeal before it, the National labor Relations
Commission affirmed the findings of the Labor Arbiter. Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals
but the petition was denied for the failure of petitioner to attach the board resolution to prove that the
board of directors of Petitioner Corporation duly authorized the person who signed the Certification of
Non-Forum Shopping. In its motion for reconsideration, petitioner explained that the signatory of the
Certification of Non-Forum Shopping was duly authorized to make it. The corresponding board
resolution to establish that fact was attached to its motion for reconsideration before the appellate
court. Its plea for reconsideration having been denied, the instant petition for review was brought up
to this Court.

Issue
Whether or not the failure to attach the Board Resolution showing the signatory to the Certificate of
Non-Forum shopping was authorized is fatal to the case.

Held
Not fatal.

In this instance, petitioner complied with this procedural requirement except that it was not
accompanied by a board resolution or a secretary’s certificate that the person who signed it was duly
authorized by petitioner to represent it in the case. It would appear that the signatory of the
certification was, in fact, duly authorized as so evidenced by a board resolution attached to
petitioner’s motion for reconsideration before the appellate court. It could thus be said that there was
at least substantial compliance with, and that there was no attempt to ignore, the prescribed procedural
requirements.

The rules of procedure are intended to promote, rather than frustrate, the ends of justice, and while the
swift unclogging of court dockets is a laudable objective, it, nevertheless, must not be met at the
expense of substantial justice. Technical and procedural rules are intended to help secure, not
suppress, the cause of justice and a deviation from the rigid enforcement of the rules may be allowed
to attain that prime objective for, after all, the dispensation of justice is the core reason for the
existence of courts.

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30 Civil Procedure for Atty. Tranquil by Jason Arteche

Sps. Hontiveros vs RTC of Iloilo


Facts
The Sps. Hontiveros filed a complaint for damages against private respondents Gregorio Hontiveros
and Teodora Ayson before the Regional Trial Court. In said complaint, petitioners alleged that they
are the owners of a parcel of land pursuant to the decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court in a
land registration case filed by private respondent Gregorio Hontiveros; that petitioners were deprived
of income from the land as a result of the filing of the land registration case; that such income
consisted of rentals from tenants of the land; and that private respondents filed the land registration
case and withheld possession of the land from petitioners in bad faith.

The respondents allege, among others, that the complaint failed to state a cause of action since it did
not allege that earnest efforts towards a compromise had been made, considering that petitioner
Augusto Hontiveros and private respondent Gregorio Hontiveros are brothers.

Issue
Whether or not the absence of a certification as required in the Family Code Art. 151 affects the
court’s jurisdiction over the subject matter of the complaint.

Held
Doesn’t affect.

The absence of the verification required in the Family Code Art. 151 does not affect the jurisdiction of
the court over the subject matter of the complaint. The verification is merely a formal requirement
intended to secure an assurance that matters that are alleged are true and correct. If the court doubted
the veracity of the allegations regarding efforts made to settle the case among members of the same
family, it could simply have ordered petitioners to verify them.

As this Court has already ruled, the court may simply order the correction of unverified pleadings or
act on it and waive strict compliance with the rules in order that the ends of justice may be served.
Otherwise, mere suspicion or doubt on the part of the trial court as to the truth of the allegation that
earnest efforts had been made toward a compromise but the parties' efforts proved unsuccessful is not
a ground for the dismissal of an action. Only if it is later shown that such efforts had not really been
exerted would the court be justified in dismissing the action.

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Five Star Bus Co. vs CA


Facts
Along the MacArthur Highway the car driven by private respondent Samuel King Sagaral II collided
with a passenger bus owned and operated by petitioner Five Star Bus Company and driven by co-
petitioner Ignacio Torres.

Respondent Sagaral filed a civil action for damages against petitioners and the case was assigned the
RTC. When the case was called for hearing the petitioner’s counsel kept on delaying causing the RTC
to issue the assailed order:

“There being no certainty as to what time defendants’ counsel would be in court, and upon
manifestation of plaintiff’s counsel that lawyer should be aware of his time x x x as prayed for, the
defendants’ right to present their evidence is deemed waived and the case is now submitted for
decision”

Undeterred, petitioners sought recourse in the Court of Appeals through a petition for certiorari. But
in the assailed Resolution, the appellate court summarily dismissed their petition on the ground that
the affidavit of non-forum shopping was signed and executed by counsel for petitioners and not by
petitioners themselves, or one of them, as required by Circular No. 28-91 of the Supreme Court.

Issue
Whether or not the Court of Appeals can summarily dismiss a petition on the ground that the
certification on non-forum shopping required by Supreme Court Circular No. 28-91 was signed by
counsel and not by petitioners themselves.

Held
CA can summarily dismiss.

Circular No. 28-91, which took effect on 1 April 1994, provides inter alia:
1. In every petition filed with the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals, the petitioner,
aside from complying with the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court and existing
circulars, must certify under oath all of the following facts or undertakings
2. Any violation of this revised Circular will entail the following sanctions: (a) it shall be a
cause for the summary dismissal of the multiple petitions or complaints

It is scarcely necessary to add that Circular No. 28-91 must be so interpreted and applied to achieve
the purposes projected by the Supreme Court when it promulgated that circular. Circular No. 28-91
was designed to serve as an instrument to promote and facilitate the orderly administration of justice
and should not be interpreted with such absolute literalness as to subvert its own ultimate and
legitimate objective or the goal of all rules of procedure – which is to achieve substantial justice as
expeditiously as possible.

The fact that the Circular requires that it be strictly complied with merely underscores its mandatory
nature in that it cannot be dispensed with or its requirements altogether disregarded, but it does not
thereby interdict substantial compliance with its provisions under justifiable circumstances.

In the instant case, we cannot apply the "substantial compliance" rule to petitioners and be as liberal
minded. For one thing, counsel for petitioners gave a rather frail excuse for his non-compliance, i.e.,
oversight and haste in ensuring that the petition would be filed at the earliest possible time for the
protection of his clients’ interests thereby overlooking the aforesaid circular.

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Digital Microwave Corp. vs CA


Facts
On December 14, 1994, private respondent Asian High Technology Corp. filed a complaint against
petitioner Digital Microwave Corp. for a sum of money and damages before the Regional Trial Court
of Pasig city. Petitioner moved for the dismissal of the complaint. The trial court denied the motion,
as well as petitioner’s subsequent motion for reconsideration.

Petitioner then initiated a special civil action for certiorari before the Court of Appeals, alleging grave
abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court. However, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition
for failure to comply with Revised Circular No. 28-91, as amended by Administrative Circular No.
04-94. Said circular requires the petition filed before the Court of Appeals to be accompanied by a
sworn certification against forum shopping, signed by petitioner himself. Counsel signed petitioner’s
certification; the petition was, thus, dismissed. Petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the dismissal
and submitted a sworn certification against forum shopping duly signed by one of its senior officers.
The motion was, however, denied, with the Court of Appeals

Issue
Whether or not a certificate of forum shopping signed by petitioner’s counsel, and not petitioner
himself, is fatal.

Held
Fatal.

Petitioner contends that in the case of a corporation as petitioner, the certification against forum
shopping may be signed by a natural person authorized to do so and with knowledge of the required
facts. The authorized person may be anyone authorized by the corporation, not necessarily an officer
thereof. In such a case, petitioner argues, the counsel of record has the authority to execute the
certification on behalf of the corporation, particularly considering that under the Rules of Court,
counsel’s authority to represent his client is presumed. No written power of attorney is required for
counsel to appear for his client.

If we follow petitioner’s line of reasoning, then the requirement in Revised Circular No. 28-91 that
petitioner himself must make the certification against forum shopping would have been rendered
useless. Why require petitioner himself to certify when his counsel can anyway execute the
certification on his behalf?

The reason the certification against forum shopping must be accomplished by petitioner himself is
because only the petitioner himself has actual knowledge of whether or not he has initiated similar
actions or proceedings in different courts or agencies. Even his counsel may be unaware of such fact.
For sure, his counsel is aware of the action for which he has been retained. But what of other possible
actions?

We disagree with petitioner that a corporation cannot possibly hope to comply with the requirement
laid down by Revised Circular No. 28-91 because it is a juridical entity and not a natural person. If
this were so, then it would have been impossible for a corporation to do anything at all. Needless to
say, this is the reason why corporations have directors and officers, to represent it in its transactions
with others. The same is true for the certification against forum shopping. A duly authorized director
or officer of the corporation could easily have made it. That petitioner did not in the first instance
comply with the requirement of revised Circular No. 28-91 by having the certification against forum
shopping signed by one of its officers, as it did after its petition before the Court of Appeals had been
dismissed, is beyond our comprehension.

In this case, petitioner has not adequately explained its failure to have the certification against forum
shopping signed by one of its officers. Neither has it shown any compelling reason for us to disregard
strict compliance with the rules.
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Iglesia ni Kristo vs Ponferrada


Facts
Alicia, Alfredo, Roberto, Enrique and Susan, all surnamed Santos, and Sonia Santos-Wallin,
represented by Enrique G. Santos, filed a complaint for Quieting of Title and/or Accion
Reinvindicatoria before the RTC against the Iglesia Ni Cristo.

Defendant asserted that the case involved more than one plaintiff but only Enrique Santos signed the
verification and certification against forum shopping incorporated in the complaint. Although the
complaint alleges that Enrique Santos represents plaintiffs, there is no showing that he was, indeed,
authorized to so represent the other plaintiffs to file the complaint and to sign the verification and
certification of non-forum shopping.

Issue
Whether or not the Certificate of Forum Shopping is defective for not being signed by all the
plaintiffs.

Held
Not defective.

The issue in the present case is not the lack of verification but the sufficiency of one executed by only
one of plaintiffs. The general rule is that all plaintiffs in a case must sign the certification and the
signature of only one of them is insufficient. However, the rules on forum shopping were designed to
promote and facilitate the orderly administration of justice and thus should not be interpreted with
such absolute literalness as to subvert its own ultimate and legitimate objective. The rule of
substantial compliance may be availed of with respect to the contents of the certification.

The CA did not err in affirming the application of the rule on substantial compliance. Respondents
herein who are plaintiffs in the case below have a common interest over the property being the heirs
of the late Enrique Santos. As such heirs, they are considered co-owners pro indiviso of the whole
property. Consequently, as one of the heirs and principal party, the lone signature of Enrique G.
Santos in the verification and certification is sufficient for the RTC to take cognizance of the case.
The commonality of their interest gave Enrique G. Santos the authority to inform the RTC on behalf
of the other plaintiffs therein.

Considering that at stake in the present case is the ownership and possession over a prime property in
Quezon City, the apparent merit of the substantive aspects of the case should be deemed as a special
circumstance or compelling reason to allow the relaxation of the rule.

Anent the issue of the authority of Enrique G. Santos to represent his co-heirs/co-plaintiffs, we find no
necessity to show such authority. Respondents herein are co-owners of the subject property. As such
co-owners, each of the heirs may properly bring an action for ejectment, forcible entry and detainer,
or any kind of action for the recovery of possession of the subject properties. Thus, a co-owner may
bring such an action, even without joining all the other co-owners as co-plaintiffs, because the suit is
deemed instituted for the benefit of all.

We uphold the validity of the complaint because of the following circumstances:


1. The caption of the instant case is Heirs of Enrique Santos v. Iglesia ni Cristo;
2. The opening statement of the complaint states that plaintiffs are the heirs of Enrique
Santos and likewise names the particular heirs of the latter who instituted the complaint
below;
3. the case involves a property owned by the predecessor-in-interest of plaintiffs therein;
and
4. the verification signed by Enrique G. Santos clearly states that he is one of the children of
the late Enrique Santos and that he represents the heirs of said Enrique Santos.

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Vallacar Transit vs Jocelyn Catubig


Facts
Petitioner is engaged in the business of transportation and the franchise owner of a bus. Quirino C.
Cabanilla (Cabanilla) is employed as a regular bus driver of petitioner.

Later, respondent’s husband, Quintin Catubig, Jr. (Catubig), was on his way home from Dumaguete
City riding in tandem on a motorcycle with his employee, Teddy Emperado (Emperado). Catubig was
the one driving the motorcycle. While trying to overtake another vehicle by crossing over to the
opposite lane, Catubig collided with the bus. Both Catubig and Emperado died.

Cabanilla was charged criminally but the case was dismissed. Thereafter, respondent filed before the
RTC a Complaint for Damages against petitioner, seeking damages for the death of her husband,
Catubig, based on Article 2180, in relation to Article 2176, of the Civil Code. Respondent alleged
that petitioner is civilly liable because the latter’s employee driver, Cabanilla, was reckless and
negligent in driving the bus that collided with Catubig’s motorcycle.

Issue
Whether or not respondent’s failure to verify her complaint for damages is fatal.

Held
Not fatal.

The same provision was again amended by A.M. No. 00-2-10, which became effective on May 1,
2000. It now reads:

SEC. 4. Verification. - Except when otherwise specifically required by law or rule, pleadings need not
be under oath, verified or accompanied by affidavit.

A pleading is verified by an affidavit that the affiant has read the pleading and that the allegations
therein are true and correct of his personal knowledge or based on authentic records.

A pleading required to be verified which contains a verification based on “information and belief” or
upon “knowledge, information and belief,” or lacks a proper verification, shall be treated as an
unsigned pleading.

The 1997 Rules of Court, even prior to its amendment by A.M. No. 00-2-10, clearly provides that a
pleading lacking proper verification is to be treated as an unsigned pleading which produces no legal
effect. However, it also just as clearly states, “except when otherwise specifically required by law or
rule, pleadings need not be under oath, verified or accompanied by affidavit.” No such law or rule
specifically requires that respondent’s complaint for damages should have been verified.

Although parties would often submit a joint verification and certificate against forum shopping, the
two are different. Here, as a general rule, a pleading need not be verified, unless there is a law or rule
specifically requiring the same. In contrast, all complaints, petitions, applications, and other initiatory
pleadings must be accompanied by a certificate against forum shopping, first prescribed by
Administrative Circular No. 04-94, which took effect on April 1, 1994, then later on by Rule 7,
Section 5 of the 1997 Rules of Court. It is not disputed herein that such a certificate accompanied
respondent’s complaint for damages.

In addition, verification, like in most cases required by the rules of procedure, is a formal, not
jurisdictional, requirement, and mainly intended to secure an assurance that matters which are alleged
are done in good faith or are true and correct and not of mere speculation. When circumstances
warrant, the court may simply order the correction of unverified pleadings or act on it and waive strict
compliance with the rules in order that the ends of justice may thereby be served.

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Kaliliid Wood Industries Corp. vs IAC


Facts
Joaquin Miguel de Jesus and Alfredo T. Salonga, President-General Manager and Comptroller,
respectively, of P.B. De Jesus and Company, Inc., executed 2 promissory notes (PBC No. 1202-76 &
PBC No. 1255-76) in favor of respondent Philippine Banking Corporation. These two instruments
were executed to document or reflect loans secured from respondent Bank and were signed by
Messrs. de Jesus and Salonga.

Later, P.D. De Jesus and Company, Inc., by vote of its stockholders, changed its corporate name to
Kalilid Wood Industries Corporation (hereafter "Kalilid"). Thereafter, respondent Bank served several
letters of demand upon petitioner Kalilid for payment by the latter of the obligations contracted under
promissory notes PBC No. 1202-76 and PBC No. 1255-76 which had apparently remained unsettled.
Petitioner Kalilid, however, disowned its alleged indebtedness under both promissory notes.

Respondent Bank filed a Complaint for collection against petitioner Kalilid and Messrs. de Jesus and
Salonga.

Issue
Whether or not in failing to verify its answer, has Kalilid admitted by implication the authenticity and
due execution of the 2 promissory notes AND the 2 statements of Account annexed to the complaint
stating Kalilid’s total indebtedness.

Held
Only as to the 2 promissory notes.

Kalilid, due to its failure to verify its answer, is deemed to have admitted by implication the
authenticity and due execution of promissory notes PBC No. 1202-76 and PBC No. 1255-76, which
were both annexed to and made the basis for respondent Bank's complaint. Consequently, defenses
relating to the genuineness and due execution of the notes are effectively cut off placing petitioner
Kalilid in estoppel from disclaiming liability under those promissory notes. No genuine issue having
been raised in the trial court by petitioner Kalilid regarding the existence and validity of its liabilities
under promissory notes PBC No. 1202-76 and PBC No. 1255-76, summary judgment was properly
and appropriately rendered in the case at bar.

In respect, however, of the amount of petitioner Kalilid's total indebtedness to respondent Bank under
the two promissory notes, it was error to have expanded the scope of petitioner Kalilid's implied
admission of genuineness and due execution so as to include the two Statements of Account annexed
to the complaint.

An examination of the two disputed Statements of Account reveals that both documents
1. Were printed under the official letterhead of respondent Bank,
2. Were prepared by the Loans and Discounting Department of respondent Bank, and
3. Bore the signature of approval of respondent Bank's authorized officer. No other
signature appears on the face of either document.

In other words, both Statements of Account were prepared exclusively by respondent Bank. It follows
that petitioner Kalilid, not having been privy thereto, did not admit the genuineness and due execution
of the Statements in spite of its failure to verify its answer to the complaint, and that petitioner is not
conclusively bound by the charges nor by the computations of amounts set out therein.

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Permanent Savings Bank vs Velarde


Facts
In a complaint for sum of money filed before the RTC, petitioner Permanent Savings and Loan Bank
sought to recover from respondent Mariano Velarde a sum of money, based on a loan obtained by
respondent from petitioner bank, evidenced by the following:
1. Promissory note dated September 28, 1983;
2. Loan release sheet dated September 28, 1983; and
3. Loan disclosure statement dated September 28, 1983.3

Petitioner bank sent a letter of demand to respondent, demanding full payment of the loan. Despite
receipt of said demand letter, respondent failed to settle his account. Another letter of demand was
sent and this time, respondent’s counsel replied, stating that the obligation "is not actually existing but
covered by contemporaneous or subsequent agreement between the parties …” Respondent denied
any liability under the instrument. The denial states:

That the promissory note sued upon, assuming that it exists and bears the genuine signature of herein
defendant, the same does not bind him and that it did not truly express the real intention of the parties
as stated in the defenses; …

The amount was received by another person, not the herein defendant. Hence, no liability attaches
and as further stated in the special and affirmative defenses that, assuming the promissory note exists,
it does not bind much less is there the intention by the parties to bind the herein defendant. In other
words, the documents relative to the loan do not express the true intention of the parties.

Issue
Whether or not respondent’s denials are an effective specific denial as contemplated by law.

Held
Not an effective specific denial.

When the cause of action is anchored on a document, the genuineness or due execution of the
instrument shall be deemed impliedly admitted unless the defendant, under oath, specifically denies
them, and sets forth what he claims to be the facts.

Respondent’s denials do not constitute an effective specific denial as contemplated by law. This
means that the defendant must declare under oath that he did not sign the document or that it is
otherwise false or fabricated. Neither does the statement of the answer to the effect that the instrument
was procured by fraudulent representation raise any issue as to its genuineness or due execution. On
the contrary such a plea is an admission both of the genuineness and due execution thereof, since it
seeks to avoid the instrument upon a ground not affecting either.

In fact, respondent’s allegations amount to an implied admission of the due execution and
genuineness of the promissory note. The admission of the genuineness and due execution of a
document means that the party whose signature it bears admits that he voluntarily signed the
document or it was signed by another for him and with his authority; that at the time it was signed it
was in words and figures exactly as set out in the pleading of the party relying upon it; that the
document was delivered; and that any formalities required by law which it lacks, are waived by him.
Also, it effectively eliminated any defense relating to the authenticity and due execution of the
document, e.g., that the document was spurious, counterfeit, or of different import on its face as the
one executed by the parties; or that the signatures appearing thereon were forgeries; or that the
signatures were unauthorized.

Clearly, both the trial court and the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that respondent specifically
denied petitioner’s allegations regarding the loan documents, as respondent’s Answer shows that he
failed to specifically deny under oath the genuineness and due execution of the promissory note and
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its concomitant documents. Therefore, respondent is deemed to have admitted the loan documents and
acknowledged his obligation with petitioner; and with respondent’s implied admission, it was not
necessary for petitioner to present further evidence to establish the due execution and authenticity of
the loan documents sued upon.

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Sps. Diaz vs Diaz and CA


Facts
Plaintiff and defendant Juan J. Diaz are brothers, and together with their recently widowed sister,
Marita D. Papa, owned in common, as co-heirs (sic), a parcel of land in Mandaluyong in the
Following proportions: Defendant Juan J. Diaz — 6/8 | Plaintiff Jose Diaz — 1/8 | Marita D. Papa —
1/8

Afterwards, the co-owners sold their property to PHILAMGEN and divided the proceeds based on
their shares. Immediately after the sale of the property, defendant Juan J. Diaz, purchased a lot in
Greenhills, using as part of the purchase price plaintiff's P15,000.00 share of the sale, and thereafter
caused title thereto to be issued in his name, all with the knowledge and without objection of the
plaintiff;

Defendant spouses have recently sold the Greenhills lot. Considering that defendant Juan J. Diaz, in
buying the Greenhills lot, used as part of the purchase price plaintiff's afore-mentioned share of the
sale of the Mandaluyong property, and caused the title to said lot to be issued in his name, all with the
knowledge and without the objection on the part of the plaintiff, an implied trust was created by force
of law, between plaintiff and defendants, in favor of the former, in proportion to his interest in said
Greenhills lot. Later, plaintiff wrote defendant spouses a letter demanding from them his share of the
actual value of the Greenhills lot but defendant spouses, however, refused to honor plaintiff's demand.

Respondents filed suit before the RTC. The Petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack
of cause of action. The RTC denied the Motion causing Petitioner to file a Petition for Certiorari
before the CA. The CA denied the Petitioner. In the meantime, Petitioners failed to file their answer in
the RTC proceeding causing the RTC, upon Respondent’s motion, to declare them in default.

Issue
Whether or not Petitioners were properly declared in default and if the order of default should be set
aside.

Held
Default proper? Yes || Set aside Default? Yes

Propriety of the Order of Default

Petitioners received on January 22, 1998 a copy of the trial court's Order dated October 8, 1997,
denying reconsideration of its ruling on their Motion to Dismiss. Petitioners had only five (5) days
from receipt of said Order, or until January 27, 1998, within which to file an answer. When petitioners
filed their first Petition for Certiorari with the Court of Appeals on February 6, 1998, they were
already in default. Hence, the filing of said Petition for Certiorari cannot be considered as having
interrupted the reglementary period for filing an answer. More importantly, Section 7, Rule 65 of the
Rule's provides that:

Sec. 7. Expediting proceedings; injunctive relief. The court in which the petition is filed may issue orders expediting the proceedings, and it
may also grant a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction for the preservation of the rights of the parties pending such
proceedings. The petition shall not interrupt the course of the principal case unless a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary
injunction has been issued against the public respondent from further proceeding in the case.

