Anda di halaman 1dari 98

LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING

PUP COLLEGE OF LAW



Page 1 of 98

Articles of Partnership Articles 1767, 1770 to 1774 of the
Civil Code
TITLE IX
PARTNERSHIP
CHAPTER 1
General Provisions
Article 1767. By the contract of partnership two or more persons bind themselves to
contribute money, property, or industry to a common fund, with the intention of
dividing the profits among themselves.
Article 1770. A partnership must have a lawful object or purpose, and must be
established for the common benefit or interest of the partners.
When an unlawful partnership is dissolved by a judicial decree, the profits shall be
confiscated in favor of the State, without prejudice to the provisions of the Penal Code
governing the confiscation of the instruments and effects of a crime. (1666a)
Article 1771. A partnership may be constituted in any form, except where immovable
property or real rights are contributed thereto, in which case a public instrument shall be
necessary. (1667a)
Article 1772. Every contract of partnership having a capital of three thousand pesos or
more, in money or property, shall appear in a public instrument, which must be recorded
in the Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Failure to comply with the requirements of the preceding paragraph shall not affect the
liability of the partnership and the members thereof to third persons. (n)
Article 1773. A contract of partnership is void, whenever immovable property is
contributed thereto, if an inventory of said property is not made, signed by the parties,
and attached to the public instrument. (1668a)
Article 1774. Any immovable property or an interest therein may be acquired in the
partnership name. Title so acquired can be conveyed only in the partnership name. (n)
Articles of Incorporation Sec. 10 to 15 of the
Corporation Code

LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 2 of 98

THE CORPORATION CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES Batas Pambansa Bilang
68
TITLE II
INCORPORATION AND ORGANIZATION OF PRIVATE CORPORATIONS
Section 10. Number and qualifications of incorporators. Any number of natural
persons not less than five (5) but not more than fifteen (15), all of legal age and a
majority of whom are residents of the Philippines, may form a private corporation for
any lawful purpose or purposes. Each of the incorporators of s stock corporation must
own or be a subscriber to at least one (1) share of the capital stock of the corporation.
(6a)
Section 11. Corporate term. A corporation shall exist for a period not exceeding fifty
(50) years from the date of incorporation unless sooner dissolved or unless said period is
extended. The corporate term as originally stated in the articles of incorporation may be
extended for periods not exceeding fifty (50) years in any single instance by an
amendment of the articles of incorporation, in accordance with this Code; Provided, That
no extension can be made earlier than five (5) years prior to the original or subsequent
expiry date(s) unless there are justifiable reasons for an earlier extension as may be
determined by the Securities and Exchange Commission. (6)
Section 12. Minimum capital stock required of stock corporations. Stock
corporations incorporated under this Code shall not be required to have any minimum
authorized capital stock except as otherwise specifically provided for by special law, and
subject to the provisions of the following section.
Section 13. Amount of capital stock to be subscribed and paid for the purposes of
incorporation. At least twenty-five percent (25%) of the authorized capital stock as
stated in the articles of incorporation must be subscribed at the time of incorporation,
and at least twenty-five (25%) per cent of the total subscription must be paid upon
subscription, the balance to be payable on a date or dates fixed in the contract of
subscription without need of call, or in the absence of a fixed date or dates, upon call for
payment by the board of directors: Provided, however, That in no case shall the paid-up
capital be less than five Thousand (P5,000.00) pesos. (n)
Section 14. Contents of the articles of incorporation. All corporations organized
under this code shall file with the Securities and Exchange Commission articles of
incorporation in any of the official languages duly signed and acknowledged by all of the
incorporators, containing substantially the following matters, except as otherwise
prescribed by this Code or by special law:
1. The name of the corporation;
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 3 of 98

2. The specific purpose or purposes for which the corporation is being
incorporated. Where a corporation has more than one stated purpose, the articles
of incorporation shall state which is the primary purpose and which is/are the
secondary purpose or purposes: Provided, That a non-stock corporation may not
include a purpose which would change or contradict its nature as such;
3. The place where the principal office of the corporation is to be located, which
must be within the Philippines;
4. The term for which the corporation is to exist;
5. The names, nationalities and residences of the incorporators;
6. The number of directors or trustees, which shall not be less than five (5) nor
more than fifteen (15);
7. The names, nationalities and residences of persons who shall act as directors or
trustees until the first regular directors or trustees are duly elected and qualified
in accordance with this Code;
8. If it be a stock corporation, the amount of its authorized capital stock in lawful
money of the Philippines, the number of shares into which it is divided, and in
case the share are par value shares, the par value of each, the names, nationalities
and residences of the original subscribers, and the amount subscribed and paid
by each on his subscription, and if some or all of the shares are without par value,
such fact must be stated;
9. If it be a non-stock corporation, the amount of its capital, the names,
nationalities and residences of the contributors and the amount contributed by
each; and
10. Such other matters as are not inconsistent with law and which the
incorporators may deem necessary and convenient.
The Securities and Exchange Commission shall not accept the articles of incorporation of
any stock corporation unless accompanied by a sworn statement of the Treasurer elected
by the subscribers showing that at least twenty-five (25%) percent of the authorized
capital stock of the corporation has been subscribed, and at least twenty-five (25%) of the
total subscription has been fully paid to him in actual cash and/or in property the fair
valuation of which is equal to at least twenty-five (25%) percent of the said subscription,
such paid-up capital being not less than five thousand (P5,000.00) pesos.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 4 of 98

Section 15. Forms of Articles of Incorporation. Unless otherwise prescribed by
special law, articles of incorporation of all domestic corporations shall comply
substantially with the following form:
ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
OF
__________________________
(Name of Corporation)
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:
The undersigned incorporators, all of legal age and a majority of whom are residents of
the Philippines, have this day voluntarily agreed to form a (stock) (non-stock)
corporation under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines;
AND WE HEREBY CERTIFY:
FIRST: That the name of said corporation shall be "_____________________, INC.
or CORPORATION";
SECOND: That the purpose or purposes for which such corporation is incorporated are:
(If there is more than one purpose, indicate primary and secondary purposes);
THIRD: That the principal office of the corporation is located in the City/Municipality of
________________________, Province of _______________________,
Philippines;
FOURTH: That the term for which said corporation is to exist is _____________ years
from and after the date of issuance of the certificate of incorporation;
FIFTH: That the names, nationalities and residences of the incorporators of the
corporation are as follows:
NAME NATIONALITY RESIDENCE
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 5 of 98

SIXTH: That the number of directors or trustees of the corporation shall be _______;
and the names, nationalities and residences of the first directors or trustees of the
corporation are as follows:
NAME NATIONALITY RESIDENCE
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
SEVENTH: That the authorized capital stock of the corporation is
______________________ (P___________) PESOS in lawful money of the
Philippines, divided into __________ shares with the par value of
____________________ (P_____________) Pesos per share.
(In case all the share are without par value):
That the capital stock of the corporation is ______________ shares without par value.
(In case some shares have par value and some are without par value): That the capital
stock of said corporation consists of _____________ shares of which
______________ shares are of the par value of _________________
(P____________) PESOS each, and of which _________________ shares are
without par value.
EIGHTH: That at least twenty five (25%) per cent of the authorized capital stock above
stated has been subscribed as follows:
Name of
Subscriber
Nationality No. of Shares
Subscribed
Amount
Subscribed
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 6 of 98

______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
______________
_____
NINTH: That the above-named subscribers have paid at least twenty-five (25%) percent
of the total subscription as follows:
Name of
Subscriber
Amount Subscribed Total
Paid-In
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________ ___________________
(Modify Nos. 8 and 9 if shares are with no par value. In case the corporation is non-
stock, Nos. 7, 8 and 9 of the above articles may be modified accordingly, and it is
sufficient if the articles state the amount of capital or money contributed or donated by
specified persons, stating the names, nationalities and residences of the contributors or
donors and the respective amount given by each.)
TENTH: That _____________________ has been elected by the subscribers as
Treasurer of the Corporation to act as such until his successor is duly elected and
qualified in accordance with the by-laws, and that as such Treasurer, he has been
authorized to receive for and in the name and for the benefit of the corporation, all
subscription (or fees) or contributions or donations paid or given by the subscribers or
members.
ELEVENTH: (Corporations which will engage in any business or activity reserved for
Filipino citizens shall provide the following):
"No transfer of stock or interest which shall reduce the ownership of Filipino citizens to
less than the required percentage of the capital stock as provided by existing laws shall
be allowed or permitted to be recorded in the proper books of the corporation and this
restriction shall be indicated in all stock certificates issued by the corporation."
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto signed these Articles of Incorporation, this
__________ day of ________________, 19 ______ in the City/Municipality of
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 7 of 98

____________________, Province of ________________________, Republic
of the Philippines.
___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________
________________________________
(Names and signatures of the incorporators)
SIGNED IN THE PRESENCE OF:
___________________ ___________________
(Notarial Acknowledgment)
TREASURERS AFFIDAVIT
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES)
CITY/MUNICIPALITY OF ) S.S.
PROVINCE OF )
I, ____________________, being duly sworn, depose and say:
That I have been elected by the subscribers of the corporation as Treasurer thereof, to act
as such until my successor has been duly elected and qualified in accordance with the by-
laws of the corporation, and that as such Treasurer, I hereby certify under oath that at
least 25% of the authorized capital stock of the corporation has been subscribed and at
least 25% of the total subscription has been paid, and received by me, in cash or
property, in the amount of not less than P5,000.00, in accordance with the Corporation
Code.
____________________
(Signature of Treasurer)
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me, a Notary Public, for and in the
City/Municipality of___________________Province of
_____________________, this _______ day of ___________, 19 _____; by
__________________ with Res. Cert. No. ___________ issued at
_______________________ on ____________, 19 ______
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 8 of 98

NOTARY PUBLIC
My commission expires on _________, 19 _____
Doc. No. _________;
Page No. _________;
Book No. ________;
Series of 19____ (7a)
TITLE V
BY LAWS
Section 46. Adoption of by-laws. Every corporation formed under this Code must,
within one (1) month after receipt of official notice of the issuance of its certificate of
incorporation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, adopt a code of by-laws for
its government not inconsistent with this Code. For the adoption of by-laws by the
corporation the affirmative vote of the stockholders representing at least a majority of
the outstanding capital stock, or of at least a majority of the members in case of non-
stock corporations, shall be necessary. The by-laws shall be signed by the stockholders or
members voting for them and shall be kept in the principal office of the corporation,
subject to the inspection of the stockholders or members during office hours. A copy
thereof, duly certified to by a majority of the directors or trustees countersigned by the
secretary of the corporation, shall be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
which shall be attached to the original articles of incorporation.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraph, by-laws may be adopted and
filed prior to incorporation; in such case, such by-laws shall be approved and signed by
all the incorporators and submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission,
together with the articles of incorporation.
In all cases, by-laws shall be effective only upon the issuance by the Securities and
Exchange Commission of a certification that the by-laws are not inconsistent with this
Code.
The Securities and Exchange Commission shall not accept for filing the by-laws or any
amendment thereto of any bank, banking institution, building and loan association, trust
company, insurance company, public utility, educational institution or other special
corporations governed by special laws, unless accompanied by a certificate of the
appropriate government agency to the effect that such by-laws or amendments are in
accordance with law. (20a)
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 9 of 98

Section 47. Contents of by-laws. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, this
Code, other special laws, and the articles of incorporation, a private corporation may
provide in its by-laws for:
1. The time, place and manner of calling and conducting regular or special
meetings of the directors or trustees;
2. The time and manner of calling and conducting regular or special meetings of
the stockholders or members;
3. The required quorum in meetings of stockholders or members and the manner
of voting therein;
4. The form for proxies of stockholders and members and the manner of voting
them;
5. The qualifications, duties and compensation of directors or trustees, officers
and employees;
6. The time for holding the annual election of directors of trustees and the mode
or manner of giving notice thereof;
7. The manner of election or appointment and the term of office of all officers
other than directors or trustees;
8. The penalties for violation of the by-laws;
9. In the case of stock corporations, the manner of issuing stock certificates; and
10. Such other matters as may be necessary for the proper or convenient
transaction of its corporate business and affairs. (21a)
Board Resolution authorizing corporate officer to obtain a
bank loan

BOARD RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CORPORATE OFFICER

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES }
MAKATI CITY } S.S.

SECRETARYS CERTIFICATE

LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 10 of 98

I, Mary Joy Baybay, Filipino, of legal age, with office address at 1434 Ayala Avenue,
Makati City, after being sworn in accordance with law, do hereby depose and state as
follows:

1. That I am the incumbent Corporate Secretary of Disk Drives Unlimited, a corporation
duly organized and existing under Philippine laws, with principal office at1434 Ayala
Avenue, Makati City,;

2. That during the special meeting of the Board of Directors held on 5 January2007,
wherein a quorum was present and acted throughout, after being informed of the
necessity of obtaining loans and/or credit accommodation with any banking/ lending
institution, to generate funds for the purpose of expanding the business of exporting
hard disk drives, the Board approved the following resolution, to wit:

RESOLUTION NO. BD-028-2007
RESOLVED, as it is hereby resolved, that the corporation be empowered and authorized
to apply for, negotiate, obtain loans from HOWARD BANKING INC., including the
renewal, extension and/or increase, roll over or restructuring thereof, and/or of its
existing credit facilities in such amount(s) and under such terms and conditions as may
be mutually agreed upon, and to secure and guarantee the payment of the aforesaid loan
or credit facilities by means of mortgage, pledge, assignment or any other form of
encumbrance upon any and all properties or assets of the corporation of whatever kind
or nature, real or personal, as may be sufficient or required for the purpose.

RESOLVED FURTHER, as it is hereby resolved, that ISIDRO BARRIOS, the President,
be authorized to sign, execute, and deliver any and all documents including but not
limited to loan application, disclosure statement, purpose sheet, application for letters of
credit, promissory note, draft, surety agreement, trust receipt, mortgages, pledge,
assignment, and the like, including the
renewals/extensions/increase/amendments/restructuring thereof, in order to effectuate
the foregoing matters.

NAME POSITION SIGNATURE
Isidro Barrios President

RESOLVED FINALLY that HOWARD BANKING INC. be furnished a copy of the
foregoing resolutions for its guidance and may continue to rely on the authority
conferred thereon, including the renewal, increase, roll-over and/or restructuring
thereof, unless and except to the extent that the foregoing resolutions shall be revoked or
modified by the receipt of any subsequent resolution/s of the Board of Directors of the
Corporation.

3. That the foregoing Resolution remains valid and has not in any manner been novated,
revoked, nor repealed to date.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 11 of 98


AFFIANT FURTHER SAYETH NAUGHT.

Issued this 20th day of March 2007 at Makati City.

SECRETARYS CERTIFICATE

CORPORATE SECRETARYS CERTIFICATE
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES ) _ ) SS.
I, _, Filipino, of legal age, single/married to _/widow/widower, and a resident of _, after
having been duly sworn in accordance with law, hereby depose and say:
1. That I am the Corporate Secretary of _ with office address at _;
2. That at a duly convened meeting of the Board of Directors held last _, where a quorum
was present, the following resolutions were unanimously approved, to wit:
RESOLVED, that the President, Mr./Mrs./Dr./Atty. _, be authorized, as he is hereby
duly authorized, to negotiate for a loan from _ in the amount of _ to be secured by the
corporations _ property and authorizing him further to sign for and in behalf of the
corporation any and all papers and documents relative thereto.
3. That the foregoing resolutions are true and correct and that it has not been amended
or superseded up to this date.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed my signature this day of 20_ at ,
Philippines.
_________________________________
(Signature of Affiant over Printed Name)
Proxy to attend a stockholders meeting Sec. 58 of the
Corporation Code

Section 58. Proxies. Stockholders and members may vote in person or by proxy in all
meetings of stockholders or members. Proxies shall in writing, signed by the stockholder
or member and filed before the scheduled meeting with the corporate secretary. Unless
otherwise provided in the proxy, it shall be valid only for the meeting for which it is
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 12 of 98

intended. No proxy shall be valid and effective for a period longer than five (5) years at
any one time. (n)
Notice of Stockholders meeting Sec. 50 to 51 of the
Corporation Code

Section 50. Regular and special meetings of stockholders or members. - Regular
meetings of stockholders or members shall be held annually on a date fixed in the by-
laws, or if not so fixed, on any date in April of every year as determined by the board of
directors or trustees: Provided, That written notice of regular meetings shall be sent to
all stockholders or members of record at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting, unless
a different period is required by the by-laws.
Special meetings of stockholders or members shall be held at any time deemed necessary
or as provided in the by-laws: Provided, however, That at least one (1) week written
notice shall be sent to all stockholders or members, unless otherwise provided in the by-
laws.
Notice of any meeting may be waived, expressly or impliedly, by any stockholder or
member.
Whenever, for any cause, there is no person authorized to call a meeting, the Securities
and Exchange Commission, upon petition of a stockholder or member on a showing of
good cause therefor, may issue an order to the petitioning stockholder or member
directing him to call a meeting of the corporation by giving proper notice required by this
Code or by the by-laws. The petitioning stockholder or member shall preside thereat
until at least a majority of the stockholders or members present have chosen one of their
number as presiding officer. (24, 26)
Section 51. Place and time of meetings of stockholders of members. Stockholders or
members meetings, whether regular or special, shall be held in the city or municipality
where the principal office of the corporation is located, and if practicable in the principal
office of the corporation: Provided, That Metro Manila shall, for purposes of this section,
be considered a city or municipality.
Notice of meetings shall be in writing, and the time and place thereof stated therein.
All proceedings had and any business transacted at any meeting of the stockholders or
members, if within the powers or authority of the corporation, shall be valid even if the
meeting be improperly held or called, provided all the stockholders or members of the
corporation are present or duly represented at the meeting. (24 and 25)
MINUTES OF A CORPORATE MEETING (SAMPLE)
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 13 of 98


[Insert Name of Company]
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
[Insert Date of Board Meeting]
A meeting of the Board of Directors (the Board) of [Insert name of company], a
[Insert state of incorporation] corporation (the Company), was held on [Insert date
of board meeting] ([Insert time zonei.e. Mountain Daylight Time]) at the offices of the
Company.
Directors Present:
[Insert names of directors present]
Also Present Were:
[Insert names of other people (mgmt., etc.) present]
Directors Absent:
[Insert names of directors absent]
Counsel Present:
[Insert names of legal counsel present]
NOTE: Its generally good to note next to the above listing if the attendee(s)
participated via telephone (otherwise its assumed they participated in person at the
above referenced location]
Call to Order
[Insert name of CEO or board chair] called the meeting to order at [Insert start time of
meeting] ([Insert time zonei.e. Mountain Daylight Time]) and [Insert name of
secretary] recorded the minutes. A quorum of directors was present, and the meeting,
having been duly convened, was ready to proceed with business.
CEO Report
[Insert name of CEO] reviewed the agenda and welcomed everyone to the meeting. Next,
[Insert name of CEO] discussed the current status of the company and its progress. A
number of questions were asked and extensive discussion ensued.
Sales & Business Development Update
[Insert name] next provided an update on the overall sales progress and sales pipeline of
the Company. He also presented the status of business development discussions.
* [Insert name] joined the meeting*
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 14 of 98

Financial Review
[Insert name] provided a comprehensive update on the Companys financial plan and
forecast. [Insert name] also reviewed the Companys principal financial operating
metrics. Discussion ensued.
Financial Planning
The Board next discussed the timing and creation of the 2007 Operating Plan.
Approval of Option Grants
[Insert name] presented to the Board a list of proposed options to be granted to
Company employees [and advisors], for approval, whereupon motion duly made,
seconded and unanimously adopted, the option grants were approved as presented in
Exhibit A.
Approval of Minutes
[Insert name] presented to the Board the minutes of the [insert date of previous board
meeting] meeting of the Board for approval, whereupon motion duly made, seconded
and unanimously adopted, the minutes were approved as presented.
*Management was excused from the meeting *
Closed Session
The Board next discussed a number of strategic topics. Questions were asked and
answered.
Adjournment
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting was adjourned
at [Insert time of adjournment] ([Insert time zonei.e. Mountain Daylight Time]).
Respectfully submitted,
____________________________
[Insert name of secretary], Recording Secretary
NOTE: Create (and delete) additional headings and sections above as necessary to
capture the major agenda items of the board meeting.
NOTE: If attendees join after the meeting start time or leave before the meeting
adjournment, its preferable to note when they join and leave the meeting as indicated
above by the asterisked notations.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 15 of 98


ARBITRATION CLAUSE
Republic Act No. 9285 April 2, 2004
AN ACT TO INSTITUTIONALIZE THE USE OF AN ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE
RESOLUTION SYSTEM IN THE PHILIPPINES AND TO ESTABLISH THE
OFFICE FOR ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION, AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress
assembled:
CHAPTER 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
SECTION 1. Title. - This act shall be known as the "Alternative Dispute Resolution Act
of 2004."
SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. - it is hereby declared the policy of the State to
actively promote party autonomy in the resolution of disputes or the freedom of the
party to make their own arrangements to resolve their disputes. Towards this end, the
State shall encourage and actively promote the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution
(ADR) as an important means to achieve speedy and impartial justice and declog court
dockets. As such, the State shall provide means for the use of ADR as an efficient tool
and an alternative procedure for the resolution of appropriate cases. Likewise, the State
shall enlist active private sector participation in the settlement of disputes through ADR.
This Act shall be without prejudice to the adoption by the Supreme Court of any ADR
system, such as mediation, conciliation, arbitration, or any combination thereof as a
means of achieving speedy and efficient means of resolving cases pending before all
courts in the Philippines which shall be governed by such rules as the Supreme Court
may approve from time to time.
SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. - For purposes of this Act, the term:
(a) "Alternative Dispute Resolution System" means any process or procedure
used to resolve a dispute or controversy, other than by adjudication of a presiding
judge of a court or an officer of a government agency, as defined in this Act, in
which a neutral third party participates to assist in the resolution of issues, which
includes arbitration, mediation, conciliation, early neutral evaluation, mini-trial,
or any combination thereof;
(b) "ADR Provider" means institutions or persons accredited as mediator,
conciliator, arbitrator, neutral evaluator, or any person exercising similar
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 16 of 98

functions in any Alternative Dispute Resolution system. This is without prejudice
to the rights of the parties to choose nonaccredited individuals to act as mediator,
conciliator, arbitrator, or neutral evaluator of their dispute.
Whenever reffered to in this Act, the term "ADR practitioners" shall refer to
individuals acting as mediator, conciliator, arbitrator or neutral evaluator;
(c) "Authenticate" means to sign, execute or adopt a symbol, or encrypt a record
in whole or in part, intended to identity the authenticating party and to adopt,
accept or establish the authenticity of a record or term;
(d) "Arbitration" means a voluntary dispute resolution process in which one or
more arbitrators, appointed in accordance with the agreement of the parties, or
rules promulgated pursuant to this Act, resolve a dispute by rendering an award;
(e) "Arbitrator" means the person appointed to render an award, alone or with
others, in a dispute that is the subject of an arbitration agreement;
(f) "Award" means any partial or final decision by an arbitrator in resolving the
issue in a controversy;
(g) "Commercial Arbitration" An arbitration is "commercial if it covers matter
arising from all relationships of a commercial nature, whether contractual or not;
(h) "Confidential information" means any information, relative to the subject of
mediation or arbitration, expressly intended by the source not to be disclosed, or
obtained under circumstances that would create a reasonable expectation on
behalf of the source that the information shall not be disclosed. It shall include (1)
communication, oral or written, made in a dispute resolution proceedings,
including any memoranda, notes or work product of the neutral party or non-
party participant, as defined in this Act; (2) an oral or written statement made or
which occurs during mediation or for purposes of considering, conducting,
participating, initiating, continuing of reconvening mediation or retaining a
mediator; and (3) pleadings, motions manifestations, witness statements, reports
filed or submitted in an arbitration or for expert evaluation;
(i) "Convention Award" means a foreign arbitral award made in a Convention
State;
(j) "Convention State" means a State that is a member of the New York
Convention;
(k) "Court" as referred to in Article 6 of the Model Law shall mean a Regional
Trial Court;
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 17 of 98

