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J.

DEL CASTILLO
CASE DIGESTS

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements


For Remedial Law 1

Submitted to:
Atty. Christian “Kit” Villasis

15 September 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS

REMEDIAL LAW ...................................................................................................1


POLITICAL LAW...............................................................................................392
CIVIL LAW..........................................................................................................482
LABOR LAW .......................................................................................................692
CRIMINAL LAW ................................................................................................915
COMMERCIAL LAW ......................................................................................1123
TAXATION LAW..............................................................................................1152
LEGAL ETHICS................................................................................................1186
REMEDIAL LAW

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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. YANG CHI HAO
G.R. NO. 165332, October 2, 2009

DOCTRINE:Only errors of jurisdiction, not errors of judgment, may be entertained in a


petition for certiorari; that certiorari will not lie where an appeal may be taken or is lost
through petitioner’s own doing; and that questions of fact are not decided by this Court.

FACTS:
Yang Chi Hao, private respondent herein, filed a Petition for Naturalization before
the Regional Trial Court of Manila which was opposed by the Republic of the Philippines
through the Office of the SolGen. The OSG cross-examined the private respondent and
his witnesses, but did not present any of its own evidence. The trial court issued a
decision denying the Petition for Naturalization which prompted the private respondent to
file a Motion for Reconsideration which was granted by the trial court.
Thereafter the OSG filed a Motion for Reconsideration but was denied by the court.
Instead of filing an ordinary appeal before the Court of Appeals, the OSG filed a Petition
for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, claiming that by reversing its original
decision, the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction.
The appellate court dismissed the petition declaring that the present recourse is an
incorrect, improper, or a wrong legal remedy for the simple reason that the order in
question is a final order which disposed of the case. Hence, the proper recourse
therefrom is an ordinary appeal to be filed within fifteen (15) days from the time the OSG
received notice of the denial of its motion for reconsideration.
The OSG filed a Motion for Reconsideration but it was denied by the Court of
Appeals. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the court acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in
excess of jurisdiction when it granted the petition for naturalization of the private
respondent.

HELD:
No.
By grave abuse of discretion is meant such capricious and whimsical exercise of
judgment which is equivalent to an excess or lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion
must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual
refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where
the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or
hostility.
In this case, the OSG simply argues that the trial court erred in granting the petition for
naturalization because it failed to consider material evidence that would warrant the
denial of said petition. If, indeed, there was error, this is simply an error of judgment in
appreciation of facts and the law. Besides, the trial court has the discretion to reverse
itself upon the filing of a motion for reconsideration. Indeed, Section 3, Rule 37 of the
Rules of Court is explicit in that a trial court may amend its judgment or order if it finds that

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the judgment or final order is contrary to the evidence or law. If a mistake was committed
by the trial court, it was in the exercise of its jurisdiction. Thus, the error is one of
judgment, not of jurisdiction; consequently, petitioner's remedy is appeal, not certiorari.
Also, also mandated by Sections 11 and 12 of Commonwealth Act No. 473 (1939), or
the Revised Naturalization Law, as amended. Notably, in Keswani v. Republic, we
declared that the remedy from a decision by the trial court admitting an individual as a
Filipino citizen is through an appeal to the Court of Appeals.
Moreover, a decision granting a petition for naturalization becomes executory only
two years after its promulgation. On this matter, Section 1 of Republic Act No. 530 (1950)
provides:
Section 1. The provisions of existing laws notwithstanding, no petition for
Philippine citizenship shall be heard by the courts until after six months from the
publication of the application required by law, nor shall any decision granting the
application become executory until after two years from its promulgation and after
the court, on proper hearing, with the attendance of the Solicitor General or his
representative, is satisfied, and so finds, that during the intervening time the
applicant has (1) not left the Philippines, (2) has dedicated himself continuously to
a lawful calling or profession, (3) has not been convicted of any offense or violation
of Government promulgated rules, (4) or committed any act prejudicial to the
interest of the nation or contrary to any Government announced policies.
As such, petitioner is not without a remedy to assail the grant of citizenship. In
addition, it may also move to have the naturalization certificate cancelled in the proper
proceedings, if it can be shown that the certificate was obtained fraudulently.

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ARNEL SAGANA vs. RICHARD A. FRANCISCO
G.R. No. 161952 October 2, 2009

DOCTRINE: Jurisprudence has long established that for substituted service of summons
to be valid, the following must be demonstrated: (a) that personal service of summons
within a reasonable time was impossible; (b) that efforts were exerted to locate the party;
and (c) that the summons was served upon a person of sufficient age and discretion
residing at the party’s residence or upon a competent person in charge of the party’s
office or regular place of business. It is likewise required that the pertinent facts proving
these circumstances be stated in the proof of service or in the officer’s return.

FACTS:
Arnel Sagana filed a Complaint for Damages alleging that Richard A. Francisco shot
him with a gun hitting him on the right thigh.
The process server Manuel S. Panlasigui attempted to serve summons at
respondent's address at No. 36 Sampaguita St., Baesa, Quezon City but was
unsuccessful. In his Server's Return, he stated that he tried to personally serve the
summons to respondent at his given address, however, the occupant of that house, who
refused to give his identity, told him that respondent is unknown at said address.
Panlasigui also declared that diligent efforts were exerted to serve the summons but
these proved to be futile.Subsequently, the trial court attempted to serve summons to
respondent's office through registered mail. However, despite three notices, respondent
failed to pick up the summons.
The trial court dismissed the case on account of petitioner's lack of interest to
prosecute. Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration stating that after the Server's
Return was filed, he exerted efforts to locate the respondent, and it was confirmed that
respondent indeed lived at No. 36 Sampaguita St., Baesa, Quezon City and the same
was granted conditioned upon the service of summons on the respondent within 10 days
from receipt of the Order.
Thus, Process Server Jarvis Iconar again tried to serve the summons at the
address of the respondent but no avail. According to Iconar's handwritten notation on the
summons, he was informed by Michael Francisco, respondent's brother, that respondent
no longer lived at said address. However, he left a copy of the summons to Michael
Francisco.
This prompted the petitioner to file a Motion to Declare Defendant in Default
alleging that despite service of summons, respondent still failed to file an Answer. The
trial court issued an Order finding that the summons was validly served to respondent
through his brother, Michael. It thus declared respondent in default and allowed petitioner
to present his evidence ex parte. Nonetheless, copies of all pleadings and court
documents were furnished to respondent at No. 36 Sampaguita St.
Michael Francisco, through his counsel, filed a Manifestation and Motion denying
that he received the summons or that he was authorized to receive summons on behalf of
his brother, respondent Richard Francisco. He alleged that the substituted service did not
comply with Section 8, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court, since summons was not served at
defendant's residence or left with any person who was authorized to receive it on behalf of
the defendant. Michael Francisco also prayed that his name be stricken off the records as

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having received a copy of the summons. The trial court issued an Order denying Michael
Francisco's Manifestation and Motion for lack of merit.
Having failed to file an answer or any responsive pleading, Francisco was declared
in default and Sagana was allowed to present evidence ex parte. RTC ruled in favor of
Sagana.
Francisco appealed to the CA and prayed that the RTC erred in assuming
jurisdiction over the person, despite the irregularity of the substituted service of summons
by the court Process Server and in awarding of damages to Sagana. CA favored
Francisco hence Sagana filed this petition for review.

ISSUE:
Whether or not summons were properly served to Francisco

HELD:
Yes.
Section 8 of Rule 14 of the old Revised Rules of Court, the rules of procedure then
in force at the time summons was served, provided:
Section 8.Substituted service. - If the defendant cannot be served within a
reasonable time as provided in the preceding section [personal service on
defendant], service may be effected (a) by leaving copies of the summons at the
defendant's residence with some person of suitable age and discretion then
residing therein, or (b) by leaving the copies at defendant's office or regular place
of business with some competent person in charge thereof.
Jurisprudence has long established that for substituted service of summons to be
valid, the following must be demonstrated: (a) that personal service of summons within a
reasonable time was impossible; (b) that efforts were exerted to locate the party; and (c)
that the summons was served upon a person of sufficient age and discretion residing at
the party's residence or upon a competent person in charge of the party's office or regular
place of business. It is likewise required that the pertinent facts proving these
circumstances be stated in the proof of service or in the officer's return.
In this case, personal service of summons was twice attempted by the trial court,
although unsuccessfully. In the first attempt, the resident of the house refused to receive
the summons; worse, he would not even give his name. In the second attempt,
respondent's own brother refused to sign for receipt of the summons, and then later
claimed that he never received a copy, despite his participation in the proceedings. The
trial court also thrice attempted to contact the respondent through his place of work, but to
no avail. These diligent efforts to locate the respondent were noted in the first sheriff's
return, the process server's notation, as well as the records of the case.
Clearly, personal service of summons was made impossible by the acts of the
respondent in refusing to reveal his whereabouts, and by the act of his brother in claiming
that respondent no longer lived at No. 36 Sampaguita St., yet failing to disclose his
brother's location. We also note that it was the trial court which directed that the second
service of summons be made within seven days; thus, the reasonable time was
prescribed by the trial court itself.
Undeniably, no Sheriff's Return was prepared by process server Jarvis Iconar; the
only record of the second service of summons was Mr. Iconar's handwritten notation in

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the summons itself. However, the information required by law and prevailing
jurisprudence, that is, that personal service was impossible because of the claim that
respondent no longer lived at the stated address, that efforts were exerted to locate the
respondent through the multiple attempts to serve summons, and that summons was
served upon a person of sufficient age and discretion, were already in the records of the
trial court.
Moreover, we find the claim that respondent moved out of their residence in March
1993 without informing his brother or parents his whereabouts, despite regular calls and
letters, simply incredulous. What makes this version of events even more implausible is
respondent's admission that he received a copy of the trial court's Decision of 20
September 1999 that was sent to No. 36 Sampaguita Street. Respondent even filed a
Notice of Appeal coincidentally indicating that his address was No. 36 Sampaguita St.,
Baesa, Quezon City. He also received a copy of the appellate court's order for preliminary
conference that was sent to said address. These were never denied by respondent,
despite being given every opportunity to do so.