An application for certiorari is an independent action that is not part of a continuation of the trial
which resulted in the rendition of the judgment complained of. Impliedly, a petition for certiorari
pending before a higher court does not necessarily become moot and academic by a continuation of
the proceedings in the court of origin.

Propriety of the Denial of Petitioners Motion to Lift Order of Default

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The statements in their pleadings show that petitioners were fully aware of the rule that a petition for
certiorari does not stay the proceedings in the court of origin in the absence of a writ of injunction or
temporary restraining order. However, being the court of last resort, we deem it in the best interest
that liberality and relaxation of the Rules be extended to petitioners by setting aside the order of
default issued by the trial court and the consequent default judgment; otherwise, great injustice would
result if petitioners are not afforded an opportunity to prove their claims.

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Vlason Enterprises Corporation vs CA and Duraproof services


Minute Digest

Petitioner Was Never Declared In Default

Having thus established that there ha[d] been no order of default against VEC as contemplated by
Sec. 1, Rule 18, in relation to Sec. 9, Rule 13, Revised Rules of Court, there could not have been any
valid default-judgment rendered against it. The issuance of an order [o]f default is a condition sine
qua non in order [that] a judgment by default be clothed with validity. Further, records show that this
[c]ourt never had authorized [private respondent] to adduce evidence ex-parte against [Petitioner]
VEC. In sum, the February 18, 1991 decision by default is null and void as against [Petitioner] VEC.
xxxx.”

Trial Court Did Not Allow Presentation of Evidence Ex Parte Against Petitioner

Furthermore, the reception of evidence ex parte against a non-defaulting party is procedurally


indefensible. Without a declaration that petitioner is in default as required in Section 1, Rule 18, the
trial court had no authority to order the presentation of evidence ex parte against petitioner to render
judgment against it by default. The trial judge must have thought that since it failed to appear despite
summons and was in default, it effectively waived any objection to the presentation of evidence
against it. This rule, however, would have applied only if petitioner had submitted itself to the
jurisdiction of the trial court. The latter correctly declared, in the Resolution just cited, that the
default judgment against the former had been improvidently rendered.

Judgment by Default Cannot Grant Relief Not Prayed For

Moreover, the trial court is not allowed by the Rules to receive evidence that tends to show a relief not
sought or specified in the pleadings.[96] The plaintiff cannot be granted an award greater than or
different in kind from that specified in the complaint.[97]

This case should be distinguished, however, from that of defendants, who filed an answer but were
absent during trial. In that case, they can be held liable for an amount greater than or different from
that originally prayed for, provided that the award is warranted by the proven facts. This rule is
premised on the theory that the adverse party failed to object to evidence relating to an issue not
raised in the pleadings.

The latter rule, however, is not applicable to the instant case. Admittedly, private respondent
presented evidence that would have been sufficient to hold petitioner liable for damages. However, it
did not include in its amended Petitions any prayer for damages against petitioner. Therefore, the trial
court could not have validly held the latter liable for damages even if it were in default.

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Mediserv Inc. Hernando B. Delizo M.D. and Marissa C. Delizo M.D. vs China Bank
Facts
Private respondent China Banking Corporation filed a complaint for a sum of money to recover
deficiency judgment in foreclosure proceedings against the petitioners herein, Mediserv, Incorporated,
Hernando Delizo and Marissa Delizo, as well as Kelly Salvador, alleging that the defendants executed
and delivered in its favor 3 promissory notes, secured by a real estate mortgage over a parcel of land;
and that the defendants defaulted in their obligations to the plaintiff, and despite demands, failed and
refused to pay the same. The plaintiff, upon foreclosure of the mortgage, left a deficiency of
P5,390,663.97. Lydia Y. Yu, stating therein that she was the Assistant Vice President of China
Banking Corporation, Greenhills Branch, signed the certification against forum shopping.

Petitioners asked 2x for an extension to file their pleadings (Motion to Dismiss + Answer) and the
judge granted the same. However, by the 3rd request, the judge had enough and denied the extension.
10 days after the deadline to file their pleading lapsed, Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss.
Meanwhile, Respondents filed a Motion to Declare Petitioners in Default. The Judge denied the
Motion to Dismiss but granted the Motion to Declare in Default. Petitioners filed an Omnibus Motion
to Lift the Order of Default but the Judge denied the same.

Issue
Whether or not Petitioners were properly declared in default and should the same be lifted.

Held
Default proper? Yes || Lift the Order? No

The Omnibus Motion was fatally flawed although the Omnibus Motion insofar as it seeks the lifting
of the order of default, may have been seasonably filed two (2) months after petitioners were already
declared in default for failure to file answer/motion to dismiss within the extended period granted by
the court to do so. However, the said Omnibus Motion was not under oath as required and the
Affidavit of Merit is defective in that it failed to aver any fact which constitutes movant’s good and
substantial defense nor allege circumstances constituting defendants’ mistake or excusable negligence
as contemplated by the Rules. Petitioners have conspicuously failed to traverse these factual findings
of the court on these defects, whether in its Petition, its Reply to Comment and Memorandum, and
instead seek to focus their attack on respondent’s complaint on the ground of alleged violation of the
rule on forum shopping.

The Court of Appeals denounced the attempt as a desperate bid to muddle up the issues. It observed
that:

xxx as of June 16, 1998, petitioners were already declared in default, which, not having been set aside
(in fact it was even ratified by the respondent judge in his order of January 12, 1999, after the
petitioners had filed a motion for reconsideration after almost two (2) months from the issuance of the
default order) resulted in the petitioners’ loss of standing in court, and worked the forfeiture of their
right to present their defense and control the proceedings, as well as the deprivation of any hope or
expectation that their pleadings will be acted upon

Petitioners failed to set aside the order of default and must suffer the consequences thereof.

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Martinez vs Republic
Facts
Martinez filed a petition for the registration in his name of three (3) parcels of land. The case was
raffled to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Surigao del Sur and the Office of the Solicitor General
(OSG) was furnished a copy of the petition. The trial court set the case for hearing and directed the
publication of the corresponding Notice of Hearing in the Official Gazette. Afterwards, the OSG, in
behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, opposed the petition.

Despite the opposition filed by the OSG, the RTC issued an order of general default, even against the
Republic of the Philippines. This ensued when during the hearing of even date, no party appeared
before the Court to oppose Martinez’s petition.

The RTC decreed the registration of the three (3) lots in the name of Martinez. From this Decision,
the OSG filed a Notice of Appeal. The CA reversed the RTC and ordered the petition dismissed. No
motion for reconsideration appears to have been filed with the Court of Appeals by Martinez, who
instead directly assailed its Decision before this Court through the present petition.

Issue
Whether or not an order of general default issued by a trial court in a land registration case bars the
Republic of the Philippines, through the Office of the Solicitor General, from interposing an appeal
from the trial court’s subsequent decision in favour of the applicant.

Held
Doesn’t bar.

The general rule is that a party declared in default is allowed to pose an appeal…Thus, for around
thirty-odd years, there was no cause to doubt that a defaulted defendant had the right to appeal the
adverse decision of the trial court even without seeking to set aside the order of default. Then, in
1997, the Rules of Civil Procedure were amended, providing for a new Section 2, Rule 41.

It cannot be escaped that the old provision expressly guaranteeing the right of a defendant declared in
default to appeal the adverse decision was not replicated in the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Should
this be taken as a sign that under the 1997 Rules a defaulted defendant no longer has the right to
appeal the trial court decision, or that the Lim Toco doctrine has been reinstated? If post-1997
jurisprudence and the published commentaries to the 1997 Rules were taken as an indication, the
answer should be in the negative. The right of a defaulted defendant to appeal remains extant.

By 1997, the doctrinal rule concerning the remedies of a party declared in default had evolved into a
fairly comprehensive restatement as offered in Lina v. Court of Appeals:
1. The defendant in default may, at any time after discovery thereof and before judgment, file a motion, under oath, to set aside the
order of default on the ground that his failure to answer was due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable neglect, and that he has
meritorious defenses; (Sec 3, Rule 18)
2. If the judgment has already been rendered when the defendant discovered the default, but before the same has become final and
executory, he may file a motion for new trial under Section 1(a) of Rule 37;
3. If the defendant discovered the default after the judgment has become final and executory, he may file a petition for relief under
Section 2 of Rule 38; and
4. He may also appeal from the judgment rendered against him as contrary to the evidence or to the law, even if no petition to set
aside the order of default has been presented by him. (Sec. 2, Rule 41)

The fourth remedy, that of appeal, is anchored on Section 2, Rule 41 of the 1964 Rules. Yet even after
that provision’s deletion under the 1997 Rules, the Court did not hesitate to expressly rely again on
the Lina doctrine, including the pronouncement that a defaulted defendant may appeal from the
judgment rendered against him.

If it cannot be made any clearer, we hold that a defendant party declared in default retains the right to
appeal from the judgment by default on the ground that the plaintiff failed to prove the material

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allegations of the complaint, or that the decision is contrary to law, even without need of the prior
filing of a motion to set aside the order of default.

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Republic vs Hidalgo
Facts
Mendoza filed a suit with the RTC of Manila for reconveyance and the corresponding declaration of
nullity of a deed of sale and title against the Republic, the Register of Deeds of Manila and one Atty.
Fidel Vivar. In her complaint, Mendoza essentially alleged being the owner of the disputed Arlegui
property which the Republic forcibly dispossessed her of and over which Title was issued in the
Republic’s name.

In her complaint, inter alia, she prayed for the following:


1. Ordering the … Republic to pay plaintiff [Mendoza] a reasonable compensation or rental for the use or occupancy of the subject
property in the sum of FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND (P500,000.00) PESOS a month with a five (5%) per cent yearly increase, plus
interest thereon at the legal rate, beginning July 1975 until it finally vacates the same;
2. Ordering the … Republic to pay plaintiff’s counsel a sum equivalent to TWENTY FIVE (25%) PER CENT of the current value of the
subject property and/or whatever amount is recovered under the premises; Further, plaintiff prays for such other relief, just and
equitable under the premises.

The Republic filed a Motion for Extension or until June 20, 2003 within which to submit an Answer.
The date came and went but no answer was filed. The RTC declared the Republic in default and
allowed the private respondent to present her evidence ex-parte.

Eventually, the trial court rendered a judgment by default for Mendoza and against the Republic
decreeing:
1. Ordering the defendant Republic … to pay just compensation in the sum of ONE HUNDRED FORTY THREE MILLION SIX
HUNDRED THOUSAND (P143,600,000.00) PESOS, plus interest at the legal rate, until the whole amount is paid in full for the
acquisition of the subject property;
2. Ordering the defendant Republic … to pay the plaintiff the sum of ONE BILLION FOUR HUNDRED EIGHTY MILLION SIX
HUNDRED TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED EIGHTY EIGHT (P1,480,627,688.00) PESOS, representing the
reasonable rental for the use of the subject property…
3. Ordering the defendant Republic … to pay the plaintiff attorney’s fee, in an amount equivalent to FIFTEEN (15%) PER CENT of the
amount due to the plaintiff.

Issue
Whether or not the respondent judge committed serious jurisdictional error when he proceeded to hear
the case and eventually awarded the private respondent a staggering amount without so much as
giving the petitioner the opportunity to present its defence.

Held
Judgement granting such huge sums is wrong but not because Republic didn’t have any opportunity to
present its defence.

A disposition directing the Republic to pay an enormous sum without the trial court hearing its side
does not, without more, vitiate, on due procedural ground, the validity of the default judgment. The
petitioner may have indeed been deprived of such hearing, but this does not mean that its right to due
process had been violated. For, consequent to being declared in default, the defaulting defendant is
deemed to have waived his right to be heard or to take part in the trial. The handling solicitors simply
squandered the Republic’s opportunity to be heard. But more importantly, the law itself imposes such
deprivation of the right to participate as a form of penalty against one unwilling without justification
to join issue upon the allegations tendered by the plaintiff.

All told, the trial court would have the Republic pay the total amount of about P1.624 Billion,
exclusive of interest, for the taking of a property with a declared assessed value of P2,388,900.00.
This is not to mention the award of attorney’s fees in an amount equivalent to 15% of the amount due
the private respondent. In doing so, the respondent judge brazenly went around the explicit command
of Rule 9, Section 3(d) of the Rules of Court which defines the extent of the relief that may be
awarded in a judgment by default, i.e., only so much as has been alleged and proved. The court acts in
excess of jurisdiction if it awards an amount beyond the claim made in the complaint or beyond that
proved by the evidence.

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Surely, the Arlegui property cannot possibly be assigned, even perhaps at the present real estate
business standards, a monthly rental value of at least P500,000.00 or P6,000,000.00 a year, the
amount private respondent particularly sought and attempted to prove. This asking figure is clearly
unconscionable, if not downright ridiculous, attendant circumstances considered. To the Court, an
award of P20,000.00 a month for the use and occupancy of the Arlegui property, while perhaps a little
bit arbitrary, is reasonable and may be granted pro hac vice.

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Siasoco vs CA
Facts
Petitioners were the registered owners of nine parcels of land. Later, they offered the subject
properties for sale. Subsequently, Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) negotiated with the petitioners but the parties
failed to agree on the terms of the purchase. Petitioners then made a final offer to the INC. The latter's
counsel sent a reply received by Petitioner Mario Siasoco stating that the offer was accepted, but that
the INC was "not amenable to your proposal to an undervaluation of the total consideration."

Afterwards, petitioners claimed that the INC had not really accepted the offer, adding that, prior to
their receipt of the aforementioned reply, they had already "contracted" with Carissa for the sale of the
said properties "due to the absence of any response to their offer from INC.” Maintaining that a sale
had been consummated, INC demanded that the corresponding deed be executed in its favor.
Petitioners refused.

Respondent filed a civil suit for specific performance and damages against petitioners and Carissa
Homes and Development & Properties, Inc. Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss while Carissa
Homes filed its answer. Afterwards, private respondent filed an Amended Complaint, dropping
Carissa Homes as one of the defendants and changing the nature of the case to a mere case for
damages. Petitioners filed a Motion to Strike Out Amended Complaint, contending that the complaint
cannot be amended without leave of court, since a responsive pleading has been filed. The Motion
was denied.

Issue
Whether or not the amended complaint can be amended without leave of court.

Held
Can be amended.

This argument is not persuasive. It is clear that Respondent can amend its complaint once, as a matter
of right, before a responsive-pleading is filed. Contrary to the petitioners' contention, the fact that
Carissa had already filed its Answer did not bar private respondent from amending its original
Complaint once, as a matter of right, against herein petitioners. Indeed, where some but not all the
defendants have answered, plaintiffs may amend their Complaint once, as a matter of right, in respect
to claims asserted solely against the non-answering defendants, but not as to claims asserted against
the other defendants.

In the present case, petitioners failed to prove that private respondent’s Amended Complaint
prejudiced them. True, Carissa had already filed its own Answer. Petitioners, however, have not yet
filed any. Moreover, they do not allege that their defense is similar to that of Carissa. On the contrary,
private respondent's claims against the latter and against petitioners are different. Against petitioners,
whose offer to sell the subject parcels of land had allegedly been accepted by private respondent, the
latter is suing for specific performance and damages for breach of contract. Although private
respondent could no longer amend, as a matter of right, its Complaint against Carissa, it could do so
against petitioners who, at the time, had not yet filed an answer.

The amendment did not prejudice the petitioners or delay the action. Au contraire, it simplified the
case and tended to expedite its disposition. The Amended Complaint became simply an action for
damages, since the claims for specific performance and declaration of nullity of the sale have been
deleted.

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Versoza vs CA
Facts
Fe Giron Uson is the owner of a parcel of land. She mortgaged the land to Wilfredo Verzosa. Fe Uson
failed to pay her entire obligation to Verzosa, prompting the latter to have the mortgage foreclosed.
To prevent the foreclosure sale, Fe Uson, filed with the RTC a complaint against Wilfredo Verzosa
for annulment of mortgage with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.

Initially the complaint was dismissed because it lacked the proper verification. However, the
complaint was reinstated after Fe Uson filed an amended complaint bearing the proper verification.
However, the foreclosure sale still proceeded and the property was sold, with Verzosa being the
highest bidder. Afterwards, the trial court issued an order admitting the amended complaint of Fe
Uson. Verzosa then sold the land to Pilar Martinez.

Afterwards, Fe Uson filed her second amended complaint impleading as additional defendants the
Register of Deeds of Alaminos, Pangasinan and Pilar Martinez and praying, among others, the
annulment of the latter's title. The RTC issued an order directing the Petitioners to cease and desist
from entering, making constructions and performing any act of possession or ownership over the land
in question

The Judge clarified that the status quo being maintained is the possession of plaintiff Fe Uson of the
land and that such status quo does not refer to defendant Pilar Martinez being the registered owner.

Issue
Whether or not the status quo ante order refers to Pilar’s ownership or Fe Uson’s ownership.

Held
Fe Uson’s ownership.

Although the Complaint was subsequently amended, the controversy began when the first Complaint
was filed. Petitioner Verzosa and the sheriff proceeded with the foreclosure before the filing of the
Amended Complaint. Worse, Verzosa sold the property to Martinez one week later. Now, Verzosa
and Martinez claim that the status quo to be preserved refers to the time before the filing of the second
Complaint and after Martinez had acquired the property from Verzosa.

Petitioners contend that the controversy started only when the Amended Complaint was filed, because
the previous Complaints were expunged from the records.

An amendment to a complaint which introduces a new or different cause of action, making a new or
different demand, is equivalent to a fresh suit upon a new cause of action, and the statute of
limitations continues to run until the amendment is filed.

When the amended complaint does not introduce new issues, causes of action, or demands, the suit is
deemed to have commenced on the date the original complaint was filed, not on the date of the filing
of the amended complaint. In other words, for demands already included in the original complaint, the
suit is deemed to have commenced upon the filing of such original complaint. In short, for purposes
of determining the commencement of a suit, the original, complaint is deemed abandoned and
superseded by the amended complaint only if the amended complaint introduces a new or different
cause of action or demand.

Hence, it has been held that "an amendment which merely supplements and amplifies the facts
originally alleged relates back to the date of the commencement of the action and is not barred by the
statute of limitations, the period of which expires after service of the original complaint but before
service of amendment." It is the actual filing in court that controls and not the date of the formal
admission of the amended pleading.

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In the instant case, the Amended Complaint did not introduce a new or different cause of action or
demand. The original Complaint was amended only to rectify the lack of verification and thereafter to
implead Martinez, who had purchased the contested property from Verzosa.

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Chua vs CA
Facts
Petitioners were lessees of a commercial unit. The contract expressly provided for the renewal of the
lease at the option of the lessees "in accordance with the terms of agreement and conditions set by the
lessor." Prior to the expiration of the lease, the parties discussed the possibility of renewing it. They
exchanged a proposal and counterproposal, but they failed to reach an agreement. The dispute was
referred to the barangay captain for conciliation but still the parties reached no settlement.

Later, private respondent filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against petitioner. The lower court
ruled for Respondent and ordered Petitioners to pay unpaid rentals.

Issue
Whether or not the lower court was correct in ordering Petitioners to pay unpaid rentals when the
complaint didn’t allege a claim for unpaid rentals.

Held
Court was correct.

Petitioners allege that the CA erred in affirming the lower court's finding that they owe private
respondent unpaid rentals because neither the letter of demand nor the complaint for unlawful detainer
alleged a claim for unpaid rentals.

As the CA pointed out, however, private respondent raised the issue of arrearages at the pre-trial and
evidence on this question was presented without objection from petitioners.

Private respondent in a pleading stated:

That moreover the unpaid rentals from January 1987 to December 31, 1989 amounts to FORTY TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED
SIX PESOS (P42,306,00), exclusive of rentals from January 1 to December 31, 1990 which would be one hundred eighty thousand pesos
(P180,000.00) or a total of TWO HUNDRED TWENTY TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED SIX PESOS (222,306,00)

Then, at the pre-trial, among the issues proposed by counsel for private respondent was whether:

3. defendants are in arrears for the rentals from Dec. 31, 1987 to January 1989, in accordance with the contract:

Counsel for Petitioners didn’t object to the statement of issues made by plaintiffs counsel and instead
simply stated as their own main issue whether plaintiff had a valid cause of action for ejectment
against them as he is not the sole owner of the leased premises, and then averred that "based on this
premise, the other issues raised by plaintiff could be dependent on the resolution of the stated issues”.

Obviously, then, petitioners' rental arrearage is an issue raised at the pre-trial and on which issue
private respondent presented evidence without any objection from petitioners.

Indeed, any objection to the admissibility of evidence should be made at the time such evidence is
offered or as soon thereafter as the objection to its admissibility becomes apparent, otherwise the
objection will be considered waived and such evidence will form part of the records of the case as
competent and admissible evidence. 7 Rule 10, §5 8 of the Rules of Civil Procedure allows the
amendment of the pleadings in order to make them conform to the evidence in the record.

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Asean pacific vs City of Urdaneta


Facts
This case stemmed from a Complaint for annulment of contracts with prayer for preliminary
prohibitory injunction and temporary restraining order filed by respondent Waldo C. Del Castillo, in
his capacity as taxpayer, against respondents City of Urdaneta and Ceferino J. Capalad doing business
under the name JJEFWA Builders, and petitioners Asean Pacific Planners (APP) and Asean Pacific
Planners Construction and Development Corporation (APPCDC).

Del Castillo alleged that then Urdaneta City Mayor entered into 5 contracts for a commercial center
and hotel involving a massive expenditure of public funds amounting to P250 million, funded by a
loan from the Philippine National Bank (PNB). For minimal work, the contractor was allegedly paid
P95 million. Del Castillo also claimed that all the contracts are void because the object is outside the
commerce of men. The object is a piece of land belonging to the public domain and which remains
devoted to a public purpose as a public elementary school. Additionally, he claimed that the contracts
are also void because they were all awarded solely to the Goco family.

In their Answer, APP and APPCDC claimed that the contracts are valid. Urdaneta City Mayor, who
filed the city’s Answer, joined in the defense and asserted that the contracts were properly executed
by then Mayor Parayno with prior authority from the Sangguniang Panlungsod. After pre-trial, the
Lazaro Law Firm entered its appearance as counsel for Urdaneta City and filed an Omnibus Motion
with prayer to, among others, withdraw Urdaneta City’s Answer. The RTC granted the Motion.

