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University of Mindanao- College of Law 1

Civil Procedure 2013

ORTIGAS & COMPANY, LIMITED PARTNERSHIP vs. JUDGE JOSE Therefore, the complaint filed by the private respondents in the City
B. HERRERA Court of Manila, Branch II (MTC), is hereby ordered dismissed for lack
of jurisdiction. It should be filed in the Court of First Instance (Now
G.R. No. L-36098 January 21, 1983 RTC).

[G.R. No. 90503. September 27, 1990.]

Facts: Petitioner and private respondent entered into an agreement NESTOR SANDOVAL, Petitioner, v. HON. DOROTEO CAEBA,
thereby for and in consideration of P55,430.00, the former agreed to Presiding Judge, RTC, Manila, Branch 20, DEPUTY SHERIFF OF
sell to the latter a parcel of land with a special condition that should MANILA (RTC, Manila, Branch 20), and ESTATE DEVELOPERS &
private respondent as purchaser complete the construction including INVESTORS CORPORATION, Respondents.
the painting of his residential house on said lot within two (2) years,
petitioner, as owner, has agreed to refund to private respondent the The issue in this petition is whether or not the ordinary courts have
amount of P10.00 per square meter. When the aforesaid special jurisdiction over the collection of unpaid installments regarding a
condition was fulfilled, private respondent, accordingly notified in subdivision lot.
writing the petitioner of the same and requested for his refund
amounting to P4,820.00. FACTS: On August 20, 1987 private respondent filed a complaint in
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila for the collection of unpaid
installments regarding a subdivision lot, pursuant to a promissory note,
plus interest. On January 29, 1988 the trial court rendered a decision.
Upon failure of petitioner to pay his obligation, private respondent
filed a complaint for sum of money and damages with the City Court
of Manila, Branch II (MTC) against petitioner. This petition was It appears that petitioner was declared in default so much so that after
dismissed on the ground that the claim of private respondent in his receiving the evidence of private respondent, the trial court rendered
complaint, being less than P10,000.00, is within the exclusive its decision on January 19, 1988. On September 28, 1988 the trial
jurisdiction of the city court. court issued an order directing the issuance of a writ of execution to
enforce its decision that had become final and executor. On September
30, 1988 petitioner filed a motion to vacate judgment and to dismiss
the complaint on the ground that the lower court has no jurisdiction
over the subject matter and that its decision is null and void. A motion
Issue: Whether or not the city court ( MTC) has jurisdiction over the for reconsideration of the writ of execution was also filed by petitioner.
case. No, it is the RTC. An opposition to both motions was filed by private respondent to which
a reply was filed by petitioner. On February 17, 1989 the trial court
denied the motion to vacate the judgment on the ground that it is now
beyond the jurisdiction of the Court to do so.

Held: The action involved in this case is one for specific Hence the herein petition wherein it is alleged that the trial court
performance and not for a sum of money and wherefore incapable of
committed a grave abuse of discretion .
pecuniary estimation because what private respondent seeks is the
performance of petitioner's obligation under a written contract to make
The issue in this petition is whether or not the ordinary courts have
a refund but under certain specific conditions still to be proven or jurisdiction over the collection of unpaid installments regarding a
established.
subdivision lot.

HELD: The petition is impressed with merit.


Under Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 957 the National Housing
In a case for the recovery of a sum of money, as the collection of a Authority (NHA) was given the exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide
debt, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation because certain cases as follows:
the obligation to pay the debt is not conditioned upon any specific fact
or matter. But when a party to a contract has agreed to refund to the "SECTION 1. In the exercise of its function to regulate the real estate
other party a sum of money upon compliance by the latter of certain trade and business and in addition to its powers provided for in
conditions and only upon compliance therewith may what is legally due Presidential Decree No. 957, the National Housing Authority shall have
him under the written contract be demanded, the action is one not exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases of the following nature:
capable of pecuniary estimation.
A. Unsound real estate business practices:B. Claims involving refund
and any other claims filed by subdivision lot or condominium unit buyer
against the project owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman; and;

The payment of a sum of money is only incidental which can only be C. Cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory
ordered after a determination of certain acts the performance of which obligations filed by buyers of subdivision lot or condominium unit
being the more basic issue to be inquired into. against the owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman.

The language of this section, particularly, the second portion thereof,


leaves no room for doubt that exclusive jurisdiction over the case
between the petitioner and private respondent is vested not on the
Although private respondent's complaint in the court a quo is
RTC but on the NHA. The NHA was re-named Human Settlements
designated as one for a sum of money and damages, an analysis of all
Regulatory Commission and thereafter it was re-named as the Housing
the factual allegations of the complaint patently shows that what
and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
private respondent seeks is the performance of petitioner's obligation
under the written contract to make the refund of the rate of P10.00 per
Undeniably the sum of money sought to be collected by private
square meter or in the total amount of P4,820.00, but only after proof
respondent from petitioner represented unpaid installments of a
of having himself fulfilled the conditions that will give rise to petitioner's
subdivision lot which the petitioner purchased. Petitioner alleges that
obligation, a matter clearly incapable of pecuniary estimation.
he suspended payments thereof because of the failure of the
developer to develop the subdivision pursuant to their agreement.

Considering that the trial court has no jurisdiction under the


circumstances obtained in the past cases, the decision it rendered is
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Civil Procedure 2013

null and void ab initio. It is as if no decision was rendered by the trial addition to its powers provided for in Presidential
court at all. Decree No. 957, the National Housing Authority
shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide
The trial court, rather than reiterating the issuance of a writ of cases of the following nature:
execution in this case, which it did, should have recalled and cancelled
the writ of execution of the judgment. A. x x x;

B. x x x; and
C.T. TORRES ENTERPRISES, INC., petitioner,
vs. HON. ROMEO J. HIBIONADA
C. Cases involving specific performance of
contractual and statutory obligations filed by
G.R. No. 80916 November 9, 1990 buyers of subdivision lots or condominium
units against the owner, developer, dealer,
broker or salesman. (Emphasis supplied)

FACTS:

The petitioner as agent of private respondent Pleasantville Under E.O. No. 648, the regulatory functions conferred on
Development Corporation sold a subdivision lot on installment to the National Housing Authority under P.D. Nos. 957,1344
private respondent Efren Diongon. The installment payments having and other related laws were transferred to the Human
been completed, Diongon demanded the delivery of the certificate of Settlements Regulatory Commission, which was renamed
title to the subject land. When neither the petitioner nor Pleasantville Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board by E.O. No. 90
complied, he filed a complaint against them for specific performance dated December 17, 1986.
and damages in the RTC of Negros Occidental.

It is clear from Section 1(c) of the above quoted PD No.


The case was set for initial hearing. It was then that C.T. Torres 1344 that the complaint for specific performance with
Enterprises filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, contending damages filed by Diongon with the Regional Trial Court of
that the competent body to hear and decide the case was the Housing Negros Occidental comes under the jurisdiction of the
and Land Use Regulatory Board. Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. Diongon is a
buyer of a subdivision lot seeking specific performance of
the seller's obligation to deliver to him the corresponding
certificate of title.

The trial court denied the motion to dismiss. Hence, this petition.

(2) Whether the petition is premature because no motion for


reconsideration of the questioned order of trial court. (NO)
ISSUES and RULING:

(1) Whether the Housing and Land Use Regulatoy Board has
the jurisdiction to try and hear the case. (YES)
The argument of the private respondents that the petition is
premature because no motion for reconsideration of the
questioned order of trial court had been filed stresses the
rule but disregards the exception. It is settled that the motion
In holding that the complaint for specific performance with for reconsideration may be dispensed with if the issue raised
damages was justiciable under the Civil Code and so came is a question of law, as in the case at bar. The issue pleaded
under the jurisdiction of the regular courts under B.P. 129, here is lack of jurisdiction. It could therefore be raised
the trial court failed to consider the express provisions of directly and immediately with this Court without the necessity
P.D. No. 1344 and related decrees. It also erred in of an antecedent motion for reconsideration.
supposing that only the regular courts can interpret and
apply the provisions of the Civil Code, to the exclusion of the
quasi-judicial bodies.

G.R. Nos. 102193-97 May 10, 1994

MS. EMILY YU FAJARDO, SPOUSES SALVADOR petitioners,


P.D. No. 957, promulgated July 12, 1976 and otherwise vs.
known as "The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers' HON. ODILON I. BAUTISTA, in his capacity as the Presiding Judge
Protective Decree," provides that the National Housing of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 37, Calamba,
Authority shall have exclusive authority to regulate the real Laguna, , respondents.
estate trade and business.

FACTS:
P.D. No. 1344, promulgated April 2, 1978, and empowered
Private respondents Isabelo Jareo and Purita Jareo are
the National Housing Authority to issue writs of execution in
the owners and developers of a subdivision known as the
the enforcement of its decisions under P.D. No. 957,
Calamba Central Compound. They as sellers, and the
specified the quasi-judicial jurisdiction of the agency as
petitioners as buyers signed separate contracts, each
follows:
designated as a contract to sell, under which, for a
consideration, they bound themselves to sell to the
SECTION 1. In the exercise of its functions to petitioners the subject lots.
regulate the real estate trade and business and in
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On the other hand, private respondent Fernando Realty and the certificates of title issued to him and for damages are merely
Development Corporation sold a property to petitioner Emily incidental.
Yu Fajardo after concluding a contract to sell under which for
the considerations therein stated, Fernando agreed to sell to
Fajardo Lot No. 10, Block No. 3, also located at the Calamba BENGUET CORPORATION vs. LEVISTE
Central Compound Subdivision.
FACTS:
It appears that the Jareos sold the aforesaid lots subject of Private respondent, Helen Dizon-Reyes alleged that she is the
the different contracts to sell to private respondent Ruben claimowner of 11 mining claims all located in the province of Zambales.
Habacon under separate documents denominated as She executed a Special Power of Attorney constituting her father,
"Kasulatan ng Bilihan." Habacon thereafter caused the Celestino M. Dizon, as her attorney-in-fact with full powers to "transfer,
cancellation of the certificates of title covering the said lots assign and dispose of her 11 mining claims."
and the issuance of new ones in his name.
When the petitioners learned of these, they filed separate On January 21, 1967, Celestino M. Dizon, acting as such attorney-in-
complaints with the court a quo for annulment of the sales in fact for private respondent and other claimowners, entered into an
favor of Habacon and of the new certificates of title issued to Agreement, with Dizon Mine whereby the latter was granted the right to
him, for reinstatement of the certificates of title cancelled by explore, develop, exploit and operate the 57 mining claims owned by
those issued to him, and for accounting and damages. the claimowners including the 11 claims of private respondent.
The trial court dismissed the aforesaid civil cases for lack of
jurisdiction. The Court does not agree with the plaintiffs Seven (7) years later, private respondent and the other claimowners
contention that it is the trial court, and not the HLRB, which executed a Deed of Ratification of Assignment, confirming the
has jurisdiction over the complaint. The trial court ruled PD assignment, transfer and conveyance unto Dizon Mines and its
No. 957 as amended by P.D. No. 1344 gives the National assigns and successors of the rights to possess, occupy, explore,
Housing Authority now the Human Settlement Regulatory develop and operate all the aforesaid mining claims.
Commission exclusive jurisdiction to hear and, decide cases
of "unsound real estate business practices". Further, it ruled Almost three (3) months after the Deed of Ratification was executed,
that Section 19(2) of B.P. Blg. 129, being a general law, private respondent revoked Special Power of Attorney of January 15,
should yield to P.D. No. 957, as amended by P.D. No. 1344, 1967, stating that "while there is no question that I still have complete
which is a special law. and full trust and confidence in the judgment and wisdom of my father,
The motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners was it is not my wish to add any more to his already many a mounting
dismissed hence, this petition. problems."

ISSUE: Notice of the revocation was served on Dizon Mines on March 20,
Whether the trial court gravely abused its discretion in dismissing, for 1975 and on Benguet on August 26, 1975.
lack of jurisdiction, the complaints filed by the petitioners. NO, the trial
court was correct in ruling that it has no jurisdiction over case. However, in spite of said notice, Dizon Mines and Benguet entered into
an Operations Agreement whereby the former transferred to the latter
RULING: the possession of the 57 mining claims.
Before resolving the issue raised, the Supreme Court ruled on the
procedural aspect of the case at bar. Generally, an order of dismissal, Helen now claims that the Operation Agreement lacks legal basis due
whether right or wrong, is a final order, and hence a proper subject of to her revocation of the SPA, private respondent prayed that the
appeal, not certiorari. The remedies of appeal and certiorari are Operations Agreement be declared null and void and inoperative
mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive. Accordingly, insofar as it covers her eleven (11) lode mining claims. In the
although the special civil action of certiorari is not proper when an alternative, private respondent prayed that should the validity of the
ordinary appeal is available, it may be granted where it is shown that Operations Agreement be upheld, defendants therein be ordered to
the appeal would be inadequate, slow, insufficient, and will not observe and comply with the sharing of profits stipulated in the
promptly relieve a party from the injurious effects of the order Agreement of January 21, 1967. She further prayed for the award of
complained of, or where appeal is inadequate and attorney's fees and expenses of litigation as may be proved during the
ineffectual. Nevertheless, certiorari cannot be a substitute for the lost trial.
or lapsed remedy of appeal, where such loss is occasioned by the
petitioner's own neglect or error in the choice of remedies. This petition Benguet filed a Motion to Dismiss on the following grounds: 1) the
should therefore be dismissed on the ground that it was resorted to as court is without jurisdiction over the subject matter and nature of the
a substitute for the lost or lapsed remedy of appeal. action; 2) the action is barred by prior judgment and laches; 3) the
action to declare invalid the Deed of Ratification has prescribed; and 4)
the venue of the action was improperly laid. Dizon Mines filed its own
motion to dismiss.
Assuming arguendo that there is no procedural defect in this case, it
must still fail for the trial court correctly ruled that it has no jurisdiction
ISSUE:
over the subject matter in the civil cases filed by petitioners.
WON the RTC has jurisdiction over an action for annulment of
Jurisdiction thereon was originally vested in the National Housing
operations agreement entered into by and between two mining
Authority (NHA) under P.D. No. 957, as amended by P.D. No. 1344.
companies.
Under E.O. No. 648, this jurisdiction was transferred to the Human
Settlements Regulatory Commission (HSRC) which, , was renamed as
HELD:
the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.
No Jurisdiction.

Presidential Decree No. 1281 which took effect on January 16,1978


vests the Bureau of Mines with jurisdictional supervision and control
The Court agrees with the trial court that the complaints do involve over all holders of mining claims or applicants for and/or grantees of
unsound real estate business practices on the part of the owners and mining licenses, permits, leases and/or operators thereof, including
developers of the subdivision who entered into Contracts to Sell with mining service contracts and service contractors insofar as their mining
the petitioners. By virtue of Section 1 of P.D. No. 1344 and the doctrine activities are concerned.
laid down in Solid Homes, Inc. vs. Payawal, the NHA, now HLRB, has
the exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide the matter. In addition to
involving unsound real estate business practices, the complaints also To effectively discharge its task as the Government's arm in the
involve specific performance of the contractual and statutory administration and disposition of mineral resources, Section 7 of P.D.
obligations of the owners or developers of the subdivision. The claims No. 1281 confers upon the Bureau quasi-judicial powers as follows:
for annulment of the "Kasulatan ng Bilihan" in favor of HABACON and
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Sec. 7. In addition to its regulatory and adjudicative functions over The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, and denied the
companies, partnerships or persons engaged in mining exploration, motion for reconsideration. Private respondent sought annulment of
development and exploitation, the Bureau of Mines shall have original both orders before respondent CA which rendered judgment reversing
and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide case involving: xxx xxx the trial court and directing it to assume jurisdiction over the case on
xxx the basis of its finding that the CARL (RA 6657) and other pertinent
laws on agrarian reform cannot be seen to encompass a case of
simple collection of back rentals by virtue of an agreement, as the one
at bar, where there is no agrarian dispute to speak of (since the
allegation of failure to pay the agreed rentals was never controverted in
(c) cancellation and/or enforcement of mining contracts due to the the motion to dismiss) nor the issue raised on application,
refusal of the claimowner/operator to abide by the terms and conditions implementation, enforcement or interpretation of these laws.
thereof.

On 18 January 1993 the appellate court rejected the motion


In the case at bar, it is not disputed that the subject agreement is a for reconsideration. Petitioners maintain that the alleged cause of
mining contract and private respondent, in seeking a judicial action of private respondent arose from an agrarian relation and that
declaration of its nullity, does not wish to abide by its terms and respondent appellate court failed to consider that the agreement
conditions. These elements alone bring the action within the ambit of involved is an agricultural leasehold contract, hence; the dispute is
Section 7 of P.D. 1281. Whatever the basis for the refusal to abide by agrarian in nature. The laws governing its execution and the rights and
the contract's terms and conditions, the basic issue remains one of its obligations of the parties thereto are necessarily R.A. 3844, R.A.
cancellation, which is precisely what P.D. No. 1281 places within the 6657 and other pertinent agrarian laws. Considering that the
exclusive original jurisdiction for the Bureau. application, implementation, enforcement or interpretation of said laws
are matters which have been vested in the DAR, this case is outside
the jurisdiction of the trial court.

The reason underlying such refusal is indeed an irrelevant matter ISSUE: Are Regional Trial Courts vested with jurisdiction over cases
insofar as jurisdictional competence is concerned, for to make for money claims particularly collection of back rentals from leasehold
jurisdiction dependent thereon would not only be "ratifying two judicial tenants?
bodies exercising jurisdiction over an essentially the same subject
mattera situation analogous to split jurisdiction which is obnoxious to
the orderly administration of justice" but also clearly ignoring the object
of P.D. 1281 to make the adjudication of mining cases a purely
administrative matter. RULING: NO! Section 17 of E.O. 229 vested the DAR with quasi-
judicial powers to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters as
well as exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving
implementation of agrarian reform except those falling under the
exclusive original jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture and the
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The assailed orders Department of Environment and Natural Resources in accordance with
of March 26, 1982 and June 20, 1983 are set aside and Civil Case No. law.
Q-30171 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch XCVII, is
ordered DISMISSED.

Executive Order 129-A, while in the process of reorganizing


and strengthening the DAR, created the DARAB to assume the powers
G.R. No. 109093 November 20, 1995 and functions with respect to the adjudication of agrarian reform
cases.
MACHETE vs. COURT OF APPEALS and CELESTINO
VILLALON, respondents.

