Anda di halaman 1dari 3

ERIBERTO VALENCIA, substituted by his heirs: REBECCA, MA. CAROLINA, MA.

ANTONETTE,
PETER GELVIC, JOSE THERONE, and MA. SOPHEA v. CA, RICARDO BAGTAS, and MIGUEL BUNYE
J. Panganiban
October 17, 1996
G.R. No. 111401
Doctrine
Test to determine whether a counterclaim is permissive or compulsory
1. Are the issues of fact and law raised by the claim and counterclaim largely the same?
2. Would res judicata bar a subsequent suit on defendants claim absent the compulsory
counterclaim rule?
3. Will substantially the same evidence support or refute the plaintiffs claim as well as
defendants counterclaim?
4. Is there any logical relation between the claim and the counterclaim?
Summary
Petitioner as lessor of the fishpond filed a complaint for rescission of its contract of lease with
respondents in RTC Bulacan. The case reached the CA which ordered that status quo be
maintained but petitioners were able to eject respondents from the fishpond. Thus,
respondents filed a complaint for damages in RTC Manila. The petitioner filed a motion to
suspend the proceedings in RTC Manila pending the case in Bulacan. This was denied by the
Manila RTC who subsequently ruled in favour of respondents. The CA affirmed the RTC Manilas
ruling which is now being questioned by petitioner. The SC ruled that litis pendentia is not
applicable as there were different reliefs and rights asserted nor would res judicata arise.
Further, the complaint for damages couldnt have been a subject of a compulsory
counterclaim since following the tests to determine the nature of the counterclaim, such is
only permissive.
Facts
PETITIONER FILES COMPLAINT FOR RESCISSION IN RTC BULACAN: Bagtas and
Bunye (respondents) were lessees of a 24-hectare fishpond owned by Eriberto (petitioner
as substituted by his heirs) and located in Bulacan. The lease was covered by a lease
contract which was to expire on March 1982. However, before said date, petitioner filed a
complaint for the rescission of the lease contract in the RTC of Bulacan.
CA ORDERS MAINTENANCE OF STATUS QUO: RTC Bulacan issued a writ of
preliminary mandatory injunction ordering respondents to surrender possession of the
fishpond. To which respondents filed a petition for certiorari with the CA and to which
the CA issued a restraining order enjoining the enforcement of the injunction. At the
hearing in the CA, the parties agreed to maintain status quo and that the fishpond hut
would still be utilized by respondents until resolution of the case.
BUT PETITIONER FILES MOTION LEADING TO RESPONDENTS BEING EJECTED
FROM THE FISHPOND: However, despite this order, petitioners filed an ex-parte motion
for the designation of a member of the Philippine Constabulary to maintain order
in the place. The RTC granted this motion and petitioner, with the aid of PC men, was able
to eject respondents from the main hut, dry up a portion of the leased property where
respondent previously scattered chemicals and fertilizer and as a result, no fish food grew
causing damage to respondents. Respondents were also prevented from transferring the
bigger fish to a more spacious portion resulting in the death to many fishes again causing
damage to respondents. There was also another person who introduced himself as the new
lessee. Thus, the RTC ordered another order declaring that the fishes should remain
as property of respondents subject to their disposal. This order wasnt honored by
petitioner.
RESPONDENTS FILE COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES IN RTC MANILA: Respondents now
seek exemplary and moral damages, attorneys fees and costs of suit. Petitioner filed a
motion to dismiss. This and the subsequent MR was denied. Respondents presented
their evidence but petitioners instead of doing the same, filed a second motion to
dismiss which was denied.
PETITIONER FILES A MOTION TO SUSPEND PROCEEDINGS IN RTC MANILA; RTC
RULES IN FAVOR OF RESPONDENTS: Petitioners state that the proceedings in RTC
Manila should be suspended until after the case in Bulacan which was appealed to the CA
has been resolved. RTC denied this and gave petitioners time to file the necessary
pleadings. Petitioner and his counsel didnt appear at the subsequent hearing so the court