Issue
Whether or not Urdaneta City is estopped to reverse admission in its Answer that the contracts are
valid and executed in good faith.

Held
Not estopped.

The court may allow amendment of pleadings.

Section 5, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court pertinently provides that if evidence is objected to at the trial
on the ground that it is not within the issues raised by the pleadings, the court may allow the pleadings
to be amended and shall do so with liberality if the presentation of the merits of the action and the
ends of substantial justice will be subserved thereby.

Objections need not even arise in this case since the Pre-trial Order already defined as an issue
whether the contracts are valid. Thus, what is needed is presentation of the parties’ evidence on the
issue. Any evidence of the city for or against the validity of the contracts will be relevant and
admissible. Note also that under Section 5, Rule 10, necessary amendments to pleadings may be made
to cause them to conform to the evidence.

In addition, despite Urdaneta City’s judicial admissions, the trial court is still given leeway to
consider other evidence to be presented for said admissions may not necessarily prevail over
documentary evidence e.g., the contracts assailed. A party’s testimony in open court may also
override admissions in the Answer.

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Tiu vs PBCOM
Facts
Asian Water Resources, Inc. (AWRI) applied for a loan with PBCOM and because the loan was
unsecured, PBCOM required all the members of the Board of Directors of AWRI to become sureties.
A Surety Agreement was executed. PNB demanded payment of the loan but the demand went
unheeded and so PBCOM filed a collection suit.

Petitioners filed their Answer alleging that the Surety Agreement attached to the complaint was
falsified, considering that when they signed the same, the words “In his personal capacity” did not yet
appear in the document. Petitioners attached to their Answer a certified photocopy of the Surety
Agreement showing that the words “In his personal capacity” were not found.

Because of this development, PBCOM’s counsel searched for and retrieved the file copy of the Surety
Agreement. The notarial copy showed that the words “In his personal capacity” did not appear.
PBCOM subsequently discovered that the bank auditor ordered the insertion. The bank auditor
inserted the words “In his personal capacity” in accordance with bank standard operating procedures.
However, the notary public was never informed of the insertion. PBCOM then filed a Motion for
Leave of Court to Substitute the Complaint, wherein it attached the duplicate original copy retrieved
from the file of the notary public. The RTC allowed the substitution of the altered document with the
original Surety Agreement.

Issue
Whether or not the RTC erred in allowing the substitution of the Surety Agreement’s copy on file
with the notary public.

Held
RTC was correct.

The granting of leave to file amended pleading is a matter particularly addressed to the sound
discretion of the trial court; and that discretion is broad, subject only to the limitations that the
amendments should not substantially change the cause of action or alter the theory of the case, or that
it was not made to delay the action. Nevertheless, as enunciated in Valenzuela, even if the amendment
substantially alters the cause of action or defense, such amendment could still be allowed when it is
sought to serve the higher interest of substantial justice; prevent delay; and secure a just, speedy and
inexpensive disposition of actions and proceedings.

In the present case, there was no fraudulent intent on the part of PBCOM in submitting the altered
surety agreement. In fact, the bank admitted that it was a mistake on their part to have submitted it in
the first place instead of the original agreement. It also admitted that, through inadvertence, the copy
that was attached to the complaint was the copy wherein the words “IN HIS PERSONAL
CAPACITY” were inserted to conform to the bank’s standard practice. This alteration was made
without the knowledge of the notary public. PBCOM’s counsel had no idea that what it submitted
was the altered document, thereby necessitating the substitution of the surety agreement with the
original thereof, in order that the case would be judiciously resolved.

The original surety agreement is the best evidence that could establish the parties’ respective rights
and obligations. In effect, the RTC merely allowed the amendment of the complaint, which
consequently included the substitution of the altered surety agreement with a copy of the original.

Moreover, contrary to petitioners’ contention, they could not be prejudiced by the substitution since
they can still present the substituted documents, as part of the evidence of their affirmative defenses.
The substitution did not prejudice petitioners or delay the action. On the contrary, it tended to
expedite the determination of the controversy. Besides, the petitioners are not precluded from filing
the appropriate criminal action against PBCOM for attaching the altered copy of the surety agreement
to the complaint. The substitution of the documents would not, in any way, erase the existence of
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falsification, if any. The case before the RTC is civil in nature, while the alleged falsification is
criminal, which is separate and distinct from another. Thus, the RTC committed no reversible error
when it allowed the substitution of the altered surety agreement with that of the original.

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Tantico Jr. vs Republic


Facts
The Republic of the Philippines filed with the Sandiganbayan a civil case against Benjamin (Kokoy)
Romualdez, et al." for reconveyance, reversion, accounting, restitution and damages. The principal
defendants in the said Civil Case are Benjamin (Kokoy) Romualdez, Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda
R. Marcos.

Petitioner Francisco S. Tantuico, Jr. was included as defendant in the Civil Case on the theory that he
was in cahoots with Marcos in plundering from the Government. Later, petitioner filed a Motion for a
Bill of Particulars, alleging inter alia that he is sued for acts allegedly committed by him as (a) a
public officer-Chairman of the Commission on Audit, (b) as a private individual, and (c) in both
capacities, in a complaint couched in too general terms and shorn of particulars that would inform him
of the factual and legal basis thereof.

The Solicitor General opposed the motion.After the petitioner had filed his reply thereto, the
respondent Sandiganbayan denied the petitioner's motion for a bill of particulars on the ground that
the particulars sought by petitioner are evidentiary in nature.

Issue
Whether or not the Sandiganbayan erred in denying the Motion for a Bill of Particulars.

Held
Sandiganbayan erred.

The rules on pleading speak of two (2) kinds of facts: the first, the "ultimate facts", and the second,
the "evidentiary facts.”

The term "ultimate facts" mean the essential facts constituting the plaintiffs cause of action. A fact is
essential if it cannot be stricken out without leaving the statement of the cause of action insufficient.
While the term "evidentiary fact" are those facts which are necessary for determination of the ultimate
facts; they are the premises upon which conclusions of ultimate facts are based. Facts which furnish
evidence of existence of some other fact.

Where the complaint states ultimate facts that constitute the three (3) essential elements of a cause of
action, the complaint states a cause of action, otherwise, the complaint must succumb to a motion to
dismiss on that ground of failure to state a cause of action. However, where the allegations of the
complaint are vague, indefinite, or in the form of conclusions, the proper recourse would be, not a
motion to dismiss, but a motion for a bill of particulars.

The allegations in the complaint, above-referred to, pertaining to petitioner are, therefore, deficient in
that they merely articulate conclusions of law and presumptions unsupported by factual premises.
Hence, without the particulars prayed for in petitioner's motion for a bill of particulars, it can be said
the petitioner can’t intelligently prepare his responsive pleading and for trial.

Furthermore, the particulars prayed for, such as, names of persons, names of corporations, dates,
amounts involved, specification of property for identification purposes, the particular transactions
involving withdrawals and disbursements, and a statement of other material facts as would support the
conclusions and inferences in the complaint, are not evidentiary in nature. On the contrary, those
particulars are material facts that should be clearly and definitely averred in the complaint in order
that the defendant may, in fairness, be informed of the claims made against him to the end that he may
be prepared to meet the issues at the trial.

In a motion for a bill of particulars, the only question to be resolved is whether or not the allegations
of the complaint are averred with sufficient definiteness or particularity to enable the movant properly
to prepare his responsive pleading and to prepare for trial. As already discussed, the allegations of the
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complaint pertaining to the herein petitioner are deficient because the averments therein are mere
conclusions of law or presumptions, unsupported by factual premises.

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Uy vs CA
Facts
The case started in the municipal court that dismissed the complaint for ejectment by Busa against
Uy. Busa appealed to the Court of First Instance that found that Uy occupied Busa's lot and built a
school building thereon on the basis of a fifteen-year lease contract which expired on April 15, 1972.

After the expiration of the lease, Busa sent demand letters to Uy, informing him that he was not
renewing the lease and requiring him to vacate the lot.

The lower court held that, as the lease was not renewed and no rentals were paid, Busa was entitled to
recover possession of his lot and that Uy is liable to pay three hundred pesos a month as the
reasonable compensation for his use and occupation of the lot from April 17, 1972.

Issue
Whether or not the lower court had jurisdiction over the case.

Held
Had jurisdiction.

The Petitioners contend that the municipal court had no jurisdiction over the case and, therefore, the
proceedings therein and in the other courts are void. The lack of jurisdiction is based on the theory
that the petitioners pleaded in the municipal court the defense that the lease was renewed by virtue of
the provision in the contract that it "shall be for a period of fifteen (15) years renewable at the option
of the Lessee, beginning April 16, 1957".

Hence, it was necessary for the municipal court to interpret the renewal clause and thus the action was
transformed from an unlawful detainer case into an action that is "incapable of pecuniary estimation"
which falls within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance.

We hold that that contention cannot be sustained. The complaint in the municipal court was for
ejectment based on the demands to vacate. Even if this case involved the interpretation of the renewal
clause of the lease contract, it was, nevertheless, within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the
municipal court because the petitioners were ejected not because of the non-renewal of the lease but
because of nonpayment of rentals.

Consequently, we cannot apply to this case ruling that where the case hinges on the correct
interpretation of the renewal clause of the lease contract, the action is not for unlawful detainer but
one which is not susceptible of pecuniary estimation and is beyond the competence of the municipal
court.

Petitioners were ejected on the ground of nonpayment of rental "whether from April 17, 1972 or after
October, 1973".

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Republic vs Sandiganbayan
Facts
The Aquino administration sued the Marcoses and their alleged cronies or dummies before the anti-
graft court to recover the alleged ill-gotten wealth they amassed during the former President Marcos’s
20-year rule. Roman A. Cruz, Jr. (Cruz) is the alleged crony in this case. The PCGG, through the
OSG, filed a Complaint alleging that Cruz and the Marcoses stole public assets and invested them in
several institutions here and abroad.

Later, Cruz filed, among others, a motion for a bill of particulars. The Sandiganbayan denied the
motion. The Marcoses were declared in default for failing to file an answer. Later, former President
Marcos died in Hawaii and was substituted by his estate. Afterwards, the order of default was set
aside upon motion of Mrs. Marcos.

The Marcoses then filed a Motion for Leave to File a Responsive Pleading as executor of the Former
President’s estate. The motion was granted but instead of filing an answer, a Motion For Bill of
Particulars was filed. The PCGG opposed the motion but the Sandiganbayan upheld the Marcoses.

Issue
Whether or not the Motion for a Bill of Particulars should be granted.

Held
Motion should be granted.

The allegations against former President Marcos appear obviously couched in general terms. They do
not cite the ultimate facts to show how the Marcoses acted “in unlawful concert” with Cruz in
illegally amassing assets, property and funds in amounts disproportionate to Cruz’s lawful income,
except that the former President Marcos was the president at the time.

While the allegations as to the alleged specific acts of Cruz were clear, they were vague and unclear
as to the acts of the Marcos couple who were allegedly “in unlawful concert with” the former. There
was no factual allegation in the complaints on the collaboration of or on the kind of support extended
by former President Marcos to Cruz in the commission of the alleged unlawful acts constituting the
alleged plunder.

In his motion for a bill of particulars, respondent wanted clarification on the specific nature, manner
and extent of participation of his father in the acquisition of the assets cited above under Cruz;
particularly whether former President Marcos was a beneficial owner of these properties; and the
specific manner in which he acquired such beneficial control.

The Virata-Mapa Doctrine prescribes a motion for a bill of particulars, not a motion to dismiss, as the
remedy for perceived ambiguity or vagueness of a complaint for the recovery of ill-gotten wealth,
which was similarly worded as the complaint in this case.

Phrases like “in flagrant breach of public trust and of their fiduciary obligations as public officers with
grave and scandalous abuse of right and power and in brazen violation of the Constitution and laws,”
“unjust enrichment,” “embarked upon a systematic plan to accumulate ill-gotten wealth,” “arrogated
unto himself all powers of government,” are easy and easy to read; they have potential media
quotability and they evoke passion with literary flair, not to mention that it was populist to flaunt
those statements in the late 1980s. But they are just that, accusations by generalization. Motherhood
statements they are, although now they might be a politically incorrect expression and an affront to
mothers everywhere, although they best describe the accusations against the Marcoses in the case at
bar.

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Estardante vs People
Facts
Estardante was the school principal of the Ramon Torres National High School (RTNHS). Later, a
group of concerned RTNHS teachers sent a letter to the Schools Division attaching a list of
irregularities allegedly committed by Estardante, which the private complainants requested to be
investigated.

Private complainants eventually filed complaints against Estardante with the Office of the
Ombudsman. The Ombudsmans forwarded the complaint to the Office of the City Prosecutor for
preliminary investigation. The City Prosecutor required Estardante to submit her counter-affidavit.
But instead of filing a counter-affidavit, Estardante filed a Motion for Bill of Particulars. In the
Motion for Bill of Particulars, Estardante alleged that there were no specific criminal charges that
were stated in the subpoenas. Thus, Estardante insisted that she cannot intelligently prepare her
counter-affidavit unless the criminal charges and the laws she violated are specified.

Thereafter, the City Prosecutor referred the case back to the Ombudsman. The latter found sufficient
grounds to hold Estardante liable for the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and filed before the
RTC the corresponding Informations. Estardante maintains that when the Informations were filed, her
right to due process was violated; and that the Ombudsman in effect went beyond the Bill of
Particulars filed by the private complainants.

Issue
Whether or not the Ombudsman erred in disregarding the Bill of Particulars when the criminal
informations were filed.

Held
Ombudsman didn’t err.

Clearly, the act of the prosecutor in granting the Estardante’s Motion for Bill of Particulars is an act
contrary to the express mandate of A.O. No. 7, to wit:

d) No motion to dismiss shall be allowed except for lack of jurisdiction. Neither may a motion for a bill of particulars be entertained. If the
respondent desires any matter in the complainant’s affidavit to be clarified, the particularization thereof may be done at the time of
clarificatory questioning in the manner provided in paragraph (f) of this section.

Estardante has no valid basis for insisting that the Ombudsman must be bound by the erroneous act of
the City Prosecutor in granting petitioner’s Motion for Bill of Particulars. The Office of the
Ombudsman has the authority to reverse or nullify the acts of the prosecutor pursuant to its power of
control and supervision over deputized prosecutors. Hence, it was within the prerogative of the
Ombudsman not to consider the Bill of Particulars submitted by the private complainants.

However, while the Bill of Particulars is not allowed under the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the
Ombudsman and therefore should not be the basis for determining what specific criminal charges
should be filed against herein petitioner, it behooves the Ombudsman to accord the petitioner her
basic rights to due process in the conduct of the preliminary investigation.

In the pleadings submitted before this Court, petitioner complained that the subpoenas served on her
did not state the law allegedly violated by her. In the Motion for Bill of Particulars she filed before the
City Prosecutor, she declared that she was served with “subpoena together with the documents
attached therein.”

However, after a thorough examination of the records, the Court does not find the subpoenas and the
alleged documents served on her. Absent the subpoenas and the documents attached to the
subpoenas, how could it be intelligently determined whether she was fully apprised of the acts
complained of and imputed to her; whether she was given the opportunity to submit an appropriate
counter-affidavit to the charges; and whether the charges in the five Informations filed against
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petitioner were based on the same acts complained of and stated in the subpoena and the documents
attached thereto?

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Cuevas vs Munoz
Facts
The Hong Kong Magistrate’s Court issued a warrant for the arrest of respondent and said warrant
remains in full force and effect up to the present time. Later, the Philippine DOJ received a request for
the provisional arrest of the respondent from the Mutual Legal Assistance Unit, International Law
Division of the Hong Kong DOJ pursuant to the “RP-Hong Kong Extradition Agreement”). The
Philippine DOJ forwarded the request for provisional arrest to the Anti-Graft Division of the NBI.

The NBI filed an application for the provisional arrest of respondent with the RTC of Manila. The
RTC granted the application for provisional arrest and issuing the corresponding Order of Arrest.
Respondent was arrested pursuant to the said order, and is currently detained at the NBI detention
cell.

Respondent filed with the Court of Appeals, a petition assailing the validity of the Order of Arrest.
The Court of Appeals rendered a decision declaring the Order of Arrest null and void on the following
grounds. Thus, petitioner Justice Serafin R. Cuevas, in his capacity as DOJ Secretary, lost no time in
filing the instant petition.

Issue
Whether or not Munoz can be provisionally arrested despite the lack of an extradition request from
Hong Kong.

Held
Munoz can be provisionally arrested.

Section 20(a) of P.D. No. 1069 reads as follows:


Provisional Arrest. - (a) In case of urgency, the requesting state may, pursuant to the relevant treaty or convention and while the same
remains in force, request for the provisional arrest of the accused, pending receipt of the request for extradition made in accordance with
Section 4 of this Decree;

and Article 11 of the Extradition Agreement between the Philippines and Hong Kong provides in part
that:
(1) In urgent cases, the person sought may, in accordance with the law of the requested Party, be provisionally arrested on the application of
the requesting Party. x x x.

Nothing in existing treaties or Philippine legislation defines the meaning of “urgency” as used in the
context of a request for provisional arrest. Using reasonable standards of interpretation, however, we
believe that “urgency” connotes such conditions relating to the nature of the offense charged and the
personality of the prospective extraditee which would make him susceptible to the inclination to flee
or escape from the jurisdiction if he were to learn about the impending request for his extradition
and/or likely to destroy the evidence pertinent to the said request or his eventual prosecution and
without which the latter could not proceed. We find that such conditions exist in respondent’s case.

First. The gravity of the imposable penalty upon the accused is grave (Prevention of Bribery
Ordinance & Conspiracy to defraud). Furthermore, respondent appears to be affluent and possessed of
sufficient resources to facilitate an escape from this jurisdiction.

Second. Twelve (12) days after respondent was provisionally arrested, the Philippine DOJ received
from the Hong Kong DOJ, a request for the surrender or extradition of respondent.

Section 20(d) of P.D. No. 1069 reads as follows:


(d) If within a period of twenty (20) days after the provisional arrest the Secretary of Foreign Affairs has not received the request for
extradition and the documents mentioned in Section 4 of this Decree, the accused shall be released from custody.

Third. The request for provisional arrest of respondent and its accompanying documents are valid
despite lack of authentication.

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Last. There was sufficient factual and legal basis for the determination of probable cause as a
requisite for the issuance of the Order of Arrest.

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AFP Mutual Benefit Association vs CA


Facts
Investco owned a parcel of land. Later, Investco agreed to sell the land to Solid Homes, payable in
installments. However, after paying the downpayment and the first four installments, Solid Homes
made no further payment to Investco. The postdated checks Solid Homes issued to Investco intended
for the remaining installments were dishonored, leaving a balance of P4,300,282.91.

Investco then filed with the CFI an action for specific performance and damages against Solid Homes.
Afterwards, Solid Homes filed with the Register of Deeds a notice of lis pendens and the notice of lis
pendens was recorded in the primary Entry Book. However, the notice of lis pendens wasn’t actually
annotated on the titles in the name of Investco.

The trial court rendered judgment in favor of Investco ordering Solid Homes to pay plaintiffs. Solid
Homes appealed. In the meantime, Investco offered to sell the property to AFP MBAI payable in
installments. Investco furnished AFP MBAI with certified true copies of the titles covering the
property. AFP MBAI verified the titles with the Register of Deeds and noted that there were no liens
or encumbrances annotated on the titles. AFP MBAI agreed to purchase the same from Investco. AFP
MBAI completed its payments of the purchase price and a TCT was issued in AFP MBAI’s name.
Afterwards, Solid Homes commenced action before the RTC for "annotation of lis pendens and
damages" with temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

Issue
Whether or not Solid Homes is entitled to the annotation of its notice of lis pendens on Investco’s and
AFP MBAI’s TCT’s.

Held
Solid Homes isn't entitled to the annotation.

The Register of Deed’s obligation to annotate the notice of lis pendens is one that arises from law.
Hence, the action is actually one for mandamus to compel the performance of a clear legal duty.
There is no such action as one for "annotation of lis pendens," as Solid Homes sought in its complaint.

A notice of lis pendens is not and can not be sought as a principal action for relief. The notice is but
an incident to an action, an extra-judicial one to be sure. It does not affect the merits thereof. It is
intended merely to constructively advise, or warn, all people who deal with the property that they so
deal with it at their own risk, and whatever rights they may acquire in the property in any voluntary
transaction are subject to the results of the action, and may well be inferior and subordinate to those
which may be finally determined and laid down therein. As a settled rule, notice of lis pendens may
be annotated only where there is an action or proceeding in court which affects title to or possession
of real property.

Under Presidential Decree No. 1529, known as the "Property Registration Decree of 1978", the
Register of Deeds may deny registration of the notice of lis pendens. Here, the Register of Deeds of
Marikina denied the annotation of the notice of lis pendens on the ground that the complaint was for
collection of a sum of money and did not involve the titles to or possession of the subject property. In
its questioned decision, the Court of Appeals held that the action filed by Investco against Solid
Homes is not exclusively for payment of the unpaid installments but also one for rescission of the
contract to sell which necessarily involves delivery of possession and ownership of the same.

We do not agree. There is nothing in Investco’s complaint that even remotely suggests that Investco
has rescinded the contract, or that it sought the rescission of the sale as an alternative remedy. Specific
performance and rescission are alternative remedies which a party may not avail himself of at the
same time.

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The annotation of a notice of lis pendens on the titles of the property was not proper as the action was
in personam. Consequently, the doctrine of lis pendens is inapplicable to this case. The Register of
Deeds of Marikina correctly denied the annotation of the notice of lis pendens on the titles of Investco
and the AFP MBAI.

Eduardo Fernandez vs CA
Facts
This petition involves Lot 435. After Fernandez acquired ownership of the lot, he tried to eject private
respondent Jesus Ciocon off the property. Ciocon instituted against Fernandez Civil Case for
reconveyance of the land. Fernandez died and was substituted in the civil suit by his heirs. The other
Private respondents are interveners claiming they had purchased portions of Lot 435 from Ciocon.

Later, Judge Enrique Jocson rendered judgment dismissing both complaints and ordering private
respondent Ciocon and the intervenors to deliver immediate possession of Lot No. 435 to the heirs of
Fernandez. Ciocon appealed to the CA but the CA ordered the RTC to take the testimonies of
pertinent parties to the case. The RTC construed the CA decision as a remand and Judge Jocson
rendered a second decision setting aside the first judgment. In the second decision, the judge directed
the return of the disputed lot to Ciocon and intervenors except the portions still being litigated.

