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CIVIL PROCEDURE

Republic Planters Bank v Molina


Facts: Both complaints in Civil Case No. 116028 and in Civil Case No. 129829 were filed by
petitioner Republic Planters Bank against private respondent, for the collection of a sum of
money based on a promissory note dated January 26, 1970, in the amount of P100,000.00.
Judge Alfredo C. Florendo dismissed Civil Case No. 116028 for failure of the petitioner "to
prosecute its case within a reasonable length of time. 1A motion for reconsideration of that
order was denied.
When Civil Case No. 129829 was filed by petitioner, a motion to dismiss was submitted by
private respondents on the ground that the cause of action is barred by a prior judgment (res
judicata) in Civil Case No. 116028. Private respondents opined that said order was an
adjudication upon the merits. Petitioner opposed the motion to dismiss, claiming that res
judicata does not apply because the summons and complaint in Civil Case No. 116028 were
never served upon private respondents and, as such, the trial court never acquired jurisdiction
over private respondents and, consequently, over the case. Petitioner maintains that the order
of dismissal in Civil Case No. 11 6028 never became final as against private respondents. But the
same was dismissed, on the ground that judgment on the previous complaint had become final.
Therefore, petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals both questioned orders of respondent
court in Civil Case No. 129829. 6 But then, petitioner sought a more speedy remedy in
questioning said orders by filing this petition for certiorari before this Court.
Issue: Whether the trial court committed a grave abuse of discretion when it ordered Civil Case
No. 129829 dismissed on the ground of resjudicata it appearing that Civil Case No. 116028 was
dismissed on May 21, 1979, for failure of petitioner to prosecute within a reasonable length of
time, although in the said case, the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over the persons of
private respondents

Held: The questioned orders of the trial court in Civil Case No. 129829 supporting private
respondent's motion to dismiss on the ground of res judicata are without cogent basis. We
sustain petitioner's claim that respondent trial judge acted without or in excess of jurisdiction
when he issued said orders because he thereby traversed the constitutional precept that "no
person shall be deprived of property without due process of law" and that jurisdiction is vitally
essential for any order or adjudication to be binding. Justice cannot be sacrificed for technicality.
It is a cardinal rule that no one must be allowed to enrich himself at the expense of another
without just cause.
For the court to have authority to dispose of the case on the merits, it must acquire jurisdiction
over the subject matter and the parties. If it did not acquire jurisdiction over the private
respondents as parties to Civil Case No. 116028, it cannot render any binding decision, favorable
or adverse to them, or dismiss the case with prejudice which, in effect, is an adjudication on the
merits. The controverted orders in Civil Case No. 116028 disregarded the fundamental principles
of remedial law and the meaning and the effect of jurisdiction. A judgment, to be considered res
judicata, must be binding, and must be rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Otherwise, the judgment is a nullity. The order of dismissal in Civil Case No. 116028 does not
have the effect of an adjudication on the merits of the case because the court that rendered the
same did not have the requisite jurisdiction over the persons of the defendants therein. This
being so, it cannot be the basis of res judicata and it cannot be a bar to a lawful claim. If at all,
such a dismissal may be considered as one without prejudice.
TIJAM vs. SIBONGHANOY
FACTS: Tijam filed for recovery of P1,908 + legal interest from Sibongahanoy. Defendants filed a
counter bond with ManilaSurety and Fidelity Co (Surety). Judgment was in favor of the plaintiffs,
and a writ of execution was issued against the defendant. Defendants moved for writ of
execution against surety which was granted. Surety moved to quash the writ but was denied.
They then appealed to CA without raising the issue on lack of jurisdiction.
CA affirmed the appealed decision. Surety then filed Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction against CFI Cebu in view of the effectivity of Judiciary Act of 1948 a month before
the filing of the petition for recovery. Act placed original exclusive jurisdiction of inferior courts

all civil actions for demands not exceeding 2,000 exclusive of interest. CA set aside its earlier
decision and referred the case to SC since it has exclusive jurisdiction over "all cases in which the
jurisdiction
of
any
inferior
court
is
in
issue.
ISSUE: WON Surety bond is estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the CFI Cebu for the
first
time
upon
appeal.
HELD: YES, SC believes that the Surety is now barred by laches from invoking this plea after
almost fifteen years before the Surety filed its motion to dismiss raising the question of lack of
jurisdiction for the first time - A party may be estopped or barred from raising a question in
different ways and for different reasons. Thus we speak of estoppel inpais, or estoppel by deed
or by record, and of estoppel by laches. Laches, in a general sense is failure or neglect, for an
unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence,
could or should have been done earlier - Furthermore, it has also been held that after
voluntarily submitting a cause and encountering an adverse decision on the merits, it is too late
for the loser to question the jurisdiction or power of the court -"undesirable practice" of a party
submitting his case for decision and then accepting the judgment, only if favorable, and
attacking
it
for
lack
of
jurisdiction,
when
adverse.
: Other merits on the appeal : The surety insists that the lower court should have granted its
motion to quash the writ of execution because the same was issued without the summary
hearing - Summary hearing is "not intended to be carried on in the formal manner in which
ordinary actions are prosecuted" (83 C.J.S. 792). It is, rather, a procedure by which a question is
resolved "with dispatch, with the least possible delay, and in preference to ordinary legal and
regular judicial proceedings" (Ibid, p. 790). What is essential is that "the defendant is notified or
summoned to appear and is given an opportunity to hear what is urged upon him, and to
interpose a defense, after which follows an adjudication of the rights of the parties - In the case
at bar, the surety had been notified of the plaintiffs' motion for execution and of the date when
the same would be submitted for consideration. In fact, the surety's counsel was present in
court when the motion was called, and it was upon his request that the court a quo gave him a
period of four days within which to file an answer. Yet he allowed that period to lapse without
filing an answer or objection. The surety cannot now, therefore, complain that it was deprived
of
its
day
in
court.
The orders appealed from are affirmed.
CABRERA VS NG (DIGEST)
The case is about a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking
to annul and set aside the Decision dated October 21, 2009 as well as theCA Resolution dated
March 26, 2012 in CA-G.R. SP No. 03392. The CA denied the petition for certiorari filed by
Marylou Cabrera (petitioner), which assailed the Order dated December 19, 2007 of the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Mandaue City, Branch 56, in Civil Case No. MAN-4773.
FACTS: That on February 14, 2004, Felix Ng (respondent) filed a complaint for sum of money
with the RTC against the petitioner and her husband Marionilo Cabrera (spouses Cabrera).
Alleging therespondent issued 3 Metrobank checks as payment by the respondent. The
respondent admitted issuing 2 out of the 3 checks through their son Richar Ng. All of the checks
were dishonored for the reason that the accounts where the checks were to be drawn were
already closed which was later admitted. The respondent denied the issuing the 3rdMetrobank
Check with No. 0244745. The respondent, alleged that 3rd check was forcibly taken from them
by their son Richard Ng.
On August 7, 2007, the RTC ordered the spouses Cabrera to pay the respondent the amount of
the 3rd check plus legal interest from inception of the obligation until fully paid, moral damages
in the amount of P50,000.00, attorneys fees of P20,000.00 anditigation expenses in the amount
ofP10,000.00.
On August 14, 2007, the spouses Cabrera filed with the RTC a motion for reconsideration,which
they set for hearing on August 17, 2007. On the same date, the spouses Cabrera sent a copy of
their motion for reconsideration to the respondent thru registered mail which eventually
received by the respondent on August 21, 2007.The motion was not heard on the following
dates August 17, 2007, August 28, 2007, and September 25, 2007.

On October 26, 2007, the RTC issued an Order, which directed the parties to file their additional
pleadings, after which the motion for reconsideration filed by the spouses Cabrera would be
deemed submitted for resolution.
On December 19, 2007, the RTC issued an Order denying the motion for reconsideration filed by
the spouses Cabrera. The RTC stated that the spouses Cabrera violated Section 4, Rule 15 of the
Rules of Court, which mandates that every motion required to be heard should be served by
the movant in such a manner as to ensure its receipt by the other party at least three days
before the date of hearing. Thus exceeding the 3 day period on notice and hearing as required
by law.
The record reveals that the instant motion was mailed to the plaintiffs counsel on August 14,
2007the hearing was set on August 17, 2007. The copy of the said motion had reached plaintiff
and his counsel only on August 17, 2007, 4 days after it was supposed to be heard.
The RTC opined a motion as a mere scrap of paper not entitled to judicial cognizance having not
met the required period for filing the requisite pleadings. The RTC held, its Decision dated
August 7, 2007 had already become final for failure of the spouses Cabrera to comply with the
three-day notice requirement.
The petitioner then filed a petition for certiorariwith the CA, alleging that the RTC gravely
abused its discretion in denying her motion for reconsideration. The petitioner pointed out that
the RTC did not actually conduct a hearing on her motion for reconsideration on August 17,
2007;that her motion for reconsideration was actually heard on October 26, 2007, after the
respondent had already filed his opposition. Thus, the petitioner claimed, the issue of her failure
to comply with the three-day notice requirement had already been rendered moot. In any case,
the petitioner asserted, the RTC should have resolved her motion for reconsideration on its
merits rather than simply denying it on mere technicality.
On October 21, 2009, the CA, denied the petition for certiorari filed by the petitioner. According
to the CA the RTC did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion for reconsideration filed by
the spouses Cabrera, that it merely applied the three-day notice requirement under Section 4,
Rule 15 of the Rules of Court. Thus:
On record It appears that petitioners Motion for Reconsideration was set for hearing on 17
August 2007. The copy thereof was mailed to private respondent on 14 August 2007, and that
the private respondent actually received his copy only on 21 August 2007 or four (4) days after
the set date of hearing. Thus, depriving him of the opportunity to oppose the motion.
Respondent court, therefore, correctly held that such motion violated the three (3)-day notice
rule; the essence of due process. Respondent court had applied said rule to the given situation,
and of no doubt, mere adherence to the rules cannot be considered grave abuse of discretion
on the part of the respondent court. The petitioner sought a reconsideration of the Decision
dated October 21, 2009 but was denied by the CA.
ISSUE: Whether or Not the CA erred in affirming the RTC order dated December 19, 2007,
denying the motion for reconsideration filed by the spouses Cabrera.
HELD: The petition is meritorious.
The Court has indeed held, that under Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 15 of the Rules of Court,
mandatory is the requirement in a motion, which is rendered defective by failure to comply with
the requirement. As a rule, a motion without a notice of hearing is considered pro forma and
does not affect the reglementary period for the appeal or the filing of the requisite pleading.As
an integral component of the procedural due process, the three-day notice required by the
Rules is not intended for the benefit of the movant. Rather the requirement is for the purpose of
avoiding surprises that may be sprung upon the adverse party, who must be given time to study
and meet the arguments in the motion before a resolution of the court. Principles of natural
justice demand that the right of a party should not be affected without giving it an opportunity
to be heard.
The test is the presence of opportunity to be heard, as well as to have time to study the motion
and meaningfully oppose or controvert the grounds upon which it is based.It is undisputed that
the hearing on the motion for reconsideration filed by the spouses Cabrera was reset by the RTC

