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Cruz v.

Centron 442SCRA 53 (2004) Carl Au


Facts:
1.
Atty. Centron assisted a certain Gloria Logdat and Conchita de la Cruz in consummating the sale
of a parcel of land covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 2186, in the name of one Joaquina
Jabat.
2.
Such assistance consisted in preparing and notarizing the documents of sale. The said sale is
illegal because the property covered by the sale is still the subject of reconstitution and Extra-Judicial
Settlement among the heirs. As a result of the illegal sale, Logdat and de la Cruz are charged with estafa
through falsification of public documents. Atty. Centron took advantage of her being a lawyer to solicit the
trust and confidence of the buyers of the subject parcel of land.
3.
Atty. Centron is involved in the disappearance of OCT No. 2186, and she refuses to surrender the
title which is in the possession of one of her relatives. Hence this case of disbarment was filed by Logdat
and De la Cruz against Atty. Centron
4.
Atty. Centron through her Comment denied any involvement in the preparation of the documents
and in the consummation of the sale of the parcel of land covered by OCT No. 2186. She claims that her
only participation in the said sale is that she was the one who notarized the deed of sale on account that
she was requested by the parties to notarize the same because they cannot afford the notarial fee being
charged by the notary public they earlier approached.
5.
The OCA held that Atty. Centron violated the provisions of Section 242 of the Revised
Administrative Code as well as Section G, Chapter VIII of the Manual for Clerks of Court when she
notarized a deed of conveyance, a document which is not connected with the exercise of her official
functions and duties as Ex-Officio Notary Public. Accordingly, she be fined in the amount of P2,000.00
and sternly warned.
Issue: Whether or not Atty. Centron is liable?
Held: Yes, in administrative cases for disbarment or suspension against lawyers, the quantum of proof
required is clearly preponderant evidence and the burden of proof rests upon the complainant.
In the present case, we find that complainant failed to present clear and preponderant evidence to show
that respondent had direct and instrumental participation in the preparation of documents and the
subsequent sale of the subject parcel of land covered by OCT No. 2186. Aside from the deed of sale
covering the subject parcel of land which was notarized by respondent, no competent evidence was
shown that would directly link her to the said sale.
While it may be logical to assume that Atty. Centron was the one who prepared the deed of sale since she
was the one who notarized it, we cannot give evidentiary weight to such a supposition in the absence of
any evidence to support it. Moreover, complainants allegation that Atty. Centron influenced the buyers is
contradicted by the sworn affidavit of Adelfa Manes, one of the buyers of the land. Manes attested to the
fact that respondent did not convince nor influence them in buying the subject property. Likewise, we find
no competent evidence to prove that Atty. Centron is responsible for the alleged loss of the owners
duplicate copy of OCT No. 2186.
Nonetheless, we find that respondent is guilty of violating Section 41 (as amended by Section 2 of R. A.
No. 6733) and Section 242 of the Revised Administrative Code, in relation to Sections G, M and N
Chapter VIII of the Manual for Clerks of Court.
Under these provisions, Clerks of Court are notaries public ex officio, and may thus notarize documents
or administer oaths but only when the matter is related to the exercise of their official functions. In the
present case, it is not within Atty. Centron competence, as it is not part of her official function and duty, to
notarize the subject deed of sale. Respondent is guilty of abuse of authority.
In the present case, it appearing that this is respondents first offense of this nature and that she has only
notarized one document, we find the OCAs recommended penalty of a fine of P2,000.00 commensurate
to the offense committed.

02 TIGNO VS SPS AQUINO


Digest by: Michelle A. Vale Cruz
QUICKIE SUMMARY: Bustria sold a land to Sps Aquino with a right to repurchase the same after the
lapse of 7 years. Bustria died and was substituted by his daughter, Tigno. Tigno tendered payment for the
repurchase of the property but was refused by Aquino spouses. Aquino claims that Bustria already sold
his right to repurchase the property to them in a deed of sale. The deed of sale was offered in evidence. It
was found out by the court that 1) the deed of sale was certified only by way of jurat and not
acknowledgment and 2) it was MTC Judge Carino who notarized the same. Note that MTC judges are
only allowed to notarize documents connected in the exercise of his official function. As a result, the
document did not acquire the status of a public document and could only be considered as a private
document. Being a private document, its authenticity has to be proven. However, the authenticity was
negated by certain facts such as 1) inconsistencies of the testimonies of the witnesses; 2) no receipt was
ever presented by Spouses Aquino; and 3) discrepancies in the signatures of Bustria. SC ruled in favor of
Tigno.
FACTS:
1. Spouses Aquino filed a complaint against Isidro Bustria which sought to enforce an alleged sale
by Bustria to the Aquinos of a 120,000 square meter fishpond located in Dasci, Pangasinan. The
conveyance was covered by a Deed of Sale dated 2 September 1978.
2. A compromise agreement was entered into between them whereby Bustria agreed to recognize
the validity of the sale, and the Aquinos agreed to grant Bustria the right to repurchase the same
property after the lapse of seven 7 years.
3. Bustria died and was substituted by his daughter, Zenaida B. Tigno. On 1 December 1989, Tigno
attempted to repurchase the property by filing a Motion for Consignation and depositing 230,000
with the RTC, but this was opposed by the Aquinos arguing that the right to repurchase was not
yet demandable and that Tigno had failed to make a tender of payment.
4. RTC denied the Motion for Consignation.
5. Tigno filed an action for Revival of Judgment. The Aquinos filed an answer wherein they alleged
that Bustria had sold his right to repurchase the property to them in a deed of sale.
6. Among the witnesses presented by the Aquinos during trial were Jesus De Francia, the
instrumental witness to the deed of sale, and former Judge Cario, who notarized the same.
These two witnesses testified as to the occasion of the execution and signing of the deed of sale
by Bustria. Thereafter, in their Formal Offer of Documentary Evidence, the Aquinos offered for
admission the deed of sale purportedly executed by Bustria
7. The admission of the Deed of Sale was objected to by Tigno on the ground that it was a false and
fraudulent document which had not been acknowledged by Bustria as his own; and that its
existence was suspicious, considering that it had been previously unknown, and not even
presented by the Aquinos when they opposed Tigno's previous Motion for Consignation.
8. RTC refused to admit the Deed of Sale in evidence. RTC then ruled in favor of Tigno. The RTC
therein expressed doubts as to the authenticity of the Deed of Sale, characterizing the
testimonies of De Francia and Cario as conflicting. The RTC likewise observed that nowhere in
the alleged deed of sale was there any statement that it was acknowledged by Bustria; that it was
suspicious that Bustria was not assisted or represented by his counsel in connection with the
preparation and execution of the deed of sale or that Aquino had raised the matter of the deed of
sale in his previous Opposition to the Motion for Consignation.
9. CA reversed the decision of RTC and ruled in favor of Spouses Aquino. The appellate court
ratiocinated that there were no material or substantial inconsistencies between the testimonies of
Cario and De Francia that would taint the document with doubtful authenticity; that the absence
of the acknowledgment and substitution instead of a jurat did not render the instrument invalid;
and that the non-assistance or representation of Bustria by counsel did not render the document
null and ineffective. It was noted that a notarized document carried in its favor the presumption of
regularity with respect to its due execution, and that there must be clear, convincing and more
than merely preponderant evidence to contradict the same.

ISSUE: W/N the deed of sale was notarized properly, hence admissible as evidence
RULING: No. SC ruled in favor of Tigno. RTC decision is reinstated.
RATIO: The notarial certification of the Deed of Sale reads as follows:
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES)
PROVINCE OF PANGASINAN ) S.S.
MUNICIPALITY OF ALAMINOS )
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO before me this 17th day of October 1985 at Alaminos,
Pangasinan both parties known to me to be the same parties who executed the foregoing
instrument.
FRANKLIN CARIO
Ex-Officio Notary Public
Judge, M.T.C.
Alaminos, Pangasinan
There are palpable errors in this certification. Most glaringly, the document is certified by way of a jurat
instead of an acknowledgment. A jurat is a distinct creature from an acknowledgment. An
acknowledgment is the act of one who has executed a deed in going before some competent officer or
court and declaring it to be his act or deed; while a jurat is that part of an affidavit where the officer
certifies that the same was sworn before him.
But there is an even more substantial defect in the notarization, one which is determinative of this petition.
This pertains to the authority of Judge Franklin Cario to notarize the Deed of Sale.
It is undisputed that Franklin Cario at the time of the notarization of the Deed of Sale, was a
sitting judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Alaminos. Municipal Trial Court (MTC) and
Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) judges are empowered to perform the functions of notaries
public ex officio under Section 76 of Republic Act No. 296, as amended (otherwise known as the
Judiciary Act of 1948) and Section 242 of the Revised Administrative Code. However, as far back as 1980
in Borre v. Moya, the Court explicitly declared that municipal court judges such as Cario may
notarize only documents connected with the exercise of their official duties. The Deed of Sale was
not connected with any official duties of Judge Cario, and there was no reason for him to notarize it.
Most crucially for this case, we should deem the Deed of Sale as not having been notarized at all.
The validity of a notarial certification necessarily derives from the authority of the notarial officer. If the
notary public does not have the capacity to notarize a document, but does so anyway, then the document
should be treated as unnotarized.
What then is the effect on the Deed of Sale if it was not notarized? True enough, from a civil law
perspective, the absence of notarization of the Deed of Sale would not necessarily invalidate the
transaction evidenced therein. Article 1358 of the Civil Code requires that the form of a contract
that transmits or extinguishes real rights over immovable property should be in a public
document, yet it is also an accepted rule that the failure to observe the proper form does not
render the transaction invalid. Thus, it has been uniformly held that the form required in Article 1358 is
not essential to the validity or enforceability of the transaction, but required merely for
convenience.
The Deed of Sale, invalidly notarized as it was, does not fall under the enumeration of public documents;
hence, it must be considered a private document. The nullity of the alleged or attempted notarization
performed by Judge Cario is sufficient to exclude the document in question from the class of public

documents. Even assuming that the Deed of Sale was validly notarized, it would still be classified as a
private document, since it was not properly acknowledged, but merely subscribed and sworn to by way of
jurat.
Being a private document, the Deed of Sale is now subject to the requirement that before any private
document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due execution and authenticity must be proved.
The Deed of Sale was offered in evidence by Aquinos, hence, the burden falls upon the Aquinos to prove
its authenticity and due execution. However, the SC observed that no receipts were ever presented by the
respondents to evidence actual payment of consideration by them to Bustria, despite the allegation of the
respondents that the amount was covered by seven receipts. Also of note is the fact that there are glaring
differences as to the alleged signature of Bustria on the Deed of Sale and as it otherwise appears on the
judicial record.

Fuentes vs. Buno Miguel Caponong


-------------------------------------------------Vda. De Rosales v. Ramos
A.C. No. 5645
Date July 2, 2002
Digest by: Anna Beatrice S. Tarrosa
-------------------------------------------------Petitioner: Rosalinda Bernardo Vda De Rosales, Complainant
Respondent: Atty. Mario G. Ramos, Respondent
Ponente:
Topic: Notarized Document as a Public Instrument
FACTS:
This complaint for disbarment was filed in behalf of complainant Rosalinda Bernardo Vda. de
Rosales by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against respondent Atty. Mario G. Ramos for
violation of Act No. 2711 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1917, Title IV, Ch. 11, otherwise know as
the Notarial Law, particularly Secs. 245 and 246 thereof.
Manuel A. Bernardo, brother of complainant Rosalinda Bernardo Vda. de Rosales, borrowed from
Rosalinda the Original Transfer Certificate of Title No. 194464 covering Lot No. 1-B-4-H in her name.
The lot measures 112 square meters and is located at the back of Manuel's house on Fabie Street,
Paco, Metro Manila. On 25 November 1990 Rosalinda sold this lot to one Alfredo P. Castro. When she
asked
her
brother
Manuel
to
return
her
title
he
refused.
Rosalinda executed an Affidavit of Loss of her title and presented the affidavit to the Register of Deeds of
Manila.
On 3 September 1991 the Register of Deeds informed Rosalinda that her title to the property was already
transferred to Manuel by virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale she purportedly executed in favor of Manuel on
5 September 1990. The document was notarized by respondent Atty. Mario G. Ramos on 1 October 1990
and entered in his Notarial Register as Doc. No. 388, Page No. 718, Book No. 10, Series of 1990.
Rosalinda however denied having signed any deed of sale over her property in favor of Manuel.
Respondent admitted in his Answer that he had affixed his signature on the purported Deed of Absolute
Sale but failed to enter the document in his Notarial Registry Book. He also admitted executing before
the NBI on 12 September 1991 an affidavit regarding the matter. Respondent prayed for the dismissal of

the complaint since according to him he only inadvertently signed the purported Deed of Absolute
Sale and/or that his signature was procured through mistake, fraud, undue influence or excusable
negligence, claiming that he simply relied on the assurances of Manuel that the document would not be
used for illegal purposes.
The respondent claims to have notarized the document out of sympathy for his kababayan is not a
legitimate excuse. It is appalling that respondent did away with the basics of notarial procedure in order to
accommodate the alleged need of a friend and client.
ISSUE: Should the notarized documents be recorded in the notarial registry inorder to be considered as
public
document?
RULING:
Yes. If it is not recorded in the notarial registry then the document is not considered notarized.
The notary public is further enjoined to record in his notarial registry the necessary information regarding
the document or instrument notarized and retain a copy of the document presented to him for
acknowledgment and certification especially when it is a contract. The notarial registry is a record of the
notary public's official acts. Acknowledged documents and instruments recorded in it are considered
public documents. If the document or instrument does not appear in the notarial records and there is no
copy of it therein, doubt is engendered that the document or instrument was not really notarized, so that it
is not a public document and cannot bolster any claim made based on this document. Considering the
evidentiary value given to notarized documents, the failure of the notary public to record the document in
his notarial registry is tantamount to falsely making it appear that the document was notarized when in
fact it was not.
DISPOSITIVE: for lack of diligence in the observance of the Notarial Law, the commission of respondent
Atty. Mario G. Ramos as Notary Public, if still existing, is REVOKED and thereafter Atty. Ramos should be
DISQUALIFIED from reappointment to the office of Notary Public.
DOCTRINE: If the document or instrument does not appear in the notarial records and there is no copy of
it therein, doubt is engendered that the document or instrument was not really notarized, so that it is not a
public document and cannot bolster any claim made based on this document.