Ciocon moved for execution pending appeal and the trial court granted the motion ex parte. The TCT
in the name of Fernandez was cancelled and a new TCT was issued in the name of respondent
Ciocon. Later, Ciocon moved to have certain entries cancelled in the TCT. After this, a notice of lis
pendens was annotated on the TCT. Judge Jocson then ordered the entries cancelled, including the
notice of lis pendens.

Ciocon then subsequently sold the property to a 3rd person, and this 3rd person used the property as
security for a loan from a bank.

Issue
Whether or not the Judge erred in cancelling the notice of lis pendens.

Held
Judge erred.

A notice of lis pendens may be canceled only after proper showing that the purpose of its annotation
is for molesting the adverse party, or that it is not necessary to protect the rights of the party who
caused it to be annotated. The annotation was needed to protect petitioners’ interest from any hasty
transfer of the property to another, making recovery of the property extremely complicated. This is
exactly what happened in this case when the notice of lis pendens was cancelled.

Further, the trial court’s inherent power to cancel a notice of lis pendens is exercised only under
exceptional circumstances, such as:
1. Where such circumstances are imputable to the party who caused the annotation;
2. Where the litigation was unduly prolonged to the prejudice of the other party because of several continuances procured by
petitioner;
3. Where the case which is the basis for the lis pendens notation was dismissed for non-prosequitur on the part of the plaintiff; or
where judgment was rendered against the party who caused such a notation.

In such instances, said notice is deemed ipso facto cancelled. These exceptional circumstances are not
present in this case. More significantly, a notice of lis pendens cannot be ordered cancelled on an ex
parte motion, much less without any motion at all. There should be notice to the party who caused the
annotation so that he may be heard to object to the cancellation of his notice and show to the court
that the notice of lis pendens is necessary to protect his rights and is not merely to molest the other
party. Neither can a notice of lis pendens be ordered cancelled upon the mere filing of a bond by the
party on whose title the notice is annotated.

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More significantly, a notice of lis pendens cannot be ordered cancelled on an ex parte motion, much
less without any motion at all. There should be notice to the party who caused the annotation so that
he may be heard to object to the cancellation of his notice and show to the court that the notice of lis
pendens is necessary to protect his rights and is not merely to molest the other party. Here, Ciocon’s
motion to cancel certain notices of lis pendens did not include a request to cancel the notice for lis
pendent of the instant case in particular, and it certainly could not have been included since the entry
was annotated in the TCT only a month after the filing of the motion. However, Judge Jocson’s order
of cancellation included the notice of lis pendent for the instant case.

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Aberca vs Ver
Facts
Several suspected subversives who were arrested and detained by the military filed a complaint for
damages with the RTC against Gen. Ver, then AFP Chief of Staff, and his subordinate officers.
Respondents filed a motion to dismiss. The trial court granted respondents motion to dismiss. The
petitioners appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. While the case was pending in the Supreme
Court, the EDSA revolution took place. Later, the Supreme Court rendered a decision setting aside the
assailed orders and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.

However, trial could not proceed immediately because the record of the case was destroyed when fire
razed the City Hall of Quezon City. Petitioners filed a motion praying that respondents be required to
file their answer. The petitioners were ordered to report to the trial court the addresses and
whereabouts of respondents so that they could be properly notified. Instead of complying with the
order, petitioners filed a motion to declare defendants in default. The trial court denied petitioners
motion.

For failing to provide the respondents addresses, the trial court dismissed the case without prejudice.
Subsequently, however, the trial court reinstated the case. It also approved petitioners request to serve
the notice to file answer or responsive pleading by publication. The plaintiffs-appellees informed the
trial court that the notice was published in the Tagalog newspaper BALITA. Respondents filed no
answer within the period stated in the notice. On motion of petitioners, the trial court declared
respondents in default and directed petitioners to present their evidence ex-parte.

Issue
Whether or not the constitutional right to procedural due process was violated when the respondents
were declared in default for failing to file their answer within the prescribed period and petitioners
were allowed to present their evidence ex-parte.

Held
Due process was violated.

The basic rules on the modes of service provided under Rule 13 of the Rules of Court have been made
mandatory and, hence, should be strictly followed. Personal service and filing are preferred for
obvious reasons. Plainly, such should expedite action or resolution on a pleading, motion or other
paper; and conversely, minimize, if not eliminate, delays likely to be incurred if service or filing is
done by mail, considering the inefficiency of postal service.

Under the Rules of Civil Procedure, personal service and filing is the general rule, and resort to other
modes of service and filing, the exception. In the case at bench, the respondents were completely
deprived of due process when they were declared in default based on a defective mode of service –
service of notice to file answer by publication.

…nevertheless, there was still another less preferred but proper mode of service available –
substituted service - which is service made by delivering the copy to the clerk of court, with proof of
failure of both personal service and service by mail. Unfortunately, this substitute mode of service
was not resorted to by the RTC after it failed to effect personal service and service by mail. Instead,
the RTC authorized an unrecognized mode of service under the Rules, which was service of notice to
file answer by publication. In case the preferred modes were impractical, a convincing proof of an
impossibility of personal service or service by mail to the respondents should have been shown first.

To stress, the only modes of service of pleadings, motions, notices, orders, judgments and other
papers allowed by the rules are personal service, service by mail and substituted service if either
personal service or service by mail cannot be made. Nowhere under this rule is service of notice to
file answer by publication is mentioned, much less recognized. Furthermore, the Court would like to
point out that service by publication only applies to service of summons stated under Rule 14 of the
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Rules of Court where the methods of service of summons in civil cases are: (1) personal service; (2)
substituted service; and (3) service by publication. Similarly, service by publication can apply to
judgments, final orders and resolutions.

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FEU-NRMF vs FEU-NRMF AFW


Facts
Petitioner FEU-NRMF is a medical institution. On the other hand, respondent union is a legitimate
labor organization and is the duly recognized representative of the rank and file employees of
petitioner FEU-NRMF. FEU-NRMF and respondent union entered into a Collective Bargaining
Agreement (CBA). Afterwards, the CBA would soon expire and so Petitioner and Respondent entered
into negotiations for a new CBA but negotiations failed.

Respondent filed a Notice of Strike before NCMB-NCR on the ground of bargaining deadlock. For its
part, Petitioner filed a Petition for the Assumption of Jurisdiction or for Certification of Labor Dispute
with the NLRC. Acting on the petition, the Secretary of Labor granted the petition and thus assumed
jurisdiction over the labor dispute, thereby prohibiting any strike or lockout whether actual or
impending. Francisco Escuadra, the NLRC process server, certified that he attempted to serve a copy
of the Assumption of Jurisdiction Order to the union officers but since no one was around at the strike
area, he just posted copies of the said Order at several conspicuous places within the premises of the
hospital. Claiming that they had no knowledge that the Secretary of Labor already assumed
jurisdiction over the pending labor dispute as they were not able to receive a copy of the Assumption
of Jurisdiction Order, striking employees continued holding a strike. Subsequently, petitioner FEU-
NRMF filed a case before the NLRC, contending that respondent union staged the strike in defiance
of the Assumption of Jurisdiction Order; hence, it was illegal.

Issue
Whether or not the service of the Assumption of Jurisdiction Order was validly effected by the
process server so as to bind Respondent and hold them liable for the acts committed subsequent to the
issuance of the said Order.

Held
Assumption of Jurisdiction Order wasn’t validly effected as to bind Respondent.

The certification/proof of service of the process server, Francisco A. Escuadra, reads:


CERTIFICATION/PROOF OF SERVICE
This is to certify that on September 5, 1996 at around 4:00 P.M., I attempted to serve a copy of the Order of Assumption of Jurisdiction
issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, to the officials of the FEU-NRMF Employees Association-AFL.

Since none of the officials of the said union was available to receive a copy of the said Order, I posted copies of the same at several
conspicuous places within the premises of Far Eastern University Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation (FEU-NRMF).

Either the NLRC Revised Rules of Procedure or the Revised Rules of Court doesn’t sanction this
mode of service. Under the NLRC Revised Rules of Procedure, the process server should make
service of copies of orders either personally or through registered mail. However, due to the urgent
nature of the Assumption of Jurisdiction Order and the public policy underlying the injunction carried
by the issuance of the said Order, service of copies of the same should be made in the most
expeditious and effective manner, without any delay, ensuring its immediate receipt by the intended
parties as may be warranted under the circumstances. Accordingly, in this case, personal service is the
proper mode of serving the Assumption of Jurisdiction Order.

It is also provided under the same rules that in special circumstances, service of summons may be
effected in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court. Such posting is not
prescribed by the rules, nor is it even referred to when the said rules enumerated the different modes
of effecting substituted service, in case personal service is impossible by the absence of the party
concerned. If, however, efforts to find the party concerned personally would make prompt service
impossible, service may be completed by substituted service, that is, by leaving a copy, between the
hours of eight in the morning and six in the evening, at the party’s or counsel’s residence, if known,
with a person of sufficient age and discretion then residing therein.

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Failure to comply with this rule renders absolutely void the substituted service along with the
proceedings taken thereafter. Merely posting copies of the Assumption of Jurisdiction Order does not
satisfy the rigid requirement for proper service outlined by the above stated rules. Needless to say,
the manner of service made by the process server was invalid and irregular. Respondent union could
not therefore be adjudged to have defied the said Order since it was not properly appraised thereof.
Accordingly, the strike conducted by the respondent union was valid under the circumstances.

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Atlantic Erectors vs Herbal Cove


Facts
Herbal Cove and Atlantic Erectors entered into a Construction Contract whereby Herbal Cove agreed
to construct townhouses for an original contract price of P15,726,745.19. The contract period is 180
days. Atlantic claimed that the said period was not followed due to reasons attributable to Herbal
Cove. Herbal Cove however, denied such claim and instead pointed to Atlantic as having exceeded
the 180 day contract period.

Atlantic filed a complaint for sum of money with damages with the RTC. On the same day, Atlantic
filed a notice of lis pendens for annotation of the pendency of Civil Case. Herbal Cove filed a Motion
to Dismiss Atlantic’s Complaint for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to state a cause of action. The
RTC dismissed the Complaint to which Atlantic filed a motion for reconsideration.

Later, Herbal Cove filed a Motion to Cancel Notice of Lis Pendens. The RTC denied the Motion.

Issue
Whether or not the annotation of a notice of lis pendens is proper.

Held
The annotation is improper.

As a general rule, the only instances in which a notice of lis pendens may be availed of are as follows:
1. An action to recover possession of real estate;
2. An action for partition; and
3. Any other court proceedings that directly affect the title to the land or the building thereon or
the use or the occupation thereof.

Resorting to lis pendens is not necessarily confined to cases that involve title to or possession of real
property. This annotation also applies to suits seeking to establish a right to, or an equitable estate or
interest in, a specific real property; or to enforce a lien, a charge or an encumbrance against it.

Apparently, petitioner proceeds on the premise that its money claim involves the enforcement of a
lien provided under Article 2242 of the Civil Code or the Contractor’s lien. However, a careful
examination of petitioner’s Complaint, as well as the reliefs it seeks, reveals that no such lien or
interest over the property was ever alleged. The Complaint merely asked for the payment of
construction services and materials plus damages, without mentioning -- much less asserting -- a lien
or an encumbrance over the property. Verily, it was a purely personal action and a simple collection
case.

Another factor negates the argument of petitioner that its money claim involves the enforcement of a
lien or the assertion of title to or possession of the subject property: the fact that it filed its action with
the RTC of Makati, which is undisputedly bereft of any jurisdiction over respondent’s property in
Tagaytay City.

Also, it is held generally that the doctrine of lis pendens has no application to a proceeding in which
the only object sought is the recovery of a money judgment, though the title or right of possession to
property be incidentally affected. It is essential that the property be directly affected, as where the
relief sought in the action or suit includes the recovery of possession, or the enforcement of a lien, or
an adjudication between conflicting claims of title, possession, or the right of possession to specific
property, or requiring its transfer or sale

Thus, when a complaint or an action is determined by the courts to be in personam, the rationale for
or purpose of the notice of lis pendens ceases to exist. To be sure, this Court has expressly and
categorically declared that the annotation of a notice of lis pendens on titles to properties is not proper
in cases wherein the proceedings instituted are actions in personam.
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Sps. Madrigal vs CA
Facts
The Sps. Aquino brought a Complaint for recovery of possession with damages against Mariano and
Intercity Properties, Inc., before the RTC that issued the corresponding summons. Later, the summons
and complaint were duly served on INTERCITY but not on MARIANO, as reported in the Return of
the Process Server. Alias summons were issued upon motion of the Sps. Aquino. Since Mariano was
not in his residence despite several attempts to look for him, substituted service of summons was
resorted to by “leaving a copy of the summons together with the complaint and its annexes to his
wife, Julieta S. Madrigal, a person of suitable age and discretion and who acknowledged receipt
thereof xxx.” The return of service bore her signature.

When the case was called for pre-trial Intercity failed to appear, despite due notice, and was declared
in default. Mariano failed to file an answer or any responsive pleading and was also declared in
default. The Sps. Aquino adduced their evidence ex-parte, on the basis of which a Judgment by
Default was rendered. Mariano filed a Motion to Lift Order of Default contending, among others, the
RTC never acquired jurisdiction over his person as he was not personally served with summons
together with the complaint. The RTC denied the Motion.

Issue
Whether or not there was valid summons.

Held
There was valid summons.

Rule 14 Sec. 6 of the RoC requires that summons must be served personally on the defendant.
However, should personal service be unattainable, substituted service may be availed of under Rule
14 Sec. 7.

The impossibility of personal service justifying availment of substituted service should be explained
in the proof of service; why efforts exerted towards personal service failed. The pertinent facts and
circumstances attendant to the service of summons must be stated in the proof of service or Officer’s
Return; otherwise, the substituted service cannot be upheld. The resort to a substituted service must be
duly justified and failure to do so would invalidate all subsequent proceedings on jurisdictional
grounds.

To determine whether there was such an observance and substituted service was warranted under the
premises, it is necessary for the Court to carefully peruse and evaluate the Sheriff’s Return that
reported:
1. That on several occasions, at reasonable hours of the day, the Deputized Process Server, Jose
T. Manabat, tried to serve upon Mariano the summons together with the complaint;
2. That diligent efforts were exerted by the said Deputized Process Server;
3. That service of summons was then made on Mariano’s wife, JULIETA, a person of suitable
age and discretion who acknowledged receipt thereof.

The Sheriff’s certificate of service of summons is prima facie evidence of the facts therein set out.
Mariano is unable to overcome this presumption. Mariano theorized that he was completely unaware
of subject action brought against him and he only learned about it when his sister-in-law handed to
him a brown envelope containing a copy of the Decision. According to him, he was separated from
his wife at the time of service of summons, and was then a stay-in employee of Via Marine
Corporation.

As between the Sheriff’s Return on the substituted service, which carries with it a presumption of
regularity, and Mariano self-serving assertion that he only came to know of the case against him,
when his sister-in-law delivered to him the decision of the lower court, the Sheriff’s Return is
undoubtedly more deserving of faith and credit.
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To save his cause, Mariano invited attention that the subject Sheriff’s or Process Server’s Return is
couched in broad and general terms, and does not state the material dates when the Process Server
tried to serve the summons. While the Sheriff’s Return is silent on the facts and circumstances
engendering the impossibility of personal service of summons upon Mariano, within a reasonable
time, it can be deduced therefrom that alias summons had to be issued.

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Eduardo Fernandez vs CA
Facts
This petition involves Lot 435. After Fernandez acquired ownership of the lot, he tried to eject private
respondent Jesus Ciocon off the property. Ciocon instituted against Fernandez Civil Case for
reconveyance of the land. Fernandez died and was substituted in the civil suit by his heirs. The other
Private respondents are interveners claiming they had purchased portions of Lot 435 from Ciocon.

Later, Judge Enrique Jocson rendered judgment dismissing both complaints and ordering private
respondent Ciocon and the intervenors to deliver immediate possession of Lot No. 435 to the heirs of
Fernandez. Ciocon appealed to the CA but the CA ordered the RTC to take the testimonies of
pertinent parties to the case. The RTC construed the CA decision as a remand and Judge Jocson
rendered a second decision setting aside the first judgment. In the second decision, the judge directed
the return of the disputed lot to Ciocon and intervenors except the portions still being litigated.

Ciocon moved for execution pending appeal and the trial court granted the motion ex parte. The TCT
in the name of Fernandez was cancelled and a new TCT was issued in the name of respondent
Ciocon. Later, Ciocon moved to have certain entries cancelled in the TCT. After this, a notice of lis
pendens was annotated on the TCT. Judge Jocson then ordered the entries cancelled, including the
notice of lis pendens.

Ciocon then subsequently sold the property to a 3rd person, and this 3rd person used the property as
security for a loan from a bank.

Issue
Whether or not the Judge erred in cancelling the notice of lis pendens.

Held
Judge erred.

A notice of lis pendens may be canceled only after proper showing that the purpose of its annotation
is for molesting the adverse party, or that it is not necessary to protect the rights of the party who
caused it to be annotated. The annotation was needed to protect petitioners’ interest from any hasty
transfer of the property to another, making recovery of the property extremely complicated. This is
exactly what happened in this case when the notice of lis pendens was cancelled.

Further, the trial court’s inherent power to cancel a notice of lis pendens is exercised only under
exceptional circumstances, such as:
1. Where such circumstances are imputable to the party who caused the annotation;
2. Where the litigation was unduly prolonged to the prejudice of the other party because of several continuances procured by
petitioner;
3. Where the case which is the basis for the lis pendens notation was dismissed for non-prosequitur on the part of the plaintiff; or
where judgment was rendered against the party who caused such a notation.

In such instances, said notice is deemed ipso facto cancelled. These exceptional circumstances are not
present in this case. More significantly, a notice of lis pendens cannot be ordered cancelled on an ex
parte motion, much less without any motion at all. There should be notice to the party who caused the
annotation so that he may be heard to object to the cancellation of his notice and show to the court
that the notice of lis pendens is necessary to protect his rights and is not merely to molest the other
party. Neither can a notice of lis pendens be ordered cancelled upon the mere filing of a bond by the
party on whose title the notice is annotated.

More significantly, a notice of lis pendens cannot be ordered cancelled on an ex parte motion, much
less without any motion at all. There should be notice to the party who caused the annotation so that
he may be heard to object to the cancellation of his notice and show to the court that the notice of lis
pendens is necessary to protect his rights and is not merely to molest the other party. Here, Ciocon’s
motion to cancel certain notices of lis pendens did not include a request to cancel the notice for lis

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pendent of the instant case in particular, and it certainly could not have been included since the entry
was annotated in the TCT only a month after the filing of the motion. However, Judge Jocson’s order
of cancellation included the notice of lis pendent for the instant case.

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Villarosa & Partner Co. Ltd. vs Benito


Facts
Villarosa and Benito executed a Deed of Sale with Development Agreement wherein the former
agreed to develop certain parcels of land belonging to the latter into a housing subdivision. Later,
Benito filed a Complaint for Breach of Contract and Damages against Villarosa before the RTC
allegedly for failure of the latter to comply with its contractual obligation.

Summons, together with the complaint, were served upon Villarosa, through its Branch Manager
Engr. Wendell Salbulbero at the stated address at Kolambog, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City but the
Sheriff’s Return of Service stated that the summons was duly served “upon defendant E. B. Villarosa
& Partner Co., Ltd. thru its Branch Manager Engr. Wendell Salbulbero on May 5, 1998 at their new
office Villa Gonzalo, Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City, and evidenced by the signature on the face of
the original copy of the summons.”

Vilarosa filed a Special Appearance with Motion to Dismiss on the ground of improper service of
summons and for lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. Defendant contends that the
trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over its person since the summons was improperly served upon
its employee in its branch office at Cagayan de Oro City who is not one of those persons named in
Section 11, Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure upon whom service of summons may be
made.

Issue
Whether or not the RTC acquired jurisdiction over the person of petitioner upon service of summons
on its Branch Manager.

Held
The RTC didn’t acquire jurisdiction.

Section 11, Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that:
“When the defendant is a corporation, partnership or association organized under the laws of the Philippines with a juridical personality,
service may be made on the president, managing partner, general manager, corporate secretary, treasurer, or in-house counsel.”

Under the new Rules, service of summons upon an agent of the corporation is no longer authorized.
The designation of persons or officers who are authorized to accept summons for a domestic
corporation or partnership is now limited and more clearly specified. The rule now states “general
manager” instead of only “manager”; “corporate secretary” instead of “secretary”; and “treasurer”
instead of “cashier.” The phrase “agent, or any of its directors” is conspicuously deleted in the new
rule.

“Strictest” compliance with Section 11 of Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure (on Priorities
in modes of service and filing) is mandated and the Court cannot rule otherwise, lest we allow
circumvention of the innovation by the 1997 Rules in order to obviate delay in the administration of
justice.

The service of summons upon the branch manager of Villarosa at its branch office at Cagayan de Oro,
instead of upon the general manager at its principal office at Davao City is improper. Consequently,
the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner.

The fact that defendant filed a belated motion to dismiss did not operate to confer jurisdiction upon its
person. There is no question that the defendant’s voluntary appearance in the action is equivalent to
service of summons. Before, the rule was that a party may challenge the jurisdiction of the court over
his person by making a special appearance through a motion to dismiss and if in the same motion, the
movant raised other grounds or invoked affirmative relief which necessarily involves the exercise of
the jurisdiction of the court, the party is deemed to have submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the
court. This doctrine is now abandoned.

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Rule 14 Sec. 20 now provides otherwise because the filing of a motion to dismiss, whether or not
belatedly filed by the defendant, his authorized agent or attorney, precisely objecting to the
jurisdiction of the court over the person of the defendant can by no means be deemed a submission to
the jurisdiction of the court.

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Millenium Industrial Corp. vs Tan


Facts
Millenium Industrial Commercial Corporation executed a Deed of Real Estate Mortgage1 over its real
property in favor of Tan. The mortgage was executed to secure payment of petitioner's indebtedness
to respondent. Later, Tan filed a complaint for foreclosure of mortgage in the RTC. Summons and a
copy of the complaint were served upon Millennium through a certain Lynverd Cinches, described in
the sheriff's return as "a Draftsman, a person of sufficient age and (discretion) working therein, he is
the highest ranking officer or Officer-in-Charge of defendant's Corporation, to receive processes of
the Court."

Millennium moved for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground that there was no valid service of
summons upon it, as a result of which the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over it. Petitioner
invoked Rule 14, §13 of the 1964 Rules of Court and contended that service on Lynverd Cinches, as
alleged in the sheriff's return, was invalid as he is not one of the authorized persons on whom
summons may be served and that, in fact, he was not even its employee.

