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Tijam vs Sibunghanoy

GR No. L-21450
April 15, 1968

Dizon, J.:

Facts:

One month after the effectivity of Republic Act No. 296, the spouses Serafin Tijam and Felicitas Tagalog
commenced Civil Case against the spouses Magdaleno Sibonghanoy and Lucia Baguio to recover from
them the sum of P1, 908. As prayed for in the complaint, a writ of attachment was issued by the court
against defendants' properties, but the same was soon dissolved upon the filing of a counter-bond by
defendants and the Manila Surety and Fidelity Co., Inc. The court of first instance rendered judgment in
favor of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs moved for the issuance of a writ of execution against the Surety's
bond after it was returned unsatisfied. The surety opposed and asserted that there was a failure to
prosecute and an absence of a demand for the payment of the amount due. Thereafter the necessary
demand was made, and upon failure of the Surety to satisfy the judgment, the plaintiffs filed a second
motion for execution against the counterbond. The Court, upon motion of the Surety's counsel, granted
the latter a period of five days within which to answer the motion. The surety failed to file its answer
and so the Court granted the motion for execution.

The Surety moved to quash the writ on the ground that the same was issued without the required
summary hearing provided for in Section 17 of Rule 59 of the Rules of Court. The court denied the
motion and an appeal was made in the CA. The surety assigned errors and no question regarding
jurisdiction was made. Although the appellees failed to file their brief, the Court of Appeals, decided the
case affirming the orders appealed from. The Surety filed a pleading entitled MOTION TO DISMISS,
alleging substantially that appellees action was filed in the Court of First for the recovery of the sum of
P1,908.00 only; that a month before that date Republic Act No. 296, otherwise known as the Judiciary
Act of 1948, had already become effective, Section 88 of which placed within the original exclusive
jurisdiction of inferior courts all civil actions where the value of the subject-matter or the amount of the
demand does not exceed P2,000.00; that the Court of First Instance therefore had no jurisdiction to try
and decide the case.

Issue:
WON the motion to dismiss filed by the appellees be granted for lack of jursidiction.

Held:

No. It has been held that a party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of a court to sure affirmative relief
against his opponent and, after obtaining or failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or question that same
jurisdiction. Upon the filing of the first motion for execution against the counter-bond the Surety not
only filed a written opposition thereto praying for its denial but also asked for an additional affirmative
relief — that it be relieved of its liability under the counter-bond upon the grounds relied upon in
support of its opposition — lack of jurisdiction of the court a quo not being one of them. The doctrine of
laches or of "stale demands" is based upon grounds of public policy which requires, for the peace of
society, the discouragement of stale claims and, unlike the statute of limitations, is not a mere question
of time but is principally a question of the inequity or unfairness of permitting a right or claim to be
enforced or asserted. Furthermore, it has also been held that after voluntarily submitting a cause and
encountering an adverse decision on the merits, it is too late for the loser to question the jurisdiction or
power of the court.
Fukuzume vs People (2005) G.R. 143647

Facts: Sometime in July 1991, Yu, a businessman engaged in buying and selling aluminum scrap wires,
accompanied by Jovate, went to the house of Fukuzume in Parañaque. Jovate introduced Fukuzume to
Yu telling the latter that Fukuzume is from Furukawa Electric Corporation and that he has at his disposal
aluminum scrap wires. Fukuzume confirmed this information and told Yu that the scrap wires belong to
Furukawa but they are under the care of NAPOCOR. Believing Fukuzume’s representation to be true, Yu
agreed to buy the aluminum scrap wires from Fukuzume. This transaction later turned uneventful as
Fukuzume failed to comply his undertaking to return Yu’s money when Yu was refused by NAPOCOR,
thus, prompting Yu to file an estafa case. Upon arraignment, Fukuzume pleaded not guilty. Trial ensued,
finding the accused guilty as charged. Aggrieved by the trial court’s decision, he appealed to CA but CA
affirmed the trial courts’ decision modifying only the penalty, hence, the petition before the SC.

Issue: WON the trial court of Makati has jurisdiction over the offense charged.