(l) "Court-Annexed Mediation" means any mediation process conducted under
the auspices of the court, after such court has acquired jurisdiction of the dispute;
(m) "Court-Referred Mediation" means mediation ordered by a court to be
conducted in accordance with the Agreement of the Parties when as action is
prematurely commenced in violation of such agreement;
(n) "Early Neutral Evaluation" means an ADR process wherein parties and their
lawyers are brought together early in a pre-trial phase to present summaries of
their cases and receive a nonbinding assessment by an experienced, neutral
person, with expertise in the subject in the substance of the dispute;
(o) "Government Agency" means any government entity, office or officer, other
than a court, that is vested by law with quasi-judicial power to resolve or
adjudicate dispute involving the government, its agencies and instrumentalities,
or private persons;
(p) "International Party" shall mean an entity whose place of business is outside
the Philippines. It shall not include a domestic subsidiary of such international
party or a coventurer in a joint venture with a party which has its place of
business in the Philippines.
The term foreigner arbitrator shall mean a person who is not a national of the
Philippines.
(q) "Mediation" means a voluntary process in which a mediator, selected by the
disputing parties, facilitates communication and negotiation, and assist the
parties in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding a dispute.
(r) "Mediator" means a person who conducts mediation;
(s) "Mediation Party" means a person who participates in a mediation and whose
consent is necessary to resolve the dispute;
(t) "Mediation-Arbitration" or Med-Arb is a step dispute resolution process
involving both mediation and arbitration;
(u) "Mini-Trial" means a structured dispute resolution method in which the
merits of a case are argued before a panel comprising senior decision makers with
or without the presence of a neutral third person after which the parties seek a
negotiated settlement;
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 18 of 98

(v) "Model Law" means the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration
adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on 21
June 1985;
(w) "New York Convention" means the United Nations Convention on the
Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards approved in 1958 and
ratified by the Philippine Senate under Senate Resolution No. 71;
(x) "Non-Convention Award" means a foreign arbitral award made in a State
which is not a Convention State;
(y) "Non-Convention State" means a State that is not a member of the New York
Convention.
(z) "Non-Party Participant" means a person, other than a party or mediator, who
participates in a mediation proceeding as a witness, resource person or expert;
(aa) "Proceeding" means a judicial, administrative, or other adjudicative process,
including related pre-hearing motions, conferences and discovery;
(bb) "Record" means an information written on a tangible medium or stored in
an electronic or other similar medium, retrievable form; and
(cc) "Roster" means a list of persons qualified to provide ADR services as neutrals
or to serve as arbitrators.
SEC. 4. Electronic Signatures in Global and E-Commerce Act. - The provisions
of the Electronic Signatures in Global and E-Commerce Act, and its implementing Rules
and Regulations shall apply to proceeding contemplated in this Act.
SEC. 5. Liability of ADR Provider and Practitioner. - The ADR providers and
practitioners shall have the same civil liability for the Acts done in the performance of
then duties as that of public officers as provided in Section 38 (1), Chapter 9, Book of the
Administrative Code of 1987.
SEC. 6. Exception to the Application of this Act. - The provisions of this Act shall
not apply to resolution or settlement of the following: (a) labor disputes covered by
Presidential Decree No. 442, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines, as
amended and its Implementing Rules and Regulations; (b) the civil status of persons; (c)
the validity of a marriage; (d) any ground for legal separation; (e) the jurisdiction of
courts; (f) future legitime; (g) criminal liability; and (h) those which by law cannot be
compromised.
CHAPTER 2 - MEDIATION
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 19 of 98

SEC. 7. Scope. - The provisions of this Chapter shall cover voluntary mediation,
whether ad hoc or institutional, other than court-annexed. The term "mediation' shall
include conciliation.
SEC. 8. Application and Interpretation. - In applying construing the provisions of
this Chapter, consideration must be given to the need to promote candor or parties and
mediators through confidentiality of the mediation process, the policy of fostering
prompt, economical, and amicable resolution of disputes in accordance with the
principles of integrity of determination by the parties, and the policy that the decision-
making authority in the mediation process rests with the parties.
SEC. 9. Confidentiality of Information. - Information obtained through mediation
proceedings shall be subject to the following principles and guidelines:
(a) Information obtained through mediation shall be privileged and confidential.
(b) A party, a mediator, or a nonparty participant may refuse to disclose and may
prevent any other person from disclosing a mediation communication.
(c) Confidential Information shall not be subject to discovery and shall be
inadmissible if any adversarial proceeding, whether judicial or quasi-judicial,
However, evidence or information that is otherwise admissible or subject to
discovery does not become inadmissible or protected from discovery solely by
reason of its use in a mediation.
(d) In such an adversarial proceeding, the following persons involved or
previously involved in a mediation may not be compelled to disclose confidential
information obtained during mediation: (1) the parties to the dispute; (2) the
mediator or mediators; (3) the counsel for the parties; (4) the nonparty
participants; (5) any persons hired or engaged in connection with the mediation
as secretary, stenographer, clerk or assistant; and (6) any other person who
obtains or possesses confidential information by reason of his/her profession.
(e) The protections of this Act shall continue to apply even of a mediator is found
to have failed to act impartially.
(f) a mediator may not be called to testify to provide information gathered in
mediation. A mediator who is wrongfully subpoenaed shall be reimbursed the full
cost of his attorney's fees and related expenses.
SEC. 10. Waiver of Confidentiality. - A privilege arising from the confidentiality of
information may be waived in a record, or orally during a proceeding by the mediator
and the mediation parties.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 20 of 98

A privilege arising from the confidentiality of information may likewise be waived by a
nonparty participant if the information is provided by such nonparty participant.
A person who discloses confidential information shall be precluded from asserting the
privilege under Section 9 of this Chapter to bar disclosure of the rest of the information
necessary to a complete understanding of the previously disclosed information. If a
person suffers loss or damages in a judicial proceeding against the person who made the
disclosure.
A person who discloses or makes a representation about a mediation is preclude from
asserting the privilege under Section 9, to the extent that the communication prejudices
another person in the proceeding and it is necessary for the person prejudiced to
respond to the representation of disclosure.
SEC. 11. Exceptions to Privilege. -
(a) There is no privilege against disclosure under Section 9 if mediation
communication is:
(1) in an agreement evidenced by a record authenticated by all parties to
the agreement;
(2) available to the public or that is made during a session of a mediation
which is open, or is required by law to be open, to the public;
(3) a threat or statement of a plan to inflict bodily injury or commit a
crime of violence;
(4) internationally used to plan a crime, attempt to commit, or commit a
crime, or conceal an ongoing crime or criminal activity;
(5) sought or offered to prove or disprove abuse, neglect, abandonment,
or exploitation in a proceeding in which a public agency is protecting the
interest of an individual protected by law; but this exception does not
apply where a child protection matter is referred to mediation by a court
or a public agency participates in the child protection mediation;
(6) sought or offered to prove or disprove a claim or complaint of
professional misconduct or malpractice filed against mediator in a
proceeding; or
(7) sought or offered to prove or disprove a claim of complaint of
professional misconduct of malpractice filed against a party, nonparty
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 21 of 98

participant, or representative of a party based on conduct occurring
during a mediation.
(b) There is no privilege under Section 9 if a court or administrative agency,
finds, after a hearing in camera, that the party seeking discovery of the proponent
of the evidence has shown that the evidence is not otherwise available, that there
is a need for the evidence that substantially outweighs the interest in protecting
confidentiality, and the mediation communication is sought or offered in:
(1) a court proceeding involving a crime or felony; or
(2) a proceeding to prove a claim or defense that under the law is
sufficient to reform or avoid a liability on a contract arising out of the
mediation.
(c) A mediator may not be compelled to provide evidence of a mediation
communication or testify in such proceeding.
(d) If a mediation communication is not privileged under an exception in
subsection (a) or (b), only the portion of the communication necessary for the
application of the exception for nondisclosure may be admitted. The admission of
particular evidence for the limited purpose of an exception does not render that
evidence, or any other mediation communication, admissible for any other
purpose.
SEC. 12. Prohibited Mediator Reports. - A mediator may not make a report,
assessment, evaluation, recommendation, finding, or other communication regarding a
mediation to a court or agency or other authority that make a ruling on a dispute that is
the subject of a mediation, except:
(a) Where the mediation occurred or has terminated, or where a settlement was
reached.
(b) As permitted to be disclosed under Section 13 of this Chapter.
SEC. 13. Mediator's Disclosure and Conflict of Interest. - The mediation shall
be guided by the following operative principles:
(a) Before accepting a mediation, an individual who is requested to serve as a
mediator shall:
(1) make an inquiry that is reasonable under the circumstances to
determinate whether there are any known facts that a reasonable
individual would consider likely to affect the impartiality of the mediator,
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 22 of 98

including a financial or personal interest in the outcome of the mediation
and any existing or past relationship with a party or foreseeable
participant in the mediation; and
(2) disclosure to the mediation parties any such fact known or learned as
soon as is practical before accepting a mediation.
(b) If a mediation learns any fact described in paragraph (a) (1) of this section
after accepting a mediation, the mediator shall disclose it as soon as practicable.
At the request of a mediation party, an individual who is requested to serve as mediator
shall disclose his/her qualifications to mediate a dispute.
This Act does not require that a mediator shall have special qualifications by background
or profession unless the special qualifications of a mediator are required in the
mediation agreement or by the mediation parties.
SEC. 14. Participation in Mediation. - Except as otherwise provided in this Act, a
party may designate a lawyer or any other person to provide assistance in the mediation.
A lawyer of this right shall be made in writing by the party waiving it. A waiver of
participation or legal representation may be rescinded at any time.
SEC. 15. Place of Mediation. - The parties are free to agree on the place of mediation.
Failing such agreement, the place of mediation shall be any place convenient and
appropriate to all parties.
SEC. 16. Effect of Agreement to Submit Dispute to Mediation Under
Institutional Rules. - An agreement to submit a dispute to mediation by any
institution shall include an agreement to be bound by the internal mediation and
administrative policies of such institution. Further, an agreement to submit a dispute to
mediation under international mediation rule shall be deemed to include an agreement
to have such rules govern the mediation of the dispute and for the mediator, the parties,
their respective counsel, and nonparty participants to abide by such rules.
In case of conflict between the institutional mediation rules and the provisions of this
Act, the latter shall prevail.
SEC. 17. Enforcement of Mediated Settlement Agreement. - The mediation shall
be guided by the following operative principles:
(a) A settlement agreement following successful mediation shall be prepared by
the parties with the assistance of their respective counsel, if any, and by the
mediator.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 23 of 98

The parties and their respective counsels shall endeavor to make the terms and
condition thereof complete and make adequate provisions for the contingency of
breach to avoid conflicting interpretations of the agreement.
(b) The parties and their respective counsels, if any, shall sign the settlement
agreement. The mediator shall certify that he/she explained the contents of the
settlement agreement to the parties in a language known to them.
(c) If the parties so desire, they may deposit such settlement agreement with the
appropriate Clerk of a Regional Trial Court of the place where one of the parties
resides. Where there is a need to enforce the settlement agreement, a petition
may be filed by any of the parties with the same court, in which case, the court
shall proceed summarily to hear the petition, in accordance with such rules of
procedure as may be promulgated by the Supreme Court.
(d) The parties may agree in the settlement agreement that the mediator shall
become a sole arbitrator for the dispute and shall treat the settlement agreement
as an arbitral award which shall be subject to enforcement under Republic Act
No. 876, otherwise known as the Arbitration Law, notwithstanding the provisions
of Executive Order No. 1008 for mediated dispute outside of the CIAC.
CHAPTER 3 - OTHER ADR FORMS
SEC. 18. Referral of Dispute to other ADR Forms. - The parties may agree to
refer one or more or all issues arising in a dispute or during its pendency to other forms
of ADR such as but not limited to (a) the evaluation of a third person or (b) a mini-trial,
(c) mediation-arbitration, or a combination thereof.
For purposes of this Act, the use of other ADR forms shall be governed by Chapter 2 of
this Act except where it is combined with arbitration in which case it shall likewise be
governed by Chapter 5 of this Act.
CHAPTER 4 - INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION
SEC. 19. Adoption of the Model Law on International Commercial
Arbitration. - International commercial arbitration shall be governed by the Model
Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the "Model Law") adopted by the United
Nations Commission on International Trade Law on June 21, 1985 (United Nations
Document A/40/17) and recommended approved on December 11, 1985, copy of which is
hereto attached as Appendix "A".
SEC. 20. Interpretation of Model Law. - In interpreting the Model Law, regard
shall be had to its international origin and to the need for uniformity in its interpretation
and resort may be made to the travaux preparatories and the report of the Secretary
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 24 of 98

General of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law dated March 25,
1985 entitled, "International Commercial Arbitration: Analytical Commentary on Draft
Trade identified by reference number A/CN. 9/264."
SEC. 21. Commercial Arbitration. - An arbitration is "commercial" if it covers
matters arising from all relationships of a commercial nature, whether contractual or
not. Relationships of a transactions: any trade transaction for the supply or exchange of
goods or services; distribution agreements; construction of works; commercial
representation or agency; factoring; leasing, consulting; engineering; licensing;
investment; financing; banking; insurance; joint venture and other forms of industrial or
business cooperation; carriage of goods or passengers by air, sea, rail or road.
SEC. 22. Legal Representation in International Arbitration. - In international
arbitration conducted in the Philippines, a party may be presented by any person of his
choice. Provided, that such representative, unless admitted to the practice of law in the
Philippines, shall not be authorized to appear as counsel in any Philippine court, or any
other quasi-judicial body whether or not such appearance is in relation to the arbitration
in which he appears.
SEC. 23. Confidential of Arbitration Proceedings. - The arbitration proceedings,
including the records, evidence and the arbitral award, shall be considered confidential
and shall not be published except (1) with the consent of the parties, or (2) for the limited
purpose of disclosing to the court of relevant documents in cases where resort to the
court is allowed herein. Provided, however, that the court in which the action or the
appeal is pending may issue a protective order to prevent or prohibit disclosure of
documents or information containing secret processes, developments, research and
other information where it is shown that the applicant shall be materially prejudiced by
an authorized disclosure thereof.
SEC. 24. Referral to Arbitration. - A court before which an action is brought in a
matter which is the subject matter of an arbitration agreement shall, if at least one party
so requests not later that the pre-trial conference, or upon the request of both parties
thereafter, refer the parties to arbitration unless it finds that the arbitration agreement is
null and void, inoperative or incapable of being performed.
SEC. 25. Interpretation of the Act. - In interpreting the Act, the court shall have
due regard to the policy of the law in favor of arbitration. Where action is commenced by
or against multiple parties, one or more of whom are parties who are bound by the
arbitration agreement although the civil action may continue as to those who are not
bound by such arbitration agreement.
SEC. 26. Meaning of "Appointing Authority.". - "Appointing Authority" as used
in the Model Law shall mean the person or institution named in the arbitration
agreement as the appointing authority; or the regular arbitration arbitration institution
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 25 of 98

under whose rules the arbitration is agreed to be conducted. Where the parties have
agreed to submit their dispute to institutional arbitration rules, and unless they have
agreed to a different procedure, they shall be deemed to have agreed to procedure under
such arbitration rules for the selection and appointment of arbitrators. In ad hoc
arbitration, the default appointment of an arbitrator shall be made by the National
President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) or his duly authorized
representative.
SEC. 27. What Functions May be Performed by Appointing Authority. - The
functions referred to in Articles 11(3), 11(4), 13(3) and 14(1) of the Model Law shall be
performed by the Appointing Authority, unless the latter shall fail or refuse to act within
thirty (30) days from receipt of the request in which case the applicant may renew the
application with the Court.
SEC. 28. Grant of Interim Measure of Protection. -
(a) It is not incompatible with an arbitration agreement for a party to request,
before constitution of the tribunal, from a Court an interim measure of protection
and for the Court to grant such measure. After constitution of the arbitral
tribunal and during arbitral proceedings, a request for an interim measure of
protection or modification thereof, may be made with the arbitral tribunal or to
the extent that the arbitral tribunal has no power to act or is unable to act
effectively, the request may be made with the Court. The arbitral tribunal is
deemed constituted when the sole arbitrator or the third arbitrator who has been
nominated, has accepted the nomination and written communication of said
nomination and acceptance has been received by the party making request.
(b) The following rules on interim or provisional relief shall be observed:
(1) Any party may request that provision relief be granted against the
adverse party:
(2) Such relief may be granted:
(i) to prevent irreparable loss or injury:
(ii) to provide security for the performance of any obligation;
(iii) to produce or preserve any evidence; or
(iv) to compel any other appropriate act or omission.
(3) The order granting provisional relief may be conditioned upon the
provision of security or any act or omission specified in the order.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 26 of 98

(4) Interim or provisional relief is requested by written application
transmitted by reasonable means to the Court or arbitral tribunal as the
case may be and the party against whom the relief is sought, describing in
appropriate detail the precise relief, the party against whom the relief is
requested, the grounds for the relief, and evidence supporting the request.
(5) The order shall be binding upon the parties.
(6) Either party may apply with the Court for assistance in Implementing
or enforcing an interim measure ordered by an arbitral tribunal.
(7) A party who does not comply with the order shall be liable for all
damages resulting from noncompliance, including all expenses, and
reasonable attorney's fees, paid in obtaining the order's judicial
enforcement.
SEC. 29. Further Authority for Arbitrator to Grant Interim Measure of
Protection. - Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the arbitral tribunal may, at the
request of a party, order any party to take such interim measures of protection as the
arbitral tribunal may consider necessary in respect of the subject matter of the dispute
following the rules in Section 28, paragraph 2. Such interim measures may include but
shall not be limited to preliminary injuction directed against a party, appointment of
receivers or detention, preservation, inspection of property that is the subject of the
dispute in arbitration. Either party may apply with the Court for assistance in
implementing or enforcing an interim measures ordered by an arbitral tribunal.
SEC. 30. Place of Arbitration. - The parties are free to agree on the place of
arbitration. Failing such agreement, the place of arbitration shall be in Metro Manila,
unless the arbitral tribunal, having regard to the circumstances of the case, including the
convenience of the parties shall decide on a different place of arbitration.
The arbitral tribunal may, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, meet at any place it
considers appropriate for consultation among its members, for hearing witnesses,
experts, or the parties, or for inspection of goods, other property or documents.
SEC. 31. Language of the Arbitration. - The parties are free to agree on the
language or languages to be used in the arbitral proceedings. Failing such agreement, the
language to be used shall be English in international arbitration, and English or Filipino
for domestic arbitration, unless the arbitral tribunal shall determine a different or
another language or languages to be used in the proceedings. This agreement or
determination, unless otherwise specified therein, shall apply to any written statement
by a party, any hearing and any award, decision or other communication by the arbitral
tribunal.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 27 of 98

The arbitral tribunal may order that any documentary evidence shall be accompanied by
a translation into the language or languages agreed upon by the parties or determined in
accordance with paragraph 1 of this section.
CHAPTER 5 - DOMESTIC ARBITRATION
SEC. 32. Law Governing Domestic Arbitration. - Domestic arbitration shall
continue to be governed by Republic Act No. 876, otherwise known as "The Arbitration
Law" as amended by this Chapter. The term "domestic arbitration" as used herein shall
mean an arbitration that is not international as defined in Article (3) of the Model Law.
SEC. 33. Applicability to Domestic Arbitration. - Article 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18
and 19 and 29 to 32 of the Model Law and Section 22 to 31 of the preceding Chapter 4
shall apply to domestic arbitration.
CHAPTER 6 - ARBITRATION OF CONSTRUCTION DISPUTES
SEC. 34. Arbitration of Construction Disputes: Governing Law. - The
arbitration of construction disputes shall be governed by Executive Order No. 1008,
otherwise known as the Constitution Industry Arbitration Law.
SEC. 35. Coverage of the Law. - Construction disputes which fall within the original
and exclusive jurisdiction of the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (the
"Commission") shall include those between or among parties to, or who are otherwise
bound by, an arbitration agreement, directly or by reference whether such parties are
project owner, contractor, subcontractor, quantity surveyor, bondsman or issuer of an
insurance policy in a construction project.
The Commission shall continue to exercise original and exclusive jurisdiction over
construction disputes although the arbitration is "commercial" pursuant to Section 21 of
this Act.
SEC. 36. Authority to Act as Mediator or Arbitrator. - By written agreement of
the parties to a dispute, an arbitrator may act as mediator and a mediator may act as
arbitrator. The parties may also agree in writing that, following a successful mediation,
the mediator shall issue the settlement agreement in the form of an arbitral award.
SEC. 37. Appointment of Foreign Arbitrator. - The Construction Industry
Arbitration Commission (CIAC) shall promulgate rules to allow for the appointment of a
foreign arbitrator or coarbitrator or chairman of a tribunal a person who has not been
previously accredited by CIAC: Provided, That:
(a) the dispute is a construction dispute in which one party is an international
party
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 28 of 98

(b) the person to be appointed agreed to abide by the arbitration rules and
policies of CIAC;
(c) he/she is either coarbitrator upon the nomination of the international party;
or he/she is the common choice of the two CIAC-accredited arbitrators first
appointed one of whom was nominated by the international party; and
(d) the foreign arbitrator shall be of different nationality from the international
party.
SEC. 38. Applicability to Construction Arbitration. - The provisions of Sections
17 (d) of Chapter 2, and Section 28 and 29 of this Act shall apply to arbitration of
construction disputes covered by this Chapter.
SEC. 39. Court to Dismiss Case Involving a Construction Dispute. - A regional
trial court which a construction dispute is filed shall, upon becoming aware, not later
than the pretrial conference, that the parties had entered into an arbitration to be
conducted by the CIAC, unless both parties, assisted by their respective counsel, shall
submit to the regional trial court a written agreement exclusive for the Court, rather than
the CIAC, to resolve the dispute.
CHAPTER 7 - JUDICIAL REVIEW OF ARBITRAL AWARDS
A. DOMESTIC AWARDS
SEC. 40. Confirmation of Award. - The confirmation of a domestic arbitral award
shall be governed by Section 23 of R.A. 876.
A domestic arbitral award when confirmed shall be enforced in the same manner as final
and executory decisions of the Regional Trial Court.
The confirmation of a domestic award shall be made by the regional trial court in
accordance with the Rules of Procedure to be promulgated by the Supreme Court.
A CIAC arbitral award need not be confirmed by the regional trial court to be executory
as provided under E.O. No. 1008.
SEC. 41. Vacation Award. - A party to a domestic arbitration may question the
arbitral award with the appropriate regional trial court in accordance with the rules of
procedure to be promulgated by the Supreme Court only on those grounds enumerated
in Section 25 of Republic Act No. 876. Any other ground raised against a domestic
arbitral award shall be disregarded by the regional trial court.
B. FOREIGN ARBITRAL AWARDS
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 29 of 98

SEC. 42. Application of the New York Convention. - The New York Convention
shall govern the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards covered by the said
Convention.
The recognition and enforcement of such arbitral awards shall be filled with regional
trial court in accordance with the rules of procedure to be promulgated by the Supreme
Court. Said procedural rules shall provide that the party relying on the award or applying
for its enforcement shall file with the court the original or authenticated copy of the
award and the arbitration agreement. If the award or agreement is not made in any of
the official languages, the party shall supply a duly certified translation thereof into any
of such languages.
The applicant shall establish that the country in which foreign arbitration award was
made is a party to the New York Convention.
If the application for rejection or suspension of enforcement of an award has been made,
the regional trial court may, if it considers it proper, vacate its decision and may also, on
the application of the party claiming recognition or enforcement of the award, order the
party to provide appropriate security.
SEC. 43. Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards Not
Covered by the New York Convention. - The recognition and enforcement of
foreign arbitral awards not covered by the New York Convention shall be done in
accordance with procedural rules to be promulgated by the Supreme Court. The Court
may, grounds of comity and reciprocity, recognize and enforce a nonconvention award as
a convention award.
SEC. 44. Foreign Arbitral Award Not Foreign Judgment. - A foreign arbitral
award when confirmed by a court of a foreign country, shall be recognized and enforced
as a foreign arbitral award and not a judgment of a foreign court.
A foreign arbitral award, when confirmed by the regional trial court, shall be enforced as
a foreign arbitral award and not as a judgment of a foreign court.
A foreign arbitral award, when confirmed by the regional trial court, shall be enforced in
the same manner as final and executory decisions of courts of law of the Philippines.
SEC. 45. Rejection of a Foreign Arbitral Award. - A party to a foreign arbitration
proceeding may oppose an application for recognition and enforcement of the arbitral
award in accordance with the procedural rules to be promulgated by the Supreme Court
only on those grounds enumerated under Article V of the New York Convention. Any
other ground raised shall be disregarded by the regional trial court.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 30 of 98