twice with due notice to the parties that it was only on October 26, 2007 that the motion was
actually heard by the RTC. More than two months had passed since the respondent received a
copy of the said motion for reconsideration on August 21, 2007. The respondent was thus given
sufficient time to study the motion and to enable him to meet the arguments interposed
therein. Indeed, the respondent was able to file his opposition thereto on September 20, 2007.
Notwithstanding that the respondent received a copy of the said motion for reconsideration
four days after the date set by the spouses Cabrera for the hearing thereof, his right to due
process was not impinged as he was afforded the chance to argue his position. Thus, the R TC
erred in denying the spouses Cabrera's motion for reconsideration based merely on their failure
to comply with the three-day notice requirement.
The petition was granted by the Supreme Court thus reversing and setting aside the CA
resolutions dated October 21, 2009 and March 26, 2012. The SC remanded the case to the
Regional Trial Court of Mandaue City, to resolve the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the
spouses Cabrera on the merits within five (5) days from the finality of this Decision.
SEBASTIAN VS MORALES (Digest)
FACTS: Private respondents are the heirs of the late Guillermo Sarenas, who died intestate on
June 27, 1986. During his lifetime, Guillermo owned agricultural landholdings, all located in
Samon and Mayapyap Sur, Cabanatuan city. Guillermo was also the registered owner of parcel
of agricultural land located in San Ricardo, Talaver, Nueva Ecija having a total area of 4.9993
hectares, which was tenanted by Manuel Valentin and WenceslaoPeneyra. The said tenants
tilling the said farm lots had already been issued emancipation patents pursuant to PD No 27.
The private respondents filed an application with the DAR Regional Office in San Fernando,
Pampanga, for retention over the five hectares of the late Guillermos landholdings.
Among the lots which the private respondents sought to retain under Section 6 of the CARP (RA
No. 6657).
On June 6, 1997, The DAR Regional Office in San Fernando, Pampangan granted the private
respondents application. Petitioner, Sebastian moved for reconsideration of the said forgoing
order before the DAR Regional Director. The DAR Regional Director found out that the order was
contrary to law violating Section 6 of RA No. 6657 and its implementing Rules and Regulations.
He, the DAR Regional Director, then issued a new order dated October 23, 1997, which then
instead allowed private respondents to retain a parcel of the said land with an area of 4.9993
hectares, covered by TCT No. 143564, located in San Ricardo, Talavera, NuevaEcija. The private
respondents then appealed the order to the DAR secretary. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or Not the dismissal by the Court of Appeals of the petition is valid and proper?
HELD: No. Section 61 of RA No. 6657 clearly mandates that judicial review of DAR orders or
decisions are governed by the Rules of Court. The rules direct that it is Rule 43 that governs the
procedure for Judicial review of decisions, orders, or resolutions of the DAR Secretary. By
pursuing a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 rather than the mandatory petition for
review under Rule 43, the petitioner opted for the wrong mode of appeal. Pursuant to the
fourth paragraph of the Supreme Court Circular No 2-90, an appeal taken to the Supreme Court
or to the Court of Appeals by wrong or inappropriate mode shall be dismissed. Therefore, we
hold that the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in dismissing CA-GR SP No51288
for failure of the petitioners to pursue the proper mode of appeal. Wherefore, the instant
petition is DENIED. The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals as well as the resolution of the
appellate court dated December 10, 1999 is AFFRIMED
ELIZA ZUNIGA-SANTOS vs. MARIA DIVINA GRACIA SANTOS-GRAN
G.R. No. 197380 October 8, 2014
FACTS: On January 9, 2006, petitioner Eliza Zuiga-Santos (petitioner) filed a Complaint for
annulment of sale and revocation of title against Gran. It was alleged, among others, that: (a)
she was the registered owner of three (3) parcels of land prior to their transfer in the name of
Gran; (b) she has a second husband by the name of Lamberto with whom she did not have any
children; (c) she was forced to take care of Lambertos alleged daughter, Gran, whose birth
certificate was forged to make it appear that the latter was petitioners daughter; (d) pursuant
to void and voidable documents, i.e., a Deed of Sale, Lamberto succeeded in transferring the
subject properties in favor of and in the name of Gran; (e) despite diligent efforts, said Deed of

Sale could not be located; and (f) she discovered that the subject properties were transferred to
Gran sometime in November 2005. For her part, Gran filed a Motion to Dismiss,contending,
inter alia, that (a) the action filed by petitioner had prescribed since an action upon a written
contract must be brought within ten (10) years from the time the cause of action accrues, or in
this case, from the time of registration of the questioned documents before the Registry of
Deeds; and (b) the Amended Complaint failed to state a cause of action as the void and voidable
documents sought to be nullified were not properly identified nor the substance thereof set
forth. RTC granted Grans motion and dismissed the Complaint for its failure to state a cause of
action, considering that the deed of sale sought to be nullified an "essential and indispensable
part of *petitioners+ cause of action" was not attached. It likewise held that the certificates of
title covering the subject properties cannot be collaterally attacked and that since the action
was based on a written contract, the same had already prescribed under Article 1144 of the Civil
Code. CA sustained the dismissal of petitioners Amended Complaint but on the ground of
insufficiency of factual basis.
ISSUE: Whether or not the dismissal of petitioners Amended Complaint should be sustained.
HELD: YES. A judicious examination of petitioners Complaint readily shows its failure to
sufficiently state a cause of action. Contrary to the findings of the CA, the allegations therein do
not proffer ultimate facts which would warrant an action for nullification of the sale and
recovery of the properties in controversy, hence, rendering the same dismissible. While the
Complaint does allege that petitioner was the registered owner of the subject properties in
dispute, nothing in the said pleading or its annexes would show the basis of that assertion,
either through statements/documents tracing the root of petitioners title or copies of previous
certificates of title registered in her name. Instead, the certificates of title covering the said
properties that were attached to the Complaint are in the name of Gran. Indeed, while the facts
alleged in the complaint are hypothetically admitted for purposes of the motion, it must,
nevertheless, be remembered that the hypothetical admission extends only to the relevant and
material facts well pleaded in the complaint as well as to inferences fairly deductible therefrom.
Verily, the filing of the motion to dismiss assailing the sufficiency of the complaint does not
hypothetically admit allegations of which the court will take judicial notice of to be not true, nor
does the rule of hypothetical admission apply to legally impossible facts, or to facts inadmissible
in evidence, or to facts that appear to be unfounded by record or document included in the
pleadings. A pleading should state the ultimate facts essential to the rights of action or defense
asserted, as distinguished from mere conclusions of fact, or conclusions of law. General
allegations thata contract is valid or legal, or is just, fair, and reasonable, are mere conclusions
of law. Likewise, allegations that a contract is void, voidable, invalid, illegal, ultra vires, or against
public policy, without stating facts showing its invalidity, are mere conclusions of law. Hence, by
merely stating a legal conclusion, the Complaint presented no sufficient allegation upon which
the Court could grant the relief petitioner prayed for. Thus, said pleading should be dismissed on
the ground of failure to state cause of action, as correctly held by the RTC. As to the issue of
presecription: 1wphi1 To determine when the prescriptive period commenced in an action for
reconveyance, the plaintiffs possession of the disputed property is material. If there is an actual
need to reconvey the property as when the plaintiff is not in possession, the action for
reconveyance based on implied trust prescribes in ten (10) years, the reference point being the
date of registration of the deed or the issuance of the title. On the other hand, if the real owner
of the property remains in possession of the property, the prescriptive period to recover title
and possession of the property does not run against him and in such case, the action for
reconveyance would be in the nature of a suit for quieting of title which is imprescriptible. In the
case at bar, a reading of the allegations of the Complaint failed to show that petitioner remained
in possession of the subject properties in dispute. On the contrary, it can be reasonably deduced
that it was Gran who was in possession of the subject properties. The filing of the petitioners
complaint before the RTC on January 9, 2006 was obviously beyond the ten-year prescriptive
period, warranting the Amended Complaints dismissal all the same.
HEIRS OF MAGDALENO YPON vs. GAUDIOSO PONTERAS RICAFORTE A.K.A. "GAUDIOSO E.
YPON,"
G.R. No. 198680 July 8, 2013
FACTS: On July 29, 2010, petitioners, together with some of their cousins, filed a complaint for
Cancellation of Title and Reconveyance with Damages (subject complaint) against respondent
Gaudioso Ponteras Ricaforte a.k.a. "Gaudioso E. Ypon" (Gaudioso). In their complaint, they
alleged that Magdaleno died intestate and childless on June 28, 1968, leaving behind 4 parcel of
lands. Claiming to be the sole heir of Magdaleno, Gaudioso executed an Affidavit of Self-