On 15 June 1988 R.A. 6657 was passed containing provisions which


evince and support the intention of the legislature to vest in the DAR
Facts: On 21 July 1989 private respondent Celestino Villalon filed a exclusive jurisdiction over all agrarian reform matters.
complaint for collection of back rentals and damages before the RTC
of Tagbilaran City against petitioners. The complaint alleged that the
parties entered into a leasehold agreement with respect to private
respondent's landholdings at Poblacion Norte, Carmen, Bohol, under However it may be mentioned in passing that the Regional
which petitioners were to pay private respondent a certain amount or Trial Courts have not been completely divested of jurisdiction over
percentage of their harvests. However, despite repeated demands and agrarian reform matters. Section 56 of R.A. 6657 confers "special
with no valid reason, petitioners failed to pay their respective rentals. jurisdiction" on "Special Agrarian Courts," which are Regional Trial
Private respondent thus prayed that petitioners be ordered to pay him Courts designated by this Court at least one (1) branch within each
back rentals and damages. province to act as such. These Regional Trial Courts designated as
Special Agrarian Courts have, according to Sec. 57 of the same law,
original and exclusive jurisdiction over: (a) all petitions for the
determination of just compensation to landowners, and (b) the
Petitioners moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of prosecution of all criminal offenses under the Act.
lack of jurisdiction of the trial court over the subject matter. They
contended that the case arose out of or was connected with agrarian
relations, hence, the subject matter of the complaint fell squarely within
the jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in the Consequently, there exists an agrarian dispute in the case at
exercise of its quasi-judicial powers under Sec. 1, pars. (a) and (b), bench which is exclusively cognizable by the DARAB. The failure of
Rule II of the Revised Rules of the Department of Agrarian Reform petitioners to pay back rentals pursuant to the leasehold contract with
Adjudication Board. private respondent is an issue which is clearly beyond the legal
competence of the trial court to resolve. The doctrine of primary
jurisdiction does not warrant a court to arrogate unto itself the authority
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Civil Procedure 2013

to resolve a controversy the jurisdiction over which is initially lodged petitioner and respondent in light of Sections 3 (par. 2 [a])
with an administrative body of special competence. and 7 of Executive Order No. 172 and "Section 2, Rule VIII
of the Rules and Regulations Governing the Establishment,
Construction, Operation, Remodelling, and/or Refurbishing
of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets
o Sec. 2. All disputes between any operator/dealer
Thus, respondent appellate court erred in directing the trial and an oil company regarding dealership
court to assume jurisdiction over this case. At any rate, the present agreement except those arising out of their
legal battle is "not altogether lost" on the part of private respondent relationship as debtor and creditor shall be under
because as this Court was quite emphatic in Quismundo v. Court of the jurisdiction of the Oil Industry Commission
Appeals, the resolution by the DAR is to the best advantage of the
parties since it is in a better position to resolve agrarian disputes, being
the administrative agency presumably possessing the necessary The "operator/dealer" involved is the petitioner, Nonito J.
expertise on the matter. Further, the proceedings therein are summary Bernardo, and the "oil company," the respondent Caltex
in nature and the department is not bound by the technical rules of (Philippines), Inc. (hereafter referred to simply as Caltex).
procedure and evidence, to the end that agrarian reform disputes and Bernardo Operates two (2) Caltex gasoline stations.
other issues will be adjudicated in a just, expeditious and inexpensive
proceeding On December 3, 1990, Bernardo placed with the Caltex
Pandacan Terminal an order for 10,000 liters of diesel fuel.
He made full payment therefor in the sum of P57,937.50 on
the same day, the payment being evidenced by an official
receipt. On December 4, 1990, 5 he placed with the same
Lupangco vs Court of Appeals
terminal another order, this time for 10,000 liters of premium
G.R. No. 77372 April 29, 1988
gasoline for which he also made full payment in the
amount of P84,193.50 on December 5, 1990, the payment
Facts: PRC issued Resolution No. 105 as parts of its "Additional
being evidenced by an official receipt issued on said day.
Instructions to Examiness," to all those applying for admission to take
Bernardo sent his tanker to the Pandacan Terminal as early
the licensure examinations in accountancy.
as 11:20 o'clock in the morning of December 5, 1990, to take
delivery of the petroleum products thus purchased. 7 But
Petitioners, all reviewees preparing to take the licensure examinations
despite waiting until 6 P.M. on that day, the tanker's driver
in accountancy, filed with the RTC a complaint for injunction with a
failed to take delivery, because Caltex's computer system
prayer with the issuance of a writ of a preliminary injunction against
had allegedly malfunctioned and broken down as early as
respondent PRC to restrain the latter from enforcing the above-
3:45 A.M. and remained out of order up to 12:10 P.M. on that
mentioned resolution and to declare the same unconstitutional.
day, December 5.
It appears that on that same day, December 5, 1990, the
Issue: Can the Professional Regulation Commission lawfully prohibit
Energy Regulatory Board announced an increase in the
the examiness from attending review classes, receiving handout
prices of petroleum products effective at 6 o'clock in the
materials, tips, or the like 3 days before the date of the examination?
evening of that day. According to Caltex, "(a)t exactly 6:00 in
the evening of December 5, 1990, . . . (it) had to cut-off the
Ruling: We realize that the questioned resolution was adopted for a
delivery or hauling by dealers of products in order to make
commendable purpose which is "to preserve the integrity and purity of
the necessary adjustments in its computers as a result of the
the licensure examinations." However, its good aim cannot be a cloak
price increase . . . (and after that time) all orders, even for
to conceal its constitutional infirmities. On its face, it can be readily
those pre-paid and delivered ex-plant, were invoiced at the
seen that it is unreasonable in that an examinee cannot even attend
new rates . . . in accordance with the Purchase and Sale
any review class, briefing, conference or the like, or receive any hand-
Agreement .
out, review material, or any tip from any school, college or university, or
Demands subsequently made by Bernardo for delivery of the
any review center or the like or any reviewer, lecturer, instructor, official
petroleum products paid for by him, 10 were refused by
or employee of any of the aforementioned or similar institutions.
Caltex unless Bernardo paid the difference between the old
and new prices. Caltex claimed, in justification of its refusal,
The unreasonableness is more obvious in that one who is caught 11
that when Bernardo demanded "delivery of his orders, the
committing the prohibited acts even without any ill motives will be
prices had already increased due to the ERB order on
barred from taking future examinations conducted by the respondent
December 5, 1990," and Bernardo was bound to pay the
PRC. Furthermore, it is inconceivable how the Commission can
increased price in accordance with Section 3 of his
manage to have a watchful eye on each and every examinee during
"Purchase and Sale Agreement" with Caltex providing as
the three days before the examination period.
follows:
3) PRICES: Prices to be paid by BUYER
It is an aixiom in administrative law that administrative authorities
ex SELLER's storage point shall be at
should not act arbitrarily and capriciously in the issuance of rules and
SELLER's official wholesale selling price
regulations. To be valid, such rules and regulations must be
ex storage point at Pandacan Terminal
reasonable and fairly adapted to the end in view. If shown to bear no
in effect on date of delivery.
reasonable relation to the purposes for which they are authorized to be
On January 8, 1991, Bernardo filed a complaint in the
issued, then they must be held to be invalid.
Regional Trial Court at Quezon City praying that Caltex be
ordered to deliver the petroleum products in question and to
Resolution No. 105 is not only unreasonable and arbitrary, it also
pay compensatory, exemplary and nominal damages
infringes on the examinees' right to liberty guaranteed by the
Caltex moved to dismiss: the ground that (a) venue was
Constitution. Respondent PRC has no authority to dictate on the
improperly laid it being provided in the parties' Purchase
reviewees as to how they should prepare themselves for the licensure
and Sale Agreement that in case "of any judicial proceedings
examinations. They cannot be restrained from taking all the lawful
to enforce any or all of the terms or conditions of . . . (said)
steps needed to assure the fulfillment of their ambition to become
Agreement, BUYER shall submit itself to the jurisdiction of
public accountants. They have every right to make use of their faculties
the Court of the City of Manila or to SELLER's places of
in attaining success in their endeavors.
transactions at SELLER'S option;" 14 and (b) the plaintiff had
no cause of action against it Caltex having "cut-off the
NONITO J. BERNARDO, petitioner,
delivery or hauling by dealers of products in order to make
vs.
the necessary adjustment in its computers as a result of the
CALTEX (PHILIPPINES), INC., respondent
price increase" (set by ERB on December 5, 1990),
and accordingly invoiced "all orders, even for those pre-paid
FACTS:
and delivered ex-plant, . . . at the new rates," as was
The appeal on certiorari at bar 1 treats of the jurisdiction of
allegedly its right under Paragraph (3) of the Purchase and
the Regional Trial Court over the controversy between
Sale Agreement
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1. All orders that have (been) it was obligated to make delivery to Bernardo's of the petroleum
invoiced and paid for before the effectively of a products ordered by him; and that the only issue is the manner by
wholesale Selling Price increase but are not yet which Caltex shall perform its commitment in Bernardo's favor, or more
delivered to or picked-up by the customers as of precisely, what quantity of petroleum products it is bound to deliver to
the effectivity of the price increase shall be Bernardo: that corresponding to (or at the rate of) the price at the time
cancelled and a new invoice shall be prepared of the payment effected by Bernardo or the higher price fixed by the
using the new price/s. Energy Regulatory Board on December 5, 1990; and that the
controversy between them cannot be characterized as a dispute within
the original jurisdiction of the Energy Regulatory Board, which as
. Trial Court denied Caltex's motion to dismiss and issued a
already stated, extends to "(a)ll disputes between any operator/dealer
preliminary mandatory injunction requiring immediate
and an oil company regarding dealership agreement except those
delivery by Caltex
CaltexIt also asserted the "special and affirmative defense" arising out of their relationship as debtor and creditor . . . ." It is rather
one cognizable by the Regional Trial Court, as a dispute indeed
that it was the Energy Regulatory Board, not the Trial Court
"arising out of their relationship as debtor and creditor."
which had jurisdiction of the subject matter of the case since
it involved "a dispute between an oil company and its dealer,
particularly as to the price by which petroleum products are
to be sold
On August 14, 1991, the Trial Court promulgated an Order As the facts make clearly apparent, there is no "unsettled dispute as
dismissing Bernardo's suit for lack of jurisdiction. The Court regards the pricing of the . . . (petroleum) products," as the Regional
cited the judgment of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP Trial Court opines in its challenged Order of August 14, 1991. On the
No. 24091, supra, holding inter alia that "there is still an contrary, the parties are in agreement about the prices of the
unsettled dispute as regards the pricing of the . . . petroleum products in question which became effective on December
(petroleum) products" in question, 5, 1990 at 6 o'clock P.M., and those prevailing prior thereto. Their
to the effect that it "is not the suitable forum for debate" disagreement is as regards which of the two sets of prices shall apply
regarding the wisdom of policy or the logic behind increases to the transactions subject of Bernardo's complaint.
in oil prices, in relation to the powers of the Energy
Regulatory Board (a) "to fix and regulate the prices of
petroleum products," 18 and of (b) supervision and jurisdiction
19

Neither do the parties impugn the validity or the propriety or wisdom of
the specific exercise by the Energy Regulatory Board of its power "to
. . . over all persons, corporations, firms or entities
fix and regulate the prices of petroleum products," or its power of
engaged in the business of importing, exporting,
supervision over the operations and activities, generally, of persons
re-exporting, shipping, transporting, processing or
and entities dealing in oil and petroleum products, as said Regional
refining of indigenous and imported crude oil or
Trial Court posits in its order of August 14, 1991.
other petroleum products, storing, marketing,
distributing, or selling, both at wholesale and retail,
and other crude or refined petroleum products,
and shall regulate and supervise the operations
and activities of said persons and entities. . . . What the controversy is all about, to repeat, is simply the prices at
which the petroleum products shall be deemed to have been
purchased from Caltex by Bernardo in December, 1990. This is
obviously a civil law question, one determinable according to the
provisions of the Civil Code and hence, beyond the cognizance of the
ISSUE:
Energy Regulatory Board of the Oil Industry Commission.
Bernardo submits for resolution the question, "which body has the
original jurisdiction over the instant case, the Energy, Regulatory Board
or . . . (the) Court a quo."

JUAN M. SERRANO and SILVER LINERS, INC. vs. MUOZ (HI)


HELD: MOTORS INC., DM TRANSIT CORPORATION, BENITO
MACROHON, as Sheriff of Quezon City, and ENRIQUE MEDINA, as
Public Service Commissioner
The situation in this case is similar to that in Mobil Oil Philippines, Inc.
G.R. No. L-25547 November 27, 1967
v. Court of Appeals, Upon these facts, the Court ruled that since
plaintiff Pedrosa's "prepaid order was prepared on the same date
FACTS:
by . . . (Mobil Oil's) credit man and after being thus approved by . . .
(Mobil Oil's) credit man, . . . (Pedrosa) paid for the price therein
indicated by tendering a Prudential Bank Cashier's Check #19972. Juan M. Serrano was granted by the Public Service Commission
Because of this, . . . Mobil became duty bound to deliver the gasoline (PSC) in case 83104 a certificate of public convenience to
to private respondent on February 15, 1974 and the price paid for by . . operate in Manila and Quezon City eight auto-trucks for
. (Pedrosa) was that price then prevailing which was the amount passengers and freight. Serrano mortgaged this certificate to
indicated in . . . (Pedrosa's) cashier's check . . . . By actually delivering Muoz (Hi) Motors, Inc. (MHMI), as additional collateral to secure
the gasoline on March 6, 1974, petitioner committed a contractual an indebtedness on account of the purchase of four buses. The
breach and incurred in delay that should make it liable for damages." 21 parties to this chattel mortgage thereafter applied to the PSC for
The Court further held that the "prepaid order form was a perfected approval thereof. At the instance of the MHMI, the sheriff of
contract of sale the moment it was approved and accepted by Mobil Quezon City foreclosed the chattel mortgage and executed a
through its proper representative on the same day and paid for by . . . certificate of sale in favor of the MHMI as the highest bidder.
Pedrosa likewise on the same day . . . . On the part of Pedrosa it can
even be said that the contract was consummated as far as he was
The MHMI sold some units and certificates of public convenience,
concerned since he executed his part of the contract by his
among them, the certificate granted to Serrano in PSC case
prepayment of the order."
83104, to the DM Transit Corporation (DMTC). Acting on the
petition filed jointly by the MHMI and the DMTC, the PSC, thru
Commissioner Medina, provisionally approved the said sale, and
authorized the DMTC to operate "under the provisional authority
It thus appears to the Court that as in that case, a contract of sale of here granted."
petroleum products was here perfected between Caltex and its
"operator/dealer," Bernardo; that in virtue of the payment admittedly Serrano sold to the Silver Liners, Inc. (SLI) the line he was
made by Bernardo, Caltex became a "debtor" to him in the sense that authorized to operate by virtue of the certificate of public
University of Mindanao- College of Law 7
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convenience issued in PSC case 83104, and authorized the latter


to file with the PSC the corresponding application for approval of ISSUES:
the said sale.
1. Whether or not the Court of First Instance of Quezon City has
jurisdiction over civil case 8835 before it.
At the instance of the MHMI the sheriff of Quezon City "once more
announced the foreclosure of the chattel mortgages.
2. Whether or not the CFI err in dismissing the complaint, even if it
prayed for damages against Commissioner Medina, for failure to state
In view of this development, Serrano and the SLI filed the present a sufficient cause of action.
complaint the pertinent and important portions of which read:
3. Whether or not the CFI err in dismissing the complaint against the
6. That the plaintiff, Juan M. Serrano, and the defendant, rest of the defendants.
Muoz (HI) Motors, Inc., filed the corresponding application
for the approval of the chattel mortgage of said certificate RULING:
with the Public Service Commission. However, before the
Public Service Commission could decide the application, the 1. In Perez Cardenas vs. Camus, the Court held that jurisdiction over
plaintiff, Juan, M. Serrano, filed a motion withdrawing the the subject-matter is determined by the allegations of the complaint,
same on the ground that the mortgagee, Defendant Muoz irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all
(HI) Motors, Inc., had violated their agreement. or some of the claims asserted therein a matter that can be resolved
only after and as a result of the trial. Nor may the jurisdiction of the
xxx xxx xxx court be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the answer or
upon the motion to dismiss, for, were we to be governed by such rule,
the question of jurisdiction would depend almost entirely upon the
11. That the issuance of the provisional approval
defendant.
presupposes the existence of a sale and transfer of the
certificate of public convenience issued in Case No. 83104
by the Sheriff of Quezon City to Muoz (HI) Motors, Inc.,
which is not a fact. Hence the defendant, Enrique Medina, is
liable for damages for the issuance of the provisional It is in the view of the Court that the resolution of this aspect of the
approval under Art. 32 of the Civil Code of the Philippines case falls within the exclusive province of the PSC.
because the plaintiff, Juan M. Serrano, was deprived of his
property without due process of law.
Under section 20(g) of the Public Service Law, the PSC is the body
invested with the power and authority to approve a sale or transfer of a
xxx xxx xxx certificate of public convenience.

14. That the announced sale on June 14, 1965 is at once


illegal and violative of the rights of the plaintiffs.
The Court has indeed sustained the power and authority of the PSC
15. That as a consequence of the issuance of the provisional (a) to approve provisionally the transfer of a certificate of public
approval, the plaintiffs have been unable to operate the convenience where the conditions laid down by section 20(g) are
eight (8) units attached to the certificate of public satisfied,6 and (b) to grant provisional authority to a vendee to operate
convenience issued in Case No. 83104 and the plaintiff, a franchise pending determination of the legality of the sale.7
Juan M. Serrano, has been unable to substitute four (4) of
said units

Acting on the complaint and on an urgent motion subsequently Entirely apart from the above considerations, the Court notes from the
filed by the plaintiffs for the issuance of an ex parte writ of order of March 4, 1965 that Serrano has filed an "urgent motion to set
preliminary injunction, the court directed the parties to maintain (it) aside". Orderly procedure demands that the PSC pass upon this
the status quo upon the filing by the plaintiffs of a P5,000 bond, phase of the controversy; from an adverse resolution thereon, the
and set the motion for hearing appellants may yet appeal to this Court.

Commissioner Medina moved for the dismissal of the complaint


against him on three grounds: that the CFI has no jurisdiction over
not only the subject matter of the action but as well his person as
[t]he commission having jurisdiction to determine whether a
Public Service Commissioner; that the complaint states no cause
corporation has the right to do or not to do a thing for which
of action against him; and that "Article 32 of the Civil Code is not
the commission's approval is sought, orderly procedure
applicable to judicial orders."
requires that the commission pass upon that phase of the
controversy before the court adjudge it. The obvious reason
The CFI dismissed the complaint as against Commissioner for this is stated in St. Clair Borough v. Tomaqua & Pottsville
Medina. The plaintiffs moved to have this order set aside or Elec. Ry. Co., 259 Pa. 462, 103 A. 287, 289, 5 A.L.R. 20:
clarified, because it did not specify any ground for the dismissal. "Otherwise different phases of the same case might be
The CFI held in abeyance consideration of the plaintiffs' prayer for pending before the commission and the courts at one time,
preliminary injunction, to afford the plaintiffs opportunity to file a which would cause endless confusion."9
motion for reconsideration and to give the rest of the defendants
equal opportunity to file motions to dismiss, "so that the court can
make a clear cut ruling on the question of jurisdiction over the
instant case."
The order of the PSC did not deprive Serrano of his property 10 "without
due process of law". The order is provisional in nature, "may be
The MHMI and the DMTC moved to dismiss the complaint on the modified or revoked by the Commission at any time",is "subject to
ground that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject- matter whatever action that may be taken on the basic application" for the
of the action. sale and transfer filed by the MHMI in favor of the DMTC, and is "valid
only during the pendency of said application" but not beyond SIX (6)
The CFI dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction over the MONTHS from the date hereon (March 4, 1965)," which period, by the
subject-matter thereof and denied the plaintiffs' motion to set way, has already expired. Neither were the appellants deprived of their
aside the order. day in court. For, the PSC, in its order of April 5, 1965, clearly stated
that "in fairness to all" and "to give all the parties sufficient and ample
University of Mindanao- College of Law 8
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opportunity to present their evidence, pro and con, in support of their


respective allegations", "the hearing of this case should be postponed. Held: RTC did not err in taking cognizance of the case.
Under Section 1 of Republic Act No. 7691 (RA 7691), amending Batas
Pambansa Blg. 129, the RTC shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction on
the following actions:
Section 1. Section 19 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129,
2. . The CFI likewise did not err in dismissing the complaint, even if it otherwise known as the "Judiciary Reorganization Act of
prayed for damages against Commissioner Medina, for failure to state 1980", is hereby amended to read as follows:
a sufficient cause of action. Article 32 of the Civil Code, relied upon by "Sec. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. - Regional Trial Courts
the appellants in support of their claim for damages, provides in its last shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction.
paragraph that the responsibility for damages "herein set forth is not
demandable from a judge unless his act or omission constitutes a "(1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is
violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute." The Court does not incapable of pecuniary estimation;
now decide as the Court believes that it is not called upon to do so
whether article 32 of the Civil Code may be utilized as the legal "(2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or
basis of an action for damages against a PSC commissioner. But possession of, real property, or any interest therein, where
assuming that the said provision of law does authorize recovery of the assessed value of the property involved exceeds Twenty
damages from a member of the PSC in proper cases, the dismissal Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) or, for civil actions in Metro
must yet be sustained. Manila, where such value exceeds Fifty Thousand Pesos
(P50,000.00) except actions for forcible entry into and
unlawful detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction
over which is conferred upon the Metropolitan Trial Courts,
3. Finally, the CFI did not err in dismissing the complaint against the Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts; x x
rest of the defendants. The complaint does not state a cause of action x
against them. Paragraph 6 thereof alleges that Serrano filed a motion
with the PSC withdrawing the application filed by him and the MHMI for On the other hand, Section 3 of RA 7691 expanded the jurisdiction of
approval of the chattel mortgage over the certificate of public the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal
convenience in question, "on the ground that the mortgagee, Circuit Trial Courts over all civil actions which involve title to or
Defendant Muoz (HI) Motors, Inc., had violated their agreement", and, possession of real property, or any interest, outside Metro Manila
on that basis, paragraph 14 asserts that "the announced sale on June where the assessed value does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos
14, 1965 is at once illegal and violative of the rights of the plaintiffs", (P20,000.00). The provision states:
and that if the sheriff of Quezon City be not immediately restrained Section 3. Section 33 of the same law is hereby amended to
from proceeding with the intended foreclosure and sale of the said read as follows:
certificate, they "will suffer great and irreparable injury". These "Sec. 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal
averments are altogether too imprecise and therefore cannot be Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases.
dignified as constituting a legally sufficient statement of the "ultimate - Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and
facts" required in the formulation of a cause of action; they are at best Municipal Trial Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:
mere conclusions of law which, obviously, cannot take the place of
"ultimate facts."15 x x x

"(3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which


involve title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest
therein where the assessed value of the property or interest
HEIRS OF JUANITA PADILLA, REPRESENTED BY CLAUDIO therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos
PADILLA VS. DOMINADOR MAGDUA. (P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such
assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos
[G.R. No. 176858 : September 15, 2010] (P50,000.00) exclusive of interest, damages of whatever
kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs: Provided,
That in cases of land not declared for taxation purposes, the
value of such property shall be determined by the assessed
Facts: This case is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the
value of the adjacent lots."
Orders of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tacloban City, Branch 34.