SEC. 46. Appeal from Court Decisions on Arbitral Awards. - A decision of the
regional trial court confirming, vacating, setting aside, modifying or correcting an
arbitral award may be appealed to the Court of Appeals in accordance with the rules of
procedure to be promulgated by the Supreme Court.
The losing party who appeals from the judgment of the court confirming an arbitral
award shall required by the appealant court to post counterbond executed in favor of the
prevailing party equal to the amount of the award in accordance with the rules to be
promulgated by the Supreme Court.
SEC. 47. Venue and Jurisdiction. - Proceedings for recognition and enforcement of
an arbitration agreement or for vacation, setting aside, correction or modification of an
arbitral award, and any application with a court for arbitration assistance and
supervision shall be deemed as special proceedings and shall be filled with the regional
trial court (i) where arbitration proceedings are conducted; (ii) where the asset to be
attached or levied upon, or the act to be enjoined is located; (iii) where any of the parties
to the dispute resides or has his place of business; or (iv) in the National Judicial Capital
Region, at the option of the applicant.
SEC. 48. Notice of Proceeding to Parties. - In a special proceeding for recognition
and enforcement of an arbitral award, the Court shall send notice to the parties at their
address of record in the arbitration, or if any party cannot be served notice at such
address, at such party's last known address. The notice shall be sent at least fifteen (15)
days before the date set for the initial hearing of the application.
CHAPTER 8 - MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
SEC. 49. Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution. - There is hereby established
the Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution as an attached agency to the Department of
Justice (DOJ) which shall have a Secretariat to be headed by an executive director. The
executive director shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines.
The objective of the office are:
(a) to promote, develop and expand the use of ADR in the private and public
sectors; and
To assist the government to monitor, study and evaluate the use by the public and the
private sector of ADR, and recommend to Congress needful statutory changes to develop.
Strengthen and improve ADR practices in accordance with world standards.
SEC. 50. Powers and Functions of the Office for Alternative Dispute
Resolution. - The Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution shall have the following
powers and functions:
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 31 of 98

(a) To formulate standards for the training of the ADR practitioners and service
providers;
(b) To certify that such ADR practitioners and ADR service providers have
undergone the professional training provided by the office;
(c) To coordinate the development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation
of government ADR programs;
(d) To charge fees for their services; and
(e) To perform such acts as may be necessary to carry into effect the provisions of
this Act.
SEC. 51. Appropriations. - The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this
Act shall be included in the General Appropriations Act of the year following its
enactment into law and thereafter.
SEC. 52. Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). - Within one (1) month
after the approval of this Act, the secretary of justice shall convene a committee that shall
formulate the appropriate rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this
Act. The committee, composed of representatives from:
(a) the Department of Justice;
(b) the Department of Trade and Industry;
(c) the Department of the Interior and Local Government;
(d) the president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines;
(e) A representative from the arbitration profession; and
(f) A representative from the mediation profession; and
(g) A representative from the ADR organizations
shall within three (3) months after convening, submit the IRR to the Joint Congressional
Oversight Committee for review and approval. The Oversight Committee shall be
composed of the chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights,
chairman of the House Committee on Justice, and one (1) member each from the
majority and minority of both Houses.
The Joint Oversight Committee shall become functus officio upon approval of the IRR.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 32 of 98

SEC. 53. Applicability of the Katarungan Pambarangay. - This Act shall not be
interpreted to repeal, amend or modify the jurisdiction of the Katarungan Pambarangay
under Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.
SEC. 54. Repealing Clause. - All laws, decrees, executive orders, rules and
regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed,
amended or modified accordingly.
SEC. 55. Separability Clause. - If for any reason or reasons, any portion or provision
of this Act shall be held unconstitutional or invalid, all other parts or provisions not
affected shall thereby continue to remain in full force and effect.
SEC. 56. Effectivity. - This act shall take effect fifteen days (15) after its publication in
at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.
C. Judicial Forms
C.1 All Pleadings
Rule 7 to 9; Sec. 11, Rule 13 of the Rules of Court

RULE 7
Parts of a Pleading
Section 1. Caption. The caption sets forth the name of the court, the title of the
action, and the docket number if assigned.
The title of the action indicates the names of the parties. They shall all be named in the
original complaint or petition; but in subsequent pleadings, it shall be sufficient if the
name of the first party on each side be stated with an appropriate indication when there
are other parties.
Their respective participation in the case shall be indicated. (1a, 2a)
Section 2. The body. The body of the pleading sets fourth its designation, the
allegations of the party's claims or defenses, the relief prayed for, and the date of the
pleading. (n)
(a) Paragraphs. The allegations in the body of a pleading shall be divided into
paragraphs so numbered to be readily identified, each of which shall contain a
statement of a single set of circumstances so far as that can be done with
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 33 of 98

convenience. A paragraph may be referred to by its number in all succeeding
pleadings. (3a)
(b) Headings. When two or more causes of action are joined the statement of
the first shall be prefaced by the words "first cause of action,'' of the second by
"second cause of action", and so on for the others.
When one or more paragraphs in the answer are addressed to one of several
causes of action in the complaint, they shall be prefaced by the words "answer to
the first cause of action" or "answer to the second cause of action" and so on; and
when one or more paragraphs of the answer are addressed to several causes of
action, they shall be prefaced by words to that effect. (4)
(c) Relief. The pleading shall specify the relief sought, but it may add a general
prayer for such further or other relief as may be deemed just or equitable. (3a,
R6)
(d) Date. Every pleading shall be dated. (n)
Section 3. Signature and address. Every pleading must be signed by the party or
counsel representing him, stating in either case his address which should not be a post
office box.
The signature of counsel constitutes a certificate by him that he has read the pleading;
that to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief there is good ground to support
it; and that it is not interposed for delay.
An unsigned pleading produces no legal effect. However, the court may, in its discretion,
allow such deficiency to be remedied if it shall appear that the same was due to mere
inadvertence and not intended for delay. Counsel who deliberately files an unsigned
pleading, or signs a pleading in violation of this Rule, or alleges scandalous or indecent
matter therein, or fails promptly report to the court a change of his address, shall be
subject to appropriate disciplinary action. (5a)
Section 4. Verification. Except when otherwise specifically required by law or rule,
pleadings need not be under oath, verified or accompanied by affidavit .(5a)
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 knowledge and belief.
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. (6a)
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 34 of 98

Section 5. Certification against forum shopping. The plaintiff or principal party
shall certify under oath in the complaint or other initiatory pleading asserting a claim for
relief, or in a sworn certification annexed thereto and simultaneously filed therewith: (a)
that he has not theretofore commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same
issues in any court, tribunal or quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of his knowledge, no
such other action or claim is pending therein; (b) if there is such other pending action or
claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof; and (c) if he should thereafter
learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending, he shall report
that fact within five (5) days therefrom to the court wherein his aforesaid complaint or
initiatory pleading has been filed.
Failure to comply with the foregoing requirements shall not be curable by mere
amendment of the complaint or other initiatory pleading but shall be cause for the
dismissal of the case without prejudice, unless otherwise provided, upon motion and
after hearing. The submission of a false certification or non-compliance with any of the
undertakings therein shall constitute indirect contempt of court, without prejudice to the
corresponding administrative and criminal actions. If the acts of the party or his counsel
clearly constitute willful and deliberate forum shopping, the same shall be ground for
summary dismissal with prejudice and shall constitute direct contempt, as well as a
cause for administrative sanctions. (n)

RULE 8
Manner of Making Allegations in Pleadings
Section 1. In general. Every pleading shall contain in a methodical and logical form,
a plain, concise and direct statement of the ultimate facts on which the party pleading
relies for his claim or defense, as the case may be, omitting the statement of mere
evidentiary facts. (1)
If a defense relied on is based on law, the pertinent provisions thereof and their
applicability to him shall be clearly and concisely stated. (n)
Section 2. Alternative causes of action or defenses. A party may set forth two or
more statements of a claim or defense alternatively or hypothetically, either in one cause
of action or defense or in separate causes of action or defenses. When two or more
statements are made in the alternative and one of them if made independently would be
sufficient, the pleading is not made insufficient by the insufficiency of one or more of the
alternative statements. (2)
Section 3. Conditions precedent. In any pleading a general averment of the
performance or occurrence of all conditions precedent shall be sufficient. (3)
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 35 of 98

Section 4. Capacity. Facts showing the capacity of a party to sue or be sued or the
authority of a party to sue or be sued in a representative capacity or the legal existence of
an organized association of person that is made a party, must be averred. A party
desiring to raise an issue as to the legal existence of any party or the capacity of any party
to sue or be sued in a representative capacity, shall do so by specific denial, which shall
include such supporting particulars as are peculiarly within the pleader's knowledge. (4)
Section 5. Fraud, mistake, condition of the mind. In all averments of fraud or
mistake the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake must be stated with
particularity. Malice, intent, knowledge, or other condition of the mind of a person may
be averred generally.(5a)
Section 6. Judgment. In pleading a judgment or decision of a domestic or foreign
court, judicial or quasi-judicial tribunal, or of a board or officer, it is sufficient to aver the
judgment or decision without setting forth matter showing jurisdiction to render it. (6)
Section 7. Action or defense based on document. Whenever an action or defense is
based upon a written instrument or document, the substance of such instrument or
document shall be set forth in the pleading, and the original or a copy thereof shall be
attached to the pleading as an exhibit, which shall be deemed to be a part of the pleading,
or said copy may with like effect be set forth in the pleading. (7)
Section 8. How to contest such documents. When an action or defense is founded
upon a written instrument, copied in or attached to the corresponding pleading as
provided in the preceding section, the genuineness and due execution of the instrument
shall be deemed admitted unless the adverse party, under oath specifically denies them,
and sets forth what he claims to be the facts, but the requirement of an oath does not
apply when the adverse party does not appear to be a party to the instrument or when
compliance with an order for an inspection of the original instrument is refused. (8a)
Section 9. Official document or act. In pleading an official document or official act, it
is sufficient to aver that the document was issued or the act done in compliance with law.
(9)
Section 10. Specific denial. A defendant must specify each material allegation of fact
the truth of which he does not admit and, whenever practicable, shall set forth the
substance of the matters upon which he relies to support his denial. Where a defendant
desires to deny only a part of an averment, he shall specify so much of it as is true and
material and shall deny only the remainder. Where a defendant is without knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of a material averment made to the
complaint, he shall so state, and this shall have the effect of a denial. (10a)
Section 11. Allegations not specifically denied deemed admitted. Material averment
in the complaint, other than those as to the amount of unliquidated damages, shall be
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 36 of 98

deemed admitted when not specifically denied. Allegations of usury in a complaint to
recover usurious interest are deemed admitted if not denied under oath. (1a, R9)
Section 12. Striking out of pleading or matter contained therein. Upon motion
made by a party before responding to a pleading or, if no responsive pleading is
permitted by these Rules, upon motion made by a party within twenty (20) days after the
service of the pleading upon him, or upon the court's own initiative at any time, the court
may order any pleading to be stricken out or that any sham or false, redundant,
immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter be stricken out therefrom. (5, R9)
RULE 9
Effect of Failure to Plead
Section 1. Defenses and objections not pleaded. Defenses and objections not pleaded
either in a motion to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived. However, when it
appears from the pleadings or the evidence on record that the court has no jurisdiction
over the subject matter, that there is another action pending between the same parties
for the same cause, or that the action is barred by a prior judgment or by statute of
limitations, the court shall dismiss the claim. (2a)
Section 2. Compulsory counterclaim, or cross-claim, not set up barred. A
compulsory counterclaim, or a cross-claim, not set up shall be barred. (4a)
Section 3. Default; declaration of. If the defending party fails to answer within the
time allowed therefor, the court shall, upon motion of the claiming party with notice to
the defending party, and proof of such failure, declare the defending party in default.
Thereupon, the court shall proceed to render judgment granting the claimant such relief
as his pleading may warrant, unless the court in its discretion requires the claimant to
submit evidence. Such reception of evidence may be delegated to the clerk of court. (1a,
R18)
(a) Effect of order of default. A party in default shall be entitled to notice of
subsequent proceedings but not to take part in the trial. (2a, R18)
(b) Relief from order of default. A party declared in default may at any time
after notice thereof and before judgment file a motion under oath to set aside the
order of default upon proper showing that his failure to answer was due to fraud,
accident, mistake or excusable negligence and that he has a meritorious defense.
In such case, the order of default may be set aside on such terms and conditions
as the judge may impose in the interest of justice. (3a, R18)
(c) Effect of partial default. When a pleading asserting a claim states a
common cause of action against several defending parties, some of whom answer
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 37 of 98

and the others fail to do so, the court shall try the case against all upon the
answers thus filed and render judgment upon the evidence presented. (4a, R18).
(d) Extent of relief to be awarded. A judgment rendered against a party in
default shall not exceed the amount or be different in kind from that prayed for
nor award unliquidated damages. (5a, R18).
(e) Where no defaults allowed. If the defending party in an action for
annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage or for legal separation fails to
answer, the court shall order the prosecuting attorney to investigate whether or
not a collusion between the parties exists, and if there is no collusion, to
intervene for the State in order to see to it that the evidence submitted is not
fabricated. (6a, R18)
RULE 13
Filing and Service of Pleadings, Judgments and Other Papers
Section 11. Priorities in modes of service and filing. Whenever practicable, the
service and filing of pleadings and other papers shall be done personally. Except with
respect to papers emanating from the court, a resort to other modes must be
accompanied by a written explanation why the service or filing was not done personally.
A violation of this Rule may be cause to consider the paper as not filed. (n)
Sec. 139 of Republic Act No. 7160 or the, Local Government
Code of 1991

Section 139. Professional Tax. -
(a) The province may levy an annual professional tax on each person engaged in
the exercise or practice of his profession requiring government examination at
such amount and reasonable classification as the sangguniang panlalawigan may
determine but shall in no case exceed Three hundred pesos (P300.00).
(b) Every person legally authorized to practice his profession shall pay the
professional tax to the province where he practices his profession or where he
maintains his principal office in case he practices his profession in several places:
Provided, however, That such person who has paid the corresponding
professional tax shall be entitled to practice his profession in any part of the
Philippines without being subjected to any other national or local tax, license, or
fee for the practice of such profession.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 38 of 98

(c) Any individual or corporation employing a person subject to professional tax
shall require payment by that person of the tax on his profession before
employment and annually thereafter.
(d) The professional tax shall be payable annually, on or before the thirty-first
(31st) day of January. Any person first beginning to practice a profession after the
month of January must, however, pay the full tax before engaging therein. A line
of profession does not become exempt even if conducted with some other
profession for which the tax has been paid. Professionals exclusively employed in
the government shall be exempt from the payment of this tax.
(e) Any person subject to the professional tax shall write in deeds, receipts,
prescriptions, reports, books of account, plans and designs, surveys and maps, as
the case may be, the number of the official receipt issued to him.
Bar Matter No. 287, SC En Banc Resolution dated July 9,
1985, quoted in OCA Circular No. 10-85, July 24, 1985

CIRCULAR NO. 10
[1985]
TO: INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, SANDIGANBAYAN, COURT OF TAX
APPEALS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS,
MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS IN CITIES, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS AND
MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS
SUBJECT: INCLUSION OF NUMBER AND DATE OF OFFICIAL RECEIPT OF
PAYMENT OF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES TO THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE
PHILIPPINES, IN ALL PLEADINGS, MOTIONS AND PAPERS TO BE FILED IN
COURT.
For the information and guidance of all concerned, quoted hereunder is the Resolution
En Banc of this Court dated July 9, 1985 in Bar Matter No. 287, to
wit:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Effective August 1, 1985, all lawyers shall indicate in all pleadings, motions and papers
signed and filed by them in any ourt in the Philippines, the number and date of their
official receipt indicating payment of their annual membership dues to the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines for the current year: Provided, however, That such official receipt
number and date for any year may be availed of and indicated in all such pleadings,
motions and papers filed by them in Court up to the end of the month of February of the
next succeeding year. Strict compliance herewith is hereby enjoined.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 39 of 98

July 24, 1985.
[Sgd.] ARTURO B. BUENA
Acting Court Administrator
Bar Matter No. 1132, SC En Banc Resolution dated 12
November 2002

RE:REQUEST TO REQUIRE LAWYERS TO INDICATE IN THE PLEADING THEIR
NUMBER IN THE ROLL OF ATTYS.
EN BANC
Gentlemen:
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated 12 NOV
2002.
Bar Matter No. 1132(Re:Request to Require Lawyers to Indicate in the Pleading their
Number in the Roll of Attorneys.)
The Court Resolved, upon recommendation of the Office of the Bar Confidant, to GRANT
the request of the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte to require all lawyers to indicate their Roll of
Attorneys Number in all papers or pleadings submitted to the various judicial or quasi-
judicial bodies in addition to the requirement of indicating the current Professional Tax
Receipt (PTR) and the IBP Official Receipt or Life Member Number.
Strict compliance herewith is hereby enjoined effective immediately. Austria-Martinez,
J., is on leave.
Very truly yours,
LUZVIMINDA D. PUNO
Clerk of Court
(Sgd.) MA. LUISA D. VILLARAMA
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 40 of 98

Asst. Clerk of Court
A.M. No. 07-6-5-SC, SC En Banc Resolution dated July 20,
2007, Statement of Contact Details of the Parties or their
Counsel in all Pleadings or Papers filed with the Supreme
Court.
Sirs/Madames;
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of the Court En Banc dated
July 10, 2007.
A.M. No. 07-6-5-SC. Re: Statement of Contact Details of the Parties or their
Counsel in all Pleadings or Papers Filed with the Supreme Court. Acting on the
Memorandum dated May 28, 2007 of Clerk of Court Ma. Luisa D. Villarama submitting
for consideration and approval of the Court the proposal that parties or their counsels
be required to indicate in all their pleadings filed before this Court their contact details,
e.g. telephone number, fax number, cellular phone number, or e-mail address, in
addition to the requirement of indicating the counsels Professional Tax Receipt (PTR)
number, IBP Official Receipt or Life Member number and Roll of Attorneys number as
mandated in Bar Matter No. 1132, the Court Resolved to APPROVE the same (adv
45a)
Very truly yours,
Ma. Luisa D. Villarama (SGD)
Clerk of Court

Bar Matter No. 1922, SC En Banc Resolution dated June 3,
2008,Recommendation of the Mandatory Continuing Legal
Education (MCLE) Board to Indicate in All Pleadings Filed
the Courts the Counsels MCLE Certificate of Compliance or
Certificate of Exemption

B.M. No. 1922 June 3, 2008
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 41 of 98

RE. NUMBER AND DATE OF MCLE CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION/EXEMPTION
REQUIRED IN ALL PLEADINGS/MOTIONS.
Sirs/Mesdames:
Quoted hereunder, for your information is a resolution of the Court En Banc dated June
3, 2008
Bar Matter No. 1922. Re: Recommendation of the Mandatory Continuing Legal
Education (MCLE) Board to Indicate in All Pleadings Filed with the Courts the Counsels
MCLE Certificate of Compliance or Certificate of Exemption. The Court Resolved to
NOTE the Letter, dated May 2, 2008, of Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura,
Chairperson, Committee on Legal Education and Bar Matters, informing the Court of the
diminishing interest of the members of the Bar in the MCLE requirement program.
The Court further Resolved, upon the recommendation of the Committee on Legal
Education and Bar Matters, to REQUIRE practicing members of the bar to INDICATE in
all pleadings filed before the courts or quasi-judicial bodies, the number and date of
issue of their MCLE Certificate of Compliance or Certificate of Exemption, as may be
applicable, for the immediately preceding compliance period. Failure to disclose the
required information would cause the dismissal of the case and the expunction of the
pleadings from the records.
The New Rule shall take effect sixty (60) days after its publication in a newspaper of
general circulation. Caprio-Morales Velasco, Jr., Nachura, JJ., on official leave.
(adv216a)
Very truly yours,
MA. LUISA D. VILLARAMA(sgd)
Clerk of Court
A.M. No. 05-11-07-CTA, SC En Banc Resolution dated
November 3, 2005, Sec. 6, Rule 6 of the Revised Rules of the
Court of Tax Appeals

A.M. No. 05-11-07-CTA September 16, 2008
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 42 of 98