Adjudication and caused the cancellation of the certificates of title, leading to their subsequent
transfer in his name to the prejudice of petitioners who are Magdalenos collateral relatives and
successors-in-interest. In his Answer, Gaudioso alleged that he is the lawful son of Magdaleno as
evidenced by: (a) his certificate of Live Birth; (b) two (2) letters from Polytechnic School; and (c)
a certified true copy of his passport. Further, by way of affirmative defense, he claimed that: (a)
petitioners have no cause of action against him; (b) the complaint fails to state a cause of action;
and (c) the case is not prosecuted by the real parties-in-interest, as there is no showing that the
petitioners have been judicially declared as Magdalenos lawful heirs. RTC found that the subject
complaint failed to state a cause of action against Gaudioso. It observed that while the plaintiffs
therein had established their relationship with Magdaleno in a previous special proceeding for
the issuance of letters of administration, this did not mean that they could already be
considered as the decedents compulsory heirs. Quite the contrary, Gaudioso satisfactorily
established the fact that he is Magdalenos son and hence, his compulsory heir through the
documentary evidence he submitted which consisted of: (a) a marriage contract between
Magdaleno and Epegenia Evangelista; (b) a Certificate of Live Birth; (c) a Letter dated February
19, 1960; and (d) a passport.
ISSUE: Whether or not the RTCs dismissal of the case on the ground that the subject complaint
failed to state a cause of action was proper.
RULING: YES. Cause of action is defined as the act or omission by which a party violates a right of
another. It is well-settled that the existence of a cause of action is determined by the allegations
in the complaint. In this relation, a complaint is said to assert a sufficient cause of action if,
admitting what appears solely on its face to be correct, the plaintiff would be entitled to the
relief prayed for. As stated in the subject complaint, petitioners, who were among the plaintiffs
therein, alleged that they are the lawful heirs of Magdaleno and based on the same, prayed that
the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication executed by Gaudioso be declared null and void and that the
transfer certificates of title issued in the latters favor be cancelled. While the foregoing
allegations, if admitted to be true, would consequently warrant the reliefs sought for in the said
complaint, the rule that the determination of a decedents lawful heirs should be made in the
corresponding special proceeding precludes the RTC, in an ordinary action for cancellation of
title and reconveyance, from granting the same. This must take precedence over the action for
recovery of possession and ownership. The Court has consistently ruled that the trial court
cannot make a declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a declaration
can only be made in a special proceeding. There lies the need to institute the proper special
proceeding in order to determine the heirship of the parties involved, ultimately resulting to the
dismissal of Civil Case No. T-2246. Verily, while a court usually focuses on the complaint in
determining whether the same fails to state a cause of action, a court cannot disregard
decisions material to the proper appreciation of the questions before it. Thus, concordant with
applicable jurisprudence, since a determination of heirship cannot be made in an ordinary
action for recovery of ownership and/or possession, the dismissal of Civil Case No. T-2246 was
altogether proper. In this light, it must be pointed out that the RTC erred in ruling on Gaudiosos
heirship which should, as herein discussed, be threshed out and determined in the proper
special proceeding. As such, the foregoing pronouncement should therefore be devoid of any
legal effect.
ADA et al vs. BAYLO
Facts: This case involves the estate of the late spouses FlorentinoBaylon and
MaximinaElnasBaylon.
At the time of their death, Spouses Baylon were survived by their legitimate children namely,
Rita Baylon, Victoria Baylon, Dolores Baylon, Panfila Gomez and Ramon Baylon and herein
petitioner Lilia Ada.
On July 3, 1996, the petitioners file with the RTC a complaint for partition, accounting and
damages against Florante, Rita and Panfila. They alleged therein that after the death of the
Spouses Baylon, Rita took possession of the (inheritance) estates and appropriated hereslef the
income from the same. Using the income produced by the said estate (parcels of land), Rita
allegedly purchased two parcels of land, Lot No.4706. The petitioners averred that Rita refused
to effect a partition of the said parcels of land.

During the pendency of the case, Rita, through a Deed of Donation dated July 6, 1997, conveyed
Lot No.4709 and half of Lot No.4706 to Florante. On July 16, 2000, Rita died intestate and
without any issue.
Thereafter, learning of the said donation inter vivos in favor of Florante, the petitioners filed a
Supplemental Pleading dated February 6, 2002, praying that the said donation in favor of the
respondent be rescinded.
On October 20, 2005, the RTC rendered a Decision, in favor of the petitioners and rescinded the
donation inter vivos of Lot No.4709 and half of Lot No. 4706 in favor of Florante.
On appeal, the CA rendered a decision reversing and setting aside the decision of the RTC.
The CA held that,
1. Before the petitioners may file an action for rescission, they must first obtain a favorable
judicial ruling that Lot No. 4709 and half of Lot No. 4706 actually belonged to the estate
of Spouses Baylon and not to Rita. Until then, the CA asserted an action for rescission is
premature.
2. That the petitioners action for rescission cannot be joined with their action for
partition, accounting and damages through a mere supplemental pleading. Hence this
petition (In effect, the CA dismissed a case on the ground of misjoinder or causes of
action)
Issue: Whether or not petitioners action for rescission cannot be joined with their action for
partition, accounting and damages through a mere supplemental pleading.
(WON the court can dismiss action for rescission for being a misjoinder on action for partition,
accounting and damages.
Held: The complaint filed by the petitioners with the RTC involves two separate, distinct and
independent actions -partition and rescission. First, the petitioners r a i s e d t h e
refusal of their co-heirs, Florante, Rita and Panfila, to partition the
properties, which they inherited from Spouses Baylon. Second, in their supplemental pleading,
the petitioners assailed the donation inter vivos Lot No. 4709 and half o f L o t N o . 4 7 0 6
m a d e b y R i t a i n f a v o r o f F l o r a n t e p e n d e n t e l i t e . T h e a c t i o n s o f partition and
rescission cannot be joined in a single action.
By a joinder of causes of action is meant the uniting of two or more demands or rights of action
in one action, the statement of more than one cause of action in adeclaration. It is the union of
two or more civil causes of action, each of which couldbe made the basis of a separate suit, in
the same complaint, declaration or petition.
The objectives of the rule or provision are to avoid a multiplicity of suits where the same parties
and subject matter are to be dealt with by effecting in one action a complete
determination of all matters in controversy and litigation between the parties involving
one subject matter, and to expedite the disposition of litigation at minimum cost. The provision
should be construed so as toa v o i d s u c h m u l t i p l i c i t y , w h e r e p o s s i b l e , w i t h o u t
prejudice to the rights of the litigants.
Nevertheless, while parties to an action may assert in one pleading, in the
alternative or otherwise, as many causes of action as they may have against an
opposing party, such joinder of causes of action is su bject to the condition,
interalia, that the joinder shall not include special civil actions governed by special rules.
Here, there was a misjoinder of causes of action. The action for partition (led by the petitioners
could not be joined with theaction for the rescission of the said donation inter vivos in favor of
Florante. Lest it be overlooked, an action for partition is a special civil action governed by Rule
10 of the Rules of Court while an action for rescission is an ordinary civil action governedby the
ordinary rules of civil procedure. The variance in the procedure in the specialcivil action of
partition and in the ordinary civil action of rescission precludes their joinder in one complaint or
their being tried in a single proceeding to avoid confusion in determining what rules shall govern
the conduct of the proceedings aswell as in the determination of the presence of requisite
elements of each particularcause of action.

