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SOORDERED.

Corona (C.J., Chairperson), Velasco, Jr., LeonardoDe


Castro and Perez, JJ., concur.
Petition dismissed, resolution affirmed.
Note.The requirement that a petition for certiorari
mustcontaintheactualaddressesofallthepetitionersand
the respondents is mandatory. (Cendaa vs. Avila, 543
SCRA394[2008])
o0o

G.R.No.166236.July29,2010.*

NOLIALFONSOandERLINDAFUNDIALAN,petitioners,
vs. SPOUSES HENRY and LIWANAG ANDRES,
respondents.
Civil Law; Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases; Poverty cannot
be used as an excuse to justify petitioners complacency in allowing
months to pass by before exerting the required effort to find a
replacement lawyer; Poverty is not a justification for delaying a
case; Both parties have a right to a speedy resolution of their case;
Not only petitioners, but also the respondents, have a right to have
the case finally settled without delay.Poverty cannot be used as
an excuse to justify petitioners complacency in allowing months to
pass by before exerting the required effort to find a replacement
lawyer. Poverty is not a justification for delaying a case. Both
parties have a right to a speedy resolution of their case. Not only
petitioners,butalsotherespondents,havearighttohavethecase
finallysettledwithoutdelay.
_______________
*FIRSTDIVISION.

150

150

SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Alfonso vs. Andres

Same; Civil Law; Succession; Administration of Property; The


title of the property owned by a person who dies intestate passes at
once to his heirs; Such transmission is subject to the claims of
administration and the property may be taken from the heirs for the
purpose of paying debts and expenses, but this does not prevent an
immediate passage of the title, upon the death of the intestate, from

himself to his heirs.The title of the property owned by a person


who dies intestate passes at once to his heirs. Such transmission is
subject to the claims of administration and the property may be
takenfromtheheirsforthepurposeofpayingdebtsandexpenses,
but this does not prevent an immediate passage of the title, upon
the death of the intestate, from himself to his heirs. The deed of
extrajudicial settlement executed by Filomena Santos Vda. de
AlfonsoandJoseevidencestheirintentiontopartitiontheinherited
property.Itdelineatedwhatportionoftheinheritedpropertywould
belongtowhom.
Same; Same; Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate; The sale to
respondents was made after the execution of the deed of
extrajudicial settlement of the estate; The extrajudicial settlement of
estate, even though not published, being deemed a partition of the
inherited property, Jose could validly transfer ownership over the
specific portion of the property that was assigned to him.Thesale
to respondents was made after the execution of the deed of
extrajudicialsettlementoftheestate.Theextrajudicialsettlementof
estate,eventhoughnotpublished,beingdeemedapartitionofthe
inherited property, Jose could validly transfer ownership over the
specificportionofthepropertythatwasassignedtohim.

PETITION for review on certiorari of a resolution of the


CourtofAppeals.
ThefactsarestatedintheopinionoftheCourt.
Edilberto B. Cosca forpetitioners.
E.G. Ferry Law Offices forrespondents.
DELCASTILLO,J.:
Technicalrulesmayberelaxedonlyforthefurtherance
ofjusticeandtobenefitthedeserving.
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151

Alfonso vs. Andres


In the present petition for review, petitioners assail the
August10,2004Resolution1oftheCourtofAppeals(CA)in
CAG.R.CV.No.78362,whichdismissedtheappealbefore
it for failure of petitioners to file their brief within the
extendedreglementaryperiod.
Factual Antecedents
The present case stemmed from a complaint for accion
publicianawithdamagesfiledbyrespondentspousesHenry
and Liwanag Andres against Noli Alfonso and spouses
ReynaldoandErlindaFundialanbeforetheRegionalTrial
Court(RTC),Branch77,SanMateo,Rizal.
OnJuly8,1997,theRTCrenderedaDecision2infavorof
respondents.ThedispositiveportionoftheDecisionstates:
WHEREFORE, premises considered judgment is rendered in
favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants and all persons
claimingrightsunderthemwhoareordered:
1.to vacate the premises located at 236 General Luna St.,
Dulongbayan11,SanMateo,Rizal;
2. to jointly and severally pay the sum [of] P100.00 as
reasonable compensation for the use of said premises commencing

from04September1995;[and]
3.tojointlyandseverallypaythesumofP10,000.00asandfor
attorneysfeesandtopaythecostofsuit.
SOORDERED.3

