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2/8/2019 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 354

VOL. 354, MARCH 20, 2001 765


Medina Investigation & Security Corporation vs. Court of
Appeals

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G.R. No. 144074. March 20, 2001.

MEDINA INVESTIGATION & SECURITY


CORPORATION and ERNESTO Z. MEDINA, petitioners,
vs. COURT OF APPEALS, NATIONAL LABOR
RELATIONS COMMISSION and ROMEO TABURNAL,
respondents.

Statutes; Procedural Rules; Remedial statutes or statutes


relating to remedies or modes of procedure, which do not create
new or take away vested rights, but only operate in furtherance of
the remedy or confirmation of rights already existing, do not come
within the legal conception of a retroactive law, or the general rule
against retroactive operation of statutes.—Contrary to the position
of respondents that such amendment should not apply in this
case, we have ruled in the cases of Systems Factors Corporation
and Modesto Dean vs. NLRC, et al., G.R. No. 143789
(promulgated on November 27, 2000) and Unity Fishing
Development Corp. and/or Antonio Dee vs. CA, et al., G.R. No.
145415 (promulgated on February 2, 2001) that the amendment
under A.M. No. 00-2-03-SC wherein the sixty-day period to file a
petition for certiorari is reckoned from receipt of the resolution
denying the motion for reconsideration should be deemed
applicable. We reiterate that remedial statutes or statutes
relating to remedies or modes of procedure, which do not create
new or take away vested rights, but only operate in furtherance of
the remedy or confirmation of rights already existing, do not come
within the legal

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* THIRD DIVISION.

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Medina Investigation & Security Corporation vs. Court of Appeals

conception of a retroactive law, or the general rule against


retroactive operation of statutes. Statutes regulating the
procedure of the courts will fee construed as applicable to actions
pending and undetermined at the time of their passage.
Procedural laws are retroactive in that sense and to that extent.
The retroactive application of procedural laws is not violative of
any right of a person who may feel that he is adversely affected.
The reason is that as a general rule, no vested right may attach to
nor arise from procedural laws.

PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the


Court of Appeals.

The facts are stated in the resolution of the Court.


     Bonifacio A. Tavera, Jr. for petitioners.
     Public Attorney’s Office for private respondent.

RESOLUTION

GONZAGA-REYES, J.:

Before this Court is a Petition for Review seeking to set


aside the Resolution dated June 2, 2000 dismissing the
petition for being filed beyond the 60-day reglementary
period and the Resolution dated July 12, 2000 denying the
motion for reconsideration, both issued by the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 58968.
Respondent Romeo Taburnal was hired by petitioner
corporation as security guard on September 8, 1996 and
was assigned to one of its clients, Abenson, Inc. at Sta.
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Lucia Grand Mall. On September 5, 1997, the client
SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 354

requested that respondent Taburnal be relieved fee to


violations pursuant to the Service Contract such as
reporting late for duty, below standard performance of
duties, and exceding the maximum six (6) months duty in
the company. In view of his replacement, respondent
Taburnal filed a complaint for Illegal Dismissal claiming
for separation pay, non-payment of legal/special holiday
and overtime pay, underpayment of 13th month pay and
cash bond and tax refund. On April 29, 1999, the Labor
Arbiter rendered judgment ordering the reinstatement of
respondent Taburnal without loss of seniority rights and
the payment; of foil backwages and salary differentials.
Petitioners appealed to the
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Medina Investigation & Security Corporation vs. Court of
Appeals

NLRC which dismissed the same for lack of jurisdiction.


The Motion for Reconsideration thereto was denied. Herein
petitioners filed a petition for certiorari With the Court of
Appeals which dismissed the petition outright for having
been filed beyond the 60-day reglementary period or on the
67th day per its Resolution on June 2, 2000. The Court of
Appeals ruled that the petition was filed on the sixty-
seventh (67th) day since petitioners received on November
10, 1999 the Order dated August 26, 1999 of the NLRC and
the Motion for Reconsideration thereto was filed of
November 19, 1999. Copy of the order denying the said
motion was received by petitioners on April 3, 2000, while
the petition was filed with the Court of Appeals on May 31,
2000. The Court of Appeals did not discuss the merits of
the petition. Hence, the petition raising the, following
grounds:

“THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED WHEN IT RULED THAT


THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI WAS FILED BEYOND THE
REGLEMENTARY PERIOD.
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“PUBLIC APPELLEES COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE
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WHEN THEY DISMISSED THE PETITION, THEREBY


AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF LABOR ARBITER FELIPE P.
PATI WHlCM AWARDED MONETARY CLAIMS AND OTHER
RELIEF NOT PRAYED FOR IN THE COMPLAINT, IN GRAVE
ABUSE OF THEIR DlSCHfr TION, AMOUNTING TO LACK OR
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION.
“PUBLIC APPELLEES GROSSLY ERRED AND GRAVELY
ABUSED THEIR DISCRETION, WHEN THEY HELD
APPELLANT ERNESTO Z. MEDINA JOINTLY AND
SEVERALLY LIABLE WITH APPELLANT MISCOR, INSPITE
OF THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO THAT
EFFECT.”