Held: SC answered on the negative. We agree with Fukuzume’s contention that the CA erred in ruling
that the RTC of Makati has jurisdiction over the offense charged. The CA ruled on the basis of the sworn
statement of Yu filed with the NBI and the affidavit subscribed by Fukuzume. With respect to the sworn
statement of Yu, which was presented in evidence by the prosecution, it is clear that he alleged that he
gave Fukuzume the amount of P50,000.00 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati. However, we agree
with Fukuzume’s contention that Yu testified during his direct examination that he gave the amount of
P50,000.00 to Fukuzume in the latter’s house. It is not disputed that Fukuzume’s house is located in
Parañaque. Settled is the rule that whenever there is inconsistency between the affidavit and the
testimony of a witness in court, the testimony commands greater weight considering that affidavits
taken ex parte are inferior to testimony given in court, the former being almost invariably incomplete
and oftentimes inaccurate. More importantly, we find nothing in the direct or cross-examination of Yu
to establish that he gave any money to Fukuzume or transacted business with him with respect to the
subject aluminum scrap wires inside or within the premises of the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati, or
anywhere in Makati for that matter. Venue in criminal cases is an essential element of jurisdiction. Citing
Uy vs. Court of Appeals: However, if the evidence adduced during the trial show that the offense was
committed somewhere else, the court should dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction. The crime was
alleged in the Information as having been committed in Makati. However, aside from the sworn
statement executed by Yu, the prosecution presented no other evidence, testimonial or documentary,
to corroborate Yu’s sworn statement or to prove that any of the above-enumerated elements of the
offense charged was committed in Makati. From the foregoing, it is evident that the prosecution failed
to prove that Fukuzume committed the crime of estafa in Makati or that any of the essential ingredients
of the offense took place in the said city. Hence, the judgment of the trial court convicting Fukuzume of
the crime of estafa should be set aside for want of jurisdiction, without prejudice, however, to the filing
of appropriate charges with the court of competent jurisdiction.
People vs Regalario
GR No 101451
March 23, 1993

Regalado, J.:

Facts:

Menardo Garcia, herein victim, Glenda Osabal and Romano Padillo, all students of Quezon National High
School, were walking in the grounds of the Quezon National High School in Lucena City after dismissal
from classes on their way home. The six accused, joined them. Menardo Garcia ran towards Don
Feliciano Street, chased by the six accused. About 50 meters away from the corner of Don Feliciano and
General Lucban Streets, in front of the former residence of Ex-Mayor Mario L. Tagarao, the six accused
overtook Menardo Garcia and, acting in unison, they ganged up on him and boxed him. At this point
accused Alex Regalario stabbed Menardo Garcia once with a fan knife locally known as "beinte nueve"
and hit him at the left side of his back. Despite being stabbed, the six accused, still acting in unison,
continued boxing Menardo Garcia until they saw he was down and could no longer stand up. The six
accused then hurriedly left the scene together. Romano Padillo, who was walking side by side with
Menardo Garcia witnessed the attack on Menardo Garcia from 10 meters away. He also left, fearing for
his safety, and proceeded to the house of Menardo Garcia and reported the incident to his
grandmother, Guida Rendon Panganiban. The other accused who pleaded guilty was Alex Regalario, the
one who stabbed the victim.

During their arraignment on October 28, 1986, appellants, with the exception of appellant Desembrana,
entered a plea of not guilty. However, before the prosecution rested its case, appellants Regalario and
Pabillar changed their plea to guilty. Appellant Desembrana was apprehended only on October 7, 1987
by elements of the Lucena City police for another offense, and when separately arraigned for the case at
bar on November 3, 1987, he pleaded not guilty.

Issues:

(1) Whether or not the appeal be dismissed out-right for being time-barred.

(2) Whether or not trial court err in accepting the plea of guilty of appellants Regalario and Pabillar
when they were re-arraigned but were not apprised clearly and fully of the nature of the offense
charged against them
(3) Whether or not trial court err in not considering the testimonies of Rolando de Chavez, Augurio
Villagracia, Jr., Jose Quiniquito and Alberto Desembrana;
(4) Whether or not trial court err in relying on the testimonies of the two witnesses for the prosecution,
instead of weighing the evidence adduced during the trial in favor of appellants that there was no
conspiracy and the act of boxing and stabbing were independently committed by appellants Regalario
and Pabillar;
(5) Whether or not trial court err in not considering the age of minority of appellants Regalario and
Pabillar at the time of the commission of the crime; and
(6) Whether or not the trial court err in not considering the financial standing of appellant's parents in
the imposition of the award of indemnity, as well as the funeral and other expenses incidental to the
prosecution of the case.

Held:

Section 6, Rule 122 of the Rules of Court very clearly provides:

Sec. 6. When appeal to be taken. — An appeal must be taken within fifteen (15) days from promulgation
or notice of the judgment or order appealed from. This period for perfecting an appeal shall be
interrupted from the time a motion for new trial or reconsideration is filed until notice of the order
overruling the motion shall have been served upon the accused or his attorney.