Petitioner also sought the dismissal of the complaint against it on the ground that it had satisfied its
obligation to respondent when the latter opted to be paid in shares of stock under the following
stipulation in the mortgage contract. Petitioner further prayed for "other reliefs just and equitable
under the premises." The RTC denied the Motion to Dismiss.

Issue
Whether or not the RTC acquired jurisdiction over Millennium.

Held
RTC has no jurisdiction.

The general rule is the enumeration in Rule 14, §135 is exclusive and that service of summons upon
one who is not enumerated therein is invalid. However, it is settled that substantial compliance by
serving summons on persons other than those mentioned in the above rule may be justified.

The requisites for the application of the doctrine of substantial compliance, to wit:
1. There must be actual receipt of the summons by the person served, i.e., transferring possession of the copy of the summons from
the Sheriff to the person served;
2. The person served must sign a receipt or the sheriff's return; and
3. There must be actual receipt of the summons by the corporation through the person on whom the summons was actually served.

In this case, there is no dispute that the first and second requisites were fulfilled. With respect to the
third, the appellate court held that petitioner's filing of a motion to dismiss the foreclosure suit is proof
that it received the copy of the summons and the complaint. There is, however, no direct proof of this
or that Lynverd Cinches actually turned over the summons to any of the officers of the corporation.

The question is whether it is allowable to merely infer actual receipt of summons by the corporation
through the person on whom summons was served. We hold that it cannot be allowed. For there to be
substantial compliance, actual receipt of summons by the corporation through the person served must
be shown. Where a corporation only learns of the service of summons and the filing of the complaint
against it through some person or means other than the person actually served, the service of
summons becomes meaningless. This is particularly true in the present case where there is serious
doubt if Lynverd Cinches, the person on whom service of summons was effected, is in fact an
employee of the corporation. Except for the sheriff's return, there is nothing to show that Lynverd
Cinches was really a draftsman employed by the corporation.

5
Before the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure

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Next, the mere fact that Millenium asserted an affirmative defines and prayed for ‘other reliefs’ in its
Motion to Dismiss doesn’t result in jurisdiction by estoppel. Estoppel by jurisdiction must be
unequivocal and intentional.

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Asiavest Limited vs CA
Minute Digest

Accordingly, since HERAS was not a resident of Hong Kong and the action against him was,
indisputably, one in personam, summons should have been personally served on him in Hong Kong.
The extraterritorial service in the Philippines was therefore invalid and did not confer on the Hong
Kong court jurisdiction over his person. It follows that the Hong Kong court judgment cannot be
given force and effect here in the Philippines for having been rendered without jurisdiction.

Similarly, HERAS, who was also an absentee, should have been served with summons in the same
manner as a non-resident not found in Hong Kong. Section 17, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court
providing for extraterritorial service will not apply because the suit against him was in personam.
Neither can we apply Section 18, which allows extraterritorial service on a resident defendant who is
temporarily absent from the country, because even if HERAS be considered as a resident of Hong
Kong, the undisputed fact remains that he left Hong Kong not only "temporarily" but "for good."

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Manotoc vs CA
Facts
Manotoc is the defendant in a Civil Case for Filing, Recognition and/or Enforcement of Foreign
Judgment. Respondent Trajano seeks the enforcement of a foreign court’s judgment rendered by the
United States District Court of Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America for wrongful death of
deceased Archimedes Trajano committed by military intelligence officials of the Philippines allegedly
under defendant Manotoc. The RTC issued a Summons addressed to Manotoc at Alexandra
Condominium Corporation. Later, the Summons and a copy of the Complaint were allegedly served
upon (Mr.) Macky de la Cruz, an alleged caretaker of Manotoc at the condominium unit mentioned
earlier. Manotoc failed to file an Answer and was declared in default.

Later, Manotoc filed a Motion to Dismiss, which the RTC later denied, on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction of the trial court over her person due to an invalid substituted service of summons. The
grounds to support the motion, among others, were:
1. The address of defendant indicated in the Complaint (Alexandra Homes) was not her residence or regular place of business
2. The party (de la Cruz), who was found in the unit, was neither a representative, employee, nor a resident of the place;

Issue
Whether or not the RTC acquired jurisdiction over Manotoc.

Held
RTC didn’t acquire jurisdiction.

Here there was Invalid Substituted Service.

The Sheriff’s Return readily reveals the absence of material data on the serious efforts to serve the
Summons on petitioner Manotoc in person. There is no clear valid reason cited in the Return why
those efforts proved inadequate, to reach the conclusion that personal service has become impossible
or unattainable outside the generally couched phrases of “on many occasions several attempts were
made to serve the summons x x x personally,” “at reasonable hours during the day,” and “to no avail
for the reason that the said defendant is usually out of her place and/or residence or premises.” The
pertinent facts and circumstances on the efforts exerted to serve the summons personally must be
narrated in the Return with particularity.

It has not been shown that respondent Trajano or Sheriff Cañelas, who served such summons, exerted
extraordinary efforts to locate petitioner. Before resorting to substituted service, a plaintiff must
demonstrate an effort in good faith to locate the defendant through more direct means.

The Court rules in the case at bar that the narration of the efforts made to find the defendant and the
fact of failure written in broad and imprecise words will not suffice. The facts and circumstances
should be stated with more particularity and detail on the number of attempts made at personal
service, dates and times of the attempts, inquiries to locate defendant, names of occupants of the
alleged residence, and the reasons for failure should be included in the Return to satisfactorily show
the efforts undertaken. That such efforts were made to personally serve summons on defendant, and
those resulted in failure, would prove impossibility of prompt personal service.

Granting that such a general description be considered adequate, there is still a serious nonconformity
from the requirement that the summons must be left with a “person of suitable age and discretion”
residing in defendant’s house or residence. In this case, the Sheriff’s Return lacks information as to
residence, age, and discretion of Mr. Macky de la Cruz, aside from the sheriff’s general assertion that
de la Cruz is the “resident caretaker” of petitioner.

The court a quo heavily relied on the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty.
The Court acknowledges that this ruling is still a valid doctrine. However, for the presumption to
apply, the Sheriff’s Return must show that serious efforts or attempts were exerted to personally serve

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the summons and that said efforts failed. These facts must be specifically narrated in the Return. To
reiterate, it must clearly show that the substituted service must be made on a person of suitable age
and discretion living in the dwelling or residence of defendant. Otherwise, the Return is flawed and
the presumption cannot be availed of.

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Fortich vs Corona
Minute Digest

Issue
Whether or not Intervenors have standing in the case?

Held
Intervenors have no standing.

Before finally disposing of these pending matters, we feel it necessary to rule once and for all on the
legal standing of intervenors in this case. In their present motions, intervenors insist that they are real
parties in interest inasmuch as they have already been issued certificates of land ownership award, or
CLOAs, and that while they are seasonal farmworkers at the plantation, they have been identified by
the DAR as qualified beneficiaries of the property.

These arguments are, however, nothing new as in fact they have already been raised in intervenors’
earlier motion for reconsideration of our April 24, 1998 Decision. Again as expressed in the opinion
of Mr. Justice Martinez, intervenors, who are admittedly not regular but seasonal farmworkers, have
no legal or actual and substantive interest over the subject land inasmuch as they have no right to own
the land. Rather, their right is limited only to a just share of the fruits of the land.

Moreover, the “Win-Win” Resolution itself states that the qualified beneficiaries have yet to be
carefully and meticulously determined by the Department of Agrarian Reform. Absent any definitive
finding of the Department of Agrarian Reform, intervenors cannot as yet be deemed vested with
sufficient interest in the controversy as to be qualified to intervene in this case. Likewise, the
issuance of the CLOA's to them does not grant them the requisite standing in view of the nullity of the
“Win-Win” Resolution. No legal rights can emanate from a resolution that is null and void.

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Looyuko vs CA
Minute Digest

Issue
Whether or not the motion for intervention filed by the Spouses Gutang and Looyuko is proper
considering that the case was already final and executory.

Held
The intervention is improper.

A motion for intervention should be made "before or during a trial” which means that the motion
should be filed any time before rendition of judgment.

Intervention is merely collateral or accessory or ancillary to the principal action, and not an
independent proceeding; it is an interlocutory proceeding dependent on or subsidiary to the case
between the original parties. Where the main action ceases to exist, there is no pending proceeding
wherein the intervention may be based. Here, there is no more pending principal action wherein the
Spouses Gutang and Looyuko et al. may intervene.

In the present case, the motions for intervention were filed after judgment had already been rendered,
indeed when the case was already final and executory. Certainly, intervention can no longer be
allowed in a case already terminated by final judgment.

A decision was already rendered therein and no appeal having been taken therefrom, the judgment in
that main case is now final and executory. Intervention is legally possible only "before or during a
trial," hence a motion for intervention filed after trial—and, a fortiori, when the case has already been
submitted, when judgment has been rendered, or worse, when judgment is already final and
executory—should be denied.

In exceptional cases, the Court has allowed intervention notwithstanding the rendition of judgment by
the trial court. It must be noted, however, that in these cases, the intervenors are indispensable parties.
Here, a subordinate lien holder (such as Petitioners) is a proper, even a necessary, but not an
indispensable, party to a foreclosure proceeding.

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International Pipes vs Cruz & Co.


Facts
The case is an appeal via certiorari from the decision of the Court of Appeals that denied petitioners
International Pipes, Inc. (IPI) and Italit Construction and Development Corporation’s (ITALIT)
motion to intervene in the case of respondent F.F. Cruz and Co., Inc.’s (FF Cruz) petition for
certiorari, prohibition and mandamus assailing the resolution of MWSS board of trustees rejecting all
bids, including the winning bid of FF Cruz for the supply, delivery and installation of water pipes for
project APM-01 of the Angat Water Supply Optimization Program (ASOP) and to undertake the
project by administration.

On February 29, 1996, the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision that nullified and set aside the
resolution of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) that had rejected all bids and
opted to pursue the project by administration.

On November 19, 1996, petitioners filed with the Court of Appeals a motion for leave to intervene
and to admit their comment-in-intervention.

On December 23, 1996, the Court of Appeals denied petitioners’ motion to intervene, ruling that
petitioners “have not demonstrated that they have a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the
success of either of the parties or an interest against both, or that they are so situated as to be
adversely affected by a distribution or disposition of property in the custody of the court or an officer
thereof, in the contemplation of the rules of court and the precedents thereunder.”

Issue
Whether or not Petitioner can intervene in the case considering the main case had already been settled
in the compromise agreement.

Held
Petitioners can’t intervene.

It may be mentioned, at this juncture, that another controversy between FF Cruz and the MWSS arose
in connection with companion project APM-02 of AWSOP. As a result, on April 10, 1996, FF Cruz
filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus against MWSS.
On October 29, 1996, the Court of Appeals promulgated a decision in favor of the MWSS. On May
13, 1997, FF Cruz filed with the Supreme Court a petition for review on certiorari.

Subsequently, FF Cruz and MWSS commenced negotiations to amicably settle the controversies on
projects/contracts APM-01 and APM-02 of AWSOP. On May 19, 1998, FF Cruz and MWSS filed
with the Supreme Court a “joint Motion for Judgment on Compromise Agreement.”

Notwithstanding the objections of IPI and ITALIT, on September 16, 1998, the Supreme Court
approved the Compromise Agreement not only as to G.R. NO. 128634 (CA-G.R. SP No. 40308,
APM-02) but also as to G.R. No. 127653 (CA-G.R. SP No. 38797, APM-01), and considered these
cases “CLOSED and TERMINATED.”

With the termination of the main case due to the compromise agreement of the parties, there is no
more case in which petitioners may intervene. Intervention cannot exist as an independent action; it is
merely ancillary and supplemental to an existing litigation.

Consequently, we need not rule on the issue of whether petitioners may intervene in CA-G.R. SP No.
38797 and whether such intervention may be filed nine (9) months after judgment on the case in
which petitioners manifested interest.

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Asian Terminals vs Ricafort


Facts
Respondents are duly-licensed importers of vehicles. They imported 72 secondhand right-hand drive
buses from Japan. When the shipment arrived at Manila, the District Collector of Customs impounded
the vehicles and ordered them stored at the warehouse of the Asian Terminals, Inc. (ATI), a customs-
bonded warehouse. The vehicles were detained because they violated the law prohibiting the
importation of right-hand vehicles.

Later, Respondents filed a complaint for replevin alleging there was no factual and legal basis for the
seizure of the shipment and the storage thereof at the ATI. The RTC granted the writ of replevin.

ATI then filed a Third-Party Claim over the shipment, alleging that it had a lien over the vehicles for
accumulated and unpaid storage and arrastre charges, and wharfage dues amounting to
P13,036,480.94. It prayed that the vehicles be returned and remain with it until payment of said dues.

Later, ATI filed a Motion for Intervention and for Admission of its Complaint-in-Intervention,
alleging that it had a lien on the vehicles to the extent of P13,820,150.93, representing accumulated
storage and arrastre charges and wharfage dues.

Issue
Whether or not ATI’s motion for intervention should be admitted.

Held
ATI’s motion should be denied.

…Thus, the RTC had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the petition for replevin by respondents
herein, issue the writ of replevin and order its enforcement. The Collector of Customs had already
seized the vehicles and set the sale thereof at public auction. The RTC should have dismissed the
petition for replevin at the outset.

In fine, the initial orders of the RTC granting the issuance of the writ of replevin and its
implementation are void.

Next, the RTC cannot be faulted for dismissing petitioner’s complaint-in-intervention. Considering
that it had no jurisdiction over respondents’ action and over the shipment subject of the complaint, all
proceedings before it would be void. The RTC had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the
complaint-in-intervention and act thereon except to dismiss the same. Moreover, considering that
intervention is merely ancillary and supplemental to the existing litigation and never an independent
action, the dismissal of the principal action necessarily results in the dismissal of the complaint-in-
intervention. Likewise, a court that has no jurisdiction over the principal action has no jurisdiction
over a complaint-in-intervention. Intervention presupposes the pendency of a suit in a court of
competent jurisdiction. Jurisdiction of intervention is governed by jurisdiction of the main action.

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Judge Maximo A. Savellano


Facts
This administrative matter arose as a result of the non-resolution within the reglementary period of
several criminal and civil cases before the Regional Trial Court by Executive Judge Maximo A.
Savellano, Jr. Judge Maximo A. Savellano, Jr. compulsorily retired from the judicial service and
submitted his Monthly Reports of Cases.

The Monthly Reports of cases disclosed a list of cases "reportedly long submitted for decision before
Judge Savellano, but which were only recently decided by the latter." Additionally, there was a
separate list of unresolved cases by Judge Savellano allegedly due to non-submission of the
memoranda by the parties, as required by the court.

The Court required Judge Savellano to explain his possible violation of Administrative Circular No.
28, dated 03 July 1989, as a result of the handling of certain civil and criminal cases and for having
decided several cases beyond the 90-day reglementary period provided by the Constitution.

Judge Savellan explained that the subject cases were not yet submitted for decision inasmuch as the
parties had yet to submit their respective memoranda, as required and ordered by the court. According
to Judge Savellano, he "awaited the filing of the required memoranda and even issued subsequent
orders giving (the parties) additional time to do so in order to enlighten the court on issues to be raised
and discussed by them, but they failed to do so”.

Issue
Whether or not the cases weren’t deemed submitted for decision because the parties failed to file their
memoranda.

Held
The cases are deemed submitted for decision because the 90-day period from the time the deadline to
submit the memorandum already lapsed.

On this score, Administrative Circular No.28, dated 03 July 1989 finds pertinence, thus:
"1) As a general rule, the submission of memoranda is not mandatory or required as a matter of course but shall be left to the sound
discretion of the court. A memo may not be filed unless require or allowed by the court. X X X.

XXX XXX XXX

3) A case is considered submitted for decision upon the admission of the evidence of the parties at the termination of the trial. The ninety
(90) day period for deciding the case shall commence to run from submission of the case for decision without memoranda; In case the Court
requires or allows its filing, the case shall be considered submitted for decision upon the filing of the last memorandum or the expiration of
the period to do so, whichever is earlier X X X.

4) The court may grant extension of time to file memoranda, but the ninety (90) day period for deciding the case shall not be interrupted
thereby.

In light of these clear provisions, the proffered explanation of Judge Savellano, as to the delay in the
resolution of the subject cases and rendition of judgement thereon, loses persuasion and fails to
absolve him from administrative liability.

Verily, judges should decide cases even if the parties fail to submit memoranda within the given
periods. Non- submission of memoranda is not a part of the trial nor is the memorandum itself an
essential, much less indispensable pleading before a case may be submitted for decision. As it is
merely intended to aid the court in the rendition of the decision in accordance with law and evidence–
which even in its absence the court can do on the basis of the judge's personal notes and the records of
the case-non-submission thereof has invariably been considered a waiver of the privilege.

The standing rule then is that the ninety-day period for deciding cases should be observed by all
judges, unless they have been granted additional time. Judges when burdened by heavy caseloads that

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prevent them from disposing their cases within the reglementary period may, with leave of this Court,
ask for additional time.

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Republic vs Mangrobang
Facts
Private respondent Helena Z. Benitez, a former Senator, is the owner of a parcel of land. Petitioner
signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Benitez whereby the latter undertook to lease her property
in favor of Petitioner. At the end of the lease contract, negotiations began for Petitioner to purchase
the leased land.

Due to the ongoing negotiations, both Parties agreed that payment of rentals would temporarily cease.
However, Benitez argues no such agreement took place and Petitioner simply failed to pay rentals.
The negotiations failed and Benitez demanded Petitioner to pay the rentals due and to vacate the
premises.

Petitioner refused to do so causing Benitez to file an ejectment suit in the MTC. In turn, Petitioner
filed an expropriation suit to claim the land leased in the RTC. In the ejectment suit, the MTC ruled in
Bentiez’ favor and Petitioner appealed to the RTC. Upon Benitez’ motion, the RTC consolidated the
appealed ejectment suit and the expropriation suit.

Issue
Whether or not an appealed case emanating from the decision of a Municipal Trial Court in an
ejectment case and now pending before a Regional Trial Court can be consolidated with an original
action for eminent domain pending before another branch of the RTC.

Held
The cases shouldn’t be consolidated.

The main object of consolidation is to avoid multiplicity of suits, guard against oppression or abuse,
prevent delay, clear congested dockets, simplify the work of the trial court and save unnecessary costs
and expense. While nothing in the rules expressly prohibits the consolidation of an appealed case with
a case being heard originally, consolidation of the two cases involved herein would serve none of the
purposes cited above.

First, it would only delay the resolution of the two cases. Note that by itself ejectment is summary in
nature. Similarly, speedy action is essential in expropriation. But consolidation of these two diverse
cases would not necessarily expedite either of them.

The ejectment case has been on appeal in the RTC for over five years. In regard to the case for
eminent domain, three years have already passed. To begin consolidation of the two cases at this time
would only exacerbate the delay.

Second, as pointed out by petitioner, the two cases raise dissimilar issues, though the facts are
evidently intertwined. Note, however, that the decision in one will not necessarily affect the decision
in the other.

Third, it does not appear certain that consolidation is a wise step where one or both cases had already
been partially heard. It might just complicate procedural requirements.

As a general proposition, the propriety of consolidation rests upon the sound discretion of the trial
court judge. But in this instance, however, we are of the considered view that the exercise of such
discretion in order to consolidate the ejectment case with the eminent domain case was less than
judicious.

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Ray Velasco vs CA
Facts
Denver Builders Supply filed a civil action against Sta. Clara Housing Industries with a prayer for
accounting and damages as well as a writ of preliminary injunction. The writ of preliminary
injunction was to prevent Sta. Clara from disposing its assets, namely its plywood inventory. The
RTC granted the injunction but the CA reversed. On appeal to the SC, the SC granted the writ of
preliminary injunction.

Based on reports that several crates of plywood were being hauled out of the premises of Sta. Clara in
violation of the temporary restraining order, the Court seized 11 crates of plywood that were being
shipped out of Sta. Clara’s warehouse.

Later, Firmwood, another corporation, filed suit for replevin to recover the 11 crates of plywood the
court seized. Firmwood claims ownership over the plywood that Sta Clara confirmed in a complaint-
in-intervention. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court set aside the temporary restraining order it issued in
the Denver Builder case. Both Firmwood and Sta. Clara moved for Summary Judgment alleging there
was no genuine issue as to the material facts of the case. Sta. Clara already confirmed Firmwood’s
ownership over the plywood and Petitioners no longer had any right to retain the plywood in custodia
legs because the Supreme Court already lifted the TRO, the original basis for the seizure.

The Summary Judgment was granted.

Issue
Whether or not the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of private respondents was
proper

Held
The summer judgment was proper.

The rule on Summary Judgment does not vest in the court summary jurisdiction to try the issues on
pleadings and affidavits but gives the court limited authority to enter summary judgment only if it
clearly appears that there is no genuine issue of material fact. On a motion for summary judgment, the
court is not authorized to decide an issue of fact but to determine whether the pleadings and records
before the court create an issue of fact to be tried. It is impossible to state a general rule for
determining whether a genuine issue of fact exists in a particular case. The determination will depend
upon the particular circumstances of each case.

In their answer to the complaint in intervention, petitioners had deemed admitted the ownership and
right of possession of Respondent STA. CLARA over the plywood taken by them and the fact that the
temporary restraining order of this Court by virtue of which the seizure was effected had already been
lifted. Petitioners admitted in their answer to the complaint in intervention that if they were "not
maliciously dragged into this unfounded suit, subject plywood would have been turned over to the
Intervenor (Sta. Clara) which is the owner.

The remaining issue raised by petitioners in objecting to the reliefs prayed for in the complaints of
private respondents is whether petitioners possessed the authority to seize and hold under their
custody the crates of plywood by virtue of the temporary restraining order of this Court which
undisputedly had been lifted and of no more force and effect. There is therefore absent in this case
any genuine issue of fact but a question purely of law. It has been held that even the existence of an
important or complicated question of law where there is no issue as to the facts is not a bar to a
summary judgment.

Based on the records, both parties already agreed that the plywood belonged to Firmwood and Sta.
Clara, the only disagreement being the property could not be disposed of by respondent STA.
CLARA because of the temporary restraining order issued by this Court which allegedly gave
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authority to petitioner Deputy Sheriff Ecobiza to seize the crates of plywood. In rendering summary
judgment in favor of private respondents in the replevin case, the trial court found them to be entitled
to the possession of the subject property wrongfully detained by petitioners as the temporary
restraining order from which they derived their authority to seize the property had already been lifted
and set aside.