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE REVISED RULES OF THE COURT OF
TAX APPEALS
R E S O L U T I O N
Acting on the letter of the Presiding Justice, Court of Tax Appeals, submitting for the
consideration and approval of the Court the "Proposed Amendments to the Revised
Rules of the Court of Tax Appeals," the Court Resolved to APPROVE the same.
This Rule shall take effect on October 15, 2008 following its publication in two
newspapers of general circulation.
September 16, 2008.
AMENDMENTS TO THE
2005 RULES OF THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS
Pursuant to the promulgation of the Republic Act No. 9503, An Act Enlarging the
Organization Structure of the Court of Tax Appeals. Amending for the Purpose Certain
Sections of the Law Creating the Court of Tax Appeals, and for Other Purposes" on June
12, 2008, the 2005 Revised Rules of the Court of Tax Appeals which was approved by the
Supreme Court on November 22, 2005, should now be amended.
SECTION 1. Sections 1, 3, 4, 6(a), 6(b), 6(c), 7 and 8 of Rule 2 are hereby amended to
read:
RULE 2
THE COURT, ITS ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS
Section 1. Composition of the Court. The Court is composed of a presiding
justice and eight (8) associate justices appointed by the President of the
Philippines. In appropriate cases, the court shall siten banc, or in three (3)
Divisions of three (3) justices each, including the presiding justice, who shall be
the Chairperson of the First Division and the two (2) most Senior Associate
Justices shall be served as Chairpersons of the Second Divisions, respectively.(a)
x x x
Sec. 3. Court en banc; quorum and voting. - The presiding justice or, if absent,
the most senior justice in attendance shall preside over the sessions of the
Court en banc. The attendance of five (5) justices of the Court shall constitute a
quorum for its session en banc. The presence at the deliberation and the
affirmative vote of five (5) members of the Court en banc shall be necessary to
reverse a decision of a decision of a Division but only a simple majority of the
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 43 of 98

justices present to promulgate a resolution or decision in all cases. Where the
necessary majority vote cannot be had, the petition shall be dismissed; in
appealed cases, the judgement or order appealed from shall stand affirmed; and
on all incidental matters, the petition or motion shall be denied. (a)
Sec. 4. The Court Division: quorum and voting. - The Chairperson of the
Division or, if absent, the most senior member shall preside over the sessions of
the Court in Division . The attendance of at least two (2) justices of the court shall
be necessary to constitute a quorum for its sessions in Divisions. The presence at
the deliberation and the affirmative vote of at least two justices shall be required
for the pronouncement of a judgement or final resolution of the Court Decision.
(a)
Sec. 6. Disqualification of justices. -
(a) Mandatory - No justices or other officer or employee of the Court shall
intervene, directly or indirectly, in the management or control of any
private enterprises which in any way may be affected by the function of
the Court. Justices of the Court shall be disqualified from sitting in any
case on the same grounds provided under the first paragraph, Section 1,
Rule of Court. No person who has once served in the Court either as
presiding justice or as associate justices shall be qualified to practice as
counsel before the Court for a period of one year from that person's
retirement or resignation as such. (a)
(b) Disclosure and consent of parties and lawyers. - A justice disqualified
under the first paragraph, Section 1 of Rule 137 of the Rules of Court, may
instead of withdrawing from a case proceeding, disclose on the records
the parties and lawyers, independently of the justice's participation, all
agree in writing that the reason for the inhibitation is immaterial or
unsubstantial, the justice may participate in the action or proceeding. The
agreement, signed by all parties and lawyers, shall be incorporated in the
record of the action or proceeding.
(c) Voluntary. - A justice of the Court may in the exercise of sound
discretion, disqualify voluntarily from sitting in a case proceeding for just
or valid reasons other than those mentioned above.
A justice of the Court who inhibits from sitting in a case proceeding shall
immediately notify in writing the presiding justice and the members of the
Division where the said justice belongs. (a)
Sec. 7. Motion to inhibit a justice. - When a motion for inhibition of a justice is
filed, the Court, en banc or in Division shall act upon motion. However, if the
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 44 of 98

motion for inhibition is based on a discretionary ground, the Court shall refer the
motion to the justice involved for appropriate action (a)
Sec. 8. Disqualification of clerk of court or assistant clerk of court or division
clerk of court or assistant division clerk of court. -The disqualification under the
first paragraph,Section 1,Rule 137 of the Rules of Court shall likewise apply to the
Clerk of Court or Assistant Clerk of Court or Division Clerk of Court or Assistant
Division Clerk of Court of this Court insofar as it is relevant to them in the
performance of their respective functions and duties.
Such person must immediately notify in writing the Presiding Justice and the
members of the Court en banc, or the Chairperson and the Members of the
Division, whichever is applicable, stating the grounds and the reasons for
inhibition and further indicate the case number and title. The Presiding Justice
or Chairperson of the Division may approve the request for inhibition and in such
event appoint a temporary Clerk of Court to hear and handle the case.(n)
Section 2. - Section 3(a)(5) of Rule 4 is hereby amended to read:
RULE 4
JURISDICTION OF THE COURT
Sec. 3. Cases within the jurisdiction of the Court in Divisions. -
(a) Exclusive original over or appellate jurisdiction to review by appeal the
following:
x x x
(5) Decisions of the Secretary of Finance on customs cases
elevated for automatic review from decisions of the Commissioner
of Customs adverse to the Government under Section 2315 of the
Tariff and Customs Code; and (a)
Section 3. - Sections 4(a),5(b) and 6 of Rule 6 are hereby amended to read:
RULE 6
PLEADINGS FILED WITH THE COURT
Sec. 4. Bill of particulars. -
(a) Requirement for bill of particulars. - The Court, on its own initiative
or upon motion of either party filed before responding to a pleading or, if
no responsive pleading is permitted by these Rules, within ten days after
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 45 of 98

service of the pleading, may order a party to submit a detailed statement
of the nature of the claim or defense or of any matter stated in any
pleading, which is not averred with sufficient definiteness or particularity.
Such order or motion shall point out the defects complained of and the
details desired. After service of the bill of particulars or of a more definite
pleading, the moving or adverse party may file a responsive pleading
within ten days.
x x x
Sec. 5. Answer. -
x x x
(b) Transmittal of records. - The respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue,
Commissioner of Customs, the Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of Agriculture,
or the Secretary of Trade and Industry, within ten days after filing an answer, the
Chairperson of the Central Board of Assessment Appeals and the presiding judges
of the Regional Trial Courts, within ten days from receipt of notice, shall certify
and forward to the Court all the records of the case in their possession, with the
pages duly numbered, and, if the records are in separate folders, then the folders
will also be numbered. If there are no records, such fact shall be manifested to the
Court within the same period of ten days. The Court may, on motion, and for
good cause shown, grant an extension of time within which to submit the
aforesaid records of the case. Failure to transmit the records within the time
prescribed herein or within the time allowed by the Court may constitute indirect
contempt of court. (a)
Sec. 6. Entry of appearance. - An attorney may enter an appearance by signing
the initial pleading. An attorney may later enter an appearance only by filing an
entry of appearance with the written conformity of the client.
The initial pleading or entry of appearance must contain the following:
(1) The attorney's specific address, which must not be a Post Office Box
number;
(2) The Roll of Attorney's Number;
(3) The date and number of current membership due in the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines (IBP) per Official Receipt, or Lifetime Member
Number;
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 46 of 98

(4) The Current Professional Tax Receipt (PTR) number together with
date and place of issuance; and
(5) The MCLE certificate number and date of issue, unless exempt.
The attorney or party entering an appearance shall serve a copy of the entry of
appearance upon the opposing party. An attorney who appears in open court
without previously having filed a written appearance must give the said counsel's
business address to the Clerk of Court and file a written appearance within forty-
eight hours from such open court appearance. An attorney or party who has filed
an appearance and who changes address of record shall notify the Clerk of Court
and the adverse party of such change of address, and a separate notice of such
change of address shall be filed for each additional case. (a)
Section 4. - Section 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10 of Rule 9 are hereby amended to read:
RULE 9
PROCEDURE IN CRIMINAL CASES
Sec. 4. Warrant of arrest. - Within ten days from the filing of the information,
the Division of the Court to which the case was raffled shall evaluate the
resolution of the public prosecutor and its supporting evidence. The Division may
immediately dismiss the case if it finds that the evidence on record clearly fails to
establish probable cause. If the Division finds probable cause, it shall issue a
warrant of arrest signed by the Chairperson of the Division may order the
prosecutor to present additional evidence, ex parte, within five days from notice.
(a)
Sec. 5. When search warrant may issue. - The Division may issue a search
warrant signed by its Chairperson following the requirements of Rule 126 of the
Rules of Court. (a)
Sec. 6. Bail, how amount fixed; approval. - The amount of bail to be posted in a
case filed with the Court shall be fixed and approved by the Division to which the
case is raffled: Provided, however, that where the accused is arrested, detained or
otherwise placed in custody outside the Metropolitan Manila area, any judge of
the Regional Trial Court of the place where the arrest is made may accept and
approve the bail for release of the accused and appearance before the Division to
which the case is assigned. The judge who accepted the bail and released the
accused shall inform the Division that issued the order of arrest of the action and
forward to it the papers relative to the case. (a)
Sec. 7. Conditions of the bail. - The conditions of the bail are that the accused
shall appear and answer the complaint or information in the Division of the Court
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 47 of 98

to which it is raffled or transferred for trial and submit the same to its orders and
processes. If convicted, and the case is appealed to the Court en banc or to the
Supreme Court, the accused will surrender for the execution of such judgement
as the Court en banc or the Supreme Court may render; or that, in the event the
case is to be tried anew or remanded for a new trial, the same shall appear before
the Division to which it may be remanded and submit to its orders and processes.
(a)
Sec. 10. Solicitor General as counsel for the People and government officials
sued in their official capacity. - The Solicitor General shall represent the People
of the Philippines and government officials sued in their official capacity in all
cases brought to the Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction. The former
may deputize the legal officers of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in cases brought
under the National Internal Revenue Code or other laws enforced by the Bureau
of Internal Revenue, or the legal officers of the Bureau of Customs in cases
brought under the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines or other laws
enforced by the Bureau of Customs, to appear in behalf of the officials of said
agencies sued in their official capacity: Provided, however, such duly deputized
legal officers shall remain at all times under the direct control and supervision of
the Solicitor General. (a)
Section 5. - Section 1 of Rule 10 is hereby amended to read:
RULE 10
SUSPENSION OF COLLECTION OF TAX
SECTION 1. No suspension of collection of tax, except as herein prescribed. -
No appeal taken to the Court shall suspend the payment, levy, distraint, or sale of
any property of the taxpayer for the satisfaction of tax liability as provided under
existing laws, except as hereinafter prescribed. (a)
Section 6. - Sections 3 and 6(c), of Rule 11 are hereby amended to read:
RULE 11
PRE-TRIAL
Sec. 3. Setting for an earlier date. - Where due to the urgency of the case, either
party desirea that the pre-trial be set on an earlier date, such party shall so state
in the pleading in which event the Clerk of Court shall set the pre-trial on the first
available date immediately after the filling of the answer. (a)
x x x
Sec. 6. Procedure in criminal cases.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 48 of 98

x x x
(c) During the pre-trial conference
x x x
The Court may impose appropriate sanctions or penalties on the accused
or counsel or the prosecutor who does not appear at the pre-trial
conference and does not offer an acceptable excuse for the said person's
absence and lack of cooperation. (a)
Section 7. - Sections 3, 4, and 5(a) of Rule 12 are hereby amended to read:
RULE 12
TRIAL
Sec. 3. Taking of evidence by a justice. - The Court may motu proprio or upon
proper motion, direct that a case, or any issue therein be assigned to one of its
members for the taking of evidence, when the determination of a question of fact
arises at any stage of the proceedings, or when the taking of an account is
necessary or when the determination of an issue of fact requires the examination
of a long account. The hearing before such justice shall proceed in all respects as
though the same had been made before the Court.
Upon the completion of such hearing the justice concerned shall promptly submit
to the Court a written report thereon, stating therein the findings and
conclusions. Thereafter, the Court shall render its decision on the case adopting,
modifying, or rejecting the report in whole or in part, or the Court may in its
discretion, recommit it to the justice with instructions, or receive further
evidence. (a)
Sec. 4. Taking of evidence by Court official. - In default or ex parte hearings or
in any case where the parties agree in writing the Court may delegate the
reception of evidence to the Clerk of Court, the Division Clerks of Court their
assistants who are members of the Philippine bar or any Court attorney. The
reception of documentary evidence by a Court official shall be for the sole
purpose of marking comparison with the original and identification by witnesses
of such documentary evidence. The Court official shall have no power to rule on
objections shall be resolved by the Court upon submission of exhibits, which
objections shall be resolved by the Court upon submission of the report and the
transcripts within ten days from termination of the hearing. (a)
Sec. 5. Presentation of voluminous documents or long accounts. - In the interest
of speedy administration of justice the following rules shall govern the
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 49 of 98

presentation of voluminous documents or long accounts such as receipts invoices
and vouchers as evidence to establish certain facts:
(a) Summary and CPA certification.
x x x
The name of the Certified Public Accountant or partner of a professional
partnership of certified public accountants in change must be stated in the
motion. The court shall issue a commission authorizing the independent CPA to
conduct an audit and, thereafter, testify relative to such summary and
certification.
Section 8. - Section 5 of Rule 14 is hereby amended to read:
RULE 14
JUDGMENT, ITS ENTRY AND EXECUTION
Sec. 5. Promulgation and notice of decision and resolution. - The Clerk of Court
or Deputy Clerk of Court shall have the direct responsibility for the promulgation
of the decision and resolution of the Court and shall see to it that such decision
and resolution are properly signed by the concurring and dissenting justices and
the required certification is duty accomplished.
Promulgation consists of the filing of the decision or resolution with the Clerk of
Court or Division Clerk of Court, who shall forth with annotate the date and the
time of receipt and attest to it by signing thereon. The Clerk of Court or Division
Clerk of Court shall serve notice of such decision resolution upon the parties or
their counsel, furnishing them with certified true copies thereof.
In criminal cases originally filed with and decided by The Court in Division , the
Chairperson shall cause the decision or resolution to be filed with the Division
Clerk of Court in a sealed envelop, who shall schedule its promulgation, giving
notice to the prosecution, the accused personally or through bondsman or
warden, and counsel requiring their presence at the promulgation.
The promulgation shall consist of the reading by the Division Clerk of Court of
the dispositive portion of the decision or resolution in the presence of the accused
and a justice of the Division that rendered the same. If the accused is detained,
the warden shall produce such person before the Court. However, if the accused
is detained outside Metro Manila, the Court having territorial jurisdiction over
the place of detention to promulgate the decision or resolution at such place. (a)
Section 9. - Section 1,2, and 5(a), 5(b) of Rule 15 are hereby amended to read:
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 50 of 98

RULE 15
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OR NEW TRIAL
SECTION 1. Who may and when to file motion. - Any aggrieved party may seek
a reconsideration or new trial of any decision, resolution or order of the Court by
filing a motion for reconsideration or new trial for fifteen days from the date of
receipt of notice of the decision, resolution or order of the Court in question,. (a)
Sec. 2. Opposition. - the adverse party may file an opposition to the motion for
reconsideration or new trial within ten days after receipt of a copy of the motion
for reconsideration or new trial of a decision, resolution or order of the Court. (a)
Sec. 5. Grounds of motion for new trial. - xxx
(a) Fraud, accident , mistake or excusable negligence which ordinary
prudence could not have guarded against and by reason of which the
rights of such aggrieved party has probably been impaired: or
(b)Newly discovered evidence, which the party could not, with reasonable
diligence, have discovered and produced at the trial and, which if
presented, would probably alter the result.
x x x
Section 10. Effectivity Clause. - These Rules shall become effective October 15, 2008
after in two newspaper of general circulation in the Philppines , (n)
Bar Matter No. 2012, February 10, 2009, Proposed Rule on
Mandatory Legal Aid Service for Practicing Lawyers

B.M. No. 2012 February 10, 2009
PROPOSED RULE ON MANDATORY LEGAL AID SERVICE FOR
PRACTICING LAWYERS
RESOLUTION
Acting on the Memorandum dated January 27, 2009 of Justice Renato C. Corona re:
Comment of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines on our Suggested Revisions to the
Proposed Rule of Mandatory Legal Aid Service for Practicing Lawyers, the Court
Resolved to APPROVE the same.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 51 of 98

This Resolution shall take effect on July 1, 2009 following publication of the said Rule
and its implementing regulations in at least two (2) newpapers of general circulation.
RULE ON MANDATORY LEGAL AID SERVICE
SECTION 1. Title. - This Rule shall be known as "The Rule on Mandatory Legal Aid
Service."
SECTION 2. Purpose. - This Rule seeks to enhance the duty of lawyers to society as
agents of social change and to the courts as officers thereof by helping improve access to
justice by the less privileged members of society and expedite the resolution of cases
involving them. Mandatory free legal service by members of the bar and their active
support thereof will aid the efficient and effective administration of justice especially in
cases involving indigent and pauper litigants.
SECTION 3. Scope. - This Rule shall govern the mandatory requirement for practicing
lawyers to render free legal aid services in all cases (whether, civil, criminal or
administrative) involving indigent and pauper litigants where the assistance of a lawyer
is needed. It shall also govern the duty of other members of the legal profession to
support the legal aid program of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
SECTION 4. Definition of Terms. - For purposes of this Rule:
(a) Practicing lawyers are members of the Philippine Bar who appear for and in
behalf of parties in courts of law and quasi-judicial agencies, including but not
limited to the National Labor Relations Commission, National Conciliation and
Mediation Board, Department of Labor and Employment Regional Offices,
Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board and National Commission
for Indigenous Peoples. The term "practicing lawyers" shall exclude:
(i) Government employees and incumbent elective officials not allowed by
law to practice;
(ii) Lawyers who by law are not allowed to appear in court;
(iii) Supervising lawyers of students enrolled in law student practice in
duly accredited legal clinics of law schools and lawyers of non-
governmental organizations (NGOs) and peoples organizations (POs) like
the Free Legal Assistance Group who by the nature of their work already
render free legal aid to indigent and pauper litigants and
(iv) Lawyers not covered under subparagraphs (i) to (iii) including those
who are employed in the private sector but do not appear for and in behalf
of parties in courts of law and quasi-judicial agencies.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 52 of 98

(b) Indigent and pauper litigants are those defined under Rule 141, Section 19 of
the Rules of Court andAlgura v. The Local Government Unit of the City of
Naga (G.R. No.150135, 30 October 2006, 506 SCRA 81);
(c) Legal aid cases are those actions, disputes, and controversies that are
criminal, civil and administrative in nature in whatever stage wherein indigent
and pauper litigants need legal representation;
(d) Free legal aid services refer to appearance in court or quasi-judicial body for
and in behalf of an indigent or pauper litigant and the preparation of pleadings or
motions. It shall also cover assistance by a practicing lawyer to indigent or poor
litigants in court-annexed mediation and in other modes of alternative dispute
resolution (ADR). Services rendered when a practicing lawyer is appointed
counsel de oficio shall also be considered as free legal aid services and credited as
compliance under this Rule;
(e) Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is the official national organization of
lawyers in the country;
(f) National Committee on Legal Aid (NCLA) is the committee of the IBP which
is specifically tasked with handling legal aid cases;
(g) Committee on Bar Discipline (CBD) is the committee of the IBP which is
specifically tasked with disciplining members of the Bar;
(h) IBP Chapters are those chapters of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
located in the different geographical areas of the country as defined in Rule 139-A
and
(i) Clerk of Court is the Clerk of Court of the court where the practicing lawyer
rendered free legal aid services. In the case of quasi-judicial bodies, it refers to an
officer holding an equivalent or similar position.
The term shall also include an officer holding a similar position in agencies
exercising quasi-judicial functions, or a responsible officer of an accredited PO or
NGO, or an accredited mediator who conducted the court-annexed mediation
proceeding.
SECTION 5. Requirements. -
(a) Every practicing lawyer is required to render a minimum of sixty (60) hours
of free legal aid services to indigent litigants in a year. Said 60 hours shall be
spread within a period of twelve (12) months, with a minimum of five (5) hours of
free legal aid services each month. However, where it is necessary for the
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 53 of 98

practicing lawyer to render legal aid service for more than five (5) hours in one
month, the excess hours may be credited to the said lawyer for the succeeding
periods.
For this purpose, a practicing lawyer shall coordinate with the Clerk of Court for
cases where he may render free legal aid service. He may also coordinate with the
IBP Legal Aid Chairperson of the IBP Chapter to inquire about cases where he
may render free legal aid service. In this connection, the IBP Legal Aid
Chairperson of the IBP Chapter shall regularly and actively coordinate with the
Clerk of Court.
The practicing lawyer shall report compliance with the requirement within ten
(10) days of the last month of each quarter of the year.
(b) A practicing lawyer shall be required to secure and obtain a certificate from
the Clerk of Court attesting to the number of hours spent rendering free legal aid
services in a case.
The certificate shall contain the following information:
(i) The case or cases where the legal aid service was rendered, the party or
parties in the said case(s) for whom the service was rendered, the docket
number of the said case(s) and the date(s) the service was rendered.
(ii) The number of hours actually spent attending a hearing or conducting
trial on a particular case in the court or quasi-judicial body.
(iii) The number of hours actually spent attending mediation, conciliation
or any other mode of ADR on a particular case.
(iv) A motion (except a motion for extension of time to file a pleading or
for postponement of hearing or conference) or pleading filed on a
particular case shall be considered as one (1) hour of service.
The Clerk of Court shall issue the certificate in triplicate, one (1) copy to
be retained by the practicing lawyer, one (1) copy to be retained by the
Clerk of Court and one (1) copy to be attached to the lawyer's compliance
report.
(c) Said compliance report shall be submitted to the Legal Aid Chairperson of the
IBP Chapter within the courts jurisdiction. The Legal Aid Chairperson shall then
be tasked with immediately verifying the contents of the certificate with the
issuing Clerk of Court by comparing the copy of the certificate attached to the
compliance report with the copy retained by the Clerk of Court.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 54 of 98

(d) The IBP Chapter shall, after verification, issue a compliance certificate to the
concerned lawyer. The IBP Chapter shall also submit the compliance reports to
the IBPs NCLA for recording and documentation. The submission shall be made
within forty-five (45) days after the mandatory submission of compliance reports
by the practicing lawyers.
(e) Practicing lawyers shall indicate in all pleadings filed before the courts or
quasi-judicial bodies the number and date of issue of their certificate of
compliance for the immediately preceding compliance period. Failure to disclose
the required information would cause the dismissal of the case and the
expunction of the pleadings from the records.
(f) Before the end of a particular year, lawyers covered by the category under
Section 4(a)(i) and (ii), shall fill up a form prepared by the NCLA which states
that, during that year, they are employed with the government or incumbent
elective officials not allowed by law to practice or lawyers who by law are not
allowed to appear in court.
The form shall be sworn to and submitted to the IBP Chapter or IBP National
Office together with the payment of an annual contribution of Two Thousand
Pesos (P2,000). Said contribution shall accrue to a special fund of the IBP for the
support of its legal aid program.
(g) Before the end of a particular year, lawyers covered by the category under
Section 4(a)(iii) shall secure a certification from the director of the legal clinic or
of the concerned NGO or PO to the effect that, during that year, they have served
as supervising lawyers in a legal clinic or actively participated in the NGOs or
POs free legal aid activities. The certification shall be submitted to the IBP
Chapter or IBP National Office.
(h) Before the end of a particular year, lawyers covered by the category under
Section 4(a)(iv) shall fill up a form prepared by the NCLA which states that,
during that year, they are neither practicing lawyers nor covered by Section
(4)(a)(i) to (iii). The form shall be sworn to and submitted to the IBP Chapter or
IBP National Office together with the payment of an annual contribution of Four
Thousand Pesos (P4,000) by way of support for the efforts of practicing lawyers
who render mandatory free legal aid services. Said contribution shall accrue to a
special fund of the IBP for the support of its legal aid program.
(i) Failure to pay the annual contribution shall subject the lawyer to a penalty of
Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000) for that year which amount shall also accrue to
the special fund for the legal aid program of the IBP.
SECTION 6. NCLA. -
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 55 of 98