In the present case, the records show that the assessed value of the
Juanita Padilla (Juanita), the mother of petitioners, owned a piece of
land was P590.00 according. Based on the value alone, being way
land in Leyte. After Juanita's death, petitioners, as legal heirs of
below P20,000.00, the MTC has jurisdiction over the case. However,
Juanita, sought to have the land partitioned. However, the petitioners
petitioners argued that the action was not merely for recovery of
were surprised to find out that Ricardo, their eldest brother, had
ownership and possession, partition and damages but also for
declared the land for himself, prejudicing their rights as co-heirs.
annulment of deed of sale. Since annulment of contracts are actions
Petitioners filed an action with the RTC of Tacloban City, Branch
incapable of pecuniary estimation, the RTC has jurisdiction over the
34, for recovery of ownership, possession, partition and
case.
damages. Petitioners also sought to declare void the sale of the
land.
When petitioners filed the action with the RTC they sought to recover
ownership and possession of the land by questioning (1) the due
Dominador filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of
execution and authenticity of the Affidavit executed by Juanita in favor
jurisdiction since the assessed value of the land was within the
of Ricardo which caused Ricardo to be the sole owner of the land to
jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court of Tanauan, Leyte.
the exclusion of petitioners who also claim to be legal heirs and entitled
to the land, and (2) the validity of the deed of sale executed
The RTC dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction and explained that
between Ricardo's daughters and Dominador. Since the principal
the assessed value of the land in the amount of P590.00 was less than
action sought here is something other than the recovery of a sum of
the amount cognizable by the RTC to acquire jurisdiction over the
money, the action is incapable of pecuniary estimation and thus
case.
cognizable by the RTC. Well-entrenched is the rule that jurisdiction
On the other hand, petitioners argued that the action was not merely
over the subject matter of a case is conferred by law and is determined
for recovery of ownership and possession, partition and damages but
by the allegations in the complaint and the character of the relief
also for annulment of deed of sale. Since actions to annul contracts
sought, irrespective of whether the party is entitled to all or some of the
are actions beyond pecuniary estimation, the case was well within the
claims asserted.
jurisdiction of the RTC.

Therefore, petition is granted and orders of RTC Tacloban are reversed


Issue: Whether or not MTC has jurisdiction over the case. No, it is the
and set aside.
RTC.
University of Mindanao- College of Law 9
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EQUITABLE PCI BANK, INC., Petitioner v. HON. SALVADOR Y. COURT OF APPEALS


APURILLO in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial G.R. No. 75919 May 7, 1987
Court of Tacloban City, Branch 8, and YKS REALTY
DEVELOPMENT, INC., Respondents FACTS:
A complaint for specific performance was filed by Manchester
FACTS: Development Corporation against City Land Development Corporation
to compel the latter to execute a deed of sale in favor Manchester.
YKS Realty Development, Inc. was a client of Philippine Commercial Manchester also alleged that City Land forfeited the formers tender of
International Bank (PCIB) and Equitable Banking Corporation (EBC), payment for a certain transaction thereby causing damages to
the predecessors of herein petitioner Equitable PCI Bank, Inc. In their Manchester amounting to P78,750,000.00. This amount was alleged in
commercial transactions, PCIB and EBC granted YKS a series of loans the BODY of their Complaint but it was not reiterated in the PRAYER of
and credit facilities secured by real estate mortgages. same complaint. Manchester paid a docket fee of P410.00 only. Said
docket fee is premised on the allegation of Manchester that their action
EBC granted YKS a credit line of 53 million. YKS availed of the amount is primarily for specific performance hence it is incapable of pecuniary
of 10.4 million out of the 53 million credit line. On March 12, 2001, EBC estimation. The court ruled that there is an under assessment of
demanded YKS to pay its outstanding obligations, but the latter failed docket fees hence it ordered Manchester to amend its complaint.
to heed the demand. Manchester complied but what it did was to lower the amount of claim
for damages to P10M. Said amount was however again not stated in
On May 23, 2001, EBC filed before the Office of the Clerk of Court, of the PRAYER.
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tacloban City, an extrajudicial
petition for the sale of the mortgaged properties in order to satisfy the ISSUE:
mortgage indebtedness in the amount of 10.4 million. Whether or not the amendment complaint should be admitted. (NO)

The credit line/loan accommodation with PCIB was secured by real HELD:
estate mortgages over the properties of YKS in Tacloban City. The total The designation and the prayer show clearly that it is an action for
obligation of YKS was P140,967,120.36, the purpose of which is for damages and specific performance. The docketing fee should be
working capital and that it would mature six years after date or on assessed by considering the amount of damages as alleged in the
December 17, 2004. original complaint.

As reiterated in the Magaspi case the rule is well-settled "that a case is


PCIB demanded from YKS the payment of its total obligation. YKS deemed filed only upon payment of the docket fee regardless of the
refused and asked for a breakdown of the amount. On May 23, 2001, actual date of filing in court . Thus, in the present case the trial court
petitioner filed a Petition for Sale for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the did not acquire jurisdiction over the case by the payment of only P410
mortgaged properties. as docket fee. Neither can the amendment of the complaint thereby
vest jurisdiction upon the Court. For an legal purposes there is no such
As a result of the filing of the two petitions for sale, YKS filed before the original complaint that was duly filed which could be amended.
RTC a Complaint for Declaratory Relief, Annulment or Declaration of Consequently, the order admitting the amended complaint and all
Nullity of Foreclosure, Application for Foreclosure, Notice of subsequent proceedings and actions taken by the trial court are null
Foreclosure Sale, Documents, Interest, Etc., Release of Mortgages, and void.
Injunction, and Damages.
CA aptly ruled that the basis of assessment of the docket fee should be
The RTC granted YKS a Writ of Preliminary Injunction. The CA upheld the amount of damages sought in the original complaint and not in the
the RTC decision granting the writ. amended complaint.
ISSUE: W/N the RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion in issuing
the writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the foreclosure and public The Court cannot close this case without making the observation that it
auction of YKS property during the proceedings and pending frowns at the practice of counsel who filed the original complaint in this
determination of the main cause of action for annulment of case of omitting any specification of the amount of damages in the
foreclosure. prayer although the amount of over P78 million is alleged in the body
of the complaint. This is clearly intended for no other purpose than to
evade the payment of the correct filing fees if not to mislead the docket
HELD:
clerk in the assessment of the filing fee. This fraudulent practice was
compounded when, even as this Court had taken cognizance of the
NO. The RTC committed no grave abuse of discretion in granting YKS
anomaly and ordered an investigation, petitioner through another
plea for injunctive relief.
counsel filed an amended complaint, deleting all mention of the
amount of damages being asked for in the body of the complaint.
To be entitled to an injunctive writ, the right to be protected and the
violation against that right must be shown. The writ of preliminary
It was only when in obedience to the order of this Court of October 18,
injunction as an ancillary or preventive remedy to secure the right of a
1985, the trial court directed that the amount of damages be specified
party in a pending case rests upon the sound discretion of the trial
in the amended complaint, that petitioners' counsel wrote the damages
court. However, if the court commits grave abuse of its discretion in its
sought in the much reduced amount of P10,000,000 in the body of the
issuance, such that the act amounts to excess or lack of jurisdiction,
complaint but not in the prayer thereof. The design to avoid payment
the same may be nullified through a writ of certiorari or prohibition.
of the required docket fee is obvious.
A Petition for Certiorari, under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, is
To put a stop to this irregularity, henceforth all complaints, petitions,
intended for the correction of errors of jurisdiction only or grave abuse
answers and other similar pleadings should specify the amount of
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
damages being prayed for not only in the body of the pleading but also
in the prayer, and said damages shall be considered in the assessment
Excess of jurisdiction as distinguished from absence of jurisdiction
of the filing fees in any case. Any pleading that fails to comply with this
means that an act, though within the general power of a tribunal, board
requirement shall not bib accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise be
or officer is not authorized, and invalid with respect to the particular
expunged from the record.
proceeding, because the conditions which alone authorize the exercise
of the general power in respect of it are wanting.
The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment
of the prescribed docket fee. An amendment of the complaint or similar
Without jurisdiction means lack or want of legal power, right or
pleading will not thereby vest jurisdiction in the Court, much less the
authority to hear and determine a cause or causes, considered either
payment of the docket fee based on the amounts sought in the
in general or with reference to a particular matter. It means lack of
amended pleading.
power to exercise authority.

MANCHESTER DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL vs.


University of Mindanao- College of Law 10
Civil Procedure 2013

G.R. Nos. 79937-38 February 13, 1989 The court ruled that the principle in Manchester could very well be
applied in the present case. The pattern and the intent to defraud the
SUN INSURANCE OFFICE, LTD., (SIOL), E.B. PHILIPPS and D.J. government of the docket fee due it is obvious not only in the filing of
WARBY, petitioners, the original complaint but also in the filing of the second amended
vs. complaint.
HON. MAXIMIANO C. ASUNCION, Presiding Judge, Branch 104,
Regional Trial Court, Quezon City and MANUEL CHUA UY PO
TIONG, respondents.
However, in Manchester, petitioner did not pay any additional docket
fee until] the case was decided by this Court. Thus, in Manchester, due
to the fraud committed on the government, this Court held that the
FACTS: court a quo did not acquire jurisdiction over the case and that the
amended complaint could not have been admitted inasmuch as the
Petitioner Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. (SIOL for brevity) filed a
original complaint was null and void.
complaint with the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Metro
Manila for the consignation of a premium refund on a fire
insurance policy with a prayer for the judicial declaration of
its nullity against private respondent Manuel Uy Po Tiong.
Private respondent filed a complaint in the Regional Trial In the present case, a more liberal interpretation of the rules is called
Court of Quezon City for the refund of premiums and the for considering that, unlike Manchester, private respondent
issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment. The complaint demonstrated his willingness to abide by the rules by paying the
sought, among others, the payment of actual, compensatory, additional docket fees as required. The promulgation of the decision in
moral, exemplary and liquidated damages, attorney's fees, Manchester must have had that sobering influence on private
expenses of litigation and costs of the suit. Although the respondent who thus paid the additional docket fee as ordered by the
prayer in the complaint did not quantify the amount of respondent court. It triggered his change of stance by manifesting his
damages sought said amount may be inferred from the body willingness to pay such additional docket fee as may be ordered.
of the complaint to be about Fifty Million Pesos. Hence, the SC directed the docket clerk to determine the proper
Only the amount of P210.00 was paid by private respondent docket fee that must be furnished by respondent.
as docket fee which prompted petitioners' counsel to raise
his objection. Said objection was disregarded by respondent
Judge Jose P. Castro who was then presiding over said
case.
Meanwhile, the Court en banc issued a Resolution in Thus, the Court rules as follows:
Administrative Case No. 85-10-8752-RTC directing the
judges in said cases to reassess the docket fees and that in It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate
case of deficiency, to order its payment. initiatory pleading, but the payment of the prescribed docket
Upon submission of amended complaint and reassessment fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject
of docket fees respondent was required to pay P39,786.00 matter or nature of the action. Where the filing of the
as docket fee. This was subsequently paid by private initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment of the
respondent. On October 16, 1986, or some seven months docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fee within a
after filing the supplemental complaint, the private reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable
respondent paid the additional docket fee of P80,396.00 and prescriptive or reglementary period.
another P62,432.90 on April 28, 1988.

ISSUE: The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims, third


1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in not finding that the party claims and similar pleadings, which shall not be
lower court did not acquire jurisdiction over case on the ground of considered filed until and unless the filing fee prescribed
nonpayment of the correct and proper docket fee. NO therefor is paid. The court may also allow payment of said
fee within a reasonable time but also in no case beyond its
2. Whether or not the principle laid down in Manchester case may be applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
applied retroactively. YES
Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim by the
RULING: filing of the appropriate pleading and payment of the
prescribed filing fee but, subsequently, the judgment awards
a claim not specified in the pleading, or if specified the same
1. Petitioners contend that while private respondent had paid the has been left for determination by the court, the additional
amount of P182,824.90 as docket fee, and considering that the total filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien on the judgment. It
amount sought to be recovered in the amended and supplemental shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of Court or his duly
complaint is P64,601,623.70 the docket fee that should be paid by authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and
private respondent is P257,810.49, more or less. Not having paid the collect the additional fee.
same, the complaint should be dismissed and all incidents arising
therefrom should be annulled. In support of their theory, petitioners cite
the latest ruling of the Court in Manchester Development Corporation
vs. CA, as follows:
2. Private respondent claims that the ruling in Manchester cannot apply
retroactively to his case for at the time said civil case was filed in court
there was no such Manchester ruling as yet. Further, private
respondent avers that what is applicable is the ruling of this Court in
The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only Magaspi v. Ramolete, wherein this Court held that the trial court
upon the payment of the prescribed docket fee. An acquired jurisdiction over the case even if the docket fee paid was
amendment of the complaint or similar pleading insufficient.
will not thereby vest jurisdiction in the Court, much
less the payment of the docket fee based on the
amounts sought in the amended pleading.
The contention that Manchester cannot apply retroactively to this case
is untenable. Statutes regulating the procedure of the courts will be
construed as applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the
University of Mindanao- College of Law 11
Civil Procedure 2013

time of their passage. Procedural laws are retrospective in that sense his alleged invention, Coco-diesel fuel for diesel engines and its
and to that extent. manufacture. On March 7, 1983 private respondent filed a complaint
with the Regional Trial Court for infringement of patent with prayer for
G.R. Nos. 88075-77 December 20, 1989 payment of reasonable compensation and for damages herein
MAXIMO TACAYvs.REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF TAGUM petitioners Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Caltex (Phil.), Mobil
Oil Philippines, Inc., and Petrophil Corporation. There was no mention
Facts: in the complaint of the amount of damages being claimed but private
Respondent Pineda instituted an action for recovery of respondent alleged, among others, that the conservative estimate of
possession against Tacay, Panes and Noel at the RTC of Tagum the combined gross sales of defendants (petitioners herein and
Davao del Norte. Petrophil Corporation) of plaintiffs (private respondents herein)
Pineda is the owner of the land measuring 790sq meters and that the invention is P934,213,780.00 annually computed at the rate of 20
previous owner allowed the defendants to occupy such by mere million barrels (volume) being yearly sold by the marketing arms of
tolerance. defendants at the price of P2.938 per liter. In the hearing of November
When Pineda came in need for the use of the land, he demanded 13, 1984 private respondent estimated the yearly royalty due him from
them to vacate the land and to pay rentals but the latter refused. defendants (petitioners herein and Petrophil Corporation) to be
Pineda then instituted a complaint praying that he be declared the P236,572,350.00.
owner of the land and that the defendants pay monthly rentals since
February 1987 as well as nominal, actual and moral damages and Petitioners discovered that private respondent paid only as
attorneys fees and that Pineda be granted further reliefs and filing fee the amount of P252.00 based on his claim for attomey's fees
remedies. in the amount of P200,000.00 and orally moved for the dismissal of the
The defendants then filed for dismissal alleging that the Trial court complaint for failure of private respondent to pay the correct filing fee.
did not acquire jurisdiction over the case for the reason that the
complaint failed to specify the amounts of damages and for The trial court issued an order allowing private respondent to
failure to allege the basic requirement as to the assessed value of pay the required additional docket fee after the prosecution of the
the subject lot in dispute. case, to be deducted from whatever judgment in damages shall be
The motion to dismiss was later on denied by Judge Matas. awarded by the Court.
The motions to dismiss in Civil Cases 2211 and 2209 were also
denied: ISSUE: WON a party can file a complaint without specifying the
[a] declaring that since the "action at bar is for Reivindicatoria, amount of damages he is claiming and as a result defer the payment of
Damages and Attorney's fees definitely this Court has the exclusive the proper fees until after trial on the merits.
jurisdiction,"
(b) that the claims for actual, moral and nominal damages "are only RULING: NO.
one aspect of the cause of action," and The Rule applicable to this case is Section 5(a) of Rule 141
(c) because of absence of specification of the amounts claimed as of the Rules of Court. The third paragraph of the same section
moral, nominal and actual damages, they should be "expunged from provides:
the records." In case the value of the property or estate or the
The defendants later on filed a joint petition for certiorari, prohibition sum claimed is less or more in accordance with
and mandamus with prayer for TRO praying that the orders be the appraisal of the court, the difference of fee
annulled on the ground of grave abuse of discretion and re-asserts that shall be refunded or paid as the case may be.
the court did not acquire jurisdiction. (Emphasis supplied)

Issue: WON the RTC acquired jurisdiction It will be observed that the above provision clearly
contemplates an initial payment of the filing fees corresponding to the
Held: YES estimated amount of the claim subject to adjustment as to what later
The actions are not basically for the recovery of sums of money. may be proved. Conversely, nowhere can a justification be found to
convert such payment to something akin to a contingent fee which
They are principally for recovery of possession of real property, in would depend on the result of the case. Under the circumstances, the
the nature of an accion publiciana. Court would stand to lose the filing fees should the party be later
adjudged to be not entitled to any claim at all.
Determinative of the court's jurisdiction in this type of actions is
the nature thereof, not the amount of the damages allegedly Filing fees are intended to take care of court expenses in the
arising from or connected with the issue of title or possession, handling of cases in terms of cost of supplies, use of equipments,
and regardless of the value of the property. salaries and fringe benefits of personnel, etc., computed as to man
hours used in handling of each case. The payment of said fees
A real action may be commenced and prosecuted without an therefore, cannot be made dependent on the result of the action taken,
accompanying claim for actual, moral, nominal or exemplary damages; without entailing tremendous losses to the government and to the
and such an action would fall within the exclusive, original judiciary in particular.
jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court. DR. OLIVIA S. PASCUAL, in her capacity as special
Batas Pambansa Bilang 129 provides that Regional Trial Courts administratrix of the estate of the late DON ANDRES
shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction inter alia over "all civil PASCUAL and as executrix of the testate estate of the late DOA
actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real property, or any ADELA S. PASCUAL, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS;
interest therein, except actions for forcible entry into and unlawful JUDGE MANUEL S. PADOLINA, Regional Trial Court of Pasig,
detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction over which is Branch 162; DEPUTY SHERIFF CARLOS G. MAOG; and ATTY.
conferred upon Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and JESUS I. SANTOS, respondents.
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts."
FACTS:
The rule applies regardless of the value of the real property involved, The extraordinary action to annul a final judgment is restricted to the
whether it be worth more than P20,000.00 or not. grounds provided by law, in order to prevent it from being used by a
losing party to make a complete farce of a duly promulgated decision
The rule also applies even where the complaint involving realty also that has long become final and executory.
prays for an award of damages; the amount of those damages would
be immaterial to the question of the Court. Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari

PILIPINAS SHELL vs. COURT OF APPEALS Don Andres Pascual died intestate on October 12, 1973 and was
G.R. No. 76119 April 10, 1989 survived by (1) his widow, Doa Adela Soldevilla Pascual; (2) the
children of his full blood brother; (3) the children of his half blood
FACTS: brother; (4) the intestate estate of his full blood brother and (5) the
Private respondent Adrian dela Paz is a holder of Letters acknowledged natural children of his full blood brother Eligio Pascual --
Patent No. 14132 issued by the Patent Office on February 27, 1981 for Hermes S. Pascual and Olivia S. Pascual (herein petitioner).
University of Mindanao- College of Law 12
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replaced Cornejo as judicial administrator on March 6, 1989 five


On December 11, 1973, Doa Adela (the surviving spouse) filed with months after the latter had served as such
the then Court of First Instance (CFI) of Pasig, Rizal, a petition for
letters of administration over the estate of her husband. CFI appointed The Issues
her special administratrix.i[4] To assist her with said proceedings, Doa The Court believes that the resolution of this case hinges on the
Adela hired, on February 24, 1974, Atty. Jesus I. Santos, herein private following issues: (1) Did the trial court have jurisdiction to make the
respondent, as her counsel for a fee equivalent to fifteen (15) percent questioned award of attorneys fees? (2) Were the heirs of Doa
of the gross estate of the decedent Adela, who were represented by petitioner, deprived of due process?
RULING:
When Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 took effect, the petition was
reassigned to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig The Petition is devoid of merit.

