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BAR OPERATIONS 2

SET #8
JOSEPH JOJO D. DAJAY ATTY. ALLAN CARLOS
LLB – 4 , PSU Law School Professorial Lecturer

CONTENTS

127. Geraldine Michelle B. Fallarme and Andrea Martinez-Gacos Vs. San Juan De Dios Educational Foundation, et al.
G.R. Nos. 1900015 & 190019. September 14, 2016

128. Drugstores Assn. of the Phils, Inc. and Northern Luzon Drug Corp. Vs. Nat’l. Council on Disability Affairs, et al.
G.R. No. 194561. September 14, 2016
129. Transimex Co. Vs. Mafre Asian Insurance Corp.
G.R. No. 190271. September 14, 2016
130. Heirs of Zosimo Q. Maravilla Vs. Privaldo Tupas
G.R. No. 192132. September 14, 2016
131. People of the Philippines Vs. Darwin Gito y Corlin
G.R. No. 199397. September 14, 2016

132. Wilson T. Lim Vs. Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military (MOLEO) and P/S Insp. Eustiquio Fuentes
G.R. No. 201320. September 14, 2016
133. Narciso T. Matis Vs. Manila Electric Company
G.R. No. 206629. September 14, 2016
134. People of the Philippines Vs. Beverly Villanueva y Manalili
G.R. No. 210798. September 14, 2016
135. People of the Philippines Vs. Esmael Zacaria y Wagas
G.R. No. 214238. September 14, 2016
136. J.O.S. Managing Builders, Inc. and Eduardo B. Olaguer Vs. United Overseas Bank Philippines, et al.
G.R. No. 219815. September 14, 2016
137. Philippine Science High School-Cagayan Valley Campus Vs. Pirra Construction Enterprises
G.R. No. 204423. September 14, 2016
138. Mario N. Felicilda Vs. Manchesteve H. Uy
G.R. No. 221241. September 14, 2016

139. Nicolas Robert Martin Egger Vs. Atty. Francisco P. Duran


A.C. No. 11323. September 14, 2016
140. Michael A. Onstott Vs. Upper Neighborhood Association, Inc.
G.R. No. 221047. September 14, 2016
141. Harte-Hanks Philippines, Inc. Vs. Commission of Internal Revenue
G.R. No. 205721. September 14, 2016
142. Emelita Basilio Gan Vs. Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. 207147. September 14, 2016

143. Edna Roque Aleguela, et al. Vs. Eastern Petroleum Corporation and J&M Properties and Construction Corporation
G.R. No. 223852. September 14, 2016
144. Atty. Delio M. Aseron Vs. Atty. Jose A. Diño, Jr.
A.C. No. 10782. September 14, 2016
127

G. R. Nos. 190015 & 190019


MICHELLE B. FALLARME and ANDREA
GERALDINE MARTINEZ-GACOS,
versus SAN JUAN DE DIOS EDUCATIONAL FOUNDA TION, INC., CHONA M. HERNANDEZ, V
ALERIANO ALEJANDRO III, SISTER CONCEPTION GABATINO, D.C., and SISTER JOSEFINA
QUIACHON, D.C.

FACTS:
Petitioners were hired by San Juan de Dios Educational Foundation, Inc. (respondent college), for full-time
teaching positions. The appointment of petitioner Fallarme was effective at the start of the first semester of School
Year (SY) 2003-20046 as signified by a memorandum7 issued by the school informing her that she had been hired.
The memorandum did not specify whether she was being employed on a regular or a probationary status. Aside
from being appointed to a faculty position, she was also appointed to perform administrative work for the school as
personnel officer and to serve as head of the Human Development Counseling Services.

Despite having served as a faculty member since SY 2003-2004, Fallarme was asked only on 1 March 2006 to
sign and submit to respondent Chona M. Hernandez, dean of general education, a written contract on the nature
of the former's employment and corresponding obligations. The contract was denominated as "Appointment and
Contract for Faculty on Probation" (appointment contract),11 and its effectivity period covered the second semester
of SY 2005-2006 - specifically from 4 November 2005 to 18 March 2006.12 The appointment contract specified the
status of Fallarme as a probationary faculty member.

After the expiration of the contract, respondent college informed her that it would not be renewed for the first
semester of SY 2006-2007.13 When she asked on what basis her contract would not be renewed, she was
informed that it was the school's "administrative prerogative."

ISSUE:
Whether petitioners are regular employees of respondent college?

HELD:
It is clear and undisputed that petitioners were hired by respondent college as early as 2003, but were required to
sign appointment contracts for the first time only in 2005. An examination of the records will show that when they
were hired in 2003, they each signed a mere memorandum informing them that they had passed the qualifying
examinations for faculty members, and that they were being hired effective first semester of SY 2003-2004.50 The
memorandum did not indicate their status as probationary employees, the specific period of effectivity of their
status as such, and the reasonable standards they needed to comply with to be granted regular status. The failure
to inform them of these matters was in violation of the requirements of valid probationary employment. It also
violated Section 91 of the 1992 Manual, which provides as follows:

“Every contract of employment shall specify the designation, qualification, salary rate, the period and nature of
service and its date of effectivity, and such other terms and conditions of employment as may be consistent
with laws and the rules, regulations and standards of the school.”
128

G.R. No. 194561, September 14, 2016

DRUGSTORES ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC. AND NORTHERN LUZON DRUG


CORPORATION, Petitioners, v. NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY AFFAIRS; DEPARTMENT
OF HEALTH; DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE; BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE; DEPARTMENT
OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT; AND DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE
AND DEVELOPMENT, Respondent

FACTS:
On December 9, 2008, the DOF issued Revenue Regulations No. 1-200916 prescribing rules and
regulations to implement R.A. 9442 relative to the tax privileges of PWDs and tax incentives for
establishments granting the discount. Section 4 of Revenue Regulations No. 001-09 states that
drugstores can only deduct the 20% discount from their gross income subject to some
conditions.17chanrobleslaw

On May 20, 2009, the DOH issued A.O. No. 2009-001118 specifically stating that the grant of 20%
discount shall be provided in the purchase of branded medicines and unbranded generic medicines
from all establishments dispensing medicines for the exclusive use of the PWDs.19 It also detailed the
guidelines for the provision of medical and related discounts and special privileges to PWDs pursuant
to R.A. 9442.