Petitioners,4thus,appealedtotheCA.
_______________
1 CA Rollo, p. 82; penned by Associate Justice Ruben T. Reyes and
concurred in by Associate Justices Perlita J. TriaTirona and Jose C.
Reyes,Jr.
2Records,pp.93101;pennedbyJudgeFranciscoC.Rodriguez,Jr.
3Id.,atp.101.
4ReynaldoFundialandidnotfileaNoticeofAppeal;id.,atp.102.
152

152

SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Alfonso vs. Andres

Proceedings Before the Court of Appeals


OnNovember5,2003,petitionerspreviouscounselwas
notified by the CA to file appellants brief within 45 days
from receipt of the notice. The original 45day period
expired on December 21, 2003. But before then, on
December8,2003,petitionersformercounselfiledaMotion
to Withdraw Appearance. Petitioners consented to the
withdrawal.
OnDecember19,2003,petitionersthemselvesmovedfor
an extension of 30 days or until January 21, 2004 within
whichtofiletheirappellantsbrief.ThenonMarch3,2004,
petitionersthemselvesagainmovedforafreshperiodof45
days from March 3, 2004 or until April 18, 2004 within
whichtofiletheirappellantsbrief.
On March 17, 2004, the CA issued a Resolution:5 a)
noting the withdrawal of appearance of petitioners former
counsel; b) requiring petitioners to cause the Entry of
Appearance of their new counsel; and c) granting
petitioners motions for extension of time to file their brief
for a period totaling 75 days, commencing from December
21,2003oruntilMarch5,2004.
PetitionersthemselvesreceivedacopyofthisResolution
only on April 6, 2004. By that time, the extension to file
appellantsbriefhadalreadylongexpired.
On April 14, 2004, the Public Attorneys Office (PAO),
having been approached by petitioners, entered6 its
appearance as new counsel for petitioners. However, on
August 10, 2004, the CA issued the assailed Resolution
dismissingpetitionersappeal,towit:
FOR failure of defendantsappellants to file their brief within
theextendedreglementaryperiodwhichexpiredonMarch5,2004
as per Judicial Records Division report dated July 26, 2004, the
appeal
_______________
5CARollo,p.77.

6Id.,atpp.7879.
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Alfonso vs. Andres


is hereby DISMISSED pursuant to Sec. 1 (e), Rule 50 of the 1997
RulesofCivilProcedure.
SOORDERED.

On September 6, 2004, the PAO filed their Motion for


Reconsideration7 which requested for a fresh period of 45
days from September 7, 2004 or until October 22, 2004
withinwhichtofileappellantsbrief.OnOctober21,2004,
thebrief8wasfiledbythePAO.OnNovember26,2004,the
CAissuedaResolution9whichdeniedpetitionersmotionfor
reconsideration.Hence,thispetitionforreview.
Issues
Petitionersraisethefollowingissues:
I
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN
DISMISSING PETITIONERS APPEAL FOR FAILURE TO FILE
THEIR DEFENDANTSAPPELLANTS BRIEF, DESPITE THE
ATTENDANCE OF PECULIAR FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES
SURROUNDING SUCH FAILURE, LIKE THE GROSS AND
RECKLESSNEGLIGENCEOFTHEIRFORMERCOUNSEL,THE
ABSENCE OF MANIFEST INTENT TO CAUSE DELAY, THE
SERIOUS QUESTIONS OF LAW POSED FOR RESOLUTION
BEFORETHEAPPELLATECOURT,ANDTHEFACTTHATTHE
APPELLANTS BRIEF HAD ALREADY BEEN FILED WITH THE
COURT OF APPEALS AND ALREADY FORMED PART OF THE
RECORDSOFTHECASE.
II
THE DISMISSAL OF PETITIONERS APPEAL BY THE
HONORABLECOURTOFAPPEALSISHIGHLYUNJUSTIFIED,
INIQUITOUS AND UNCONSCIONABLE BECAUSE IT
OVERLOOKED
_______________
7Id.,atpp.8589.
8Id.,atpp.96110.
9Id.,atpp.121123.
154