(a) The NCLA shall coordinate with the various legal aid committees of the IBP
local chapters for the proper handling and accounting of legal aid cases which
practicing lawyers can represent.
(b) The NCLA shall monitor the activities of the Chapter of the Legal Aid Office
with respect to the coordination with Clerks of Court on legal aid cases and the
collation of certificates submitted by practicing lawyers.
(c) The NCLA shall act as the national repository of records in compliance with
this Rule.
(d) The NCLA shall prepare the following forms: certificate to be issued by the
Clerk of Court and forms mentioned in Section 5(e) and (g).
(e) The NCLA shall hold in trust, manage and utilize the contributions and
penalties that will be paid by lawyers pursuant to this Rule to effectively carry out
the provisions of this Rule. For this purpose, it shall annually submit an
accounting to the IBP Board of Governors.
The accounting shall be included by the IBP in its report to the Supreme Court in
connection with its request for the release of the subsidy for its legal aid program.
SECTION 7. Penalties. -
(a) At the end of every calendar year, any practicing lawyer who fails to meet the
minimum prescribed 60 hours of legal aid service each year shall be required by
the IBP, through the NCLA, to explain why he was unable to render the minimum
prescribed number of hours. If no explanation has been given or if the NCLA
finds the explanation unsatisfactory, the NCLA shall make a report and
recommendation to the IBP Board of Governors that the erring lawyer be
declared a member of the IBP who is not in good standing. Upon approval of the
NCLAs recommendation, the IBP Board of Governors shall declare the erring
lawyer as a member not in good standing. Notice thereof shall be furnished the
erring lawyer and the IBP Chapter which submitted the lawyers compliance
report or the IBP Chapter where the lawyer is registered, in case he did not
submit a compliance report. The notice to the lawyer shall include a directive to
pay Four Thousand Pesos (P4,000) penalty which shall accrue to the special fund
for the legal aid program of the IBP.
(b) The "not in good standing" declaration shall be effective for a period of three
(3) months from the receipt of the erring lawyer of the notice from the IBP Board
of Governors. During the said period, the lawyer cannot appear in court or any
quasi-judicial body as counsel. Provided, however, that the "not in good
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 56 of 98

standing" status shall subsist even after the lapse of the three-month period until
and unless the penalty shall have been paid.
(c) Any lawyer who fails to comply with his duties under this Rule for at least
three (3) consecutive years shall be the subject of disciplinary proceedings to be
instituted motu proprio by the CBD. The said proceedings shall afford the erring
lawyer due process in accordance with the rules of the CBD and Rule 139-B of the
Rules of Court. If found administratively liable, the penalty of suspension in the
practice of law for one (1) year shall be imposed upon him.
(d) Any lawyer who falsifies a certificate or any form required to be submitted
under this Rule or any contents thereof shall be administratively charged with
falsification and dishonesty and shall be subject to disciplinary action by the
CBD. This is without prejudice to the filing of criminal charges against the lawyer.
(e) The falsification of a certificate or any contents thereof by any Clerk of Court
or by any Chairperson of the Legal Aid Committee of the IBP local chapter where
the case is pending or by the Director of a legal clinic or responsible officer of an
NGO or PO shall be a ground for an administrative case against the said Clerk of
Court or Chairperson. This is without prejudice to the filing of the criminal and
administrative charges against the malfeasor.
SECTION 8. Credit for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE). - A
lawyer who renders mandatory legal aid service for the required number of hours in a
year for the three year-period covered by a compliance period under the Rules on MCLE
shall be credited the following: two (2) credit units for legal ethics, two (2) credit units
for trial and pretrial skills, two (2) credit units for alternative dispute resolution, four (4)
credit units for legal writing and oral advocacy, four (4) credit units for substantive and
procedural laws and jurisprudence and six (6) credit units for such subjects as may be
prescribed by the MCLE Committee under Section 2(9), Rule 2 of the Rules on MCLE.
A lawyer who renders mandatory legal aid service for the required number of hours in a
year for at least two consecutive years within the three year-period covered by a
compliance period under the Rules on MCLE shall be credited the following: one (1)
credit unit for legal ethics, one (1) credit unit for trial and pretrial skills, one (1) credit
unit for alternative dispute resolution, two (2) credit units for legal writing and oral
advocacy, two (2) credit units for substantive and procedural laws and jurisprudence and
three (3) credit units for such subjects as may be prescribed by the MCLE Committee
under Section 2(g), Rule 2 of the Rules on MCLE.
SECTION 9. Implementing Rules. - The IBP, through the NCLA, is hereby given
authority to recommend implementing regulations in determining who are "practicing
lawyers," what constitute "legal aid cases" and what administrative procedures and
financial safeguards which may be necessary and proper in the implementation of this
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 57 of 98

rule may be prescribed. It shall coordinate with the various legal chapters in the crafting
of the proposed implementing regulations and, upon approval by the IBP Board of
Governors, the said implementing regulations shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court
for final approval.
SECTION 10. Effectivity. - This Rule and its implementing rules shall take effect on
July 1,2009 after they have been published in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
G.R. Nos. 147933-34. December 12, 2001.*
PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY, petitioner, vs. ELPIDIO S. UY, doing
business under the name and style EDISON DEVELOPMENT &
CONSTRUCTION, AND THE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.
Corporation Law; Agency; Pleadings and Practice; Verification; Certification of Non-
Forum Shopping; In the absence of an authority from the board of directors, no person,
not even the officers of the corporation, can validly bind the corporation; In the
absence of a board resolution authorizing a government owned or controlled
corporations Officer-in-Charge to represent it in the petition, the verification and
certification of non-forum shopping executed by said officer failed to satisfy the
requirement of the Rules.Petitioner, being a government owned and controlled
corporation, can act only through its duly authorized representatives. In the case of
Premium Marble Resources, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, which the Court of Appeals cited,
we made it clear that in the absence of an authority from the board of directors, no
person, not even the officers of the corporation, can validly bind the corporation. Thus,
we held in that case: We agree with the finding of public respondent Court of Appeals,
that in the absence of any board resolution from its board of directors the [sic]
authority to act for and in behalf of the corporation, the present action must necessary
fail. The power of the corporation to sue and be sued in any court is lodged with the
board of directors that exercises its corporate powers. Thus, the issue of authority and
the invalidity of plaintiff-appellants subscription which is still pending, is a matter that
is also addressed, considering the premises, to the sound judgment of the Securities and
Exchange Commission. Therefore, the Court of Appeals did not err in finding that, in
view of the absence of a board resolution authorizing petitioners Officer-in-Charge to
represent it in the petition, the verification and certification of non-forum shopping
executed by said officer failed to satisfy the requirement of the Rules.
Court of Appeals; Under the Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals, each case is raffled
to a Justice twicethe first raffle for completion of records and the second raffle for
study and report; The giving of due course to a petition is not a guarantee that the
same will be granted on its merits.Anent petitioners contention that its petition had
already been given due course, it is well to note that under the Internal Rules of the
Court of Appeals, each case is raffled to a Justice twicethe first raffle for completion
of records and the second raffle for study and report. Hence, there was nothing unusual
in the fact that its petition was first raffled to the First Division of the Court of Appeals
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 58 of 98

but was later decided by the Seventeenth Division thereof. Petitioners imputations of
irregularity have no basis whatsoever, and can only be viewed as a desperate attempt
to muddle the issue by nit-picking on non-essential matters. Likewise, the giving of due
course to a petition is not a guarantee that the same will be granted on its merits.
Administrative Law; Government Owned and Controlled Corporation; Arbitration;
Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC); The Court finds no ground to
disturb the decision of the CIAC, especially since it possesses the required expertise in
the field of construction arbitrationfindings of fact of administrative agencies and
quasi-judicial bodies, which have acquired expertise because their jurisdiction is
confined to specific matters, are generally accorded not only respect, but finality when
affirmed by the Court of Appeals.We have carefully gone over the decision of the
CIAC in CIAC Case No. 02-2000, and we have found that it contains an exhaustive
discussion of all claims and counterclaims of respondent and petitioner, respectively.
More importantly, its findings are well supported by evidence which are properly
referred to in the record. In all, we have found no ground to disturb the decision of the
CIAC, especially since it possesses the required expertise in the field of construction
arbitration. It is well settled that findings of fact of administrative agencies and quasi-
judicial bodies, which have acquired expertise because their jurisdiction is confined to
specific matters, are generally accorded not only respect, but finality when affirmed by
the Court of Appeals.
Same; Same; Attorneys Fees; Since a government-owned or controlled corporation
was represented by the Government Corporate Counsel in the proceedings, its claim
that it incurred attorneys fees, which are in the nature of actual damages, must be
proved with convincing evidence.Anent petitioners claim for attorneys fees, suffice it
to state that it was represented by the Government Corporate Counsel in the
proceedings before the CIAC. Attorneys fees are in the nature of actual damages, which
must be duly proved. Petitioner failed to show with convincing evidence that it incurred
attorneys fees.
Novation; Words and Phrases; Novation which consists in substituting a new debtor in
the place of the original one, may be made even without the knowledge or against the
will of the latter, but not without the consent of the creditor.Petitioner further argues
that its liability to respondent has been extinguished by novation when it assigned and
turned over all its contracted works at the Heritage Park to the Heritage Park
Management Corporation. This, however, can not bind respondent, who was not a
party to the assignment. Moreover, it has not been shown that respondent gave his
consent to the turn-over. Article 1293 of the Civil Code expressly provides: Novation
which consists in substituting a new debtor in the place of the original one, may be
made even without the knowledge or against the will of the latter, but not without the
consent of the creditor. Payment by the new debtor gives him the rights mentioned in
articles 1236 and 1237. [Public Estates Authority vs. Uy, 372 SCRA 180(2001)]
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 59 of 98

This is a petition for review of the Joint Decision dated September 25, 2000
1
and the
Joint Resolution dated April 25, 2001
2
of the Court of Appeals in the consolidated cases
CA-G.R. SP Nos. 59308 and 59849.
Petitioner Public Estates Authority is the government agency tasked by the Bases
Conversion Development Authority to develop the first-class memorial park known as
the Heritage Park, located in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, Metro Manila. On November 20,
1996, petitioner executed with respondent Elpidio S. Uy, doing business under the name
and style Edison Development & Construction, a Landscaping and Construction
Agreement, whereby respondent undertook to perform all landscaping works on the 105-
hectare Heritage Park. The Agreement stipulated that the completion date for the
landscaping job was within 450 days, commencing within 14 days after receipt by
respondent of petitioner's written notice to proceed. Due to delays, the contracted period
was extended to 693 days. Among the causes of the delay was petitioner's inability to
deliver to respondent 45 hectares of the property for landscaping, because of the
existence of squatters and a public cemetery.
Respondent instituted with the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission an action,
docketed as CIAC Case No. 02-2000, seeking to collect from petitioner damages arising
from its delay in the delivery of the entire property for landscaping. Specifically,
respondent alleged that he incurred additional rental costs for the equipment which were
kept on standby and labor costs for the idle manpower. Likewise, the delay incurred by
petitioner caused the topsoil at the original supplier to be depleted, which compelled
respondent to obtain the topsoil from a farther source, thereby incurring added costs. He
also claims that he had to mobilize water trucks for the plants and trees which have
already been delivered at the site. Furthermore, it became necessary to construct a
nursery shade to protect and preserve the young plants and trees prior to actual
transplanting at the landscaped area.
On May 16, 2000, the CIAC rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the Claimant Contractor
ELPIDIO S. UY and Award is hereby made on its monetary claim as follows:
Respondent PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY is directed to pay the Claimant the
following amounts:
P19,604,132.06 for the cost of idle time of equipment.
2,275,721.00 for the cost of idled manpower.
6,050,165.05 for the construction of the nursery shade net area.
605,016.50 for attorney's fees.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 60 of 98

Interest on the amount of P6,050,165.05 as cost for the construction of the
nursery shade net area shall be paid at the rate of 6% per annum from the date
the Complaint was filed on 12 January 2000. Interest on the total amount of
P21,879,853.06 for the cost of idled manpower and equipment shall be paid at
the same rate of 6% per annum from the date this Decision is promulgated. After
finality of this Decision, interest at the rate of 12% per annum shall be paid on the
total of these 3 awards amounting to P27,930,018.11 until full payment of the
awarded amount shall have been made, "this interim period being deemed to be
at that time already a forbearance of credit" (Eastern Shipping Lines Inc. v.
Court of Appeals et al., 243 SCRA 78 [1994]; Keng Hua Paper Products Co., Inc.
v. Court of Appeals, 286 SCRA 257 [1998]; Crismina Garments Inc. v. Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. 128721, March 9, 1999).
SO ORDERED.
3

Both petitioner and respondent filed petitions for review with the Court of Appeals. In
CA-G.R. SP No. 59308, petitioner contested the monetary awards given by the CIAC. On
the other hand, respondent filed CA-G.R. SP No. 59849, arguing that the CIAC erred in
awarding a reduced amount for equipment stand-by costs and for denying his claims for
additional costs for topsoil hauling and operating costs of water trucks.
The two petitions were consolidated. On September 25, 2000, the Court of Appeals
rendered the now assailed Joint Decision, dismissing the petitions, to wit:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petitions in CA-G.R. SP No. 59308,
entitled "Public Estates Authority v. Elpidio S. Uy, doing business under the
name and style of Edison Development & Construction," and CA-G.R. SP No.
59849, "Elpidio S. Uy, doing business under the name and style of Edison
Development & Construction v. Public Estates Authority," are both hereby
DENIED DUE COURSE and accordingly, DISMISSED, for lack of merit.
Consequently, the Award/Decision issued by the Construction Industry
Arbitration Commission on May 16, 2000 in CIAC Case No. 02-200, entitled
"Elpidio S. Uy, doing business under the name and style of Edison Development
& Construction v. Public Estates Authority," is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.
No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.
4

Both parties filed motions for reconsideration. Subsequently, petitioner filed with the
Court of Appeals an Urgent Motion for Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order
and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction, seeking to enjoin the CIAC from proceeding with
CIAC Case No. 03-2001, which respondent has filed. Petitioner alleged that the said case
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 61 of 98

involved claims by respondent arising from the same Landscaping and Construction
Agreement, subject of the cases pending with the Court of Appeals.
On April 25, 2001, the Court of Appeals issued the assailed Joint Resolution, thus:
WHEREFORE, the present Motion/s for Reconsideration in CA-G.R. SP No.
59308 and CA-G.R. SP No. 59849 are hereby both DENIED, for lack of merit.
Accordingly, let an injunction issue permanently enjoining the Construction
Industry Arbitration Commission from proceeding with CIAC Case No. 03-2001,
entitled ELPIDIO S. UY, doing business under the name and style of EDISON
DEVELOPMENT & CONSTRUCTION v. PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY and/or
HONORABLE CARLOS P. DOBLE.
SO ORDERED.
5

Hence, this petition for review, raising the following arguments:
I
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN DENYING DUE
COURSE PETITIONER'S (SIC) PETITION FILED PURSUANT TO RULE 43 OF THE
1997 RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE APPEALING THE ADVERSE DECISION OF THE
CIAC A QUO.
II
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN DENYING THE
HEREIN PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION ON THE JOINT
DECISION PROMULGATED ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2000.
III
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT ALLOWING THE
APPEAL ON THE MERITS TO BE THRESHED OUT PURSUANT TO EXISTING LAWS
AND JURISPRUDENCE ALL IN INTEREST OF DUE PROCESS.
IV
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DENYING PETITIONER'S CLAIM
FOR UNRECOUPED BALANCE IN THE 15% ADVANCE PAYMENT; UNRECOUPED
BALANCE ON PRE-PAID MATERIALS, AND OVERPAYMENT BASED ON ACTUAL
PAYMENT MADE AS AGAINST PHYSICAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 62 of 98

V
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE CIAC
DECISION FINDING RESPONDENT ENTITLED TO ATTORNEY'S FEES IN THE
AMOUNT OF P605,096.50 WHICH IS 10% OF THE AMOUNT AWARDED FOR THE
CLAIM OF NURSERY SHADE CONSTRUCTION WHILE DENYING PETITIONER'S
COUNTERCLAIM FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES.
VI
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT
PETITIONER'S OBLIGATION, IF ANY, HAS BEEN EFFECTIVELY EXTINGUISHED.
VII
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT ORDERING THE
RESPONDENT TO REIMBURSE THE PETITIONER THE AMOUNT OF P345,583.20
THE LATTER PAID TO THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ARBITRATION
COMMISSION.
6

After respondent filed its comment
7
on August 20, 2001, this Court issued a resolution
dated September 3, 2001
8
requiring petitioner to file its reply within ten days from
notice. Despite service of the resolution on petitioner and its counsel on October 1, 2001,
no reply has been filed with this Court to date. Therefore, we dispense with the filing of
petitioner's reply and decide this case based on the pleadings on record.
The petition is without merit.
Petitioner assails the dismissal of its petition by the Court of Appeals based on a
technicality, i.e., the verification and certification of non-forum shopping was signed by
its Officer-in-Charge, who did not appear to have been authorized by petitioner to
represent it in the case. Petitioner moreover argues that in an earlier resolution, the First
Division of the Court of Appeals gave due course to its petition. Despite this, it was the
Seventeenth Division of the Court of Appeals which rendered the Joint Decision
dismissing its petition.
The contention is untenable. Petitioner, being a government owned and controlled
corporation, can act only through its duly authorized representatives. In the case
of Premium Marble Resources, Inc. v. Court of Appeals,
9
which the Court of Appeals
cited, we made it clear that in the absence of an authority from the board of directors, no
person, not even the officers of the corporation, can validly bind the corporation.
10
Thus,
we held in that case:
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 63 of 98

We agree with the finding of public respondent Court of Appeals, that "in the
absence of any board resolution from its board of directors the [sic] authority to
act for and in behalf of the corporation, the present action must necessary fail.
The power of the corporation to sue and be sued in any court is lodged with the
board of directors that exercises its corporate powers. Thus, the issue of authority
and the invalidity of plaintiff-appellant's subscription which is still pending, is a
matter that is also addressed, considering the premises, to the sound judgment of
the Securities and Exchange Commission."
11

Therefore, the Court of Appeals did not err in finding that, in view of the absence of a
board resolution authorizing petitioner's Officer-in-Charge to represent it in the petition,
the verification and certification of non-forum shopping executed by said officer failed to
satisfy the requirement of the Rules. In this connection, Rule 43, Section 7, of the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure categorically provides:
Effect of failure to comply with requirements. The failure of the petition to
comply with any of the foregoing requirements regarding the payment of the
docket and other lawful fees, the deposit for costs, proof of service of the petition,
and the contents of and the documents which should accompany the petition
shall be sufficient ground for the dismissal thereof.
Anent petitioner's contention that its petition had already been given due course, it is
well to note that under the Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals, each case is raffled to a
Justice twice the first raffle for completion of records and the second raffle for study
and report.
12
Hence, there was nothing unusual in the fact that its petition was first
raffled to the First Division of the Court of Appeals but was later decided by the
Seventeenth Division thereof. Petitioner's imputations of irregularity have no basis
whatsoever, and can only be viewed as a desperate attempt to muddle the issue by nit-
picking on non-essential matters. Likewise, the giving of due course to a petition is not a
guarantee that the same will be granted on its merits.
Significantly, the dismissal by the Court of Appeals of the petition was based not only on
its fatal procedural defect, but also on its lack of substantive merit; specifically, its failure
to show that the CIAC committed gross abuse of discretion, fraud or error of law, such as
to warrant the reversal of its factual findings.
We have carefully gone over the decision of the CIAC in CIAC Case No. 02-2000, and we
have found that it contains an exhaustive discussion of all claims and counterclaims of
respondent and petitioner, respectively. More importantly, its findings are well
supported by evidence which are properly referred to in the record. In all, we have found
no ground to disturb the decision of the CIAC, especially since it possesses the required
expertise in the field of construction arbitration. It is well settled that findings of fact of
administrative agencies and quasi-judicial bodies, which have acquired expertise because
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 64 of 98

their jurisdiction is confined to specific matters, are generally accorded not only respect,
but finality when affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
13

Thus, we affirm the factual findings and conclusions of the CIAC as regards the arbitral
awards to respondent. The records clearly show that these are amply supported by
substantial evidence.
Coming now to petitioner's counterclaims, we find that the CIAC painstakingly sifted
through the records to discuss these, despite its initial observation that petitioner
"absolutely omitted to make any arguments" to substantiate the same.
14
As far as the
unrecouped balance on prepaid materials are concerned, the CIAC found:
The Arbitral Tribunal finds the evidence adduced by the Respondents (petitioner
herein) sorely lacking to establish this counterclaim. The affidavit of Mr. Jaime
Millan touched on this matter by merely stating this "additional claim
a) Unrecouped balance on prepaid materials amounting to P45,372,589.85." No
further elaboration was made of this bare statement. The affidavit of Mr. Roigelio
A. Cantoria merely states that as Senior Accountant, it was he who prepared the
computation for the recoupment of prepaid materials and advance payment
marked as "Annex "B" of Respondent's Compliance/Submission dated 16 March
2000. Examination of that single page document shows that for the 2nd Billing,
the amount of P32,695,138.86 was "75% Prepaid" for some unspecified
"Materials on Hand." The rest of the other items were payments for "trees and
shrubs RCP Baluster & Cons. Paver, and GFRC (Baluster)" in various amounts
taken from other billings. The billings themselves have not been introduced in
evidence. No testimonial evidence was also offered to explain how these
computations were made, if only to explain the meaning of those terms above-
quoted and why the recoupment of amounts of the various billings were generally
much lower than the payment for materials. As stated at the outset of the
discussion of these additional claims, "it is not the burden of this Tribunal to dig
into the haystack to look for the proverbial needle to support these
counterclaims."
15

On the other hand, we find that the CIAC correctly deferred determination of the
counterclaim for unrecouped balance on the advance payment. It explained that the
amount of this claim is determined by deducting from respondent's progress billing a
proportionate amount equal to the percentage of work accomplished. However, this
could not be done since petitioner terminated the construction contract. At the time the
CIAC rendered its decision, the issue of the validity of the termination was still pending
determination by the Regional Trial Court of Paraaque. Thus, in view of the non-
fulfillment of that "precondition to the grant" of petitioner's counterclaim, the CIAC
deferred resolution of the same.
16
In the case at bar, petitioner still failed to show that its
termination of the construction contract was upheld by the court as valid.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 65 of 98

Anent petitioner's claim for attorney's fees, suffice it to state that it was represented by
the Government Corporate Counsel in the proceedings before the CIAC. Attorney's fees
are in the nature of actual damages, which must be duly proved.
17
Petitioner failed to
show with convincing evidence that it incurred attorney's fees.
Petitioner further argues that its liability to respondent has been extinguished by
novation when it assigned and turned over all its contracted works at the Heritage Park
to the Heritage Park Management Corporation.
18
This, however, can not bind
respondent, who was not a party to the assignment. Moreover, it has not been shown
that respondent gave his consent to the turn-over. Article 1293 of the Civil Code
expressly provides:
Novation which consists in substituting a new debtor in the place of the original one,
may be made even without the knowledge or against the will of the latter, but not
without the consent of the creditor. Payment by the new debtor gives him the rights
mentioned in articles 1236 and 1237. (emphasis ours)
Lastly, petitioner argues that respondent should reimburse to it all fees paid to the CIAC
by reason of the case. To be sure, this contention is based on the premise that the suit
filed by respondent was unwarranted and without legal and factual basis. But as shown
in the CIAC decision, this was not so. In fact, respondent was adjudged entitled to the
arbitral awards made by the CIAC. These awards have been sustained by the Court of
Appeals, and now by this Court.
It appears that there is a pending motion to consolidate the instant petition with G.R.
No. 147925-26, filed by respondent. Considering, however, that the instant petition has
no merit, the motion for consolidation is rendered also without merit, as there will be no
more petition to consolidate with the said case. Hence, the motion to consolidate filed in
this case must be denied.
However, in order not to prejudice the deliberations of the Court's Second Division in
G.R. No. 147925-26, it should be stated that the findings made in this case, especially as
regards the correctness of the findings of the CIAC, are limited to the arbitral awards
granted to respondent Elpidio S. Uy and to the denial of the counterclaims of petitioner
Public Estates Authority. Our decision in this case does not affect the other claims of
respondent Uy which were not granted by the CIAC in its questioned decision, the merits
of which were not submitted to us for determination in the instant petition.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition for review is DENIED. The Motion
to Consolidate this petition with G.R. No. 147925-26 is also DENIED.
G.R. No. 147989. February 20, 2006.*
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 66 of 98

ROLANDO CLAVECILLA, petitioner, vs. TERESITO QUITAIN and RICO
QUITAIN, et al., respondents.
Remedial Law; Pleadings and Practice; Special Power of Attorney; Any suspicion on
the authenticity and due execution of the special power of attorney which is a notarized
document, thus a public document, cannot stand against the presumption of regularity
in their favor absent evidence that is clear, convincing and more than merely
preponderant.The rule is that any suspicion on the authenticity and due execution of
the special power of attorney which is a notarized document, thus a public document,
cannot stand against the presumption of regularity in their favor absent evidence that
is clear, convincing and more than merely preponderant. In this case, the petition
before the CA was filed on September 13, 2000. The special power of attorney
meanwhile was dated August 9, 2000. Absent any proof that the special power of
attorney was not actually in existence before the petition was filed, this Court has no
recourse but to believe that it was indeed in existence at such time.
Same; Same; Verification; Certification of Non-Forum Shopping; Court has strictly
enforced the requirement of verification and certification of non-forum shopping under
the Rules of Court.Obedience to the requirements of procedural rules is needed if we
are to expect fair results therefrom, and utter disregard of the rules cannot justly be
rationalized by harking on the policy of liberal construction. Time and again, this Court
has strictly enforced the requirement of verification and certification of non-forum
shopping under the Rules of Court. This case is no exception. Verification is required to
secure an assurance that the allegations of the petition have been made in good faith,
or are true and correct and not merely speculative.
Same; Same; Same; Same; The lack of a certification against forum shopping, unlike
that of verification, is generally not cured by its submission after the filing of the
petition.The certification against forum shopping in this case was signed by
petitioners counsel despite the clear requirement of the law that petitioners themselves
must sign the certification. The certification must be made by petitioner himself and not
by counsel, since it is petitioner who is in the best position to know whether he has
previously commenced any similar action involving the same issues in any other
tribunal or agency. And the lack of a certification against forum shopping, unlike that
of verification, is generally not cured by its submission after the filing of the petition.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Even with a special power of attorney executed by the
petitioners in favor of their counsel to sign the certification on their behalf, still the rule
stands.In the case of Santos v. Court of Appeals, 360 SCRA 521 (2001), the Court
further clarified, that even with a special power of attorney executed by the petitioners
in favor of their counsel to sign the certification on their behalf, still the rule stands.
[Clavecilla vs. Quitain, 482 SCRA 623(2006)]
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 67 of 98