deemed petitioner to have waived his right to present evidence and considered the case
submitted for decision. The RTC ruled in favor of respondents.
BOTH PARTIES APPEAL TO THE CA: Petitioner alleges litis pendentia and contests the
award of damages while respondents contest the RTCs failure to award actual damages.
CA AFFIRMS RTC MANILA: According to the CA, there was no litis pendentia. The CA also
denied petitioners MR.
PETITION FOR REVIEW ON CERTIORARI: Petitioner alleges that the rule on litis
pendentia bars the action for damages in Manila, respondents committed forum shopping,
respondents claim for damages shouldve been made through a compulsory counterclaim
in the same action for rescission, and lastly, the bond he posted for the issuance by the
Bulacan RTC of the writ of preliminary injunction couldve answered for the damages
claimed by respondents.

Ratio/Issu
es

I.

Whether there was litis pendentia (NO)

(1) If a party-litigant splits his single cause of action, the other action/s filed may be
dismissed by invoking litis pendentia pursuant to S1(e), R16. A party who splits his
single cause of action cant be accused of also violating the rule against litis
pendentia as the former, a malpractice, gives rise to the latter, a ground for a
motion to dismiss. This is made clear by S4R2, ROC.
(2) Requisites of litis pendentia as a ground for dismissal of an action:
a. Identity of parties, or at least such parties as represent the same interests in
both actions;
b. Identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the
same facts; and
c. The identity with respect to the two preceding particulars in the two cases is
such that any judgment that may be rendered in the pending case, regardless
of which party is successful, would amount to res adjudicate in the other case.
Bulacan
Manila
Parties
Identical
Identical
Rights
Petitioner as lessor
asserted
Relief
Rescission of lease contract
Actual, exemplary, moral damages
Facts founded Alleged violations of the contract by Alleged violation of the CAs
on
respondents as lessees
restraining orders re: maintenance
of status quo
(3) As seen above, the first requisite is present while the second is not. For the third,
there is the res judicata test had a judgment been rendered therein on the merits,
such a judgment would be conclusive between the parties and could be pleaded in
bar of the second action. In the instant case, the third requisite isnt also present
because regardless of whoever wins in the Bulacan case, the final judgment therein
wont be conclusive between the parties in the Manila case. The bulacan case has
nothing to do with whether petitioner should be held liable for damage for violating
the CAs orders.
II.

Whether respondents committed forum shopping (NO)


(1) For forum shopping to exist, both actions must involve the same transactions, same
essential facts and circumstances and must raise identical causes of actions,
subject matter and issues.
(2) Test to determine whether a party violated the rule against forum shopping: where
the elements of litis pendentia are present or where a final judgment in one case
will amount to res judicata in the other.
(3) Here, litis pendentia couldnt have been properly pleaded and that a final judgment
in one case will not amount to res judicata in another.

III.

Whether the claim for damages is a compulsory counterclaim (NO)


(1) The claim cant be considered as a compulsory counterclaim so respondents
couldnt have made the claim for damages in the same action for rescission.
(2) There are certain criteria/tests by which the compulsory/permissive nature of
specific counterclaims can be determined. SEE DOCTRINE.
(3) All the answers to the questions/tests are in the negative.

IV.

Whether the injunction bond was sufficient protection (NO)


(1) The bond petitioner posted was for the issuance by the Bulacan RTC of the writ of
preliminary mandatory injunction. It was only supposed to answer for damages
arising from the issuance of the injunction and not for damages caused by the
actuations of petitioner.
(2) Purpose of the injunction bond is to protect defendant against loss/damage by
reason of the injunction in case the court finally decides that the plaintiff wasnt
entitled to it.

Held

Petition is DENIED. CA Decision and Resolution are AFFIRMED.

Prepared by: Terry Tugade