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SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Alfonso vs. Andres

AND/ORDISREGARDEDTHEMERITSOFPETITIONERSCASE
WHICH INVOLVES A DEPRIVATION OF THEIR PROPERTY
RIGHTS.10

Petitioners Arguments
Petitioners contend that their failure to file their
appellantsbriefwithintherequiredperiodwasduetotheir
indigency and poverty. They submit that there is no

justificationforthedismissaloftheirappealspeciallysince
thePAOhadjustentereditsappearanceasnewcounselfor
petitioners as directed by the CA, and had as yet no
opportunitytopreparethebrief.Theycontendthatappeal
shouldbeallowedsincethebriefhadanywayalreadybeen
prepared and filed by the PAO before it sought
reconsiderationofthedismissaloftheappealandisalready
partoftherecords.Theycontendthatthelatefilingofthe
briefshouldbeexcusedunderthecircumstancessothatthe
case may be decided on the merits and not merely on
technicalities.
Respondents Arguments
On the other hand, respondents contend that failure to
file appellants brief on time is one instance where the CA
may dismiss an appeal. In the present case, they contend
that the CA exercised sound discretion when it dismissed
theappealuponpetitionersfailuretofiletheirappellants
briefwithintheextendedperiodof75daysaftertheoriginal
45dayperiodexpired.
Our Ruling
Thepetitionhasnomerit.
_______________
10Rollo,p.157.
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Alfonso vs. Andres


Failure to file Brief On Time
Rule50oftheRulesofCourtstates:
Section1.Grounds for dismissal of appeal.An appeal may
bedismissedbytheCourtofAppeals,onitsownmotionoronthat
oftheappellee,onthefollowinggrounds:
xxxx
(e)Failure of the appellant to serve and file the required
number of copies of his brief or memorandum within the time
providedbytheseRules;

Petitionerspleadforthesuspensionoftherulesandcite
anumberofcaseswheretheCourtexcusedthelatefilingof
anoticeofappealaswellasthelatefilingoftheappellants
brief.TheyfurtherciteDevelopment Bank of the Philippines
v. Court of Appeals11wherethelatefilingoftheappellant's
brief was excused because the Court found the case
impressedwithpublicinterest.
The cases cited by petitioners are not in point. In the
present civil case which involves the failure to file the
appellantsbriefontime,thereisnoshowingofanypublic
interest involved. Neither is there a showing that an
injusticewillresultduetotheapplicationoftechnicalrules.
Poverty cannot be used as an excuse to justify
petitioners complacency in allowing months to pass by
before exerting the required effort to find a replacement

lawyer. Poverty is not a justification for delaying a case.


Both parties have a right to a speedy resolution of their
case.Notonlypetitioners,butalsotherespondents,havea
righttohavethecasefinallysettledwithoutdelay.
Furthermore, the failure to file a brief on time was due
primarilytopetitionersunwisechoicesandnotreallydueto
poverty.Petitionerswereabletogetalawyertorepresent
_______________
11411Phil.121,135;358SCRA501(2001).
156

156

SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Alfonso vs. Andres

themdespitetheirpoverty.Theywereabletogettwoother
lawyersaftertheyconsentedtothewithdrawaloftheirfirst
lawyer.Buttheyhiredtheirsubsequentlawyerstoolate.
It must be pointed out that petitioners had a choice of
whethertocontinuetheservicesoftheiroriginallawyeror
consent to let him go. They could also have requested the
said lawyer to file the required appellants brief before
consenting to his withdrawal from the case. But they did
neitherofthese.Then,nothavingdoneso,theydelayedin
engagingtheirreplacementlawyer.Theirpoorchoicesand
lack of sufficient diligence, not poverty, are the main
culprits for the situation they now find themselves in. It
would not be fair to pass on the bad consequences of their
choicestorespondents.Petitionerslowregardfortherules
ornonchalancetowardproceduralrequirements,whichthey
camouflagewiththecloakofpoverty,hasinfactcontributed
much to the delay, and hence frustration of justice, in the
presentcase.
No compelling reason to disregard
technicalities
Petitioners beg us to disregard technicalities because
theyclaimthatonthemeritstheircaseisstrong.Astudyof
therecordsfailstosoconvinceus.
Petitioners theorize that publication of the deed of
extrajudicialsettlementoftheestateofMarcelinoAlfonsois
required before their father, Jose Alfonso (Jose) could
validlytransferthesubjectproperty.Wearenotconvinced.
InAlejandrino v. Court of Appeals,12 the Court upheld the
effectivity of a deed of extrajudicial settlement that was
neithernotarizednorpublished.
Significantly,thetitleofthepropertyownedbyaperson
who dies intestate passes at once to his heirs. Such
transmissionissubjecttotheclaimsofadministrationand
theprop
_______________
12356Phil.851,862;295SCRA536,547(1998).
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Alfonso vs. Andres