ISSUE:
Whether the provision of RA 9442 is an exercise of the police power of the State?

HELD:
The CA is correct when it applied by analogy the case of Carlos Superdrug Corporation et al.
v. DSWD, et al.24 wherein We pronounced that Section 4 of R.A. No. 9257 which grants 20% discount
on the purchase of medicine of senior citizens is a legitimate exercise of police power:
The law is a legitimate exercise of police power which, similar to the power of eminent domain,
has general welfare for its object. Police power is not capable of an exact definition, but has been
purposely veiled in general terms to underscore its comprehensiveness to meet all exigencies and
provide enough room for an efficient and flexible response to conditions and circumstances, thus
assuring the greatest benefits.25cralawredAccordingly, it has been described as the most essential,
insistent and the least limitable of powers, extending as it does to all the great public needs.26 It is [t]he
power vested in the legislature by the constitution to make, ordain, and establish all manner of
wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes, and ordinances, either with penalties or without, not
repugnant to the constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the commonwealth,
and of the subjects of the same.
129

G.R. No. 190271, September 14, 2016

TRANSIMEX CO., Petitioner, v. MAFRE ASIAN INSURANCE CORP., Respondent.

FACTS
M/V Meryem Ana received a shipment consisting of 21,857 metric tons of Prilled Urea Fertilizer
from Helm Duengemittel GMBH at Odessa, Ukraine.8 The shipment was covered by two separate bills
of lading and consigned to Fertiphil for delivery to two ports - one in Poro Point, San Fernando, La
Union; and the other in Tabaco, Albay.
As soon as the vessel docked at the Tabaco port, the fertilizer was bagged and stored inside a
warehouse by employees of the consignee.13 When the cargo was subsequently weighed, it was
discovered that only 7,350.35 metric tons of fertilizer had been delivered.14 Because of the alleged
shortage of 349.65 metric tons, Fertiphil filed a claim with respondent for P1,617,527.37,15 which was
found compensable.

ISSUE:

1. Whether the CA Decision has become final and executory


2. Whether the transaction is governed by the provisions of the Civil Code on common carriers
or by the provisions of COGSA

HELD:
1. Defendants-appellants' motion for reconsideration of the Court's Decision dated August 7,
2009 was filed out of time, as based on the reply letter dated October 13, 2009 of the Chief,
Administrative Unit, Office of the Postmaster, Makati City, copy of said Decision was received
by defendants-appellants' counsel on September 4, 2009, not September 14, 2009 as alleged
in the motion for reconsideration. Consequently, the subject Decision dated August 27, 2009
had become final and executory considering that the motion for reconsideration was filed only
on September 29, 2009, beyond the fifteen (15)-day reglamentary period which lasted until
September 19, 2009.

2. As expressly provided in Article 1753 of the Civil Code, "[t]he law of the country to which the
goods are to be transported shall govern the liability of the common carrier for their loss,
destruction or deterioration." Since the cargo in this case was transported from Odessa,
Ukraine, to Tabaco, Albay, the liability of petitioner for the alleged shortage must be
determined in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code on common carriers.
130

G.R. No. 192132, September 14, 2016

HEIRS OF ZOSIMO Q. MARAVILLA, NAMELY, ZOSIMO W. MARAVILLA, JR., YVETTE


MARAVILLA AND RICHARD MARAVILLA, REPRESENTED BY ZOSIMO W. MARAVILLA,
JR., Petitioners, v.PRIVALDO TUPAS, Respondent.

FACTS:

Petitioners insist that the CA's Decision dated August 28, 1996 in the original case for Quieting
of Title with Recovery of Possession and Damages entitled petitioners to the restoration of their
possession of the property consisting of 10,000 sq. m. out of the 36,382 sq. m. tract of land, after the
validity of the sale to Maravilla by respondent's predecessor has been upheld by the court with finality.
They further claim that it is well entrenched in Our rules and jurisprudence that the prevailing party
may move for the execution of a decision that has become final and executory as a matter of right and
the issuance of the writ of execution becomes a ministerial duty of the court.

The pronouncement in the Boracay Decision, according to petitioners, is not a supervening event. The
Boracay Decision is simply a recognition of the right of the State to classify the island and to pave the
way for the eventual titling or formalization of ownership claims of lands classified as alienable and
disposable, and as to whether or not petitioners may secure title to the property is an issue that has
not yet ripened into a legal controversy between petitioners and the State. Petitioners argue that the
settled dispute between the parties as to who has the better right to the property is distinct and
separate from the issue of titling sought in the Boracay Decision by the claimants therein

ISSUE
Whether or not such supervening event can prevent the execution of a judgment that has already
attained finality

HELD:

The above reasoning of the CA has its basis on a simple logic that one cannot dispose of a thing he
does not own. In this case, at the time of the sale of the subject property, the late Asiclo S. Tupas had
no right to sell a property that has not been declared alienable by the State; hence, he cannot pass
unto another any right or title to own or possess the land. Therefore, the "Sale of Unregistered Land"
entered into between the late Asiclo S. Tupas and the late Zosimo Maravilla on February 8, 1975,
previously considered valid and legitimate and became the basis used by the RTC to settle the dispute
between the parties as to who has the better to right to the property, has become null and void
because the subject property of the contract is a forest land and cannot be alienated at the time the
said deed of sale was executed. Article 1347 of the Civil Code provides that only things, which are not
outside the commerce of man, including future things, may be the objects of the contracts and Article
1409 of the Civil Code also states that contracts whose objects are outside the commerce of man are
non-existent and void ab initio.
131

G.R. No. 199397, September 14, 2016

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DARWIN GITO Y CORLIN, ACCUSED-


APPELLANT., Respondent

FACTS:
AAA, then fourteen years old, lived with her partner, Alexander Arabaca (Alexander), at the
house of her grandmother. They slept in a portion of the house separated only by a plastic sack as
partition while AAA's grandmother and two minor cousins slept on the other part of the house. On 11
May 2003 at around 1:00am, AAA was sleeping beside Alexander when she was awakened to see the
latter's brother, Jonery and appellant standing beside her. After waking her up, Jonery told AAA that
he wanted to talk, then forcibly pulled her out from the bed. AAA tried to resist and even called for
Alexander, but the latter was too intoxicated to wake up. Jonery and appellant dragged AAA out and
into the back of the house. Appellant pushed AAA to the ground. Thereat, AAA was raped first by
Jonery and followed by appellant. While doing their bestial act, Jonery threatened AAA with a knife
while appellant pricked her skin with his long fingernail. After satisfying their lust, Jonery and appellant
fled the scene. AAA then went back to bed and woke Alexander up. She told Alexander what had
happened but the latter did not believe her. AAA just kept crying and eventually fell asleep. When she
woke up the following day, Alexander was no longer around. She immediately saw Tia Lita Bugate
and told her that she was raped. She reported the incident to the barangay5 and underwent a medical
examination on 15 May 2003 where she was found to have healed lacerations in her genital
area.6 AAA was certified by the Municipal Civil Registrar's Office to be fourteen years old at the time of
the alleged rape.

ISSUE:
Whether the guilt of the accused is proven beyond reasonable doubt

HELD:
Based on the testimony of AAA, there was carnal knowledge first, between her and Jonery and
second, between her and appellant. Conspiracy was correctly appreciated by the trial court when it
ruled in this wise:
In these particular cases, it was proven by the prosecution that [AAA] was being dragged by
Jonery Arabaca and pushed by Darwin Gito at about 1:00 O'clock in the morning of May 11, 2003
towards the back of their kitchen and upon reaching outside of the house where [AAA] was staying at
that time, Jonery Arabaca poked a knife at her and pushed her down and removed her panty and
shorts and laid on top of her, inserted his penis into her vagina and make a push and pull movement
while Darwin Gito was watching Jonery Arabaca doing the act and after Jonery Arabaca had finished
doing the act Darwin Gito also laid on top of her and inserted his penis into her vagina. These acts
therefore of the two accused connotes the existence of conspiracy. There was an intentional
participation on the part of the two accused to furtherance of their common design and purpose of
raping [AAA]. An aggravating circumstances of using deadly weapon was duly proven by the
prosecution as well as stated in the information itself.20chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Appellant's alibi and denial did not escape the trial court's scrutiny and it found that they cannot stand
against the overwhelming evidence of the prosecution
132

G.R. No. 201320, September 14, 2016

WILSON T. LIM, Petitioner, v. OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FOR THE MILITARY AND
OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICES (MOLEO) AND P/S INSP. EUSTIQUIO FUENTES,
Respondents.

FACTS:

Petitioner Wilson Lim and Rex Lazo were engaged in the business of buying and selling second-hand
vehicles in Iloilo City, where Lim agreed to be the financier. In November and December 2002, they
bought pre-owned cars in Iloilo and Manila, and sold them at their Wheels to Go showroom in Iloilo. In
March 2003, Lim learned from his neighbor that he had bought a second-hand Mitsubishi Adventure
for only P332,000.00 through a car agent named Raquim Salvo based in Iligan City. He then became
interested in buying similar cars so he contacted Salvo and sent Lazo to Iligan to check the units and
examine the documents of ownership. On or about April 7, 2003, Lim sent Lazo to Iligan again. Lazo
then personally met Salvo and other second-hand car agents who all assured him that the units were
properly documented and cleared by the Iligan Traffic Management Group (TMG). Salvo likewise
introduced Lazo to the supposed owners of the vehicles and showed him the alleged original copies of
Certificates of Registration (CRs) and Motor Vehicle Registration Renewal (MVRR) Official Receipts
(ORs) issued by Rex Pangandag, Head of Land Transportation Office (LTO) Tubod Extension Office,
Iligan, and affidavits of ownership of the registered owners. Salvo further brought Lazo to the office of
the Iligan TMG, headed by respondent Philippine National Police (PNP) Police Senior Inspector (PSI)
Eustiquio Fuentes, who was the one who issued the PNP Motor Vehicle Clearance Certificates
(MVCCs), one of the LTO requirements for the transfer of ownership to the buyer. On the basis of the
CRs and ORs issued by the LTO Tubod Extension Office and the TMG Clearance issued by Fuentes,
Lim and Lazo purchased two (2) units of Isuzu XUV Crosswind at a total purchase price of
P1,150,000.00. They then displayed and sold the vehicles at Wheels to Go. Subsequently, the
ownership over the vehicles was transferred to the buyers using the aforementioned CRs, ORs, and
TMG Clearance.