De La Cruz vs. Zabala Lanz Olives


Facts:
Complainant Atty. Miniano B. Dela Cruz charged respondent, Atty. Alejandro P. Zabala, for
violating his oath as a notary public. Complainant further alleged that respondent notarized with
unknown witnesses, a fake deed of sale allegedly executed by two dead people, in gross violation
of his oath as a Commissioned Notary Public in Quezon City.
Complainant averred that he was retained by a certain Demetrio C. Marero to finance and
undertake the filing of a Petition for the Issuance of a Second Duplicate Original of the Owners
copy OCT in the names of Sps. Pedro Sumulong and Cirila Tapales before the Regional Trial
Court of Antipolo City.
Complainant was not able to register the property because the property was already registered in
the name of Antipolo Properties, Inc., under TCT No. N-107359.
Mr. Marero filed a Complaint for Reconveyance of Title of the land, subject of the Deed of Sale
which was notarized by respondent, with damages against the complainant and his wife. The
Deed of Sale was the same document Marero used when he filed a complaint for Estafa thru
Falsification of Public Document docketed as I.S. No. 98-16357 before the Quezon City
Prosecutors Office and in a disbarment case docketed as Adm. Case No. 4963 against
complainant.
Purportedly, to clear his name, complainant filed this complaint for disbarment against
respondent. According to complainant, respondent notarized an irregular document where one of
the parties to the transaction was already dead, grossly violating his oath as a notary public.
Respondent, in his Answer alleged that as a notary, he did not have to go beyond the documents
presented to him for notarization. In notarial law, he explains, the minimum requirements to
notarize a document are the presence of the parties and their presentation of their community tax
certificate. As long as these requirements are met, the documents may be notarized.
Furthermore, he adds, when he notarized the Deed of Sale, he had no way of knowing whether
the persons who appeared before him were the real owners of the land or were merely poseurs.
Issue:
Whether or not Atty. Zabala was negligent on his duty as a notary public?
Held:
Yes. It appears that there was negligence on respondents part which, in our view, is quite serious.
Thus, we cannot conclude that he did not violate the Notarial Law, and our rules regarding Notarial
Practice. Nor could we agree that, as recommended by the IBP, he should only be reprimanded. At least
his commission as Notary Public should be revoked and for two years he should be disqualified from
being commissioned as such.
The IBP noted that on its face, the Deed of Sale was not executed by the purported vendee and
that only Pedro Sumulong appeared and executed the deed even though the property was co-owned by
Pedro Sumulong and Cirila Tapales. In addition, a copy of the title was not attached to the said Deed of
Sale when it was presented for notarization. The aforementioned circumstances should have alerted
respondent. Given the ease with which community tax certificates are obtained these days, respondent
should have been more vigilant in ascertaining the identity of the persons who appeared before him.
Notarization is not an empty, meaningless routinary act. It is invested with substantive public interest. It
must be underscored that the notarization by a notary public converts a private document into a public
document, making that document admissible in evidence without further proof of authenticity thereof. A
notarial document is, by law, entitled to full faith and credit upon its face. For this reason, a notary public
must observe with utmost care the basic requirements in the performance of their duties; otherwise, the
confidence of the public in the integrity of this form of conveyance would be undermined

Lee vs Tambago Vito Sales


Facts:
1. Complainant, Manuel L. Lee, charged respondent, Atty. Regino B. Tambago, with violation of
Notarial Law and the Ethics of the legal profession for notarizing a wil.
2. The will was alleged to be spurious in nature in containing forged signatures of his father, the
decedent, Vicente Lee Sr. and two other witnesses, which were also questioned for the absence
of notation of the Residence Certificates that are known to be a copy of their respective voter's
affidavit.
3. In addition to such, the contested will was executed and acknowledged before respondent on
June 30, 1965 but bears a Residence Certificate by the Testator dated January 5, 1962, which
was never submitted for filing to the Archives Division of the Records Management and Archives
Office of the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCAA).
4. Respondent refuted that all allegations were falsely given because he allegedly exercised his
duties as Notary Public with due care and with due regards to the provision of existing law and
had complied with elementary formalities in the performance of his duties and that the complaint
was filed simply to harass him based on the result of a criminal case against him filed by
complainant in the Ombudsman that did not prosper.
5. However, he did not deny the contention of non-filing a copy to the Archives Division of NCAA.
6. In a resolution, the court referred the case to the IBP and the decision of which found respondent
guilty of violations of pertinent provisions of the old Notarial Law as found in the Administrative
Code.
7. The violation constituted an infringement of legal ethics, particularly Canon 1 and Rule 1.01of the
Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR). Thus, the investigating commissioner of the IBP
Commission on Bar Discipline recommended the suspension of respondent for a period of three
months.
8. The IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved, with modifications, the recommendation of
the CBD and ruled that Atty. Tambago is suspended from the practice of law for one year and his
notarial commission is Revoked and Disqualified from reappointment as Notary Public for two
years.
Issue:
WON Atty. Tambago exercised his duties as Notary Public with due care and with due regard to
the provision of existing law and had complied with the elementary formalities in the performance of his
duties.
Held/Ratio:
No. Respondent, as notary public, evidently failed in the performance of the elementary duties of
his office. The Court finds that he acted very irresponsibly in notarizing the will in question. Such
recklessness warrants the less severe punishment of suspension from the practice of law. It is, as well, a
sufficient basis for the revocation of his commission and his perpetual disqualification to be commissioned
as a notary public.
The Civil Code requires that a will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator
and the witnesses. The importance of this requirement is highlighted by the fact that it was segregated
from the other requirements under Article 805 and embodied in a distinct and separate provision.
An acknowledgment is the act of one who has executed a deed in going before some competent
officer or court and declaring it to be his act or deed. It involves an extra step undertaken whereby the
signatory actually declares to the notary public that the same is his or her own free act and deed. The
acknowledgment in a notarial will has a two-fold purpose: (1) to safeguard the testators wishes long after
his demise and (2) to assure that his estate is administered in the manner that he intends it to be done.

A cursory examination of the acknowledgment of the will in question shows that this particular
requirement was neither strictly nor substantially complied with. For one, there was the conspicuous
absence of a notation of the residence certificates of the notarial witnesses Noynay and Grajo in the
acknowledgment. Similarly, the notation of the testators old residence certificate in the same
acknowledgment was a clear breach of the law. These omissions by respondent invalidated the will.
Notaries public must observe with utmost care and utmost fidelity the basic requirements in the
performance of their duties, otherwise, the confidence of the public in the integrity of notarized deeds will
be undermined.
Defects in the observance of the solemnities prescribed by law render the entire will invalid. This
carelessness cannot be taken lightly in view of the importance and delicate nature of a will, considering
that the testator and the witnesses, as in this case, are no longer alive to identify the instrument and to
confirm its contents. Accordingly, respondent must be held accountable for his acts. The validity of the will
was seriously compromised as a consequence of his breach of duty.
These gross violations of the law also made respondent liable for violation of his oath as a lawyer
and constituted transgressions of Section 20 (a), Rule 138 of the Rules of Court and Canon 1 and Rule
1.01of the CPR.

Dela Cruz v. Dimaano, A.C. No. 7781, September 12, 2008; 565 SCRA 1 (2008) Kato Gutierrez
HEIRS OF AMPARO DEL ROSARIO vs. SANTOS (1981) Kayelyn Lat
FACTS:
1. On January 14, 1974, Amparo del Rosario filed a complaint against the spouses Andres F. Santos
and Aurora O. Santos, for specific performance and damages allegedly for failure of the latter to
execute the Deed of Confirmation of Sale of an undivided 20,000 square meters of land, in Tanay,
Rizal, in malicious breach of a Deed of Sale
2. Amparo fied on September 21, 1980
3. She is now substituted by the heirs named in her will
4. Andres also died on Sept. 5, 1980; he is substituted by his heirs
5. The Deed of Sale is drafted as:
- Andres Santos, married to Aurora Santos, Filipino and resident of San Dionisio, Paranaque,
Rizal, for and in consideration of 2k, do hereby sells, conveys, and transfers unto Amparo del
Rosario, married to Fidel del Rosario but with legal separation, that certain 20k sq. m.
- The property, I own interest thereof being my attorneys fee, and the said 20k sq. m. will be
transferred unto the vendee as soon as the title has been released by the proper authority/ies
concerned
- The parties agree that the vendor shall execute a Deed of Confirmation of Deed of Sale in
favour of the vendee as soon as the title has been released and the subdivision plan of said
lot 1 has been approved by the Land Registration Commissioner
6. Plaintiff claimed fulfilment of conditions for the execution of the Deed of Confirmation of Sale
- Release of title of lot and the approval of subd. plan of lot by LRC
7. In a motion to dismiss, defendants pleaded the defences of lack of jurisdiction of court of the
subject and lack of cause of action
- No allegation as to the date of approval of subd plan
- no clear showing when the demands were made on the defendants
- prescription: deed of sale dated Sept 28, 1964 and supposedly ratified Oct 1, 1964 but the
complaint was filed only on Jan 14, 1974 (lapse of more than 9 years when it should have
been filed within 5 years from 1964)
deed of sale was "only an accommodation graciously extended, out of close friendship
between the defendants and the plaintiff and her casual business partner in the buy and sell
of real estate, one Erlinda Cortez
8. Court denied motion to dismiss of defendants
9. Defendants further strengthened their defences:
- Titles allegedly derived by them from Lot 1 of Annex A or I were cancelled and/or different
from said Lot 1 and that the deed of sale was simulated and fictitious, plaintiff having paid no
amount to defendants
10. The Court a quo still held in abeyance plaintiff's motion for summary judgment or judgment on
the pleadings pending the pre-trial of the case
11. At the pre-trial, defendants offered by way of compromise to pay plaintiff the sum of P2,000.00,
the consideration stated in the deed of sale.
12. But the latter rejected the bid and insisted on the delivery of the land to her. Thus, the pre-trial
proceeded with the presentation by plaintiff of Exhibits A to Q which defendants practically
admitted, adopted as their own and marked as Exhibits 1 to 17; In addition, the latter offered
Exhibit 18, which was their reply to plaintiff's letter of demand dated December 21, 1973.
13. Defendants filed an appeal to CA
- They do not contest the words and figures in said deed except in the acknowledgment portion
thereof where certain words were allegedly cancelled and changed without their knowledge
and consent and where, apparently, they appeared before Notary Public Florencio Landrito
when, in fact, they claimed that they did not.
ISSUE: Whether or not the existence of an alleged false notarization of the deed of sale is material

HELD: NO
RATIO:
As correctly pointed out by the court a quo, the alleged false notarization of the deed of sale is of no
consequence. For a sale of real property or of an interest therein to be enforceable under the Statute of
Frauds, it is enough that it be in writing. It need not be notarized. But the vendee may avail of the right
under Article 1357 of the New Civil Code to compel the vendor to observe the form required by law in
order that the instrument may be registered in the Registry of Deeds. Hence, the due execution and
genuineness of the deed of sale are not really in issue in this case. Accordingly, assigned error I is without
merit.
While it is true, as appellants argue, that Article 1306 of the New Civil Code provides that "the contracting
parties may establish such stipulations, clauses, terms and conditions as they may deem convenient,
provided that they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy" and that
consequently, appellants and appellee could freely enter into an agreement imposing as conditions
thereof the following: that appellee secure the written conformity of Erlinda Cortez and that she render an
accounting of all collections from her, said conditions may not be proved as they are not embodied in the
deed of sale.
The only conditions imposed for the execution of the Deed of Confirmation of Sale by appellants in favor
of appellee are the release of the title and the approval of the subdivision plan. Thus, appellants may not
now introduce other conditions allegedly agreed upon by them because when they reduced their
agreement to writing, it is presumed that "they have made the writing the only repository and memorial of
truth, and whatever is not found in the writing must be understood to have been waived and abandoned."
By the terms of the Deed of Sale itself, which We find genuine and not infirmed, appellants declared
themselves to be owners of one-half (1/2) interest thereof. But in order to avoid appellee's claim, they now
contend that Plan Psu-206650 where said Lot I appears is in the exclusive name of Teofilo Custodio as
the sole and exclusive owner thereof and that the deed of assignment of one-half (1/2) interest thereof
executed by said Teofilo Custodio in their favor is strictly personal between them. Notwithstanding the
lack of any title to the said lot by appellants at the time of the execution of the deed of sale in favor of
appellee, the said sale may be valid as there can be a sale of an expected thing, in accordance with Art.
1461, New Civil Code

PERMANENT SAVINGS AND LOAN BANK V. VELARDE


GR NO. 140608
September 23, 2004
Digest by: Metha Dawn H. Orolfo
----------------------------------------------Topic: Admissibility of Documents
Facts:
1. In a complaint for sum of money filed before the Regional Trial Court of Manila (Branch 37), docketed
as Civil Case No. 94-71639, petitioner Permanent Savings and Loan Bank sought to recover from
respondent Mariano Velarde, the sum of P1,000,000.00 plus accrued interests and penalties, based
on a loan obtained by respondent from petitioner bank, evidenced by the following: (1) promissory
note dated September 28, 1983; (2) loan release sheet dated September 28, 1983; and (3) loan
disclosure statement dated September 28, 1983. Petitioner bank, represented by its Deputy
Liquidator after it was placed under liquidation, sent a letter of demand to respondent on July 27,
1988, demanding full payment of the loan. Despite receipt of said demand letter, respondent failed to
settle his account.
2. Velarde contends that he caused the preparation of the complaint and that all the allegations thereat
are true and correct; that the promissory note sued upon, assuming that it exists and bears the
genuine signature of herein defendant, the same does not bind him and that it did not truly express
the real intention of the parties as stated in the defenses
3. The Bank claims, that there is no need to prove the loan and its supporting papers as Velarde has
already admitted these. Velarde had in fact denied these in his responsive pleading. And consistent
with his denial, he objected to the presentation of Marquez as a witness to identify the Exhibits of the
Bank, and objected to their admission when these were offered as evidence. Though these were
grudgingly admitted anyway, still admissibility of evidence should not be equated with weight of
evidence.
Issue: WON the defendant has really executed the Promissory Note considering the doubt as to the
genuineness of the signature and as well as the non-receipt of the said amount
Ruling: NO. The mere presentation of supposed documents regarding the loan, but absent the
testimony of a competent witness to the transaction and the documentary evidence, coupled with
the denial of liability by the defendant does not suffice to meet the requisite preponderance of
evidence in civil cases.
The documents, standing alone, unsupported by independent evidence of their existence, have no legal
basis to stand on. They are not competent evidence. Such failure leaves this Court without ample basis to
sustain the plaintiffs cause of action and other reliefs prayed for. The loan document being challenged.
(sic) Plaintiff did not exert additional effort to strengthen its case by the required preponderance of
evidence. On this score, the suit must be dismissed.
The bank should have presented at least a single witness qualified to testify on the existence and
execution of the documents it relied upon to prove the disputed loan obligations of Velarde. This falls
short of the requirement that (B)efore any private writing may be received in evidence, its due execution
and authenticity must be proved either: (a) By anyone who saw the writing executed; (b) By evidence of
the genuineness of the handwriting of the maker; or (c) By a subscribing witness. (Rule 132, Sec. 21,
Rules of Court)
Dispositive: Bank won.
The petition is GRANTED. The Decisions of the Regional Trial Court of Manila (Branch 37) dated January
26, 1996, and the Court of Appeals dated October 27, 1999 are SET ASIDE. Respondent is ordered to
pay One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) plus 25% interest and 24% penalty charge per annum beginning
October 13, 1983 until fully paid, and 25% of the amount due as attorneys fees.