On November 4, 1985, the heirs of the decedent moved for the The failure to perfect an appeal in the manner and within the period
approval of their Compromise Agreement, stipulating that three fixed by law renders the decision final and executory. Consequently,
fourths (3/4) of the estate would go to Doa Adela and one fourth (1/4) no court can exercise appellate jurisdiction to review such decision. viii
to the other heirs [15] Upon the other hand, the extraordinary action to annul a final
judgment is limited to the grounds provided by law and cannot be used
On August 18, 1987, while the settlement was still pending, Doa as a stratagem to reopen the entire controversy and thereby make a
Adela died, leaving a will which named the petitioner as the sole complete farce of a duly promulgated decision that has long become
universal heir final and executory.ix[16] Accordingly, this review shall consider only
matters pertaining to the jurisprudential grounds for the annulment of a
On September 30, 1987, the RTC of Pasig denied the motion to final judgment:x[17]
reiterate hereditary rights, which was filed by petitioner and her brother.
The Court reasoned that, as illegitimate children of the brother of the xxx Annulment of judgment may xxx be based on the ground
decedent, they were barred from acquiring any hereditary right to her that [either] a judgment is void for want of jurisdiction or the
intestate estate under Article 992 of the Civil Code. ii[5] On December judgment was obtained by extrinsic fraud.
17, 1987, it ordered that the private respondents lien on the hereditary
share of Doa Adela be entered into the records. Petitioner does not allege extrinsic fraud, but bases her petition only on
alleged lack of jurisdiction and due process.
Six years after Doa Adelas death Judge Padolina rendered a
Decision. First Issue:
Jurisdiction over the Person of the Defendant
After said Decision had become final and executory, the private Petitioner insistently argues that the January 19, 1994 RTC Decision,
respondent filed on March 25, 1994 a Motion for the Issuance of a Writ insofar as it awarded attorneys fees, was void from the beginning
of Execution insofar as the payment of his attorneys fees was because the intestate court had lost jurisdiction over the person of
concerned. Despite opposition from the petitioner, the motion was Doa Adela (the attorneys client) due to her death.
granted in the April 19, 1994 Order of the intestate court, directing the
issuance of a writ of execution in the partial amount of P2,000,000.00 The argument is untenable. The basic flaw in the argument is the
in favor of movant[,] Atty. Jose I. Santos to be implemented against the misapplication of the rules on the extinction of a civil action xi[19] in
share of Doa Adela S. Pascual, upon payment by the movant of the special proceedings. The death of Doa Adela did not ipso facto
prescribed docket fees for the said partial amount.iii[7] extinguish the monetary claim of private respondent or require him to
refile his claim with the court hearing the settlement of her testate
The following day, April 20, 1994, Branch Clerk of Court Arturo V. estate. Had he filed the claim against Doa Adela personally, the rule
Camacho issued a Writ of Execution;iv[8] and Sheriff Carlos G. Maog, a would have applied. However, he did so against the estate of Don
Notice of Garnishment to the San Francisco Del Monte Rural Bank Andres.
(SFDM Avenue, Quezon City), garnishing deposits and shares of
stocks belonging to the estate of Doa Adela sufficient to cover the Thus, where an appointed administrator dies, the applicable rule is
amount of P2 million.v[9] Section 2, Rule 82 of the Rules of Court, which requires the
appointment of a new administrator
Two days later, petitioner moved for the reconsideration and the
quashal of the Writ of Execution,vi[10] which the RTC of Pasig denied Payment of Separate Docket Fees Is Not Necessary
in its Order of June 29, 1994.vii[11] Private respondent countered with While not exactly a ground for annulment, the Court has held that it is
two motions to order petitioner to comply with the writ of garnishment the payment of the prescribed docket fee that vests a trial court with
and to compel her to appear and explain her failure to comply with the jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the action. xii[24]
writ. Petitioner avers that the intestate court had no jurisdiction to award the
Feeling aggrieved, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) a disputed attorneys fees before private respondent paid docket fees, as
petition for annulment of the award of attorneys fees in the January required in Lacson v. Reyes.xiii
19, 1994 Decision of the trial court; the Order of April 19, 1994,
granting a Writ of Execution; the Writ of Execution dated April 20, 1994; The argument is untenable. The Court required in Lacson the payment
and the Order of June 29, 1994, denying petitioners motion for of a separate docket fee, since the lawyers motion for attorneys fees
reconsideration. was in the nature of an action commenced by a lawyer against his
client. In contrast, the private respondent filed a claim for his
As stated earlier, the appellate court dismissed the petition, ruling that attorneys fees against the estate of Don Andres. The difference in the
the intestate court had jurisdiction to make the questioned award and modes of action taken renders Lacson inapplicable to the case at bar.
that petitioner had been accorded due process
Second Issue:
upheld the jurisdiction of the intestate court on the ground that, Heirs of Doa Adela Were Not Deprived of Due Process
although not incurred by the deceased during his lifetime, the monetary Asserting that she and the other heirs of the deceased administratrix
claim was related to the ordinary acts of administration of the estate. were denied due process of law, petitioner disputes the following
The CA similarly declared that the petitioner had been accorded due finding of the CA:xiv
process. It noted that, despite knowledge of the claim, she did not
oppose or hint at any resistance to the payment of said claim. She We can neither view with favor the petitioners contention that the
also chose not to move for reconsideration or to file an appeal after the award was made without giving the heirs of Doa Adela due process of
award had been made. Indubitably, the award became final and law. It must be remembered that long before the xxx Judges
executory. questioned Decision was rendered, the petitioner was named special
administratrix of the share of Doa Adela in the estate of Don
They claim that, without any hearing or notice to them, the judge Andres xxx. As such special administratrix, the petitioner should have
approved and awarded the attorneys fees of private respondent, been aware of all her duties and responsibilities, one of which was to
who was purportedly his classmate and compadre. Finally, petitioner
University of Mindanao- College of Law 13
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protect the estate from any disbursements based on claims not with this Court, thru the Court Administrator, for an authority to
chargeable to the estate. She should have known that notice to her of apply the payment for docket fees previously made to the
the attorneys lien would have amounted to notice to the heirs of Doa Regional Trial Court (Branch 26), Southern Leyte to the docket
Adela as well. fees to be paid to the Regional Trial Court Cebu City (Branch 6).
Private respondent, thru counsel, wrote a letter addressed to the
According to her, want of due process prevented the heirs from SC Court Administrator, requesting for an authorization to
contesting the claim and submitting evidence to show that partial consider the filing fees previously paid to the Regional Trial Court
payments had been previously given to private respondent. (Branch 26) of San Juan, Southern Leyte as payment for the filing
fees to be paid in the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City (Branch 6)
The Court is not convinced. If admitted by the administrator or where the case was to be re-filed.
executor, a claim according to Rule 86 of Section 11xv[28] may be The Supreme Court Deputy Court Administrator Bernardo P.
allowed by the court without any hearing. Respondent court found that Abesamis sent a reply informing the private respondent that he
the claim was indeed admitted and uncontested can re(-)file the case at the RTC Cebu City and present the official
receipt corresponding to the filing fees paid at RTC, Branch 26
Then, after becoming aware of the rendition of the respondent Judges San Juan, Southern Leyte.
Decision wherein the questioned award of attorneys fees was Private respondent presented the letter-reply of Deputy Court
decreed, which was as good a time as any to assail its propriety, the Administrator Abesamis to the clerk of court of the RTC (Branch
petitioners maintained her silence and chose not to file any motion for 6) of Cebu City upon re-filing his complaint. On the basis of the
the reconsideration of the Decision or appeal therefrom. Due to the aforesaid letter-reply, the clerk of court docketed private
petitioners own fault and negligence, the Decision became final and respondents complaint without requiring private respondent to
executory. The petitioner must therefore bear the consequences of the pay anew the prescribed docket fees.
maxim [E]quity aids the vigilant, not those who slumber on their right Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss on grounds of lack of
jurisdiction and lack of cause of action. Petitioner argued that
Third Issue: private respondent did not pay (even) a single centavo of the
Factual and Legal Bases of the Award of Attorneys Fees filing fee; hence, the court (RTC of Cebu City, Branch 6) did not
Petitioner alleges that the award of attorneys fees contained in the acquire jurisdiction over the case.
fallo is void ab initio, as the intestate court failed to state the factual or The RTC of Cebu City (Branch 6), presided over by Judge Loreto
legal bases therefor in the body of the Decision, in violation of Article D. de la Victoria, issued an order denying petitioners motion to
VIII, Section 14 of the Constitution.xvi dismiss.
Petitioner elevated Judge de la Victorias order for review on
The Court disagrees. The legal and factual bases of the award were certiorari to the Court of Appeals which agreed with the trial
stated in the body of the January 19, 1994 RTC Decision. In courts dispositions.
recounting the significant events leading to [the] eventual In his present petition, petitioner contends that to relieve Odilao
culminationxvii[33] of the case, the trial court revealed the importance from paying the docket fee in the Cebu Court by just presenting
of the services of private respondent, who represented the estate, the receipts issued by the Leyte Court would be tantamount to a
argued for the intestate courts approval of the Compromise withdrawal of the docket fee paid to the Leyte Court.
Agreement, and rendered legal advice on the final distribution of the Petitioner further contends that the case later filed in the Regional
properties of the estate. Trial Court of Cebu City (Branch 6) by private respondent is a
distinct and separate case from that of the Leyte court as it has a
One must also consider that, unlike in the cases cited by petitioner,xviii new docket number.
[34] the award of attorneys fees herein is not in the concept of Private respondent Odilao contends that it is incorrect for
damages based on Article 2208 of the Civil Code which, as an petitioner to insist that Odilao failed to pay the required filing
exception to the general rule not to impose a penalty on the right to fees. He (Odilao) was not granted an exemption from the
litigate, is but a compensation for services rendered. Thus, the legal payment of filing fees by Deputy Court Administrator Abesamis
proceedings that took place and the agreement between attorney and but merely an authority to apply the filing fees he paid.
client were more than sufficient proof of the legality of the award.
These factual and legal bases, unlike in cases where attorneys fees ISSUE:
are granted in the concept of damages, are not unknown to the parties Whether respondent Odilao may re-file in another Court the case
in the case at bar. that was dismissed on the ground of improper venue without
having to pay again the docket fee of P25,600 that he has paid in
the earlier case.
RULING:
ERIBERTO M. SUSON vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and DAVID In the case at bar, in the strict sense, private respondents
S. ODILAO, JR. complaint cannot be deemed to have been re-filed in the RTC of
G.R. No. 126749August 21, 1997 Cebu City (Branch 6) because it was not originally filed in the
same court but in the RTC of Southern Leyte (Branch 26). Thus,
FACTS: when private respondents complaint was docketed as Civil Case
Private respondent Odilao filed a P5.15 million civil suit for No. CEB-16336 by the clerk of court of the RTC Cebu City
damages against petitioner Suson before the Regional Trial Court (Branch 6), it became an entirely separate case from Civil Case
of San Juan (Branch 26), Southern Leyte. Private Respondent No. P-417 that was dismissed by the RTC of Leyte due to
claimed that petitioner made false and groundless accusations of improper venue. As far as Civil Case No. P-417 is concerned,
graft and corruption against him before the Office of the while undoubtedly the order of dismissal is not an adjudication on
Ombudsman, and thereafter caused their publication. the merits of the case, the order, nevertheless, is a final order.
Private respondent paid the sum of P25,600.00 in docket fees to This means that when private respondent did not appeal
the Regional Trial Court (Branch 26) of Southern Leyte covered therefrom, the order became final and executory for all legal
by Official Receipts. intents and purposes. From a procedural point of view, therefore,
Petitioner Suson filed a motion to dismiss the complaint of private to re-file the case before the same court would be an obvious
respondent Odilao on the ground of improper venue, alleging faux pas. As a remedial measure, the plaintiff whose complaint
therein that Odilao resides in Talisay, Cebu and not in was dismissed due to improper venue can still file another
Himonganan, Southern Leyte. Finding merit in petitioners complaint, but this time in the court of proper venue. Note,
arguments in his motion to dismiss, the lower court (RTC however, that the dismissal of the complaint filed in the court of
Southern Leyte) granted petitioners aforesaid motion. proper venue did not stop the running of the prescriptive period
Private respondent went to the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City within which to file his complaint in the court of proper venue.
to re-file the same complaint. Private respondent avers that upon Theoretically, the plaintiff may decide to file a complaint
showing the official receipts as proof of payment of the docket containing substantially the same allegations and prayer as the
fees in the Regional Trial Court of Southern Leyte (Branch 26) to previously dismissed complaint, or he may decide to amend the
the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City same and pray for a different relief. In this case, the principle
(Branch 6), the latter advised his counsel to file a formal request remains unchanged, that is, the court (of proper venue) will only
University of Mindanao- College of Law 14
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acquire jurisdiction over the case only upon payment of the


prescribed docket fee thereon. ISSUE: W/N in assessing the docket fees to be paid for the filing of an
action for annulment or rescission of a contract of sale, the value of the
Consequently, the Deputy Court Administrator committed an error real property, subject matter of the contract, should be used as basis,
when he stated in his letter reply to private respondents counsel or whether the action should be considered as one which is not
that he can re-file the complaint in the RTC Cebu City (Branch 6) capable of pecuniary estimation and therefore the fee charged should
and present the official receipt corresponding to the filing fees be a flat rate of P400.00.
paid in the RTC Branch 26, San Jose, Southern Leyte.
HELD:
There is no way for the OCA letter to be misinterpreted by
Odilaos counsel because the tenor of the letter of Odilao to the NO. Although eventually the result may be the recovery of land, it is the
OCA dated 20 June 1994 clearly stressed that he was requesting nature of the action as one for rescission of contract which is
for an authorization (from the OCA) to apply the filing fees he paid controlling.
in Civil Case No. P-417 to cover the filing fees in a case he
intends to file with the RTC of Cebu City (Branch 6). In fact, both Where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of,
the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City (Branch 6) and the Court of the principal relief sought, like in suits to have the defendant perform
Appeals held the opinion that this procedural remedy can be his part of the contract (specific performance) and in actions for
obtained from the Office of the Deputy Court Administrator. support, or for annulment of a judgment or to foreclose a mortgage,
this Court has considered such actions as cases where the subject of
The OCA has neither the power nor the authority to exempt any
the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, and are
party not otherwise exempt under the law or under the Rules of
cognizable exclusively by the Regional Trial Court.
Court in the payment of the prescribed docket fees. The
principles laid down by this Court in Manchester and in Sun
NATIONAL STEEL CORPORATION vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON.
Insurance were formulated en banc, no less than the Constitution
ARSENIO J. MAGPALE, and JOSE MA. P. JACINTO
mandates that no doctrine or principle laid down by the court in a
G.R. No. 123215. February 2, 1999
decision en banc may be modified or reversed except by the court
sitting en banc. To now exempt or otherwise authorize private
Facts: Private respondent Jacinto was the former owner of record of
respondent Odilao not to pay the prescribed filing fees would not
100 shares of stock of the Manila Golf and Country Club (MGCC) now
only be in derogation of this principle but also of the general rule
owned by and registered in the name of petitioner NSC.
in pleadings, practice and procedure that the mistake of counsel
binds his client.
In his complaint, he alleged that he was the owner of the shares of
stock until MGCCI cancelled and transferred it in the name of NSC
The Court Administrator cannot grant any relief or remedial
without his consent. Jacinto filed in RTC Makati a complaint ordering
measure which is beyond his powers and functions. It may be
the NSC to execute a deed of assignment re-transferring the said
noteworthy to mention here that even in the Supreme Court, there
shares to Jose Ma. P. Jacinto.
are numerous instances when a litigant has had to re-file a
petition previously dismissed by Court due to a technicality
Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the complaint against it on the
(violation of a pertinent Circular), and in these instances, the
ground of lack of jurisdiction. The actual value of the MGCCI share
litigant is required to pay the prescribed docket fee and not apply
certificate when the complaint was filed, was P5,511,000.00 hence the
to the re-filed case the docket fees paid in the earlier dismissed
correct docket fee for the filing of plaintiffs complaint is
case.
approximately P26,805.00 and not P4,040.00 which is the amount
Coming back to the case at bar, and pursuant to the rules laid plaintiff actually paid. The failure of plaintiff to pay the correct filing fees
down by this Court in Sun Insurance, we hold that under the on meant that this court did not acquire jurisdiction over plaintiffs
peculiar circumstances of this case private respondent did not action.
really intend to evade the payment of the prescribed docket fee.
His counsel simply strayed away from the rules to explore the Issue: For purposes of computing the docket fee, is the action filed by
possibility of an extra legal remedy. Since his case has already Jacinto an action for recovery of property or an action for specific
been docketed as Civil Case No. 16336 in the RTC Branch 6 performance, an action incapable of pecuniary estimation)? Recovery
Cebu City, the procedural remedy of paying the prescribed docket of Property-RTC
fees is still available to him provided, of course, that the Held: The action in this case is for recovery of property (shares of
applicable prescriptive or reglementary period has not yet set in. stocks) rather than specific performance, hence docket fees should be
based on the value of the property sought to be recovered. Jacintos
SPOUSES ROSALINA S. DE LEON and ALEJANDRO L. DE LEON, primary purpose here is to regain the ownership and possession of the
petitioners, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, GLICERIO MA. ELAYDA said shares of stocks.
II, FEDERICO ELAYDA and DANILO ELAYDA, respondents.
(Petitioners contention regarding the wrong docket fees paid would
FACTS: have been meritorious if he timely questioned the RTCs lack of
jurisdiction. Heres the more detailed ruling as to NSC being barred by
Private respondents filed in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a estoppel for bringing up the question regarding the RTCs jurisdiction
complaint for annulment or rescission of a contract of sale of two (2) for the first time on appeal to CA. )
parcels of land against petitioners.
Accordingly, as petitioner NSC contends, private respondent Jacinto
Petitioners moved for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground that should pay docket fees based on the value of the shares of stock and
the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case by reason of the amount of damages he seeks to recover. It does not follow,
private respondents nonpayment of the correct amount of docket fees. however, that the trial court should have dismissed the complaint for
Petitioners contended that in addition to the fees already paid based failure of private respondent to pay the correct amount of docket
on the claim for P100,000.00 for attorneys fees, private respondents fees. Although the payment of the proper docket fees is a jurisdictional
should have paid docket fees in the amount of P21,640.00, based on requirement, the trial court may allow the plaintiff in an action to pay
the alleged value of the two (2) parcels of land subject matter of the the same within a reasonable time before the expiration of the
contract of sale sought to be annulled. applicable prescriptive or reglementary period. If Jacinto fails to comply
with this requirement, the NSC should timely raise the issue of
The trial court denied petitioners motion to dismiss but required private jurisdiction or else he would be considered in estoppel.
respondents to pay the amount of docket fees based on the estimated
value of the parcels of land in litigation. The appellate court held that However, the petitioner only raised the issue regarding jurisdiction for
an action for rescission or annulment of contract is not susceptible of the first time in its Brief filed with the public respondent (CA). After
pecuniary estimation and, therefore, the docket fees should not be vigorously participating in all stages of the case before the trial court
based on the value of the real property, subject matter of the contract and even invoking the trial courts authority in order to ask for
sought to be annulled or rescinded. affirmative relief, the petitioner is effectively barred by estoppel from
challenging the trial courts jurisdiction. Although the issue of
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jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the proceedings as the same Whether or not the case at bar is cognizable by the HLURB.
is conferred by law, it is nonetheless settled that a party may be barred
from raising it on ground of laches or estoppel. The deficiency in the
payment of the docket fees must, however, be considered a lien on the
judgment which must be remitted to the clerk of court of the court a
quo upon the execution of the judgment. HELD

In the case at bar, petitioner NSC filed in 1990 a motion to The petition lacks merit.
dismiss but did not raise this point. Instead it based his motion on
prescription. Upon the denial by the trial court of its motion to dismiss, Section 1 of PD 1344 vests the National Housing Authority (now
it filed an answer, submitted its pre-trial brief, and participated in the HLURB) with exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide the following
proceedings before the trial court. It was only in 1993 more than cases:
three years after filing its motion to dismiss that petitioner NSC
again filed a motion to dismiss the action on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction. Clearly, petitioner is estopped from raising this
issue. Indeed, while the lack of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at
any stage of an action, nevertheless, the party raising such question (a) unsound real estate business practice;
may be estopped if he has actively taken part in the very proceedings
which he questions and he only objects to the courts jurisdiction (b) claims involving refund and any other claims filed by subdivision
because the judgment or the order subsequently rendered is adverse lot or condominium unit buyer against the project owner,
to him. developer, dealer, broker, or salesman; and

WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is


(c) cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory
AFFIRMED. The deficiency in the payment of the docket fees shall be
obligations filed by buyers of subdivision lot or condominium
a lien on any judgment which may be rendered in favor of private
unit against the owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman.
respondent Jose P. Jacinto.