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Evadel Realty and Development Corporation vs Sps. Antero and Soriano


Facts
Respondents sold a parcel of land to Evadel Realty and Development Corporation. Upon paying the
first instalment, petitioner fenced off the property with concrete walls. Later, respondent spouses
discovered that the area fenced off by petitioner exceeded the area subject of the contract to sell.
Respondents sent demand letters to petitioner to vacate the encroached area but Petitioner refused to
do so.

Thus, respondents filed a complaint for accion reinvindicatoria. In its Answer, petitioner admitted,
among others, the encroachment but claimed that it was a builder in good faith. Respondents filed a
Motion for Summary Judgment, which the RTC granted and ruled in favour of Respondents.

Issue
Whether or not the trial court was in error in rendering summary judgment on the case.

Held
The RTC was correct in granting summary judgment.

A “genuine issue” is an issue of fact that require the presentation of evidence as distinguished from a
sham, fictitious, contrived or false claim. When the facts as pleaded appear uncontested or
undisputed, then there is no real or genuine issue or question as to the facts, and summary judgment is
called for. The party who moves for summary judgment has the burden of demonstrating clearly the
absence of any genuine issue of fact, or that the issue posed in the complaint is patently unsubstantial
so as not to constitute a genuine issue for trial. Trial courts have limited authority to render summary
judgments and may do so only when there is clearly no genuine issue as to any material fact. When
the facts as pleaded by the parties are disputed or contested, proceedings for summary judgment
cannot take the place of trial.

In its Answer to the Amended Complaint, petitioner admitted the existence and due execution of the
Contract to Sell which contained the specific description of the property it bought from respondent
spouse. With the foregoing admissions by petitioner, clearly, there is no genuine issue of fact as to
ownership of the subject property because the said admissions made by petitioner in its Answer are
tantamount to an admission that respondent spouses owned the encroached property in question.

Petitioner, however, maintains that the trial court should not have peremptorily disposed of the issue
of whether or not it was a builder in good faith.

Petitioner’s contention is untenable. Petitioner already admitted in its Amended Answer that the lot in
dispute is covered by a Torrens title. With this admission, petitioner can no longer claim that it was a
builder in good faith. Since petitioner, by its own admission, had knowledge of respondent spouses’
title over the subject lot, it was clearly in bad faith when it introduced improvements thereon.

Further, the contract to sell between petitioner and respondent spouses, the genuineness and due
execution thereof was admitted by petitioner, clearly delineated the metes and bounds of the lot
subject thereof. Despite this, petitioner still introduced improvements on the lot not covered by the
contract to sell. Petitioner’s bad faith had been duly established by the pleadings and there was thus
no need to further conduct any trial on the matter.

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Nazareno vs CA
Facts
Petitioner Romeo Nazareno and his wife, Elisa Nazareno, were charged with Serious Physical Injuries
and upon arraignment, both pleaded “not guilty” to the offense charged.

After trial on the merits, the said court set the promulgation of judgment for April 24, 1986, but the
same was postponed on Petitioner’s motion to re-open the case. On November 27, 1987, after
Presiding Judge Manuel C. Diosomito was suspended, Acting Municipal Trial Court Judge Aurelio
Icasiano, Jr. denied the motion.

Petitioner brought the matter up to the Court of Appeals on certiorari. In the meantime, Acting
Municipal Trial Court Judge Icasiano, Jr. promulgated the decision dated November 8, 1985 of Judge
Manuel C. Diosomito on April 15, 1988. However, on the same date, the Court of Appeals issued a
temporary restraining order enjoining Judge Icasiano, Jr. from proceeding with the promulgation of
said judgment.

Petitioner thereafter filed in the Court of Appeals a supplemental petition to declare the nullity of
judgment, on the ground that the decision, having been signed by Judge Diosomito, should have also
been promulgated by him, and not by Acting Judge Icasiano, Jr. Petitioner also alleged that the
decision is void since at the time of the promulgation of the decision by Judge Icasiano, Jr., Judge
Diosomito who signed the subject decision has already retired from office.

Issue
Whether or not the decision is valid despite being promulgated after the judge who signed the
decision has ceased to hold office.

Held
The judgment is void.

Trial Judge Icasiano, Jr was in error in promulgating a decision penned by another judge, Judge
Diosomito, who has ceased to be a member of the judiciary at the time of the promulgation of the
decision.

A judgment promulgated after the judge who signed the decision has ceased to hold office is not valid
and binding. For a judgment to be valid, it must be duly signed and promulgated during the
incumbency of the judge who signed it. A decision penned by a judge during his incumbency cannot
be validly promulgated after his retirement.

In the instant case, therefore, Judge Icasiano, Jr. could not validly promulgate the decision of another
judge, Judge Diosomito, who has long “retired” from the service.

A void judgment never acquires finality. Hence, while admittedly, the petitioner in the case at bar
failed to appeal timely the aforementioned decision, it cannot be deemed to have become final and
executory. Thus, there was no effective or operative judgment to appeal from.

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Lizardo vs Montano
Facts
On April 08, 1983, the Regional Trial Court, Kalookan City, Branch 125 in Civil Case No. C-9009,
instituted by petitioner Jose S. Lizardo, Sr. against one Eddie H. Mirano, for collection of a sum of
money, rendered decision in favor of petitioner. No appeal from the judgment was interposed in the
case, and in time, the decision became final and executory.

On October 24, 1985, the trial court issued a writ of execution of the judgment and Mirano’s parcel of
land was sold at public action, which Lizardo won. On March 14, 1986, the trial court ordered the
Register of Deeds of Marikina to consolidate the title to the property in petitioner's name, and on
September 9, 1986, the Register of Deeds issued TCT No. 122925 in petitioner Lizardo's name.

On January 5, 1996, thirteen (13) years after the case had been decided, and more than ten years after
the judgment was fully satisfied, respondent Atty. Carmelito A. Montano who was the lawyer for
petitioner, filed with the trial court an omnibus motion for payment of his attorney's fees. Without
hearing petitioner, on January 29, 1996, the trial court, at this time presided over by Judge Geronimo
S. Mangay issued an order directing petitioner to pay respondent attorney "the agreed attorney's fees
of 25% on the property and/or direct the Register of Deeds of Marikina to annotate the attorney's lien
of 25% on TCT No. 122925 if plaintiff (herein petitioner) fails to pay the equivalent value to which
Atty. Carmelito A. Montano is entitled to."

On July 30, 1997, petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals, filing an action to nullify the
lower court's order directing petitioner to pay attorney's fees of respondent..

Issue
Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred, as a matter of law, in ruling that the trial court still had
jurisdiction over the case in 1996, when the respondent judge ordered petitioner to pay attorney's fees
to respondent that was even at variance with the terms of the final judgment.

Held
The lower court no longer had jurisdiction over the case when it issued its order of January 29, 1996.

When respondent filed with the trial court an omnibus motion for payment of attorney's fees on
January 5, 1996, the trial court no longer had jurisdiction over the case. More than thirteen (13) years
had lapsed after finality of the judgment. It was even fully satisfied. Consequently, the case was long
terminated and could no longer be revived. The decision has become stale. The order dated January
26, 1996 is void.

The basic rule is that once a court acquires jurisdiction over a case, it retains such jurisdiction until the
final termination of the case. The court loses jurisdiction upon the finality of the decision, except to
order execution within its lifetime.

What is more, an equally fundamental precept is that a final decision cannot be amended or corrected
except for clerical errors, mistakes or misprisions.

In this case, the trial court favorably acted on respondent's motion filed in 1996, long after the court
had lost its jurisdiction. The order even varied the terms of the judgment.

The judgment ordered defendant Mirano to pay plaintiff the sum of P19,893.95 as principal plus 12%
interest per annum from August 25, 1980 until fully paid and the sum equivalent to 25% of the
amount payable as attorney's fees. Clearly, it was defendant Mirano who was sentenced to pay
attorney's fees to petitioner. In the questioned order of January 29, 1996, the trial court ordered
petitioner to pay attorney's fees to his counsel, respondent Montano. That is not decreed in the
judgment. Such variance with the terms of the judgment rendered the order void. If petitioner failed to

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pay his counsel attorney's fees, the lawyer may file an independent action against petitioner for
collection. He cannot enforce his attorney's lien in the case terminated long ago.

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Banco Do Brasil vs CA
Minute Digest

Issue
Whether or not the decision attained finality as to Banco De Brasil.

Held
The decision hasn’t attained finality as to Petitioner.

Second. We settled the issue of finality of the trial court’s decision dated February 18, 1991 in the
Vlason case, wherein we stated that, considering the admiralty case involved multiple defendants,
"each defendant had a different period within which to appeal, depending on the date of receipt of
decision." Only upon the lapse of the reglementary period to appeal, with no appeal perfected within
such period, does the decision become final and executory.

In the case of petitioner, its Motion to Vacate Judgment and to Dismiss Case was filed on April 10,
1991, only six (6) days after it learned of the existence of the case upon being informed by the
Embassy of the Federative Republic of Brazil in the Philippines, on April 4, 1991, of the February 18,
1991 decision. Thus, in the absence of any evidence on the date of receipt of decision, other than the
alleged April 4, 1991 date when petitioner learned of the decision, the February 18, 1991 decision of
the trial court cannot be said to have attained finality as regards the petitioner.

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Heirs of Andrea Cristobal vs CA


Facts
Petitioners, represented by Amado de Leon, filed an application for registration of their ancestral land.
Respondents filed separate oppositions to petitioners’ application claiming ownership over pieces of
the ancestral land.

After trial the Regional Trial Court rendered a decision in favor of petitioners; hence, respondents
appealed. On 31 August 1998 the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed Decision reversing and
setting aside the judgment of the court a quo.

It is alleged in the instant petition that a day before the Decision of the appellate court was
promulgated on 31 August 1998 petitioners’ counsel, Atty. Lumen R. Policarpio, was confined at the
Makati Medical Center until 5 September 1998; that since she received a copy of the decision when
she had just been released from the hospital, Atty. Policarpio filed a motion for extension of thirty
(30) days to submit a formal motion for reconsideration; However, the appellate court denied the
motion for extension; hence, the instant petition.

Issue
Whether or not Petitioner should be allowed to file a motion for extension of time to file a motion for
new trial or reconsideration.

Held
A motion for extension of time to file a motion for new trial or reconsideration is a prohibited motion
except in the Supreme Court.

The records show that respondent Court of Appeals promulgated its Decision on 31 August 1998 and
petitioners’ counsel thereof received copy on 9 September 1998. As such, petitioners had until 24
September 1998 within which to file their motion for reconsideration. However, instead of filing the
motion, petitioners filed on 17 September 1998 a motion for extension of time to file a motion for
reconsideration, obviously in violation of the mandatory provision prohibiting the filing of a motion
for extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration. Consequently, the appellate court correctly
denied petitioners’ motion.

No motion for extension of time to file a motion for new trial or reconsideration may be filed with the
Metropolitan or Municipal Trial Courts, the Regional Trial Courts, and the Intermediate Appellate
Court (now Court of Appeals). Such a motion may be filed only in cases pending with the Supreme
Court that may in its sound discretion either grant or deny the extension requested.

An exception therefore cannot be made despite the claim that the lapse was due to the illness of
petitioners’ counsel. It is claimed that Atty. Policarpio’s law office was closed since July 1998 due to
her illness. The interval of two (2) months before the promulgation of the Decision should have given
her associates ample time to sort out her records, delegate her responsibilities among themselves, and
forewarn her clients, specifically herein petitioners, about their counsel’s unavailability or incapacity
so that they may be given the option to seek another counsel elsewhere.

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Sps. Jimenez vs Patricia


Facts
Petitioners Virgilio and Josie Jimenez, spouses, are sublessees of a lot and building owned by
respondent Patricia Inc. The Jimenez spouses subleased the property from a certain Purisima Salazar
who had been leasing the property from PATRICIA. Later, Purisima Salazar abandoned the property
and her contract of lease with PATRICIA was terminated.

PATRICIA sent a letter to the Jimenez spouses informing them of the termination of the lease and
demanding that they vacate the premises since they had no existing lease contract with it. But the
spouses refused to leave. PATRICIA filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against the Jimenez
spouses. The MeTC ruled in favor of PATRICIA. The Jimenez spouses appealed the MeTC decision
to the RTC. The RTC modified the decision in favor of the spouses. PATRICIA filed a Motion for
Clarificatory Judgment and later added a Supplement to the Motion for Clarificatory Judgment.

Later, PATRICIA, without waiting for the resolution of its Motion for Clarificatory Judgment as well
as its supplement thereto, filed a Petition for Review of the RTC decision with the Court of Appeals.
The Jimenez spouses filed their own Petition for Review in the CA. Both petitioners were
consolidated in the CA.

The Court of Appeals in due course rendered a Joint Decision dismissing the Petition for Review filed
by the Jimenez spouses while giving due course to the petition of PATRICIA. The Court of Appeals
reversed and set aside the decision of the RTC and reinstated the decision of the MeTC that, among
others, ordered the Jimenez spouses to vacate the premises.

Issue
Whether or not Patricia’s Petition for Review should be dismissed for being premature in view of the
pendency of its Motion for Clarificatory Judgment and Supplement to the Motion for Clarificatory
Judgment that remained unresolved by the RTC

Held
The CA can entertain Patricia’s Petition for Review.

Petitioners assert that because of the pendency of Respondent’s motion, there was no final judgment
or decision that could properly be the subject of a petition for review before the Court of Appeals.

We do not agree. The Petition for Review filed by respondent with the Court of Appeals was not
prematurely filed. It should be borne in mind that a Motion for Clarificatory Judgment not being in
the character of a motion for reconsideration does not toll the reglementary period for filing a petition
for review with the Court of Appeals. Its filing will not bar the judgment from attaining finality, nor
will its resolution amend the decision to be reviewed. Thus, when respondent filed a Petition for
Review before the Court of Appeals, there was already a final judgment that could properly be the
subject of a petition for review.

Moreover, under the Rules on Summary Procedure, the decision of the RTC in civil cases governed
by this Rule, including forcible entry and unlawful detainer, is immediately executory without
prejudice to a further appeal that may be taken therefrom. The judgment of the RTC being final and
executory the filing of the Petition for Review was proper.

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Mercury Drug Corporation vs. CA


Facts
Respondents filed a complaint against herein Petitioner for annulment and/or reformation of contract
of lease covering a commercial building owned by petitioners. The complaint prayed that the contract
be either annulled or the rentals increased.

Respondents demand for increase of rentals had been refused by Petitioner lessee Mercury Drug
Corporation on the ground that there was no official devaluation of the peso thus no basis for a rental
increase.

The RTC rendered a decision which the former counsel for the Respondents Atty. Ralph Lou I.
Willkom received a copy of on 3 March 1995 but did not inform Respondents nor take any step to
protect the interests of his clients by presenting a motion for reconsideration or taking an appeal.
Respondents learned of the judgment only on 24 March 1995 when they visited his office. The 15-day
period within which to appeal lapsed. On 15 May 1995 Respondents filed thru their present counsel a
petition for relief from judgment under Rule 38.

The RTC denied the petition for being filed out of time but on appeal to the CA, the CA reversed.

Issue
Whether or not the petition for relief from judgment was timely filed, being filed more than 60 days
from receipt by the lawyer of the RTC decision.

Held
The petition for relief wasn’t timely filed.

A petition for relief from judgment is an equitable remedy that is allowed only in exceptional cases
when there is no other available or adequate remedy. When a party has another remedy available to
him, which may be either a motion for new trial or appeal from an adverse decision of the trial court,
and he was not prevented by fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence from filing such motion
or taking such appeal, he cannot avail himself of this petition.

In the present case, the YEES were served a copy of the judgment of the lower court through their
counsel, Attorney Ralph Lou I. Willkom on March 3, 1995. Thus, the YEES are considered to have
received notice on March 3, 1995 when their counsel was served notice and not on March 24, 1995
when they actually learned of the adverse decision. Consequently, their petition for relief, which was
filed on May 15, 1995 or over sixty days from notice of their counsel, was filed out of time. This
Court has consistently held that the failure of a party’s counsel to notify him on time of the adverse
judgment to enable him to appeal therefrom is negligence, which is not excusable. However, notice
sent to counsel of record is binding upon the client and the neglect or failure of counsel to inform him
of an adverse judgment resulting in the loss of his right to appeal is not a ground for setting aside a
judgment valid and regular on its face.

In the same manner, the YEES’ failure to file their petition for relief within the period provided for
under the Rules is not tantamount to a denial of due process. In fact, they were able to prosecute their
action and actively participated through counsel in the proceedings before the lower court. Their
failure to file an appeal from the decision rendering it final and executory is not a denial of due
process. They may have lost their right to appeal but they were not denied their day in court. The right
to appeal is not a natural right or a part of due process; it is merely a statutory privilege, and may be
exercised only in the manner and in accordance with the provisions of the law.

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Public Estates Authority vs Yujuico


Facts
Private respondents filed a complaint for the “Removal of Cloud and Annulment of Title with
Damages” against petitioner. Respondents averred being the registered owners of parcels of land.
Petitioner Public Estates Authority (PEA) obtained ownership of various parcels of land along Manila
Bay for the purpose of constructing the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road. Private respondents claimed that
the coastal road directly overlapped their property. Private respondents contended that the titles issued
in the name of petitioner, being then invalid, ineffective, or voidable, should be nullified and set aside.

Following a series of negotiations, a compromise agreement was concluded between Petitioner and
Respondent. The trial court in its resolution of 18 May 1998 approved the compromise.

On 14 September 1998, the new management of PEA filed a petition for relief from the resolution,
dated 18 May 1998, of the trial court which approved the compromise agreement on the ground of
mistake and excusable negligence consisting of “inadvertence” on the part of former General
Manager Yulo in the signing of the compromise agreement without the requisite approval of the
Office of the President. Private respondents opposed the petition and prayed for its dismissal.

The trial court dismissed the petition for relief on 06 November 1998 on the ground that it was filed
out of time and that the allegation of mistake and excusable negligence had no valid basis.

Issue
Whether or not the petition for relief has been filed with the trial court within the reglementary period
prescribed therefor.

Held
The petition for relief was filed beyond the reglementary period.

In the instant case, the trial court issued the order approving the compromise agreement on 18 May
1998. Consequentially, two hearings were held in both of which instances petitioner was represented
by counsel. The first was on 01 June 1998 when petitioner’s co-defendant, Manila Bay Development
Corporation (“MBDC”), through Atty. William Chua, openly manifested that it was no longer
pursuing its counterclaim against private respondents and its cross-claim against petitioner because of
the approval of the compromise agreement. On 17 June 1998, the parties executed a Deed of
Exchange of Real Properties pursuant to the compromise. The second hearing took place on 02 July
1998, where the counsel for private respondents similarly manifested that they were withdrawing all
claims against Uniwide and MBDC. Thus, the trial court, in its order dated 03 July 1998, dismissed
with prejudice all the claims by the plaintiffs and defendants against each other. This narration was
neither denied nor refuted by petitioner.

Surprisingly, petitioner, while reiterating in its own Memorandum the same sequence of events,
would now argue, however, that its incumbent management was not aware that prior to 15 July 1998,
its previous counsel was already aware of the existence of the 18th May 1998 resolution of the trial
court, indicating parenthetically, that indeed the petition for relief was filed beyond the sixty-day
period allowed therefor. It would not be right to allow a mere change of management of PEA to
defeat the operation of the Rules on reglementary period.

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David vs Velasco
Facts
The NFA conducted a bidding to determine the security agencies that would provide security services
to NFA. Twelve security agencies, including private respondent, were awarded contracts. When the
contracts expired, NFA extended them on a periodic basis. When petitioner became NFA
administrator, he formulated new bidding procedures for the awarding of such contracts.

Private respondent qualified in the pre-bidding. However, the final bidding was suspended after
security agencies that failed to qualify obtained a temporary restraining order. Later, NFA informed
private respondent that it no longer enjoyed the trust and confidence of the former. Hence, its contract
would not be extended.

Unsatisfied, private respondent filed a complaint against NFA and petitioner. A temporary restraining
order and later a writ of preliminary injunction were issued. NFA and petitioner questioned the
issuance of said writ before the Court-of Appeals, which partially struck down the writ.

The case was remanded to the trial court. Private respondent then filed a motion for the issuance of a
writ of execution to obtain payment for its security services. Petitioner and NFA opposed the motion
since, at that time, the pre-trial and trial of the case were yet to be held. A writ of execution was
issued. Petitioner did not file a motion for reconsideration before the trial court, arguing that it was
unnecessary since the writ was a patent nullity and that the issue of prematurity and illegality of the
writ was already passed upon by public respondent when he ruled on the opposition to the issuance of
the writ.

Hence, this petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus, with a prayer for a temporary
restraining orders. Petitioner claims that the remedy of appeal has already been foreclosed with the
issuance of the questioned writ of execution, and that there is no other plain, speedy, and adequate
remedy in the ordinary course of law.

Issue
Whether or not the writ of execution can be issued despite the absence of a final judgment

Held
The writ of execution can’t be issued, a final judgment being a necessary requisite.

The parties do not dispute that no trial on the merits was held and no judgment was ever rendered.
Before a writ of execution may be issued, there must necessarily be a final judgment or order that
disposes of the action or proceeding. The writ of execution is the means by which a party can enforce
a final judgment or order of the court. There is nothing to enforce or execute absent a final judgment
or order; thus, there can be no writ of execution.

In the instant case, the trial court itself was aware that a final judgment was yet to be made. Clearly,
the final determination of the issues was still pending when the trial court granted the motion for the
issuance of a writ of execution, and issued the writ of execution itself, both dated October 9, 1996.

The issuance of the order dated October 9, 1996, and of the writ of execution also on the same date, is
patently erroneous. It is without any legal basis and shows manifest ignorance on the part of public
respondent judge. He did not even have any discretion on the matter, since the trial court cannot issue
a writ of execution without a final and executory judgment.

That the writ of execution had already been satisfied does not perforce clothe it with validity. Such a
writ issued without final judgment is manifestly void and of no legal effect. It is as if the writ was not
issued at all.

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Pacific Mills Incs. Vs Padolina


Facts
Private respondent Philippine Cotton Corporation (PHILCOTTON) sued petitioners Pacific Mills,
Inc. and George U. Lim for collection of a sum of money. PHILCOTTON filed another complaint for
collection of a sum of money against petitioners. These two cases involved four promissory notes
executed by petitioners in favor of PHILCOTTON. The Regional Trial Court of Pasig found in favor
of PHILCOTTON. The judgment was appealed to the Court of Appeals, and thereafter to the
Supreme Court as Pacific Mills, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals where, ultimately, petitioners where
adjudged liable to PHILCOTTON.