Tigno vs. Spouses Aquino


G.R. No. 129416 Nov. 25, 2004
Digest by: Angelo Lopez
FACTS:
Respondent spouses Aquino (the Aquinos) filed a complaint for enforcement of contract and
damages against Isidro Bustria. The complaint sought to enforce an alleged sale by Bustria to the
Aquinos of a 120,000 square meter fishpond located in Dasci, Pangasinan. The property was not
registered either under the Land Registration Act or under the Spanish Mortgage Law, though registrable
under Act No. 3344.
Eventually, Bustria and the Aquinos entered into a compromise agreement, whereby Bustria
agreed to recognize the validity of the sale, and the Aquinos in turn agreed to grant to Bustria the right to
repurchase the same property after the lapse of seven years. Bustria died in October 1986, then
petitioner Tigno, in substitution of her Father Bustria, attempted to repurchase the property by filing a
Motion for Consignation. RTC denied Consignation, as Aquinos argued that repurchase was not yet
demandable. Among the witnesses presented by the Aquinos during trial were Jesus De Francia (De
Francia), the instrumental witness to the deed of sale, and former Judge Franklin Cario (Judge Cario),
who notarized the same. These two witnesses testified as to the occasion of the execution and signing of
the deed of sale by Bustria.
Thereafter, in their Formal Offer of Documentary Evidence, the Aquinos offered for admission as
their Exhibit No. 8, the deed of sale (Deed of Sale) purportedly executed by Bustria. The admission of the
Deed of Sale was objected to by Tigno on the ground that it was a false and fraudulent document which
had not been acknowledged by Bustria as his own; and that its existence was suspicious, considering that
it had been previously unknown, and not even presented by the Aquinos when they opposed Tignos
previous Motion for Consignation. In an Order dated 6 April 1994, the RTC refused to admit the Deed of
Sale in evidence. CA reversed RTC.
(Note: Judge Carrios Notarization of the Deed of Sale was considered as improper, see this case in
another topic regarding Notarization)
ISSUE:
What is the effect of a Deed of Sale that is not notarized from the perspective of the law on evidence
RULING:
The Deed of Sale, invalidly notarized as it was, does not fall under the enumeration of public documents;
hence, it must be considered a private document. The nullity of the alleged or attempted notarization
performed by Judge Cario is sufficient to exclude the document in question from the class of public
documents. Even assuming that the Deed of Sale was validly notarized, it would still be classified as a
private document, since it was not properly acknowledged, but merely subscribed and sworn to by way of
jurat.
Being a private document, the Deed of Sale is now subject to the requirement of proof under Section 20,
Rule 132, which states:
Section 20. Proof of private document.Before any private document offered as authentic is received in
evidence, its due execution and authenticity must be proved either:
(a) By anyone who saw the document executed or written; or
(b) By evidence of the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker.
Any other private document need only be identified as that which is claimed to be.
The Deed of Sale was offered in evidence as authentic by the Aquinos, who likewise insist that its
enforceability militates against Tignos claim. Correspondingly, the burden falls upon the Aquinos to prove

its authenticity and due execution. The Court of Appeals clearly erred in not appreciating the Deed of Sale
as a private document and in applying the presumption of regularity that attaches only to duly notarized
documents, as distinguished from private documents.
Did the RTC err then in refusing to admit the Deed of Sale? We hold that it did not. Section 20, Rule 132
provides ample discretion on the trier of fact before it may choose to receive the private document in
evidence. The RTC wisely refused to admit the Deed of Sale, taking great lengths as it did to explain its
doubts as to its veracity. The RTC was not convinced of the proffered proof by the Aquinos, and the
exercise of its sound discretion as the primary trier of fact warrants due respect.
Also, the Deed of Sale is a private document. Thus, not only the due execution of the document must be
proven but also its authenticity. This factor was not duly considered by the Court of Appeals. The
testimonies of Judge Cario and De Francia now become material not only to establish due execution, but
also the authenticity of the Deed of Sale. And on this point, the inconsistencies pointed out by the RTC
become crucial.
The matter of authenticity of the Deed of Sale being disputed, the identity of the progenitor of this allimportant document is a material evidentiary point. It is disconcerting that the very two witnesses of the
respondent offered to prove the Deed of Sale, flatly contradict each other on the basis of their own
personal and sensory knowledge. Worse, the purported author of the Deed of Sale disavowed having
drafted the document, notwithstanding the contrary testimony grounded on personal knowledge by the
documentary witness.

CHONG v CA Vanessa Hiceta


GR 148280 July 10, 2007
Ponente: Ynares-Santiago
TOPIC: Validity of Contracts
FACTS:
Loreta Agustin Chong filed a Complaint for annulment of contracts and recovery of possession
against respondent-spouses Pedro and Rosita de Guzman, and Fortune Development
Corporation before the RTC Manila.
Petitioner alleged that she:
o Is the common-law wife of Augusto Chong;
o That on February 13, 1980, she bought a parcel of land (subject lot) from respondent
corporation as evidenced by Contract to Sell No. 195.
o By virtue of a SPA she executed in favor of Augusto, the latter sold the subject lot to
respondent-spouses under the Transfer of Rights and Assumption of Obligation dated
January 30, 1984 allegedly for P80,884.95 which petitioner or Augusto never received,
thus, said sale is null and void for lack of consideration;
o Despite repeated demands, respondent-spouses refused to turn over the possession of
the subject lot to petitioner.
o Denied selling the house constructed on the subject lot to respondent-spouses for P25k

Claiming that she could not have executed the Deed of Sale because at the time
it was allegedly notarized on February 24, 1987, she was working in Hong Kong
as a domestic helper.
Thus, said sale is void for being a forgery.
Despite repeated demands, respondent-spouses refused to surrender the
possession of the aforesaid house.
o Is the owner of a house located at 1191 P. Zapanta, Singalong, Manila
that without her knowledge and consent, respondent-spouses rented said house
to other persons and collected rent;
Despite repeated demands, respondent-spouses refused to return the
possession of the house as well as the rentals collected therefrom.
Petitioner prayed that the Transfer of Rights and Assumption of Obligation as well as the Deed of
Sale be declared null and void; that respondent-spouses be ordered to turn over the possession
of the houses and lots in Paraaque and Singalong to petitioner; and that respondents indemnify
her for actual, moral and exemplary damages as well as attorneys fees. MTD (ground: failure
to state a COA) TC denied!
Respondent-spouses filed their Answer while respondent corporation failed to file its answer
within the reglementary period hence, it was declared in default.
Respondent-spouses asserted that:
o The Transfer of Rights and Assumption of Obligation was supported by sufficient
consideration;
o They paid P125k, and not P25k as alleged by petitioner, for the house on the subject lot;
o The Deed of Sale over the house constructed on the subject lot was signed by petitioner
on February 22, 1987 while she was still in the country but it was notarized only on
February 24, 1987 or after she had left to work abroad;
o Petitioner failed to allege or submit any actionable document to prove her claim of
ownership;
o The house located in Singalong is owned by respondent-spouses;
o Petitioners complaint is malicious and baseless which entitles them to actual, moral,
exemplary and nominal damages, as well as attorneys fees.
TC: the document entitled Transfer of Rights and Assumption of Obligation sufficiently
supported by valuable consideration. Respondent-spouses paid almost Php480K. It dismissed

the complaint and sentenced petitioner to pay the respondents damages.


MAIN ISSUE:
Whether the trial court erred in not finding that the Transfer of Rights and Assumption of Obligation dated
January 30, 1984 was void or, in the alternative, unenforceable as against petitioner.
HELD/RATIO:
NO. The parties VOLUNTARILY executed the Transfer of Rights and Assumption of Obligation and that
the same was supported by valuable consideration.
The evidence on record sufficiently established that on February 13, 1980, petitioner bought the subject
lot from respondent corporation under Contract to Sell No. 195 and thereafter, began paying the
stipulated monthly installments thereon.
She executed a SPA in favor of Augusto Chong, granting the latter the power to "mortgage, encumber, sell
and dispose the property. One Rosario Cabelin filed a complaint for sum of money against petitioner and
Augusto with the RTC Pasay. Under threat of preliminary attachment, petitioner, who was then working as
a domestic helper in Hong Kong, sought the assistance of respondent-spouses to settle the case.
Subsequently, Rosario, Augusto and petitioner, with Augusto acting as petitioners attorney-in-fact,
entered into a Compromise Agreement wherein petitioner and Augusto agreed to pay the amount of P55k
to Rosario. To guarantee the payment of the remaining balance of the debt in the amount of
P105,000.00, Augusto, again acting as petitioners attorney-in-fact, executed a Deed of Sale with Right
to Repurchase over the subject lot in favor of Rosario in consideration of the aforesaid sum. In addition,
Augusto, respondent-spouses, Gualberto and Fe Arceta jointly and severally promised to pay the
aforesaid sumunder a Promissory Note. Rosario demanded payment of the remaining balance of the
debt. Respondent-spouses agreed to pay Rosario the amount of P105k provided petitioner will transfer
her rights over the subject lot to them. Thus, after respondent-spouses had paid Rosario, Augusto, acting
under the aforementioned Special Power of Attorney, executed a Transfer of Rights and Assumption of
Obligation in favor of respondent-spouses and with the conformity of respondent corporation.
Correspondingly, Rosario executed a Quitclaim in favor of Augusto releasing him from the aforementioned
Deed of Sale with Right to Repurchase and Promissory Note. Thereafter, respondent-spouses paid the
remaining monthly installments and transferred the title over the subject lot in their names as evidenced
by TCT 1292.
Petitioner asserts, however, that the Transfer of Rights and Assumption of Obligation is null and void
because it lacked valuable consideration. SC: not persuaded.
The clear and unmistakable tenor of the Special Power of Attorney reveals that petitioner specifically
authorized Augusto to sell the subject lot and to settle her obligations to third persons. The Special
Power of Attorney is a duly notarized document and, as such, is entitled, by law, to full faith and
credit upon its face. Notarization vests upon the document the presumption of regularity unless it is
impugned by strong, complete and conclusive proof. Rather than challenging its validity, petitioner
admitted in open court that she signed the Special Power of Attorney with a full appreciation of its
contents and without reservation.
The evidence on record sufficiently established that petitioners rights over the subject lot were validly
transferred to respondent-spouses in consideration of the latters payment of petitioners debts to Rosario.
When Augusto executed the Transfer of Rights and Assumption of Obligations on behalf of petitioner, he
was acting within his powers under the Special Power of Attorney for valuable consideration. In a contract
of agency, the agent acts in representation or in behalf of another with the consent of the latter, and the
principal is bound by the acts of his agent for as long as the latter acts within the scope of his authority.
Hence, the Transfer of Rights and Assumption of Obligations is valid and binding between the
parties.
1avvphi1
It was established that petitioner received valuable consideration for the sale of the house on the subject
lot. Concededly, the notarization of the deed was defective as respondent Pedro de Guzman himself
admitted that the deed was notarized only two days after petitioner had signed the deed and at which time
she was already in Hong Kong. In short, petitioner did not appear before the notary public in violation of

the Notarial Law which requires that the party acknowledging must appear before the notary public or any
other person authorized to take acknowledgments of instruments or documents. Nevertheless, the
defective notarization of the deed does not affect the validity of the sale of the house. Although
Article 1358 of the Civil Code states that the sale of real property must appear in a public instrument, the
formalities required by this article is not essential for the validity of the contract but is simply for its greater
efficacy or convenience, or to bind third persons, and is merely a coercive means granted to the
contracting parties to enable them to reciprocally compel the observance of the prescribed form.
Consequently, the private conveyance of the house is valid between the parties.
Based on the foregoing, the SC was satisfied that the sale of the subject lot and the house built thereon
was made for valuable consideration and with the consent of petitioner. Consequently, we affirm the
findings of the lower courts which upheld the validity of the transfer of petitioners rights over the subject
lot as well as the sale of the house built thereon in favor of respondent-spouses.
DISPOSITIVE PORTION: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The September 14, 2000 Decision of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 47487 which affirmed the August 8, 1994 Decision of the
Regional Court of Manila, Branch 7, in Civil Case No. 89-50138, dismissing the complaint, and ordering
petitioner to pay P50,000.00 as moral damages, P10,000.00 as attorneys fees and costs of the suit, and
its May 28, 2001 Resolution denying petitioners motion for reconsideration, are AFFIRMED. Costs
against petitioner.