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METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST CO., vs. LAMB CONSTRUCTION
CONSORTIUM CORPORATION, represented by Victor T. Nubla and Edgardo C.
Santos
G.R. No. 170906 | November 27, 2009

DOCTRINE: A petition for the issuance of a writ of possession is ex parte,


non-adversarial, and summary in nature because the only issue involved is the
purchaser's right to possession. In fact, Section 7 of Act 3135 (1924) expressly provides
that it is the ministerial duty of the cadastral court to issue a writ of possession in favor of
the purchaser even during the redemption period, unless the case falls under the
exceptions provided by law and jurisprudence. As a rule, mere inadequacy or surplus in
the purchase price does not affect the purchaser's entitlement to a writ of possession. In
case there is a surplus, the mortgagor is entitled to receive the same from the purchaser.
The failure or refusal of the mortgagee-purchaser to return the surplus does not affect the
validity of the sale but gives the mortgagor a cause of action against the
mortgagee-purchaser.

FACTS:
Lamb Construction Consortium Corporation obtained a P5.5 million loan from
petitioner Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., subject to 18% interest per annum. To secure
the loan, respondent executed a Real Estate Mortgage in favor of petitioner involving six
parcels of land. Respondent, however, failed to pay the loan upon maturity hence
petitioner filed a petition for the extra-judicial foreclosure of the said properties. During the
auction sale, petitioner emerged as the highest bidder with the bid amount of
P6,669,765.75 and was accordingly issued a Certificate of Sale.
During the period of redemption, petitioner filed a verified petition for issuance of a
writ of possession. Petitioner alleged that notwithstanding its demands, respondent
refused and failed to turn over actual possession of the foreclosed properties. While the
petition was pending with the trial court, respondent redeemed the one of the parcels of
land mortgaged.
RTC rendered a Decision denying petitioner's application for the issuance of a writ of
possession because it failed to deposit the surplus proceeds from the foreclosure sale.
On appeal, CA ruled that petitioner is entitled to a writ of possession, the issuance of
which is ministerial upon the court. At the same time, it ruled that petitioner is also obliged
to return the excess of the bid price over the outstanding obligation, since the application
of the proceeds from the sale of the mortgaged property to the mortgagor's obligation is
an act of payment, not payment by dation. It then found imperative that an assessment of
the total outstanding debt be made in order to resolve whether there was any surplus
proceeds which must be returned to respondent.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the court can rule upon the surplus or excess of the purchase price
upon issuing a writ of possession

HELD:
No

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In Sulit v. Court of Appeals, 268 SCRA 441 (1997), we withheld the issuance of a writ
of possession because the mortgagee failed to deliver the surplus from the proceeds of
the foreclosure sale which is equivalent to approximately 40% of the total mortgage debt.
Sulit was considered as an exception to the general rule that it is ministerial upon the
court to issue a writ of possession even during the period of redemption. We explained
that equitable considerations prevailing in said case demand that a writ of possession
should not issue.
In the subsequent case of Saguan v. Philippine Bank of Communications, 538 SCRA
390 (2007) however, we clarified that the exception made in Sulit does not apply when the
period to redeem has already expired or when ownership over the property has already
been consolidated in favor of the mortgagee-purchaser. In other words, even if the
mortgagee-purchaser fails to return the surplus, a writ of possession must still be issued.
In the instant case, the period to redeem has already lapsed. Thus, following the ruling in
Saguan, the issuance of a writ of possession in favor of the petitioner is in order.
The failure of the mortgagee to deliver the surplus proceeds does not affect the
validity of the foreclosure sale. It gives rise to a cause of action for the mortgagee to file an
action to collect the surplus proceeds. Relatedly, we held in Sulit that if the mortgagee is
retaining more of the proceeds of the sale than he is entitled to, this fact alone will not
affect the validity of the sale but simply gives the mortgagor a cause of action to recover
such surplus.
In the instant case, the cadastral court is without jurisdiction to order petitioner to
deliver to respondent the surplus or excess of the purchase price. The only issue in a
petition for the issuance of a writ of possession is the purchaser's entitlement to
possession. No documentary or testimonial evidence is even required for the issuance of
the writ as long as the verified petition states the facts sufficient to entitle the purchaser to
the relief requested. As held in Saguan, when the mortgagee-purchaser fails to return the
surplus, the remedy of a mortgagor "lies in a separate civil action for collection of a sum of
money", thus:
However, petitioners' remedy lies in a separate civil action for collection of a
sum of money. We have previously held that where the mortgagee retains more of
the proceeds of the sale than he is entitled to, this fact alone will not affect the
validity of the sale but simply gives the mortgagor a cause of action to recover such
surplus. In the same case, both parties can establish their respective rights and
obligations to one another, after a proper liquidation of the expenses of the
foreclosure sale, and other interests and claims chargeable to the purchase price
of the foreclosed property. The court can then determine the proper application of
compensation with respect to respondent's claim on petitioners' remaining
unsecured obligations. In this regard, respondent is not precluded from itself filing
a case to collect on petitioners' remaining debt.
An action to collect the surplus proceeds is improper where there is a pending
action for the nullification of the foreclosure proceedings.

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JOVEN YUKI, JR., vs. WELLINGTON CO
G.R. No. 178527 | November 27, 2009

DOCTRINE:It is an elementary rule that the jurisdiction of the court in ejectment cases is
determined by the allegations pleaded in the complaint and cannot be made to depend
upon the defenses set up in the answer or pleadings filed by the defendant; Principle
holds even if the facts proved during trial do not support the cause of action alleged in the
complaint.

FACTS:
Mr. Joseph Chua was the registered owner of a parcel of land, together with a
commercial building erected thereon. In 1981, he leased a portion of the building to
petitioner Joven Yuki, Jr., who put up a business therein under the name and style
"Supersale Auto Supply." The contract of lease between Mr. Chua and petitioner had a
term of five years but was not reduced into writing. Thereafter, the lease was renewed
through a series of verbal and written agreements, the last of which was a written
Contract of Lease covering the period of January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2003 at a
monthly rental of P7,000.00.
In November 2003, Mr. Chua informed petitioner that he sold the property to
respondent Wellington Co and instructed petitioner to henceforth pay the rent to the new
owner. After the expiration of the lease contract, petitioner refused to vacate and
surrender the leased premises. Thus, respondent filed a Complaint for unlawful detainer
before the MeTC of Manila.
Petitioner denied having been served with copies of the alleged notice of sale and
notice to vacate. By way of affirmative defenses, he claimed that the complaint should be
dismissed for being premature as there was no allegation therein of prior referral to the
barangay. Petitioner also asserted that since he was not notified by the former owner of
the sale, he was deprived of his preemptive rights. Moreover, respondent has no cause of
action against him because respondent is not the true owner of the property but merely
acts as a representative of persons whom respondent refused to disclose. Further,
petitioner argued that there was an implied renewal of lease considering that a) he did not
receive a notice to vacate, b) the two months deposit and one month advance payment
he gave to Mr. Chua were never returned to him, and c) respondent accepted his
payments for the months of January and February 2004.
Petitioner also asserted that his property rights would be violated if he is evicted
because he has been operating his business in the premises for more than 20 years and
has established goodwill in the area. He thus proposed that he be compensated the
amount of not less than P1 million or be allowed to dispose of his stocks within a
reasonable period of time, before he vacates the premises.
On September 21, 2004, the MeTC-Branch 15 rendered a Decision in favor of the
respondent. In reversing the ruling of the MeTC, the RTC found no proof on record that
petitioner actually received the notice to vacate, thereby making the Complaint fatally
defective. The RTC likewise opined that the resolution of the case hinges on the
existence of implied new lease, a question which is incapable of pecuniary estimation
and, therefore, beyond the MeTC's jurisdiction. Before the CA, the decision of the RTC
was set aside and reinstated the decision of the MeTC.

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ISSUE:
Whether or not the existence of an implied new lease, a matter which is incapable of
pecuniary estimation and, therefore, beyond the MeTC's jurisdiction.

HELD:
No.
The allegation of existence of implied new lease or tacita reconduccion will not divest
the MeTC of jurisdiction over the ejectment case. It is an elementary rule that the
jurisdiction of the court in ejectment cases is determined by the allegations pleaded in the
complaint and cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the answer or
pleadings filed by the defendant. This principle holds even if the facts proved during trial
do not support the cause of action alleged in the complaint. In connection with this, it is
well to note that in unlawful detainer cases the elements to be proved and resolved are
the facts of lease and expiration or violation of its terms.
Here, no interpretative exercise is needed to conclude that respondent has
complied with such requirement. In respondent's Complaint, he specifically alleged that
(1) the former owner, Mr. Chua, and petitioner entered into a contract of lease; (2)
subsequently, respondent purchased the leased premises from Mr. Chua and became
the owner thereof; (3) thereafter, the lease contract between Mr. Chua and petitioner
expired; and (4) petitioner refused to vacate the premises despite the expiration and
non-renewal of the lease.
Besides, we do not agree with the RTC that the MeTC does not have jurisdiction to
resolve the issue of existence of implied new lease in the unlawful detainer case. Tacita
reconduccion refers to the right of the lessee to continue enjoying the material or de facto
possession of the thing leased within a period of time fixed by law. During its existence,
the lessee can prevent the lessor from evicting him from the disputed premises. On the
other hand, it is too well-settled to require a citation that the question to be resolved in
unlawful detainer cases is, who is entitled to de facto possession. Therefore, since tacita
reconduccion is determinative of who between the parties is entitled to de facto
possession, the MeTC has jurisdiction to resolve and pass upon the issue of implied new
lease in unlawful detainer case. In Mid-Pasig Land Development Corporation v. Court of
Appeals, we ruled that the MeTC is clothed with exclusive original jurisdiction over an
unlawful detainer case even if the same would entail compelling the plaintiff therein to
recognize an implied lease agreement.