Before this Court is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the Resolution
1
of the
Court of Appeals (CA) dated October 5, 2000 which dismissed Rolando Clavecillas
petition on the ground that the verification and certification of non-forum shopping was
signed by counsel without the proper authority from petitioner, as well as the Resolution
dated March 28, 2001
2
which denied petitioners motion for reconsideration.
The facts are as follows:
Teresito and Rico Quitain (Quitains) filed on March 7, 1997, a complaint against Rolando
Clavecilla (Clavecilla) before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 6, Davao City
(MTCC) for the enforcement of the amicable settlement entered into by them on August
19, 1996 before the Lupon Tagapamayapa, Barangay Talomo, Davao. Pertinent
portions of said settlement reads:
1. That the respondent (Clavecilla) agreed to purchase the property on October
15, 1996.
2. Failure to pay the property on the said date the respondent will voluntarily
vacate the place with the assistance of five thousand (P5,000.00) pesos only.
3. The complainant (Rico Quitain) agreed to the demand of the respondent.
3

The Quitains alleged that Clavecilla failed to pay the amount agreed upon and six months
had already passed since the agreement was entered into and yet Clavecilla has still not
left the premises.
4

Clavecilla answered that the August 19, 1996 agreement was no longer enforceable since
it was novated by an agreement dated October 29, 1996.
5
Said agreement reads:
x x x
1. That both parties agreed to meet again on Nov. 5, 1996 at the Barangay for
another round of talk (sic).
2. That on Nov. 5, 1996 the respondent will pay the 50% total amount of the
selling price of the said lot, 111 sq.m. more or less located at Lot 1989-A being a
portion of Lot 1989 (T.C.T. # T-6615) at Talomo proper.
3. Price per sq.m. P1,000.00 only.
4. Failure to accomplished (sic) this Nov. 5, 1996 requirement, the respondent
will voluntarily vacate the said lot with a P5,000.00 assistance for their effort.
5. All agreement is final upon signing.
6

LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 68 of 98

x x x
Clavecilla claims that on November 5, 1996, he appeared at the barangay and was
supposed to pay Quitains the 50% price of the lot in question but they were not
present.
7
Rico Quitain asserts however that he was present that day as shown by a
certification made by the office of the lupon of said barangay.
8

On March 8, 2000, the MTCC rendered its Decision in favor of the Quitains finding that
there was no novation, as the October 29, 1996 was not incompatible with the August 19,
1996 agreement but was only a reiteration of the earlier agreement.
9

Clavecilla filed a notice of appeal.
10

On June 20, 2000, the Regional Trial Court of Davao City, Branch 33 (RTC) dismissed
the appeal for Clavecillas failure to file the memorandum on appeal within the period
prescribed by the Rules.
11

Clavecilla filed a Motion for Reconsideration and For Leave of Court to Admit Appeal
Memorandum claiming that his counsel was not able to file the memorandum on appeal
on time since said counsel was diagnosed with pneumonia and had to rest for more than
ten days.
12
Clavecilla then filed an Appeal Memorandum claiming that the MTCC erred
in rendering judgment against him since he did not sign the agreement but it was his
wife Erlinda who signed the same without authority from him.
13

On July 5, 2000, the RTC denied Clavecillas motion stating that the reason advanced by
Clavecillas counsel for his failure to file the appeal memorandum on time is not a
compelling reason, and even if such memorandum was given due course, the arguments
raised by Clavecilla therein are not sufficient to justify a reversal of the Decision of the
lower court.
14

Petitioner filed another motion for reconsideration dated July 21, 2000 which was
denied by the RTC on the same day.
15

On September 13, 2000, petitioner filed a petition for review under Rule 42 of the Rules
of Court with the CA which rendered the herein assailed Resolution on October 5, 2000
thus:
The Verification and Certification of non-forum shopping, which accompanied the
petition at bench, was executed and signed by petitioners counsel Atty. Oswaldo A.
Macadangdang, without the proper authority from petitioner, in violation of Sec. 5, Rule
7 and Sec. 2, Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The duty to certify under oath
is strictly addressed to petitioner, Rolando Clavecilla. To allow delegation of said duty to
anyone would render Revised Circular No. 28-91 inutile.
16

LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 69 of 98

x x x
x x x x
Accordingly, the Court Resolves to DENY DUE COURSE and to DISMISS the
petition.
SO ORDERED.
17

Petitioners motion for reconsideration was also denied on March 28, 2001 as follows:
Petitioner moves for the reconsideration of our Resolution dated 05 October 2000
dismissing the petition for the reason that the certificate of non-forum shopping was
signed by petitioners counsel and not by the petitioner.1avvphil.net
Admitting that the duty to sign under oath the certificate is addressed to the petitioner,
petitioner attached to his motion a Special Power of Attorney dated 09 August 2000
authorizing his counsel to sign the certificate. The court believes that this authorization
was made after the petition had been filed, in a vain attempt to cure the fatal defect, for if
Atty. Maca[d]angdang had such authority, he would have indicated that in the
Verification and Certification he signed on 25 August 2000 attached to the petition.
In any event, it is a settled rule that the certificate against forum shopping must be
executed by the petitioner and not by counsel. xxx To merit the Courts Consideration,
petitioner must show reasonable cause for failure to personally sign the certification. x x
x This petitioner failed to show. (citations omitted)
WHEREFORE, the Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
18

Hence, the present petition alleging that:
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DEPARTING FROM THE
ACCEPTED JURISPRUDENCE OF ALLOWING LIBERAL INTERPRETATION OF THE
RULES OF COURT PROVIDED PETITIONER SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLIED WITH
CIRCULAR NO. 28-91 AS SHOWN IN THE SPECIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY WHICH
HE ATTACHED TO HIS MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION.
19

Petitioner avers that: his lawyer had the authority to sign the certification against forum
shopping; the CA was hasty in concluding that the authorization of petitioners lawyer
was made after the petition had been filed; the CA should have granted petitioner the
benefit of the doubt that he gave such authorization to his lawyer at the time that his
lawyer signed the verification and certification against forum shopping; petitioners
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 70 of 98

failure to have a properly executed certification against forum shopping attached to his
petition for review is not fatal; the rules of procedure are used only to help secure and
not override substantial justice, and the CA departed from the established liberal
interpretation of the rules despite petitioners substantial compliance with the rule on
non-forum shopping.
20

Rico Quitain in his Comment countered that: the petition is not sufficient in form and
substance and is utterly deficient in factual and procedural bases; petitioner named
"Teresito Quitain, Rico Quitain, et al." as respondents without specifying who "et al."
referred to; Teresito Quitain is already deceased and the MTCC as early as June 5, 1998
already ordered Teresitos substitution; the spouse and children of Teresito, to wit,
Lolita, Rene, Ruel, Radi and Romy, all surnamed Quitain, have the right to be informed
of the filing of the petition and the fact that they were not so specifically named as
respondents but were referred to as "et al." makes the petition a sham pleading;
petitioner failed to attach certified true copies of the MTCC Decision dated March 8,
2000 and the RTC Order dated July 5, 2000 which should have been included as
annexes in the present petition as they are material to the case, and the petition does not
allege a good and valid defense which, if appreciated, could probably cause the reversal
of the July 5, 2000 and March 8, 2000 issuances.
21

The parties filed their respective Memoranda reiterating their respective contentions.
22

After evaluating the records of the case and the issues raised by the parties, the Court
finds that the CA did not err in denying the petition and motion for reconsideration filed
by Clavecilla before it. The Court however finds different grounds for denying Clavecillas
petition.
First, it must be determined whether there existed a special power of attorney in favor of
petitioners counsel when the petition before the CA was filed.
The CA in its Resolution dated March 28, 2001, stated that it believes that the special
power of attorney in favor of the lawyer attached to petitioners motion for
reconsideration was only made after the petition had been filed reasoning that if the
counsel had such authority from the beginning, he would have attached the same when
the petition was first filed.
The Court disagrees.
The rule is that any suspicion on the authenticity and due execution of the special power
of attorney which is a notarized document, thus a public document, cannot stand against
the presumption of regularity in their favor absent evidence that is clear, convincing and
more than merely preponderant.
23

LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 71 of 98

In this case, the petition before the CA was filed on September 13, 2000.
24
The special
power of attorney meanwhile was dated August 9, 2000.
25
Absent any proof that the
special power of attorney was not actually in existence before the petition was filed, this
Court has no recourse but to believe that it was indeed in existence at such time.
The next matter to be determined is whether the CA was correct in dismissing
Clavecillas petition and motion for reconsideration, notwithstanding the authority given
by Clavecilla in favor of his lawyer to sign the verification and certification in his behalf.
The Court answers in the affirmative.
Obedience to the requirements of procedural rules is needed if we are to expect fair
results therefrom, and utter disregard of the rules cannot justly be rationalized by
harking on the policy of liberal construction.
26
Time and again, this Court has strictly
enforced the requirement of verification and certification of non-forum shopping under
the Rules of Court.
27
This case is no exception.
Verification is required to secure an assurance that the allegations of the petition have
been made in good faith, or are true and correct and not merely speculative.
28

In this case, petitioners counsel signed the verification alleging that he had read the
petition and the contents thereof are true and correct of his own "knowledge and
belief."
29

On this ground alone, the petition should already be dismissed for as provided for in
Section 4 Rule 7 of the Rules of Court, as amended by A.M. No. 00-2-10-SC dated May 1,
2000:
Sec. 4. Verification. ---xxx
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.1avvphil.net
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.
While the Court has exercised leniency in cases where the lapse in observing the rules
was committed when the rules have just recently taken effect,
30
the attendant
circumstances in this case however do not warrant such leniency.1avvphil.net
The certification against forum shopping in this case was signed by petitioners counsel
despite the clear requirement of the law that petitioners themselves must sign the
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 72 of 98

certification. The certification must be made by petitioner himself and not by counsel,
since it is petitioner who is in the best position to know whether he has previously
commenced any similar action involving the same issues in any other tribunal or
agency.
31
And the lack of a certification against forum shopping, unlike that of
verification, is generally not cured by its submission after the filing of the petition.
32

As explained by this Court in Gutierrez v. Sec. of Dept. of Labor and Employment:
33

x x x [T]he certification (against forum shopping) must be signed by the plaintiff or any
of the principal parties and not by the attorney. For such certification is a peculiar
personal representation on the part of the principal party, an assurance given to the
court or other tribunal that there are no other pending cases involving basically the same
parties, issues and causes of action.
x x x Obviously it is the petitioner, and not always the counsel whose professional
services have been retained for a particular case, who is in the best position to know
whether he or it actually filed or caused the filing of a petition in that case. Hence, a
certification against forum shopping by counsel is a defective certification.
34

In Mariveles Shipyard Corp. v. Court of Appeals,
35
this Court further elucidated that:
x x x In the case of natural persons, the Rule requires the parties themselves
to sign the certificate of non-forum shopping. x x x [I]n the case of the
corporations, the physical act of signing may be performed, on behalf of the corporate
entity, only by specifically authorized individuals for the simple reason that corporations,
as artificial persons, cannot personally do the task themselves.
36
(emphasis supplied)
In the case of Santos v. Court of Appeals,
37
the Court further clarified, that even with a
special power of attorney executed by the petitioners in favor of their counsel to sign the
certification on their behalf, still the rule stands. Thus:
We are aware of our ruling in BA Savings Bank v. Sia that a certification against forum
shopping may be signed by an authorized lawyer who has personal knowledge of the
facts required to be disclosed in such document. However, BA Savings Bank must be
distinguished from the case at bar because in the former, the complainant was a
corporation, and hence, a juridical person. Therefore, that case made an exception to the
general rule that the certification must be made by the petitioner himself since a
corporation can only act through natural persons. In fact, physical actions, e.g., signing
and delivery of documents, may be performed on behalf of the corporate entity only by
specifically authorized individuals. In the instant case, petitioners are all natural
persons and there is no showing of any reasonable cause to justify their
failure to personally sign the certification. It is noteworthy that PEPSI in its
Comment stated that it was petitioners themselves who executed the verification and
certification requirements in all their previous pleadings. Counsel for petitioners argues
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 73 of 98

that as a matter of policy, a Special Power of Attorney is executed to promptly and
effectively meet any contingency relative to the handling of a case. This argument only
weakens their position since it is clear that at the outset no justifiable reason yet
existed for counsel to substitute petitioners in signing the certification. In
fact, in the case of natural persons, this policy serves no legal purpose.
Convenience cannot be made the basis for a circumvention of the
Rules.
38
(emphasis supplied)
While there are cases when the Court has relaxed the rule requiring that in case of a
natural person, he shall personally sign the non-forum shopping certification, in such
cases the Court found compelling and justifiable reasons to relax observance of the rules.
In Donato v. Court of Appeals
39
and Wee v. Galvez
40
the Court noted that the petitioners
were already in the United States, thus the signing of the certification by their authorized
representatives was deemed sufficient compliance with the rules. In Orbeta v.
Sendiong
41
the Court found that the annulment of judgment filed by the parties was
meritorious thus the certification signed by the daughter of petitioner who had a general
power of attorney in her favor was deemed sufficient. In Sy Chin v. Court of
Appeals
42
the Court also upheld substantial justice and ruled that the failure of the
parties to sign the certification may be overlooked as the parties case was meritorious.
No such justifiable or compelling reasons exist in the case at bar.
In this case, petitioner did not present any cause for his failure to personally sign the
certification against forum shopping at the time that the petition was filed at the CA. He
merely acknowledged in his motion for reconsideration of the October 5, 2000
Resolution of the CA that he "has the duty to certify under oath."
43
He then asked for a
reconsideration of the said Resolution and attached a Special Power of Attorney executed
by him in favor of his lawyer.
44

There is also no showing that there is substantial merit in petitioners claims. In his
petition before the CA and in his Appeal Memorandum filed with the RTC, petitioner
argues that he is not a party to the amicable settlement as it was his wife who signed the
same without authority from him.
45
Petitioner in his Answer however admitted having
entered into an agreement with the Quitains, before the lupon of their barangay on
August 19, 1996.
46

Petitioner also claims that the August 19, 1996 agreement was novated by the one dated
October 29, 1996. The claim has no merit.
Novation cannot be presumed but must be clearly shown either by the express assent of
the parties or by the complete incompatibility between the old and the new
agreements.
47
In this case, the October 29, 1996 agreement merely held that the parties
shall meet again on November 5, 1996 at which time petitioner shall pay 50% of the
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 74 of 98

purchase price or he will vacate the property. His obligation to pay the purchase price or
to vacate the property in case of his failure to do so, still exists and was not extinguished
by the October 29, 1996 agreement.
Records also show that Rico Quitain was ready to comply with his part of the agreement
as he was present at the barangay on November 5, 1996 to receive the payment from
Clavecilla.
48
Quitain also consigned the amount of P5,000.00 to the court, which is the
amount he agreed to give Clavecilla to assist him and his family when they leave the
property.
49

As correctly pointed out by the RTC, even if petitioners appeal was allowed to proceed,
still the arguments raised are not sufficient to overturn the ruling of the MTCC.
It is also worth mentioning that the petitioner erred in including the name of Teresito in
the caption of the petition and using only the phrase "et al." to refer to the heirs who
substituted him after his death. As pointed out by respondent Rico Quitain, Teresito is
already deceased and was already substituted by his heirs, namely: Lolita, widow of
Teresito, Rene, Ruel, Radi, and Romy, sons of Teresito, in the Order of the MTCC dated
June 5, 1998.
50
Consequently, the above-named heirs are deemed co-respondents in the
present petition.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. Costs against petitioner.
G.R. No. 146459. June 8, 2006.*
HEIRS OF DICMAN, namely: ERNESTO DICMAN, PAUL DICMAN,
FLORENCE DICMAN FELICIANO TORRES, EMILY TORRES, TOMASITO
TORRES and HEIRS OF CRISTINA ALAWAS and BABING COSIL,
petitioners, vs. JOSE CARIO and COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.
Actions; Pleadings and Practice; Forum Shopping; The forum shopping certification
must be signed by the party himself as he has personal knowledge of the facts therein
stated.Section 5, Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires the
pleader to submit a certificate of non-forum shopping to be executed by the plaintiff or
principal party, is mandatory, and non-compliance therewith is a sufficient ground for
the dismissal of the petition. The forum shopping certification must be signed by the
party himself as he has personal knowledge of the facts therein stated. Obviously, it is
the plaintiff or principal party who is in the best position to know whether he actually
filed or caused the filing of a petition in the case. Where there are two or more plaintiffs
or petitioners, all of them must sign the verification and non-forum certification, and
the signature of only one of them is insufficient, unless the one who signs the
verification and certification has been authorized to execute the same by, and on behalf
of, the co-plaintiff or co-petitioner. But it must be stressed that the requirement the
principal party himself should sign the certification applies only to a natural person
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 75 of 98

and not to a juridical person which can only act through its officer or duly authorized
agent.
Same; Same; Same; Substantial Compliance; The rule on substantial compliance may
be availed of with respect to the contents of the certification.The Court has also held
that 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. This is because the requirement of strict compliance with the provisions
regarding the certification of non-forum shopping merely underscores its mandatory
nature in that the certification cannot be altogether dispensed with or its requirements
completely disregarded. Thus, under justifiable circumstances, the Court has relaxed
the rule requiring the submission of such certification considering that although it is
obligatory, it is not jurisdictional.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Where the petitioner is a natural person as in the case at
bar, the authorized signatory must also be a principal party or co-petitioner.But a
perusal of the relevant decisions handed down by this Court consistently shows that
substantial compliance may be invoked and the procedural lapse overlooked provided
that, where the petitioner is a natural person as in the case at bar, the authorized
signatory must also be a principal party or co-petitioner. Petitioners, as natural
persons, cannot therefore appoint a non-party to sign for them, especially since only
the petitioners occupy the best position to know whether they actually filed or caused
the filing of a petition in this case and who personally know the facts stated in the
petition. On this point alone the petition should be dismissed.
Same; Same; Appeals; Certiorari; Exceptions; In the exercise of the Supreme Courts
power of review, the Court is not a trier of facts.It is a settled rule that in the exercise
of the Supreme Courts power of review, the Court is not a trier of facts and does not
normally undertake the re-examination of the evidence presented by the contending
parties during the trial of the case considering that the findings of facts of the CA are
conclusive and binding on the Court. While jurisprudence has recognized several
exceptions in which factual issues may be resolved by this Court, namely: (1) when the
findings are grounded entirely on speculation, surmises or conjectures; (2) when the
inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) when there is grave
abuse of discretion; (4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; (5)
when the findings of facts are conflicting; (6) when in making its findings the CA went
beyond the issues of the case, or its findings are contrary to the admissions of both the
appellant and the appellee; (7) when the findings are contrary to the trial court; (8)
when the findings are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they
are based; (9) when the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioners main
and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondent; (10) when the findings of fact are
premised on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on
record; and (11) when the CA manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 76 of 98

by the parties, which, if properly considered, could justify a different conclusion, none
of these exceptions has been shown to apply in the present case and, hence, this Court
may not review the findings of fact made by the lower courts.
Same; Same; Same; Estoppel; Issues raised for the first time on appeal and not raised
timely in the proceedings in the lower court are barred by estoppel.The foregoing
issue and the incidents thereunder were never raised by the petitioners during the
proceedings before the RTC. Suffice it to say that issues raised for the first time on
appeal and not raised timely in the proceedings in the lower court are barred by
estoppel. Matters, theories or arguments not brought out in the original proceedings
cannot be considered on review or appeal where they are raised for the first time. To
consider the alleged facts and arguments raised belatedly would amount to trampling
on the basic principles of fair play, justice and due process.
Civil Law; Contracts; Laches; Prescription; Distinguished; Laches is different from and
applies independently of prescription.Laches has been defined as such neglect or
omission to assert a right, taken in conjunction with the lapse of time and other
circumstances causing prejudice to an adverse party, as will operate as a bar in equity.
It is a delay in the assertion of a right which works disadvantage to another because of
the inequity founded on some change in the condition or relations of the property or
parties. It is based on public policy which, for the peace of society, ordains that relief
will be denied to a stale demand which otherwise could be a valid claim. It is different
from and applies independently of prescription. While prescription is concerned with
the fact of delay, laches is concerned with the effect of delay. Prescription is a matter of
time; laches is principally a question of inequity of permitting a claim to be enforced,
this inequity being founded on some change in the condition of the property or the
relation of the parties. Prescription is statutory; laches is not. Laches applies in equity,
whereas prescription applies at law. Prescription is based on a fixed time, laches is not.
Laches means the failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of
time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done
earlier; it is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time,
warranting the presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned or
declined to assert it. It has been held that even a registered owner of property under the
Torrens Title system may be barred from recovering possession of property by virtue
of laches.
Same; Same; Same; Elements; The Four (4) Elements of Laches.Given the foregoing
findings of fact, all the four (4) elements of laches, as prescribed by the decisions of this
Court, are present in the case, to wit: a. Conduct on the part of the defendant, or of one
under whom he claims, giving rise to the situation of which complaint is made and for
which the complaint seeks a remedy; b. Delay in asserting the complainants rights, the
complainant having had knowledge or notice, of the defendants conduct and having
been afforded an opportunity to institute a suit; c. Lack of knowledge or notice on the
part of the defendant that the complainant would assert the right on which he bases his
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 77 of 98

suit; and d. Injury or prejudice to the defendant in the event relief is accorded to the
complainant, or the suit is not held to be barred.
Constitutional Law; Indigenous Peoples; Indigenous Peoples Rights of 1997; The
recognition, respect, and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples to preserve and
develop their cultures, traditions, and institutions are vital concerns of the State and
constitute important public policies which bear upon this case.The recognition,
respect, and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples to preserve and develop their
cultures, traditions, and institutions are vital concerns of the State and constitute
important public policies which bear upon this case. To give life and meaning unto
these policies the legislature saw it fit to enact Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known
as The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, as a culminating measure to affirm the
views and opinions of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities on matters that affect
their life and culture. The provisions of that law unify an otherwise fragmented
account of constitutional, jurisprudential and statutory doctrine which enjoins the
organs of government to be vigilant for the protection of indigenous cultural
communities as a marginalized sector, to protect their ancestral domain and ancestral
lands and ensure their economic, social, and cultural well-being, and to guard their
patrimony from those inclined to prey upon their ignorance or ductility. As the final
arbiter of disputes and the last bulwark of the Rule of Law this Court has always been
mindful of the highest edicts of social justice especially where doubts arise in the
interpretation and application of the law. But when in the pursuit of the loftiest ends
ordained by the Constitution this Court finds that the law is clear and leaves no room
for doubt, it shall decide according to the principles of right and justice as all people
conceive them to be, and with due appreciation of the rights of all persons concerned.
[Heirs of Dicman vs. Cario, 490 SCRA 240(2006)]
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:
This refers to the petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
questioning the Decision
1
dated June 30, 2000 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in C.A.-G.R.
CV No. 33731, which affirmed in toto the Decision dated November 28, 1990 of the
Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 7 (Baguio City), La Trinidad, Benguet; and the CA
Resolution dated December 15, 2000 which denied the petitioners motion for
reconsideration.
The petition originated from an action for recovery of possession of the eastern half of a
parcel of land situated in Residence Section "J", Camp Seven, Baguio City, consisting of
101,006 square meters, more or less, and identified as Lot 46, Ts-39, Plan SWO-37115.
2

The antecedent facts are clear:
The subject land, at the turn of the 20th century, had been part of the land claim of
Mateo Cario. Within this site, a sawmill and other buildings had been constructed by
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 78 of 98