The President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints v. BTL Construction Corporation Jen
Balmeo
G.R. No. 176439, February 26, 2007
FACTS: COJCOLDS and BTL entered into a Construction Contract for the latters construction of the
formers meetinghouse facility at Barangay Cabug, Medina, Misamis Oriental (Medina Project). The
contract price was set at P12,680,000.00 as contract price, and the construction period from January 15
to September 15, 2000. However, due to bad weather conditions, power failures, and revisions in the
construction plans (as per Change Order Nos. 1 to 12 agreed upon by the parties),among others, the
completion date of the Medina Project was extended.
BTL informed COJCOLDS that it suffered financial losses from another project (i.e., the Pelaez Arcade II
Project) and thereby requested that it be allowed to: (a) bill COJCOLDS based on 95% and 100%
completion of the Medina Project; and (b) execute deeds of assignment in favor of its suppliers so that
they may collect any eventual payments directly from COJCOLDS. COJCOLDS granted said request
which BTL, in turn, acknowledged.
BTL ceased its operations in the Medina Project because of its lack of funds to advance the cost of labor
necessary to complete the said project, as well as the supervening increase in the prices of materials and
other items for construction.Consequently, COJCOLDS terminated its Contract with BTL on August 17,
2001 and, thereafter, engaged the services of another contractor, Vigor Construction (Vigor), to complete
the Medina Project.
BTL filed a complaint against COJCOLDS before the CIAC, claiming a total amount of P28,716,775.40
broken down as follows: (a) P12,464,005.11 as cost of labor, materials, equipment, overhead expenses,
lost profits and interests; (b) P1,248,179.87 as the 10% retention money stipulated in the contract; (c)
P373,838.42 as interest on said retention money; (d ) P14,330,752.00 as actual damages; (e)
P300,000.00 as attorneys fees; (f ) moral and exemplary damages; and (g) costs of arbitration.
For its part, COJCOLDS filed its answer with compulsory counterclaim, praying for the award of
P4,134,693.49 which consists of: (a) P2,307,760.00 as liquidated damages in view of BTLs delay in
completing the pending project; (b) P300,533.49 as reimbursement of the payments it directly made to
BTLs suppliers as per the latters request; (c) P526,400.00 as cost overrun; and (d) P1,000,000.00 as
attorneys fees.
During the preliminary conference the parties agreed to a Terms of Reference (TOR) which was later
amended. Under the amended TOR, it was stipulated that the parties relationship with respect to the
Medina Project is governed by, among others, the Contract, and the General Conditions of the Contract20
(General Conditions). They also stipulated that 98% of the said project had been completed.
The CIAC Ruling: In favor of BTL.
CA Ruling: Modified. Both parties have liabilities to each other.
MR: Same decision. Denied
ISSUE: WON the parties have liabilities to each other?
HELD: YES
I. Liabilities of COJCOLDS to BTL.
a. The 10% Retention Money and the Unpaid Balance of the Contract Price: Because the 10% retention
money should not be treated as a separate and distinct liability of COJCOLDS to BTL as it merely forms
part of the contract price. While COJCOLDS is bound to eventually return to BTL the amount of
P1,248,179.87 as retention money, the said amount should be automatically deducted from BTLs
outstanding billings. Ultimately, COJCOLDSs total liability to BTL should only be pegged at
P1,612,017.74, representing the unpaid balance of 98% of the contract price, inclusive of the 10%
retention money.
II. Liabilities of BTL to COJCOLDS.
a. Liquidated Damages Due to Delay: BTLs liability to COJCOLDS for liquidated damages is a result of
its delay in the performance of its obligations under the Contract.
b. Cost Overrun: BTL should therefore reimburse COJCOLDS the said cost which the latter incurred
essentially because of BTLs failure to complete the project as agreed upon.

c. Overpayments: Therefore obliged to return the same to COJCOLDS pursuant to Article 2154 of the
Civil Code which states that "[i]f something is received when there is no right to demand it, and it was
unduly delivered through mistake, the obligation to return it arises."
III. Mutual Liabilities: Attorneys Fees- NONE , because neither party was shown to have acted in bad
faith in pursuing their respective claims against each other. The existence of bad faith is negated by the
fact that the CIAC, the CA, and the Court have all found the parties original claims to be partially
meritorious.

Quilala v. Alcantara 371 SCRA 311 (2001) Julian


Abellana v. Spouses Ponce Bianca Borlagdan
437 SCRA 531, G.R. No. 160488
September 3, 2004
Justice Ynares-Santiago
Facts:
1.
On July 15, 1981, Felomina, the aunt of private respondent Lucila Ponce, purchased from the late
Estela Caldoza-Pacres an agricultural lot with the intention of giving said lot to her niece, Lucila. Thus, in
the deed of sale, the latter was designated as the buyer of Lot 3, Pcs-10-000198, covered by Original
Certificate of Title No. P-27, located at Los Angeles, Butuan City. The total consideration of the sale was
P16,500.00, but only P4,500.00 was stated in the deed upon the request of the seller.
2.
Subsequently, Felomina applied for the issuance of title in the name of her niece. On April 28,
1992, TCT No. 2874 over the subject lot was issued in the name of Lucila. Said title, however, remained
in the possession of Felomina who developed the lot through Juanario Torreon and paid real property
taxes thereon.
3.
The relationship between Felomina and respondent spouses Romeo and Lucila Ponce, however,
turned sour. The latter allegedly became disrespectful and ungrateful to the point of hurling her insults and
even attempting to hurt her physically. Hence, Felomina filed the instant case for revocation of implied
trust to recover legal title over the property.
4.
Private respondent spouses Lucila and Romeo, on the other hand, claimed that the purchase
price of the lot was only P4,500.00 and that it was them who paid the same. The payment and signing of
the deed of sale allegedly took place in the office of Atty. Teodoro Emboy in the presence of the seller and
her siblings namely, Aquilino Caldoza and the late Lilia Caldoza.
5.
The trial court rendered a decision holding that an implied trust existed between Felomina and
Lucila, such that the latter is merely holding the lot for the benefit of the former. It thus ordered the
conveyance of the subject lot in favor of Felomina.
6.
The Court of Appeals set aside the decision of the trial court ruling that Felomina failed to prove
the existence of an implied trust and upheld respondent spouses ownership over the litigated lot.
Issue:
Who, as between Felomina and respondent spouses, is the lawful owner of the controverted lot?
Held:
It was Felomina and not Lucila who truly purchased the questioned lot from Estela. The donation of
immovable property by Felomina to Lucila is void.
Ratio:
Under Article 749 of the Civil Code, in order that the donation of an immovable property may be valid, it
must be made in a public document, specifying therein the property donated and the value of the charges
which the donee must satisfy. The acceptance may be made in the same deed of donation or in a
separate public document, but it shall not take effect unless it is done during the lifetime of the donor. If
the acceptance is made in a separate instrument, the donor shall be notified thereof in an authentic form,
and this step shall be noted in both instruments.
In the instant case, what transpired between Felomina and Lucila was a donation of an immovable
property which was not embodied in a public instrument as required by the foregoing article. Being an oral
donation, the transaction was void. Moreover, even if Felomina enjoyed the fruits of the land with the
intention of giving effect to the donation after her demise, the conveyance is still a void donation mortis
causa, for non-compliance with the formalities of a will. No valid title passed regardless of the intention of
Felomina to donate the property to Lucila, because the naked intent to convey without the required
solemnities does not suffice for gratuitous alienations, even as between the parties inter se. At any rate,
Felomina now seeks to recover title over the property because of the alleged ingratitude of the
respondent spouses.

Doctrine:
Under Article 749 of the Civil Code, in order that the donation of an immovable property may be valid, it
must be made in a public document, specifying therein the property donated and the value of the charges
which the donee must satisfy.
Dispositive:
(1) Declared petitioner Felomina Abellana as the absolute owner of Lot 3, Pcs-10-000198;
(2) Ordered the Register of Deeds of Butuan City to cancel TCT No. T-2874 in the name of respondent
Lucila Ponce and to issue a new one in the name of petitioner Felomina Abellana.

Garcia v. Gatchalian Jen Balmeo


21 SCRA 1056 (1967)
FACTS:
1. This is an appeal taken by Pedro Reyes Garcia from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal
in Special Proceedings - denying the allowance of the will of the late Gregorio Gatchalian, on the ground
that the attesting witnesses did not acknowledge it before a notary public, as required by law.
2. On March 15, 1967, Gregorio Gatchalian, a widower of 71 years of age, died in the municipality of
Pasig, Province of Rizal, leaving no forced heirs.
3. On April 2 of the same year, appellant filed a petition with the above named court for the probate of said
alleged will (Exhibit "C") wherein he was instituted as sole heir.
4. Felipe Gatchalian, Aurora G. Camins, Angeles G. Cosca, Federico G. Tubog, Virginia G. Talanay and
Angeles G. Talanay, appellees herein, opposed the petition on the ground, among others: - that the will
was procured by fraud; that the deceased did not intend the instrument signed by him to be as his will; and that the deceased was physically and mentally incapable of making a will at the time of the alleged
execution of said will.
5. After due trial, the court rendered the appealed decision finding the document Exhibit "C" to be the
authentic last will of the deceased but disallowing it for failure to comply with the mandatory requirement
of Article 806 of the New Civil Code that the will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the
testator and the witnesses.
ISSUE: WON the will was executed in accordance of Art 806 of the New Civil Code?
HELD: NO 1. Article 806 of the New Civil Code reads as follows: Every will must be acknowledged before
a notary public by the testator and witnesses. The notary public shall not be required to retain a copy of
the will, or file another with the Office of the Clerk of Court. 2. We have held heretofore that compliance
with the requirement contained in the above legal provision to the effect that a will must be acknowledged
before a notary public by the testator and also by the witnesses is indispensable for its validity - As the
document under consideration does not comply with this requirement, it is obvious that the same may not
be probated.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is affirmed, with costs

Azuela v. Court of Appeals GC Pillena


G.R. No. 122880
April 12, 2006
Facts:
Petitioner Felix Azuela sought to admit to probate the notarial will of Eugenia E. Igsolo. However, this was
opposed by Geralda Castillo, who was the attorney-in-fact of the 12 legitimate heirs of the decedent.
According to her, the will was forged, and imbued with several fatal defects. Particularly, the issue
relevant in this subject is that the will was not properly acknowledged. The notary public, Petronio Y.
Bautista, only wrote Nilagdaan ko at ninotario ko ngayong 10 ng Hunyo 10 (sic), 1981 dito sa Lungsod
ng Maynila.
Issue:
Whether or not the will is fatally defective as it was not properly acknowledged before a notary public by
the testator and the witnesses as required by Article 806 of the Civil Code.
Ruling:
Yes, the will is fatally defective. By no manner of contemplation can those words be construed as an
acknowledgment.
An acknowledgement is the act of one who has executed a deed in going before some competent officer
or court and declaring it to be his act or deed. It involves an extra step undertaken whereby the signore
actually declares to the notary that the executor of a document has attested to the notary that the same is
his/her own free act and deed.
It might be possible to construe the averment as a jurat, even though it does not hew to the usual
language thereof. A jurat is that part of an affidavit where the notary certifies that before him/her, the
document was subscribed and sworn to by the executor.
Yet even if we consider what was affixed by the notary public as a jurat, the will would nonetheless remain
invalid, as the express requirement of Article 806 is that the will be acknowledged, and not merely
subscribed and sworn to. The will does not present any textual proof, much less one under oath, that the
decedent and the instrumental witnesses executed or signed the will as their own free act or deed. The
acknowledgment made in a will provides for another all-important legal safeguard against spurious wills or
those made beyond the free consent of the testator.
Doctrine:
A notarial will that is not acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses is fatally
defective, even if it is subscribed and sworn to before a notary public.

PERFECTO DY, JR. v CA, GELAC TRADING INC and ANTONIO GONZALES Vanessa Hiceta
G.R. No. 92989 July 8, 1991
PONENTE: GUTIERREZ, JR.
TOPIC: Transfer of Ownership Delivery of the thing sold
FACTS:

Petitioner Perfecto Dy and Wilfredo Dy are brothers. Wilfredo Dy purchased a truck and a farm
tractor through financing extended by Libra Finance and Investment Corporation (Libra). Both truck and
tractor were mortgaged to Libra as security for the loan. The petitioner wanted to buy the tractor from his
brother so he wrote a letter to Libra requesting that he be allowed to purchase from Wilfredo Dy the said
tractor and assume the mortgage debt of the latter. approved by Libra thru its manager Ares.

Wilfredo executed a DAS in favor of Perfecto over the tractor in question.

At this time, the subject tractor was in the possession of Libra Finance due to Wilfredo Dy's failure
to pay the amortizations.

Despite the offer of full payment by the petitioner to Libra for the tractor, the immediate release
could not be effected because Wilfredo had obtained financing not only for said tractor but also for a truck
and Libra insisted on full payment for both.

The petitioner was able to convince his sister, Carol Dy-Seno, to purchase the truck so that full
payment could be made for both.

A PNB check was issued in the amount of P22k in favor of Libra, thus settling in full the
indebtedness of Wilfredo with the financing firm. Payment having been effected through an out-of-town
check, Libra insisted that it be cleared first before Libra could release the chattels in question.

Meanwhile, Civil Case No. R-16646 entitled "Gelac Trading, Inc. v. Wilfredo Dy", a collection case
to recover the sum of P12,269.80 was pending in another court in Cebu.
o
On the strength of an alias writ of execution issued on December 27, 1979, the provincial sheriff
was able to seize and levy on the tractor which was in the premises of Libra in Carmen, Cebu. The tractor
was subsequently sold at public auction where Gelac Trading was the lone bidder. Later, Gelac sold the
tractor to one of its stockholders, Antonio Gonzales.