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POWER SITES AND SIGNS, INC., vs. UNITED NEON
(a Division of Ever Corporation)
G.R. No. 163406 | November 24, 2009

DOCTRINE: Before a court grants injunctive relief, the following must be demonstrated:
that complainant is entitled to the relief sought, the actual or threatened violation of
complainant's rights, the probability of irreparable injury, and the inadequacy of pecuniary
compensation as relief. Otherwise, there is no basis for the issuance of a writ of
injunction.

FACTS:
The petitioner sent a letter-complaint to the Muntinlupa City Engineer and Building
Official requesting to revoke United Neon’s building permit and to issue a Cease and
Desist Order against it. The City Building Official referred the complaint to United Neon to
comment. However, before a resolution could be made by the City Building Official,
Power Sites filed a Petition for Injunction with Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Prayer for
Temporary Restraining Order and Damages against United Neon before the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Muntinlupa City.
After the filing of the parties' respective memoranda, which took the place of
testimonial evidence, the RTC granted petitioner's prayer for the issuance of a preliminary
injunction.
United Neon then filed a Petition for Prohibition and Certiorari with Application for
Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction before the Court of
Appeals. In brief, United Neon claimed that the grant of preliminary injunction was
unwarranted, particularly because Power Sites only prayed for a prohibitory injunction in
its original petition, but the Order went as far as to grant a mandatory injunction in favor of
Power Sites. United Neon prayed that the Court of Appeals invalidate the RTC's Order
and Writ, issue a temporary restraining order enjoining the RTC from further proceeding.
After the parties' exchange of pleadings, the Court of Appeals invalidated the Order of the
RTC.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA correctly invalidated the order of the RTC which granted the
preliminary injunction in favor of Power Sites

HELD:
Yes
A preliminary injunction may be granted only where the plaintiff appears to be clearly
entitled to the relief sought and has substantial interest in the right sought to be defended.
While the existence of the right need not be conclusively established, it must be clear. The
standard is even higher in the case of a preliminary mandatory injunction, which should
only be granted -

x x x in cases of extreme urgency; where the right is very clear; where


considerations of relative inconvenience bear strongly in complainant's favor;
where there is a willful and unlawful invasion of plaintiff's right against his protest

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and remonstrance, the injury being a continuing one; and where the effect of the
mandatory injunction is rather to reestablish and maintain a preexisting continuing
relation between the parties, recently and arbitrarily interrupted by the defendant,
than to establish a new relation x x x.
The evidence presented before us in support of a preliminary injunction is weak
and inconclusive, and the alleged right sought to be protected by petitioner is vehemently
disputed. We note that both parties allege that: (1) they began construction of their
respective billboards first; (2) the billboard of the other party blocks the other's exclusive
line of sight; (3) they are entitled to protection under the provisions of the National Building
Code and OAAP Code of Ethics/Guidelines.[30] However, we are not in a position to
resolve these factual matters, which should be resolved by the trial court. The question of
which party began construction first and which party is entitled to the exclusive line of
sight is inextricably linked to whether or not petitioner has the right that deserves
protection through a preliminary injunction. Indeed, the trial court would be in the best
position to determine which billboard was constructed first, their actual location, and
whether or not an existing billboard was obstructed by another.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Jose Feliciano Loy, Jr., Raymundo Hipolito III, and Edgardo Ridao,
Petitioners, vs. SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION EMPLOYEES UNION-Philippine
Transport and General Workers Organization (SMCEU-PTGWO), as represented by
its President Ma. Pilar B. Aquino and SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION CREDIT
COOPERATIVE, INC., as represented by its President Daniel Borbon, Respondents
G.R. No. 164886 | November 24, 2009

DOCTRINE: Summary judgments are sanctioned by the Rules of Court as a device to


simplify and expedite the resolution of cases when, as shown by pleadings, affidavits,
depositions or admissions on the records, there are no genuine issues which would entail
an expensive, lengthy and protracted trial. However, if there is a genuine issue of material
fact which calls for the presentation of evidence, resort to summary judgment would not
be proper. Stated otherwise, if there exists an issue of fact, the motion for summary
judgment should be denied.

FACTS:
Petitioners acted as counsel for the Union in the negotiation of the CBA between the
management of three corporations – SMC, Magnolia Corporation and San Miguel Foods,
Incorporated and the Union. They filed a complaint with Application for Preliminary
Attachment for the collection of unpaid attorney’s fees for the legal services they rendered
for SMCEU-PTGWPO.
On the other hand, the respondents filed a Motion to Discharge Writ of Attachment
and Dismiss Complaint. They alleged that the Board Resolution passed was neither valid
nor ratified by the Unions general membership. They also alleged that no demand to pay
attorney’s fees was made to the Union and that petitioners had already been paid for their
services.
The RTC denied the Motion to Discharge Writ of Attachment and Dismiss
Complaint. In its Order, the RTC ordered the garnishees - San Miguel Corporation,
Magnolia Corporation, San Miguel Foods, Inc., and United Coconut Planters Bank
(UCPB) - to deliver the garnished funds to the Clerk of Court, RTC-Manila. Meanwhile,
San Miguel Corporation Credit Cooperative, Inc. (Credit Cooperative) moved to intervene
in the case claiming that the garnished funds included cooperative dues, the seed capital
of which appears to have come from the union funds. In its Answer in Intervention, the
Credit Cooperative prayed for the lifting of the garnishment of its funds, arguing that said
funds do not belong to or are owned by the Union but actually came from the individual
share capital of its members.
Meanwhile, a Compromise Agreement was entered into by petitioners and
Hipolito, Jr., the latter acting in his capacity as President of the Union and obligating the
Union to pay petitioners' claim for attorney's fees in the reduced amount of P1.5 million.
This Compromise Agreement, although initially approved by the RTC, was later on
invalidated and set aside by the trial court on the ground of irregularities surrounding its
execution. The case was then set for pre-trial conference. Meanwhile, in a local union
election of officers held were Ma. Pilar B. Aquino (Aquino) and Marcial A. Frisnedi
(Frisnedi) were elected as the President and Vice-President, respectively. As newly
elected officers of the Union, they filed a Motion for Substitution/Intervention, which was

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 13
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
granted in an Order of the RTC. The RTC also allowed the Union, under its new set of
officers, to amend its answer to the complaint.
The RTC ordered the garnished funds of the Union in the amount of P3 million to
be deposited with the Philippine National Bank. The trial court denied the Union's motion
to resume pre-trial and instead.
However, petitioners filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. They averred that the
case was ripe for Summary Judgment because there was a judicial admission that legal
services were indeed rendered which resulted to the benefits enjoyed by the workers in
the 1992-1995 CBA.
The Union opposed the motion arguing that it only admitted the allegation in the
complaint insofar as the benefits enjoyed by the workers in the 1992-1995 CBA are
concerned but not the legal services allegedly rendered by petitioners. Further, it alleged
that the amount claimed as attorney's fees was unconscionable. The trial court rendered
its Decision granting the motion for summary judgment. It held that the case was ripe for
summary judgment in view of the Union's admission, through Hipolito, Jr., of its monetary
obligation to petitioners in the amount of P3 million for the legal services they rendered.
The Union appealed to the Court of Appeals which rendered the assailed Decision
nullifying the RTC's Decision and remanding the case to the trial court for further
proceedings.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the case is ripe for summary judgment considering the fact that the
amount for services rendered is not yet determined

HELD:
The determination of the amount of reasonable attorney’s fees would require
presentation of evidence and a full-blown trial. The Rules of Court allows the rendition of a
summary judgment if the pleadings, supporting affidavits, depositions and admissions on
file, show that, except as to the amount of damages, there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. There
can be no summary judgment where questions of fact are in issue or where material
allegations of the pleadings are in dispute.
In fixing a reasonable compensation for the services rendered by a lawyer on the
basis of quantum meruit, the elements to be considered are generally (1) the importance
of the subject matter in controversy, (2) the extent of services rendered and (3) the
professional standing of the lawyer. A determination of these factors would indispensably
require nothing less than a full-blown trial where the party can adduce evidence to
establish the right to lawful attorney\'s fees and for the other party to oppose or refute the
same.
The Union considers the attorney's fees in the amount of P3 million as
unreasonable, unconscionable and without basis. In fixing said amount of attorney's fees,
the RTC ratiocinated that the issue of the reasonableness of the amount claimed as
attorney's fees had been heard by the IBP in the disbarment case.
The question of unconscionableness of P3,000,000,00 Attorney's fees of Atty.
Hipolito has been heard and tried by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Hence, all
defenses and claims of defendant Union now through the new president Aquino shall be