A misjoined cause of action, if not severed upon motion of a party or by the court suasponte,
maybe adjudicated by the court together with the other causes of action.
Nevertheless, the misjoinder of causes of action is not a ground for dismissal. Indeed, the courts
have the power, acting upon the motion of a party to the case or suasponte, to order the
severance of the misjoined cause of action to be proceeded with separately. However, if there is
no objection to the improper joinder or the court did not motuproprio direct a severance, then
there exists no bar in the simultaneous adjudication of all the erroneously joined causes of
action.
Here, Florante posed no objection, and neither did the RTC direct the severance of the
petitioners action for rescission from their action for partition. While this may be a patent
omission on the part of the RTC, this does not constitute a ground to assail the validity and
correctness of its decision. The RTC validly adjudicated the issues raised in the actions for
partition and rescission filed by the petitioners.
BOSTON EQUITY RESOURCES, INC.,Petitioner, v. COURT OF APPEALS AND LOLITA G.
TOLEDO,Respondents.
Facts: On 24 December 1997, petitioner filed a complaint for sum of money with a prayer for
the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment against the spouses Manuel and Lolita Toledo.6
Herein respondent filed an Answer dated 19 March 1998 but on 7 May 1998, she filed a Motion
for Leave to Admit Amended Answer7 in which she alleged, among others, that her husband and
co-defendant, Manuel Toledo (Manuel), is already dead.8 The death certificate9 of Manuel states
"13 July 1995" as the date of death. As a result, petitioner filed a motion, dated 5 August 1999,
to require respondent to disclose the heirs of Manuel.10 In compliance with the verbal order of
the court during the 11 October 1999 hearing of the case, respondent submitted the required
names and addresses of the heirs.11 Petitioner then filed a Motion for Substitution,12 dated 18
January 2000, praying that Manuel be substituted by his children as party-defendants. It appears
that this motion was granted by the trial court in an Order dated 9 October 2000.
Pre-trial thereafter ensued and on 18 July 2001, the trial court issued its pre-trial order
containing,
among
others,
the
dates
of
hearing
of
the
case.14
The trial of the case then proceeded. Herein petitioner, as plaintiff, presented its evidence and
its
exhibits
were
thereafter
admitted.
On 26 May 2004, the reception of evidence for herein respondent was cancelled upon
agreement of the parties. On 24 September 2004, counsel for herein respondent was given a
period of fifteen days within which to file a demurrer to evidence.15 However, on 7 October
2004, respondent instead filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, citing the following as
grounds: (1) that the complaint failed to implead an indispensable party or a real party in
interest; hence, the case must be dismissed for failure to state a cause of action; (2) that the
trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the person of Manuel pursuant to Section 5, Rule 86
of the Revised Rules of Court; (3) that the trial court erred in ordering the substitution of the
deceased Manuel by his heirs; and (4) that the court must also dismiss the case against Lolita
Toledo in accordance with Section 6, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court.16
The trial court, in an Order dated 8 November 2004, denied the motion to dismiss for having
been filed out of time, citing Section 1, Rule 16 of the 1997 Rules of Court which states that:
"[W]ithin the time for but before filing the answer to the complaint or pleading asserting a
claim, a motion to dismiss may be made x x x."17 Respondents motion for reconsideration of the
order of denial was likewise denied on the ground that "defendants attack on the jurisdiction of
this Court is now barred by estoppel by laches" since respondent failed to raise the issue despite
several
chances
to
do
so.18
Aggrieved, respondent filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals alleging that the
trial court seriously erred and gravely abused its discretion in denying her motion to dismiss
despite discovery, during the trial of the case, of evidence that would constitute a ground for
dismissal of the case.
Issue: On whether or not the estate of ManuelToledo is an indispensable party
Held: No. The estate of Manuel Toledo is not an indispensable party.

Rule 3, Section 7 of the 1997 Rules of Court states:cralavvonlinelawlibrary


SEC. 7. Compulsory joinder of indispensable parties. Parties-in-interest without whom no final
determination can be had of an action shall be joined either as plaintiffs or defendants.
An indispensable party is one who has such an interest in the controversy or subject matter of a
case that a final adjudication cannot be made in his or her absence, without injuring or affecting
that interest. He or she is a party who has not only an interest in the subject matter of the
controversy, but "an interest of such nature that a final decree cannot be made without
affecting [that] interest or leaving the controversy in such a condition that its final
determination may be wholly inconsistent with equity and good conscience. It has also been
considered that an indispensable party is a person in whose absence there cannot be a
determination between the parties already before the court which is effective, complete or
equitable." Further, an indispensable party is one who must be included in an action before it
may
properly
proceed.44
On the other hand, a "person is not an indispensable party if his interest in the controversy or
subject matter is separable from the interest of the other parties, so that it will not necessarily
be directly or injuriously affected by a decree which does complete justice between them. Also,
a person is not an indispensable party if his presence would merely permit complete relief
between him or her and those already parties to the action, or if he or she has no interest in the
subject matter of the action." It is not a sufficient reason to declare a person to be an
indispensable party simply because his or her presence will avoid multiple litigations.45
Applying the foregoing pronouncements to the case at bar, it is clear that the estate of Manuel
is not an indispensable party to the collection case, for the simple reason that the obligation of
Manuel
and
his
wife,
respondent
herein,
is
solidary.
The contract between petitioner, on the one hand and respondent and respondents husband,
on the other, states:cralavvonlinelawlibrary
FOR VALUE RECEIVED, I/We jointly and severally46 (in solemn) promise to pay BOSTON EQUITY
RESOURCES, INC. x xx the sum of PESOS: [ONE MILLION FOUR HUNDRED (P1,400,000.00)] x x x.47
The provisions and stipulations of the contract were then followed by the respective signatures
of respondent as "MAKER" and her husband as "CO-MAKER."48 Thus, pursuant to Article 1216 of
the Civil Code, petitioner may collect the entire amount of the obligation from respondent only.
The aforementioned provision states: "The creditor may proceed against any one of the solidary
debtors or some or all of them simultaneously. The demand made against one of them shall not
be an obstacle to those which may subsequently be directed against the others, so long as the
debt
has
not
been
fully
collected."
In other words, the collection case can proceed and the demands of petitioner can be satisfied
by respondent only, even without impleading the estate of Manuel. Consequently, the estate of
Manuel is not an indispensable party to petitioners complaint for sum of money.
However, the Court of Appeals, agreeing with the contention of respondent, held that the claim
of petitioner should have been filed against the estate of Manuel in accordance with Sections 5
and 6 of Rule 86 of the Rules of Court. The aforementioned provisions
provide:cralavvonlinelawlibrary
SEC. 5.Claims which must be filed under the notice. If not filed, barred; exceptions. All claims for
money against the decedent, arising from contract, express or implied, whether the same be
due, not due, or contingent, all claims for funeral expenses and judgment for money against the
decedent, must be filed within the time limited in the notice; otherwise, they are barred forever,
except that they may be set forth as counterclaims in any action that the executor or
administrator
may
bring
against
the
claimants.
xxx.
SEC. 6.Solidary obligation of decedent. Where the obligation of the decedent is solidary with
another debtor, the claim shall be filed against the decedent as if he were the only debtor,
without prejudice to the right of the estate to recover contribution from the other debtor. xxx.
The Court of Appeals erred in its interpretation of the above-quoted provisions.
In construing Section 6, Rule 87 of the old Rules of Court, the precursor of Section 6, Rule 86 of
the Revised Rules of Court, which latter provision has been retained in the present Rules of

Court without any revisions, the Supreme Court, in the case of Manila Surety & Fidelity Co., Inc.
v. Villarama, et. al.,49 held:50
Construing Section 698 of the Code of Civil Procedure from whence [Section 6, Rule 87] was
taken, this Court held that where two persons are bound in solidum for the same debt and one
of them dies, the whole indebtedness can be proved against the estate of the latter, the
decedents liability being absolute and primary; xxx. It is evident from the foregoing that Section
6 of Rule 87 provides the procedure should the creditor desire to go against the deceased
debtor, but there is certainly nothing in the said provision making compliance with such
procedure a condition precedent before an ordinary action against the surviving solidary
debtors, should the creditor choose to demand payment from the latter, could be entertained
to the extent that failure to observe the same would deprive the court jurisdiction to take
cognizance of the action against the surviving debtors. Upon the other hand, the Civil Code
expressly allows the creditor to proceed against any one of the solidary debtors or some or all of
them simultaneously. There is, therefore, nothing improper in the creditors filing of an action
against the surviving solidary debtors alone, instead of instituting a proceeding for the
settlement of the estate of the deceased debtor wherein his claim could be filed.
The foregoing ruling was reiterated and expounded in the later case of Philippine National Bank
v. Asuncion51 where the Supreme Court pronounced:cralavvonlinelawlibrary
A cursory perusal of Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court reveals that nothing therein
prevents a creditor from proceeding against the surviving solidary debtors. Said provision
merely sets up the procedure in enforcing collection in case a creditor chooses to pursue his
claim against the estate of the deceased solidary debtor. The rule has been set forth that a
creditor (in a solidary obligation) has the option whether to file or not to file a claim against the
estate of the solidary debtor. xxx
It is crystal clear that Article 1216 of the New Civil Code is the applicable provision in this
matter. Said provision gives the creditor the right to "proceed against anyone of the solidary
debtors or some or all of them simultaneously." The choice is undoubtedly left to the solidary
creditor to determine against whom he will enforce collection. In case of the death of one of
the solidary debtors, he (the creditor) may, if he so chooses, proceed against the surviving
solidary debtors without necessity of filing a claim in the estate of the deceased debtors. It is
not mandatory for him to have the case dismissed as against the surviving debtors and file its
claim against the estate of the deceased solidary debtor, x xx. For to require the creditor to
proceed against the estate, making it a condition precedent for any collection action against the
surviving debtors to prosper, would deprive him of his substantive rights provided by Article
1216
of
the
New
Civil
Code.
(Emphasis
supplied.)
As correctly argued by petitioner, if Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court were
applied literally, Article 1216 of the New Civil Code would, in effect, be repealed since under the
Rules of Court, petitioner has no choice but to proceed against the estate of [the deceased
debtor+ only. Obviously, this provision diminishes the *creditors+ right under the New Civil Code
to proceed against any one, some or all of the solidary debtors. Such a construction is not
sanctioned by principle, which is too well settled to require citation, that a substantive law
cannot be amended by a procedural rule. Otherwise stated, Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised
Rules of Court cannot be made to prevail over Article 1216 of the New Civil Code, the former
being merely procedural, while the latter, substantive.
Based on the foregoing, the estate of Manuel is not an indispensable party and the case can
proceed as against respondent only. That petitioner opted to collect from respondent and not
from the estate of Manuel is evidenced by its opposition to respondents motion to dismiss
asserting that the case, as against her, should be dismissed so that petitioner can proceed
against the estate of Manuel.
VIRGILIO C. BRIONES, v. COURT OF APPEALS AND CASH ASIA CREDIT CORPORATION
FACTS: Briones filed a complaint for Nullity of Mortgage Contracts and other related subject
contracts before the RTC of Manila against Cash Asia Credit Corporation due to the fact that his
real estate property was foreclosed, on the basis of an unpaid loan amounting to 3.5M from the
said credit company. He claimed that he was not informed of any loan agreement entered into
Cash Asia and that his signatures on the said contracts were thereby forged. Cash Asia asserted
that the complaint must be dismissed because it was filed in Manila and not in Makati, which
was the venue stipulation in the subject contracts. Briones opposed asserting that he is not
covered by the venue stipulation because he was never a party to begin with and that his

