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FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 31951. September 4, 1929.]

PHILIPPINE TRUST CO., petitioner , vs. FRANCISCO SANTAMARIA,


Judge of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo, and F. M. YAPTICO & CO.,
LTD., respondents.

W. E. Greenbaum for petitioner.

A. de Aboitiz Pinaga for respondent F. M. Yaptico & Co.

The respondent Judge in his own behalf.

SYLLABUS

1. DUTY OF COURT TO ENFORCE FINAL JUDGMENT. — After a final


judgment has been rendered in this court, in particular, or even in the Court of First
Instance, it is the duty of the court to enforce it, and no court ought to suspend an
execution issued on a final judgment, except as to matters and things which have arisen
after the final judgment was rendered, and which would be a valid defense to the
judgment.
STATEMENT
This is a petition for mandamus in which the petitioner alleges that it is plaintiff in
civil cases Nos. 6720 and 6721 pending in the Court of First Instance of Iloilo. That on
October 19, 1927, that court in those actions rendered the following judgments:
"CIVIL CASE NO. 6720
"Wherefore, judgment is rendered in so far as it refers to said case No.
6720, in favor of the Philippine Trust Co. and against the defendant F. M. Yaptico
& Co., Ltd., for the sum of P25,000, with interest thereon at the rate of 9 per cent
per annum from March 6, 1924, until paid, and with legal interest of 6 per cent per
annum on the accumulated interest from the filing of the complaint to the date of
the judgment, together with the costs of the action."
"CIVIL CASE NO. 6721
"Wherefore, judgment is rendered against F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd., jointly
with the Visayan General Supply Co., Inc., for the sum of P50,000, with interest
thereon at the rate of 9 per cent per annum from February 11, 1924, until paid, and
with legal interest of 6 per cent per annum on the accumulated interest from the
filing of the complaint to the date of the judgment. And judgment is rendered
against the defendant F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd., for the sum of P25,000, with
interest thereon at 9 per cent per annum from March 5, 1924, plus the legal
interest of 6 per cent per annum on the accumulated interest from the date of the
filing of the complaint to that of the judgment, together with the costs of this
action."
It is alleged that on such judgments there is now due and owing from the
It is alleged that on such judgments there is now due and owing from the
defendant to the petitioner about P110,000. That on November 25, 1927, the plaintiff
asked the court to issue an execution pending the defendant's appeal to this court,
which request was denied on December 5, 1927. That an appeal was taken to this court
which affirmed the judgments on October 25, 1928. That on November 23, 1928, plaintiff
again asked the lower court to issue an execution on the judgments, and that execution
was issued on December 14, 1928. That the sheriff made return that no property of
defendant F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd., could be found to satisfy the judgments, and that F.
M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd., could not pay them. That on January 18, 1929, the petitioner
asked the lower court to appoint a receiver of the property of F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd.
That on March 6, 1929, the court denied that petition. That on April 24, 1929, the
petitioner prayed the court for an order to require the manager of F. M. Yaptico & Co.,
Ltd., to appear and answer interrogatories as to the assets of F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd.
That on June 13, 1929, F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd., asked the court to suspend the
execution of the judgments for a period of four months, which request was opposed by
the petitioner on the ground that the court was without jurisdiction, and it again renewed
its motion for the court to appoint a receiver. That the manager appear in court on June
29, 1929, from which it appeared that the property of the defendant was being disposed
of to the damage of the petitioner; that F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd., had rendered the
petitioner a false and misleading statement of its assets and liabilities; and that after an
examination of the manager and as a result of the disclosures made by him, petitioner
again prayed for the appointment of a receiver. That on June 30, 1929, the court denied
the application, and "suspended execution of the said judgments for a period of four
months from and after the 30th day of June, 1929, to give the respondent F. M. Yaptico
& Co., Ltd., more time to pay said judgments." That on July 12, 1929, the court again
affirmed its order of June thirtieth, and on July 15, 1929, denied the motion for
reconsideration.

DECISION

JOHNS, J :p

There is no dispute about any material fact. It appears that the judgments in favor
of the petitioner and against F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd., were rendered in the Court of
First Instance of Iloilo on October 19, 1927, from which F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd.,
appealed to this court which affirmed the judgments. 1 It also appears that the petitioner
asked for an execution of the judgments pending the appeal to this court, which was
denied, and that after the cases were affirmed by this court, it again asked for an
execution of those judgments. The petitioner then applied to the court for the
appointment of a receiver upon the ground that F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd., was
fraudulently putting its property beyond the reach of its creditors and the petitioner, in
particular. After a hearing, that motion was denied, and the lower court on June 30,
1929, suspended the execution of the judgments for four months from June 30, 1929.
Hence, we have this situation: The petitioner obtained its judgments in the Court
of First Instance on October 19, 1927, and although it has made diligent efforts to obtain
an execution and enforce its judgments, from one cause or another, it has been delayed
by order of the court, and in its last and final order, the court suspended the right of the
petitioner to enforce its judgments until October 30, 1929, which would be more than two
years after the judgments were rendered in the lower court, and one year after the
judgments were affirmed by this court. In other words, for ten months the petitioner has
not been able to obtain and enforce an execution on final judgments rendered in this
court.
We do not know anything about the whys and wherefores, but suffice it to say
that such proceedings bring the courts into disrepute and subject them to severe
criticism. After a final judgment has been rendered in this court, in particular, or even in
the Court of First Instance, it is the duty of the court to enforce the judgment according
to its terms, and no court has the power to suspend an execution issued on a final
judgment, except as to matters and things which may have arisen after the rendition of
the judgment, and which would be a valid defense.
As this court said in Wolfson (Trustee) vs. Del Rosario (Judge) and Fajardo (46
Phil., 41):
"An extension of the time fixed by a judgment which has become final for
the payment of a certain sum of money is in effect a modification of the judgment
and is beyond the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance."
And on page 43, the opinion says:
"On the facts stated, its seems obvious that the respondent judge
exceeded his jurisdiction in recalling the writ of execution in question, It is very
true that the court retains a certain amount of control over a writ of execution even
after it leaves its hands, but such control is limited and regulated by fairly definite
rules of law and is not unrestricted. A writ of execution may thus be quashed
when it appears that it 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 when the writ has been issued without authority, etc. But 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, nor can the recall be made so as to practically change the
terms of a judgment which has become final."
We are clearly of the opinion that the lower court exceeded its jurisdiction in
suspending the execution for the period of four months from June 30, 1929. We are also
of the opinion that upon the facts shown in this record, it was the duty of the court to
appoint a receiver for the F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd., to protect and preserve its property
and assets for the use and benefit of its creditors and, in particular, this petitioner, under
the provisions of section 483 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The very fact that the
judgments in question were rendered on October 19, 1927, and that no part of them has
yet been paid, and that F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd., has so far been able to defeat the
petitioner in the collection of its judgments, is a very strong and cogent reason why a
receiver should be appointed.
It is the order of the court that a writ of mandamus be forthwith issued as prayed
for in the petition, and that the lower court at once appoint a receiver of all the property
and assets of F. M. Yaptico & Co., Ltd., and that petitioner have judgment for costs. So
ordered.
Avanceña, C. J., Street, Villamor and Romualdez, JJ., concur.
Johnson, J., reserves his vote.
Footnotes
1. 52 Phil., 276.