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 14
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
dismissed under Section 7, Rule 9, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure necessitating a
Summary judgment, attaching therewith the various transcripts of stenographic notes of
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. That there is [sic] no more triable issues otherwise
what was heard by the IBP on unconscionable attorney's fees would be heard again. That
if the defendant Union in 1990 prior to the instant case paid a single lone-lawyer of the
Union of 5% broken down as follows: 4% (2.3 Million as Attorney's fees) and 1%
(670,799.52 as seed capital of the Union's cooperative) as shown in the Court's T.S.N.
dated October 4, 1994; the defendant Union can not now claim the P3 Million Attorney's
fees for three (3) lawyers with a higher and subsequent 1993 CBA benefits as
unconscionable.
We find that the RTC erroneously ruled on this matter. First, it does not appear
from the Report and Recommendation of Commissioner Jaime M. Vibar, the IBP
Commissioner who tried the disbarment case, that a pronouncement was made as to how
much Hipolito III (petitioner herein) should receive as attorney's fees. The IBP merely
sustained Hipolito III's entitlement to compensation for acting as union counsel in
collaboration with Loy, Jr. and Ridao (co-petitioners herein) in concluding the 1992-1995
CBA, but refused to fix an amount as the matter was already being heard in court.
Second, the testimony of Abuerne was unsubstantiated by evidence, thereby making her
an incompetent witness to testify on such matters. The records of the Credit Cooperative
were not presented to substantiate Abuerne's statements. The lawyer who was allegedly
paid P2.3 million attorney's fees in 1990 was not also presented to testify. No proof was
proffered to show that Hipolito III was entitled to or actually received the amount. Hence,
the RTC arbitrarily fixed petitioners' attorney's fees at P3 million despite insufficient
factual basis.
When material allegations are disputed, it cannot be asserted that there is no real
issue necessitating a formal trial. We deem it necessary, therefore, that further inquiry
should be made in order for petitioners to prove the extent of the services they rendered,
the time they consumed in the negotiations and such other matters necessary for the
determination of the reasonable value of their services.
Mindful that the instant case has been pending for more than a decade, we
painstakingly reviewed the records. Unfortunately, we find them inadequate and
insufficient to determine the reasonableness of the amount claimed or to fix, for that
matter, a reasonable amount of attorney's fees in order to finally resolve the present
controversy. Thus, in order to adequately afford both parties ample opportunity to present
their evidence in support of their respective claims, a remand is inevitable, but only for the
purpose of determining the reasonable amount of attorney's fees on quantum meruit
basis.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 15
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
LYNN PAZ T. DELA CRUZ et al. vs. SANDIGANBAYAN et al.
G.R. No. 161929, December 8, 2009

DOCTRINE: Under the principle of the law of the case, when a question is passed upon by
an appellate court and the case is subsequently remanded to the lower court for further
proceedings, the question becomes settled upon a subsequent appeal. Whatever is
once irrevocably established as the controlling legal rule or decision between the same
parties in the same case continues to be the law of the case, whether correct on general
principles or not, so long as the facts on which such decision was predicated continue to
be the facts of the case before the court.

FACTS:
The instant criminal complaint arose from the construction and/or renovation project
involving several multi-purpose halls located in various barangays in the City of Tarlac.
Upon post audit, the Provincial Auditor of the Commission on Audit issued two Notice of
Disallowances on the ground that what were actually constructed and/or renovated were
barangay chapels in violation of Section 29(2), Article VI of the Constitution and Section
335 of the Local Government Code prohibiting public expenditure for religious purposes.
On February 6, 1998, private complainants Jesus B. David and Ana Alamo Aguas
filed a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the approval and
implementation of the aforesaid projects against several local government officials of the
City of Tarlac for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act (RA) No. 3019 or The Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act.
On December 8, 2003, the Sandiganbayan issued the assailed Resolution which
granted the prosecutions motion and ordered the preventive suspension of the accused
for a period of 90 days. It ruled that the validity of the information has been previously
settled in its April 24, 2003 Resolution. Thus, under Section 13 of RA No. 3019, the
preventive suspension of the accused becomes mandatory. Petitioners thereafter filed a
motion for reconsideration which was denied.

ISSUE:
 Whether the subject criminal case was prematurely instituted considering the pendency
of petitioners appeals before the COA En Banc.
 Whether the Ombudsman may still reconsider his Resolution dated July 13, 1999,
dismissing the complaint, after the same has already become final and executory.
 Whether the subject information is fatally defective.
 Whether, on the basis of the admitted or undisputed facts, there is probable cause to
prosecute petitioners and their co-accused for violation of Section 3(e) of RA No. 3019

HELD:
The preventive suspension of the accused under Section 13 of RA No. 3019 is
mandatory upon a finding that the information is valid.
Section 13 of RA No. 3019 provides:
Section 13.Suspension and loss of benefits - Any public officer against whom any
criminal prosecution under a valid information under this Act or under the provisions of the
Revised Penal Code on bribery is pending in court, shall be suspended from office. Should he be

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 16
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
convicted by final judgment, he shall lose all retirement or gratuity benefits under any law, but if
he is acquitted, he shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he
failed to receive during suspension, unless in the meantime administrative proceedings have
been filed against him.
Pursuant to this provision, it becomes mandatory for the court to immediately issue the
suspension order upon a proper determination of the validity of the information. The court
possesses no discretion to determine whether a preventive suspension is necessary to forestall
the possibility that the accused may use his office to intimidate witnesses, or frustrate his
prosecution, or continue committing malfeasance. The presumption is that unless the accused is
suspended, he may frustrate his prosecution or commit further acts of malfeasance or do both.
The validity of the subject information has been raised and resolved in G.R. No. 158308.
Under the principle of the law of the case, this issue can no longer be re-litigated.
The issues and arguments in the instant petition were already included in the issues and
arguments raised and resolved in G.R. No. 158308. The Court EnBancs June 17, 2003
Resolution should, thus, have put to rest the issue of the validity of the subject information. Yet,
petitioners would have us now revisit the same issue in the instant petition. This cannot be done.
Under the principle of the law of the case, when a question is passed upon by an appellate court
and the case is subsequently remanded to the lower court for further proceedings, the question
becomes settled upon a subsequent appeal. Whatever is once irrevocably established as the
controlling legal rule or decision between the same parties in the same case continues to be the
law of the case, whether correct on general principles or not, so long as the facts on which such
decision was predicated continue to be the facts of the case before the court. Thus, considering
that the validity of the information has long been settled in G.R. No. 158308, the Sandiganbayan
properly granted the motion to suspend the accused pendente lite.
In conclusion, we note with deep disapproval the failure of petitioners to properly apprise
this Court of the proceedings previously taken in G.R. No. 158308. Petitioners did not act
forthrightly when they omitted in their statement of facts that they had earlier challenged the
validity of the subject information before the Sandiganbayan and this Court, which issue they
now seek to resuscitate in the instant petition. That the accused should be allowed to arduously
and zealously defend his life, liberty and property is not in question. But this is so only within the
permissible limits of the framework of our criminal laws and rules of procedure. Indubitably, the
accused should not give ground for delay in the administration of criminal justice, much less,
hide from this Court the patent unworthiness of his cause.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. EDGARDO ESTRADA

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 17
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
G.R. No. 178318, January 15, 2010

DOCTRINE:A witness who testified in a categorical, straightforward, spontaneous and


frank manner and remained consistent on cross-examination is a credible witness.
Moreover, the testimony of a rape victim, especially one who is young and immature,
deserves full credit considering that no woman would concoct a story of defloration, allow
an examination of her private parts and thereafter allow herself to be perverted in a public
trial if she was not motivated solely by the desire to have the culprit apprehended and
punished.

FACTS:
On November 19, 1997, two similarly-worded Informations were filed against
appellant Edgardo Estrada charging him with two counts of Rape.Appellant was
arraigned and pleaded not guilty. Trial on the merits thereafter ensued.
Sometime in July 1997, she was sleeping side by side with her uncle, herein
appellant, when the latter suddenly placed his knees between her thighs and proceeded
to remove her clothes. Appellant who was already naked went on top of her and inserted
his penis in her vagina. AAA tried to resist but appellant pinned her hands above her
head. After having carnal knowledge of AAA, appellant told her not to report to anyone
what had transpired or she would be killed.
After the rape incident, AAA stayed at her grandfather’s house which was likewise
located in the same barangay where her grandmother’s house was situated. She thought
that she would be safe there. However, she was grievously mistaken. One evening, also
in the month of July 1997, appellant arrived thereat and again raped AAA. While the latter
was sleeping, appellant poked a knife at her and ordered her to remove her clothes. AAA
was cowed into submission and appellant succeeded in sexually assaulting her for the
second time.
On August 16, 2002, the trial court rendered its Decision finding appellant guilty of
qualified rape on two counts and sentenced him to suffer the supreme penalty of
death.On January 31, 2007, the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision affirming with
modifications the Decision of the trial court. The Court of Appeals opined that mere
allegation in the Information that the appellant was the victims uncle would not suffice to
satisfy the special qualifying circumstance of relationship. It must be categorically stated
that appellant is a relative within the 3rd civil degree by consanguinity or affinity.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the testimony of the rape victim can convict the accused in crime

HELD:
Yes. Applying the guiding principles that a) an accusation for rape is easy to make,
difficult to prove and even more difficult to disprove; b) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime,
the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with utmost caution; and c) the evidence of
the prosecution must stand on its own merits and cannot draw strength from the weakness of
the evidence for the defense, we affirm the Decision of the Court of Appeals finding herein
appellant guilty of two counts of simple rape.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 18
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Factual findings of the trial court, especially when affirmed by the Court of Appeals,
deserve great weight and respect. A witness who testified in a categorical, straightforward,
spontaneous and frank manner and remained consistent on cross-examination is a credible
witness. Moreover, the testimony of a rape victim, especially one who is young and immature,
deserves full credit considering that no woman would concoct a story of defloration, allow an
examination of her private parts and thereafter allow herself to be perverted in a public trial if she
was not motivated solely by the desire to have the culprit apprehended and punished. More so
when, as in this case, the rape victim accuses a close relative of having ravished her. Indeed, if
the victim, who was only twelve years old when she was raped, had the guile to accuse her own
uncle of rape and send him to jail it was only because she was motivated by an honest desire to
have the crime against her punished.
In the instant case, it was clearly established by the prosecution that on two occasions in
July 1997, the victim was sexually abused by appellant through force and intimidation, against
her will and without her consent. The qualifying circumstance of minority of the victim was
likewise proven by the presentation of the latter’s Birth Certificate.
However, as regards the allegation in the Information that appellant is an uncle of the
victim, we agree with the Court of Appeals that the same did not sufficiently satisfy the
requirements of Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code, i.e., it must be succinctly stated that
appellant is a relative within the 3rd civil degree by consanguinity or affinity. It is immaterial that
appellant admitted that the victim is his niece.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 19
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HILARIO ESCOTON
G.R. No. 183577, February 1, 2010

DOCTRINE: In rape cases, the credibility of the victim is always the single most important
issue. In passing upon this matter, the highest degree of respect must be accorded to the
findings of the trial court. We stress that in rape cases the accused may be convicted
based solely on the testimony of the victim, provided that such testimony is credible,
natural, convincing and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things.