signatures were mere forgeries. The RTC ruled in favor of Briones, stating that the parties must
be afforded the right to be heard in view of the substance of Brioness cause of action against
Cash Asia. On certiorari, the CA reversed the ruling of the RTC and concluded that Brioness
complaint should have been dismissed outright on the ground of improper venue,
notwithstanding Brioness claim of forgery, thus the RTC gravely abused its discretion in denying
Cash Asias motion to dismiss. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WON the CA committed GAD in
ordering the outright dismissal of Brioness complaint on the ground of improper venue HELD:
Yes. Rule 4 of the Rules of Court provides that the general rule is that the venue of real actions is
the court which has jurisdiction over the area wherein the real property involved, or a portion
thereof, is situated; while the venue of personal actions is the court which has jurisdiction where
the plaintiff or the defendant resides, at the election of the plaintiff. As an exception,
jurisprudence instructs that the parties, thru a written instrument, may either introduce another
venue where actions arising from such instrument may be filed, or restrict the filing of said
actions in a certain exclusive venue. The parties, however, are not precluded from agreeing in
writing on an exclusive venue, as qualified by Section 4 of the same rule. Written stipulations as
to venue may be restrictive in the sense that the suit may be filed only in the place agreed upon,
or merely permissive in that the parties may file their suit not only in the place agreed upon but
also in the places fixed by law. As in any other agreement, what is essential is the ascertainment
of the intention of the parties respecting the matter. As regards restrictive stipulations on
venue, jurisprudence instructs that it must be shown that such stipulation is exclusive. In the
absence of qualifying or restrictive words, such as exclusively, waiving for this purpose any
other venue, shall only preceding the designation of venue, to the exclusion of the other
courts, or words of similar import, the stipulation should be deemed as merely an agreement
on an additional forum, not as limiting venue to the specified place. Case law likewise provides
that in cases where the complaint assails only the terms, conditions, and/or coverage of a
written instrument and not its validity, the exclusive venue stipulation contained therein shall
still be binding on the parties, and thus, the complaint may be properly dismissed on the ground
of improper venue. Conversely, therefore, a complaint directly assailing the validity of the
written instrument itself should not be bound by the exclusive venue stipulation contained
therein and should be filed in accordance with the general rules on venue. In this case, the
venue stipulation found in the subject contracts is indeed restrictive in nature, considering that
it effectively limits the venue of the actions arising therefrom to the courts of Makati City.
However, it must be emphasized that Brioness complaint directly assails the validity of the
subject contracts, claiming forgery in their execution. Given this circumstance, Briones cannot
be expected to comply with the aforesaid venue stipulation, as his compliance therewith would
mean an implicit recognition of their validity. Hence, pursuant to the general rules on venue,
Briones properly filed his complaint before a court in the City of Manila where the subject
property is located. In conclusion, the CA patently erred and hence committed grave abuse of
discretion in dismissing Brioness complaint on the ground of improper venue.
PANTRANCO NORTH EXPRESS, INC., vs STANDARD INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. G.R. No.
140746
FACTS: In the afternoon of October 28, 1984, Crispin Gicale was driving the passenger jeepney
owned by his mother Martina Gicale. It was then raining. While driving north bound along the
National Highway in Talavera, Nueva Ecija, a passenger bus, owned by Pantranco North Express,
Inc., driven by Alexander Buncan, was trailing behind. When the two vehicles were negotiating a
curve along the highway, the passenger bus overtook the jeepney. In so doing, the passenger
bus hit the left rear side of the jeepney and sped away. Crispin reported the incident to the
Talavera Police Station and Standard Insurance Co., Inc. (Standard), insurer of the jeepney. The
total cost of the repair was P21,415.00, but respondent Standard paid only P8,000.00. Martina
Gicale shouldered the balance of P13,415.00. Thereafter, Standard and Martina, demanded
reimbursement from petitioners Pantranco and its driver Buncan, but they refused. These
prompted respondents to file with the RTC Manila, a complaint for sum of money. In their
answer, Pantranco and Buncan specifically denied the allegations in the complaint and averred
that it is the Metropolitan Trial Court, not the RTC, which has jurisdiction over the case. The RTC
rendered a decision in favor of Standard and Martina, ordering the Pantranco and Buncan to pay
damages with interest due, attorneys fees and expenses. Pantranco appealed but the CA
affirmed the RTCs ruling stating that the suit rightfully fell under the jurisdiction of the RTC, and
not the MTC because of the Totality Rule provided for under Sec. 19, Batas Pambansa Bilang
129, in which it is the sum of the two claims that determines the jurisdictional amount. The total
of the two claims is definitely more than P20,000.00 which at the time of the incident in
question was the jurisdictional amount of the RTC. Pantranco and Buncan contended that there
was a misjoinder of parties. The CA stated inter alia, assuming that there was a misjoinder,

under the Rules of Court, the same does not affect the jurisdiction of the court nor is it a ground
to dismiss the complaint. Standard and Martinas individual claims arose from the same
vehicular accident. That being the case, there was a question of fact common to all the parties:
Whose fault or negligence caused the damage? Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration
but was denied by the CA. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari. For their part,
respondents contend that their individual claims arose out of the same vehicular accident and
involve a common question of fact and law. Hence, the RTC has jurisdiction over the case.
ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC has no jurisdiction over the case since the cause of action of each
respondent did not arise from the same transaction and that there are no common questions of
law and fact common to both parties
HELD: Yes. Section 6, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court, provides: "Sec. 6. Permissive joinder
of parties. All persons in whom or against whom any right to relief in respect to or arising out
of the same transaction or series of transactions is alleged to exist, whether jointly, severally, or
in the alternative, may, except as otherwise provided in these Rules, join as plaintiffs or be
joined as defendants in one complaint, where any question of law or fact common to all such
plaintiffs or to all such defendants may arise in the action; but the court may make such orders
as may be just to prevent any plaintiff or defendant from being embarrassed or put to expense
in connection with any proceedings in which he may have no interest." Permissive joinder of
parties requires that: (a) the right to relief arises out of the same transaction or series of
transactions; (b) there is a question of law or fact common to all the plaintiffs or defendants;
and (c) such joinder is not otherwise proscribed by the provisions of the Rules on jurisdiction
and venue. In this case, there is a single transaction common to all, that is, Pantrancos bus
hitting the rear side of the jeepney. There is also a common question of fact, that is, whether
petitioners are negligent. There being a single transaction common to both respondents,
consequently, they have the same cause of action against petitioners. To determine identity of
cause of action, it must be ascertained whether the same evidence which is necessary to sustain
the second cause of action would have been sufficient to authorize a recovery in the first.Here,
had respondents filed separate suits against petitioners, the same evidence would have been
presented to sustain the same cause of action. Thus, the filing by both respondents of the
complaint with the court below is in order. Such joinder of parties avoids multiplicity of suit and
ensures the convenient, speedy and orderly administration of justice. Section 5(d), Rule 2 of the
same Rules provides: "Sec. 5. Joinder of causes of action. A party may in one pleading assert,
in the alternative or otherwise, as many causes of action as he may have against an opposing
party, subject to the following conditions: The above provision presupposes that the different
causes of action which are joined accrue in favor of the same plaintiff/s and against the same
defendant/s and that no misjoinder of parties is involved. The issue of whether respondents
claims shall be lumped together is determined by paragraph (d) of the above provision. This
paragraph embodies the "totality rule" as exemplified by Section 33 (1) of B.P. Blg. 129 which
states, among others, that "where there are several claims or causes of action between the
same or different parties, embodied in the same complaint, the amount of the demand shall be
the totality of the claims in all the causes of action, irrespective of whether the causes of action
arose out of the same or different transactions." As previously stated, respondents cause of
action against petitioners arose out of the same transaction. Thus, the amount of the demand
shall be the totality of the claims. Standards claim is P8K, while that of respondent Martina is
P13,415.00, or a total of P21,415.00. Section 19 of B.P. Blg. 129 provides that the RTC has
"exclusive original jurisdiction over all other cases, in which the demand, exclusive of interest
and cost or the value of the property in controversy, amounts to more than twenty thousand
pesos (P20,000.00)." Clearly, it is the RTC that has jurisdiction over the instant case. It bears
emphasis that when the complaint was filed, R.A. 7691 expanding the jurisdiction of the
Metropolitan, Municipal and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts had not yet taken effect. It became
effective on April 15, 1994.

FERNANDEZ V. VILLEGAS
GR NO. 200191, AUGUST 20, 2018
FACTS: On August 21, 2008, Lourdes C. Fernandez and her sister, Cecilia Siapno (petitioners)
filed a Complaint for Ejectment before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Dagupan City(MTCC)
against respondent Norma Villegas (Norma) and any person acting in her behalf including her
family (respondents), seeking to recover possession of a parcel of land situated in Dagupan City
(subject property). In their complaint, petitioner averred that they are the registered owners of
the subject property.