ISSUE:
Whether the Deputy Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion when it disregarded its
own Rules of Procedure in granting Fuentes's Motion for Reconsideration and dismissing the criminal
complaint against him

HELD:
Applying the foregoing principles to the case at bar, the Court finds that the Deputy
Ombudsman gravely abused its discretion when it unjustifiably turned a blind eye to the essential
facts and evidence in ruling that there was no probable cause against Fuentes for the crimes of
Violation of Section 3(e), R.A. 3019 and Estafa Through Falsification. For the purpose of filing a
criminal information, probable cause exists when the facts are sufficient to engender a well-
founded belief that a crime has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty
thereof. In order to engender such well-founded belief that a crime has been committed, and to
determine if the suspect is probably guilty of the same, the elements of the crime charged should,
in all reasonable likelihood, be present. This is based on the principle that every crime is defined
by its elements, without which there should be, at the most, no criminal offense. 11
133

G.R. No. 206629, September 14, 2016

NARCISO T. MATIS, Petitioner, v. MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY, Respondent.

FACTS:
Respondent Manila Electric Company (Meralco) hired petitioner Matis, and complainants
Nemencio Hipolito, Jr. (Hipolito), Raymundo M. Zufiiga5 (Zuniga), Gerardo de Guia (De Guia), and
Ricardo Ignacio (Ignacio) on various dates and in various capacities.6 At the time of their dismissal,
Matis was a foreman; Hipolito and Zuniga were acting foremen; De Guia was a stockman/driver; and
Ignacio was a leadman.

On July 27, 2006, Matis and the others were dismissed on the grounds of serious misconduct,
fraud or willful breach of trust, commission of a crime or offense against the employer and other
causes analogous to the foregoing.7 They were dismissed for their alleged cooperation in the
pilferages of Meralco's electrical supplies by one Norberto Llanes (Llanes), a non-Meralco employee,
particularly, in an incident which took place on May 25, 2006. On that same day, Matis and the rest of
the crew of Trucks 1837 and 1891 were replacing a rotten pole in Pacheco Subdivision, Dalandan,
Valenzuela City

ISSUE:
Whether petitioner Matis was illegally dismissed.

HELD:
NO, Records reveal that it was not only on May 25, 2006 that Llanes, the pilferer, was seen
during a Meralco operation as he was previously noticed by Meralco employees in past operations.
Also, the evidence ascertained the presence of Matis in the worksite where the pilferage took place,
and his familiarity with Llanes. Matis's tolerance of the activities of Llanes demonstrates his complicity
in the theft, and not a mere want of care in the performance of his duty or gross negligence.

Assuming Matis were negligent, his inaction can only be regarded as a single or isolated act of
negligence which cannot be considered as gross and habitual, hence, cannot be considered as a just
cause for his dismissal. Nevertheless, such finding will not warrant the reversal of the instant case.
134

[ GR No. 210798, Sep 14, 2016 ]

PEOPLE v. BEVERLY VILLANUEVA Y MANALILI @ BEBANG

FACTS:
AAA ran away from home after finding out that she was adopted and after being scolded by her
mother, who became the private complainant in this case. The friends of AAA informed private
complainant that AAA was staying at the On Tap Videoke Bar, working as a Guest Relations Officer.
Private complainant sought assistance from the Channel 2 TV program "XXX" to regain custody over
AAA. Private complainant, accompanied by the TV crew, lodged a preliminary complaint with the
Southern Police District (SPD) Headquarters of Taguig City against On Tap Videoke Bar and a task
force was created for the rescue of AAA. The Office of the City Prosecutor charged accused-
appellant with human trafficking under R.A. 9208, instead of violation of R.A. 7610 for the reason that
accused-appellant "recruited and exploited AAA, a 13-year old minor, to work as a GRO in her bar by
taking advantage of her vulnerability as a child."

On 31 May 2007, an Affidavit of Desistance was executed by private complainant, which


formed part of the exhibits. The Affidavit of Desistance was executed after the private complainant had
the opportunity to talk to AAA after the rescue operation and after AAA revealed that she was merely
allowed to stay at the videoke bar after she ran away from home. While the trial was ongoing, AAA
absconded from DSWD custody, resulting in the prosecution's failure to obtain her testimony.

ISSUE:
Whether the circumstantial pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution inexorably lead to
the conclusion that accused-appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Qualified
Trafficking.

HELD:

The prosecution stresses the fact that accused-appellant is the registered owner of the On Tap
Videoke Bar. The prosecution insists that by merely being the registered owner, accused-appellant
necessarily committed the act of recruiting, maintaining or harboring AAA. Such contention is
misplaced.
Recruiting, harboring, or maintaining a person for the purpose of exploitation are acts
performed by persons who may or may not be registered owners of establishments. Thus, being the
registered owner per se does not make one criminally liable for the acts of trafficking committed in the
establishment. What the prosecution should have done was to prove the act of trafficking by other
means, and not by mere showing that accused-appellant was the registered owner. The defense, on
the other hand, countered the allegation by presenting testimonies of Aquino, an employee of the
videoke bar; Villanueva, Jr., manager of the videoke bar and brother of accused-appellant; and
accused-appellant herself. The RTC found accused-appellant's denial and the corroborating
testimonies as unavailing and incredible, for the reason that such testimonies did not come from
disinterested witnesses. This Court is not unaware of the longstanding doctrine that findings of facts
and assessment of credibility of witnesses are matters best left to the trial court, which is in the best
position to observe the witnesses' demeanor while being examined.
However, we take exception from such rule, considering that there are facts and circumstances
which if properly appreciated, could alter the outcome of the case. That the defense witnesses are
closely related to accused-appellant —one being the brother and manager of the videoke bar and the
other being an employee—is not a sufficient reason to disregard their testimonies. The declaration of
interested witnesses is not necessarily biased and incredible.
135