FACTS:
AAA was born on October 29, 1990, as shown by her Certificate of Live Birth and
Baptismal Certificate. The appellant is the uncle of AAA, being the brother of her mother.
On May 12, 2001, at around 7 oclock in the evening, AAA and her brother were asleep in
the house of their maternal grandmother with whom they were residing. The appellant
woke up AAA and told her to follow him to his house which was about 500 meters away.
AAAs brother also woke up and accompanied her. Their grandmother did not give them
permission to leave, but they still proceeded towards their destination.
Upon arrival, the appellant undressed himself and removed the lower garments of
AAA. He made her lie down on the bamboo floor then inserted his penis into her vagina
despite her pleas to discontinue his hideous act. AAA felt pain as the appellant had sex
with her. The appellant raped AAA for five times during the night while her brother lay
silently beside her.
On June 28, 2004, the trial court rendered its Decision.The Court found accused
HILARION ESCOTON, GUILTY, beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of MULTIPLE
RAPE

ISSUE:
Whether or not the testimony of the rape victim can convict the accused in the crime
charged

HELD:
Yes. We stress that in rape cases the accused may be convicted based solely on the
testimony of the victim, provided that such testimony is credible, natural, convincing and
consistent with human nature and the normal course of things. In this regard, the trial court is in
the best position to assess the credibility of the victim, having personally heard her and observed
her deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. In the absence of any showing that the
trial court overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied some factor or circumstances of weight that
would affect the result of the case, or that the judge acted arbitrarily, the trial courts assessment
of credibility deserves the appellate courts highest respect.
The testimony of rape victims are given full weight and credence, considering that no
young woman, especially of tender age, would concoct a story of defloration, allow an
examination of her private parts, and thereafter pervert herself by being subjected to a public
trial, if she was not motivated solely by the desire to seek justice for the wrong done to her. It is
highly improbable that a girl of tender years who is not yet exposed to the ways of the world,
would impute to any man a crime so serious as rape if what she claims is false. Considering that
the victim in this case underwent a harrowing experience and exposed herself to the rigors of

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 20
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
public trial, it is unlikely that she would concoct false accusations against the appellant, who is
her uncle. Her spontaneous revelation of the assault on her and her unrelenting determination to
have the appellant arrested and prosecuted of rape lend credence to her claim that she was
indeed raped.
An accused can still be convicted of rape on the sole basis of the testimony of the victim.
Here, even if we disregard the medico-legal report, the result would still be the same the
prosecution, through the testimony of AAA, has successfully proved the case of rape against the
appellant.
Denial and alibi are inherently weak defenses and constitute self-serving negative
evidence which cannot be accorded greater evidentiary weight than the positive declaration of a
credible witness. Between the positive assertions of the victim and the negative averments of the
appellant, the former indisputably deserve more credence and are entitled to greater evidentiary
weight.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 21
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ARMANDO VIDAR @ Ricky, NORBERTO BUTALON, SONNYMARBELLA @ Spike
and JOHN DOES and PETER DOES vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 177361, February 1, 2010

DOCTRINE: A witness who testified in a categorical, straightforward, spontaneous and


frank manner and remained consistent on cross-examination is a credible witness.
Moreover, the testimony of a rape victim, especially one who is young and immature,
deserves full credit considering that no woman would concoct a story of defloration, allow
an examination of her private parts and thereafter allow herself to be perverted in a public
trial if she was not motivated solely by the desire to have the culprit apprehended and
punished.

FACTS:
On November 19, 1997, two similarly-worded Informations were filed against
appellant Edgardo Estrada charging him with two counts of Rape.Appellant was
arraigned and pleaded not guilty. Trial on the merits thereafter ensued.
Sometime in July 1997, she was sleeping side by side with her uncle, herein
appellant, when the latter suddenly placed his knees between her thighs and proceeded
to remove her clothes. Appellant who was already naked went on top of her and inserted
his penis in her vagina. AAA tried to resist but appellant pinned her hands above her
head. After having carnal knowledge of AAA, appellant told her not to report to anyone
what had transpired or she would be killed.
After the rape incident, AAA stayed at her grandfather’s house which was likewise
located in the same barangay where her grandmother’s house was situated. She thought
that she would be safe there. However, she was grievously mistaken. One evening, also
in the month of July 1997, appellant arrived thereat and again raped AAA. While the latter
was sleeping, appellant poked a knife at her and ordered her to remove her clothes. AAA
was cowed into submission and appellant succeeded in sexually assaulting her for the
second time.
On August 16, 2002, the trial court rendered its Decision finding appellant guilty of
qualified rape on two counts and sentenced him to suffer the supreme penalty of
death.On January 31, 2007, the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision affirming with
modifications the Decision of the trial court. The Court of Appeals opined that mere
allegation in the Information that the appellant was the victims uncle would not suffice to
satisfy the special qualifying circumstance of relationship. It must be categorically stated
that appellant is a relative within the 3rd civil degree by consanguinity or affinity.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the testimony of the rape victim can convict the accused in crime.

HELD:
Yes. Applying the guiding principles that a) an accusation for rape is easy to make,
difficult to prove and even more difficult to disprove; b) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime,
the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with utmost caution; and c) the evidence of
the prosecution must stand on its own merits and cannot draw strength from the weakness of

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 22
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
the evidence for the defense, we affirm the Decision of the Court of Appeals finding herein
appellant guilty of two counts of simple rape.
Factual findings of the trial court, especially when affirmed by the Court of Appeals,
deserve great weight and respect. A witness who testified in a categorical, straightforward,
spontaneous and frank manner and remained consistent on cross-examination is a credible
witness. Moreover, the testimony of a rape victim, especially one who is young and immature,
deserves full credit considering that no woman would concoct a story of defloration, allow an
examination of her private parts and thereafter allow herself to be perverted in a public trial if she
was not motivated solely by the desire to have the culprit apprehended and punished. More so
when, as in this case, the rape victim accuses a close relative of having ravished her. Indeed, if
the victim, who was only twelve years old when she was raped, had the guile to accuse her own
uncle of rape and send him to jail it was only because she was motivated by an honest desire to
have the crime against her punished.
In the instant case, it was clearly established by the prosecution that on two occasions in
July 1997, the victim was sexually abused by appellant through force and intimidation, against
her will and without her consent. The qualifying circumstance of minority of the victim was
likewise proven by the presentation of the latter’s Birth Certificate.
However, as regards the allegation in the Information that appellant is an uncle of the
victim, we agree with the Court of Appeals that the same did not sufficiently satisfy the
requirements of Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code, i.e., it must be succinctly stated that
appellant is a relative within the 3rd civil degree by consanguinity or affinity. It is immaterial that
appellant admitted that the victim is his niece.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 23
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HILARIO P. SORIANO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, BANGKO SENTRAL
NG PILIPINAS (BSP), PHILIPPINE DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (PDIC),
PUBLIC PROSECUTOR ANTONIO C. BUAN, and STATE PROSECUTOR ALBERTO R.
FONACIER
G.R. No. 162336, February 1, 2010

DOCTRINE: A special civil action for certiorari is not the proper remedy to assail the denial
of a motion to quash an information.

FACTS:
Soriano was charged for estafa through falsification of commercial documents for
allegedly securing a loan of 48 million in the name of two (2) persons when in fact these
individuals did not make any loan in the bank, nor did the bank's officers approved or had
any information about the said loan. The state prosecutor conducted a Preliminary
Investigation on the basis of letters sent by the officers of Special Investigation of BSP
together with 5 affidavits and filed two (2) separate information against Soriano for estafa
through falsification of commercial documents and violation of DORSI law.
Soriano moved for the quashal of the two (2) informations based on the ground:
1. that the court has no jurisdiction over the offense charged, for the letter
transmitted by the BSP to the DOJ constituted the complaint and was defective for
failure to comply with the mandatory requirements of Sec. 3(a), Rule 112 of the
Rules of Court, such as statment of address of the petitioner and oath of
subscription and the signatories were not authorized persons to file the complaint;
and
2. that the facts charged do not constitute an offense, for the commission of estafa
uner par. 1(b) of Art. 315 of the RPC is inherently incompatible with the violation of
DORSI law (Sec. 83 or RA 337 as amended by PD 1795), and therefore a person
cannot be charged of both offenses.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the petition for certiorari under Rule 65 is the proper remedy in an order
denying a Motion to Quash

HELD:
No. the Court has consistently held that a special civil action for certiorari is not the proper
remedy to assail the denial of a motion to quash an information. The proper procedure in such a
case is for the accused to enter a plea, go to trial without prejudice on his part to present the
special defenses he had invoked in his motion to quash and if after trial on the merits, an adverse
decision is rendered, to appeal therefrom in the manner authorized by law. Thus, petitioners
should not have forthwith filed a special civil action for certiorari with the CA and instead, they
should have gone to trial and reiterated the special defenses contained in their motion to quash.
There are no special or exceptional circumstances in the present case that would justify
immediate resort to a filing of a petition for certiorari.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 24
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. NIEVA ALBERTO y DE NIEVA
G.R. No. 179717, February 5, 2010

DOCTRINE: It is well-settled that the trial courts determination on the issue of credibility of
witnesses and its consequent findings of facts must be given great weight and respect on
appeal, unless certain facts or substance have been overlooked, which, if considered,
might affect the result of the case. This is so because of the judicial experience that trial
courts are in a better position to decide the question of credibility, having heard the
witnesses themselves and observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the
trial.