It is a settled rule that jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined


by the allegations in the complaint and is not affected by the pleas or
LACSON HERMANAS, INC., herein represented by its President
the theories set up by the defendant in an answer or a motion to
MR. ODILON L. LACSON, Petitioner,
dismiss. Otherwise, jurisdiction would become dependent upon the
vs.
whims of the defendant. The allegations in private respondents
HEIRS OF CENON IGNACIO, herein represented by their atty-in-
complaint clearly vest jurisdiction in the trial court. Nothing therein
fact, AMALIA IGNACIO, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 48,
shows that the questioned property is a subdivision lot and sold by
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, presided by the HON. JUDGE SERAFIN
petitioner as a subdivision developer. Mere assertion by petitioner that
B. DAVID,Respondents.
it is a subdivision developer and the land involved is a subdivision lot,
will not automatically strip the trial court of its jurisdiction and authorize
(G.R. No. 165973, June 29, 2005, Ynares-Santiago) the HLURB to take cognizance of the complaint. Indeed, it does not
always follow that each sale made by petitioner is undertaken in its
capacity as a subdivision developer, in the same manner that sales
made in such capacity are not at all times intended for subdivision
FACTS development.

On April 29, 2004, private respondents, Heirs of Cenon Ignacio, filed a


complaint for recovery of real property against petitioner Lacson
Hermanas, Inc. They alleged that their predecessor-in-interest, Cenon There is no allegation in the complaint that the lot purchased by
Ignacio (Cenon), purchased from petitioner a 1,000 square meter petitioners is part of a tract of land partitioned primarily for residential
portion of a parcel of land for P50,000.00 which was fully paid on purposes into individual lots and offered to the public for sale. There is
September 24, 1989. Cenon thereafter took possession of the subject likewise no allegation that the tract of land includes recreational areas
area and fenced the boundaries thereof for the construction of Seventh and open spaces. Nor does the "Contract to Sell", which forms part of
Day Adventist Chapel. On January 11, 1996, however, Cenon died. the complaint, describe the subject property as a subdivision lot. What
the contract strongly suggests is that the property is simply a lot
Sometime in 2002, private respondents demanded the delivery of the offered by respondents, as vendors, to the petitioners, as vendees, for
lots title and the segregation of the portion sold to Cenon but was sale on installment. As can be clearly gleaned from the same contract,
informed by petitioner that the same lot has been sold to Rowena T. respondents are not acting as subdivision owners, developers, brokers
Coleman. Hence, the instant case to compel petitioner to execute the or salesmen, nor are they engaged in the real estate business. What is
necessary deed of sale and to deliver the owners duplicate copy of plain is that the parties are acting only as ordinary sellers and buyers
title. of a specific lot, a portion of a big tract of land co-owned by the heirs of
Mariano Faraon. Neither are there undertakings specified in the
contract that respondents shall develop the land, like providing for the
subdivision concrete roads and sidewalks, street lights, curbs and
gutters, underground drainage system, independent water system,
Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss contendingthat the case is landscaping, developed park, and 24-hour security guard service.
cognizable by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) Even the rights and obligations of the sellers and buyers of a
and not the trial court because it is sued as a subdivision developer subdivision lot are not provided in the agreement. All these provisions
and the property involved is a subdivision lot. are usually contained in a standard contract involving a sale of a
subdivision lot.
The trial court denied the motion to dismiss holding that it has
jurisdiction over the subject matter; that the allegation that the lot In the instant case, the parties never mentioned if the contract was
involved is a subdivision lot is not a ground to deprive the court of its embodied in a written instrument which may shed light on the nature of
jurisdiction. Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied. their transaction. At any rate, the allegations in private respondents
complaint which determine the tribunal that may lawfully take
Hence, the instant petition. cognizance of the case, clearly show that jurisdiction in the present
controversy is lodged with the trial court and not with the HLURB.

ISSUE
University of Mindanao- College of Law 16
Civil Procedure 2013

and
(2) WON the non-payment of the proper docket fee at the time of the
HEIRS OF BERTULDO HINOG vs. HON. ACHILLES MELICOR filing of thecomplaint automatically causes the dismissal of the action.
[G.R. No. 140954. April 12, 2005] (NO)

FACTS: RULING:
On May 21, 1991, private respondents Custodio, Rufo, Tomas and Although the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial
Honorio, all surnamed Balane, filed a complaint for Recovery of Courts have concurrent jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari,
Ownership and Possession, Removal of Construction and Damages prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus and injunction,
against Bertuldo Hinog. They alleged that: they own a 1,399 sq.m such concurrence does not give the petitioner unrestricted freedom of
parcel of land in Malayo Norte, Cortes, Bohol, designated as Lot No. choice of court forum.
1714. In March 1980, they allowed Bertuldo to use a portion of the said
property for a period of ten years and construct thereon a small house The rationale for this rule is two-fold: (a) it would be an imposition
of light materials at a nominal annual rental of P100 only, considering upon the precious time of this Court; and (b) it would cause an
the close relations of the parties; after the expiration of the ten-year inevitable and resultant delay, intended or otherwise, in the
period, they demanded the return of the occupied portion and removal adjudication of cases, which in some instances had to be remanded or
of the house constructed thereon but Bertuldo refused and instead referred to the lower court as the proper forum under the rules of
claimed ownership of the entire property. procedure, or as better equipped to resolve the issues because this
Court is not a trier of facts.
Private respondents sought to oust Bertuldo from the premises of the
subject property and restore upon themselves the ownership and Thus, this Court will not entertain direct resort to it unless the redress
possession thereof, as well as the payment of moral and exemplary desired cannot be obtained in the appropriate courts, and exceptional
damages, attorneys fees and litigation expenses in amounts justified and compelling circumstances, such as cases of national interest and
by the evidence. of serious implications, justify the availment of the extraordinary
remedy of writ of certiorari, calling for the exercise of its primary
Bertuldo filed his Answer and alleged ownership of the disputed jurisdiction.
property by virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale dated July 2, 1980,
executed by one Tomas Pahac with the knowledge and conformity of In this case, no special and important reason or exceptional and
private respondents. compelling circumstance analogous to any of the above cases has
been adduced by the petitioners so as to justify direct recourse to this
Bertuldo started his direct examination. However, on June 24, 1998, Court. The present petition should have been initially filed in the Court
Bertuldo died without completing his evidence. of Appeals in strict observance of the doctrine on the hierarchy of
courts. Failure to do so is sufficient cause for the dismissal of the
Petalcorin filed a motion to expunge the complaint and nullify all petition at bar. The unavailability of the writ of certiorari and prohibition
court proceedings on the ground that private respondents failed to in this case is borne out of the fact that petitioners principally assail the
specify in the complaint the amount of damages claimed so as to Order which they never sought reconsideration of despite receipt
pay the correct docket fees; and that under Manchester Development thereof on March 26, 1999. Instead, petitioners went through the
Corporation vs. CA, non-payment of the correct docket fee is motion of filing a supplemental pleading and only when the latter was
jurisdictional. Atty. Petalcorin further alleged that the private denied, or after more than three months have passed, did they raise
respondents failed to pay the correct docket fee since the main subject the issue that the complaint should not have been reinstated in the first
matter of the case cannot be estimated as it is for recovery of place because the trial court had no jurisdiction to do so, having
ownership, possession and removal of construction. already ruled that the complaint shall be expunged.

In their Rejoinder, petitioners manifested that the lapse of time does (1) After recognizing the jurisdiction of the trial court by seeking
not vest the court with jurisdiction over the case due to failure to pay affirmative relief in their motion to serve supplemental pleading upon
the correct docket fees. As to the contention that deficiency in private respondents, petitioners are effectively barred by estoppel from
payment of docket fees can be made as a lien on the judgment, challenging the trial courts jurisdiction. If a party invokes the
petitioners argued that the payment of filing fees cannot be made jurisdiction of a court, he cannot thereafter challenge the courts
dependent on the result of the action taken. jurisdiction in the same case.

The trial court held that the Court can acquire jurisdiction over this Nevertheless, there is a need to correct the erroneous impression of
case only upon the payment of the exact prescribed docket/filing fees the trial court as well as the private respondents that petitioners are
for the main cause of action, plus additional docket fee for the amount barred from assailing the Order which reinstated the case because it
of damages being prayed for in the complaint, which amount should be was not objected to within the reglementary period or even thereafter
specified so that the same can be considered in assessing the amount via a motion for reconsideration despite receipt thereof.
of the filing fees. Upon the complete payment of such fees, the Court
may take appropriate action in the light of the ruling in the case of It must be clarified that the said order is but a resolution on an
Manchester Development Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, supra. incidental matter which does not touch on the merits of the case or put
an end to the proceedings. It is an interlocutory order since there
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied leaves something else to be done by the trial court with respect to the
by the trial court. The trial court held that the Manchester rule was merits of the case. As such, it is not subject to a reglementary period.
relaxed in Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. vs. Asuncion. Noting that there Reglementary period refers to the period set by the rules for appeal or
has been no substitution of parties following the death of Bertuldo, the further review of a final judgment or order, i.e., one that ends the
trial court directed Atty. Petalcorin to comply with the provisions of litigation in the trial court.
Section 16, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court. The trial court also reiterated
that the Order reinstating the case was not assailed by petitioners Moreover, the remedy against an interlocutory order is generally not
within the reglementary period, despite receipt thereof. to resort forthwith to certiorari, but to continue with the case in due
course and, when an unfavorable verdict is handed down, to take an
Thus, petitioners filed before SC this present petition for certiorari and appeal in the manner authorized by law. Only when the court issued
prohibition alleging that the public respondent committed grave abuse such order without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of
of discretion in allowing the case to be reinstated after private discretion and when the assailed interlocutory order is patently
respondents paid the docket fee deficiency since the trial court had erroneous and the remedy of appeal would not afford adequate and
earlier expunged the complaint from the record and nullified all expeditious relief will certiorari be considered an appropriate remedy to
proceedings of the case and such ruling was not contested by the assail an interlocutory order. Such special circumstances are
private respondents. Moreover, they argue that the public respondent absolutely wanting in the present case.
committed grave abuse of discretion in allowing the case to be filed
and denying the manifestation with motion to dismiss, despite the (2) Time and again, the Court has held that the Manchester rule has
defect in the complaint which prayed for damages without specifying been modified in Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. (SIOL) vs. Asuncion[45]
the amounts, in violation of SC Circular No. 7, dated March 24, 1988. which defined the following guidelines involving the payment of docket
fees:
In their Comment, private respondents aver that no grave abuse of
discretion was committed by the trial court in reinstating the complaint a. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory
upon the payment of deficiency docket fees because petitioners did not pleading, but the payment of the prescribed docket fee, that vests a
object thereto within the reglementary period. Besides, Atty. Petalcorin trial court with jurisdiction over the subject-matter or nature of the
possessed no legal personality to appear as counsel for the heirs of action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied
Bertuldo until he complies with Section 16, Rule 3 of the Rules of by payment of the docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fees
Court. within a reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable
prescriptive or reglementary period.
ISSUE:
(1)WON the petitioners may challenge the courts jurisdiction. (NO); b. The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims, third-party
University of Mindanao- College of Law 17
Civil Procedure 2013

claims and similar pleadings, which shall not be considered filed until set forth by the BSP. Although unregistered with the SEC, SCB was
and unless the filing fee prescribed therefor is paid. The court may able to sell securities worth around P6 billion to some 645 investors.
also allow payment of said fee within a reasonable time but also in no
case beyond its applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
Petitioner entered into an Investment Trust Agreement with SCB
c. Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim by the filing wherein he purchased US$8,000.00 worth of securities upon the
of the appropriate pleading and payment of the prescribed filing fee banks promise of 40% return on his investment and a guarantee that
but, subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not specified in the his money is safe. After six (6) months, however, petitioner learned that
pleading, or if specified the same has been left for determination by the the value of his investment went down to US$7,000.00. He tried to
court, the additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien on the
withdraw his investment but was persuaded by Antonette de los Reyes
judgment. It shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of Court or his duly
authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the of SCB to hold on to it for another six (6) months in view of the
additional fee. possibility that the market would pick up. The trend in the securities
market, however, was bearish and the worth of petitioners investment
Plainly, while the payment of the prescribed docket fee is a went down further to only US$3,000.00.
jurisdictional requirement, even its non-payment at the time of filing
does not automatically cause the dismissal of the case, as long as the
fee is paid within the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period,
more so when the party involved demonstrates a willingness to abide
by the rules prescribing such payment.[46] Thus, when insufficient
On October 26, 2001, Petitioner then filed with the BSP a letter-
filing fees were initially paid by the plaintiffs and there was no intention
to defraud the government, the Manchester rule does not apply. complaint demanding compensation for his lost investment. But SCB
denied his demand on the ground that his investment is "regular."
Under the peculiar circumstances of this case, the reinstatement of
the complaint was just and proper considering that the cause of action
of private respondents, being a real action, prescribes in thirty years,
and private respondents did not really intend to evade the payment of
the prescribed docket fee but simply contend that they could not be On July 15, 2003, petitioner filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ),
faulted for inadequate assessment because the clerk of court made no represented herein by its prosecutors, public respondents, a complaint
notice of demand or reassessment. Furthermore, the fact that private charging the above-named officers and members of the SCB Board of
respondents prayed for payment of damages in amounts justified by
Directors and other SCB officials, private respondents, with
the evidence does not call for the dismissal of the complaint for
violation of SC Circular No. 7 which required that all complaints must syndicated estafa. For their part, private respondents filed the following
specify the amount of damages sought not only in the body of the as counter-charges against petitioner: (1) blackmail and extortion and
pleadings but also in the prayer in order to be accepted and admitted blackmail and perjury.
for filing. Sun Insurance effectively modified SC Circular No. 7 by
providing that filing fees for damages and awards that cannot be
estimated constitute liens on the awards finally granted by the trial
court.
On September 29, 2003, petitioner also filed a complaint for perjury
Thus, while the docket fees were based only on the real property
against private .
valuation, the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the action, and
judgment awards which were left for determination by the court or as
may be proven during trial would still be subject to additional filing fees
which shall constitute a lien on the judgment. It would then be the
responsibility of the Clerk of Court of the trial court or his duly
authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the On February 7, 2004, petitioner also filed with the DOJ a complaint for
additional fees. violation of Section 8.1 9 of the Securities Regulation Code against
private respondents,
It is worth noting that when Bertuldo filed his Answer he did not raise
the issue of lack of jurisdiction for non-payment of correct docket fees.
Instead, he based his defense on a claim of ownership and
participated in the proceedings before the trial court. It was only in
Sept. 22, 1998 or more than seven years after filing the answer, and On February 23, 2004, the DOJ rendered its Joint Resolution
under the auspices of a new counsel, that the issue of jurisdiction was
raised for the first time in the motion to expunge by Bertuldos heirs. dismissing all the complaints and counter-charges filed the herein
parties.
After Bertuldo vigorously participated in all stages of the case before
the trial court and even invoked the trial courts authority in order to ask
for affirmative relief, petitioners, considering that they merely stepped
into the shoes of their predecessor, are effectively barred by estoppel
from challenging the trial courts jurisdiction. Although the issue of Petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari
jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the proceedings as the same alleging that the DOJ acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting
is conferred by law, it is nonetheless settled that a party may be barred to lack or excess of jurisdiction in dismissing his complaint
from raising it on ground of laches or estoppel.
for syndicated estafa and a separate petition for certiorari assailing the
Moreover, no formal substitution of the parties was effected within
thirty days from date of death of Bertuldo, as required by Section 16, DOJ Resolution dismissing the case for violation of the Securities
Rule 3 of the Rules of Court. Non-compliance with the rule on Regulation Code.
substitution would render the proceedings and judgment of the trial
court infirm because the court acquires no jurisdiction over the persons
of the legal representatives or of the heirs on whom the trial and the
judgment would be binding. Thus, proper substitution of heirs must be
effected for the trial court to acquire jurisdiction over their persons and Petitioner claimed that the DOJ acted with grave abuse of discretion
to obviate any future claim by any heir that he was not apprised of the tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction in holding that the
litigation against Bertuldo or that he did not authorize Atty. Petalcorin to complaint should have been filed with the SEC.
represent him.

(1st div) G.R. No. 168380 February 8, 2007


MANUEL V. BAVIERA, vs. ESPERANZA PAGLINAWAN On January 7, 2005, the Court of Appeals promulgated its Decision
& dismissing the petition. It sustained the ruling of the DOJ that the case
G.R. No. 170602 February 8, 2007
should have been filed initially with the SEC.
MANUEL V. BAVIERA, vs. STANDARD CHARTERED BANK

FACTS: Manuel Baviera, petitioner in these cases, was the former


head of the HR Service Delivery and Industrial Relations of Standard Meanwhile, on February 21, 2005, the Court of Appeals rendered its
Chartered Bank-Philippines. SCB did not comply with the conditions Decision involving petitioners charges and respondents counter
University of Mindanao- College of Law 18
Civil Procedure 2013

chargesdismissing the petitions on the ground that the purpose of a In Suarez previously cited, this Court made it clear that a public
petition for certiorari is not to evaluate and weigh the parties evidence prosecutors duty is two-fold. On one hand, he is bound by his oath of
but to determine whether the assailed Resolution of the DOJ was office to prosecute persons where the complainants evidence is ample
issued with grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. and sufficient to show prima facie guilt of a crime. Yet, on the other
Petitioner moved for a reconsideration but it was denied . hand, he is likewise duty-bound to protect innocent persons from
groundless, false, or malicious prosecution.

Hence, the instant petitions for review on certiorari.


WHEREFORE, we DENY the petitions and AFFIRM the assailed
Decisions of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 87328 and in CA-

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that


the DOJ did not commit grave abuse of discretion in dismissing
petitioners complaint for; violation of Securities Regulation Code G.R. SP No. 85078.
and for syndicated estafa.
DACANAY vs. YRASTORZA

HELD :
FACTS:
(For violation of Securities Regulation Code) NO. The Court of Appeals
held that under Section 53.1 of the said Code provides, a criminal On July 14, 1992, petitioner Vicente Dacanay, as administrator of the
complaint for violation of any law or rule administered by the SEC must testate estate of Tereso D. Fernandez, filed in the Regional Trial Court
first be filed with the latter. If the Commission finds that there is (RTC) of Cebu City a case for recovery of real property against
probable cause, then it should refer the case to the DOJ. Since respondent spouses Luissa and Raul Samaco and Roberta and Bryan
petitioner failed to comply with the foregoing procedural requirement, Kersaw.
the DOJ did not gravely abuse its discretion in dismissing his
complaint.
On December 22, 1992, respondent spouses Samaco filed their
answer with counterclaim.

Under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, courts will not determine a


controversy involving a question within the jurisdiction of the
administrative tribunal, where the question demands the exercise of On May 12, 1993, petitioner amended his complaint to implead
sound administrative discretion requiring the specialized knowledge respondent Johnson Mercader. On August 3, 1993, respondent
and expertise of said administrative tribunal to determine technical and Mercader filed his answer with counterclaim. Respondent spouses
intricate matters of fact Kersaw were declared in default as they did not file an answer despite
service of summons by publication.

(For Syndicated Estafa); NO. Section 5, Rule 110 of the 2000 Rules
of Criminal Procedure, as amended, provides that all criminal actions, On May 15, 1994, petitioner filed his second amended complaint which
commenced by either a complaint or an information, shall be the court granted. On March 30, 1994, respondent spouses Samaco
prosecuted under the direction and control of a public prosecutor. This filed their answer with counterclaim, while respondent Mercader filed
mandate is founded on the theory that a crime is a breach of the his on May 30, 1994.
security and peace of the people at large, an outrage against the very
sovereignty of the State. It follows that a representative of the State
shall direct and control the prosecution of the offense. A public
prosecutor is in a peculiar and very definite sense a servant of the law, On December 12, 1995, the RTC dismissed petitioners complaint for
the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence lack of merit.
suffers. Suarez v. Platon

Not satisfied, petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA). On


Concomitant with his authority and power to control the prosecution of October 27, 1999, the CA[15] affirmed the RTC in toto.
criminal offenses, the public prosecutor is vested with the discretionary
power to determine whether a prima facie case exists or not. A
preliminary investigation is essentially an inquiry to determine whether
(a) a crime has been committed; and (b) whether there is probable
cause that the accused is guilty thereof. Thus, the decision whether or Petitioner then filed in the Supreme Court a motion for extension of
not to dismiss the criminal complaint against the accused depends on time to file a petition for review on certiorari. His motion was denied in
the sound discretion of the prosecutor. a minute resolution[16] because of procedural lapses on his part.

The rule in this jurisdiction is that courts will not interfere with the On July 12, 2001, respondent Mercader filed a motion for execution of
conduct of preliminary investigations or reinvestigations or in the the RTC decision. Petitioner opposed[22] the motion, contending that
determination of what constitutes sufficient probable cause for the he should not be made personally liable for the amount awarded by the
filing of the corresponding information against an offender. Courts are RTC. The RTC judgment should be considered as a claim against the
not empowered to substitute their own judgment for that of the estate of Tereso Fernandez. Thus, the writ of execution should be
executive branch. The prosecutors findings on the existence of referred to the court where the estate of Tereso Fernandez was being
probable cause are not subject to review by the courts, unless these settled.
are patently shown to have been made with grave abuse of discretion.
University of Mindanao- College of Law 19
Civil Procedure 2013

ERNESTO MORALES, petitioner, vs.