G.R. No. 214238, September 14, 2016

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ESMAEL ZACARIA Y WAGAS, Accused-


Appellant

FACTS:
Acting as poseur-buyers, SPO2 Montederamos, together with an informant, went to Victoria Plaza in
Davao City to meet Zacaria. The informant first introduced Zacaria to SPO2 Montederamos. After
SPO2 Montederamos showed the money to Zacaria, the latter handed one (1) plastic sachet
containing white crystalline substance to SPO2 Montederamos, who immediately called the other
police officers. SPO2 Montederamos then held Zacaria, but the latter managed to whisk away and
board a taxi. The police officers chased Zacaria and when they were finally able to catch up with him
at the back of Victoria Plaza, the police officers arrested Zacaria. During Zacaria's arrest, the police
officers recovered another sachet containing white crystalline substance from him
Zacaria was transferred to a detention cell. During his investigation, he was asked to point his
companions in exchange for his freedom, but he could not point anybody. He stayed at the PDEA for
ten days. While at the PDEA, Zacaria used the cellphone of one of the visitors and texted his wife.

ISSUE:
Whether the charges against the accused must fail because the prosecution failed to
present the buy-bust money

HELD
As correctly held by the lower courts, the elements of Section 5, Article II of R.A. No. 9165 or sale of
illegal drugs: (1) the identities of the buyer and seller, object, and consideration; and (2) the delivery of
the thing sold and the payment for it, are present. Also, the prosecution adequately established the
existence of all the elements of the offense of illegal possession of dangerous drugs under Section 11,
Article II of the same Act, to wit: (1) the accused is in possession of the object identified as a
prohibited or regulated drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely
and consciously possessed the said drug.

Finding no reversible error in the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the lower courts, the Court
resolves to AFFIRM in toto the Decision of the Court of Appeals.
136

G.R. No. 219815, September 14, 2016

J.O.S. MANAGING BUILDERS, INC. AND EDUARDO B. OLAGUER, Petitioners, v. UNITED


OVERSEAS BANK PHILIPPINES (FORMERLY KNOWN AS WESTMONT BANK), EMMANUEL T.
MANGOSING AND DAVID GOH CHAI ENG, Respondents.

FACTS:

On September 10, 1999, petitioners filed a Petition for Annulment of Extrajudicial Foreclosure Sale
(annulment case) against UOBP and Atty. Ricardo F. De Guzman in RTC-QC

On May 17, 2000, RTC Br. 98 issued a writ of preliminary injunction (2000 writ) against respondents
prohibiting them from: (a) consolidating title to the subject properties; and (b) committing any acts
prejudicial to petitioners.8Eventually, on June 12, 2008, it also issued a decision annulling the
extrajudicial foreclosure and public auction sale of the properties.

On May 5, 2008, while the annulment case was still pending, respondents sold the properties to
Onshore Strategic Assets, Inc.11 Thus, petitioners filed a Petition to Declare Respondents in Contempt
of Court.

Petitioners averred that respondents' sale of the properties constitutes indirect contempt of court
because it was done in violation of the 2000 writ issued by RTC Br. 98. Additionally, they prayed that
respondents be ordered to pay actual, moral and exemplary damages including attorney's fees and
cost of suit.

Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration (MR) of the order of dismissal. Respondents filed a
Motion to Expunge the MR on the ground that petitioners violated the three-day notice rule under
Section 4, Rule 15 of the Rules.

ISSUE:
Whether RTC Br. 87 erred in expunging petitioners' MR from the record of the case

HELD

The general rule is that the three-day notice requirement in motions under Section 4 of the Rules is
mandatory. It is an integral component of procedural due process. The purpose of the three-day notice
requirement, which was established not for the benefit of the movant but rather for the adverse party,
is to avoid surprises upon the latter and to grant it sufficient time to study the motion and to enable it to
meet the arguments interposed therein.

Thus, the test is the presence of opportunity to be heard, as well as to have time to study the motion
and meaningfully oppose or controvert the grounds upon which it is based.35 When the adverse party
had been afforded such opportunity, and has been indeed heard through the pleadings filed in
opposition to the motion, the purpose behind the three-day notice requirement is deemed realized. In
such case, the requirements of procedural due process are substantially complied with
137

G.R. No. 204423, September 14, 2016

PHILIPPINE SCIENCE HIGH SCHOOL-CAGAYAN VALLEY CAMPUS, Petitioner, v. PIRRA


CONSTRUCTION ENTERPRISES, Respondent

FACTS:
On October 27, 2008, PIRRA participated in and won the bidding for Project A for a total contract price of
P24,290,854.10. On December 8, 2008, PSHS issued a Notice of Award to PIRRA. Thereafter, the parties
entered into a Contract Agreement and a Notice to Proceed was issued to PIRRA. The duration of Project A was
for 180 days from December 20, 2008, with approved 65-day extension until August 22, 2009. As mobilization
fee, PSHS paid PIRRA 15% of the contract price. Thereafter, it paid PIRRA its Partial Billing (PB) Nos. 1 to
4 amounting to P23,194,020.95.
On January 6, 2010, PSHS informed PIRRA that it would take over Project A in the interest of the
government, and to prepare for its occupancy for School Year 2010-2011. It also stated that it would implement
the repair of the identified defects through a third party, the expenses of which would be deducted from PIRRA's
final billing. It declared that the disallowances indicated in the COA Report (particularly its Findings Nos. 3 and 7)
and its construction materials, which PIRRA allegedly used without permission would also be deducted from the
final billing.