It was only when the check was cleared on January 17, 1980 that the petitioner learned about
GELAC having already taken custody of the subject tractor. Consequently, the petitioner filed an action to
recover the subject tractor against GELAC Trading with the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City.

RTC: In favor of Petitioner.

CA: reversed RTC. The tractor in question still belonged to Wilfredo when it was seized and
levied by the Sheriff by virtue of the alias writ of execution.
ISSUE:
Whether at the time of the execution of the deed of sale, no constructive delivery was effected since the
consummation of the sale depended upon the clearance and encashment of the check which was issued
in payment of the subject tractor.
HELD/RATIO: NO. There was constructive delivery.
Servicewide Specialists Inc. v. Intermediate Appellate Court:
The rule is settled that the chattel mortgagor continues to be the owner of the property, and therefore, has
the power to alienate the same; however, he is obliged under pain of penal liability, to secure the written
consent of the mortgagee.
Thus, the instruments of mortgage are binding, while they subsist, not only upon the parties executing
them but also upon those who later, by purchase or otherwise, acquire the properties referred to therein.
The absence of the written consent of the mortgagee to the sale of the mortgaged property in favor of a
third person, therefore, affects not the validity of the sale but only the penal liability of the mortgagor under
the RPC and the binding effect of such sale on the mortgagee under the Deed of Chattel Mortgage.

xxx xxx xxx


The mortgagor who gave the property as security under a chattel mortgage did not part with the
ownership over the same. He had the right to sell it although he was under the obligation to secure the
written consent of the mortgagee or he lays himself open to criminal prosecution under the provision of
Article 319 par. 2 of the Revised Penal Code. And even if no consent was obtained from the mortgagee,
the validity of the sale would still not be affected.
IN THIS CASE
SC: no reason why Wilfredo Dy, as the chattel mortgagor cannot sell the subject tractor. There is no
dispute that the consent of Libra Finance was obtained in the instant case. Libra allowed the petitioner to
purchase the tractor and assume the mortgage debt of his brother. The sale between the brothers was
therefore valid and binding as between them and to the mortgagee, as well.
Article 1496 of the Civil Code states that the ownership of the thing sold is acquired by the vendee from
the moment it is delivered to him in any of the ways specified in Articles 1497 to 1501 or in any other
manner signing an agreement that the possession is transferred from the vendor to the vendee.
Articles 1498 and 1499 are applicable in the case at bar.
Article 1498 states:
When the sale is made through a public instrument, the execution thereof shall be equivalent to the
delivery of the thing which is the object of the contract, if from the deed the contrary does not appear or
cannot clearly be inferred.
xxx xxx xxx
Article 1499 provides:
The delivery of movable property may likewise be made by the mere consent or agreement of the
contracting parties, if the thing sold cannot be transferred to the possession of the vendee at the time of
the sale, or if the latter already had it in his possession for any other reason. (1463a)
In the instant case, actual delivery of the subject tractor could not be made. However, there was
constructive delivery already upon the execution of the public instrument pursuant to Article 1498 and
upon the consent or agreement of the parties when the thing sold cannot be immediately transferred to
the possession of the vendee. (Art. 1499)
While it is true that Wilfredo Dy was not in actual possession and control of the subject tractor, his right of
ownership was not divested from him upon his default. Neither could it be said that Libra was the owner of
the subject tractor because the mortgagee can not become the owner of or convert and appropriate to
himself the property mortgaged. Said property continues to belong to the mortgagor. The only remedy
given to the mortgagee is to have said property sold at public auction and the proceeds of the sale
applied to the payment of the obligation secured by the mortgagee. There is no showing that Libra
Finance has already foreclosed the mortgage and that it was the new owner of the subject tractor.
Undeniably, Libra gave its consent to the sale of the subject tractor to the petitioner. It was aware of the
transfer of rights to the petitioner.
Where a third person purchases the mortgaged property, he automatically steps into the shoes of the
original mortgagor. His right of ownership shall be subject to the mortgage of the thing sold to him. In the
case at bar, the petitioner was fully aware of the existing mortgage of the subject tractor to Libra. In fact,
when he was obtaining Libra's consent to the sale, he volunteered to assume the remaining balance of
the mortgage debt of Wilfredo Dy which Libra undeniably agreed to.
The payment of the check was actually intended to extinguish the mortgage obligation so that the tractor
could be released to the petitioner. It was never intended nor could it be considered as payment of the

purchase price because the relationship between Libra and the petitioner is not one of sale but still a
mortgage. The clearing or encashment of the check which produced the effect of payment determined the
full payment of the money obligation and the release of the chattel mortgage. It was not determinative of
the consummation of the sale. The transaction between the brothers is distinct and apart from the
transaction between Libra and the petitioner. The contention, therefore, that the consummation of the sale
depended upon the encashment of the check is untenable.
The sale of the subject tractor was consummated upon the execution of the public instrument on
September 4, 1979. At this time constructive delivery was already effected. Hence, the subject tractor was
no longer owned by Wilfredo Dy when it was levied upon by the sheriff in December, 1979.
Well settled is the rule that only properties unquestionably owned by the judgment debtor and which are
not exempt by law from execution should be levied upon or sought to be levied upon. For the power of the
court in the execution of its judgment extends only over properties belonging to the judgment debtor.
DISPOSITIVE PORTION: WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The decision of the Court of
Appeals promulgated on March 23, 1990 is SET ASIDE and the decision of the Regional Trial Court dated
April 8, 1988 is REINSTATED.

SANTIAGO V. PIONEER SAVINGS AND LOAN BANK


GR NO. 77502
January 15, 1988
Digest by: Metha Dawn H. Orolfo
----------------------------------------------Topic: Effectively as against third persons
Facts:
1.
Santiago, is the registered owner of a parcel of land situated at Polo, Valenzuela, Metro Manila,
with an area of approximately 39,007 square meters as the disputed property.
2.
She executed a Special Power of Attorney in favor of Construction Resources Corporation of the
Philippines (CRCP) to borrow money and make, execute, sign and deliver mortgages of real estate now
owned by me and standing in my name and to make, sign, execute and deliver any and all promissory
notes necessary in the premises.
3.
CRCP executed a Real Estate Mortgage over the Disputed Property in favor of FINASIA
Investment and Finance Corporation to secure a loan of P1 million. The mortgage contract specifically
provided that in the event of default in payment, the mortgagee may immediately foreclose the mortgage
judicially or extrajudicially.
4.
Real Estate Mortgage by CRCP in favor of FINASIA executed in favor of defendant-appellee,
Pioneer Savings & Loan Bank, Inc. (Defendant Bank, for brevity), an "Outright Sale of Receivables
without Recourse" including the receivable of P610,752.59 from CRCP.
5.
FINASIA executed a "Supplemental Deed of Assignment" in favor of Defendant Bank confirming
and ratifying the assignment in the latter's favor of the receivable of P610,752.59 from CRCP and of the
mortgage constituted by CRCP over the disputed property.
6.
CRCP failed to settle its obligation and Defendant Bank opted for extrajudicial foreclosure of the
mortgage.
7.
On learning of the intended sale, plaintiff-appellant filed before the Regional Trial Court of
Valenzuela, Metro Manila, Branch CLXXII, an action for declaration of nullity of the real estate mortgage
with an application for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction
8.
Defendant Bank opposed the application for Preliminary Injunction and asserted its right to
extrajudicially foreclose the mortgage on the Disputed Property based on recorded public documents.
9.
RTC granted the petition.
Issue: WON the notice of the scheduled sale of the land sent to the agent (CRCP) is also Notice to the
principal (Plaintiff Appellant), the land owner.
Ruling: YES, the notice is binding.
The cases which plaintiff-appellant cites express the general rule when there is no "documentary
evidence admitted by stipulation disclosing facts sufficient to defeat the claim." Where, however, such
evidence is before the Court and has been stipulated upon, a Court can go "beyond the disclosure in the
complaint."
Moreover, the rule is explicit that "rules of procedure are not to be applied in a very rigid, technical sense;
rules of procedure are used only to help secure substantial justice."
The evidence on record sufficiently defeats plaintiff-appellant's claim for relief from extrajudicial
foreclosure. Her Special Power of Attorney in favor of CRCP specifically included the authority to
mortgage the Disputed Property. The Real Estate Mortgage in favor of FINASIA explicitly authorized
foreclosure in the event of default. Indeed, foreclosure is but a necessary consequence of non-payment of
a mortgage indebtedness. Plaintiff-appellant, therefore, cannot rightfully claim that FINASIA, as the
assignee of the mortgagee, cannot extrajudicially foreclose the mortgaged property. A mortgage directly
and immediately subjects the property upon which it is imposed to the fulfillment of the obligation for
whose security it was constituted.

Dispositive: Emilia B. Santiago the petitioner won.


PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY vs. UY (2001) Kayelyn Lat
FACTS:
1.
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.
2.
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.
3.
The Agreement stipulated that the completion date for the landscaping job was within 450 days,
commencing within 14 days after receipt by respondent from petitioner of a written notice to proceed.
4.
Due to delays, the contracted period was extended to 693 days.
Among the causes of the delay was petitioners inability to deliver to respondent 45 hectares of
the property for landscaping, because of the existence of squatters and a public cemetery
5.
Respondent instituted with the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission an action seeking to
collect from petitioner damages arising from its delay in the delivery of the entire property for landscaping.
he incurred additional rental costs for the equipment which were kept on stand-by and labor costs
for the idle manpower
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 had to mobilize water trucks for the plants and trees which have already been delivered at the
site.
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
6.
Construction Industry Arbitration Commission: in favour of Uy; Public Estates Authority is directed
to pay claimant
7.
Both petitioner and respondent filed petitions for review with CA
8.
Petitioner contested the monetary awards given by CIAC
9.
Respondent filed a case arguing that 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
10.
CA: dismissed petitions
11.
Both parties filed MR
12.
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
the case which respondent has filed.
the said case involved claims by respondent arising from the same Landscaping and
Construction Agreement, subject of the cases pending with the Court of Appeals.
13.
CA: MRs denied; injunction issued
14.
Hence, this petition for review
Petitioner:
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.
ISSUE: Whether or not the dismissal of petitions was proper based on a technicality
HELD: YES

RATIO:
Petitioner, being a government owned and controlled corporation, can act only through its duly authorized
representatives
Premium Marble Resources, Inc. vs. CA: 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.

Clavecilla v. Quitain 482 SCRA 623 (2006)- Kato


Heirs of Dicman vs Carino Vito Sales
Facts:
1.
Sioco Carino bought a parcel of land together with its improvements from HC Heald and took
possession of it.
2.
On the advice of his lawyers, and because there were already many parcels of land recorded in
his name, Sioco Cario caused the survey of the land in controversy in the name of Ting-el Dicman.
3.
Ting-el Dicman executed a public instrument entitled "Deed of Conveyance of Part Rights and
Interests in Agricultural Land" wherein it stated that Mr. Sioco Cario has advanced all expenses for said
survey for him that for and in consideration of said advance expenses, made to him, he promises to
convey, deliver and transfer one half (1/2) of his title, rights, and interest to and in the aforesaid parcel of
land as soon as title for the same is issued to me by proper authorities.
4.
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.
5.
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.
6.
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.
7.
Before the trial court could dispose of the case, the Supreme Court promulgated Republic v.
Marcos9 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.
8.
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. Guzmans widow and son, private respondent Jose
Sioco C. Cario, continued possession of the subject property.
9.
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.
10.
Respondent Carino, however, alleged 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.
11.
RTC decalred that Carino he lawful possessor and as the party who has the better right over the
land subject matter.
12.
CA dismissed the petition and affirmed in toto the ruling of the RTC.
Issue:
WON Respondent have better title over the disputed land.
Held/Ratio:
Yes. 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.
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.
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
Prescinding from the issue on prescription, the petitioners and their predecessors-in-interest are
nonetheless guilty of laches.
As correctly held by the RTC, there is no evidence to the effect that Ting-el Dicman or his successors-ininterest ever filed any action to question the validity of the "Deed of Conveyance of Part Rights and
Interests in Agricultural Land" after its execution on October 22, 1928 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.
Private respondent and his predecessors-in-interest were made to feel secure in the belief that no action
would be filedagainst 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.

Solar Team Entertainment v. Ricafort 293 SCRA 661 (1998) Lanz Olives
Facts:
This is a case for the recovery of possession and damages with a prayer for a writ of
replevin. Private respondents filed their Answer and a copy was furnished to the counsel
of petitioner by registered mail but the pleading did not contain and written explanation
why personal service was not made upon petitioner-plaintiff as required by the Rules of
Court.
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,"
Issue:
Whether or not 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
Held:
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.
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.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DISMISSED

Gamido vs. New Bilibid Prisons


G.R. No. 114829 March 1, 1995
Digest By: Angelo Lopez
FACTS:
In the Resolution of 7 September 1994, The Court required Atty. Icasiano M. dela Rea, to show cause
why no disciplinary action should be taken against him for making it appear in the jurat of the petition in
this case that the petitioner subscribed the verification and swore to before him, as notary public, on 19
April 1994, when in truth and in fact the petitioner did not. In his Explanation, Atty. Icasiano M. dela Rea
admitted having executed the jurat without the presence of petitioner Gamido. The explanation states:
xxx I did it in the honest belief that since it is jurat and not an acknowledgement. xxx
Then he apologizes to the Court and assures it that henceforth he would be more careful and
circumspect.
ISSUE:
WON Atty. Reas explanation is satisfactory that he honestly confused Jurat and Acknowledgement.
RULING:
No, a jurat which is, normally in this form:
Subscribed and sworn to before me in _______________, this ____ day of ____________, affiant having
exhibited to me his Community (before, Residence) Tax Certificate No. ____________ issued at
______________ on ____________.
It is that part of an affidavit in which the officer certifies that the instrument was sworn to before him. It is
not a part of a pleading but merely evidences the fact that the affidavit was properly made. The jurat in the
petition in the case also begins with the words "subscribed and sworn to me."
To subscribe literally means to write underneath, as one's name; to sign at the end of a document. To
swear means to put on oath; to declare on oath the truth of a pleading, etc. Accordingly, in a jurat, the
affiant must sign the document in the presence of and take his oath before a notary public or any other
person authorized to administer oaths.
As to acknowledgment, Section 1 of Public Act No. 2103 provides:
(a) The acknowledgement shall be made before a notary public or an officer duly authorized by law of the
country to take acknowledgments of instruments or documents in the place where the act is done. The
notary public or the officer taking the acknowledgment shall certify that the person acknowledging the
instrument or document is known to him and that he is the same person who executed it, and
acknowledged that the same is his free act and deed. The certificate shall be made under his official seal,
if he is by law required to keep a seal, and if not, his certificate shall so state. (See Lorenzo M. Taada
and Francisco A. Rodrigo, Modern Philippine Legal Forms, vol. II, 1964 Fifth ed., 735).
It is obvious that the party acknowledging must likewise appear before the notary public or any other
person authorized to take acknowledgments of instruments or documents.
The claim or belief of Atty. dela Rea that the presence of petitioner Gamido was not necessary for the
jurat because it is not an acknowledgment is patently baseless. If this had been his belief since he was
first commissioned as a notary public, then he has been making a mockery of the legal solemnity of an
oath in a jurat. Notaries public and others authorized by law to administer oaths or to take
acknowledgments should not take for granted the solemn duties appertaining to their offices. Such duties
are dictated by public policy and are impressed with public interest.