COURT OF APPEALS, HON. ALFREDO J. GUSTILO, as Presiding
On August 30, 2001, the RTC granted respondent Mercaders motion Judge of RTC, Pasay City, Branch 116 and PEOPLE OF THE
for execution.[23] According to the RTC, there was no impediment to PHILIPPINES, respondents.
the execution of its decision because it had already become final and
executory. Moreover, considering that the decision sought to be
executed (did) not involve money claims, the writ of execution could
not be directed against the estate of Tereso Fernandez. The key issue in this case is whether, in light of R.A. No. 7659 as
interpreted in People v. Simon, and R.A. No. 7691, Regional Trial
Courts have jurisdiction over violations of R.A. No. 6425, otherwise
known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended, when the
Petitioners motion for reconsideration went unheeded. imposable penalty is not more than six (6) years.

Refusing to give up, petitioner filed this petition for certiorari in this Facts: The petitioner was charged with the violation of Section 15 in
Court. He reiterates his position that he should not be made personally relation to Section 20 of R.A. No. 6425, as amended by R.A. No. 7659,
liable to pay the P70,000 awarded by the RTC in favor of respondent in an information filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasay
spouses Samaco and respondent Mercader. City when Ernesto Morales y De la Cruz sell and deliver to another
0.4587 grams of Metamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu), a regulated
drug on march 11, 1996

ISSUE:

Subsequently, the petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground


WON petitioner can still question the judgement rendered by the RTC, that the RTC had no jurisdiction to try the case considering that
through a petition for certiorari. pursuant to Section 20 of R.A. No. 7659 as construed in People v.
Simon, the penalty imposable for the offense charged should not
exceed prision correccional or six (6) years and under R.A. No. 7691 it
is the Metropolitan Trial Court which has jurisdiction over the case.
HELD:
In its Order, the RTC denied the motion. It held cases punishable with
At the outset, we note that petitioner filed his petition for certiorari penalties of not more than six (6) years are within the exclusive
directly in this Court. This is a violation of the doctrine of hierarchy of jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts. However, the exceptions
courts. He should have filed his petition in the CA before seeking relief are "cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the
from this Court. Thus, this petition can be dismissed outright for being RTC. . ." Under Section 39 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, the
procedurally infirm. CFI now the RTC and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court,
which no longer exist, "shall have concurrent original jurisdiction over
all cases involving offenses punishable under this Act." It is therefore
clear that this case, which is a violation of Republic Act No. 6425,
although punishable by a penalty of less than six (6) years, falls within
Moreover, the petition lacks merit. the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court.

The RTC decision sought to be executed has long attained The petitioner filed with respondent CA a petition for certiorari under
finality. Hence, petitioner can no longer question it. Rule 65. The OSG agreed with the petitioner that the RTC had no
jurisdiction to try the criminal case. It, however, asserted that the CA
Once a judgment attains finality, it becomes immutable and had no jurisdiction over the special civil action for certiorari, as the
unalterable. A final and executory judgment may no longer be same involved only the question of jurisdiction of an inferior court,
modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to hence, cognizable by the Supreme Court alone pursuant to Section 9
correct what is perceived to be an erroneous conclusion of fact or of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, in connection with Section 5(2)(c),
law and regardless of whether the modification is attempted to be Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution and Section 17 of Republic Act No.
made by the court rendering it or by the highest court of the land. 5440. The OSG then recommended that the case be elevated to the
This is the doctrine of finality of judgment. It is grounded on Supreme Court for disposition, or that the Court of Appeals grant the
fundamental considerations of public policy and sound practice that, at petition and set aside the challenged order of the RTC should it rule
the risk of occasional errors, the judgments or orders of courts must that it had jurisdiction over petition.
become final at some definite time fixed by law. Otherwise, there will
be no end to litigations, thus negating the main role of courts of justice
to assist in the enforcement of the rule of law and the maintenance of
peace and order by settling justiciable controversies with finality. The CA dismissed the petition for certiorari for lack of jurisdiction over
the action. The Solicitor General contended that this Court has no
jurisdiction over the petition for it properly falls within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court pursuant to Section 5, Article VIII of
Thus, respondent Mercader properly moved for the execution of the the Constitution.
RTC decision on July 12, 2001. For the same reason, there was no
legal impediment to the RTCs issuance of a writ of execution of its
final and executory decision on August 30, 2001.
ISSUE: 1.)Whether or not the CA has jurisdiction to entertain a petition
for certiorari in der rule 65 where the issue is the jurisdiction of the
RTC Judge to try the alleged violation of R.A. 6425
G.R. No. 126623 December 12, 1997
University of Mindanao- College of Law 20
Civil Procedure 2013

2.) Whether or not respondent RTC has the jurisdiction to try over The aforementioned exception refers not only to Section 20 of B.P. Blg.
violations of R.A. 6425 or Dangerous Drugs act. 129 providing for the jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts in criminal
cases, but also to other laws which specifically lodge in RTC exclusive
jurisdiction over specific criminal cases, e.g., (a) Article 360 of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. Nos. 1289 and 4363 on
written defamation or libel; (b) Decree on intellectual Property (P.D. No.
RULING: 1.) The Court of Appeals erred in holding that it had no 49, as amended), which vests upon Courts of First Instance exclusive
jurisdiction over petitioner's special civil action for certiorari under Rule jurisdiction over the cases therein mentioned regardless of the
65 of the Rules of Court. imposable penalty; and (c) more appropriately for the case at bar,
Section 39 of R.A. No. 6425, as amended by P.D. No. 44, which vests
on CFI, Circuit Criminal Courts, and the Juvenile and Domestic
Relations Courts concurrent exclusive original jurisdiction over all
This error of the Court of Appeals was due to its misapplication of cases involving violations of said Act.
Section 5(2)(c) of Article VIII of the Constitution and of that portion of
Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948 vesting upon the Supreme
Court exclusive jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm
on certiorari as the law or rules of court may provide, final judgments R.A. No. 7691 can by no means be considered another special law on
and decrees of inferior courts in all cases in which the jurisdiction of jurisdiction but merely an amendatory law intended to amend specific
any inferior court is in issue. It forgot that this constitutional and sections of the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980. In a manner of
statutory provisions pertain to the appellate speaking, R.A. No. 7691 was absorbed by the mother law, the
not original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, as correctly Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980. That Congress indeed did not
maintained by the petitioner. An appellate jurisdiction refers to a intend to repeal these special laws vesting exclusive jurisdiction in the
process which is but a continuation of the original suit, not a RTCs over certain cases is clearly evident from the exception provided
commencement of a new action, such as that of a special civil action for in the opening sentence of Section 32 of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended
for certiorari. The general rule is that a denial of a motion to dismiss or by R.A. No. 7691. These special laws are not, therefore, covered by
to quash in criminal cases is interlocutory and cannot be the subject of the repealing clause (Section 6) of R.A. No. 7691.
an appeal or of a special civil action for certiorari.

Neither can it be successfully argued that Section 39 of R.A.


2.) Applying by analogy the ruling in People v. Simon, the imposable No. 6425, as amended by P.D. No. 44, is no longer operative because
penalty in this case which involves 0.4587 grams of shabu should not Section 44 of B.P. Blg. 129 abolished the Courts of First Instance,
exceed prision correccional. We say by analogy because these cases Circuit Criminal Courts, and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts,
involved marijuana, not methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu). this Court should not lose sight of the fact that the RTC merely
Clearly, the penalty which may be imposed for the offense charged in replaced the Courts of First Instance as clearly borne out by the last
Criminal Case would at most be only prision correccional whose two sentences of Section 44. In short, there was a change in name
duration is from 6 mos and one (1) day to six (6) years. Does it follow only from Courts of First Instance to Regional Trial Courts. The
then that, as the petitioner insists, the RTC has no jurisdiction thereon Interim Rules and Guidelines Relative to the Implementation of B.P.
in view of the amendment of Section 32 of B.P. Blg. 129 by R.A. No. Blg. 129 promulgated by this Court on 11 January 1983 also provides
7691, which vested upon Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial that the reference to the courts of first instance in the Rules of Court
Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts' exclusive original jurisdiction shall be deemed changed to the regional trial courts.
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?

Consequently, it is not accurate to state that the "abolition" of the


Courts of First Instance carried with it the abolition of their exclusive
original jurisdiction in drug cases vested by Section 39 of R.A. No.
Sec. 32. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal 6425, as amended by P. D. No. 44. The same Administrative Order No.
Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Criminal Cases. 104-96 recognizes that violations of RA. No. 6426, as amended,
Except in cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of regardless of the quantity involved, are to be tried and decided by the
Regional Trial Court and of the Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial RTC therein designated as special courts.
Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall
exercise: 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 offender or The RTC then did not commit any error in denying petitioner's motion
predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value or amount to dismiss Civil Case.
thereof: Provided, however, That in offenses involving damage to
property through criminal negligence, they shall have exclusive original
jurisdiction thereof.

Cubero vs Laguna Multi-purpose Coop.

Facts: Cubero along with some other folks enter into a JVA with Belle
The exception in the opening sentence is of special Corp to develop several hectares of CARP land owned by Cubero and
significance which we cannot disregard. By virtue thereof, the folks in Tanuan Batangas. Upon learning of this deal, Laguna West
exclusive original jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal files 9 ex parte motions to have adverse claims attached on the
Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in criminal cases does subjectlots, claiming that LW had a prior JVA with the predecessors in
not cover those cases which by provision of law fall within the interest of Cubero and folks and that these same JVA's were registered
exclusive original jurisdiction of RTC and of the Sandiganbayan as adverse claims over the previous titles of thesubjects lots. Belle for
regardless of the prescribed penalty. Otherwise put, even if such cases its part alleges that the JVA between LW and the predecessors in
are punishable by imprisonment not exceeding six years (i.e., prision interest are void ab initio since they were executed within the 10 year
correccional, arresto mayor, or arresto menor), jurisdiction, thereon is prohibitory period under RA 6657 (CAR law of '88). RTC dismisses the
retained by RTC or the Sandiganbayan, as the case may be. case, holding that the matter must be brought before the DARAB first
since it involves a question over which DARAB has primary jurisdiction.
The MR is rejected hence the present petition for review on certiorari.
University of Mindanao- College of Law 21
Civil Procedure 2013

Issue: Does DARAB have original jurisdiction over this matter? the implementation should have commenced and should have been
completed between June 1988 to June 1992, as provided in the
Held: Yes. In the recent case of Islanders CARP-Farmers Beneficiaries Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL); that the placing of the
Multi-Purpose Cooperative Development, Inc. v. Lapanday Agricultural subject landholding under CARP is without the imprimatur of the
and Development Corp.,23 this Court elucidated on the scope of an Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) and the Provincial
agrarian dispute, viz:The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is Agrarian Reform Coordinating Committee (PARCOM) as required by
vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian R.A. 7905; that Executive Order No. 405 dated 14 June 1990 amends,
reform matters, with exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters modifies and/or repeals CARL and, therefore, it is unconstitutional
involving the implementation of agrarian reform except those falling considering that on 14 June 1990, then President Corazon Aquino no
under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture and longer had law-making powers; that the NOTICE OF COVERAGE is a
the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The gross violation of PD 399 dated 28 February 1974.
Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) has
jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving
the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
(CARL). Included in the definition of agrarian disputes are those arising
from other tenurial arrangements beyond the traditional landowner- "Private respondent Cuenca prayed that the Notice of Coverage be
tenant or lessor-lessee relationship. Expressly, these arrangements declared null and void ab initio and Executive Order No. 405 dated 14
are recognized by Republic Act No. 6657 as essential parts of agrarian June 1990 be declared unconstitutional.
reform. Thus, the DARAB has jurisdiction over disputes arising from
the instant Joint Production Agreement entered into by the present
parties.In cases where allegations of violation or circumvention of land
reform laws have been raised, this Court has declined to address "On 05 October 1999, MARO Noe Fortunado filed a motion to dismiss
them, it stating that petitioners must first plead their case with the the complaint on the ground that the court a quo has no jurisdiction
DARAB. There is no reason why this Court should now hold otherwise. over the nature and subject matter of the action, pursuant to R.A.
Bonus Reading: (Distinction between original and exclusive 6657.
jurisdiction: Original jurisdiction means jurisdiction to take cognizance
of a cause at its inception, try it and pass judgment upon the law and
facts, while exclusive jurisdiction precludes the idea of co-existence
and refers to jurisdiction possessed to the exclusion of others.)
the respondent Judge issued a Temporary Restraining Order directing
DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, petitioner, MARO and LBP to cease and desist from implementing the Notice of
vs. Coverage.
ROBERTO J. CUENCA and Hon. ALFONSO B. COMBONG JR., in
His Capacity as the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 63, La Carlota City,

"The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) [thereafter filed before the


FACTS:
CA] a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, assailing the writ of preliminary injunction issued by
All controversies on the implementation of the Comprehensive respondent Judge on the ground of grave abuse of discretion
Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) fall under the jurisdiction of the amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), even though they raise
questions that are also legal or constitutional in nature. All doubts
should be resolved in favor of the DAR, since the law has granted it
special and original authority to hear and adjudicate agrarian matters.
"It is the submission of the petitioner that the assailed order is in direct
1 defiance of Republic Act 6657, particularly Section 55 and 68
Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court

"Petitioner contends that by virtue of the above provisions,


all lower courts, such as the court presided over by
Resolution3 of the Court of Appeals"As previously stated, the
respondent Judge, are barred if not prohibited by law to
principal issue raised in the court below involves a pure
issue orders of injunctions against the Department of
question of law. Thus, it being clear that the court a quo has
Agrarian Reform in the full implementation of the Notice of
jurisdiction over the nature and subject matter of the case
Coverage which is the initial step of acquiring lands under
below, it did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it
R.A. 6657.
issued the assailed order denying petitioners motion to
dismiss and granting private respondents application for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.

"Petitioner also contends that the nature and subject matter


of the case below is purely agrarian in character over which
the court a quo has no jurisdiction and that therefore, it had
Roberto J. Cuenca is the registered owner of a parcel of land
no authority to issue the assailed injunction order."5
situated in Brgy. Haguimit, La Carlota City and devoted principally to
the planting of sugar cane, Noe Fortunado, Municipal Agrarian Reform
Officer (MARO) of La Carlota City issued and sent a NOTICE OF
COVERAGE to private respondent Cuenca placing the above-
described landholding under the compulsory coverage of R.A. 6657, Ruling of the Court of Appeals
otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
(CARP). The NOTICE OF COVERAGE also stated that the Land Bank
CA ruled that the Regional Trial Court (RTC) had jurisdiction over the
of the Philippines (LBP) will determine the value of the subject land
case. Consonant with that authority, the court a quo also had the
pursuant to Executive Order No. 405 dated 14 June 1990.
power to issue writs and processes to enforce or protect the rights of
the parties.
Respondent Cuenca filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 63, La
Carlota City, a complaint against Noe Fortunado and Land Bank of the
Philippines for Annulment of Notice of Coverage and Declaration of The appellate court likewise held that petitioners reliance on Sections
Unconstitutionality of E.O. No. 405, Series of 1990 55 and 68 of RA 6657 had been misplaced, because the case was not
about a purely agrarian matter. It opined that the prohibition in certain
statutes against such writs pertained only to injunctions against
Cuenca alleged, inter alia, that the implementation of CARP in his
administrative acts, to controversies involving facts, or to the exercise
landholding is no longer with authority of law considering that, if at all,
University of Mindanao- College of Law 22
Civil Procedure 2013

of discretion in technical cases. But on issues involving pure questions "(2) All cases or actions involving violations of Chapters I and
of law, courts were not prevented from exercising their power to II of this Code and Republic Act Number eight hundred and
restrain or prohibit administrative acts. nine; and

"(3) Expropriations to be instituted by the Land Authority: x x


x."13
Issues

"1. The Honorable Court of Appeals committed serious error


by not taking into cognizance that the issues raised in the Presidential Decree (PD) No. 946 thereafter reorganized the CARs,
complaint filed by the private respondent, which seeks to streamlined their operations, and expanded their jurisdiction
exclude his land from the coverage of the CARP, is an
agrarian reform matter and within the jurisdiction of the DAR,
not with the trial court.

The CARs were abolished, however, pursuant to Section 44 14 of Batas


Pambansa Blg. 12915

The Courts Ruling

Jurisdiction over cases theretofore given to the CARs was vested in


The Petition has merit.
the RTCs.16

First Issue:
Then came Executive Order No. 229.17 Under Section 17 thereof, the
DAR shall exercise "quasi-judicial powers to determine and adjudicate
Jurisdiction agrarian reform matters, and shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all
matters involving implementation of agrarian reform, except those
In its bare essentials, petitioners argument is that private respondent, falling under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the DENR and the
in his Complaint for Annulment of the Notice of Coverage, is asking for Department of Agriculture [DA]." The DAR shall also have the "powers
the exclusion of his landholding from the coverage of the to punish for contempt and to issue subpoena, subpoena duces tecum
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). According to the and writs to enforce its orders or decisions."
DAR, the issue involves the implementation of agrarian reform, a
matter over which the DAR has original and exclusive jurisdiction,
pursuant to Section 50 of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
(RA 6657).
In Quismundo v. CA, 18 this provision was deemed to have repealed
Section 12 (a) and (b) of Presidential Decree No. 946, which vested
the then Courts of Agrarian Relations with "original exclusive
jurisdiction over cases and questions involving rights granted and
On the other hand, private respondent maintains that his Complaint obligations imposed by presidential issuances promulgated in relation
assails mainly the constitutionality of EO 405. He contends that since to the agrarian reform program."
the Complaint raises a purely legal issue, it thus falls within the
jurisdiction of the RTC. We do not agree.

Under Section 4 of Executive Order No. 129-A, the DAR was also
made "responsible for implementing the Comprehensive Agrarian
Conflicts involving jurisdiction over agrarian disputes are as tortuous as Reform Program."
the history of Philippine agrarian reform laws. The changing
jurisdictional landscape is matched only by the tumultuous struggle for,
and resistance to, the breaking up and distribution of large
landholdings.
Nonetheless, we have held that the RTCs have not been completely
divested of jurisdiction over agrarian reform matters. Section 56 of RA
6657 confers special jurisdiction on "Special Agrarian Courts," which
are actually RTCs designated as such by the Supreme Court. 22 Under
Two Basic Rules Section 57 of the same law, these Special Agrarian Courts have
original and exclusive jurisdiction over the following matters:

First, jurisdiction is conferred by law.8 And second, the nature of the


action and the issue of jurisdiction are shaped by the material "1) all petitions for the determination of just compensation to
averments of the complaint and the character of the relief sought.9 land-owners, and

"2) the prosecution of all criminal offenses under x x x [the]


Act."
Grant of Jurisdiction

All the powers and prerogatives inherent in or belonging to the then


Courts of First Instance12 (now the RTCs) were granted to the CARs.
The latter were further vested by the Agricultural Land Reform Code The above delineation of jurisdiction remains in place to this date.
(RA 3844) with original and exclusive jurisdiction over the following Administrative Circular No. 29-200223 of this Court stresses the
matters: distinction between the quasi-judicial powers of the DAR under
Sections 50 and 55 of RA 6657 and the jurisdiction of the Special
Agrarian Courts referred to by Sections 56 and 57 of the same law.
"(1) All cases or actions involving matters, controversies,
disputes, or money claims arising from agrarian relations: x x
x We stress that the main subject matter raised by private respondent
before the trial court was not the issue of compensation (the subject
University of Mindanao- College of Law 23
Civil Procedure 2013

matter of EO 40527). Note that no amount had yet been determined nor In a decision, the trial court rendered judgment for plaintiff
proposed by the DAR. Hence, there was no occasion to invoke the Chinabank and against defendants CREATIVE and petitioner.
courts function of determining just compensation.28
In its decision, the trial court held that petitioners liability to
Chinabank arose from his execution of the same agreement
where he warranted unto Chinabank the prompt payment at
To be sure, the issuance of the Notice of Coverage 29 constitutes the maturity date of the promissory note. The trial court also
first necessary step towards the acquisition of private land under the debunked petitioners protestation in his memorandum that his
CARP. Plainly then, the propriety of the Notice relates to the liability under the same surety agreement was extinguished
implementation of the CARP, which is under the quasi-judicial pursuant to Article 2079 of the Civil Code when Chinabank
jurisdiction of the DAR. Thus, the DAR could not be ousted from its granted CREATIVE an extension of time for the payment of the
authority by the simple expediency of appending an allegedly loan.
constitutional or legal dimension to an issue that is clearly agrarian.
From the aforementioned decision of the trial court, both
Chinabank and petitioner went to the Court of Appeals.