ISSUE
a. ) whether PSHS treated Project A as substantially completed such that it is liable for the residual value of
PB No. 5;
b. ) whether PSHS validly terminated the contract for Project C;

HELD:
First, the Court sustains the finding that PSHS accepted and treated Project A as a substantially
completed project, and for which reason, PSHS' takeover thereof is of no moment.

When PIRRA requested substantial acceptance and completion of Project A, PSHS did not object to such a
request. It acted upon it and even created an Inspectorate Team for punch listing, and for the purpose of
determining PIRRA's PB No. 5. Notably, PSHS repeatedly referred to PB No. 5 as the final billing for Project A. In
fact, PSHS initially expressed its willingness to pay only to put it on hold because of the COA Report. Nonetheless,
as correctly explained by the CIAC, such Report cannot affect PSHS' obligation to pay PIRRA because the
existence of the defective or undelivered items was not an excuse to avoid payment of the progress billing, as the
payment was due on the performed items that were completed or were otherwise performed, save for the defects.
Second, the Court affirms the finding that PSHS is liable to pay the value of the steel bars, steel awning
windows with security grills and steel railings fabricated by PIRRA. It being apparent that the CIAC arrived at this
finding only after a thorough consideration of the adduced evidence, and which finding was in fact duly affirmed by
the CA, the same may no longer be reviewed by the Court.
138

G.R. No. 221241, September 14, 2016

MARIO N. FELICILDA, Petitioner, v. MANCHESTEVE H. UY, Respondent.

FACTS:

Petitioner alleged that on October 29, 2010, respondent Manchesteve H. Uy (respondent) hired him as
a truck driver for the latter's trucking service under the business name "Gold Pillars Trucking" 6 (GPT).
In connection, therewith, petitioner was issued a company identification card (ID), assigned in one of
GPT's branches in Manila, and paid on a percentage basis.7 On December 9, 2011, petitioner took a
nap at the work station while waiting for his truck to be loaded with cargoes, all of which were
delivered to respondent's clients on schedule. The next day, or on December 10, 2011, respondent's
helper told petitioner that his employment was already terminated due to his act of sleeping while on
the job.8Claiming that he was dismissed without just cause and due process, and that his act of taking
a nap did not prejudice respondent's business, petitioner filed a complaint9 for illegal dismissal with
money claims against respondent, before the NLRC

ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA correctly ascribed grave abuse of discretion on the part of the NLRC in
ruling that no employer-employee relationship existed between petitioner and respondent

HELD:

The petition is impressed with merit.

In labor disputes, grave abuse of discretion may be ascribed to the NLRC when, inter alia, its findings
and conclusions are not supported by substantial evidence, or that amount of relevant evidence which
a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion.30chanrobleslaw

Guided by the foregoing considerations, the Court finds that the CA committed reversible error in
granting respondent's certiorari petition since the NLRC did not gravely abuse its discretion in ruling
that petitioner was respondent's regular employee and, hence, was illegally dismissed by the latter. In
this case, respondent disclaims any liability for illegal dismissal, considering that, in the first place, no
employer-employee relationship existed between him and petitioner.
139

A.C. No. 11323, September 14, 2016

NICOLAS ROBERT MARTIN EGGER, Complainant, v. ATTY. FRANCISCO P. DURAN, Respondent.

FACTS:
Complainant alleged that on January 22, 2014, he engaged respondent's services to file on his
behalf a petition for the annulment of his marriage. As consideration therefor, complainant deposited
the total amount of P100,000.00 to respondent's bank account, spread over two (2) tranches of
P50,000.00 each. Despite such payment, respondent never prepared, much less filed, said petition.
This prompted complainant to terminate respondent's services due to loss of trust and confidence.
Further, complainant, through his wife,2 Dioly Rose Reposo (Reposo), wrote a letter3 demanding for
the return of the P100,000.00 he gave to respondent as lawyer's fees. In reply, respondent wrote
complainant a letter4promising the return of the aforesaid amount before the end of May 2014.
However, respondent did not fulfill his promise, prompting complainant to hire a new counsel, who in
turn, wrote another letter5demanding for the return of the said lawyer's fees. As the second demand
letter went unheeded, complainant filed the instant case against respondent.

ISSUE:
The essential issue in this case is whether or not respondent should be held administratively
liable for violating the CPR.

HELD:
A judicious perusal of the records reveals that sometime in January 2014, complainant and
Reposo had already forged a lawyer-client relationship with respondent, considering that the latter
agreed to file a petition for annulment of marriage in their behalf, and in connection therewith, received
the aggregate amount of P100,000.00 representing legal fees. Case law instructs that a lawyer-client
relationship commences when a lawyer signifies his agreement to handle a client's case and accepts
money representing legal fees from the latter,16 as in this case. Respondent's contention that he only
has a lawyer-client relationship with Reposo but not with her husband, the complainant, is belied by
the letter17 dated April 25, 2014 signed by no less than Reposo herself which shows that she and
complainant jointly sought the services of respondent to work on their annulment case, but had to
eventually withdraw therefrom on account of respondent's failure to render any actual legal service
despite their agreement and payment of legal fees amounting to P100,000.00.

Once a lawyer takes up the cause of his client, he is duty-bound to serve the latter with competence,
and to attend to such client's cause with diligence, care, and devotion whether he accepts it for a fee
or for free. He owes fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence
reposed upon him.18 This is commanded by Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the CPR
140

G.R. No. 221047, September 14, 2016

MICHAEL A. ONSTOTT, Petitioner, v. UPPER TAGPOS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION,


INC., Respondent.