H.C. Heald in connection with his lumber business. On March 14, 1916, H.C. Heald sold
the buildings to Sioco Cario, son of Mateo Cario and grandfather of private
respondent Jose Cario. Sioco Cario then took possession of the buildings and the land
on which the buildings were situated.
Ting-el Dicman,
3
predecessor-in-interest of the petitioners, namely, Ernesto Dicman,
Paul Dicman, Florence Dicman, Babing Cosil, Feliciano Torres, Cristina Alawas, Emily
Torres and Tomasito Torres, and resident of Atab, a sitio within the City of Baguio but
located at some distance from the land in controversy, had been employed by Sioco
Cario as his cattle herder. On the advice of his lawyers, and because there were already
many parcels of land recorded in his name,
4
Sioco Cario caused the survey of the land
in controversy in the name of Ting-el Dicman.
On October 22, 1928, Ting-el Dicman executed a public instrument entitled "Deed of
Conveyance of Part Rights and Interests in Agricultural Land" with Sioco Cario. The
deed reads:
DEED OF CONVEYANCE OF PART RIGHTS AND INTERESTS IN AGRICULTURAL
LAND.
KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS:
That I, Ting-el Diac-man, of legal age, widower, and resident of the sitio known as
"Atab", near Camp Seven, City of Baguio, Philippine Islands, DO HEREBY STATE, viz:
That I am the applicant for a free-patent of a parcel of land (public), having a surface of
over ten (10) hectares, surveyed by the District Land Office of Baguio for me, and located
in the place known as Camp Seven, Baguio;
That to-date I have not as yet received the plan for said survey;
That Mr. Sioco Cario has advanced all expenses for said survey for me and in my name,
and also all other expenses for the improvement of said land, to date;
That for and in consideration of said advance expenses, to me made and delivered by
said Mr. Sioco Cario, I hereby pledge and promise to convey, deliver and transfer unto
said Sioco Cario, of legal age, married to Guilata Acop, and resident of Baguio, P.I., his
heirs and assigns, one half (1/2) of my title, rights, and interest to and in the aforesaid
parcel of land; same to be delivered, conveyed and transferred in a final form, according
to law, to him, his heirs and assigns, by me, my heirs, and assigns, as soon as title for the
same is issued to me by proper authorities.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 79 of 98

That this conveyance, transfer, or assignment, notwithstanding its temporary nature,
shall have legal force and effect; once it is approved by the approving authorities all the
final papers and documents, this instrument shall be considered superseded.
After I have received my title to said parcel of land I bind myself, my heirs and assigns, to
execute the final papers and forward same for approval of the competent authorities at
Mr. Sioco Carios expense.
WITNESS MY HAND in the City of Baguio, P.I., this, the 22nd day of October, 1928, A.D.
his right thumbmark
5

TING-EL DIAC-MAN
After the execution of the foregoing deed, Sioco Cario, who had been in possession of
the land in controversy since 1916, continued to stay thereon.
On January 10, 1938, Sioco Cario executed, as seller, a public instrument entitled "Deed
of Absolute Sale" covering the subject land and its improvements with his son, Guzman
Cario, as buyer. The contract states in part:
x x x for and in consideration of the sum of ONE PESO (P 1.00) Philippine Currency and
other valuable considerations which I had received from my son, Guzman A. Cario x x x
have ceded, transferred and conveyed as by these presents do hereby cede, convey and
transfer unto the [sic] said Guzman A. Cario, his heirs, executors, administrators and
assigns, all my rights, title, interests in and participation to that parcel of land (public)
covered by an application for free patent with a surface area of Ten (10) hectares,
surveyed by the District Land Office of Baguio in the name of Pingel Dicman, and who
ceded, conveyed and transferred one half of his title, rights and interests to me under an
instrument executed by the said owner in the city of Baguio, Philippines, on the 22nd day
of October, 1928 A.D. and duly ratified before Notary Public x x x together with all
improvements therein, consisting of oranges, mangoes, and other fruit trees and a
building of strong materials (half finished) x x x, which building was purchased by me
from H.C. Heald on March 14, 1916, free from all liens and encumbrances, with full
rights and authority to the said Guzman A. Cario to perfect his claim with any
government agency the proper issuance of such patent or title as may be permitted to
him under existing laws.
x x x x
6

In a letter dated January 15, 1938, Sioco Cario asked his son, Guzman Cario, who had
been doing business in Damortis, Sto. Tomas, La Union, to take possession of the subject
land and building.
7
Guzman Cario moved to Baguio as requested and occupied the
property. Evidence was adduced in the RTC to the effect that Guzman Cario took
possession of the property publicly, peacefully, and in the concept of owner: the directory
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 80 of 98

of Baguio Telephones published in October 1940 lists the residence of Guzman A. Cario
at Camp 7, Baguio City, along with his telephone number; pictures were taken of him and
his family, including the private respondent who was then an infant, depicting the
property in the background; U.S. Army authorities obtained permission from Guzman
Cario to use a part of the land in question after the war; he introduced various
improvements on the property over the years and exercised acts of ownership over them;
he permitted the use of portions of the land to Governor Eulogio Rodriguez, Jr. and the
Boy Scouts of Rizal Province; he leased out portions of the land to Bayani Pictures, Inc.;
and his neighbors confirmed the possession and occupation over the property of Guzman
Cario and, after him, his son, herein private respondent Jose Cario. These findings of
fact were either confirmed or uncontroverted by the CA.
8

On July 27, 1954, Guzman Cario had the entire Lot 46 resurveyed so as to indicate the
half portion that belonged to him and the other half that belonged to the petitioners. The
resurvey evenly divided the lot into Lot 76-A and 76-B, and purportedly indicated that
Lot 76-A, consisting of 50,953 square meters, belonged to the petitioners, while Lot 76-
B, also consisting of 50,953 square meters, formerly pertained to Sioco Cario and, later,
to Guzman Cario. Additionally, the resurvey indicated the house where private
respondent Jose Cario resided and, before him, where his predecessors-in-interest,
Sioco and Guzman Cario, also resided.
On May 23, 1955, Guzman Cario filed a Free Patent Application over the land in
question. The application was given due course, but Guzman later withdrew it when he
decided to file his opposition to the petition later filed by the heirs of Ting-el Dicman.
This petition, entitled "Petition of the Heirs of Dicman to Reopen Civil Reservation Case
No. 1, G.L.R.O. 211," was filed by Felipe Dicman, Bobing Dicman and Cating Dicman, in
their capacity as compulsory heirs of Ting-el Dicman on April 24, 1959 with the Court of
First Instance of Baguio. The petition sought to establish ownership over Lot 76-A and
Lot 76-B which, taken together, covered an area of 10.1006 hectares. Guzman Cario
opposed the petition insofar as he insisted ownership over Lot 76-B, the land in
controversy. The Estate of Sioco Cario likewise filed an opposition.
On March 6, 1963, the trial court rendered a partial judgment and confirmed that the
title over Lot 76-A belonged to the heirs of Ting-el Dicman, there having been no adverse
claim. But as to Lot 76-B, the trial court found it necessary to hold further hearing in
order to decide on the adverse claims of the parties.
Meanwhile, on January 8, 1960, while the foregoing petition was pending in the trial
court, President Carlos P. Garcia issued Proclamation No. 628 "excluding from the
operation of the Baguio Townsite Reservation certain parcels of public land known as
Igorot Claims situated in the City of Baguio and declaring the same open to disposition
under the provisions of Chapter VII of the Public Land Act." The Proclamation further
provided that the "Igorot Claims" enumerated therein shall be "subject to the condition
that except in favor of the government or any of its branches, units, or institutions, lands
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 81 of 98

acquired by virtue of this proclamation shall not be encumbered or alienated within a
period of fifteen years from and after the date of issuance of patent." One such claim
pertained to the "Heirs of Dicman," to wit:
Name Lot No. Survey Plan Residence Section Area (Sq.m.)
Heirs of 46 Swo-37115 "J" 101,006
Dicman
Before the trial court could dispose of the case, the Supreme Court promulgated Republic
v. Marcos
9
which held that Courts of First Instance of Baguio have no jurisdiction to
reopen judicial proceedings on the basis of Republic Act No. 931. As a consequence, on
July 28, 1978, the trial court dismissed the petition to reopen Civil Reservation Case No.
1, G.L.R.O. 211 insofar as Lot 76-B was concerned, and the certificate of title issued
pursuant to the partial decision involving Lot 76-A was invalidated. The trial court stated
that the remedy for those who were issued titles was to file a petition for revalidation
under Presidential Decree No. 1271, as amended by Presidential Decrees No. 1311 and
2034.
After the dismissal of the case, Guzman Cario was left undisturbed in his possession of
the subject property until his death on August 19, 1982. His remains are buried on the
land in question, next to the large house purchased in 1916 by his father, Sioco Cario
(the grandfather of private respondent), from H.C. Heald. Guzmans widow and son,
private respondent Jose Sioco C. Cario, continued possession of the subject property.
10

On April 20, 1983, petitioners, suing as compulsory heirs of Ting-el Dicman, revived the
foregoing case by filing a complaint for recovery of possession with damages involving
the subject property with the RTC, docketed as Civil Case No. 59-R. As earlier stated,
petitioners, then complainants, originally sought to recover possession of the eastern
half of the parcel of land situated in Residence Section "J", Camp Seven, Baguio City,
consisting of 101,006 square meters, more or less, and identified as Lot 46, Ts-39, Plan
SWO-37115.
Petitioners, then plaintiffs, averred in their complaint:
10. That however, this Honorable Court was not able to decide the [ ] petition for
reopening as far as the remaining eastern half portion of the above-described property is
concerned due to the fact that the said petition was dismissed for alleged lack of
jurisdiction; x x x
11. That because of the above-mentioned dismissal, the conflict between herein plaintiffs
and defendant over the half eastern portion of the above-described property which was
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 82 of 98

one of the issues supposed to be decided in the said judicial reopening case remains
undecided;
12. That after the dismissal of the abovementioned petition and before the dispute
between herein plaintiffs and defendant over the eastern half portion of the above-
described property, defendant unlawfully and illegally continue to occupy portion [sic] of
the above-described property to the clear damage and prejudice of herein plaintiffs;
13. That the defendant has no valid claim of ownership and possession over any of the
portions of the above-described property;
14. That plaintiffs and their predecessors-in-interest have been religiously paying the
realty taxes covering the above-described property x x x
11

Private respondent Jose Cario filed his answer and prayed for dismissal. He alleged that
his predecessors-in-interest had acquired the land by onerous title through the "Deed of
Absolute Sale" dated January 10, 1938 executed by his grandfather, Sioco Cario, as
seller, and his father, Guzman Cario, as buyer; that the property was earlier acquired by
Sioco Cario by virtue of the "Deed of Conveyance of Part Rights and Interests in
Agricultural Land" dated October 22, 1928 executed between Sioco Cario and Ting-el
Dicman; and that he has been in possession of the subject property for 55 years
peacefully, in good faith, and in concept of owner and therefore perfected title over the
same through acquisitive prescription.
On June 13, 1983, the administratrix of the Estate of Sioco Cario filed a motion to
intervene with the RTC. On July 1, 1983, the RTC granted said motion. On July 11, 1983,
the Estate of Sioco Cario filed its Complaint-in-Intervention, praying for quieting of
title among the adverse claimants.
The RTC, through an ocular inspection on February 15, 1984, found that the larger
building still stands on the land in controversy and, together with the surrounding area,
constituted the residence and was in the possession of private respondent and his family.
On November 28, 1990, the RTC rendered its decision in favor of private respondent, the
dispositive portion of which states:
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby rendered as follows:
1. Plaintiffs complaint is hereby DISMISSED;
2. Plaintiffs-Intervenors complaint-in-intervention is hereby dismissed;
3. Defendant is hereby declared the lawful possessor and as the party who has the
better right over the land subject matter [sic] of this action and as such he may
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 83 of 98

apply for the confirmation of his title thereto in accordance with law (R.A. No.
8940
12
)[.] Defendants counterclaim is dismissed;
4. Costs is [sic] adjudged against the plaintiff and plaintiff-intervenor.
SO ORDERED.
To support its ruling, the RTC found that the tax declarations and their revisions
submitted as evidence by the petitioners made no reference to the land in question;
13
that
no tax declaration over the land declared in the name of the Estate of Sioco Cario had
been submitted as evidence, and that the intervenor-estate presented tax declarations
over the building only; that it was Guzman Cario alone who declared for taxation
purposes both the land and the improvements thereon in his name;
14
that there is no
evidence to the
effect that petitioners ever filed any action to challenge the validity of the "Deed of
Conveyance of Part Rights and Interests in Agricultural Land" dated October 22, 1928;
that even assuming that this instrument may be invalid for whatever reason, the fact
remains that Sioco Cario and his successors-in-interest had been in possession of the
subject property publicly, adversely, continuously and in concept of owner for at least 55
years before the filing of the action;
15
that Siocos successor, Guzman Cario, had been in
open and continuous possession of the property in good faith and in the concept of
owner from 1938 until his death in 1982 and, hence, the Estate of Sioco Cario has lost
all rights to recover possession from Guzman Cario or his heirs and assigns; and that
although the Estate of Sioco Cario attempted to assail the genuineness and due
execution of the "Deed of Absolute Sale" dated January 10, 1938 executed by Sioco
Cario in favor of his son, Guzman Cario, the challenge failed since no evidence had
been adduced to support the allegation of forgery.
16

On January 23, 1991, petitioners seasonably filed their notice of appeal. The RTC,
however, denied the motion for reconsideration and motion to admit appeal filed by the
Estate of Sioco Cario on July 3, 1991 for being filed out of time.
Petitioners raised the following issues before the Court of Appeals:
1. THE HONORABLE TRIAL COURT SERIOUSLY ERRED IN NOT
CONSIDERING THE DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE OF THE PLAINTIFFS-
APPELLANTS AND THE STRAIGHTFORWARD DECLARATIONS OF THEIR
WITNESS.
2. THE HONORABLE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONSIDERING THE DEED
OF CONVEYANCE [OF] PART RIGHTS AND INTERESTS IN AGRICULTURAL
LAND EXECUTED BY DICMAN IN FAVOR OF SIOCO CARIO DESPITE ITS
NULLITY.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 84 of 98

3. THE HONORABLE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DECLARING DEFENDANT-
APPELLEE TO HAVE A BETTER RIGHT TO THE PROPERTY IN DISPUTE.
4. THE HONORABLE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING THE
COMPLAINT AND NOT GRANTING THE RELIEFS PRAYED FOR THEREIN.
On June 30, 2000, the CA dismissed the petition and affirmed in toto the ruling of the
RTC. On December 15, 2000, the CA issued a Resolution denying petitioners motion for
reconsideration.
The CA based its ruling on the following reasons: that the petitioners raised for the first
time on appeal the issue on whether the "Deed of Conveyance of Part Rights and
Interests in Agricultural Land" is void ab initio under Sections 145 and 146 of the
Administrative Code of Mindanao and Sulu
17
(which was made applicable later to the
Mountain Province and Nueva Viscaya by Act 2798, as amended by Act 2913, and then to
all other cultural minorities found within the national territory by virtue of Section 120
of the Public Land Act
18
) and, hence, cannot be considered by the reviewing court;
19
that,
even if this issue were considered, the records fail to show that Ting-el Dicman, though
an Igorot, is a non-Christian and, hence, the foregoing laws are not applicable;
20
that
there was sufficient proof of consideration for the said deed;
21
and that even if the deed
were a mere contract to sell and not an absolute sale, under Borromeo v. Franco
22
the
obligation on the part of the purchaser to perfect the title papers within a certain time is
not a condition subsequent nor essential to the obligation to sell, but rather the same is
an incidental undertaking the failure to comply therewith not being a bar to the sale
agreed upon.
23

On February 12, 2001, petitioners, through newly retained counsel, filed their petition
for review on certiorariunder Rule 45.
Petitioners raise the following grounds for the petition:
A.
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN RULING THAT THE PROVISIONS OF ACT NO.
2798 ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO THE "DEED OF CONVEYANCE" EXECUTED BY
PING-EL DICMAN ON THE GROUNDS THAT THERE IS NO PROOF THAT HE WAS A
NON-CHRISTIAN AND THAT BAGUIO CITY IS NOT COVERED BY THE SAID ACT.
B.
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN THE APPLICATION OF THE RULING IN
BORROMEO V. FRANCO (5 PHIL 49 [1905]) THAT AN AGREEMENT ON THE PART
OF THE PARTY TO A CONTRACT TO PERFECT THE TITLE PAPERS TO A CERTAIN
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 85 of 98

PROPERTY WITHIN A CERTAIN TIME IS NOT A CONDITION SUBSEQUENT OR
ESSENTIAL OF THE OBLIGATION TO SELL [sic].
C.
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN RULING THAT THE PROPERTY SUBJECT OF
LITIGATION AND OVER WHICH RESPONDENTS IMPROVEMENTS ARE BUILT
BELONGS TO RESPONDENT NOTWITHSTANDING UNCONTROVERTED EVIDENCE
THAT PETITIONERS PREDECESSOR-IN-INTEREST PING-EL DICMAN HAD
APPLIED FOR FREE PATENT OVER THE SUBJECT AREA AND HAD BEEN ISSUED
PLAN SWO-37115 IN HIS NAME BY THE BUREAU OF LANDS IN 1954 AND HAD
BEEN IN ACTUAL, OPEN, PEACEFUL, ADVERSE AND CONTINUOUS POSSESSION
OF THE PROPERTY SINCE THE EARLY 1900s UNTIL HIS DEATH WHEN HIS
GRANCHILDREN AND SUCCESSORS-IN-INTEREST, THE PETITIONERS, TOOK
OVER AND CONTINUED THE POSSESSION OF THEIR GRANDFATHER, PING-EL
DICMAN.
On March 2, 2001, petitioners filed their Manifestation and Motion to Substitute Babing
Cosil and Cristina Alawas With Their Respective Heirs stating, among others, that Julio
F. Dicman, son of petitioner Ernesto Dicman, had been appointed by the petitioners to
sign the petition for and in their behalf, but due to distance and time constraints between
Makati City and Baguio, he was not able to submit the same in time for the deadline for
the petition on February 12, 2001. Petitioners attached the Special Power of Attorney
seeking to formalize the appointment of Julio F. Dicman as their attorney-in-fact and to
ratify his execution of the verification and certification of non-forum shopping for and on
behalf of the petitioners.
On March 15, 2001, private respondent filed with this Court a Motion for Leave of Court
to File Motion to Dismiss and/or Deny Due Course, arguing that the petition failed to
comply with the requirements for verification and certification of non-forum shopping.
The affiant of the petition, according to private respondent, is not a principal party in the
case; rather, he is merely the son of Ernesto Dicman, one of the petitioners. The
verification and certification reads:
VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION
I, JULIO F. DICMAN, of legal age, Filipino, with residence address at Camp 7,
Montecillo Road, Baguio City, after being first duly sworn in accordance with law, do
hereby depose and state:
1. I am one of the petitioners in the above-entitled case;
x x x (emphasis supplied)
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 86 of 98

To private respondent, since Ernesto Dicman, one of the petitioners, appears to be alive,
he excludes his son as the successor-in-interest of Ting-el Dicman. The verification,
therefore, is false in view of the statement under oath that Julio F. Dicman is a petitioner
when in fact he is not, and should be cause for the dismissal of the case and indirect
contempt of court, without prejudice to administrative and criminal action.
On May 2, 2001, in their Manifestation and Motion for Leave to File the Attached Reply
and Reply, petitioners argued that while it may be true that the verification and
certification to the petition were signed by Julio F. Dicman, the son of one of the
petitioners, they subsequently confirmed his authority to sign on behalf of all the
petitioners through the Special Power of Attorney submitted to the Court in a
Manifestation and Motion to Substitute Babing Cosil and Cristina Alawas With Their
Respective Heirs filed on March 2, 2001. Petitioners invoked substantial compliance and
prayed that the Court overlook the procedural lapse in the interest of substantial justice.
The parties thereafter submitted their respective memoranda.
The petition must be dismissed on the following grounds:
1. Section 5, Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires the pleader to
submit a certificate of non-forum shopping to be executed by the plaintiff or principal
party, is mandatory, and non-compliance therewith is a sufficient ground for the
dismissal of the petition.
24
The forum shopping certification must be signed by the party
himself as he has personal knowledge of the facts therein stated.
25
Obviously, it is the
plaintiff or principal party who is in the best position to know whether he actually filed or
caused the filing of a petition in the case.
26
Where there are two or more plaintiffs or
petitioners, all of them must sign the verification and non-forum certification, and the
signature of only one of them is insufficient,
27
unless the one who signs the verification
and certification has been authorized to execute the same by, and on behalf of, the co-
plaintiff or co-petitioner.
28
But it must be stressed that the requirement the principal
party himself should sign the certification applies only to a natural person and not to a
juridical person which can only act through its officer or duly authorized agent.
29

However, the Court has also held that 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. This is because the requirement of strict compliance with
the provisions regarding the certification of non-forum shopping merely underscores its
mandatory nature in that the certification cannot be altogether dispensed with or its
requirements completely disregarded.
30
Thus, under justifiable circumstances, the Court
has relaxed the rule requiring the submission of such certification considering that
although it is obligatory, it is not jurisdictional.
31

LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 87 of 98

But a perusal of the relevant decisions handed down by this Court consistently shows
that substantial compliance may be invoked and the procedural lapse overlooked
provided that, where the petitioner is a natural person as in the case at bar, the
authorized signatory must also be a principal party or co-petitioner.
32
Petitioners, as
natural persons, cannot therefore appoint a non-party to sign for them, especially since
only the petitioners occupy the best position to know whether they actually filed or
caused the filing of a petition in this case and who personally know the facts stated in the
petition. On this point alone the petition should be dismissed.
2. It is a settled rule that in the exercise of the Supreme Courts power of review, the
Court is not a trier of facts and does not normally undertake the re-examination of the
evidence presented by the contending parties during the trial of the case considering that
the findings of facts of the CA are conclusive and binding on the Court. While
jurisprudence has recognized several exceptions in which factual issues may be resolved
by this Court, namely: (1) when the findings are grounded entirely on speculation,
surmises or conjectures; (2) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or
impossible; (3) when there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) when the judgment is based
on a misapprehension of facts; (5) when the findings of facts are conflicting; (6) when in
making its findings the CA went beyond the issues of the case, or its findings are contrary
to the admissions of both the appellant and the appellee; (7) when the findings are
contrary to the trial court; (8) when the findings are conclusions without citation of
specific evidence on which they are based; (9) when the facts set forth in the petition as
well as in the petitioners main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondent; (10)
when the findings of fact are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and
contradicted by the evidence on record; and (11) when the CA manifestly overlooked
certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties, which, if properly considered, could
justify a different conclusion,
33
none of these exceptions has been shown to apply in the
present case and, hence, this Court may not review the findings of fact made by the lower
courts.
3. Petitioners argue on appeal that the "Deed of Conveyance of Part Rights and Interests
in Agricultural Land" dated October 22, 1928 executed between Sioco Cario and Ting-el
Dicman is void ab initio for lack of approval of competent authorities as required under
Section 145 in relation to Section 146 of the Administrative Code of Mindanao and Sulu,
the application of which was later extended to the Mountain Province and Nueva Viscaya
and, thereafter, throughout the entire national territory;
34
that the sale was without valid
consideration; and that the said deed is not an absolute sale but merely a contract to sell
subject to the suspensive condition that the papers evidencing the title must first be
perfected. These arguments were lumped under the following issue in their appeal to the
CA:
2. THE HONORABLE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONSIDERING THE DEED OF
CONVEYANCE [OF] PART RIGHTS AND INTERESTS IN AGRICULTURAL LAND
EXECUTED BY DICMAN IN FAVOR OF SIOCO CARIO DESPITE ITS NULLITY.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 88 of 98