FACTS:
On January 23, 2003, an informant went to the Drug Enforcement Unit of the
Makati Police Station to inform PO1 Alex Inopia that appellant Nieva Alberto y De Nieva
was selling shabu. An entrapment team was thus immediately formed to be conducted in
Makati City.
Upon their arrival thereat, the informant approached the appellant and introduced
the poseur-buyer, PO1 Inopia. The appellant asked PO1 Inopia how much shabu he
needed and the latter handed over the P500.00 buy-bust money. The appellant then
gave a small plastic sachet containing a white crystalline substance. Thereafter, PO1
Inopia lighted his cigarette, which was the pre-arranged signal for the consummation of
the illegal sale. PO1 Santos responded and together with PO1 Inopia arrested the
appellant and retrieved from her the buy-bust money. The sachet containing the white
crystalline substance was marked with the initials NDA and sent to the crime laboratory
for examination. The examination showed that the contents of the plastic sachet weighed
0.25 gram and are positive for methylamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a dangerous
drug.
The trial court found that all the elements for the illegal sale of shabu were
satisfactorily established by the prosecution. The identity of the buyer and the seller, the
object, and the consideration were proven. Likewise, the delivery of the thing sold and the
payment therefor were established. The appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial
court.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the testimony of the lone witness is credible enough to convict the
accused

HELD:
Yes. It is well-settled that the trial courts determination on the issue of credibility of
witnesses and its consequent findings of facts must be given great weight and respect on
appeal, unless certain facts or substance have been overlooked, which, if considered, might
affect the result of the case. This is so because of the judicial experience that trial courts are in a
better position to decide the question of credibility, having heard the witnesses themselves and
observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 25
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Our re-examination of the testimony of PO1 Inopia follows the trial courts
conclusion that his testimony was given in a straightforward and simple manner. Besides,
appellant is questioning the testimony of PO1 Inopia only on matters pertaining to minor
details of the incident that do not, in any way, affect her conviction. The inconsistencies
ascribed to PO1 Inopia involve minor details, too trivial to adversely affect his credibility as
prosecution witness, and do not negate his positive identification of the appellant as the
perpetrator of the crime. On the other hand, the testimony of PO1 Inopia on the
circumstances that occurred on the date of the entrapment operation against the
appellant from the moment he received a confidential tip from his informer until the time
the buy-bust team apprehended the appellant deserves to be given weight and
significance as it emanated from the mouth of a policeman who enjoys the presumption of
regularity in the performance of his duty. Police officers are presumed to have acted
regularly in the performance of their official functions in the absence of clear and
convincing proof to the contrary or proof that they were moved by ill will.
The argument of the appellant that the prosecutions account of the buy-bust
operation is unworthy of belief since no corroborative testimony was presented, fails to
impress. There is no law requiring that in drug cases the testimony of a single witness has
to be corroborated to be believed. Corroborative evidence is vital only when there are
reasons to suspect that the witness twisted the truth, or that his or her observation was
inaccurate. Evidence is assessed in terms of quality, not quantity. It is to be weighed, not
counted. Thus, it is not uncommon to reach a conclusion of guilt on the basis of the
testimony of a lone witness.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SPOUSES WILLIAM GENATO and REBECCA GENATO vs. RITA VIOLA
G.R. No. 169706, February 5, 2010

DOCTRINE:It is not the caption of the pleading but the allegations therein that are
controlling. The inclusion of the names of all the parties in the title of a complaint is a
formal requirement under Section 3, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court. However, the rules of
pleadings require courts to pierce the form and go into the substance. The non-inclusion
of one or some of the names of all the complainants in the title of a complaint, is not fatal
to the case, provided there is a statement in the body of the complaint indicating that such
complainant/s was/were made party to such action.
A decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable and may no
longer be modified in any respect even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous
conclusions of fact or law and whether it was made by the court that rendered it or by
highest court of the land.

FACTS:
In October 1991, a complaint titled "VILLA REBECCA HOMEOWNERS
ASSOCIATION, INC. versus MR. WILLIAM GENATO and spouse REBECCA GENATO"
was filed with the HLURB. The said complaint was verified by 34 individuals, including the
respondent herein, who referred to themselves as the "Complainants" who "caused the
preparation of the foregoing Complaint". The complaint stated that on various dates,
complainants executed Contracts to Sell and/or Lease Purchase Agreements with the
Sps. Genato pertaining to housing units in Villa Rebecca Homes Subdivision. Sometime
thereafter the HLURB issued a cease and desist order (CDO) enjoining the collection of
amortization payments. This CDO was subsequently lifted. Thereafter, complainants
went to the Sps. Genato with the intention of resuming their amortization payments. The
latter however refused to accept their payments and instead demanded for a lump sum
payment of all the accrued amortizations which fell due during the effectivity of the CDO.
On March 8, 1995, the Housing Arbiter rendered a Decision ordering complainants
to resume payment of their monthly amortization from date hereof pursuant to the
agreement.
On May 26, 2000, Arbiter Marino Bernardo M. Torres issued the Writ of Execution.
In connection therewith, the sheriff seized Rita Viola's two delivery trucks and 315 sacks
of rice. Respondent Viola then filed an Urgent Motion to Quash Execution, with Prayers
for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order, Clarification and Computation of Correct
Amount of Money Judgment and Allowance of Appeal.
On December 15, 2000, Arbiter Torres issued an Order denying respondent
Viola's motion to quash the writ of execution and directed her to pay the Sps. Genato the
amount of ₱739,133.31.
Petitioners contend that the CA erred in ruling that the lack of jurisdiction of the
court over an action cannot be waived. They submit that "jurisdiction of the court over an
action" is different from "jurisdiction over the person". They say that the latter was what
the HLURB was referring to because it stated that Rita Viola was never impleaded. They
contend that jurisdiction over the person can be conferred by consent expressly or
impliedly given, as in the case of Rita Viola.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 27
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
On the other hand, respondent contends that the HLURB did not acquire
jurisdiction over her person since she was not a party to the case; hence, the HLURB
decision is a nullity as against her and therefore never acquired finality. With a void
judgment, the resultant execution was likewise void.
Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the honorable Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the HLURB has not
acquired jurisdiction over the person over the person of the respondent Rita Viola.

HELD:
Yes, the Court of Appeals has acquired jurisdiction over the person of the
respondent.
It is not the caption of the pleading but the allegations therein that are
controlling. The inclusion of the names of all the parties in the title of a complaint is a
formal requirement under Section 3, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court. However, the rules of
pleadings require courts to pierce the form and go into the substance. The non-inclusion
of one or some of the names of all the complainants in the title of a complaint, is not fatal
to the case, provided there is a statement in the body of the complaint indicating that such
complainant/s was/were made party to such action. This is specially true before the
HLURB where the proceedings are summary in nature without regard to legal
technicalities obtaining in the courts of law and where the pertinent concern is to promote
public interest and to assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy and inexpensive
determination of every action, application or other proceedings.
Respondent Viola, although her name did not appear in the title as a party, was
one of the persons who caused the preparation of the complaint and who verified the
same. The allegations in the body of the complaint indicate that she is one of the
complainants. She categorically considered, and held out, herself as one of the
complainants from the time of the filing of the complaint and up to the time the decision in
the HLURB case became final and executory. To repeat, the averments in the body of the
complaint, not the title, are controlling. Hence, having been set forth in the body of the
complaint as a complainant, Viola was a party to the case.
For clarity, the complaint should have been amended to reflect in the title the
individual complainants. There being a "defect in the designation of the parties", its
correction could be summarily made at any stage of the action provided no prejudice is
caused thereby to the adverse party. In the present case, the specification of the
individual complainants in the title of the case would not constitute a change in the identity
of the parties. Only their names were omitted in the title but they were already parties to
the case, most importantly, they were heard through their counsel whom they themselves
chose to prepare the complaint and represent them in the case before the HLURB. No
unfairness or surprise to the complainants, including Viola, or to the Sps. Genato would
result by allowing the amendment, the purpose of which is merely to conform to
procedural rules or to correct a technical error.
The error or defect is merely formal and not substantial and an amendment to cure
such defect is expressly authorized by Sec. 4, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 28
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Moreover, it was only when the final and executory judgment of the HLURB was
already being executed against Viola that she, for the first time, reversed her position; and
claimed that she was not a party to the case and that the HLURB did not acquire
jurisdiction over her. Viola is estopped from taking such inconsistent positions. Where a
party, by his or her deed or conduct, has induced another to act in a particular manner,
estoppel effectively bars the former from adopting an inconsistent position, attitude or
course of conduct that causes loss or injury to the latter. The doctrine of estoppel is based
upon the grounds of public policy, fair dealing, good faith and justice, and its purpose is to
forbid one to speak against his own act, representations, or commitments to the injury of
one to whom they were directed and who reasonably relied thereon. After petitioners had
reasonably relied on the representations of Viola that she was a complainant and entered
into the proceedings before the HLURB, she cannot now be permitted to impugn her
representations to the injury of the petitioners.
Final and executory judgment may no longer be modified
The April 27, 1999 HLURB Resolution, reinstating the December 18, 1996
Decision, has long been final and executory. Nothing is more settled in the law than that a
decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable and may no
longer be modified in any respect even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous
conclusions of fact or law and whether it was made by the court that rendered it or by the
highest court of the land. The only recognized exceptions to the general rule are the
correction of clerical errors, the so-called nunc pro tunc entries which cause no prejudice
to any party, void judgments, and whenever circumstances transpire after the finality of
the decision rendering its execution unjust and inequitable. None of the exceptions is
present in this case. The HLURB decision cannot be considered a void judgment, as it
was rendered by a tribunal with jurisdiction over the subject matter of the complaint and,
as discussed above, with jurisdiction over the parties. Hence, the same can no longer be
modified.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 29
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ATTY. MANGONTAWAR M. GUBAT vs. NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION
G.R. No. 167415, February 26, 2010

DOCTRINE: For a full-blown trial to be dispensed with, the party who moves for summary
judgment has the burden of demonstrating clearly the absence of genuine issues of fact,
or that the issue posed is patently insubstantial as to constitute a genuine issue. A client
has an undoubted right to settle a suit without the intervention of his lawyer, for he is
generally conceded to have the exclusive control over the subject-matter of the litigation
and may, at any time before judgment, if acting in good faith, compromise, settle, and
adjust his cause of action out of court without his attorney’s intervention, knowledge, or
consent, even though he has agreed with his attorney not to do so. The terms of the
compromise subscribed to by the client should not be such that will amount to an entire
deprivation of his lawyer’s fees, especially when the contract is on a contingent fee
basis—a lawyer is as much entitled to judicial protection against injustice or imposition of
fraud on the part of his client as the client is against abuse on the part of his counsel.