FACTS:
Albert, an American citizen, was the registered owner of a parcel of land with an
approximate area of 18,589 square meters, covered by OCT No. (-2645-) M-5565 situated in
the Province of Rizal (subject property). Due to non-payment of realty taxes, the Provincial
Government of Rizal sold the subject property at public auction to one Amelita A. De Serra
(De Serra), the highest bidder, as evidenced by the Certificate of Sale6 dated June 29,
2004.7 Respondent UTNAI, an association representing the actual occupants of the subject
property, subsequently redeemed8 the same from De Sena
UTNAI filed a complaint10 for cancellation of OCT No. (-2645-) M-556 and for the
issuance of a new title in its name before the RTC against Albert and Federico M. Cas (Cas),
the Register of Deeds for the Province of Rizal.11 It alleged, among others, that it became the
owner of the subject property upon redemption thereof from De Sena and that, consequently,
it must be issued a new title. Moreover, Albert was an American citizen who, under Philippine
law, is not allowed to own a parcel of land in the Philippines.
Petitioner Michael Onstott (Michael), claiming to be the legitimate son of Albert with a
certain Josephine Arrastia Onstott (Josephine) filed a Petition for Relief from Judgment
(Petition for Relief)

ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA erred in directing the issuance of a title in favor of UTNAI
notwithstanding (a) the lack of jurisdiction over the person of Albert, the registered owner of
the subject property who has been dead prior to the institution of UTNAI'S complaint

HELD:
Based on the foregoing factual milieu, the Court finds that although it may be true that
jurisdiction was not initially acquired over the person of the defendant, 49i.e., Albert in this case
whose death, notably, was never brought to the attention of the RTC until after it rendered
judgment the defect in the lack of jurisdiction over his person was effectively cured by the
voluntary appearance of his successor-in-interest/compulsory heir, Michael, who sought
affirmative relief before the RTC through the filing of the Petition for Relief which the RTC
treated as a motion for reconsideration of its judgment. Michael voluntarily submitted to the
jurisdiction of the RTC when, without any qualification, he directly and squarely challenged
the RTC's March 30, 2009 Decision as aforementioned. Having sought positive relief from an
unfavorable judgment, the RTC, therefore, acquired jurisdiction over his person, and the due
process requirements of the law have been satisfied.
141

G.R. No. 205721, September 14, 2016

HARTE-HANKS PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL


REVENUE, Respondent.

FACTS:
HHPI is a domestic corporation engaged in the business of providing outsourcing
customer relationship management solutions through inbound and outbound call services to
its customers. It is located in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and, as such, pays VAT to the
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) using the calendar year (CY) system. 4chanrobleslaw

During the first quarter of CY 2008, HHPI received income for services rendered within the
Philippines for clients abroad. It filed its original Quarterly VAT Return with the BIR through
the BIR Electronic Filing and Payment System. The return was amended on May 29, 2008
showing that HHPI had no output VAT liability for the first quarter of CY 2008 as it had no
local sales subject to 12% VAT but it has unutilized input VAT of P3,167,402.34 on its
domestic purchases of goods and services on its zero-rated sales of services.

ISSUE
Whether or not the petition is premature.

HELD:
In the instant case, the petition for review is considered premature because the 120-
day mandatoryperiod was not observed before an appeal was elevated to the CTA. Either the CTA or
this Court could also legitimize such procedural infirmity because it would run counter to Article 5 31 of
the Civil Code unless a law exists that would authorize the validity of said petition. Regrettably, such
law is wanting in the instant case.

Tax refunds or credits, just like tax exemptions, are strictly construed against the
taxpayer. A refund is not a matter of right by the mere fact that a taxpayer has undisputed excess
input VAT or that such tax was admittedly illegally, erroneously or excessively collected. Corollarily, a
taxpayer's non-compliance with the mandatory 120-day period is fatal to the petition even if the CIR
does not assail the numerical correctness of the tax sought to be refunded. Otherwise, the mandatory
and jurisdictional conditions impressed by law would be rendered useless.

Additionally, the 30-day appeal period to the CTA "was adopted precisely to do away with the old
rule,33so that under the VAT System the taxpayer will always have 30 days to file the judicial claim
even if the CIR acts only on the 120th day, or does not act at all during the 120-day period."34 In effect,
the taxpayer should wait for the 120th day before the 30-day prescriptive period to appeal can be
availed of. Hence, the non-observance of the 120-day period is fatal to the filing of a judicial claim to
the CTA, the non-observance of which will result in the dismissal of the same due to prematurity. In
fine, the premature filing of the judicial claim for refund of the excess input VAT of HHPI in the amount
of P3,167,402.34 warrants a dismissal of the petition.
142

G.R. No. 207147, September 14, 2016

EMELITA BASILIO GAN, Petitioner, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

FACTS:
Emelita Basilio Gan (petitioner) was born on December 21, 1956 out of wedlock to Pia Gan,
her father who is a Chinese national, and Consolacion Basilio, her mother who is a Filipino
citizen.3 The petitioner's birth certificate,4 which was registered in the Office of the Local Civil Registrar
(LCR) of Libmanan, Camarines Sur, indicates that her full name is Emelita Basilio.