Respondents answered that the complaint stated no cause of action, considering that petitioner
has no standing to question their possession of the subject property as she had already donated
her portion in favor of Cecilia. Respondents further asserted that there was no compliance with
the required conciliation and mediation under the KatarungangPambarangay Law as no
Certificate to File Action was attached to the complaint thereby rendering the complaint
dismissible.
MTCC found that respondents failed to impugn the validity of petitioners ownership over the
subject property. As owners, petitioner have the right to enjoy the use and receive the fruits
from the said property, as well as to exclude one from its enjoyment. Dissatisfied with the
MTCCs ruling, respondents filed an appeal before the Regional Trial Court of Dagupan City
(RTC).
RTC granted respondents appeal and ordered the dismissal of petitioners complaint based on
the following grounds: (a) there was no substantial compliance with the mandatory conciliation
and mediation process before the barangay, especially considering that the parties are very
close relatives; and (b) respondents are builders in good faith and cannot be summarily ejected
from the subject property without compliance with the provisions of the Civil Code. Petitioner
filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the RTC prompting the filing of the CA
petition.
In response to petitioners CA petition, respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss Appeal on the
grounds that: (a) Cecilia failed to personally verify the petition; and (b) the appeal is dilatory. In
their comment, petitioners maintained that Lourdes, as co-owner of the subject property, has
the right to file an ejectment case by herself, without joining her co-owner, Cecilia, as provided
under Article 487 of the Civil Code. Moreover, Lourdes was specially authorized by Imelda to file
the CA petition.
CA granted respondents Motion to Dismiss Appeal, holding that the verification and
certification against forum shopping attached to the CA petition was defective since it was
signed only by Lourdes, one of the plaintiffs in the case, in violation of Section 5,31 Rule 7 of the
Rules of Court which requires all the plaintiffs to sign the same. There was also no showing that
Lourdes was authorized by her co-plaintiff, Cecilia, to represent the latter and to sign the said
certification, and neither did the submission of the special powers of attorney of Cecilia and
Imelda to that effect constitute substantial compliance with the rules. The CA further noted that
petitioner failed to comply with its prior Resolution dated October 11, 2010 requiring the
submission of an amended verification/certification against forum shopping within five (5) days
from notice, warranting the dismissal of the CA petition on this score.
Petitioners sought reconsideration but the same was denied. Hence, the instant petition filed by
Lourdes alone.
ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in dismissing outright the CA petition due to a defective
verification and certification against forum shopping attached to the CA petition

RULING: Yes. Applying below guidelines to the caseat bar, particularly, those stated in
paragraphs 3 and 5 highlighted, the Court finds that the CA committed reversible error in
dismissing the CA petition due to a defective verification and certification against forum
shopping.
The Court laid down the following guidelines with respect to noncompliance with the
requirements on or submission of a defective verification and certification against forum
shopping, viz.:
1) A distinction must be madebetween non-compliance with the requirement on or submission
of defective verification, and noncompliance with the requirement on or submission of defective
certification against forum shopping.
2) As to verification, non-compliance therewith or a defect therein does not necessarily render
the pleading fatally defective. The court may order its submission or correction or act on the
pleading if the attending circumstances are such that strictcompliance with the Rule may be
dispensed with in order that the endsof justice may be served thereby.
3) Verification is deemed substantially complied with when one who has ample knowledge to
swear to the truth of the allegations in the complaint or petition signs the verification, and
when matters alleged in the petition have been made in good faith or are true and correct.

4) As to certification against forum shopping, non-compliance therewith or a defect therein,


unlike in verification, is generally not curable by its subsequent submission orcorrection thereof,
unless there is a need to relax the Rule on the ground of "substantial compliance" or presence of
"special circumstances or compelling reasons."
5) The certification against forum shopping must be signed by all the plaintiffs or petitioners in
a case; otherwise, those who did not sign will be dropped as parties to the case. Under
reasonable or justifiable circumstances, however, as when all the plaintiffs or petitioners
share a common interest and invoke a common cause of action or defense, the signature of
only one of them in the certification against forum shopping substantially complies with the
Rule.
6) Finally, the certification against forum shopping must be executed by the party-pleader, not
by his counsel. If, however, for reasonable or justifiable reasons, the party-pleader is unable to
sign, he must execute a Special Power of Attorney designating his counsel of record to sign on
his behalf.37 (Emphases supplied)
#3 - It is undisputed that Lourdes is not only a resident of the subject property but is a coowner thereof together with her co-plaintiff/sister, Cecilia. As such, she is "one who has ample
knowledge to swear to the truth of the allegations in the x xx [CA] petition" and is therefore
qualified to "sign x xx the verification". Besides, it is settled that the verification of a pleading
is only a formal, not a jurisdictional requirement intended to secure the assurance that the
matters alleged in a pleading are true and correct. Therefore, the courts may simply order the
correction of the pleadings oract on them and waive strict compliance with the rules, as in this
case.
#5 - There was also substantial compliance with the certification against forum shopping
requirement, notwithstanding the fact that only Lourdes signed the same. Court ruled that
Where the plaintiffs or petitioners share a common interest and invoke a common cause of
action or defense - the rule requiring all such plaintiffs or petitioners to sign the certification
against forum shopping may be relaxed.Similar to the rules on verification, the rules on forum
shopping are designed to promote and facilitate the orderly administration of justice; hence, it
should not be interpreted with such absolute literalness as to subvert its own ultimate and
legitimate objectives. The requirement of strict compliance with the provisions on certification
against forum shopping merely underscores its mandatory nature to the effect that the
certification cannot altogether be dispensed with or its requirements completely disregarded.
It does not prohibit substantial compliance with the rules under justifiable circumstances
The petition was then granted. The case was reinstated and remanded to CA for proper and
immediate disposition.

MANGALIAG V. PASTORAL
Facts: Respondent Serquina filed a complaint for damages with the RTC against petitioners
Mangaliag and Solano. This complaint alleges that the Serquina and his co-passengers sustained
serious injuries and permanent deformities from the collision of their tricycle with the
petitioners dump truck and the gross negligence, carelessness and imprudence of the
petitioners in driving the dump truck. Respondents seek damages in the form of medical
expenses amounting to P71,392.00. Respondents also claim P500,000.00 by way of moral
damages, as a further result of his hospitalization, lost income of P25,000.00 or the nominal
damages, and attorneys fees.
Petitioners filed their answer with counterclaim. After pre-trial conference, trial on the merits
ensued. After the respondent rested his case, petitioners testified in their defense.
Subsequently, petitioners filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the
subject matter. They alleged that since the principal amount prayed for, in the amount of
P71,392.00, falls within the jurisdiction of MTC. Petitioners maintain that the courts jurisdiction
should be based exclusively on the amount of actual damages, excluding therefrom the amounts
claimed as moral, exemplary, nominal damages and attorneys fee, etc.
The respondent opposed the motion saying that since the claim for damages is the main action,
the totality of the damages sought to be recovered should be considered in determining
jurisdiction. He relied on Administrative Circular No. 09-94 which provides that in cases where
the claim for damages is the main cause of action. . . the amount of such claim shall be
considered in determining the jurisdiction of the court Also, the petitioners defense of lack of
jurisdiction has already been barred by estoppel and laches. He contends that after actively

taking part in the trial proceedings and presenting a witness to seek exoneration, it would be
unfair and legally improper for petitioners to seek the dismissal of the case.
RTC ruled in favor of respondent. Petitioners filed an MR which was denied. Subsequently, they
filed a petition for certiorari with the SC.
Issues: (1) Whether petitioners are barred from raising the defense of the RTCs lack of
jurisdiction? NO
(2) Whether it is the amount of P71,392.00 as medical expenses, excluding moral, nominal
damages and attorneys fees, which determines jurisdiction, hence it is MTC which has
jurisdiction? NO
Ruling:
On the matter of estoppel and laches: In the present case, no judgment has yet been
rendered by the RTC. As a matter of fact, as soon as the petitioners discovered the alleged
jurisdictional defect, they did not fail or neglect to file the appropriate motion to
dismiss. Hence, finding the pivotal element of laches to be absent, the Sibonghanoydoctrine
does not control the present controversy. What happened in the Sibonghanoy, the party
invoking lack of jurisdiction did so only after fifteen years and at a stage when the proceedings
had already been elevated to the CA. Sibonghanoyis an exceptional case because of the
presence of laches. But in this case, there is no laches. Thus, the general rule that the question
of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings must apply. Petitioners
are not estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the RTC.
(1)

On the issue which of the amounts is determinative of jurisdiction: The wellentrenched principle is that the jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter of the action is
determined by the material allegations of the complaint and the law, irrespective of whether or
not the plaintiff is entitled to recover all or some of the claims or reliefs sought therein. In the
present case, the allegations in the complaint plainly show that private respondent seeks to
recover not only his medical expenses, lost income but also damages for physical suffering and
mental anguish due to permanent facial deformity from injuries sustained in the vehicular
accident. Viewed as an action for quasi-delict, the present case falls squarely within the purview
of Article 2219 (2), which provides for the payment of moral damages in cases of quasi-delict
causing physical injuries.
(2)

Private respondents claim for moral damages of P500,000.00 cannot be considered as merely
incidental to or a consequence of the claim for actual damages. It is a separate and distinct
cause of action or an independent actionable tort. It springs from the right of a person to the
physical integrity of his or her body, and if that integrity is violated, damages are due and
assessable. Hence, the demand for moral damages must be considered as a separate cause of
action, independent of the claim for actual damages and must be included in determining the
jurisdictional amount.
If the rule were otherwise, i.e., the courts jurisdiction in a case of quasi-delict causing physical
injuries would only be based on the claim for actual damages and the complaint is filed in the
MTC, it can only award moral damages in an amount within its jurisdictional limitations, a
situation not intended by the framers of the law.
(Not really an issue raised by the respondent himself, but was nonetheless discussed
by the SC) On the issue whether a direct recourse by petition for certiorari to the SC from the
order of RTC: Generally a direct recourse to this Court is highly improper, for it violates the
established policy of strict observance of the judicial hierarchy of courts. Although this Court,
the RTCs and the CA have concurrent jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition,
mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus and injunction, such concurrence does not give the
petitioner unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum. This Court is a court of last resort, and
must so remain if it is to satisfactorily perform the functions assigned to it by the Constitution
and immemorial tradition.
(3)

Thus, this Court, as a rule, will not entertain direct resort to it unless the redress desired cannot
be obtained in the appropriate courts, and exceptional and compelling circumstances, such as
cases of national interest and of serious implications, justify the availment of the extraordinary
remedy of writ of certiorari, calling for the exercise of its primary jurisdiction.