FACTS:
In August 1990, plaintiffs Ala Mambuay, Norma Maba, and Acur Macarampat
separately filed civil suits for damages against the NPC before the Regional Trial Court of
Lanao del Sur in Marawi City. Petitioner was the one who signed the complaints on behalf
of himself and Atty. Mandangan.
During the course of the proceedings, the three complaints were consolidated
because the plaintiffs’ causes of action are similar. They all arose from NPC’s refusal to
pay the amounts demanded by the plaintiffs for the cost of the improvements on their
respective lands which were destroyed when the NPC constructed the Marawi-Malabang
Transmission Line.
On the day of the initial hearing on the merits, NPC and its counsel failed to
appear. Consequently, respondent was declared in default. Despite the plea of NPC for
the lifting of the default order, the RTC of Marawi City, Branch 8, rendered its Decision on
April 24, 1991.
NPC appealed to the CA which was docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 33000. During
the pendency of the appeal, Atty. Gubat filed an Entry and Notice of Charging Lien to
impose his attorney’s lien of ₱30,000.00 and appearance fees of ₱2,000.00 on each of
the three civil cases he handled, totalling ₱96,000.00.
On August 19, 1992, NPC moved to dismiss its appeal alleging that the parties had
arrived at a settlement. Attached to the motion were acknowledgment receipts dated April
2, 1992 signed by plaintiffs Acur Macarampat, Ala Mambuay, and Norma Maba, who
received ₱90,060.00, ₱90,000.00, and ₱90,050.00 respectively, in full satisfaction of their
claims against the NPC. The motion stated that copies were furnished to Atty.
Mandangan and herein petitioner, although it was only Atty. Mandangan’s signature
which appeared therein.
After the cases were remanded to the RTC, petitioner filed a Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment on his attorney’s fees. He claimed that the plaintiffs and the NPC
deliberately did not inform him about the execution of the compromise agreement, and
that said parties connived with each other in entering into the compromise agreement in
order to unjustly deprive him of his attorney’s fees.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Petitioner thus prayed that a partial summary judgment be rendered on his
attorney’s fess and that NPC be ordered to pay him directly his lawful attorney’s fees of
₱32,000.00 in each of the above cases, for a total of ₱96,000.00.
NPC opposed the motion for partial summary of judgment. It alleged that a client
may compromise a suit without the intervention of the lawyer and that petitioner’s claim
for attorney’s fees should be made against the plaintiffs. NPC likewise claimed that it
settled the case in good faith and that plaintiffs were paid in full satisfaction of their claims
which included attorney’s fees.
On March 15, 2000, the trial court issued an Order granting petitioner’s motion for
summary judgment. It found that the parties to the compromise agreement connived to
petitioner’s prejudice which amounts to a violation of the provisions of the Civil Code on
Human Relations.
NPC filed a Motion for Reconsideration but the motion was denied by the trial court
in its June 27, 2000 Order. Thus, NPC filed a Petition for Certiorari before the CA
docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 60722, imputing grave abuse of discretion on the court a
quo for granting petitioner’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. It prayed that the
subject order be set aside insofar as NPC is concerned.
Petitioner alleged that NPC’s remedy should have been an ordinary appeal and
not a petition for certiorari because the compromise agreement had settled the civil suits.
Thus, when the trial court granted the motion for partial summary judgment on his fees, it
was a final disposition of the entire case. He also argued that the issue of bad faith is
factual which cannot be a subject of a certiorari petition. He also insisted that NPC’s
petition was defective for lack of a board resolution authorizing Special Attorney Comie
Doromal (Atty. Doromal) of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to sign on NPC’s
behalf.
Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioner’s result to summary judgment is proper.

HELD:
No, the petitioner’s resort to summary judgment is not proper; he is not entitled to
an immediate relief as a matter of law, for the existence of bad faith is a genuine issue of
fact to be tried.
A summary judgment is allowed only if, after hearing, the court finds that except as
to the amount of damages, the pleadings, affidavits, depositions and admissions show no
genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to a judgment as a
matter of law. The purpose of a summary judgment is to avoid drawn out litigations and
useless delays because the facts appear undisputed to the mind of the court. Such
judgment is generally based on the facts proven summarily by affidavits, depositions,
pleadings, or admissions of the parties. For a full-blown trial to be dispensed with, the
party who moves for summary judgment has the burden of demonstrating clearly the
absence of genuine issues of fact, or that the issue posed is patently insubstantial as to
constitute a genuine issue. "Genuine issue" means an issue of fact which calls for the
presentation of evidence as distinguished from an issue which is fictitious or contrived.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Petitioner pleaded for a summary judgment on his fees on the claim that the parties
intentionally did not inform him of the settlement. He alleged that he never received a
copy of NPC’s Motion to Withdraw Appeal before the CA and that instead, it was another
lawyer who was furnished and who acknowledged receipt of the motion. When he
confronted his clients, he was allegedly told that the NPC deceived them into believing
that what they received was only a partial payment exclusive of the attorney’s fees. NPC
contested these averments. It claimed good faith in the execution of the compromise
agreement. It stressed that the attorney’s fees were already deemed included in the
monetary consideration given to the plaintiffs for the compromise.
The above averments clearly pose factual issues which make the rendition of
summary judgment not proper. Bad faith imports a dishonest purpose or some moral
obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong. It is synonymous with fraud, in that it involves a
design to mislead or deceive another. The trial court should have exercised prudence by
requiring the presentation of evidence in a formal trial to determine the veracity of the
parties’ respective assertions. Whether NPC and the plaintiffs connived and acted in bad
faith is a question of fact and is evidentiary. Bad faith has to be established by the
claimant with clear and convincing evidence, and this necessitates an examination of the
evidence of all the parties. As certain facts pleaded were being contested by the opposing
parties, such would not warrant a rendition of summary judgment.
A client may enter into a compromise agreement without the intervention of the
lawyer, but the terms of the agreement should not deprive the counsel of his
compensation for the professional services he had rendered. If so, the compromise shall
be subjected to said fees. If the client and the adverse party who assented to the
compromise are found to have intentionally deprived the lawyer of his fees, the terms of
the compromise, insofar as they prejudice the lawyer, will be set aside, making both
parties accountable to pay the lawyer’s fees. But in all cases, it is the client who is bound
to pay his lawyer for his legal representation.
A compromise is a contract whereby the parties, by making reciprocal
concessions, avoid litigation or put an end to one already commenced. It is a consensual
contract, binding upon the signatories/privies, and it has the effect of res judicata. This
cannot however affect third persons who are not parties to the agreement.
Contrary to petitioner’s contention, a client has an undoubted right to settle a suit
without the intervention of his lawyer, for he is generally conceded to have the exclusive
control over the subject-matter of the litigation and may, at any time before judgment, if
acting in good faith, compromise, settle, and adjust his cause of action out of court without
his attorney’s intervention, knowledge, or consent, even though he has agreed with his
attorney not to do so. Hence, a claim for attorney’s fees does not void the compromise
agreement and is no obstacle to a court approval.
However, counsel is not without remedy. As the validity of a compromise
agreement cannot be prejudiced, so should not be the payment of a lawyer’s adequate
and reasonable compensation for his services should the suit end by reason of the
settlement. The terms of the compromise subscribed to by the client should not be such
that will amount to an entire deprivation of his lawyer’s fees, especially when the contract
is on a contingent fee basis. In this sense, the compromise settlement cannot bind the
lawyer as a third party. A lawyer is as much entitled to judicial protection against injustice
or imposition of fraud on the part of his client as the client is against abuse on the part of

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
his counsel. The duty of the court is not only to ensure that a lawyer acts in a proper and
lawful manner, but also to see to it that a lawyer is paid his just fees.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
THE PARENTS-TEACHERS ASSOCIATION (PTA) OF ST. MATHEW CHRISTIAN
ACADEMY, GREGORIO INALVEZ, JR., ROWENA LAYUG, MALOU MALVAR,
MARILOU BARAQUIO, GARY SINLAO, LUZVIMINDA OCAMPO,MARIFE
FERNANDEZ, FERNANDO VICTORIO, ERNESTO AGANON and RIZALINO
MANGLICMOT, represented by their Attorney-in-Fact, GREGORIO INALVEZ,
JR., Petitioners,
vs.
THE METROPOLITAN BANK and TRUST CO., Respondent.
G.R. No. 176518, March 2, 2010

DOCTRINE:As a rule, it is ministerial upon the court to issue a writ of possession after the
foreclosure sale and during the period of redemption; Exception is where it appears that
there is a third party in possession of the property who is claiming a right adverse to that of
the debtor/mortgagor. The ex parte petition for the issuance of a writ of possession under
Section 7 of Act No. 3135 is not strictly speaking a “judicial process” as contemplated in
Article 433 of the Civil Code. Even if the application for the writ of possession was
denominated as a “petition,” it was in substance merely a motion; no verification and
certification on non-forum shopping need be attached to the motion. The nature of the ex
parte petition for issuance of possessory writ under Act.No. 3135 to be a nonlitigious
proceeding and summary in nature.