However, after the rendition of the above decision, petitioners alleged that during the pendency of the
case before the Court of Appeals, a condonation had been effected by PHILCOTTON in their favor.
Consequently, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration with the Court asking that it reduce the
amount awarded to PHILCOTTON. The same was denied by the Court due to lack of merit. The
defense of condonation should have been raised in the Court of Appeals where its authenticity and
effectivity could have been litigated.

When the decision in Pacific Mills vs. CA became final and executory, the same was remanded to the
Regional Trial Court of Pasig City for execution. During the hearing for the issuance of a writ of
execution, petitioners alleged that they had already made partial payments on the amount covered by
the promissory notes and that the penalty charges on the loan had already been condoned by
PHILCOTTON as early as January 12, 1987. Petitioners alleged that these circumstances constituted
supervening events that merited a deduction in the amount payable by petitioners to PHILCOTTON.
The trial court, however, ruled that no supervening event had transpired to merit changing the tenor of
the judgment against petitioners.

Issue
Whether or not condonation can supervene to reduce the amount of damages awarded to Respondent.

Held
Condonation can’t supervene

The issue of condonation was a matter of fact that should have been brought to the attention of the
Court of Appeals, as this Court is not a trier of facts. Said resolution having attained finality, the
same may no longer be questioned. The general rule is that once a judgment becomes final and
executory, said judgment can no longer be disturbed, altered, or modified. And this rule applies
regardless of any possible injustice in a particular case.

Petitioners, however, asseverate that the instant case falls under one of the exceptions to the rule on
immutability of judgments, claiming that the fact of condonation constitutes a supervening event that,
in the higher interest of justice, calls for the modification of our previous judgment. It bears
reiteration that the condonation allegedly took place while the instant case was still pending with the
Court of Appeals.

[A]ttempts to frustrate or put off enforcement of an executory judgment on the basis of facts or events
occurring before the judgment became final cannot meet with success. Facts or events bearing on the
substance of the obligation subject of the action should ordinarily be alleged during the issue-
formulation stage or otherwise by proper amendment, and proved at the trial; if discovered after the
case has been submitted but before the decision is rendered, proved after obtaining a reopening of the
case; and if discovered after judgment has been rendered but before it becomes final, substantiated at
a new trial which the court in its discretion may grant on the ground of newly discovered evidence,
pursuant to Rule 37, Rules of Court. Once the judgment becomes executory, the only other remedy
left to attempt a material alteration thereof is that provided for in Rule 38 of the Rules of Court
(governing petitions for relief from judgments), or an action to set aside the judgment on account of
extrinsic, collateral fraud.
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There is no other permissible mode of preventing or delaying execution on equitable grounds


predicated on facts occurring before finality of judgment.

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Reburiano vs CA
Facts
In Civil Case, entitled "Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of the Philippines Inc. v. Urbano (Ben)
Reburiano and James Reburiano," the Regional Trial Court rendered a decision, the dispositive
portion of which reads:

ACCORDINGY, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of plaintiff Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. of the Philippines Inc.

1. Ordering the defendants Urbano (Ben) Reburiano and James Reburiano to pay jointly and severally the plaintiff the sum of P55,000.00
less whatever empties (cases and bottles) may be returned by said defendants valued at the rate of P55.00 per empty case with bottles.

The judgment had become final and executory, the trial court issued a writ of execution. It appears
that prior to the promulgation of the decision of the trial court, private respondent amended its articles
of incorporation to shorten its term of existence. Petitioners moved to quash the writ of execution
alleging —

6. That the above-stated change in the situation of parties, whereby the [private respondent] ceased to exist since 8 July 1983, renders the
execution of the decision inequitable or impossible. 1

The trial court issued an order denying petitioners' motion to quash. Petitioners then filed a notice of
appeal, but private respondent moved to dismiss the appeal on the ground that the trial court's order
denying petitioners' motion to quash writ of execution was not appealable. The trial court, however,
denied private respondent's motion and allowed petitioners to pursue their appeal.

Issue
Whether or not the order of the trial court denying petitioners' Motion to Quash Writ of Execution is
appealable.

Held
Not appealable.

Certain, it is…that execution of final and executory judgments may no longer be contested and
prevented, and no appeal should lie therefrom. There may, to be sure, be instances when an error may
be committed in the course of execution proceedings prejudicial to the rights of a party. These
instances, rare though they may be, do call for correction by a superior court, as where —

1. The writ of execution varies the judgment;


2. There has been a change in the situation of the parties making execution inequitable or unjust;
3. Execution is sought to be enforced against property exempt from execution;
4. It appears that the controversy has never been submitted to the judgment of the court;
5. The terms of the judgment are not clear enough and there remains room for interpretation
thereof; or,
6. It appears that the writ of execution has been improvidently issued, or that it is defective in
substance, or is issued against the wrong party, or that the judgment debt has been paid or
otherwise satisfied, or the writ was issued without authority;

In these exceptional circumstances, considerations or justice and equity dictate that there be some
mode available to the party aggrieved of elevating the question to a higher court. That mode of
elevation may be either by appeal (writ of error or certiorari) or by a special civil action of certiorari,
prohibition, or mandamus.

In this case, petitioners anchored their Motion to Quash on the claim that there was a change in the
situation of the parties. However, the change contemplated by such exception is one which occurred
subsequent to the judgment of the trial court. Here, the change in the status of private respondent took
place during the pendency of its case in the trial court. The change occurred prior to the rendition of
judgment by the trial court.

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Clearly, the present case does not fall under the exception relied upon by petitioners and, the Court of
Appeals correctly denied due course to the appeal. As has been noted, there are in fact cases which
hold that while parties are given a remedy from a denial of a motion to quash or recall writ of
execution, it is equally settled that the writ will not be recalled by reason of any defense which could
have been made at the time of the trial of the case.

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Corona International vs CA
Facts
The Regional Trial Court rendered a Decision in a case entitled "Corona International, Inc., Plaintiff
versus Philippine Coconut Authority, Defendant", ordering defendant to pay plaintiff.

Petitioner filed a Motion for Execution of Judgment Pending Appeal to which private respondent filed
an Opposition. The trial court granted the motion for execution pending appeal. A writ of execution
was issued, on the strength of which funds of private respondent with the Land Bank of the
Philippines was garnished. The bank, however, refused to release the said amount, prompting
petitioner to file a Motion to Require Release of Bank Deposit.

Meanwhile, private respondent filed a Motion to Quash Writ of Execution Pending Appeal and Notice
of Garnishment. The trial court denied private respondent's Motion to Quash and ordered the Land
Bank of the Philippines to release and turn over to the court sheriff the garnished fund of private
respondent immediately upon its receipt of said Order.

Private respondent then filed a petition for certiorari with respondent Court of Appeals. The Court of
Appeals rendered the assailed Decision, nullifying and setting aside the Order of the trial court
granting the execution pending appeal. It also issued a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the
court sheriff from enforcing both the Writ of Execution and Notice of Garnishment against private
respondent.

Issue
Whether or not there is basis to sustain execution pending appeal ordered by the trial court.

Held
There isn’t sufficient basis

The primary consideration for allowing execution pending appeal would be the existence of good
reasons. In turn, "good reasons" has been held to consist of compelling circumstances justifying the
immediate execution lest judgment becomes illusory. Such reasons must constitute superior
circumstances demanding urgency which will outweigh the injury or damages should the losing party
secure a reversal of the judgment.

We note that the reason of the trial court in granting execution pending appeal was to prevent the
irreparable collapse of petitioner's business operation and that private respondent's appeal is patently
unmeritorious and would only result in the delay of the final disposition of the case.

Does this constitute good reason to order execution pending appeal? Will this outweigh the injury or
damage caused private respondent should the latter secure a reversal of the judgment against it?

We find that it does not.

To begin with, it would appear that the irreparable collapse of petitioner's business operation, as
feared by the trial court, is illusory. As manifested by private respondent, petitioner has an application
for the expansion of its operations with the National Telecommunications Commission. Evidently,
such an application would not have been filed had petitioner truly been in the brink of financial
bankruptcy. Moreover, the latest financial report submitted by petitioner to the Securities and
Exchange Commission, on the records, would readily show that its assets exceed its liabilities.

We also note that the property bond offered by petitioner and accepted by the trial court has already
been conveyed to Natas-ya Enterprises, Inc. via a Deed of Exchange. Clearly, then, this property bond
can no longer serve its purpose as security for damages that may be obtained by private respondent on
account of execution pending appeal.

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Finally, it is not difficult to see the injury or damage execution pending appeal would cause private
respondent that is a public corporation tasked to implement the national policy of the State and the
funds are vested with public interest.

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Maceda Jr. And Maceda-Docena vs DBP


Facts
The case commenced with the filing by Petitioner of a Complaint for Specific Performance with
Damages against Respondent and one of its managers, Oscar De Vera. In their Complaint, Petitioners
alleged that they were the owners of the old Gran Hotel in Tacloban City; that pursuant to their plan
to build a new Gran Hotel, they applied for an P11, 000,000.00 loan with Respondent. Respondent
granted the loan. However, Petitioners allege DBP delayed in releasing the full amount of the loan
preventing Petitioners from finishing the Hotel and realizing profits therefrom.

The RTC rendered a Decision in favor of Petitioner. Respondent appealed, while Petitioner filed a
Motion for Reconsideration, seeking to increase the amount awarded to them. They also filed a
Motion for Execution Pending Appeal. The RTC, granted the Motion for Execution Pending Appeal
of two awards in its Decision; namely, (a) the release of the loan balance and (b) the payment
representing the additional cost to finish the hotel. The RTC also amended its decision, increasing the
damages awarded to Petitioner. The Respondent appealed the amended RTC decision and also
opposed the grant of the execution pending appeal.

Issue
Whether or not the grant of execution pending appeal is proper.

Held
The grant is improper.

There are three requisites for the grant of an execution of a judgment pending appeal: a) there must
be a motion by the prevailing party with notice to the adverse party; b) there must be a good reason
for execution pending appeal; and c) the good reason must be stated in a special order.

Here, the trial court, pending the appeal, ordered the immediate release by the bank of (1) the
unreleased amount of the loan agreement and (2) the sum needed to complete the construction of the
hotel, subject to the filing of a bond of equivalent amount. The “good reason” invoked by the trial
court was the urgency resulting from almost twenty years of delay and the yearly increase in costs that
made the completion of the hotel construction more difficult.

We are not convinced.

In the present case, we find no justification for the execution, pending appeal, of the awards. There is
no guarantee that petitioner can indeed complete the project, even if the sum is immediately released.
It must be underscored that this was the amount needed to finish the project way back in 1987 and
was based on 1987 prices.

Equally unjustified is the release, pending appeal, of the remaining portion of the loan. As the trial
court itself has held in 1987, the award of more than P17 million was the amount needed to finish the
project. Consequently, there was no urgent need for the unreleased portion of the loan. The said
amount was relatively minuscule compared with that needed for the remainder of the hotel project and
would have little effect on its completion.

More important, the “compelling reason” given by the trial court for allowing execution pending
appeal is far outweighed by the injury or damage that private respondent would suffer if it secures a
reversal of the trial court’s judgment. If the trial court is reversed on appeal, petitioners would be
hard-pressed to make a complete restitution to private respondent, to which they already owe more
than P5 million – the amount of their original loan plus accrued interests. In any event, there is no
likelihood that DBP, a government-owned and -controlled corporation, would fail to answer its
obligation if the trial court Decision is affirmed

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Intramuros Tennis Club vs Philippine Tourism Authority


Facts
Private respondent Philippine Tourism Authority (“PTA”) owns the Victoria Tennis Courts. PTA
transferred the management, operation, administration and development of the Victoria Tennis Courts
to petitioner Philippine Tennis Association (“PHILTA”) for a period of 10 years in a memorandum of
agreement (MOA).

Later, PTA informed PHILTA of alleged violations by PHILTA of the terms and conditions of the
MOA and demanding the surrender of the possession of the Victoria tennis courts. Petitioners
instituted a case for “preliminary injunction, damages, and prayer for temporary restraining order”
with the Regional Trial Court. The temporary restraining order was granted and petitioners were
allowed to retain possession of the Victoria Tennis Courts.

Private respondents filed a motion to dismiss, stating that in view of the expiration of the MOA
petitioners’ cause of action was rendered moot and academic. The RTC granted the motion to dismiss.
Hence, the RTC declared private respondent PTA entitled to the possession of Victoria Tennis Courts.
It further declared that petitioners’ action has become moot and academic by reason of the expiration
of the MOA upon which petitioners’ rights were based. Petitioners appealed to respondent court.
While the case was pending therewith, private respondents filed a motion for execution of judgment
pending appeal. The motion was granted by the Court of Appeals.

Issue
Whether or not respondent Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretionary power to order
execution pending appeal

Held
The CA was correct in granting the writ of execution pending appeal.

Undoubtedly, the RTC order dated August 5, 1997 which granted private respondents’ motion to
dismiss and lifted the writ of preliminary injunction is a “final order” within the contemplation of
Section 2, Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court. Petitioners maintain that the said RTC order could
not be the proper subject of execution because it was still appealed to respondent court. By its
provisional nature, the remedy of execution pending appeal requires only a “final” judgment or order
(as distinguished from an “interlocutory” order) and not a “final and executory” judgment or order.

On the matter of hearing, a full-blown or trial-type hearing is unnecessary. The petitioners have filed
their comment to private respondents’ motion for execution pending appeal, and their arguments as
embodied in said comment did in fact form part of the discussion of respondent court.

Thus, the only issue remaining is whether respondent court gravely abused its discretion in finding
good reasons to grant private respondents’ motion for execution pending appeal.

In the present case, the observation on the deteriorating and unsanitary conditions of the Victoria
Tennis Courts came from tennis players who regularly use the said courts. More importantly,
PHILTA no longer had any legal right to the possession and management of the Victoria Tennis
Courts because the lease agreement between PTA and PHILTA had already expired. Obviously, PTA
as the lessor and owner of the tennis courts had every right to regain possession thereof --- and it also
had every reason to be alarmed at the complaint filed by the tennis players with the Department of
Tourism because it would be held accountable as owner and administrator of the tennis courts for the
ill conditions of the said tennis courts. As also observed by respondent court, “after all, upon the
expiration of the lease agreement, the plaintiffs-appellants (petitioners herein) were no longer obliged
to properly maintain the property.”

The execution pending appeal does not prejudice in any way the resolution of the other issues in
petitioners’ pending appeal with respondent court such as their claim for damages from PTA which
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petitioners admit to be independent of the terms of the MOA. Thus, we find that respondent court did
not gravely abuse its discretion in finding “good reasons” for allowing private respondents’ motion
for execution pending appeal.

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Barrera vs CA
Facts
Azalia Salome (Salome) owned a house and lot. Salome mortgaged the property to Country Bankers
Insurance and Surety Company to secure a loan. Salome sold the property to Rosendo C. Palabasan.

Later, Leoncio and Enriqueta Barrera (spouses Barrera) filed with the Regional Trial Court a
complaint against Palabasan for reconveyance with damages. They alleged that they had been in
possession of the property since 1962 by virtue of a Deed of Sale with Assumption of Mortgage
which was not notarized; that Salome executed a notarized Deed of Sale with Assumption of
Mortgage in their favor on March 31, 1966; that, pursuant to this notarized deed, they settled Salome's
obligations with the Country Bankers Insurance and Surety Company; that they tried to redeem the
property but were not able to do so because Palabasan had done so and the title to the property was
released to Palabasan; that in 1970, they signed a blank document which was supposed to become
Palabasan's authority to sell the land for them; that in 1975, they were surprised to learn that the blank
document which they had signed turned out to be a contract of lease wherein they were the lessees
and Palabasan was the lessor of the property; and that Palabasan registered the property in his name.

The lower court rendered a decision declaring Palabasan to have validly acquired title to the property
in question. The Court of Appeals promulgated a decision affirming in toto the decision of the trial
court.

Issue
Whether or not the original decision of the RTC can still be invoked or has it become stale.

Held
The RTC decision has become stale.

We find respondent Palabasan to be the owner of the property.

The decision of the then Court of First Instance, Pasig, Branch XIX in Civil Case No. 38608,
promulgated on September 4, 1981 and reinstated on August 10, 1990, finding respondent Palabasan
to be the lawful owner of the property may not be invoked in this case since said decision had become
stale.

Article 1144 (3) of the Civil Code provides that an action upon a judgment must be brought within ten
years from the time the right of action accrues.

On the other hand, Section 6, Rule 39, Revised Rules of Court, states:

"A final and executory judgment or order may be executed on motion within five (5) years from the
date of its entry. After the lapse of such time, and before it is barred by the statute of limitations, a
judgment may be enforced by motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry and thereafter by
action before it is barred by the statute of limitations."

The rule is that the court could issue a writ of execution by motion within five (5) years from finality
of the decision. A writ of execution issued after the expiration of that period is null and void. There is
a need for the interested party to file an independent action for revival of judgment. The judgment
may be enforced after the lapse of this period and before the same is barred by the statute of
limitations, by instituting an ordinary civil actions. "The reason is that after the lapse of the five-year
period, the judgment is reduced to a mere right of action, which judgment must be enforced, as all
other ordinary actions, by the institution of a complaint in the regular form. Such action must be filed
within ten (10) years from the date the judgment became final."

The decision having become stale, "any action to enforce or revive it has prescribed."

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Arcenas vs CA
Facts
The case takes its roots from Civil Case that was an action for annulment of the foreclosure sale of a
barge. After trial, the trial court rendered judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed with modification
the aforesaid decision reducing the moral and the exemplary damages. The said decision became final
and executory after this Court dismissed the petition for review filed by the petitioner. Thereafter,
private respondent filed a motion for issuance of a writ of execution with the trial court, which motion
was granted. However, despite the writ of execution, private respondent failed to enforce the
judgment.

5 years from the time of the entry of judgment, private respondent filed a complaint for revival of
judgment and sum of money with damages before the Regional Trial Court. Petitioner failed to file
his answer and, upon motion by private respondent, was declared in default. Thereafter, private
respondent was allowed to adduce his evidence ex-parte. On March 21, 1994, the trial court rendered
a new decision against petitioner.

Petitioner filed with the respondent Court of Appeals a petition to annul the judgment of the RTC.
Petitioner contends that the decision of the trial court is void because it substantially amended the
original decision of the RTC in Civil Case absolving him of any liability with regard to the return of
the barge.

The respondent Court of Appeals rendered a decision dismissing the petition.

Issue
Whether or not the judgment is valid despite being different from the original action that’s subject of
the action for revival.

Held
The judgment is void.

Even assuming that the trial court had acquired jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner, still, the
judgment rendered by it is a nullity for the reason that the original judgment which was the subject of
the action for revival was substantially modified.

In Civil Case, the judgment of the trial court ordered only petitioner's co-defendant Emilio Espino to
return the barge "MV Sta. Lucia I" to private respondent Jose de la Riva and to pay P48,000.00 a
month as unrealized profit from February 3, 1980 or until June 18, 1980. The said judgment absolved
petitioner from any liability insofar as the barge is concerned but found him jointly liable to private
respondent and Antonio Sy, Sr., for moral and exemplary damages.

On the other hand, the revived judgment now subject of this case, substantially modified the original
judgment by directing petitioner to pay private respondent the sum of P171, 022.00 representing
double the value of the barge; P10,000.00 as moral and exemplary damages; and 15% of the amount
recoverable by way of attorney's fees.

These new monetary awards cannot be allowed since they were not adjudged in the original judgment
that had long become final and executory. For, it is a fundamental rule that when a final judgment
becomes executory, it thereby becomes immutable and unalterable. The judgment may no longer be
modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct what is perceived to be an
erroneous conclusion of fact or law, and regardless of whether the modification is attempted by the
court rendering it or by the highest Court of the land. The only recognized exceptions are the
correction of clerical errors or the making of so-called nunc pro tunc entries which cause no prejudice
to any party, and, of course, where the judgment is void. 16 Any amendment or alteration that
substantially affects a final and executory judgment is null and void for lack of jurisdiction, including
the entire proceedings held for that purpose.
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The purpose of the action for revival for a judgment is not to modify the original judgment subject of
the action but is merely to give a creditor a new right of enforcement from the date of revival. The
rule seeks to protect judgment creditors from wily and unscrupulous debtors who, in order to evade
attachment or execution, cunningly conceal their assets and wait until the statute of limitation sets in.

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Heirs of Velasquez vs CA
Facts
Spouses Leoncia de Guzman and Cornelio Aquino died intestate and were childless. Leoncia de
Guzman was survived by her sisters Anatalia de Guzman (mother of the plaintiffs) and Tranquilina de
Guzman (grandmother of the defendants). During the existence of their marriage, spouses Aquino
were able to acquire real properties.

Sometime in 1989, the heirs of Anatalia de Guzman represented by Santiago, Andres, Felicidad and
Apolonio, all surnamed Meneses filed a complaint for annulment, partition and damages against the
heirs of Cesario Velasquez (son of Tranquilina de Guzman) for the latters' refusal to partition the real
of the Spouses Aquino. The complaint alleged that Leoncia de Guzman, before her death, had a talk
with the plaintiffs' mother, Anatalia de Guzman, with plaintiff Santiago Meneses and Tranquilina de
Guzman and his son Cesario Velasquez in attendance; that in the conference Leoncia told Anatalia de
Guzman, Tranquilina de Guzman and Cesario Velaquez that the documents of donation and partition
which she and her husband earlier executed were not signed by them as it was not their intention to
give away all the properties to Cesario Velasquez because Anatalia de Guzman who is one of her
sisters had several children to support; Cesario Velasquez together with his mother allegedly
promised to divide the properties equally and to give the plaintiffs one-half (1/2) thereof; that they are
entitled to 1/2 of each of all the properties in question being the children of Anatalia de Guzman, full
blood sister of Leoncia de Guzman. Plaintiffs further claim that after the death of Leoncia, defendants
forcibly took possession of all the properties and despite plaintiffs' repeated demands for partition,
defendants refused. Plaintiffs pray for the nullity of any documents covering the properties in question
since they do not bear the genuine signatures of the Aquino spouses, to order the partition of the
properties between plaintiffs and defendants in equal shares and to order the defendants to render an
accounting of the produce of the land in question from the time defendants forcibly took possession
until partition shall have been effected.

Issue
Whether or not the instant case is barred by res judicata.