The foregoing issue and the incidents thereunder were never raised by the petitioners
during the proceedings before the RTC. Suffice it to say that issues raised for the first
time on appeal and not raised timely in the proceedings in the lower court are barred by
estoppel.
35
Matters, theories or arguments not brought out in the original proceedings
cannot be considered on review or appeal where they are raised for the first time. To
consider the alleged facts and arguments raised belatedly would amount to trampling on
the basic principles of fair play, justice and due process.
36

4. Even if this Court should declare the sale null and void or the agreement merely a
contract to sell subject to a suspensive condition that has yet to occur, private respondent
nonetheless acquired ownership over the land in question through acquisitive
prescription.
37

The records show that as early as 1938, the land in controversy had been in the
possession of Guzman Cario, predecessor-in-interest of private respondent,
continuously, publicly, peacefully, in concept of owner, and in good faith with just title,
to the exclusion of the petitioners and their predecessors-in-interest, well beyond the
period required under law to acquire title by acquisitive prescription which, in this case,
is 10 years.
38
The findings of fact of the lower courts, and which this Court has no reason
to disturb, inescapably point to this conclusion: immediately after the "Deed of Absolute
Sale," a public instrument dated January 10, 1938, had been executed by Sioco Cario in
favor of his son, Guzman Cario (the father of private respondent), the latter
immediately occupied the property; the 1940 directory of Baguio Telephones lists his
residence at Camp 7, Baguio City along with his telephone number; his permitting the
use of portions of the property to various third parties; his introduction of improvements
over the land in controversy; the testimonial accounts of his neighbors; and that it was
Guzman Cario alone who declared for tax purposes both the land and the
improvements thereon in his name, while the tax declarations of the other claimants
made no reference to the subject property.
39
Although arguably Sioco Cario may not
have been the owner of the subject property when he executed the "Deed of Absolute
Sale" in 1938 in favor of his son, the requirement of just title is nonetheless satisfied,
which means that the mode of transferring ownership should ordinarily have been valid
and true, had the grantor been the owner.
40
By the time the successors-in-interest of
Ting-el Dicman sought to establish ownership over the land in controversy by filing their
"Petition of the Heirs of Dicman to Reopen Civil Reservation Case No. 1, G.L.R.O. 211" on
April 24, 1959 with the trial court, and which Guzman timely opposed, more than 20
years had already elapsed. Thus, the 10-year period for acquisitive prescription is
deemed satisfied well before Guzmans possession can be said to be civilly interrupted by
the filing of the foregoing petition to reopen.
41
After the dismissal of that case on July 28,
1978, Guzman Cario was left undisturbed in his possession of the subject property until
his death on August 19, 1982. His remains are buried on the land in question. Thereafter,
Guzmans widow and son, herein private respondent, continued possession of the subject
property in the same manner. When petitioners, heirs of Ting-el Dicman, tried to revive
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 89 of 98

the case on April 20, 1983, they had, far before that time, lost all rights to recover
possession or ownership.
5. Prescinding from the issue on prescription, the petitioners and their predecessors-in-
interest are nonetheless guilty of laches.
Laches has been defined as such neglect or omission to assert a right, taken in
conjunction with the lapse of time and other circumstances causing prejudice to an
adverse party, as will operate as a bar in equity.
42
It is a delay in the assertion of a right
which works disadvantage to another
43
because of the inequity founded on some change
in the condition or relations of the property or parties.
44
It is based on public policy
which, for the peace of society,
45
ordains that relief will be denied to a stale demand
which otherwise could be a valid claim.
46
It is different from and applies independently
of prescription. While prescription is concerned with the fact of delay, laches is
concerned with the effect of delay. Prescription is a matter of time; laches is principally a
question of inequity of permitting a claim to be enforced, this inequity being founded on
some change in the condition of the property or the relation of the parties. Prescription is
statutory; laches is not. Laches applies in equity, whereas prescription applies at law.
Prescription is based on a fixed time, laches is not.
47
Laches means the failure or neglect
for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due
diligence, could or should have been done earlier; it is negligence or omission to assert a
right within a reasonable time, warranting the presumption that the party entitled to
assert it either has abandoned or declined to assert it.
48
It has been held that even a
registered owner of property under the Torrens Title system may be barred from
recovering possession of property by virtue of laches.
49

Given the foregoing findings of fact, all the four (4) elements of laches, as prescribed by
the decisions of this Court, are present in the case, to wit:
1. a. Conduct on the part of the defendant, or of one under whom he claims, giving rise to
the situation of which complaint is made and for which the complaint seeks a remedy;
2. b. Delay in asserting the complainants rights, the complainant having had knowledge
or notice, of the defendants conduct and having been afforded an opportunity to
institute a suit;
3. c. Lack of knowledge or notice on the part of the defendant that the complainant
would assert the right on which he bases his suit; and
d. Injury or prejudice to the defendant in the event relief is accorded to the complainant,
or the suit is not held to be barred.
50

As correctly held by the RTC, there is no evidence to the effect that Ting-el Dicman or his
successors-in-interest ever filed any action to question the validity of the "Deed of
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 90 of 98

Conveyance of Part Rights and Interests in Agricultural Land" after its execution on
October 22, 1928
51
despite having every opportunity to do so. Nor was any action to
recover possession of the property from Guzman Cario instituted anytime prior to April
24, 1959, a time when the period for acquisitive prescription, reckoned from Guzmans
occupation of the property in 1938, had already transpired in his favor. No evidence
likewise appears on the record that Sioco Cario or his Estate ever filed any action to
contest the validity of the "Deed of Absolute Sale" dated January 10, 1938.
52
Though
counsel for the Estate of Sioco Cario tried to assail the deed as a forgery in the trial
court, the attempt failed and no appeal was lodged therefrom. It will be difficult for this
Court to assume that the petitioners and their predecessors were all the while ignorant of
the adverse possession of private respondent and his predecessors given the publicity of
their conduct and the nature of their acts. Private respondent and his predecessors-in-
interest were made to feel secure in the belief that no action would be filed against them
by such passivity. There is no justifiable reason for petitioners delay in asserting their
rightsthe facts in their entirety show that they have slept on them. For over 30 years
reckoned from the "Deed of Conveyance of Part Rights and Interests in Agricultural
Land" dated October 22, 1928, or 20 years reckoned from the "Deed of Absolute Sale"
dated January 10, 1938, they neglected to take positive steps to assert their dominical
claim over the property. With the exception of forgery, all other issues concerning the
validity of the two instruments abovementioned, as well as the averment that the former
was in the nature of a contract to sell, were issues raised only for the first time on appeal
and cannot therefore be taken up at this late a stage. The features of this case are not
new. The Court has on several occasions held in particular that despite the judicial
pronouncement that the sale of real property by illiterate ethnic minorities is null and
void for lack of approval of competent authorities, the right to recover possession has
nonetheless been barred through the operation of the equitable doctrine of laches.
53

6. Petitioners argue that Proclamation No. 628 issued by then President Carlos P. Garcia
on January 8, 1960 had the effect of "segregating" and "reserving" certain Igorot claims
identified therein, including one purportedly belonging to the "Heirs of Dicman," and
prohibiting any encumbrance or alienation of these claims for a period of 15 years from
acquisition of patent. But by the time the Proclamation had been issued, all rights over
the property in question had already been vested in private respondent. The executive
issuance can only go so far as to classify public land, but it cannot be construed as to
prejudice vested rights. Moreover, property rights may not be altered or deprived by
executive fiat alone without contravening the due process guarantees
54
of the
Constitution and may amount to unlawful taking of private property to be redistributed
for public use without just compensation.
55

The recognition, respect, and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples to preserve
and develop their cultures, traditions, and institutions are vital concerns of the State and
constitute important public policies which bear upon this case. To give life and meaning
unto these policies the legislature saw it fit to enact Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 91 of 98

known as The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, as a culminating measure to affirm
the views and opinions of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities
on matters that affect their life and culture.
56
The provisions of that law unify an
otherwise fragmented account of constitutional, jurisprudential and statutory doctrine
which enjoins the organs of government to be vigilant for the protection of indigenous
cultural communities as a marginalized sector,
57
to protect their ancestral domain and
ancestral lands and ensure their economic, social, and cultural well-being,
58
and to guard
their patrimony from those inclined to prey upon their ignorance or ductility.
59
As the
final arbiter of disputes and the last bulwark of the Rule of Law this Court has always
been mindful of the highest edicts of social justice especially where doubts arise in the
interpretation and application of the law. But when in the pursuit of the loftiest ends
ordained by the Constitution this Court finds that the law is clear and leaves no room for
doubt, it shall decide according to the principles of right and justice as all people
conceive them to be, and with due appreciation of the rights of all persons concerned.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision and
Resolution of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED.
G.R. No. 132007. August 5, 1998.*
SOLAR TEAM ENTERTAINMENT, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. HELEN
BAUTISTA RICAFORT, in her capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional
Trial Court of Paraaque, Metro Manila (Branch 260), TEAM IMAGE
ENTERTAINMENT, INC., FELIX S. CO, JEFFREY C. CAL, and KING CUISIA,
respondents.
Civil Procedure; Pleadings and Practice; Modes of service of pleadings, motions,
notices, orders, judgments and other papers.Section 5, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure prescribes two modes of service of pleadings, motions, notices, orders,
judgments and other papers, namely: (1) personal service; and (2) service by mail. The
first is governed by Section 6, while the second, by Section 7 of said Rule. If service
cannot be done either personally or by mail, substituted service may be resorted to
under Section 8 thereof.
Same; Same; Obvious reasons for preferring personal service and filing.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 the postal service. Likewise, personal service will do
away with the practice of some lawyers who, wanting to appear clever, resort to the
following less than ethical practices: (1) serving or filing pleadings by mail to catch
opposing counsel off-guard, thus leaving the latter with little or no time to prepare, for
instance, responsive pleadings or an opposition; or (2) upon receiving notice from the
post office that the registered parcel containing the pleading of or other paper from the
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 92 of 98

adverse party may be claimed, unduly procrastinating before claiming the parcel, or,
worse, not claiming it at all, thereby causing undue delay in the disposition of such
pleading or other papers.
Same; Same; Under Section 11, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, personal
service and filing is the general rule, and resort to other modes of service and filing, the
exception.We thus take this opportunity to clarify that under Section 11, Rule 13 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, personal service and filing is the general rule, and resort
to other modes of service and filing, the exception. Henceforth, whenever personal
service or filing is practicable, in light of the circumstances of time, place and person,
personal service or filing is mandatory. Only when personal service or filing is not
practicable may resort to other modes be had, which must then be accompanied by a
written explanation as to why personal service or filing was not practicable to begin
with. In adjudging the plausibility of an explanation, a court shall likewise consider the
importance of the subject matter of the case or the issues involved therein, and the
prima facie merit of the pleading sought to be expunged for violation of Section 11. This
Court cannot rule otherwise, lest we allow circumvention of the innovation introduced
by the 1997 Rules in order to obviate delay in the administration of justice.
Same; Same; For the guidance of the Bench and Bar, strictest compliance with Section
11 of Rule 13 is mandated one month from promulgation of this Decision.It has been
several months since the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure took effect. In the interim, this
Court has generally accommodated parties and counsel who failed to comply with the
requirement of a written explanation whenever personal service or filing was not
practicable, guided, in the exercise of our discretion, by the primary objective of Section
11, the importance of the subject matter of the case, the issues involved and the prima
facie merit of the challenged pleading. However, as we have in the past, for the
guidance of the Bench and Bar, strictest compliance with Section 11 of Rule 13 is
mandated one month from promulgation of this Decision.
BELLOSILLO, J., Separate Opinion
Civil Procedure; Pleadings and Practice; It is only upon written explanation why
service and filing are not done personally when the judge may properly exercise his
discretion and only upon the explanation given.In case personal service and filing are
neither practical nor feasible thenand only thencan the parties avail of other modes
of service and filing, e.g., by registered mail. But resort to other modes must be
accompanied by a written explanation why service and filing are not done personally.
From that explanation, the judge will then determine whether personal service and
filing are indeed impractical so that resort to other modes may be made. It is only at
this stage when the judge may properly exercise his discretionand only upon the
explanation given.
Same; Same; The Courts discretion can only be exercised soundly if there exists some
factual basis for it.To emphasize, the courts discretion can only be exercised soundly
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 93 of 98

if there exists some factual basis for it. The explanation required of the parties serves as
the authority for the judges exercise of discretion. Without any explanation, the judge
cannot wield any discretion, much less dismiss the motion to expunge by simply saying
that it lacks merit.
Same; Same; Where no explanation is offered to justify resort to service of pleading by
mail or other modes of service (and filing for that matter) x x x the discretionary power
of the court to expunge the pleading becomes mandatory and a disregard thereof
constitutes grave abuse of discretion.Stated differently, where no explanation is
offered to justify resort to service of pleading by mail or other modes of service (and
filing for that matter), in lieu of the preferred personal service, hence, no factual milieu
is provided upon which judicial discretion may be brought into play, the discretionary
power of the court to expunge the pleading becomes mandatory and a disregard
thereof constitutes grave abuse of discretion. [Solar Team Entertainment, Inc. vs.
Ricafort, 293 SCRA 661(1998)]
DAVIDE, JR., J.:
At issue is whether respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction in denying petitioner's motion to expunge private
respondents' answer with counterclaims on the ground that said pleading was not served
personally; moreover, there was no written explanation as to why personal service was
not accomplished, as required by Section 11 of Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure.
The antecedents are not disputed.
On 10 July 1997, petitioner, as plaintiff, filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in
Paraaque, Metro Manila, a complaint for recovery of possession and damages with
prayer for a writ of replevin
1
against herein private respondents. The case was docketed
as Civil Case No. 97-0304 and was assigned to Branch 260 of said court, presided over by
public respondent Judge Helen Bautista-Ricafort.
Summonses and copies of the complaint were forthwith served on private respondents.
On 25 July 1997, their counsel filed a notice of appearance with urgent ex-parte motion
for extension of time to plead,
2
which the court granted in its order of 4 August 1997.
3

On 8 August 1997, private respondents, as defendants, filed their "Answer (with
Counterclaims).''
4
A copy thereof was furnished counsel for petitioner by registered
mail; however, the pleading did not contain any written explanation as to why service
was not made personally upon petitioner-plaintiff, as required by Section 11 of Rule 13 of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 94 of 98

On 11 August 1997, petitioner filed a motion to expunge the "Answer (with
Counterclaims)" and to declare herein private respondents in default,
5
alleging therein
that the latter did not observe the mandate of the aforementioned Section 11, and that
there was:
[A]bsolutely no valid reason why defendant[s] should not have personally
served plaintiff's . . . counsel with [a] copy of their answer [as] (t)he office
of defendant's (sic) counsel, Atty. Froilan Cabaltera, is just a stone [sic]
throw away from the office of [petitioner's] counsel, with an estimate (sic)
distance of about 200 meters more or less.
Petitioner further alleged that the post office was "about ten (10) times farther from the
office of Atty. Cabaltera,"
On 15 August 1997, private respondents filed their opposition
6
to the abovementioned
motion, alleging that petitioner's "rigid and inflexible reliance on the provisions of
Section 11, Rule 13 . . . is an adventitious resort to technicality and is contrary to Section
6 of Rule 3 . . . which admonishes that said Rules 'shall be liberally construed in order to
promote their objective in securing a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of [e]very
action and proceeding;'" and that Section 11, Rule 13 notwithstanding, private
respondents "religiously complied with [Section 5 of Rule 13] by personally present[ing]
to the clerk of court their said Answer . . . furnishing a copy thereof to the counsel for
[petitioner] by way of registered mail."
On 8 September 1997, public respondent Judge Bautista-Ricafort issued an
order
7
stating that under Section 11 of Rule 13 "it is within the discretion of the [trial
court] whether to consider the pleading as filed or not," and denying, for lack of merit,
petitioner's motion to expunge the "Answer (with Counterclaims)" and to declare private
respondents in default.
Petitioner immediately moved for reconsideration
8
of the order, but public respondent
Judge Bautista-Ricafort denied this motion in her order
9
of 17 November 1997. The
order justified the denial in this wise:
Sec. 6 [of] Rule 1 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure ordains that the
Rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objective of
securing a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and
proceeding.
Liberal construction of the rules and the pleading is the controlling
principle to effect substantial justice.
As pointed out by the Supreme Court in Alonso vs. Villamor, 16 Phil. 315,
"the error in this case is purely technical. To take advantage of it for other
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 95 of 98

purposes than to cure it, does not appeal to a fair sense of justice. Its
presentation as fatal to plaintiff a [sic] case smacks of skill rather than
right. A litigation is not a game of technicalities in which one, more deeply
schooled and skilled in the subtle art of movement and position, entraps
and destroys the other. It is rather, a contest in which each contending
party fully and fairly lays before the Court the facts in issue and then,
brushing aside as wholly trivial and indecisive all imperfections or form of
technicalities of procedure, asks that justice be done upon the merits.
Lawsuits, unlike duels, are not to be won by a rapier's thrust."
While it is desirable that the above Rules be faithfully and even
meticulously observed, courts should not strict about procedural lapses
that do not really impair the proper administration of justice.
Furthermore, it is well settled that litigations should, as much as possible
be decided on their merits and not on technicalities.
Petitioner thus filed the instant special civil action of certiorari, contending that public
respondent Judge Bautista-Ricafort committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction when she admitted private respondents' "Answer (with
Counterclaims)" notwithstanding private respondents' clear, admitted and inexcusable
violation of Section 11, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, in that: (a) the
"Answer (with Counterclaims)" was not served personally upon petitioner's counsel
despite the undisputed fact that the offices of private respondents' counsel and that of
petitioner's counsel are only about 200 meters away from each other; and (b) the Answer
did not contain any explanation as to why the answer was not served personally.
In their Comment, filed in compliance with the resolution of 2 February 1998, and to
which petitioner filed a Reply, private respondents aver that public respondent Judge
Bautista-Ricafort correctly admitted private respondents' "Answer (with Counterclaims)"
in light of Section 6, Rule 1 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure; that Section 11 of Rule 13
begins with the phrase "whenever practicable," thereby suggesting that service by mail
may still be effected depending on the relative priority of the pleading sought to be filed;
and when service is not done personally, it is more prudent and judicious for the courts
to require a written explanation rather than to expunge the pleading outright or consider
the same as not being filed.
In view of the importance of the issue raised, which is, undoubtedly, one of the first
impression, the Court resolved to give due course to the petition and consider it
submitted for decision on the basis of the pleadings filed by the parties.
Sec. 5, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure prescribes two modes of service of
pleadings, motions, notices, orders, judgments and other papers, namely: (1) personal
service; and (2) service by mail. The first is governed by Section 6, while the second, by
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 96 of 98

Section 7 of said Rule. If service cannot be done either personally or by mail, substituted
service may be resorted to under Section 8 thereof.
Pursuant, however, to Section 11 of Rule 13, service and filing of pleadings and other
papers must, whenever practicable, be done personally; and if made through other
modes, the party concerned must provide a written explanation as to why the service or
filing was not done personally. The section reads:
Sec. 11. Priorities in modes of service and filing. Whenever practicable,
the service and filing of pleadings and other papers shall be done
personally. Except with respect to papers emanating from the court, a
resort to other modes must be accompanied by a written explanation why
the service or filing was not done personally. A violation of this Rule may
be cause to consider the paper as not filed. (n)
Note that Section 11 refers to both service of pleadings and other papers on the
adverse party or his counsel as provided for in Sections 6, 7 and 8; and to
the filing of pleadings and other papers in court.
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 the postal service. Likewise, personal service will do away
with the practice of some lawyers who, wanting to appear clever, resort to the following
less than ethical practices: (1) serving or filing pleadings by mail to catch opposing
counsel off-guard, thus leaving the latter with little or no time to prepare, for instance,
responsive pleadings or an opposition; or (2) upon receiving notice from the post office
that the registered parcel containing the pleading of or other paper from the adverse
party may be claimed, unduly procrastinating before claiming the parcel, or, worse, not
claiming it at all, thereby causing undue delay in the disposition of such pleading or
other papers.
If only to underscore the mandatory nature of this innovation to our set of adjective rules
requiring personal service whenever practicable, Section 11 of Rule 13 then gives the
court the discretion to consider a pleading or paper as not filed if the other modes of
service or filing were resorted to and no written explanation was made as to why
personal service was not done in the first place. The exercise of discretion must,
necessarily, consider the practicability of personal service, for Section 11 itself begins
with the clause "whenever practicable."
We thus take this opportunity to clarify that under Section 11, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure, personal service and filing is the general rule, and resort to other
modes of service and filing, the exception. Henceforth, whenever personal service or
filing is practicable, in light of the circumstances of time, place and person, personal
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 97 of 98

service or filing is mandatory. Only when personal service or filing is not practicable may
resort to other modes be had, which must then be accompanied by a written explanation
as to why personal service or filing was not practicable to begin with. In adjudging the
plausibility of an explanation, a court shall likewise consider the importance of the
subject matter of the case or the issues involved therein, and the prima faciemerit of the
pleading sought to be expunged for violation of Section 11. This Court cannot rule
otherwise, lest we allow circumvention of the innovation introduced by the 1997 Rules in
order to obviate delay in the administration of justice.
Here, the proximity between the offices of opposing counsel was established; moreover,
that the office of private respondents' counsel was "ten times farther" from the post office
than the distance separating the offices of opposing counsel. Of course, proximity would
seem to make personal service most practicable, but exceptions may nonetheless apply.
For instance, where the adverse party or opposing counsel to be served with a pleading
seldom reports to office and no employee is regularly present to receive pleadings, or
where service is done on the last day of the reglementary period and the office of the
adverse party or opposing counsel to be served is closed, for whatever reason.
Returning, however, to the merits of this case, in view of the proximity between the
offices of opposing counsel and the absence of any attendant explanation as to why
personal service of the answer was not effected, indubitably, private respondents'
counsel violated Section 11 of Rule 13 and the motion to expunge was prima
facie meritorious. However, the grant or denial of said motion nevertheless remained
within the sound exercise of the trial court's discretion. Thus, as guided by Section 6,
Rule 1 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which ordains that the Rules shall be liberally
construed in order to promote their objective of securing a just, speedy and inexpensive
disposition of every action or proceeding, as well as by the dictum laid down in Alonso v.
Villamor, 16 Phil. 315 [1910], the trial court opted to exercise its discretion in favor of
admitting the "Answer (with Counterclaims)," instead of expunging it from the record.
To our mind, if motions to expunge or strike out pleadings for violation of Section 11 of
Rule 13 were to be indiscriminately resolved under Section 6 of Rule 1 or Alonzo v.
Villamor and other analogous cases, then Section 11 would become meaningless and its
sound purpose negated. Nevertheless, we sustain the challenged ruling of the trial court,
but for reasons other than those provided for in the challenged order.
The 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure took effect only on 1 July 1997, while the questioned
"Answer (with Counterclaims)" was filed only on 8 August 1997, or on the 39th day
following the effectivity of the 1997 Rules. Hence, private respondents' counsel may not
have been fully aware of the requirements and ramifications of Section 11, Rule 13. In
fact, as pointed out by petitioner's counsel, in another case where private respondents'
counsel was likewise opposing counsel, the latter similarly failed to comply with Section
11.
LEGAL FORMS AND WRITING
PUP COLLEGE OF LAW

Page 98 of 98

It has been several months since the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure took effect. In the
interim, this Court has generally accommodated parties and counsel who failed to
comply with the requirement of a written explanation whenever personal service or filing
was not practicable, guided, in the exercise of our discretion, by the primary objective of
Section 11, the importance of the subject matter of the case, the issues involved and
the prima faciemerit of the challenged pleading. However, as we have in the past, for the
guidance of the Bench and Bar, strictest compliance with Section 11 of Rule 13 is
mandated one month from promulgation of this Decision.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DISMISSED considering that while the
justification for the denial of the motion to expunge the "Answer (with Counterclaims)"
may not necessarily be correct, yet, for the reasons above stated, the violation of Section
11 of Rule 13 may be condoned.