-------------------------------------------------Public Estates Authority v. Uy


GR NO./ SCRA NO147933-34
Date December 12, 2001
Digest by: Anna Beatrice Tarrosa
-------------------------------------------------Petitioner: PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY, petitioner
Respondent: ELPIDIO S. UY, doing business under the name and style EDISON DEVELOPMENT &
CONSTRUCTION, AND THE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.
Ponente: YNARES-SANTIAGO, J
Topic: Demand Letter
FACTS:
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 105hectare 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 from petitioner of a written notice
to proceed. Due to delays, the contracted period was extended to 693 days. Among the causes of the
delay was petitioners 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 stand-by 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: 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 attorneys fees.
CIAC-in favor of respondent UY
CA-affirmed.

ISSUE/S: WON respondent Public Estates should be held liable for the expenses caused by the
delay in delivering the entire property.
RULING: YES, 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.
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.

DISPOSITIVE: respondent Uy won

Clavecilla v. Quitain 482 SCRA 623 (2006)- Miguel Caponong

25 HEIRS OF DICMAN VS JOSE CARINO & CA


Digest by: Michelle A. Vale Cruz
QUICKIE SUMMARY: Sioco Carino (grandfather of Jose Carino) already owned many parcles of land
recorded under his name so he caused the survey of the land in question in the name of Ting-el Dicman.
Subsequently, in 1928, Ting-el Dicman executed a Deed of Conveyance with Sioco Carino stating that
he pledge and promise to deliver/transfer of the subject property to Sioco Carino. Sioco remained in the
possession of the land which he later on sold to his Guzman Carino (father of Jose Carino) in 1938.
Guzman has the entire lot resurveyed to indicate that half belongs to Dicman and half to the Carinos. But
petition was later on filed by the heirs of Ting-el Dicman alleging ownership over the entire lot but Guzman
claims that he owns Lot 76-B (the other half). The claim of Dicman was dismissed by the RTC pursuant to
a proclamation of Pres. Garcia. After the dismissal of the case, Guzman Cario was left undisturbed in his
possession of the subject property until his death. In 1983, petitioners revived the case but was again
dismissed by RTC. On appeal to CA, they raised for the first time the issue attacking the validity an
authenticity of the Deed of Conveyance which was executed in 1929. SC ruled in favor of Carino because
1) they cannot raise such issue for the first time on appeal; and 2) prescription.
FACTS:
1. The subject land had been part of the land claim of Mateo Cario. Within this site, buildings were
constructed which were bought by Sioco Cario, son of Mateo Cario and grandfather of private
respondent Jose Cario. Sioco Cario then took possession of the buildings and the land.
2. Ting-el Dicman, predecessor-in-interest of the petitioners, had been employed by Sioco Cario as
his cattle herder.
3. On the advice of his lawyers, and because there were already many parcels of land recorded in
his name, Sioco Cario caused the survey of the land in controversy in the name of Ting-el
Dicman.
4. Ting-el Dicman executed a public instrument entitled "Deed of Conveyance of Part Rights and
Interests in Agricultural Land" with Sioco Cario, which reads:
That Mr. Sioco Cario has advanced all expenses for said survey xxx, and also all other
expenses for the improvement of said land, to date;

5.
6.

7.
8.
9.

10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

That for and in consideration of said advance expenses, I hereby pledge and promise to
convey, deliver and transfer unto said Sioco Cario, 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 to him, his heirs and assigns, by me, my heirs, and
assigns, xxx.
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. Consequently, Guzman Cario took possession of the property publicly, peacefully, and in
the concept of owner.
Guzman Cario had the entire Lot 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
A petition was later filed by the heirs of Ting-el Dicman which sought to establish ownership over
Lot 76-A and Lot 76-B. Guzman Cario opposed the petition insofar as he insisted ownership
over Lot 76-B, the land in controversy.
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. One such claim pertained to the "Heirs of
Dicman,"
As a consequence, the trial court dismissed the petition insofar as Lot 76-B was concerned, and
the certificate of title issued pursuant to the partial decision involving Lot 76-A was invalidated.
After the dismissal of the case, Guzman Cario was left undisturbed in his possession of the
subject property until his death. His remains are buried on the land in question
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
Private respondent Jose Cario filed his answer and prayed for dismissal. RTC ruled in favor of
respondents Carino
CA affirmed RTC
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

ISSUE: W/N the Deed of Conveyance was invalid, hence, would not make Carino the lawful owner and
possessor of the subject lot
RULING: NO. SC ruled in favor of Carino.
RATIO: 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.
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.
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-ininterest, well beyond the period required under law to acquire title by acquisitive prescription which, in this
case, is 10 years.

As correctly held by the RTC, there is no evidence to the effect that Ting-el Dicman or his successors-ininterest ever filed any action to question the validity of the "Deed of Conveyance of Part Rights and
Interests in Agricultural Land" after its execution on October 22, 1928 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. 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.
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.

Solar Team Entertainment v. Ricafort 293 SCRA 661 (1998) Carl Au


Facts:
1.
Solar Team Entertainment filed before the RTC, Paraaque a complaint for recovery of possession
and damages with prayer for a writ of replevin against Team Image Entertainment, Inc.. The case was
assigned to Branch 260 of said court, presided over by public respondent Judge Helen Bautista-Ricafort.
2.
Summonses and copies of the complaint were forthwith served on private respondents. On 8
August 1997, private respondents, as defendants, filed their Answer (with Counterclaims). 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.
3.
Petitioner filed a motion to expunge the Answer (with Counterclaims) and to declare herein
private respondents in default, alleging therein that the latter did not observe the mandate of the
aforementioned Section 11, and that there was:
4.
[A]bsolutely no valid reason why defendant[s] should not have personally served plaintiffs ...
counsel with [a] copy of their answer [as] (t)he office of defendants (sic) counsel, Atty. Froilan Cabaltera,
is just a stone throw away from the office of [petitioners] counsel, with an estimate (sic) distance of about
200 meters more or less.
5.
Petitioner further alleged that the post office was about ten (10) times farther from the office of
Atty. Cabaltera.
6.
Judge Bautista-Ricafort issued an order 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,
petitioners motion to expunge the Answer (with Counterclaims) and to declare private respondents in
default.
7.
Petitioner immediately moved for reconsideration of the order, but public respondent Judge
Bautista-Ricafort denied this motion in her order by stating that Section 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.
Issues: Whether or not Judge Ricafort is correct in not expunging the Answer of respondent based on
technicality?
Held: Yes, liberal construction of the rules and the pleading is the controlling principle to effect
substantial justice.
In Alonso vs. Villamor, "the error in this case is purely technical. To take advantage of it for other purposes
than to cure it, does not appeal a fair sense of justice. Its presentation as fatal to plaintiff is a 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 courts 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 petitioners counsel, in another case where
private respondents counsel was likewise opposing counsel, the latter similarly failed to comply with
Section 11.
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.

Igmedio Azajar vs. Court Of Appeals And Cham Samco & Sons, Inc. Bianca Borlagdan
G.R. No. L-40945
November 10, 1986

Justice Narvasa
1.
This case originated from a complaint filed by petitioner Igmedio Azajar against respondent Cham
Samco and Sons, Inc. in the Regional Trial Court of Camarines Sur. Azajar's claim is that he had
purchased from defendant Cham Samco nails of various sizesand had given P18,000.00 as payment
thereof; but in breach of contract, Cham Samco had offered to deliver only a part of the quantity ordered.
2.
Cham Samco filed a motion to dismiss on two grounds: (1) failure of the complaint to state a
cause of action-the complaint's language indicating not a perfected sale but merely an "offer to buy by
plaintiff that was partly accepted by defendant," and failing to show that as explicitly required by the order
form prices had been confirmed by Cham Samco's "Manila Office," and (2) that venue was improperly
laid-Cham Samco's invariable conditions in transactions of this nature, as Azajar well knew from many
such transactions in the past, being that "any legal action thereon must be instituted in the City of Manila.
3.
Contending that such a notice was fatally defective and rendered the Motion to Dismiss incapable
of to the period to answer, Azajar filed a motion dated February 20, 1974 to declare Cham Samco in
default, which the Court granted. By Order dated February 22, 1974 the Court pronounced Cham Samco
in default and allowed Azajar to present evidence ex parte.
4.
Then on March 30, 1974, the Trial Court rendered judgment by default against defendant Cham
Samco.
5.
The Court of Appeals set aside the judgment by default rendered against Cham Samco by the
Regional Trial Court, and directed that Cham Samco be allowed to file its answer to the complaint and
after joinder of issues, trial be had and judgment rendered on the merits.
6.
Cham Samco quite frankly admits its error. It pleads however that under the circumstances the
error be not regarded as irremediable or that it be deemed as constituting excusable negligence,
warranting relief. It argues that legal and logical considerations, which it took to be tenable, caused it to
theorize that a hearing on the motion was dispensable.
Issue:
Whether or not it is necessary that the motion to dismiss be set for hearing?
Held:
Yes, the uniform holding of this Court has been that a failure to comply with the hearing requirement is a
fatal flaw. However, in this case, the Court brushes aside technicality and affords the petitioner its day in
court so that the ends of justice would be better served.
Ratio:
It was wrong, of course, for Cham Samco to have failed to set its motion to dismiss for hearing on a
specified date and time. The law explicitly requires that notice of a motion shall be served by the appellant
to all parties concerned at least three days before the hearing thereof, together with a copy of the motion,
and of any affidavits and other papers accompanying it; and that the notice shag be directed to the parties
concerned, stating the time and place for the hearing of the motion. The uniform holding of this Court has
been that a failure to comply with the requirement is a fatal flaw. Such notice is required to avoid surprises
upon the opposite party and give the latter time to study and meet the arguments of the motion, as well as
to determine or make determinable the time of submission of the motion for resolution.
The purpose of said notice being not only to give the latter time to oppose the motion if so
minded, but also to determine the time of its submission for resolution. Without such notice, the occasion
would not arise to determine with reasonable certitude whether and within what time the adverse party
would respond to the motion, and when the motion might already be resolved by the Court. The duty to
give that notice is imposed on the movant, not on the Court.
Withal the reasons for Cham Samco's erroneous notion of the dispensability of a hearing on its motion to
dismiss are not utterly without plausibility. This circumstance, taken together with the fact, found by the
Intermediate Appellate Court and not disputed by petitioner Azajar, that Cham Samco has meritorious
defenses which if proven would defeat Azajar's claim against it, and the eminent desirability more than
once stressed by this Court that cases should be determined on the merits after full opportunity to all
parties for ventilation of their causes and defenses, rather than on technicality or some procedural
imperfections, all conduce to concurrence with the Court of Appeals that "the ends of justice would be
better served in this case if we brush aside technicality and afford the petitioner its day in court.

Doctrine:
The uniform holding of the Court has been that a failure to comply with the hearing requirement is a fatal
flaw. However, the Court may brush aside technicality and afford petitioner its day in court so that the
ends of justice would be better served.
Dispositive:
The Resolutions of the Court of Appeals appealed from are affirmed. Respondent is allowed to file its
answer to the complaint and after joinder of issues, trial be had and judgment rendered on the merits.

Neri v. De La Pea J.R. Carag


A.M. No. RTJ-05-1896; April 29, 2005
Ponente: Corona, J.

FACTS:
The case stems from a motion for reconsideration from a civil case of damages filed by one Aznar, the
plaintiff in the original case, against Citibank. The motion for reconsideration was re-raffled to the sala of
Respondent Judge De La Pea. Judge De La Pea granted the motion for reconsideration which
prompted the filing of Atty. Neri of the administrative case now in dispute, charging Respondent Judge of
dishonesty and gross ignorance of the law. Respondent Judge, in his defense, contended that he based
his decision from an ex parte manifestation made by Aznar. Petitioner assailed the Respondents
appreciation of the ex parte manifestation as Citibank was not served a copy of such.
The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) found Respondent Judge liable for violating for violating
Section 4, Rule 13 which requires that adverse parties be served copies of all pleadings and similar
papers; in relation to Section 5, Rule 15 which requires a movant to set his motion for hearing, unless it is
one of those which a court can act upon without prejudicing the rights of the other party; both provisions
of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure.
According to the OCA, the fact that plaintiff Aznar had failed to serve a copy of his ex parte manifestation
upon Citibank should have been reason enough for respondent to disregard the same. The OCA found
Respondent only liable for simple misconduct.
ISSUE: Whether or not Respondent Judge is liable for violating the aforesaid provisions of the Rules of
Civil Procedure
RULING: No, Respondent Judge did not violate the stated provisions of the Rules of Civil Procedure
The prevailing doctrine in our jurisdiction is that a motion without a notice of hearing addressed to the
parties is a mere scrap of paper. However, the same cannot be said for manifestations which, unless
otherwise indicated, are usually made merely for the information of the court.
Nevertheless, Judge must still be found guilty for knowingly rendering an unjust judgment, for having
based his decision on an ex parte manifestation while Citibank was never made aware of such. Said
action violates the principle of fair play, proof that there is something amiss Respondent Judges sense of
fairness and righteousness.
DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, Judge JESUS S. DE LA PEA is hereby found GUILTY of knowingly rendering an unjust
judgment or order as determined by a competent court in an appropriate proceeding and is hereby
SUSPENDED from office for six months. Considering the gravity of this offense, he is hereby warned that
another infraction of this kind will merit a penalty beyond mere suspension from public office.