Held
The case is barred by res judicita as there have already been 3 cases decided before involving the
same subject matter. However, in the interest of justice, the case will be decided on the merits.

Petitioners contend that public respondent erred when it held that the issue of res judicata was never
raised either in the Answer or at the Pre-trial such that it was not under consideration. We agree with
the petitioner. The records show that the defense of res judicata was raised in the petitioners'
Amended Answer filed before the trial court. Said Amended Answer was admitted by the trial court
in its Order dated March 2, 1990 and was one of the issues stipulated for resolution in its Pre-trial
Order dated May 18, 1990. Thus, it was clear error for respondent court to conclude that res judicata
was never raised in the lower court.

The next question is whether res judicata is present in the instant case. We rule in the affirmative.
Petitioners in their Memorandum established that there were three (3) earlier cases filed by private
respondents against petitioners involving the same subject matter and issues as in the instant case that
were all dismissed. The 3 cases for dismissed for failure to prosecute.

We have examined the third complaint filed by private respondents and compared it with the instant
case, and we found that the allegations contained in both complaints are the same, and that there is
identity of parties, subject matter and cause of action. Thus the requisites of res judicata are present.
Since the dismissal of the third case did not contain any condition at all, it has the effect of
adjudication on the merits as it is understood to be with prejudice. On this ground alone, the trial court
should have already dismissed this case. However, considering that this case had already reached this
Court by way of a petition for review on certiorari, it would be more in keeping with substantial

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justice if the controversy between the parties were to be resolved on the merits rather than on a
procedural technicality in the light of the express mandate of the rules that they be "liberally
construed in order to promote their object and to assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy and
inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding."

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JC Lopez & Associates vs COA


Facts
Petitioner entered into a contract with the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) for dredging.
However, due to the delays incurred by petitioner in its dredging operations, petitioner’s contract with
NAPOCOR was terminated.

NAPOCOR entered into a negotiated contract with a consortium led by Meralco Industrial
Engineering Services Corporation (MIESCOR) to handle dredging.

Shortly thereafter, petitioner filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court assailing NAPOCOR’s
termination of its contract, and with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction. The
trial court issued a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining NAPOCOR and MIESCOR from
interfering with petitioner’s dredging operations and from proceeding with the negotiated contract
between them. The trial court agreed with the opinion of the NAPOCOR SVP and General Counsel
that “…the dredging of the Ambuklao water reservoir is not an infrastructure work envisioned in
Section 1 of P.D. 1818 but a service contract or undertaking.

MIESCOR filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals rendered a
Decision reversed the trial court. The Court of Appeals ruled that “there should not be any iota of
doubt” that the enumerated undertakings in the Memorandum of Agreement fall under the protection
of P.D. No. 1818. The foregoing decision of the Court of Appeals became final and executory. In
effect, the CA considered the dredging project as an infrastructure project as defined in EO 380.

Meanwhile, the resident corporate auditor of NAPOCOR, after conducting a post-audit examination
of the pertinent transaction, issued a Notice of Suspension involving the advance
payment/mobilization fee paid by NAPOCOR to the petitioner for the dredging. The notice of
suspension of payment ripened into a disallowance of payment, prompting the petitioner to bring the
matter before the Commission on Audit where it requested the lifting of the suspension on its claim
for advance payment and mobilization fee in the total amount of P17,820,000.00.

Issue
Whether or not PD 1594 covers the dredging contract with NAPOCOR.

Held
The CA in a previous case has already decided the issue.

…[m]aterial facts or questions which were in issue in a former action and were there admitted or
judicially determined are conclusively settled by a judgment rendered therein and that such facts or
questions become res judicata and may not again be litigated in a subsequent action between the same
parties or their privies, regardless of the form the issue may take in the subsequent action, whether the
subsequent action involves the same or a different form of proceeding, or whether the second action is
upon the same or a different cause of action, subject matter, claim or demand, as the earlier action. In
such cases, it is also immaterial that the two actions based on different grounds, or tried on different
theories, or instituted for different purposes, and seeks different reliefs. By the same token, whatever
is once irrevocably established as the controlling legal principle or decision continues to be the law of
the case between the same parties in the same case, whether correct on general principles or not, so
long as the facts on which such decision was predicated continue to be the facts of the case before the
court.”

In the instant case, the issue of whether or not the dredging contract between the petitioner and
NAPOCOR involves an “infrastructure project” as defined in Executive Order No. 380, was already
passed upon and resolved by the Court of Appeals in Meralco Industrial Engineering Services
Corporation vs. Hon. Romeo F. Zamora and J.C. Lopez, Inc. Consequently, upon attaining finality,

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the said decision became the law of the case and constituted a bar to any re-litigation of the same
issue in any other proceeding under the principle of res judicata.

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Tan vs CA
Facts
Plaintiff-appellant [respondent herein], a Taiwanese national, and defendant-appellee [petitioner
herein], a Filipino, first met in Taiwan. Defendant proposed that plaintiff invest money in the hatchery
business he had started, and plaintiff parted with the amount of $80,000.00. Repaid only [in] the
amount of $10,000.00, plaintiff-appellant lodged a complaint before the National Bureau of
Investigation (NBI) to recover the balance of $70,000.00.

Before the NBI, defendant Andrew Tan and his sister Helen Go signed a Joint Affidavit of
Undertaking stating as follows:
xxx
‘That I, ANDREW TAN is indebted to WU SEN WOEI, a Taiwanese national residing at 12 Lane, 194, 6th Floor, Sing Tien Road,
Kuehsiung, Taiwan in the total amount of SEVENTY THOUSAND U.S. DOLLARS ($70,000.00);

xxx

‘That we, brother and sister, acknowledge the said amount as a just and valid obligation and therefore undertake to pay the same under the
following terms which is in accordance with our present financial capacity;
xxx
Defendant claims that he was coerced into signing the above Undertaking. He then assailed the
validity of said Undertaking in a civil case. The RTC found Tan’s and Go’s consent to the
Undertaking as vitiated and rendered judgment declaring the Undertaking as a nullity. This Court
reversed and set aside the appealed judgment, and dismissed Andrew Tan’s complaint.

In the meantime, based on the Undertaking, herein plaintiff-appellant Wu Sen Woei was further able
to collect $25,000.00, leaving a balance of $45,000.00. Hence he filed the instant suit to collect the
said balance alleging in his Complaint that defendant had defrauded him by not actually investing the
money into the hatchery business.

Issue
Whether or not the issue on the validity of the Affidavit can be litigated again.

Held
Under the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment, facts and issues actually and directly resolved in a
former suit cannot again be raised in any future case between the same parties, even if the latter suit
may involve a different cause of action.

Clearly, the present case is closely related to the civil action for annulment of document filed by
petitioner. In that action, the Court of Appeals upheld the validity of the Affidavit. That CA Decision
became final and executory. In the present case, the appellate court relied on that earlier Decision by
applying the doctrine on conclusiveness of judgment.

The matters adjudged and those that are actually and necessarily included therein bind the parties.
Under the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment, which is also known as “preclusion of issues” or
“collateral estoppel,” issues actually and directly resolved in a former suit cannot again be raised in
any future case between the same parties involving a different cause of action.

The concept clearly applies to the present case, because petitioner again seeks refuge in the alleged
nullity of the same Affidavit of Undertaking that, as earlier mentioned, was already ruled upon with
finality. In other words, the question on the validity of the Affidavit has been settled. The same
question, therefore, cannot be raised again even in a different proceeding involving the same parties.

Although the action instituted in this case (collection of a sum of money) is technically different from
that action instituted by Andrew Tan before the Regional Trial Court of Dagupan (for annulment of
document), “the concept of conclusiveness of judgment still applies because under this principle, the
identity of causes of action is not required but merely identity of issues. Simply put, conclusiveness

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of judgment bars the relitigation of particular facts or issues in another litigation between the same
parties on a different claim or cause of action.”

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Ramon D. Cacho vs Calos


Facts
Spouses Epifanio and Valentina Calos (now both deceased), together with their
children,(respondents), filed a complaint before the Department of Agrarian Reform Provincial
Adjudicator entitled “Annulment of Deeds of Assignment, Emancipation Patents and Transfer
Certificate of Titles, Retention and Recovery of Possession and Ownership.”

In their complaint, the Caloses averred that their parents were the original owners of a parcel of land.
Pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 27, the said land was placed under the Operation Land Transfer
and subsequently distributed to qualified farmer-beneficiaries. The original farmer-beneficiaries
however, allegedly unlawfully conveyed their respective rights over the lands granted to them to third
persons. The amended complaint thus sought the nullification of the Emancipation Patents and
Transfer Certificates of Title issued to these third persons, including petitioner.

The Caloses maintained that they have the right to recover the homestead land of their deceased
parents Epifanio and Valentina. The case reached the CA and the latter court ruled that Petitioner
wasn’t qualified to be a farmer-beneficiary and directed him to return the lands to the Government.

Issue
Whether or not the issue on Ramon Cacho being a qualified farmer-beneficiary can still be litigated
despite being ruled upon in a prior administrative proceeding.

Held
The issue has already been settled in a prior administrative proceeding.

In support of the foregoing arguments, petitioner avers that prior to the filing of the Caloses of the
complaint a quo, i.e., “Annulment of Deeds of Assignment, Emancipation Patents and Transfer
Certificate of Titles, Retention and Recovery of Possession and Ownership,” they (Caloses) already
instituted a complaint for alleged “Anomalies/Irregularities in OLT Transfer Action and Other
Related Activities,” also involving the same parties and subject lands. The Hearing Officer issued a
Resolution finding that Ramon Ocho is a qualified farmer-beneficiary.

Petitioner essentially contends that the above findings constitute res judicata as the said resolution
already became final and executory and the issue of his ownership of other agricultural lands may no
longer be relitigated. The CA allegedly erred when it made a finding that he (petitioner) is the owner
of other agricultural lands and directed him to return to the government his subject lands, as he is not
qualified to be a farmer-beneficiary.

The instant petition is meritorious. It must be pointed out at this point that, contrary to the insistence
of the Caloses, the doctrine of res judicata applies to both judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings. The
doctrine actually embraces two (2) concepts: the first is “bar by prior judgment” and the second is
“conclusiveness of judgment.” In the present case, the second concept – conclusiveness of judgment –
applies.

Although the action instituted by the Caloses in Adm. Case No. 006-90 (Anomalies/Irregularities in
OLT Transfer Action and Other Related Activities) is different from the action in Adm. Case No. (X)-
014 (Annulment of Deeds of Assignment, Emancipation Patents and Transfer Certificate of Titles,
Retention and Recovery of Possession and Ownership), the concept of conclusiveness of judgment
still applies because under this principle “the identity of causes of action is not required but merely
identity of issues. Simply put, conclusiveness of judgment bars the relitigation of particular facts or
issues in another litigation between the same parties on a different claim or cause of action.

There is no question that the issue of whether petitioner is the owner of other agricultural lands had
already been passed upon by the proper quasi-judicial authority (the hearing officer of the DAR) in

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Adm Case No. 006-90. Said decision became final and executory when the Caloses failed to file an
appeal thereof after their motion for reconsideration was denied. Applying the rule on conclusiveness
of judgment, the issue of whether petitioner is the owner of other agricultural lands may no longer be
relitigated.

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Oil Natural Gas Commission vs CA


Facts
The petitioner is a foreign corporation owned and controlled by the Government of India while the
private respondent is a private corporation duly organized under the laws of the Philippines. The
present conflict has its roots in a contract entered into by both parties whereby the private respondent
undertook to supply the petitioner oil well cement. In consideration therefor, the petitioner bound
itself to pay the private respondent. The oil well cement was loaded on board the ship at the
Philippines for delivery at India. However, due to a dispute between the ship-owner and the private
respondent, the cargo was held up in Bangkok and did not reach its point destination. Notwithstanding
the fact that the private respondent had already received payment and despite several demands made
by the petitioner, the private respondent failed to deliver the oil well cement. The petitioner then
informed the private respondent that it was referring its claim to an arbitrator pursuant to Clause 16 of
their contract.

The chosen arbitrator resolved the dispute in petitioner's favor. To enable the petitioner to execute the
above award in its favor, it filed a Petition before the Court of the Civil Judge in India praying that the
decision of the arbitrator be made "the Rule of Court" in India. The said court directed the private
respondent to pay the filing fees in order that the latter's objections could be given consideration.
Instead of paying the required filing fees, the private respondent inquired how much docket fees to
pay. Without responding to the inquiry, the foreign court refused to admit the private respondent's
objections for failure to pay the required filing fees and ruled in Petitioner’s favor. Despite notice sent
to the private respondent of the foregoing order and several demands by the petitioner for compliance
therewith, the private respondent refused to pay the amount adjudged by the foreign court.
Accordingly, the petitioner filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Surigao City for
the enforcement of the aforementioned judgment of the foreign court.

Issue
Whether or not the judgment of the foreign court is enforceable in this jurisdiction in view of the
private respondent's allegation that it is bereft of any statement of facts and law upon which the award
in favor of the petitioner was based.

Held
The judgment is valid.

As specified in the order of the Civil Judge of Dehra Dun, "Award Paper No. 3/B-1 shall be a part of
the decree". This is a categorical declaration that the foreign court adopted the findings of facts and
law of the arbitrator as contained in the latter's Award Paper. Award Paper No. 3/B-1, contains an
exhaustive discussion of the respective claims and defenses of the parties, and the arbitrator's
evaluation of the same.

The constitutional mandate that no decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein
dearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based does not preclude the validity of
"memorandum decisions" which adopt by reference the findings of fact and conclusions of law
contained in the decisions of inferior tribunals

Furthermore, the recognition to be accorded a foreign judgment is not necessarily affected by the fact
that the procedure in the courts of the country in which such judgment was rendered differs from that
of the courts of the country in which the judgment is relied on. This Court has held that the lex fori or
the internal law of the forum governs matters of remedy and procedure.

A foreign judgment is presumed to be valid and binding in the country from which it comes, until the
contrary is shown. It is also proper to presume the regularity of the proceedings and the giving of due
notice therein. Consequently, the party attacking a foreign judgment, the private respondent herein,
had the burden of overcoming the presumption of its validity that it failed to do in the instant case.

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The foreign judgment being valid, there is nothing else left to be done than to order its enforcement,
despite the fact that the petitioner merely prays for the remand of the case to the RTC for further
proceedings. As this Court has ruled on the validity and enforceability of the said foreign judgment in
this jurisdiction, further proceedings in the RTC for the reception of evidence to prove otherwise are
no longer necessary.

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Philippine Aluminum Wheels, Inc. Vs FASGI Enterprises, Inc.


Facts
FASGI Enterprises Incorporated ("FASGI"), a corporation organized and existing under and by virtue
of the laws of the State of California, United States of America, entered into a distributorship
arrangement with Philippine Aluminum Wheels, Incorporated ("PAWI"), a Philippine corporation,
and Fratelli Pedrini Sarezzo S.P.A. ("FPS"), an Italian corporation. The agreement provided for the
purchase, importation and distributorship in the United States of aluminum wheels manufactured by
PAWI. Pursuant to the contract, PAWI shipped to FASGI wheels. Thereabouts, FASGI paid PAWI
the value of the wheels. Unfortunately, FASGI later found the shipment to be defective and in non-
compliance with stated requirements.

FASGI instituted an action against PAWI and FPS for breach of contract and recovery of damages
before the United States District Court for the Central District of California. In the interim, the parties,
realizing the protracted process of litigation, resolved to enter into another arrangement. FASGI
president Elena Buholzer executed the foregoing supplemental settlement agreement, as well as the
motion for the entry of judgment, and PAWI counsel Mr. Thomas Ready. PAWI, again, proved to be
remiss in its obligation under the supplemental settlement agreement. Irked by PAWI's persistent
default, FASGI filed with the US District Court of the Central District of California. FASGI filed a
notice of entry of judgment. The US District Judge of the District Court for the Central District of
California issued a certificate of finality of judgment.

Unable to obtain satisfaction of the final judgment within the United States, FASGI filed a complaint
for "enforcement of foreign judgment" before the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Philippines. The
Makati court, however dismissed the case, on the ground that the decree was tainted with collusion,
fraud, and clear mistake of law and fact. Furthermore, the trial court said, the supplemental settlement
agreement and the subsequent motion for entry of judgment were a nullity for having been entered
into by Mr. Thomas Ready, counsel for PAWI, without the latter's authorization.

Issue
Whether or not the foreign judgment is enforceable.

Held
The judgment is enforceable.

PAWI claims that its counsel, Mr. Ready, acted without its authority. In this jurisdiction, an attorney
cannot, without a client's authorization, settle the action or subject matter of the litigation. In the
instant case, the parties signed the supplemental settlement agreement. The agreement was lodged in
the California case. If Mr. Ready was indeed not authorized by PAWI to enter into the supplemental
settlement agreement, PAWI could have forthwith signified to FASGI a disclaimer of the settlement.
Instead, more than a year after the execution of the supplemental settlement agreement, PAWI sent a
communication to FASGI that failed to mention Mr. Ready's supposed lack of authority. On the
contrary, the letter confirmed the terms of the agreement. It is an accepted rule that when a client,
upon becoming aware of the compromise and the judgment thereon, fails to promptly repudiate the
action of his attorney, he will not afterwards be heard to complain about it.

PAWI denounced likewise his authority to enter into a stipulation for judgment before the California
court on the ground that it had by then already terminated the former's services. For his part, Mr.
Ready admitted that while he did receive a request from PAWI to withdraw from the motion of
judgment, the request unfortunately came too late. From the time the stipulation for judgment was
entered into until the certificate of finality of judgment was issued by the California court, no
notification was issued by PAWI to FASGI regarding its termination of Mr. Ready's services. If
PAWI were indeed hoodwinked by Mr. Ready who purportedly acted in collusion with FASGI, it
should have aptly raised the issue before the forum that issued the judgment.

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Fraud, to hinder the enforcement within this jurisdiction of a foreign judgment, must be extrinsic, i.e.,
fraud based on facts not controverted or resolved in the case where judgment is rendered, or that
which would go to the jurisdiction of the court or would deprive the party against whom judgment is
rendered a chance to defend the action to which he has a meritorious case or defense.

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123 Civil Procedure for Atty. Tranquil by Jason Arteche

Asiavest Merchant Bankers vs CA


Facts
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the
Decision of the Regional Trial Court in Civil Case that dismissed the complaint of Petitioner for the
enforcement of the money of the judgment of the High Court of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur against
private respondent Philippine National Construction Corporation. The petitioner is a corporation
organized under the laws of Malaysia while private respondent is a corporation duly incorporated
under Philippine laws.

Petitioner initiated a suit for collection against private respondent before the High Court of Malaya in
Kuala Lumpur. Petitioner sought to recover the indemnity of the performance bond it had put up in
favor of private respondent to guarantee the completion of the Felda Project and the nonpayment of
the loan it extended to Asiavest-CDCP Sdn. Bhd. for the completion of Paloh Hanai and Kuantan By
Pass Project.

The High Court of Malaya (Commercial Division) rendered judgment in favor of the petitioner and
against the private respondent. Following unsuccessful attempts to secure payment from private
respondent under the judgment, petitioner initiated the complaint before Regional Trial Court to
enforce the judgment of the High Court of Malaya. Private respondent sought the dismissal of the
case via a Motion to Dismiss contending that the alleged judgment of the High Court of Malaya
should be denied recognition or enforcement since on its face, it is tainted with want of jurisdiction,
want of notice to private respondent, collusion and/or fraud, and there is a clear mistake of law or fact.
Dismissal was, however, denied by the trial court. In due time, the trial court rendered its Decision
dismissing petitioner's complaint. Petitioner interposed an appeal with the Court of Appeals, but the
appellate court dismissed the same and affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Issue
Whether or not the judgment of the Malayan High Court can be enforced in the Philippines

Held
The judgment can be enforced.

In the instant case, petitioner sufficiently established the existence of the money judgment of the High
Court of Malaya by the evidence it offered. Said foreign judgment enjoys presumptive validity and
the burden then fell upon the party who disputes its validity, herein private respondent, to prove
otherwise.

In this case, it is the procedural law of Malaysia where the judgment was rendered that determines the
validity of the service of court process on private respondent as well as other matters raised by it. As
to what the Malaysian procedural law is, remains a question of fact, not of law. It was then incumbent
upon private respondent to present evidence as to what that Malaysian procedural law is and to show
that under it, the assailed service of summons upon a financial officer of a corporation, as alleged by
it, is invalid. It did not. Accordingly, the presumption of validity and regularity of service of summons
and the decision thereafter rendered by the High Court of Malaya must stand.

On the matter of alleged lack of authority of the law firm of Allen and Gledhill to represent private
respondent, not only did the private respondent's witnesses admit that the said law firm of Allen and
Gledhill were its counsels in its transactions in Malaysia, but of greater significance is the fact that
petitioner offered in evidence relevant Malaysian jurisprudence giving respondent’s counsel authority
to represent. Furthermore, there is no basis for or truth to the appellate court's conclusion that the
conditional appearance of private respondent's counsel who was allegedly not authorized to appear
and represent, cannot be considered as voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the High Court of
Malay.

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On the ground that collusion, fraud and, clear mistake of fact and law tainted the judgment of the
High Court of Malaya, no clear evidence of the same was adduced or shown. Lastly, there is no merit
to the argument that the foreign judgment is not enforceable in view of the absence of any statement
of facts and law upon which the award in favor of the petitioner was based. Considering that under the
procedural rules of the High Court of Malaya, a valid judgment may be rendered even without stating
in the judgment every fact and law upon which the judgment is based, then the same must be
accorded respect.

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125 Civil Procedure for Atty. Tranquil by Jason Arteche

Cases without digest


1. Mijares vs. Ranada
2. San Miguel vs. Sandiganbayan
3. Sansio vs Mogol
4. Palma vs Galvez
5. Gan vs Reyes
6. Mutilan vs Adiong
7. Bacelonia vs CA
8. Republic vs Peralta
9. Province of Zamboanga Del Norte vs CA
10. Tourist Duty Free Shops vs Sandiganbayan
11. Dino vs CA
12. Indians Aerospace University vs CHED
13. San Lorenzo Village Association vs CA
14. California and Hawaiian Sugar Company vs Pioneer Insurance and Surety
15. Republic vs Carmel Development
16. Heirs of Loreto Maramag vs Maramag
17. Producers Bank vs CA
18. Gallardo-Corro vs Gallardo
19. Pinga vs Heirs of Santiago
20. De Guia vs De Guia
21. Mercader vs DBP
22. Alcaraz vs CA
23. Quebral vs. CA

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