Be that as it may, the judicial hierarchy of courts is not an iron-clad rule. It generally applies to
cases involving warring factual allegations. For this reason, litigants are required to repair to the
trial courts at the first instance to determine the truth or falsity of these contending allegations
on the basis of the evidence of the parties. Cases which depend on disputed facts for decision
cannot be brought immediately before appellate courts as they are not triers of
facts. Therefore, a strict application of the rule of hierarchy of courts is not necessary when the
cases brought before the appellate courts do not involve factual but legal questions.
In the present case, petitioners submit a pure question of law involving the interpretation and
application of paragraph 2 of Administrative Circular No. 09-94. This legal question and in order
to avoid further delay are compelling enough reasons to allow petitioners invocation of this
Courts jurisdiction in the first instance.
CALIMLIM vs HON. RAMIREZG.R. No. L-34362November 19, 1982118 SCRA 399
Facts: Independent Mercantile Corporation filed a petition in the respondent Court to compel ManuelMagali
to surrender the owner's duplicate of TCT No. 9138 in order that the same may be cancelled
anda new one issued in the name of the said corporation. Not being the registered owner and
the title notbeing in his possession, Manuel Magali failed to comply with the order of the Court
directing him tosurrender the said title. This prompted Independent Mercantile Corporation to file an ex-parte
petitionto declare TCT No. 9138 as cancelled and to issue a new title in its name. The said petition was grantedby
the respondent Court and the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan issued a new title in the name of thecorporation,
TCT No. 68568. Petitioner, upon learning that her husband's title over the parcel of landhad been cancelled, filed a
petition with the respondent Court, sitting as a cadastral court, praying forthe cancellation of TCT No. 68568 but
the court dismissed the petition.Petitioner thereafter filed in the LRC Record No. 39492 for the cancellation of TCT
No. 68568 butthe same was dismissed therein. Petitioners then resorted to the filing of a
complaint in for thecancellation of the conveyances and sales that had been made with respect
to the property, covered byTCT No. 9138, against Francisco Ramos who claimed to have bought the property
from IndependentMercantile Corporation. Private respondent Francisco Ramos, however, failed to obtain a title
over theproperty in his name in view of the existence of an adverse claim annotated on the title
thereof at theinstance of the herein petitioners. Francisco Ramos filed a Motion to Dismiss on
the ground that thesame is barred by prior judgement or by statute of limitations. Resolving the
said Motion, therespondent Court dismissed the case on the ground of estoppel by prior judgment.
Issue: Whether or not dismissal of the case is proper on the ground of estoppel by prior judgment
Held: No. It is error to consider the dismissal of the petition filed by the herein petitioner in LRCRecord No. 39492
for the cancellation of TCT No. 68568 as a bar by prior judgment against the filing ofthe subsequent civil case.
In order to avail of the defense of res judicata, it must be shown, amongothers, that the
judgment in the prior action must have been rendered by a court with the proper jurisdiction to
take cognizance of the proceeding in which the prior judgment or order was rendered. Ifthere is
lack of jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the suit or of the parties, the judgment or
ordercannot operate as an adjudication of the controversy. This essential element of the
defense of bar byprior judgment or res judicata does not exist in the case.The petition filed by the petitioners in
LRC Record No. 39492 was an apparent invocation of theauthority of the respondent Court sitting as
a land registration court. Reliance was apparently placed onSection 112 of the Land Registration
Act wherein it provides that a Court of First Instance, acting as aland registration court, is a court
of limited and special jurisdiction. As such, its proceedings are notadequate for the litigation of
issues pertaining to an ordinary civil action, such as, questions involvingownership or title to real
property.
MILA G. PANGILINAN, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and the PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, respondents.
That on or about the 15th day of June, 1984 in the municipality of Tanay, Rizal Philippines and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court the above-named accused, by means of false
pretenses and misrepresentations introduced and misrepresented herself that she was
instructed by Mr. Rodolfo Elnar, father of Miss Luzviminda SJ Elnar, a girl 15 years of age, to get
one (1) stereo component, marked Fisher PH 430K valued at more or less P17,000.000, one (1)
headphone, one (1) electrical jack and two (2) record tapes worth P450.00, or with total amount
of P17, 450.00 form their house and falsely alleging that said father of the minor further
instructed her that the stereo component be tested in a turntable somewhere in EDSA,
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously and taking
advantage of the inexperience and feelings of the said minor, induce the said minor Luzviminda

SJ Elnar to give her said stereo component and electrical parts belonging to spouses Rolando
Elnar and Soledad SJ Elnar when in truth and in fact said accused was not authorized by Mr.
Rolando Elnar to have said stereo components be tested and once said accused had in her
possession the said articles, she took them away to the damage and prejudice of such Mr. and
Mrs. Rolando Elnar in the aforesaid amount of P17,450.00.
On 12 March 1991, appellant was arraigned before the Regional Trial Court of Morong, Rizal,
where she entered a plea of not guilty. After due trial, said court in a Decision dated 7 October
1992[2] convicted the appellant of the crime of ESTAFA under Article 315 of the Revised Penal
Code.This unfavorable verdict was appealed to the Court of Appeals which on 13 August 1993,
affirmed the conviction but modified the sentence.
ISSUE: THAT THE DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT CONVICTING HEREIN ACCUSED IS NULL AND
VOID FOR LACK OF JURISDICTION OVER THE CRIME CHARGED. BEING NULL AND VOID, THE
DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS ON APPEAL HEREIN CANNOT VALIDATE IT;
RATIO: The information uses the generic term Estafa as the classification of the crime appellant
is charged with without citing the specific article of the Revised Penal Code violated.
The trial court, however, presumed that the petitioner was charged with the crime of estafa
falling under Article 315 of the RPC. This is evidenced by the trial courts assumption of
jurisdiction over the case and its subsequent conviction of the appellant for this form of
estafa,[8] to wit:
WHEREFORE, the court finds the accused MILA PANGILINAN, GUILTY of the Crime of Estafa, in
violation of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended and hereby sentences her to
suffer imprisonment of One (1) year, Eight (8) months and Twenty (20) days of
PrisionCorreccional, as minimum to Five (5) years, Five (5) months and Eleven (11) days of
PrisionCorreccional as maximum, plus costs.
In order to find estafa with abuse of confidence under subdivision No. 1, par. (b) of Art. 315, the
following elements must be present:
1. That money, goods, or other personal property be received by the offender in trust,
or on commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation involving
the duty to make delivery of, or to return the same;
2. That there be misrepresentation or conversion of such money or property by the
offender, or denial on his part of such receipt;
3. That such misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the prejudice of another;
and
4. That there is a demand made by the offended party to the offender.[9]
A circumspect examination of the allegations in the information will disclose that the
information under which the appellant is charged with does not contain all the elements of
estafa falling under Article 315 (b). There was a failure to allege that demand was made upon
the appellant by the offended party.
Thus, as correctly observed by the Court of Appeals in the questioned decision, to which the
Solicitor General agrees, appellant was charged under an information alleging an offense falling
under the blanket provision of paragraph 1(a) of Article 318 of the Revised Penal Code, which
treat other Deceits.[10]
As prescribed by law, a violation of Article 318 of the Revised Penal Code is punishable by
imprisonment for a period ranging from one (1) month and one (1) day to six (6) months. At the
time of the filing of the information in this case, the law in force was Batas PambansaBlg.
129.Under the express provision of Section 32 of B.P. 129, the offense of which the petitioner
was charged with falls within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court:
Section 32. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit
Trial Courts in criminal cases.
xxx
(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment of not
exceeding four years and two months, or a fine of not more than four thousand pesos, or both
such fine and imprisonment regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties,
including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind,