On June 29, 2010, the petitioner filed a Petition5 for correction of name with the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Libmanan, Camarines Sur. The petitioner sought to change the full name indicated in
her birth certificate from "Emelita Basilio" to "Emelita Basilio Gan." She claimed that she had been
using the name "Emelita Basilio Gan" in her school records from elementary until college, employment
records, marriage contract, and other government records.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the RTC erred in ranting the petition for change of name

HELD:
A change of name is a privilege and not a matter of right; a proper and reasonable cause must
exist before a person may be authorized to change his name.21 "In granting or denying petitions for
change of name, the question of proper and reasonable cause is left to the sound discretion of the
court. x x x What is involved is not a mere matter of allowance or disallowance of the request, but a
judicious evaluation of the sufficiency and propriety of the justifications advanced in support thereof,
mindful of the consequent results in the event of its grant and with the sole prerogative for making
such determination being lodged in the courts."
After a judicious review of the records of this case, the Court agrees with the CA that
the reason cited by the petitioner in support of her petition for change of name, i.e. that she
has been using the name "Emelita Basilio Gan" in all of her records, is not a sufficient or
proper justification to allow her petition. When the petitioner was born in 1956, prior to the
enactment and effectivity of the Family Code, the pertinent provisions of the Civil Code then
regarding the petitioner's use of surname provide:

“Article 366. A natural child acknowledged by both parents shall principally use the
surname of the father. If recognized by only one of the parents, a natural child shall employ
the surname of the recognizing parent.”
143

G.R. No. 223852, September 14, 2016

EDNA ROQUE ALEGUELA, FELIPE GONZALES, DOLORES COCHESA, LUISA


CAGALINGAN, REYNALDO JUNSAY, BONIFACIA RODRIQUEZ, CONEY CERDENA,
AND ALL PERSONS CLAIMING RIGHTS UNDER THEM, Petitioners, v. EASTERN
PETROLEUM CORPORATION AND J&M PROPERTIES AND CONSTRUCTION
CORPORATION, Respondents.

FACTS:
The petitioners are the occupants of the subject properties situated at J. B. Miguel
Street, Barangay Bambang, Pasig City, particularly, the parcel of land covered by Title No.
PT-130608 under the name of Eastern Petroleum, and the parcels of land covered by PT-
140851 and PT-140844 under the name of J&M Properties Subsequent to the sale, the
respondents sought to take possession of the lots but the petitioners refused to vacate the
premises notwithstanding a monetary offer for their relocation by the respondents. This
prompted the respondents to institute ejectment suits with the Metropolitan Trial Court
(MeTC) of Pasig City, although these were dismissed by the MeTC.

In their answer to the complaint, the petitioners contended that they had been
occupying the lots for more than 50 years. The properties had been declared part of the
Areas for Priority Development under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1517, otherwise known
as the Urban Land Reform Act. The issuance of the certificates of title under the respondents'
names violated Sections 6 and 7 of P.D. No. 1517 and Section 2 of P.D. No. 2016,

ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioners are covered by the Urban Land Reform Act ( PD 1517).

HELD:
The basic rule is that he who alleges a fact has the burden of proving it. Based on the
records, the petitioners were only able to prove that they were the lots' possessors. Their
possession, however, could be based on the other modes specifically excluded by P.D. No.
1517 from its cover, namely, tolerance, force or deceit. In Medina v. Mayor Asistio, Jr.,22 the
Court emphasized that "only legitimate tenants may be extended the protective mantle of the
decree cited to the exclusion of others." Where no contracts are presented to qualify persons
as legitimate tenants, the protection afforded therein cannot be rightfully invoked.

The CA was correct in ruling in favor of the respondents. Their rights to possess, use and
occupy the subject parcels of land, being the present registered owners thereof, have been
sufficiently established. Not even the petitioners' reference to the prior dismissal by the MeTC
of the ejectment suits first filed against them by the respondents supports their assertion. The
principle of res judicata does not apply because the ejectment suits and the present complaint
covered different causes of action. Moreover, the ejectment suits were not decided on the
merits. These were dismissed mainly on the ground that the ownership issue was raised by
the respondents, a matter that was beyond the scope of the MeTC's jurisdiction. The issue on
the petitioners' tenancy was not resolved in the said cases.
144

A.C. No. 10782, September 14, 2016

ATTY. DELIO M. ASERON, Complainant, v. ATTY. JOSE A. DIÑO, JR., Respondent.

FACTS:
On January 25, 2009, the complainant figured in a vehicular accident along Commonwealth
Avenue, Quezon City with a bus operated by Nova Auto Transport, Inc. (NATI) which, at that time,
was driven by Jerry Garcia.

Consequently, the complainant filed the following cases: (i) a criminal case against Garcia for
Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with Serious Physical Injuries docketed as
Criminal Case No. 025403 before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 36; (ii) a civil
case for Damages against Garcia and NATI docketed as Ci Case No. Q-09-64558 before the Regional
Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 105. In both instances, the respondent is the counsel of record for
Garcia and NATI.

The complainant, however, claimed that the respondent's reply letter5 dated March 20, 2009, was
couched in abusive, disrespectful language, malicious and unfounded accusations and besmirched his
reputation
The complainant asseverated that the respondent made a mockery of the judicial system by
employing unwarranted dilatory tactics in Criminal Case No. 025403 and Civil Case No. Q-09-64558
by filing numerous motions that were eventually denied by the courts for lack of merit. 9chanrobleslaw

Moreover, the complainant alleged that the respondent committed malpractice by misleading
the court when he admitted ownership of the passenger bus with body number 054 and plate number
TWC 653 as that of NATI in one pleading and denying it in another.

ISSUE:
Whether or not there is sufficient evidence on record to hold the respondent liable for violation
of the CPR.

HELD:
As an officer of the court, the respondent could have aired his charge against the complainant
in a proper forum and without using offensive and abusive language. He should refrain from being
tempted by the adversarial nature of our legal system to use strong language in pursuit of his duty to
advance the interest of his client.

Indeed, there is a strong showing that the Respondent had failed to conduct himself toward his
fellow lawyer with that courtesy that all have the right to expect. When he mentioned that Complainant
had used his influence in persuading the fiscal, he used a language which was abusive, offensive or
otherwise improper. He showed ill-feelings toward Complainant and allowed such feeling to influence
him in his conduct and demeanor towards the latter.