In view of the foregoing, there is no need to address the other points The appellate court dismissed petitioners appeal and affirmed the
pleaded by respondent in relation to the jurisdictional issue. We need appealed decision of the trial court.
only to point that in case of doubt, the jurisprudential trend is for courts
to refrain from resolving a controversy involving matters that demand
the special competence of administrative agencies, "even if the
ISSUES:
question[s] involved [are] also judicial in character,"30 as in this case.

1. Whether or not the decision of the trial court which he and


respondent Chinabank appealed to the Court of Appeals in CA G.R.
CV No. 24946 was vacated when Chinabanks similar appeal
SIMEON M. VALDEZ vs. CHINA BANKING CORPORATION therefrom was dismissed with finality.
G.R. No. 155009 April 12, 2005
2. Petitioner claims failure on the part of respondent Chinabank to
FACTS:
establish that the credit agreement between it and CREATIVE is
supported by a consideration. Petitioner argues that Chinabank is
On January 11, 1978, respondent China Banking Corporation practically with no cause of action at all. Unfortunately, so petitioner
(Chinabank), represented by its senior vice-president Gilbert Dee, adds, respondent Chinabank did not present any such document.
and Creative Texwood Corporation (CREATIVE), represented
by its president, herein petitioner Simeon M. Valdez, executed a 3. Petitioner insists that he could not be liable to Chinabank because
Credit Agreement whereunder Chinabank agreed to grant he did not consent to the extension for the repayment of the original
CREATIVE a credit facility in the amount of US$1,000,000.00 to loan of US$1,000,000.00.
finance the latters importation of raw materials, spare parts and
supplies for its manufacturing projects.

In order to assure payment of the credit facility thereunder


RULING:
granted, CREATIVE executed in favor of Chinabank a Promissory
Note for the same amount, undertaking to pay said amount.
1. Petitioners argument lacks legal moorings.
CREATIVE, as principal and petitioner, as surety, further executed
in favor of Chinabank a Surety Agreement whereunder petitioner Under Section 9 (3) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended, the
Valdez bound himself unto Chinabank the prompt payment on Court of Appeals has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over final
maturity date of the aforesaid promissory note. judgments or decisions of regional trial courts. Here, there is no issue
at all that petitioner had perfected his appeal from the decision of the
trial court. The well-settled rule is that jurisdiction, once acquired,
Pursuant to said credit agreement, Chinabank drew and issued a
continues until the case is finally terminated. 7 Since petitioner invoked
check for US$1,000,000.00 with CREATIVE as payee. the authority of the Court of Appeals when he filed his appellants brief
Subsequently, CREATIVE indorsed the check back to Chinabank in that court, that same court can resolve petitioners appeal regardless
for payment, which the latter did. of the dismissal of that of his adversarys.

Following the failure of both CREATIVE and petitioner to comply


with their obligations despite repeated demands, Chinabank filed
against both a complaint for a sum of money before the Regional
2. We are not persuaded.
Trial Court at Manila.

As aptly noted by the appellate court, it is already too late in the day for
In his separate answer, petitioner interposed the defense that the
petitioner to raise an issue on the alleged deficiency of allegations in
subject Credit Agreement is fictitious and simulated; that he
Chinabanks complaint to bolster his theory of lack of alleged
signed said agreement and Promissory Note in his official
consideration for the parties credit agreement.
capacity as president of CREATIVE and not in his personal
capacity; and that the Surety Agreement attached to the complaint
is not the one executed and signed by him because what he Under Rule 9, Section 1, of the Rules of Court, defenses which were
signed was a pro-forma document with blank spaces still unfilled. not raised in the answer are deemed waived. Petitioner never pleaded
in his answer the defense he presently invokes, namely, the alleged
lack of consideration for the subject credit agreement. His newly
The trial court dismissed the complaint for failure of plaintiff minted defense of lack of consideration must therefore be struck down,
Chinabank to prosecute for an unreasonable length of time. the time for interposing the same having been already passe.
However, upon Chinabanks motion for reconsideration, the trial
court reinstated the complaint, and, on Chinabanks further
motion, declared defendant CREATIVE as in default and allowed In any event, absence of consideration is the least persuasive
argument petitioner could proffer, if at all he could, colliding as it does
Chinabank to adduce ex parte its evidence against the former.
with the very allegations in his answer.
University of Mindanao- College of Law 24
Civil Procedure 2013

JURISDICTION AND IF SO IN NOT TREATING THE APPEAL AS A


SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION FOR CERTIORARI." 3
3. Petitioners argument cannot hold water.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to appeal
in the manner prescribed by law. 4 While this right is statutory, once it
As it is, petitioner is attempting to create a new issue of fact at this late is granted by law, however, its suppression would be a violation of due
stage of the proceedings. A perusal of his answer fails to yield any process, itself a right guaranteed by the Constitution. The rule is plain
indication of his intent to craft an issue based on the inconsistency and unambiguous the remedy of ordinary appeal by notice of
between the amount appearing in the promissory note and that appeal, although not necessarily preclusive of other remedies provided
demanded by Chinabank. To allow petitioner to pursue such a defense for by the rules, is open and available to petitioner.
would undermine basic considerations of due process. Points of law,
theories, issues and arguments not brought to the attention of the trial The notice of appeal was timely filed by petitioner on 13 July 1998,
court will not be and ought not to be considered by a reviewing court, three days after the questioned decision was promulgated. 6 It was a
as these cannot be raised for the first time on appeal. It would be unfair remedy that the law allowed him to avail himself of, and it threw the
to the adverse party who would have no opportunity to present further whole case effectively open for review on both questions of law and of
evidence material to the new theory not ventilated before the trial court. fact whether or not raised by the parties.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw
1ibrary
The Court is the neutral administrator of justice, not the corrector of
unsound business judgments. Having freely assumed the obligations Neither the Constitution nor the Rules of Criminal Procedure
of a surety, petitioner cannot now evade those obligations by raising exclusively vests in the Supreme Court the power to hear cases on
factual issues not proper in this Court. Under Rule 45 of the Rules of appeal in which only an error of law is involved. 7 Indeed, the Court of
Court, this Courts main preoccupation is to resolve questions of law Appeals, under Rule 42 and 44 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, is
not issues of facts. authorized to determine "errors of fact, of law, or both." 8 These rules
are expressly adopted to apply to appeals in criminal cases, 9 and they
do not thereby divest the Supreme Court of its ultimate jurisdiction over
such questions.

WILLY TAN y CHUA, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE Anent the argument that petitioner should have filed a petition
PHILIPPINES, Respondent. for certiorari under Rule 65, it might be pointed out that this remedy
can only be resorted to when there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy,
FACTS: and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. 10 Appeal, being a
remedy still available to petitioner, a petition for certiorari would have
been premature.
On 12 December 1996, petitioner Willy Tan was found guilty of bigamy
by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 75, of San Mateo, Rizal. On 23 In fine, petitioner had taken an appropriate legal step in filing a notice
December 1996, petitioner applied for probation. On 8 January 1997, of appeal with the trial court. Ordinarily, the Court should have the case
the application was granted by the trial court but the release order was remanded to the Court of Appeals for further proceedings. The clear
withheld in view of the filing by the prosecution, on 21 January 1997, of impingement upon petitioners basic right against double jeopardy, 11
a motion for modification of the penalty. The prosecution pointed out however, should here warrant the exercise of the prerogative by this
that the penalty for bigamy under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Court to relax the stringent application of the rules on the matter. When
Code was prision mayor and the imposable penalty, absent any the trial court increased the penalty on petitioner for his crime of
mitigating nor aggravating circumstance, should be the medium period bigamy after it had already pronounced judgment and on which basis
of prision mayor. Thus, the prosecution argued, petitioner was not he then, in fact, applied for probation, the previous verdict could only
eligible for probation.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary be deemed to have lapsed into finality.

The trial court denied the motion of the prosecution for having been Separate Opinions
filed out of time since the decision sought to be modified had already
attained finality. Indeed, petitioner had meanwhile applied for
probation. The Court of Appeals, in a decision, dated 18 August 2000, MENDOZA, J., dissenting:
dismissed petitioners appeal on the ground that petitioner raised a The reasons for my disagreement with the majority will be spelled out
pure question of law. Citing Article VIII, Section 5(2)(e), of the in detail, but in brief they are as follows: (1) The case before the Court
Constitution, the appellate court explained that jurisdiction over the of Appeals did not involve an error of judgment but an alleged error of
case was vested exclusively in the Supreme Court and that, in jurisdiction and, therefore, appeal was not the appropriate remedy to
accordance with Rule 122, Section 3(e), of the Rules of Criminal bring the matter to that court. (2) Even assuming the case involved an
Procedure, the appeal should have been brought up by way of a error of judgment and therefore appeal was the appropriate remedy
petition for review on certiorari with this Court and not by merely filing a open to petitioner, the appeal should have been brought before this
notice of appeal before the trial court. Court and not the Court of Appeals, and it should not be by mere
notice of appeal but by a petition for review. (3) The correct remedy
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration which, on 18 May 2001, is certiorari. (4) Even equity will not excuse petitioners failure to
was denied by the appellate court. observe the rules for seeking a review, and this Court is not justified in
deciding the issue which petitioner should have first brought before the
ISSUE: Court of Appeals.

"II. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE Rule 122, 3 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure provides:chanrob1es
SUPREME COURT HAS EXCLUSIVE APPELLATE JURISDICTION virtual 1aw library
ON PURE QUESTIONS OF LAW.
How appeal taken.
"III. THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT
BECAUSE THE APPEAL RAISED PURE QUESTIONS OF LAW, IT IS (a) The appeal to the Regional Trial Court, or to the Court of Appeals in
WITHOUT JURISDICTION TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE RAISED IN cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its original
THE APPEAL. jurisdiction, shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court
which rendered the judgment or final order appealed from and by
"IV. THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN DISMISSING serving a copy thereof upon the adverse party.
THE APPEAL OUTRIGHT INSTEAD OF DECLARING THE AMENDED
DECISION VOID FOR UTTER WANT OF JURISDICTION. (b) The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the
Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction shall be
"V. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT RULE 65 by petition for review under Rule 42.
IS THE PROPER REMEDY TO RAISE THE ISSUE OF
(c) The appeal to the Supreme Court in cases where the penalty
University of Mindanao- College of Law 25
Civil Procedure 2013

imposed by the Regional Trial Court is reclusion perpetua or life Appeals, namely, whether the trial court could correct the penalty
imprisonment, or where a lesser penalty is imposed but for offenses imposed on petitioner after its decision had become final. It is
committed on the same occasion or which arose out of the same contended that this is necessary because a constitutional right of
occurrence that gave rise to the more serious offense for which the petitioner has been violated, i.e., the right of petitioner not to be placed
penalty of death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment is imposed, in double jeopardy.
shall be by filing a notice of appeal in accordance with paragraph (a) of To summarize then, petitioner had remedies available to him for the
this section. correction of an error allegedly committed by the trial court. But he lost
those remedies by default. We cannot set aside the rules just so he will
(d) No notice of appeal is necessary in cases where the death penalty be able to raise the questions which he sought to raise in the Court of
is imposed by the Regional Trial Court. The same shall be Appeals. We must abide by our rules. This is the essence of the Rule
automatically reviewed by the Supreme Court as provided in section of Law.
10 of this Rule.
I vote therefor to affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals.
(e) Except as provided in the last paragraph of section 13, Rule 124, all
other appeals to the Supreme Court shall be by petition for review ROBIN M. CANO, petitioner, vs. THE CHIEF, PHILIPPINE
on certiorari under Rule 45. NATIONAL POLICE, EDGAR C. GALVANTE, as Police Director for
Personnel and Records Management, PNP, and the DEPARTMENT
It did not direct as it does in Rule 41 that appeal in criminal cases on OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, respondents.
pure questions of law shall only be to the Supreme Court. What the
rule directs is that when an appeal is to be made to the Supreme Court This petition for review on certiorari assails (a) the order of RTC of
the appeal shall be by petition for review. Quezon City dismissing the complaint filed by petitioner against
respondents for payment of back salaries and allowances amounting
Rule 41 cannot likewise be applied by analogy in appeals in criminal to P301,018; and (b) the order of RTC denying his motion for
cases since Rule 41 is not among the rules that was expressly adopted reconsideration.
to apply to appeals in criminal cases. Under Section 18 of Rule 124.
FACTS:
The exclusion of Rule 41 which refers to appeals in civil cases from For the alleged bungled investigation of the Eileen Sarmenta and Allan
Rule 122 which refers to appeals in criminal cases clearly indicates Gomez rape-slay, a complaint for grave misconduct was filed with the
that the modes of appeal in ordinary civil actions is not applicable in National Police Commission(NPC) under the Department of Interior
criminal cases. On the other hand, Section 18 of the Rule 122 and Local Government against petitioner, then Police Chief Inspector
expressly provides that Rule 44 on procedure in the Court of Appeals of the Calauan Police Station. The Chief of the PNP found petitioner
in ordinary appealed cases shall be applied in criminal cases. As will guilty and ordered his summary dismissal from the service, in a
hereafter be shown[,] Rule 44, like Rules 42 and 43 alternatively allows decision on July 12, 1995. Petitioner appealed his dismissal to the
assignment of errors on questions of fact or of law, meaning a[n] National Appellate Board of the National Police Commission
assignment of error only on pure questions of law are allowable in (NAPOLCOM). NAPOLCOM reversed the decision of the PNP Chief.
appeals to the Court of Appeals. Section 18 clearly connotes that when
the rules allow the application of a particular rule in a particular The NAPOLCOM decision having been allowed by both parties to
situation, it does so expressly. Note that Rule 47 on Annulment of become final and executory, petitioner was restored to full duty status
Judgments was also excluded. effective May 15, 1997. He also received all benefits and emoluments
pertaining to his post pursuant to PNP Special Order No. 1341. With
I respectfully disagree with the majority ruling for the following reasons: the modification of his penalty to 3 months suspension, petitioner filed
a claim for payment of back salaries and other allowances
corresponding to the period he was allegedly unjustly discharged from
First. Appeal is not the appropriate remedy because it is not an error of service until he was restored to full duty status, or from August 7, 1995
judgment, but an error of jurisdiction allegedly committed by the trial to May 15, 1997. However, this claim, computed by the PNP Regional
court, which petitioner was raising in the Court of Appeals. The Police Comptrollership and Finance Division to be P301,018 was
question whether the trial court could correct an error in computing the denied by respondent Police Director Edgar C. Galvante of the PNP
penalty after its decision had become final was not passed upon by the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM) on the
trial court in deciding the criminal case before it but was determined by strength of a Memorandum/Opinion from the PNP Legal Service.
it only as an incident of the case. Indeed, the issue in that case was Petitioner asked for a reconsideration of the denial but the same was
whether petitioner Willy Tan y Chua was guilty of bigamy as the trial rejected.
court found. If petitioner did not agree with his conviction, an appeal by
mere notice to that effect would have been perfectly correct under Rule On account of said denial, petitioner filed on Dec. 23, 1998 a complaint
122, before RTC of Quezon City for the recovery of his back salaries and
other allowances for the said period. The court a quo dismissed the
Second. Even assuming that appeal was the appropriate remedy, complaint in an order dated May 17, 1999.
because it was a question of law that petitioner wanted to raise, the
appeal should have been to this Court, not the Court of Appeals, and it Petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the trial courts decision,
should have been by petition for review on certiorari, not by mere but his motion was denied. Thus, petitioner filed the instant appeal via
notice of appeal. petition for review on certiorari.

Art. VIII, 5(2)(e) of the Constitution provides that the Supreme Court ISSUES:
shall have appellate jurisdiction over "all cases in which only an error (1)Whether or not the petitioner is entitled to his claim for back salaries
or question of law is involved." This jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is and allowances under the terms of the decision of the NAPOLCOM
exclusive by reason of 17, par. 4(4) of the Judiciary Act of 1948, Appellate Board; and
which provides:
(2) Whether petitioner failed to exhaust the administrative remedies
SEC. 17. Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. . . . available to him so as to render the filing of the complaint with the trial
court premature.
Third. Petitioners remedy was to file a petition for certiorari under Rule
65, 1 for, as already shown, the question raised is not an error of law RULING:
but an alleged error of jurisdiction. Such petition should be filed in the We note that the principal issue raised before us is a mixed question of
Court of Appeals pursuant to B.P. Blg. 129, 9 by means of a special fact and law. There is a question of fact when doubt or difference
civil action ofcertiorari. Such petition should have been brought within arises as to the truth or falsehood of the alleged facts, and there is a
60 days from notice to petitioner of the ruling of the trial court, which is question of law where the doubt or difference arises as to what the law
now long over. is on a certain state of facts.

Nonetheless, the majority argues that this Court should relax the rules Here, petitioner seeks to recover back salaries and allowances
and decide directly the question raised by petitioner in the Court of allegedly due him from Aug. 7, 1995, when he was unjustly discharged
University of Mindanao- College of Law 26
Civil Procedure 2013

from the service, to May 15, 1997, when he was restored to full duty Clearly, Dueas [herein petitioner] failed to tender
status. The determination of petitioners entitlement to said back performance in accordance with the terms and conditions of
salaries and allowances is a mixed question as it involves the the construction contract he executed with Africa [herein
determination of his duty status for the period of his claim and the respondent]. He failed to construct a four-bedroom
resolution of whether the petitioner was acquitted by the NAPOLCOM residential house suitable and ready for occupancy on a
Appellate Board in its decision finding him liable only for simple stipulated date. Dueas was fully aware that Africa needed
misconduct, not gross misconduct. the new house for a long scheduled family event precisely a
completion date was included and specified in the
Under Section 1 of Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, an appeal by transaction. Despite knowledge and receipt of payment from
certiorari to this Court should raise only questions of law which must be Africa, Dueas failed to deliver what was incumbent upon
distinctly set forth in the petition. It is elementary that a review is not a him under the undertaking. He unjustifiably incurred delay in
matter of right, but of sound judicial discretion, and will be granted only the construction of the new building and wrongfully deprived
when there are special and important reasons therefor. As the error Africa and her family of the use and enjoyment of the subject
raised herein includes one of fact and law, and not a proper subject for property.
a petition for review on certiorari, we are constrained to decline The parties brought the matter to the Court of Appeals
exercise of our equity jurisdiction in this case. assailing the Decision of the RTC. The appellate court,
however, found no cogent reason to depart from the trial
At any rate, petitioner also failed without justifiable cause to observe courts conclusion. Thus, on April 29, 2004, it rendered the
due regard for the hierarchy of courts. Even on this reason alone, we herein assailed Decision affirming with modification the
are constrained to deny the petition. The policy of this Court RTCs ruling.
respecting the hierarchy of courts and prohibiting the filing of a petition
in this Court in view of the concurrent jurisdiction with the lower courts ISSUE:
has been consistently observed in the absence of any compelling Whether or not the Supreme Court may be necessitated to determine
reason for departing from such policy. Pursuant to Section 2, Rule 41 the weight, credence, and probative value of the evidence presented
of the Rules of Court, petitioner should have taken his appeal to the by the parties to a litigation.
Court of Appeals.
RULING:
Petitioner endeavors to convince the Court to determine, yet again,
the weight, credence, and probative value of the evidence presented.
ENGR. APOLINARIO DUEAS, Petitioner, This cannot be done in this petition for review on certiorari under Rule
vs. 45 of the Rules of Court where only questions of law may be raised by
ALICE GUCE-AFRICA, Respondent. the parties and passed upon by the SC.

FACTS: A question of law arises when there is doubt as to what the law is on a
certain state of facts, while there is a question of fact when the doubt
arises as to the truth or falsity of the alleged facts. For a question to be
In January 1998 respondent Africa entered into a one of law, the same must not involve an examination of the probative
Construction Contract5 with petitioner for the demolition of value of the evidence presented by the litigants or any of them. The
the ancestral house and the construction of a new four- resolution of the issue must rest solely on what the law provides on the
bedroom residential house. The parties agreed that given set of circumstances. Once it is clear that the issue invites a
respondent would pay P500,000.00 to the petitioner, who review of the evidence presented, the questioned posed is one of fact.
obliged himself to furnish all the necessary materials and Thus, the test of whether a question is one of law or of fact is not the
labor for the completion of the project. Petitioner likewise appellation given to such question by the party raising the same;
undertook to finish all interior portions of the house on or rather, it is whether the appellate court can determine the issue raised
before March 31, 1998, or more than two weeks before her without reviewing or evaluating the evidence, in which case, it is a
sisters wedding wedding. question of law; otherwise, it is a question of fact.

On April 18, 1998, however, the house remained unfinished.