nature, value, or amount thereof: Provided, however, That in offenses involving damage to
property through criminal negligence they shall have exclusive jurisdiction where the imposable
fine does not exceed twenty thousand pesos.
Settled is the rule that it is the averments in the information which characterize the crime to be
prosecuted and the court before which it must be tried.[11] Without a doubt, it was the
Municipal Trial Court who had jurisdiction over the case and not the Regional Trial Court.
However, the Office of the Solicitor General contends that the appellant is barred from raising
the issue of jurisdiction, estoppel having already set in.
This contention is without merit. In our legal system, the question of jurisdiction may be raised
at any stage of the proceedings.
Estoppel attached to the party assailing the jurisdiction of the court as it was the same party
who sought recourse in the said forum. In the case at bar, appellant cannot in anyway be said to
have invoked the jurisdiction of the trial court.
Thus, we apply the general rule that jurisdiction is vested by law and cannot be conferred or
waived by the parties. Even on appeal and even if the reviewing parties did not raise the issue of
jurisdiction, the reviewing court is not precluded from ruling that the lower court had no
jurisdiction over the case:
The operation of the principle of estoppel on the question of jurisdiction seemingly depends
upon whether the lower court had jurisdiction or not. If it had nor jurisdiction, but the case was
tried and decided upon the theory it had jurisdiction, the parties are not barred, on appeal, from
assailing such jurisdiction, for the same must exist as a matter of law, and may not be conferred
by consent of the parties or by estoppel.[13]
It is plain that such court has jurisdiction to render a particular judgment only when the offense
charged is within the class of offenses placed by the law under its jurisdiction; and when in
taking custody of the accused, and its modes of procedure to the determination of the question
of his guilt or innocence, and in rendering judgment, the court keeps within the limitations
prescribed by the law, customary or statutory. When the court goes out of these limitations its
action, to the extent of such excess, is void.[14]
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The challenged decision of respondent
Court of Appeals in CA-GR CR No. 12320 is set aside as the Regional Trial Court, whose decision
was affirmed therein, had no jurisdiction over the Criminal Case No. 0867-M.
FIGUEROA v PEOPLE
Facts: On July 8, 1994, an information for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide was filed
against the petitioner. the trial court convicted the petitioner as charged. In his appeal before
the CA, the petitioner questioned, among others, for the first time, the trial courts jurisdiction.
The appellate court, however, in the challenged decision, considered the petitioner to have
actively participated in the trial and to have belatedly attacked the jurisdiction of the RTC thus,
he was already estopped by laches from asserting the trial courts lack of jurisdiction.
Applied uniformly is the familiar rule that the jurisdiction of the court to hear and decide a case
is conferred by the law in force at the time of the institution of the action, unless such statute
provides for a retroactive application thereof.
In this case, at the time the criminal information for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide
with violation of the Automobile Law (now Land Transportation and Traffic Code) was filed,
Section 32(2) of Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 129 had already been amended by Republic Act No.
7691. The said provision thus reads:
Sec. 32. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit
Trial Courts in Criminal Cases.Except in cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of
Regional Trial Courts and the Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial
Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:
x xxx

(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding
six (6) years irrespective of the amount of fine, and regardless of other imposable accessory or
other penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon,
irrespective of kind, nature, value or amount thereof: Provided, however, That in offenses
involving damage to property through criminal negligence, they shall have exclusive original
jurisdiction thereof.
As the imposable penalty for the crime charged herein is prisioncorreccional in its medium and
maximum periods or imprisonment for 2 years, 4 months and 1 day to 6 years, jurisdiction to
hear and try the same is conferred on the Municipal Trial Courts (MTCs). Clearly, therefore, the
RTC of Bulacan does not have jurisdiction over Criminal Case
Issue: whether or not petitioners failure to raise the issue of jurisdiction during the
trial of this case,constitute laches in relation to the doctrine laid down in Tijam v.
Sibonghanoy, notwithstanding thefact that said issue was immediately raised in petitioners
appeal to the CA
Held:As a general rule, the issueof jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the proceedings,
even on appeal, and is not lost by waiver or by Estoppel.
Estoppel by laches may be invoked to bar the issue of lack of jurisdiction only in cases inwhich the
factual milieu is analogous to that of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy. Laches should be clearly present for the
Sibonghanoy doctrine to be applicable,that is,lack of jurisdiction must have been raised
so belatedly as to warrant the presumption that theparty entitled to assert it had
abandoned or declined to assert it.
In Sibonghanoy, the party invoking lack of jurisdiction did so only after fifteen years and at a
stage when the proceedings had already been elevated to the CA. Sibonghanoy is an exceptional
case because of the presence of laches.
In the case at bar, the factual settings attendant in Sibonghanoyare not present. In applying the
principle of estoppel by laches in the exceptional case of Sibonghanoy, the Court therein
considered the patent and revolting inequity and unfairness of having the judgment creditors go
up their Calvary once more after more or less 15 years. The same, however, does not obtain in
the instant case.
Indeed, the general rule remains: a courts lack of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of
the proceedings, even on appeal. The reason is that jurisdiction is conferred by law, and lack
of it affects the very authority of the court to take cognizance of and to render judgment on
the action.
Tan vs. CA
Facts: On January 22, 1981, Tan, for a consideration of P59,200.00, executed a deed of absolute
sale over the property in question in favor of spouses Jose Magdangal and EstrellaMagdangal.
Simultaneous with the execution of this deed, the same contracting parties entered into another
agreement whereunder Tan was given one (1) year within which to redeem or repurchase the
property.
Albeit given several opportunities and/or extensions to exercise the option, Tan failed to
redeem the property until his death on January 4, 1988.
On May 2, 1988, Tans heirs filed before the Regional Trial Court at Davao City a suit against the
Magdangals for reformation of instrument. Docketed as CIVIL CASE NO. 19049-88, the complaint
alleged that, while Tan and the Magdangals denominated their agreement as deed of absolute
sale, their real intention was to conclude an equitable mortgage.
Barely hours after the complaint was stamped received, the Magdangals were able to have Tans
title over the lot in question canceled and to secure in their names TCT No. T-134470. This
development prompted the heirs of Tan, who were to be later substituted by Jaime V. Tan, Jr.
On June 4, 1991, Branch 11 of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City rendered judgment against
Tan Jr.orderering him to pay the defendants within 120 days after the finality of this decision

P59,200 plus interest at the rate of 12% per annum from May 2, 1988, the date the complaint
was filed, until paid;
Tan, Jr. filed on April 16, 1996, a MANIFESTATION AND MOTION therein advising the court a quo
of his intention to redeem the property in question and of the fact that, on such date, he has
deposited with its clerk of court the repurchase price, plus interest, as required by its original
decision. By way of relief, Tan, Jr. prayed that the Magdangals be ordered to claim the amount
thus deposited and the Register of Deeds of Davao City, to reinstate the title of Jaime Tan and
Praxedes Tan.
The deposit of the amount of P116,032.00 made by plaintiff with the Office of the Clerk of Court
x xx on April 17, 1996 is hereby considered full payment of the redemption price and the Clerk
of Court is hereby ordered to deliver said amount to herein defendants.
On June 10, 1996, the trial court allowed the petitioner to redeem the lot in question. It ruled
that the 120-day redemption period should be reckoned from the date of Entry of Judgment in
the appellate court or from March 13, 1996
The respondents Magdangal filed in the trial court a Motion for Consolidation and Writ of
Possession.iThey alleged that the 120-day period of redemption of the petitioner has expired.
They reckoned that the said period began 15 days after October 5, 1995, the date when the
finality of the judgment of the trial court as affirmed by the appellate court commenced to run.
From 1991-1996, the years relevant to the case at bar, the rule that governs finality of judgment
is Rule 51 of the Revised Rules of Court. Its sections 10 and 11
The 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, however, amended the rule on finality of judgement.
If we apply the old rule on finality of judgment, petitioner redeemed the subject property within
the 120-day period of redemption reckoned from the appellate courts entry of judgment. The
appellate court, however, did not apply the old rule but the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil
Procedure. In fine, it applied the new rule retroactively and we hold that given the facts of the
case at bar this is an error.
Issue: W/N the rules of procedure can be given retroactive effect?
Held: There is no dispute that rules of procedure can be given retroactive effect. This general
rule, however, has well-delineated exceptions.
The general rule against giving statutes retroactive operation whose effect is to impair the
obligations of contract or to disturb vested rights does not prevent the application of statutes to
proceedings pending at the time of their enactment where they neither create new nor take
away vested rights. A new statute which deals with procedure only is presumptively applicable
to all actions those which have accrued or are pending.
Under appropriate circumstances, courts may deny the retroactive application of procedural
laws in the event that to do so would not be feasible or would work injustice. Nor may
procedural laws be applied retroactively to pending actions if to do so would involve intricate
problems of due process or impair the independence of the courts.
We hold that section 1, Rule 39 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Procedure should not be given
retroactive effect in this case as it would result in great injustice to the petitioner.
Petitioner fought to recover this lot from 1988. To lose it because of a change of procedure on
the date of reckoning of the period of redemption is inequitous. The manner of exercising the
right cannot be changed and the change applied retroactively if to do so will defeat the right of
redemption of the petitioner which is already vested.
ELIZA ZUNIGA-SANTOS vs. MARIA DIVINA GRACIA SANTOS-GRAN
Petition for Review

Facts: On January 9, 2006, petitioner Eliza Zuiga-Santos (petitioner), through her authorized
representative, Nympha Z. Sales, filed a Complaintfor annulment of sale and revocation of title
against respondents Maria DivinaGracia Santos-Gran (Gran) and the Register of Deeds of
Marikina City before the RTC, docketed asCivil Case No. 2018-06.).
Respondent filed a motion to dismiss on the following grounds:
(a) the action filed by petitioner had prescribed since an action upon a written contract
must be brought within ten (10) years from the time the cause of action accrues,
(b) the Amended Complaint failed to state a cause of action as the void and voidable
documents sought to be nullified were not properly identified nor the substance thereof
set forth, thus, precluding the RTC from rendering a valid judgment in accordance
withthe prayer to surrender the subject properties.
RTC Ruling: RTC granted Grans motion and dismissed the Amended Complaint for its failure to
state a cause of action, considering that the deed of sale sought to be nullified an "essential
and indispensable part of *petitioners+ cause of action"was not attached.
CA Ruling: CA sustained the dismissal of petitioners Amended Complaint buton the ground of
insufficiency of factual basis. It disagreed with the RTCs findingthat the said pleading failed to
state a cause of action since
Issue: W/N failure to state a cause of action and lack of cause of action are distinct grounds to
dismiss a particular action?
Held: SC Ruling: Yes, this is a matter of insufficiency of the pleading. Sec. 5 of Rule 10, which was
also included as the last mode for raising the issue to the court, refers to the situation where the
evidence does not provea cause of action. This is, therefore, a matter of insufficiency of
evidence. Failure to state a cause of action is different from failure to prove a cause of action.
The remedy in the first is to move for dismissal of the pleading, whilethe remedy in the second is
to demur to the evidence; hence reference to Sec. 5 of Rule 10 has been eliminated in this
section.