Boiser v Judge Aguirre, Jr. J. R. Carag


A.M. No. RTJ-04-1886; May 16, 2005
Ponente: Chico-Nazario, J.

FACTS:
The case stems from an ejectment case filed by Petitioner Boiser against one Julleza, which was decided
in favor of Boiser by the MTC. When the case reached the RTC on appeal by Julleza, Julleza filed a
motion to release bond which was granted by Respondent Judge. Boiser then filed the instant
administrative case against Respondent Judge for ignorance of the law, alleging that the motion did not
state that he was furnished a copy of the motion thereby depriving him of his right to due process.
After it was found out by Boiser that Respondent Judge held in his favor in the decision of his ejectment
case, Boiser withdrew his administrative complaint. The administrative complaint was still placed under
investigation with the CA which held to dismiss the case; the case was raised to the Supreme Court for
instant review.
ISSUE: Whether or not the administrative case is moot, the petitioner having withdrawn the case
RULING: No, mere desistance on the part of the complainant does not warrant the dismissal of an
administrative complaint against any member of the bench
The withdrawal of complaints cannot divest the Court of its jurisdiction nor strip it of its power to determine
the veracity of the charges made and to discipline, such as the results of its investigation may warrant, an
erring respondent. Even the retirement of respondent does not oust the Court of its jurisdiction over an
administrative case by the mere fact that the respondent public official ceases to hold office during the
pendency of respondents case.
On deciding the main issue, the Court held that the Motion to Release Bond was defective, not having a
proper notice of hearing. Not to mention the fact that the date and time of the hearing were not specified,
and that neither complainant nor his counsel was furnished a copy thereof. These were never
controverted by respondent judge. A motion without notice of hearing is pro forma, a mere scrap of paper.
It presents no question which the court could decide. The court has no reason to consider it and the clerk
has no right to receive it.
DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, the Court finds Judge Jose Y. Aguirre, Jr., of the Regional Trial Court of Negros
Occidental, Branch 55, guilty of gross ignorance of the law, and hereby imposes on him a fine of FIVE
THOUSAND PESOS (P5,000.00) to be deducted from his retirement benefits.

De Jesus v. Dilag 471 SCRA 176 (2005) Razor Bucatcat

Facts: A complaint, dated February 4, 2004 was filed with the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA),
complainant Maria Teresa H. De Jesus charged respondent Judge Renato J. Dilag of the Regional Trial
Court of Olongapo City, Branch 73, with gross ignorance of the law, rendering unjust orders, abuse of
authority and misuse of court processes.
Complainant alleged inter alia that on August 26, 2002, her husband Wolfgang Heinrich Konrad
Harlinghausen (Harlinghausen) filed a petition for declaration of nullity of their marriage with the Regional
Trial Court of Olongapo City, Branch 73, docketed as Civil Case No. 364-0-2002.
On August 27, 2002, Harlinghausen, through counsel, filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Preserve
Properties to be Collated. On the same day, respondent judge issued an Order setting the hearing of the
motion on August 30, 2002.
On August 29, 2002, complainant received summons in Civil Case No. 364-0-2002. Forthwith, she filed a
motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground of improper venue. This was denied by respondent judge.
On August 30, 2002, respondent judge considered the Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Preserve Properties to
be Collated submitted for resolution after hearing the testimonies of Harlinghausens attorney-in-fact,
Harry E. Joost, and his counsel of record, Atty. Edmundo S. Carian.
On September 3, 2002, respondent judge issued an Order granting the urgent ex-parte motion and
placing under legal custody the properties enumerated therein. The Register of Deeds of Tarlac was
directed to annotate the Order on the 62 land titles allegedly purchased by Harlinghausens wife using his
money without his consent.
On October 2, 2002, Harlinghausen, through counsel, filed another Ex-Parte Motion praying for the
issuance of an Order directing the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) to allow him to enter this
country in order to prosecute his petition for declaration of nullity of marriage.
On October 4, 2002, respondent judge issued an Order granting Harlinghausens Ex-Parte Motion.
Eventually, complainant filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari assailing respondent
judges Order dated September 3, 2002 granting Harlinghausens Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Preserve
Properties to be Collated; Order dated October 4, 2002 granting his Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to enter this
country; and Order denying her (complainants) motion to dismiss the complaint for improper venue.
Complainant averred that in issuing the challenged Orders, respondent judge acted with grave abuse of
discretion tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The petition was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No.
74167.
Issue: Whether or not Respondent Judge Dilag committed abuse of authority and gross ignorance of the
law. Yes.
Ruling: Yes. Rule 15 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, are:
SECTION 4. Hearing of motion. Except for motions which the court may act upon without prejudicing the
rights of the adverse party, every written motion shall be set for hearing by the applicant.
Every written motion required to be heard and the notice of the hearing thereof shall be served in such a
manner as to ensure its receipt by the other party at least three (3) days before the date of hearing,
unless the court for good cause sets the hearing on shorter notice.
SECTION 5. Notice of hearing. The notice of hearing shall be addressed to all parties concerned, and
shall specify the time and date of the hearing which must not be later than ten (10) days after the filing of
the motion.
SECTION 6. Proof of service necessary. No written motion set for hearing shall be acted upon by the
court without proof of service thereof.
Respondent judge blatantly disregarded the provisions. Instead of denying the motion outright for being
manifestly defective, he granted the same. While he set the motion for hearing, still the three-day notice
was not observed, thus complainant failed to attend the hearing. Clearly, she was deprived of her right to
due process.
When a judge fails to consider so basic and elemental a rule, a law, or a principle in the discharge of his
duties, he is either too incompetent and undeserving of his position, or is too vicious that the oversight or
omission was deliberately done in bad faith and in grave abuse of judicial authority. In both instances, the
judges dismissal is in order.
Likewise, respondents failure to afford complainant the opportunity to be heard as a matter of due
process of law deserves administrative sanction.

Relative to the challenged Order dated October 4, 2002, respondent judge shows his ignorance of the
Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended. This law confers upon the Commissioner of the BID, to
the exclusion of the courts of justice, the power and authority to enforce its provisions, specifically the
admission of foreigners to this country.
We sustain the observation of the Court of Appeals that the Order of respondent judge directing the BID
to allow the entry of Harlinghausen to this country would effectively countermand the order of detention
issued by the BID and constitutes an intrusion into its prerogatives as regards the entry, admission,
exclusion, registration, repatriation, monitoring and deportation of foreigners within our national territory.
In his desperate attempt to evade administrative sanction, respondent judge maintains that since
complainant has already resorted to a proper remedy, i.e., by filing a petition for certiorari with the Court of
Appeals questioning his twin Orders, she is barred from filing the instant administrative complaint
involving the same Orders. He cited our ruling in Hilario vs. Ocampo III, 371 SCRA 260 (2001) that where
some judicial means is available, an administrative complaint is not the appropriate remedy for an act of a
judge deemed aberrant or irregular.
While it is true that the Court of Appeals has set aside the questioned twin Orders, the fact remains that
respondent judge has shown his ignorance of both substantive and procedural laws which warrants an
administrative sanction.
The Court recognizes that not every judicial error bespeaks ignorance of the law and that, if committed in
good faith, does not warrant administrative sanction, but only in cases within the parameters of tolerable
misjudgment. Where, however, the procedure is so simple and the facts so evident as to be beyond
permissible margins of error, as in this case, to still err thereon amounts to ignorance of the law.
In this case, respondent judge displayed a deplorable deficiency in his grasp of the basic principles
governing motions, specifically, the three-day notice rule and the requisite proof of service. Also, he
showed his utter lack of knowledge and understanding of our immigration laws.

Permanent Savings and Loan Bank v. Velarde, 439 SCRA 1 (2004) Razor Bucatcat

Facts: In a complaint for sum of money filed before the Regional Trial Court of Manila (Branch 37),
docketed as Civil Case No. 94-71639, petitioner Permanent Savings and Loan Bank sought to recover
from respondent Mariano Velarde, the sum of P1,000,000.00 plus accrued interests and penalties, based
on a loan obtained by respondent from petitioner bank, evidenced by the following: (1) promissory note
dated September 28, 1983; (2) loan release sheet dated September 28, 1983; and (3) loan disclosure
statement dated September 28, 1983. Petitioner bank, represented by its Deputy Liquidator after it was
placed under liquidation, sent a letter of demand to respondent on July 27, 1988, demanding full payment
of the loan. Despite receipt of said demand letter, respondent failed to settle his account. Another letter of
demand was sent on February 22, 1994, and this time, respondents counsel replied, stating that the
obligation is not actually existing but covered by contemporaneous or subsequent agreement between
the parties
In his Answer, respondent disclaims any liability on the instrument, thus:
The allegations in par. 2, Complaint, on the existence of the alleged loan of P1-Million, and the purported
documents evidencing the same, only the signature appearing at the back of the promissory note, Annex
A seems to be that of herein defendant. However, as to any liability arising therefrom, the receipt of the
said amount of P1-Million shows that the amount was received by another person, not the herein
defendant. Hence, no liability attaches and as further stated in the special and affirmative defenses that,
assuming the promissory note exists, it does not bind much less is there the intention by the parties to
bind the herein defendant. In other words, the documents relative to the loan do not express the true
intention of the parties.
Issues:
1. Whether or not the defendant has an outstanding loan obligation granted by the plaintiff;
2. Whether or not the defendant is obligated to pay the loan including interests and attorneys fees;
3. Whether or not the defendant has really executed the Promissory Note considering the doubt as to the
genuineness of the signature and as well as the non-receipt of the said amount;
4. Whether or not the obligation has prescribed on account of the lapse of time from date of execution and
demand for enforcement; No.
5. Whether or not the defendant is entitled to his counterclaim and other damages.
On September 6, 1995, petitioner bank presented its sole witness, Antonio Marquez, the Assistant
Department Manager of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) and the designated Deputy
Liquidator for petitioner bank, who identified the Promissory Note dated September 28, 1983, the Loan
Release Sheetdated September 28, 1983, and the Disclosure Statement of Loan Credit Transaction.
After petitioner bank rested its case, respondent, instead of presenting evidence, filed with leave of court
his demurrer to evidence.
Issues:
1) Whether or not Plaintiff failed to prove its case by preponderance of evidence. Yes.
2) Whether or not Respondents denials do not constitute an effective specific denial. Yes.
2) Whether or not the cause of action, concluding arguenti that it exists, is barred by prescription and/or
laches. No.
Ruling:
1. Yes. The mere presentation of supposed documents regarding the loan, but absent the testimony of a
competent witness to the transaction and the documentary evidence, coupled with the denial of liability by
the defendant does not suffice to meet the requisite preponderance of evidence in civil cases. The
documents, standing alone, unsupported by independent evidence of their existence, have no legal basis
to stand on. They are not competent evidence. Such failure leaves this Court without ample basis to
sustain the plaintiffs cause of action and other reliefs prayed for. The loan document being challenged.
Plaintiff did not exert additional effort to strengthen its case by the required preponderance of evidence.
On this score, the suit must be dismissed.

The bank should have presented at least a single witness qualified to testify on the existence and
execution of the documents it relied upon to prove the disputed loan obligations of Velarde. This falls
short of the requirement that (B)efore any private writing may be received in evidence, its due execution
and authenticity must be proved either: (a) By anyone who saw the writing executed; (b) By evidence of
the genuineness of the handwriting of the maker; or (c) By a subscribing witness. (Rule 132, Sec. 21,
Rules of Court)
It is not true, as the Bank claims, that there is no need to prove the loan and its supporting papers as
Velarde has already admitted these. Velarde had in fact denied these in his responsive pleading. And
consistent with his denial, he objected to the presentation of Marquez as a witness to identify the Exhibits
of the Bank, and objected to their admission when these were offered as evidence. Though these were
grudgingly admitted anyway, still admissibility of evidence should not be equated with weight of evidence.