The wedding ceremony was thus held at the Club Victorina
and respondents relatives were forced to stay in a hotel. Her
It has already been held that the determination of the existence of a
mother lived with her children, transferring from one place to
breach of contract is a factual matter not usually reviewable in a
another.
petition filed under Rule 45. We will not review, much less reverse, the
factual findings of the Court of Appeals especially where, as in this
Respondent filed a Complaint for breach of contract and case, such findings coincide with those of the trial court, since we are
damages against petitioner before the Regional Trial Court not a trier of facts.The established rule is that the factual findings of the
of Pasig City. She alleged, among others, that petitioner Court of Appeals affirming those of the RTC are conclusive and binding
started the project without securing the necessary permit on us. We are not wont to review them, save under exceptional
from the City Engineers Office of Lipa City. However, and circumstances as:
despite knowledge that the construction of the house was
intended for the forthcoming marriage of respondents sister,
petitioner unjustly and fraudulently abandoned the project
leaving it substantially unfinished and incomplete. Several
demands were made, but petitioner obstinately refused to 1. when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or
make good his contractual obligations. Worse, petitioners impossible;
workmanship on the incomplete residential house was
substandard. 2. when there is grave abuse of discretion;

Petitioner on the other hand, maintained that he cannot be 3. when the findings are grounded entirely on speculations,
held liable for the amounts claimed by the respondent in her surmises or conjectures;
complaint considering that he had faithfully complied with the
terms and conditions of the Construction Contract. 4. when the judgment of the Court of Appeals is based on
misapprehension of facts;
The RTC gave more credence to respondents version of the
facts, finding that- 5. when the Court of Appeals, in making its findings, went
beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to
the admissions of both appellant and appellee;
University of Mindanao- College of Law 27
Civil Procedure 2013

6. when the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of By letter dated February 25, 1977, through the law Law Firm,
specific evidence on which they are based; PHILCHEM was advised that LINGNER was interested in continuing
business relationship with PHILCHEM and will be interested in
7. when the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked certain negotiating a new contract and that, prior to the signing of a new
relevant facts not disputed by the parties and which, if contract, LINGNER was proposing that the old contract be extended by
properly considered, would justify a different conclusion; and mutual agreement for a period of six (6) calendar months beginning
March 1, 1977 to expire automatically on August 31, 1977 if no
contract is entered into. The proposal was accepted by PHILCHEM,
8. when the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are and no new contract having been signed by August 31, 1977, the
premised on the absence of evidence and are contradicted AGREEMENT terminated on that date,
by the evidence on record.

On July 20, 1979, PHILCHEM presented a claim to LINGNER for


Except with respect to the first ground advanced by the petitioner P1,055,000.00 under the ROYALTY CLAUSE. The claim was
which will be discussed later, none of the above exceptions obtain in discussed between PHILCHEM and TANNER of BEECHAM with the
this case. Hence, we find no cogent reason to disturb the findings of intervention of the Law Firm. No settlement having been arrived at,
the RTC and affirmed by the Court of Appeals that petitioner was PHILCHEM, on August 6, 1980, filed a complaint against BEECHAM
negligent in the construction of respondents house and thus liable for alone in Civil Case No. 38086 of the then Court of First Instance of
breach of contract. Rizal. The summons issued could not be served on BEECHAM, the
Sheriff having reported that BEECHAM was neither a company
registered in the Philippines, nor resident at the given address of Unit
A, Padilla Building, Emerald Avenue, Pasig, Metro Manila.
LINGER and FISHER vs. IAC

PHILCHEM then filed an amended complaint, this time making


FACTS: LINGNER and BEECHAM as the defendants, and pleading that
summons could be served on the Law Firm as an agent of the
defendants.
DEUTCHE MILCHWERKE DR. A. SAUER (DMW for brevity) was a
firm in West Germany manufacturing PRODUCTS (probably
chemicals) under the trademarks FISSAN, etc. Private respondent
Philippine Chemical Laboratories, Inc. (PHILCHEM, for brevity) is a
local company which apparently also manufactures and sells The Law Firm submitted a special appearance in the case on behalf of
chemicals. LINGNER, and, also on behalf of LINGNER, moved for dismissal on
the grounds (a) that LINGNER was not a foreign corporation doing
business in the Philippines and hence could not be sued locally, and,
(b) that LINGNER could not be served with summons through the Law
Firm.
On February 28, 1963, DMW and PHILCHEM executed a so-called
Agency AGREEMENT the basic provision of which was that
PHILCHEM would be the exclusive importer of the PRODUCTS into RTC denied the Motion to Dismiss, assuming that LINGNER could be
the Philippines. The benefit to PHILCHEM would be the profits realized sued in this jurisdiction, and holding that LINGNER can be served with
from re-sale in this country of imported PRODUCTS. summons through the Law Firm.

LINGNER went on certiorari to the Intermediate Appellate Court where


it reiterated the plea that summons could not be validly served on it
through the Law Firm.
Subsequently, the DMW interests were acquired by LINGNER &
FISHER GMBH LINGNER for brevity). On other hand, LINGNER was
a subsidiary of BEECHAM GROUP LTD. which, through BEECHAM
PRODUCTS INTERNATIONAL (BEECHAM, for brevity), had opened
an office in this country at Unit A, Padilla Building, Emerald Avenue, ISSUE:
Pasig, Metro Manila, under the supervision or managership of one
named TANNER. LINGNER and BEECHAM can be deemed to WON the CA erred in denying the request for evidentiary hearing.
constitute a single personality. Subsequent reference to LINGNER will
include reference to DMW and BEECHAM.

HELD:

The AGREEMENT was automatically renewed once, or up to February


28, 1973, and finally terminated on August 31, 1977. The Appellate Court acted correctly in denying the request for an
evidentiary hearing. Evidence necessary in regards to factual issues
raised in cases falling within the Appellate Court's original and
appellate jurisdiction contemplates "incidental" facts which were not
touched upon, or fully heard by the trial or respondent Court. The law
The events relative to the termination were as follows: could not have intended that the Appellate Court would hold an original
and full trial of a main factual issue in a case, which properly pertains
Before February 28, 1973, the parties agreed to extend the to Trial Courts.
AGREEMENT up to February 28, 1975. If it is not terminated by prior
notice six months before February 28, 1975, as it was not, it would be
extended for a further two years up to February 28, 1977.
It is our view that evidence as to whether LINGNER was doing
business in the Philippines, even before the Trial Court, is no longer
necessary in view of the fact that PHILCHEM and LINGNER were
contractees in the AGREEMENT and the claim of PHILCHEM is based
University of Mindanao- College of Law 28
Civil Procedure 2013

on the ROYALTY CLAUSE of that AGREEMENT. Whether LINGNER is Both transactions were duly authorized by the board of directors and
or is not doing business in the Philippines will not matter because the stockholders of UDMC. Upon the completion of the governmental
parties had expressly stipulated in the AGREEMENT that all approval process, shares of stock, duly signed by UDMC's authorized
controversies based on the AGREEMENT "shall fall under the officers, were issued to the Yamadas and Enatsus.
jurisdiction of Philippine courts". In other words, there was a covenant
on venue to the effect that LINGNER can be sued by PHILCHEM This capital infusion not only saved the assets of the UDMC (especially
before Philippine Courts in regards to a controversy related to the the hospital) from foreclosure but also freed the Crisostomos from their
AGREEMENT. individual and solidary liabilities as sureties for the DBP loan.

As it had been agreed in the Amended Memorandum of Agreement


between UDMC and the Japanese group that upon the latter's
A case should not be dismissed simply because an original summons acquisition of the controlling interest in UDMC, the corporation would
was wrongfully served. It should be difficult to conceive, for example, be reorganized, a special stockholders' meeting and board of directors'
that when a defendant personally appears before a Court complaining meeting were scheduled to be held on August 20, 1988.
that he had not been validly summoned, that the case filed against him
should be dismissed. An alias summons can be actually served on said However, on the eve of the meetings, i.e., on August 19, 1988, Sixto
defendant. Crisostomo, supposedly acting for himself, filed SEC Case No.
3420 against Juanito Crisostomo, Ricardo Alfonso, Shoji Yamada,
Michiyo Yamada, Tomotada Enatsu and Edita Enatsu, praying, among
other things,
ACCORDINGLY, the judgment under review of the Intermediate
Appellate Court (Third Special Cases Division) is hereby upheld insofar (1) to stop the holding of the stockholder's and board of
as it sustained the Orders, dated August 24, 1981 and December 18, directors' meetings;
1981, of the then Court of First Instance of Rizal, Branch XI, Pasig,
denying petitioner's Motion to Dismiss and the subsequent Motion for xxx
Reconsideration, albeit on grounds different from those relied upon by
the Intermediate Appellate Court. The now Regional Trial Court, to
which the case below has been assigned, is hereby directed to allow Two weeks later, Crisostomo filed Civil Case No. 88-1823 in the
private respondent Philippine Chemical Laboratories, Inc., to apply for Regional Trial Court of Makati, Metro Manila, where he also
the issuance of alias summons on petitioner Lingner and Fischer sought a preliminary injunction and the identical reliefs prayed for
GMBH by publication under the provisions of Section 17, Rule 14 in by him in SEC. It was dismissed by the trial court for lack of
relation to Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, and after issues have been jurisdiction (yes kay sa SEC ni dapat) and is pending appeal in the
joined, to proceed to trial and judgment accordingly. Court of Appeals (CA-G.R. No. 20285-CV.)

The hearing officer, Antonio Esteves, granted the application for a writ
of preliminary injunction enjoining the respondents from holding the
special meeting of the stockholders and of the Board of Directors of
SIXTO P. CRISOSTOMO vs SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE United Doctors Medical Center, [Inc.] (UDMC).
COMMISSION, SPOUSES SHOJI YAMADA and MICHIYO YAMADA
and SPOUSES TOMOTADA ENATSU and EDITA ENATSU
The private respondents' motion for reconsideration of this order was
denied by the hearing officer.
G.R. Nos. 89095 & 89555 November 6, 1989

The respondents appealed by certiorari to the SEC en banc. SEC set


Facts: This is a petition for certiorari, which seeks to annul and set aside the preliminary injunction issued by Esteves and directed that a
aside the en banc resolution of the Securities and Exchange special stockholders' meeting of UDMC be held for the purpose of
Commission in SEC and its orders directing the corporate secretary of allowing the stockholders of record of the corporation to elect a new
the United Doctors Medical Center, Inc. (hereafter "UDMC") to call a board of directors.
special meeting of the stockholders to elect the officers and directors in
the implementation of the SEC's aforementioned en banc resolution
which the Court of Appeals affirmed in its decision. Sixto Crisostomo sought a review of the SEC's en banc resolution
in the Court of Appeals (CA-G.R. SP No. 17435.)

Case 1. RTC-CA
CA dismissed his petition and lifted the temporary restraining order that
it had issued against the SEC's resolution. Petitioner filed a motion for
Case 2. SEC-SEC en banc-CA-SC reconsideration CA denied the petitioner's motion to reinstate the writ
of preliminary injunction.
Antecedent Facts:
Hence this petition for certiorari in the SC.
Sixto Crisostomo, Felipe Crisostomo (deceased), Veronica Palanca,
Juanito Crisostomo, Carlos Crisostomo, Ricardo Alfonso, Regino Issue related t civil procedure: Whether or not CA has jurisdiction
Crisostomo and Ernesto Crisostomo (known as the Crisostomo group) on appeals from en banc resolutions of the SEC.
were the original stockholders of the United Doctors Medical Center
(UDMC) They owned approximately 40% of UDMC's outstanding
capital stock, while the 60% majority belonged to the members of the The case did not answer this issue -kay ako ray nagbuhat ani kay wala
United Medical Staff Association (UMSA). ni gitackle sa kaso. Nagfocus ra man gud ang kaso sa forum shopping
ug constitutional provisions on the 60% Filipino policy. Pero it appears
in the facts of this case that CA does have jurisdiction from SEC en
Despite their minority status, the Crisostomo group has managed bancs decision before xa automatically musaka sa SC.
UDMC from its inception.

Issue on forum-shopping: Did the petitioner violate the anti-forum


In 1988, UDMC defaulted in paying its loan obligation of approximately shopping law? YES.
P55 million to the DBP. To stave off the threatened foreclosure, UDMC,
through its officers, persuaded the Yamadas and Enatsu (Shoji
Yamada and Tomotada Enatsu are Japanese doctors) to invest fresh Held: The records show that Crisostomo had two actions pending in
capital in UDMC. The wife of Tomotada Enatsu, Edita Enatsu, is a the Court of Appeals (CA-G.R. No. SP 17435 and CA-G.R. No. 20285
Filipina. They invested approximately P57 million in UDMC. CV) when he filed the petition for certiorari (G.R. No. 89095) in this
Court on July 27, 1989. The case docketed as CA-G.R. No. 20285-CV,
University of Mindanao- College of Law 29
Civil Procedure 2013

is his appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati,
dismissing his complaint for annulment of the Memorandum of
Agreement and the Stock Purchase Agreement between UDMC and On September 26, 1991, petitioners moved for the dismissal of the
the Japanese investors. CA-G.R. No. SP 17435 is his petition for complaint on the ground that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction
certiorari to review the SEC's en banc resolution upholding those over the case by reason of private respondents' nonpayment of the
transactions and ordering the holding of a stockholders meeting to correct amount of docket fees. Petitioners contended that in addition to
elect the directors of the UDMC, and of a board of directors meeting to the fees already paid based on the claim for P100,000.00 for attorney's
elect the officers. fees, private respondents should have paid docket fees in the amount
of P21,640.00, based on the alleged value of the two (2) parcels of
Notwithstanding the pendency of those two cases in the Court of land subject matter of the contract of sale sought to be annulled; that
Appeals, Crisostomo filed this petition for certiorari 1 and prohibition on an action for annulment or rescission of a contract of sale of real
July 27, 1989 where he raises the same issues that he raised in the property is a real action and, therefore, the amount of the docket fees
Court of Appeals. to be paid by private respondent should be based either on the
assessed value of the property, subject matter of the action, or its
estimated value as alleged in the complaint, pursuant to the last
paragraph of 7(b) of Rule 141. Since private respondents alleged that
the land, in which they claimed an interest as heirs, had been sold for
Issue on the constitutionality of the foreign investment: Whether P4,378,000.00 to petitioners, this amount should be considered the
or not the transfer or conveyance to the foreign investors in this case is estimated value of the land for the purpose of determining the docket
constitutional. YES fees.

Held: While 82% of UDMC's capital stock is indeed subscribed by the


Japanese group, only 30% (equivalent to 171,721 shares or
P17,172.00) is owned by the Japanese citizens, namely, the Yamada
spouses and Tomotada Enatsu. 52% is owned by Edita Enatsu, who is Private respondents filed opposition to the motion to dismiss, arguing
a Filipino. Accordingly, in its application for approval/registration of the that outright dismissal of their complaint was not warranted on the
foreign equity investments of these investors, UDMC declared basis of the alleged nonpayment of the correct amount of docket fees,
that 70% of its capital stock is owned by Filipino citizens, including considering that the amount paid by them was that assessed by the
Edita Enatsu. clerk of court

The investments in UDMC of Doctors Yamada and Enatsu do not


violate the Constitutional prohibition against foreigners practising a
profession in the Philippines (Section 14, Article XII, 1987 Constitution) On October 21, 1991, the trial court 5 denied petitioners' motion to
for they do not practice their profession (medicine) in the Philippines, dismiss but required private respondents to pay the amount of docket
neither have they applied for a license to do so. They only own shares fees based on the estimated value of the parcels of land in litigation as
of stock in a corporation that operates a hospital. No law limits the sale stated in the complaint.
of hospital shares of stock to doctors only. The ownership of such
shares does not amount to engaging (illegally,) in the practice of
medicine, or, nursing. If it were otherwise, the petitioner's stockholding
in UDMC would also be illegal.
Private respondents filed a motion for reconsideration but their motion
was denied by the trial court. They therefore, brought the matter to the
Ruling on the Conflict between SECs orders and the CA CA which, on February 26, 1992, rendered a decision annulling the
orders of the trial court. The appellate court held that an action for
The SEC's orders (directing the secretary of UDMC to call a rescission or annulment of contract is not susceptible of pecuniary
stockholders' meeting, etc.) are not premature, despite the petitioner's estimation and, therefore, the docket fees should not be based on the
then pending motion for reconsideration of the decision of the Court of value of the real property, subject matter of the contract sought to be
Appeals. The lifting by the Court of Appeals of its writ of preliminary annulled or rescinded. Petitioners moved for reconsideration, but their
injunction in CA-G.R. SP No. 17435 cleared the way for the motion was denied in a resolution dated March 25, 1992 of the
implementation by the SEC's en banc resolution. The SEC need not appellate court. Hence, the petition for review on certiorari.
wait for the Court of Appeals to resolve the petitioner's motion for
reconsideration for a judgment decreeing the dissolution of a
preliminary injunction is immediately executory. It "shall not be stayed
after its rendition and before an appeal is taken or during the pendency
of an appeal." (Sec. 4, Rule 39, Rules of Court) ISSUE: Whether in assessing the docket fees to be paid for the filing of
an action for annulment or rescission of a contract of sale, the value of
the real property, subject matter of the contract, should be used as
Hence, these petitions were dismissed for lack of merit. The petitioner basis, or whether the action should be considered as one which is not
and his counsel were censured for engaging in forum-shopping and capable of pecuniary estimation and therefore the fee charged should
were further ordered to pay double costs in this instance. be a flat rate of P400.00 as provided in Rule 141, sec. 7(b) (1) of the
Rules of Court.

G.R. No. 104796 March 6, 1998

SPOUSES ROSALINA S. DE LEON and ALEJANDRO L. DE RULING: An action for annulment or rescission of a contract of sale of
LEON, petitioners, vs. real property is incapable of pecuniary estimation and, so, the docket
THE COURT OF APPEALS, GLICERIO MA. ELAYDA II, FEDERICO fees should be the fixed amount of P400.00 in Rule 141, 7(b)(1). In
ELAYDA and DANILO ELAYDA,respondents. support of their argument, they cite the cases of Lapitan
v. Scandia, Inc. 7 and Bautista v.Lim. 8 In Lapitan this Court, in an
opinion by Justice J.B.L. Reyes, held

Facts: On August 8, 1991, private respondents filed in the RTC of


Quezon City a complaint for annulment or rescission of a contract of
sale of two (2) parcels of land against petitioners. Upon the filing of the in determining whether an action is one the subject matter of
complaint, the clerk of court required private respondents to pay docket which is not capable of pecuniary estimation, this Court has adopted
and legal fees in the total amount of P610.00. the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the principal action or
remedy sought. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the
University of Mindanao- College of Law 30
Civil Procedure 2013

claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and whether


jurisdiction is in the municipal courts or in the courts of first instance
would depend on the amount of the claim. However, where the basic Thus, although eventually the result may be the recovery of land, it is
issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money, or the nature of the action as one for rescission of contract which is
where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the controlling. The Court of Appeals correctly applied these cases to the
principal relief sought, like in suits to have the defendant perform his present one.
part of the contract (specific performance) and in actions for support, or
for annulment of a judgment or to foreclose a mortgage, this Court has
considered such actions as cases where the subject of the litigation
may not be estimated in terms of money, and are cognizable
exclusively by courts of first instance. The rationale of the rule is plainly Since the action of petitioners [private respondents] against private
that the second class cases, besides the determination of damages, respondents [petitioners] is solely for annulment or rescission which is
demand an inquiry into other factors which the law has deemed to be not susceptible of pecuniary estimation, the action should not be
more within the competence of courts of first instance, which were the confused and equated with the "value of the property" subject of the
lowest courts of record at the time that the first organic laws of the transaction; that by the very nature of the case, the allegations, and
Judiciary were enacted allocating jurisdiction (Act 136 of the Philippine specific prayer in the complaint, sans any prayer for recovery of money
Commission of June 11, 1901). and/or value of the transaction, or for actual or compensatory
damages, the assessment and collection of the legal fees should not
be intertwined with the merits of the case and/or what may be its end
result; and that to sustain private respondents' [petitioners'] position on
what the respondent court may decide after all, then the assessment
No award for damages may be had in an action for should be deferred and finally assessed only after the court had finally
rescission without first conducting an inquiry into matters which would decided the case, which cannot be done because the rules require that
justify the setting aside of a contract, in the same manner that courts of filing fees should be based on what is alleged and prayed for in the
first instance would have to make findings of fact and law in actions not face of the complaint and paid upon the filing of the complaint.
capable of pecuniary estimation expressly held to be so by this Court.
Issues of the same nature may be raised by a party against whom an
action for rescission has been brought, or by the plaintiff himself. It is,
therefore, difficult to see why a prayer for damages in an action for
rescission should be taken as the basis for concluding such action as WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED.
one capable of pecuniary estimation a prayer which must be
included in the main action if plaintiff is to be compensated for what he
may have suffered as a result of the breach committed by defendant,
and not later on precluded from recovering damages by the rule
against splitting a cause of action and discouraging multiplicity of
suits.
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