ertymaybetakenfromtheheirsforthepurposeofpaying
debtsandexpenses,butthisdoesnotpreventanimmediate
passage of the title, upon the death of the intestate, from
himself to his heirs.13 The deed of extrajudicial settlement
executed by Filomena Santos Vda. de Alfonso and Jose
evidencestheirintentiontopartitiontheinheritedproperty.
It delineated what portion of the inherited property would
belongtowhom.
Thesaletorespondentswasmadeaftertheexecutionof
the deed of extrajudicial settlement of the estate. The
extrajudicial settlement of estate, even though not
published, being deemed a partition14 of the inherited
property, Jose could validly transfer ownership over the
specificportionofthepropertythatwasassignedtohim.15
TherecordsshowthatJosedidinfactselltorespondents
the subject property. The deed of sale executed by Jose in
favoroftherespondentsbeingapublicdocument,isentitled
tofullfaithandcreditintheabsenceofcompetent
evidence that its execution was tainted with defects and
irregularities that would warrant a declaration of nullity.
AsfoundbytheRTC,petitionersfailedtoproveanydefect
or irregularities in the execution of the deed of sale. They
failed to prove by strong evidence, the alleged lack of
consent of Jose to the sale of the subject real property. As
foundbytheRTC,althoughJosewassufferingfrompartial
paralysisandcouldnolongersignhisname,thereisno
showingthathismentalfacultieswereaffectedinsucha
way as to negate the existence of his valid consent to the
sale, as manifested by his thumbmark on the deed of sale.
Therecordssufficientlyshow
_______________
13Heirsof Ignacio Conti v. Court of Appeals, 360 Phil. 536, 546; 300
SCRA345,354(1998).CIVILCODE ,Art.774.
14Art.1082oftheCivilCodestates:Everyactwhichisintendedto
put an end to indivision among coheirs and legatees or devisees is
deemed to be a partition, although it should purport to be a sale, an
exchange,acompromise,oranyothertransaction.
15SeeAlejandrino v. Court of Appeals, supranote12.
158

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SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Alfonso vs. Andres

thathewascapableofboardingatricycletogoontripsby
himself. Sufficient testimonial evidence in fact shows that
Joseaskedrespondentstobuythesubjectpropertysothatit
couldbetakenoutfromthebanktowhichitwasmortgaged.
This fact evinces that Joses mental faculties functioned
intelligently.
Inviewoftheforegoing,wefindnocompellingreasonto
overturntheassailedCAresolution.Wefindnoinjusticein

thedismissaloftheappealbytheCA.Justicedictatesthat
thiscasebeputtorestalreadysothattherespondentsmay
notbedeprivedoftheirrights.
WHEREFORE,thepetitionisDENIED.TheAugust10,
2004ResolutionoftheCourtofAppealsinCAG.R.CV.No.
78362isAFFIRMED.
SOORDERED.
Corona (C.J., Chairperson), Velasco, Jr., LeonardoDe
Castro and Perez, JJ., concur.
Petition denied, resolution affirmed.
Note.The act of a trial court in approving a
Commissioners Report despite the statement therein that
onlysixoutofthenineheirsattendedtheconference,thus,
effectively depriving the other heirs of their chance to be
heard, was tantamount to a violation of the constitutional
guarantee that no person shall be deprived of property
without due process of lawsuch Order which approved a
void Commissioners Report, is a void judgment for lack of
due process. (Benatiro vs. Heirs of Evaristo Cuyos, 560
SCRA478[2008])
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