Petitioners’ main contention is that their petition for


certiorari filed with the Court of Appeals was within the
60-day reglementary period pursuant to Rule 65. They
insist that when the assailed Order was received oil April
3, 2000, the petition filed on May 31, 2000 was the 58th
day, citing Section 1, Rule 22 of the 1997 Mtiles on Civil
Procedure and Article 13 of the Civil Code.
In his Comment, private respondent Romeo Taburnal
alleges that he is aware that Section 4, Rule 65 of the 1997
Rules oil Civil Procedure was later amended, which
amendment took affect Oil
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Medina Investigation & Security Corporation vs. Court of
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September 1, 2000. He insists however that the petition


filed with the Court of Appeals was not yet covered by said
amendment. Private respondent further avers that Article
223 of the Labor Code and the NLRC Rules of Procedure
provide that appeal is the proper remedy for a party
aggrieved by a decision of the Labor Arbiter and the filing
of a petition for certiorari with the NLRC by petitioners is
definitely a wrong remedy.
A.M. No. 00-2-03-SC amending Section 4, Rule 65 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure (as amended by the
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Resolution of July SUPREME
21, 1998) took effect on September 1,
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2000 and provides, to wit:

“SEC. 4. When and where petition filed.—The petition shall be


filed not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment,
order or resolution. In case a motion for reconsideration or new
trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or not, the
sixty (60) day period shall be counted from notice of the denial of
said motion.
The petition shall be filed in the Supreme Court or, if it relates
to the acts or omissions of a lower court or of a corporation, board,
officer or person, in the Regional Trial Court exercising
jurisdiction over the territorial area as defined by the Supreme
Court. It may also be filed in the Court of Appeals whether or not
the same is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, or in the
Sandiganbayan if it is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. If it
involves the acts or omissions of a quasi-judicial agency, unless
otherwise provided by law or these rules, the petition shall be
filed in and cognizable only by the Court of Appeals.
No. extension of time to file the petition shall be granted except
for compelling reason and in no case exceeding fifteen (15) days.”

Contrary to the position of respondents that such


amendment should not apply in this case, we have ruled in
the cases of Systems Factors Corporation and Modesto
Dean vs. NLRC, et al., G.R. No. 143789 (promulgated on
November 27, 2000) and Unity Fishing Development Corp.
and/or Antonio Dee vs. CA, et al., G.R. No. 145415
(promulgated on February 2, 2001) that the amendment
under A.M. No. 00-2-03-SC wherein the sixty-day period to
file a petition for certiorari is reckoned from receipt of the
resolution denying the motion for reconsideration should be
deemed applicable. We reiterate that remedial statutes or
statutes relating to remedies or modes of procedure, which
do not create new or take away vested rights, but only
operate in furtherance of the remedy
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Medina Investigation & Security Corporation vs. Court of
Appeals
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or confirmation ofSUPREME
rights already existing, do not come
COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 354

within the legal conception of a retroactive law, or the1


general rule against retroactive operation of statutes.
Statutes regulating the procedure of the courts will be
construed as applicable to actions pending and
undetermined at the time of their passage. Procedural laws
are retroactive in that sense and to that extent. The
retroactive application of procedural laws is not violative of
any right2
of a person who may feel that he is adversely
affected. The reason is that as a general rule, no3 vested
right may attach to nor arise from procedural laws.
The above conclusion is consonant with the provision in
Section 6, Rule 1 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure that
“(T)hese Rules shall be liberally construed in order to
promote their objective of securing a just, speedy and
inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding.”
The other issues raised by petitioners should be
addressed and resolved by the court below.
WHEREFORE, the Resolutions dated June 2, 2000 and
July 12, 2000 are hereby SET ASIDE and the case is
REMANDED to the Court of Appeals for further
proceedings.
SO ORDERED.

          Melo (Chairman), Vitug, Panganiban and


Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

Resolutions set aside, case remanded to Court of Appeals.

Notes.—Procedural rules are not to be belittled or


dismissed simply because their non-observance may have
resulted in prejudice to a party’s substantive rights since,
like all rules, they are required to be followed except only
for the most persuasive of reasons when they be relaxed.
(Gesmundo vs. JRB Realty Corporation, 234 SCRA 153
[1994])

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1 Castro vs. Sagales, 94 Phil. 208.


2 Gregorio vs. Court of Appeals, 26 SCRA 229 (1969); Tinio vs. Mina, 26
SCRA 512 (1969).
3 Billones vs. CIR, 14 SCRA 674 (1965).
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Rules of procedure are mere tools designed to expedite the


decision or resolution of cases and other matters pending in
court—a strict and rigid application of rules that would
result in technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than
promote substantial justice must be avoided. (Cusi-
Hernandez vs. Diaz, 336 SCRA 113 [2000])
The retroactive application of procedural rules to
pending cases is undoubtedly well-settled, (Oriental
Assurance Corporation vs. Solidbank Corporation, 338
SCRA 303 [2000])

——o0o——

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