As earlier observed, the records of this case show that the judgment of conviction was promulgated in
open court on January 17, 1991. Fourteen days thereafter, or on January 31, 1991, appellants filed a
motion for reconsideration and a copy of the order denying the same was received by appellants'
counsel on February 22, 1991. When appellants filed their notice of appeal on March 4, 1991, ten days
had elapsed since the receipt of the notice of the order denying the motion for reconsideration.

As hereinbefore noted, the appeal must be perfected within fifteen days from the promulgation of the
judgment, but said period is interrupted from the time a motion for reconsideration or new trial is filed
and starts to run again from receipt of the notice denying said motion. Accordingly, from receipt of such
denial order, appellant has only the remaining period within which to perfect his appeal. In the case at
bar, fourteen days had elapsed before the filing of appellants' motion for reconsideration, hence they
had only one day from February 22, 1991 to file a notice of appeal. Consequently, the trial court was
correct in rejecting appellants' notice of appeal since it was filed beyond the reglementary period.

Ordinarily, therefore, the appeal herein could have been dismissed outright for being time-barred. The
records, however, do not show that either the public or private prosecutor moved for the dismissal of
said appeal or objected to the aforesaid order of the trial court directing the elevation of the records of
the case to this Court, obviously for appellate review. It was only after appellants had filed their brief
that appellee, in its brief, raised the issue of the belated appeal and, inferentially, the lack of appellate
jurisdiction of this Court in this case. However, the principle of estoppel by laches to bar attacks on
jurisdiction has been adopted and repeatedly applied by this Court, notably in Tijam, et al. vs.
Sibonghanoy, et al., and in several cases which followed thereafter, including criminal cases.

In view of the gravity of the offense and the penalty involved, we feel that we should also follow the
same judicial path and, in the oft-invoked broader interests of substantial justice, grant to appellants in
this case the benefit of judicial review.
Layosa Vs. Judge Rodriguez
GR No. L-46080
Nov 10, 1978

Aquino, J.:

Facts:

This case is about the suspension of Dominador Layosa the collector of customs of Palawan and Puerto
Princess City who was charged for the violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law (Republic Act
No. 3019) in the court of first instance in Palawan. Layosa demanded and received from the patron of
the M/V Lady Angelita I, whenever that vessel docked at the Puerto Princesa wharf to unload and load
cargoes of the San Miguel Corporation, two to three cases of beer and soft drinks as the consideration
for giving the vessel preferential berthing facilities. Respondent Judge granted the motion. Unsatisfied
with the decision, Layosa filed Court the instant petition for certiorari. He prayed that the order of
suspension be set aside. He contended that the court did not acquire jurisdiction over his person
because no warrant of arrest had been issued before the hearing on his suspension was held and the
case was not raffled to respondent Judge and that respondent Judge gravely abused his discretion in
issuing the suspension order. Layosa defied the order of suspension and was adjudged with in contempt
of court.

Respondent Judge in his comment on the petition explained that, to avoid delay, he acted on the motion
for suspension because the case was filed after the raffling of the cases between the two branches of
the court had been terminated. Respondent Judge pointed out that his action on the motion for
suspension was sanctioned by Administrative Order No. 6 of this Court dated July 1, 1975 which
empowers the Executive Judge to act on interlocutory matters prior to the raffling of a case.

The case was eventually raffled to the sala of respondent Judge. Layosa posted a bail bond. He was
arraigned on October 4, 1977. Layosa did not submit a memorandum. Respondent fiscal in his
memorandum alleged that the petitioner had abandoned his contention as to lack of jurisdiction over
his person. . The fiscal stressed that the case had been scheduled for trial at the instance of the
petitioner and that the latter had manifested his willingness to proceed with the trial.

Issue:

WON there was a grave abuse of discretion on the part of the judge for issuing the order of suspension.

WON there was a lack of jurisdiction.

Held:

The court hold that the petition for certiorari is devoid of merit and that the trial court did not act with
grave abuse of discretion in issuing the order of suspension. There is no question that the lower court
acquired jurisdiction over the case upon the filing of the information. The offense charged is within its
jurisdiction. The petitioner was notified of the pre-suspension hearing. His counsel participated in that
hearing. The requirements of due process were observed. The law contemplates an immediate and
speedy hearing on the suspension of the accused because public interest demands a speedy
determination of that question. It is true that petitioner was not yet arrested or taken into custody
when the pre-suspension hearing was held. However, his voluntary appearance at that hearing through
his counsel was a submission to the lower court's jurisdiction. In the instant case, Layosa waived the
objection based on lack of jurisdiction over his person when, as already noted, he appeared at the
presuspension hearing and his counsel cross-examined the prosecution witness.