2. Yes. A reading of respondents Answer, however, shows that respondent did not specifically deny that
he signed the loan documents. What he merely stated in his Answer was that the signature appearing at
the back of the promissory note seems to be his. Respondent also denied any liability on the promissory
note as he allegedly did not receive the amount stated therein, and the loan documents do not express
the true intention of the parties. Respondent reiterated these allegations in his denial under oath, stating
that the promissory note sued upon, assuming that it exists and bears the genuine signature of herein
defendant, the same does not bind him and that it did not truly express the real intention of the parties as
stated in the defenses
Respondents denials do not constitute an effective specific denial as contemplated by law. In the early
case of Songco vs. Sellner, the Court expounded on how to deny the genuineness and due execution of
an actionable document, viz.:
This means that the defendant must declare under oath that he did not sign the document or that it is
otherwise false or fabricated. Neither does the statement of the answer to the effect that the instrument
was procured by fraudulent representation raise any issue as to its genuineness or due execution. On the
contrary such a plea is an admission both of the genuineness and due execution thereof, since it seeks to
avoid the instrument upon a ground not affecting either.
In fact, respondents allegations amount to an implied admission of the due execution and genuineness of
the promissory note. The admission of the genuineness and due execution of a document means that the
party whose signature it bears admits that he voluntarily signed the document or it was signed by another
for him and with his authority; that at the time it was signed it was in words and figures exactly as set out
in the pleading of the party relying upon it; that the document was delivered; and that any formalities
required by law, such as a seal, an acknowledgment, or revenue stamp, which it lacks, are waived by him.
Also, it effectively eliminated any defense relating to the authenticity and due execution of the document,
e.g., that the document was spurious, counterfeit, or of different import on its face as the one executed by
the parties; or that the signatures appearing thereon were forgeries; or that the signatures were
unauthorized.
Therefore, respondent is deemed to have admitted the loan documents and acknowledged his obligation
with petitioner; and with respondents implied admission, it was not necessary for petitioner to present
further evidence to establish the due execution and authenticity of the loan documents sued upon.
While Section 22, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court requires that private documents be proved of their due
execution and authenticity before they can be received in evidence, i.e., presentation and examination of
witnesses to testify on this fact; in the present case, there is no need for proof of execution and
authenticity with respect to the loan documents because of respondents implied admission thereof.
3. No. The Court also finds that petitioners claim is not barred by prescription.
Petitioners action for collection of a sum of money was based on a written contract and prescribes after
ten years from the time its right of action arose. The prescriptive period is interrupted when there is a
written extrajudicial demand by the creditors. The interruption of the prescriptive period by written
extrajudicial demand means that the said period would commence anew from the receipt of the demand.

Respondents obligation under the promissory note became due and demandable on October 13, 1983.
On July 27, 1988, petitioners counsel made a written demand for petitioner to settle his obligation. From
the time respondents obligation became due and demandable on October 13, 1983, up to the time the
demand was made, only 4 years, 9 months and 14 days had elapsed. The prescriptive period then
commenced anew when respondent received the demand letter on August 5, 1988. Thus, when petitioner
sent another demand letter on February 22, 1994, the action still had not yet prescribed as only 5 years, 6
months and 17 days had lapsed. While the records do not show when respondent received the second
demand letter, nevertheless, it is still apparent that petitioner had the right to institute the complaint on
September 14, 1994, as it was filed before the lapse of the ten-year prescriptive period.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decisions of the Regional Trial Court of Manila (Branch 37)
dated January 26, 1996, and the Court of Appeals dated October 27, 1999 are SET ASIDE. Respondent
is ordered to pay One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) plus 25% interest and 24% penalty charge per
annum beginning October 13, 1983 until fully paid, and 25% of the amount due as attorneys fees. Costs
against respondent.

Boaz International Trading Corporation and F.R. Cement Corporation v. Woodward Japan, Inc. and North
Front Shipping Services Inc. ,418 SCRA 287 (2003) Thea Denilla
G.R. No. 147793
December 11, 2003
PONENTE: PANGANIBAN, J
FACTS:
1.
Respondent Woodward Japan, Inc. filed a complaint for a Sum of Money and Damages against
petitioners Boaz International Trading Corp. and F. R. Cement Corp.
2.
Petitioners Boaz and F. R. Cement filed their answer to the complaint as well as a third party
complaint against North Front Shipping Services, Inc.
3.
Respondent North Front filed its answer to the third-party complaint with a counterclaim against
the third-party plaintiffs.
4.
COURT a quo: scheduled a pre-trial conference for 04 November 1997. This initial pre-trial
conference was however postponed to give the parties time to settle their respective claims amicably.
Succeeding schedules of pre-trial conference were likewise cancelled for the same reason. Finally, when
it became apparent that the parties would not be able to arrive at an amicable settlement, the trial court
scheduled a pre-trial conference anew.
5.
On the scheduled day of the pre-trial conference, both Woodward and its counsel failed to
appear.
6.
Consequently, counsel for Boaz and F. R. Cement moved that Woodward be declared non-suited,
that the complaint against them be dismissed and that they be allowed to present evidence on their
counterclaim.
7.
COURT a quo: granted the motion of Boaz and F. R. Cement to dismiss the complaint of
Woodward and the motion of North Front to dismiss the third-party complaint of Boaz and F. R. Cement.
8.
Petitioner Boaz and F. R. Cement presented their evidence consisting of the testimony of one
Jose Ernesto Rodriguez and reserved the right to present the original of certain documents. No formal
offer of evidence has yet been made by Boaz and F. R. Cement.
9.
Respondent Woodward filed a Motion to Reinstate Plaintiffs (Woodwards) Complaint and Allow
Them to Present Evidence Ex-Parte.
10.
TC: granted Woodwards Motion to Reinstate Plaintiffs (Woodwards) Complaint and Allow Them
to Present Evidence Ex-Parte
11.
Petitioner Boaz and F. R. Cement moved for reconsideration but the trial court denied the same.
12.
Imputing grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court, Petitioners Boaz and F. R.
Cement elevated the case to the CA under Rule 65.
13.
CA: in prosecuting the claim of Woodward against petitioners, its lawyers acted negligently. It
found that the trial court did not act without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion
when it reinstated Woodwards Complaint.
14.
Hence, this petition for review.
ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in sustaining the RTCs Order reinstating the Complaint of
Woodward.
HELD: Yes. The CA erred in affirming the Order of the RTC and in ordering the reinstatement of the thirdparty Complaint of petitioners against North Front Shipping Services, Inc.
RATIO: The Petition has merit. The Court held in the following manner:
First, the rules on pretrial were designed precisely to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive disposition
of an action. The parties themselves -- not only their counsels -- are required to be present, so that they
can discuss and possibly agree on a settlement and thus end the case justly, speedily and inexpensively
right there and then. The Rules explicitly impose upon the former the duty to appear at the pretrial
conference. The representative of Woodward, as well as its counsel, failed to do so on the date set for the
purpose -- not just on October 20, 1998, but also earlier, on September 17, 1998. By its unexplained
nonappearance, it inexcusably delayed the case and even caused added expense to the opposing party
who had come to court in obedience to the Rules. Evidently, the RTCs October 20, 1998 Order

dismissing the case was proper and in accord with Section 5 of Rule 18, which provides that "[t]he failure
of the plaintiff to appear [for pretrial] shall be cause for dismissal of the action."
Second, after violating the rules on pretrial, Woodward had the temerity to file a Motion for
Reconsideration beyond the 15-day reglementary period, again in violation of the Rules. Then, upon
denial of that Motion, instead of properly elevating the denial to the appellate court for review, it filed a
Motion to Reinstate Complaint. As previously explained, the latter Motion amounted to a second motion
for reconsideration, which is prohibited by the Rules. By its acts, Woodward unnecessarily delayed the
disposition of the case and caused additional expenses to all involved. Furthermore, such acts indicate a
propensity to violate the Rules or a gross ignorance thereof, either of which deserves nothing less than
opprobrium.
Third, the CA did not err in finding negligence on the part of the counsel of Woodward, which is
nonetheless bound by such negligence. "Settled [is the] rule that the negligence of counsel binds the
client." We find no cogent reason to depart from this settled rule, especially because the counsels
negligence in the present case has not been sufficiently explained.
Fourth, Respondent Woodward has failed to demonstrate that it has a meritorious case. It filed a
collection case against Petitioner Boaz International Trading Corporation for demurrage charges in the
total sum of US$75,065.96. Yet it has failed to show prima facie any agreement on the payment of
demurrages. The April 18, 1995 Letter, which Woodward unilaterally made and which Petitioner Boaz did
not sign, does not show that the latter agreed to pay demurrages of "US$6,500/half despatch" in case the
discharge rate fell below 2,500MT.
Contrary to Woodwards contention, Boaz has not admitted the April 18, 1995 Letter-Agreement.
Paragraph 1.8 of the Answer is not a "negative pregnant." Woodward itself states that a "negative
pregnant is that form of denial which at the same time involves an affirmative implication favorable to the
opposing party." Since the aforementioned paragraph is explicitly an admission, not a denial, it follows
that it cannot be taken as a denial pregnant with an admission of substantial facts.

Francisco A.G. De Liano, Alberto O. Villa-Abrille Jr., and San Miguel Corporation v. Court of Appeals and
Benjamin A. Tango, 370 SCRA 349 (2001) Thea Denilla
G.R. No. 142316
November 22, 2001
PONENTE: DE LEON, JR., J.
FACTS:
1.
RTC of Quezon City, Branch 227: issued a Decision ordering San Miguel Corporation to release
to the plaintiff the owner's duplicate copy of TCT No. 299551 in the same of Benjamin A. Tango; to release
to plaintiff the originals of the REM contracts and to cause the cancellation of the annotation of the same
on plaintiffs TCT No. 299551; and to pay the plaintiff the following sums: P100,000.00 as and by way of
moral damages; P50,000.00 as and by way of attorney's fees; costs of suit.
2.
In brief, the case involved the cancellation of two (2) real estate mortgages in favor of petitioner
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) executed by private respondent Benjamin A. Tango over his house and lot
in Quezon City.
3.
The mortgages were third party or accommodation mortgages on behalf of the spouses
Bernardino and Carmelita Ibarra who were dealers of SMC products in Aparri, Cagayan. Other
defendants in the case were Francisco A.G. De Liano and Alberto O. Villa-Abrille, Jr., who are senior
executives of petitioner SMC.
4.
Petitioners SMC, De Liano and Abrille appealed the aforesaid decision to the Court of Appeals.
5.
In due time, their counsel, Atty. Edgar B. Afable, filed an Appellants' Brief which failed to comply
with Section 13, Rule 44 of the Rules of Court.
6.
Private Respondent Tango was quick to notice these deficiencies, and accordingly filed a "Motion
to Dismiss Appeal".
7.
Required to comment, the Petitioners averred that their brief had substantially complied with the
contents as set forth in the rules. They proffered the excuse that the omissions were only the result of
oversight or inadvertence and as such could be considered "harmless" errors. They prayed for liberality in
the application of technical rules, adding that they have a meritorious defense.
8.
CA: issued the first assailed resolution dismissing the appeal.
9.
Petitioners sought to have the foregoing resolution reconsidered. Simultaneously, through the
same counsel, they filed a "Motion to Admit Amended Defendants-Appellants' Brief.
10.
CA: denied the consolidated motions in its Resolution.
11.
Hence, this petition for review certiorari.
ISSUES: [1] Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing San Miguel Corporations Appeal on
the basis of pure technicalities and even after SMC has corrected the technical defect of its appeal
[2] Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing SMCs appeal without considering its merits
HELD: [1] No. [2] No. The petition has no merit.
RATIO: [1] The premise that underlies all appeals is that they are merely rights which arise from statute;
therefore, they must be exercised in the manner prescribed by law. It is to this end that rules governing
pleadings and practice before appellate courts were imposed. These rules were designed to assist the
appellate court in the accomplishment of its tasks, and overall, to enhance the orderly administration of
justice.
Relative thereto, Section 13, Rule 44 of the Revised Rules of Court governs the format to be followed by
the appellant in drafting his brief, as follows:
Contents of appellant's brief. The appellant's brief shall contain, in the order herein indicated, the
following:
(a) A subject index of the matter in the brief with a digest of the arguments and page references, and a
table of cases alphabetically arranged, textbooks and statutes cited with references to the pages where
they are cited;
(b) An assignment of errors intended to be urged, which errors shall be separately, distinctly and concisely
stated without repetition and numbered consecutively;
(c) Under the heading "Statement of the Case," a clear and concise statement of the nature of the action,
a summary of the proceedings, the appealed rulings and orders of the court, the nature of the judgment

and any other matters necessary to an understanding of the nature of the controversy, with page
references to the record;
(d) Under the heading "Statement of Facts," a clear and concise statement in a narrative form of the facts
admitted by both parties and of those in controversy, together with the substance of the proof resulting
thereto in sufficient detail to make it clearly intelligible, with page references to the record;
(e) A clear and concise statement of the issues of fact or law to be submitted to the court for its judgment;
(f) Under the heading "Argument," the appellant's arguments on each assignment of error with page
references to the record. The authorities relied upon shall be cited by the page of the report at which the
case begins and the page of the report on which the citation is found;
(g) Under the heading "Relief," a specification of the order or judgment which the appellant seeks; and
(h) In cases not brought up by record on appeal, the appellant's brief shall contain, as an appendix, a
copy of the judgment or final order appealed from.
This particular rule was instituted with reason, and most certainly, it was not intended to become a
custom more honored in the breach than in the observance." It has its logic, which is to present to the
appellate court in the most helpful light, the factual and legal antecedents of a case on appeal.
The first requirement of an appellant's brief is a subject index. The index is intended to facilitate the
review of appeals by providing ready reference, functioning much like a table of contents.
Next, when the appellant has given an account of the case and of the facts, he is required to state the
issues to be considered by the appellate court. The statement of issues is not to be confused with the
assignment of errors: they are not one and the same, for otherwise, the rules would not require a
separate statement for each.
Thereafter, the appellant is required to present his arguments on each assigned error. The petitioners
arguments go hand in hand with his assignment of errors, for the former provide the justification
supporting his contentions, and in so doing resolve the issues.
Lastly, the appellant is required to state, under the appropriate heading, the reliefs prayed for. In so doing,
the appellate court is left in no doubt as to the result desired by the appellant, and act as the
circumstances may warrant.
The Court reminds members of the bar that their first duty is to comply with the rules, not to seek
exceptions.
[2] The Rules of Court prescribe two (2) modes of appeal from decisions of the Regional Trial Courts to
the Court of Appeals. When the trial court decides a case in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, the
mode of review is by an ordinary appeal in accordance with Section 2(a) of Rule 41. In contrast, where
the assailed decision was rendered by the trial court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, the mode
of appeal is via a petition for review pursuant to Rule 42.
The Court is more concerned here about the first mode since the case at bar involves a decision rendered
by the Regional Trial Court exercising its original jurisdiction.
Hence, the instant petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit, with cost against petitioner San Miguel
Corporation.

In the matter of the charges of plagiarism, etc., against Associate Justice Mariano C. Del Castillo. [A.M.
No. 10-7-17-SC - Julian