FACTS:
Sometime in 2001, the spouses Denivin and Josefina Ilagan (spouses Ilagan)
applied for and were granted a loan by the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (MBTC) in the
amount of P4.79M secured by a Real Estate Mortgage over 8 parcels of land covered by
different Transfer Certificates of Title. Upon default, an extrajudicial foreclosure was
conducted with MBTC being the highest bidder and for which a Certificate of Sale was
issued in its favor. During the period of redemption, MBTC filed an Ex-Parte Petition for
Issuance of a Writ of Possession, before a trial court, by posting the required bond which
was subsequently approved. In due course, St. Mathew Christian Academy of Tarlac, Inc.
(SMCATI), allegedly a third party occupying the parcels of land, filed a Petition for
Injunction with Prayer for Restraining Order against MBTC and the Provincial Sheriff.
Eventually, the trial court issued a Joint Decision granting MBTC the writ of
possession, on the ground that SMCATI is not a third party against whom a writ of
possession cannot be issued, thusly: (1) the lease to SMCATI by the spouses Ilagans, as
lessor, was for a period of one year from the execution of the lease contract in 1998 –
therefore, the lease should have expired in 1999; (2) the lease was not registered and
annotated at the back of the title, and therefore, not binding on third persons; and (3) the
spouses Ilagans are the owners or practically the owners of SMCATI – even if it has a
separate personality, nevertheless, “piercing the veil of corporate entity” is resorted to for
the spouses Ilagan should not be allowed to commit fraud under the separate
entity/personality of SMCATI.
Pending resolution of the motion for reconsideration of the said Decision, the
Parents-Teachers Association, teachers and students of SMCATI (Petitioners), filed a
Motion for Leave to file Petition in Intervention, which was granted by the trial court.
However, in a subsequent Order, the trial court reversed its earlier Order by ruling that

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 34
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
petitioners’ intervention would have no bearing on the issuance and implementation of
the writ of possession.

ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioners are third parties against whom the writ of possession
cannot be issued?

HELD:
No. Ordinarily, a purchaser of property in an extrajudicial foreclosure sale is
entitled to possession of the property. Thus, whenever the purchaser prays for a writ of
possession, the trial court has to issue it as a matter of course. However, the obligation of
the trial court to issue a writ of possession ceases to be ministerial once it appears that
there is a third party in possession of the property claiming a right adverse to that of the
debtor/mortgagor. Where such third party exists, the trial court should conduct a hearing
to determine the nature of his adverse possession.
In this case, however, petitioners cannot be considered as third parties because
they are not claiming a right adverse to the judgment debtor, spouses Ilagan.
Petitioner-teachers and students did not claim ownership of the properties, but merely
averred actual “physical possession of the subject school premises”. Petitioner-teachers’
possession of the said premises was based on the employment contracts they have with
SMCATI. As regards the petitioner-students, the school-student relationship is
contractual in nature. As such, it would be specious to conclude that the teachers and
students hold the subject premises independent of or adverse to SMCATI. In fact, their
interest over the school premises is necessarily inferior to that of the school. Besides,
their contracts are with the school and do not attach to the school premises. Moreover,
the foreclosure of the current school premises does not prevent the SMCATU from
continuing its operations elsewhere. As such, petitioners cannot be deemed “third
parties” as contemplated in Act No. 3135, as amended.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 35
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SPOUSES NORMAN K. CERTEZA, JR. and MA. ROSANILA V. CERTEZA, AND
AMADA P. VILLAMAYOR and HERMINIO VILLAMAYOR, JR., vs. PHILIPPINE
SAVINGS BANK
G.R. No. 190078, March 5, 2010

DOCTRINE: A.M. No. 99-10-05-0 as amended, no longer prescribes the requirements of


at least two bidders for a valid auction sale.—The use of the word “bids” (in plural form)
does not make it a mandatory requirement to have more than one bidder for an auction
sale to be valid. A.M. No. 99-10-05-0, as amended, no longer prescribes the requirement
of at least two bidders for a valid auction sale. We further held that “Except for errors or
omissions in the notice of sale which are calculated to deter or mislead bidders, to
depreciate the value of the property, or to prevent it from bringing a fair price, simple
mistakes or omissions are not considered fatal to the validity of the notice and the sale
made pursuant thereto.”

FACTS:
Petitioners obtained a ₱1,255,000.00 loan from respondent Philippine Savings
Bank (PS Bank), secured by two parcels of land, with all the buildings and improvements
existing thereon, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. N-208706 and N-208770.
Petitioners failed to pay their outstanding obligation despite demands hence PS
Bank instituted on May 8, 2002, an action for Extrajudicial Foreclosure of the Real Estate
Mortgage pursuant to Act No. 3135, as amended.
During the auction sale conducted on February 18, 2003, PS Bank emerged as the
sole and highest bidder. A corresponding Certificate of Sale dated February 20, 2003 was
issued in favor of PS Bank, which was registered with the Registry of Deeds of Quezon
City on March 25, 2003.
During the period of redemption, on December 1, 2003, PS Bank filed an Ex-parte
Petition for Writ of Possession with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, which
was granted in an Order dated September 21, 2004, after the period of redemption for the
foreclosed property had already expired.
On January 20, 2005, petitioners filed an Omnibus Motion for Leave to Intervene
and to Stay Issuance or Implementation of Writ of Possession, attaching therein their
Petition-in-Intervention pursuant to Sec. 8 of Act No. 3135. They sought the nullification of
the extrajudicial foreclosure sale for allegedly having been conducted in contravention of
the procedural requirements prescribed in A.M. No. 99-10-05-0 (Re: Procedure in
Extrajudicial Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgages) and in violation of herein petitioners’
right to due process.
PS Bank opposed the motion citing Manalo v. Court of Appeals where we held that
"(T)he issuance of an order granting the writ of possession is in essence a rendition of
judgment within the purview of Section 2, Rule 19 of the Rules of Court." PS Bank also
argued that with the issuance of the trial court’s Order on September 21, 2004, the Motion
for Leave to Intervene can no longer be entertained.
The petitioners filed their Reply arguing that the filing of their petition before the
court where possession was requested was pursuant to Sec. 8 of Act No. 3135.
On March 3, 2005, the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 217, issued an Order denying
the motion for intervention and to stay the implementation of the writ.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 36
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but the motion was denied in the
Order dated May 9, 2005.
Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that there may be only one bidder
in a foreclosure sale.

HELD:
No, the Court of Appeals did not commit an error in ruling that there may only be one
bidder in a foreclosure sale.
The requirement for at least two participating bidders provided in the original
version of paragraph 5 of A.M. No. 99-10-05-0 is not found in Act No. 3135. Hence, in the
Resolution of the Supreme Court en banc dated January 30, 2001, we made the following
pronouncements:
It is contended that this requirement is now found in Act No. 3135 and that it is
impractical and burdensome, considering that not all auction sales are commercially
attractive to prospective bidders.
The observation is well taken. Neither Act No. 3135 nor the previous circulars
issued by the Court governing extrajudicial foreclosures provide for a similar requirement.
The two-bidder rule is provided under P.D. No. 1594 and its implementing rules with
respect to contracts for government infrastructure projects because of the public interest
involved. Although there is a public interest in the regularity of extrajudicial foreclosure of
mortgages, the private interest is predominant. The reason, therefore, for the requirement
that there must be at least two bidders is not as exigent as in the case of contracts for
government infrastructure projects.
On the other hand, the new requirement will necessitate republication of the notice
of auction sale in case only one bidder appears at the scheduled auction sale. This is not
only costly but, more importantly, it would render naught the binding effect of the
publication of the originally scheduled sale. x x x
Thus, as amended by the January 30, 2001 Resolution, paragraph 5 of A.M. No.
99-10-05-0 now reads:
5. The name/s of the bidder/s shall be reported by the sheriff or the notary public who
conducted the sale to the Clerk of Court before the issuance of the certificate of sale.
Hence, the CA correctly ruled that it is no longer required to have at least two
bidders in an extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage.
Subsequently, on August 7, 2001, we further resolved other matters relating to
A.M. No. 99-10-05-0, specifically on: (1) period of redemption of properties with respect to
the change introduced by Republic Act No. 8791 (The General Banking Law of 2000) to
Act No. 3135; (2) ceiling on sheriff’s fees; and (3) payment of filing fees prescribed in the
Rules of Court in addition to sheriff’s fees.29
Pursuant to A.M. No. 99-10-05-0, as amended by the Resolutions of January 30,
2001 and August 7, 2001, the then Court Administrator (now Associate Justice of this
Court) Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr., issued Circular No. 7-200230dated January 22, 2002
which became effective on April 22, 2002.31 Section 5(a) of the said circular states:
Sec. 5. Conduct of the extra-judicial foreclosure sale –

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
a. The bidding shall be made through sealed bids which must be submitted to the
Sheriff who shall conduct the sale between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. of the date of
the auction (Act 3135, Sec. 4). The property mortgaged shall be awarded to the party
submitting the highest bid and in case of a tie, an open bidding shall be conducted
between the highest bidders. Payment of the winning bid shall be made either in cash or
in managers check, in Philippine currency, within five (5) days from notice.
The use of the word "bids" (in plural form) does not make it a mandatory
requirement to have more than one bidder for an auction sale to be valid. A.M. No.
99-10-05-0, as amended, no longer prescribes the requirement of at least two bidders for
a valid auction sale. We further held that "Except for errors or omissions in the notice of
sale which are calculated to deter or mislead bidders, to depreciate the value of the
property, or to prevent it from bringing a fair price, simple mistakes or omissions are not
considered fatal to the validity of the notice and the sale made pursuant thereto".
In view of the foregoing, the extra-judicial foreclosure sale conducted in this case is
regular and valid. Consequently, the subsequent issuance of the writ of possession is
likewise regular and valid.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 38
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ASSOCIATED ANGLO-AMERICAN TOBACCO CORPORATION AND FLORANTE DY
VS HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. CRISPIN C. LARON
G.R. No. 167237, April 23, 2010

DOCTRINE: The appeal of a final order substantially amending only some matters in a
previously rendered Decision is also an appeal of the other intimately interwoven matters
passed upon in the original decision.

FACTS:
Spouses Paul Pelaez Jr and Rocelli Pelaez were employees of Associated
Ango-American Tobacco Corporation. When Paul defaulted in remitting sales proceeds,
the Corporation instituted the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage executed by the
former. As a result, spouses Pelaez filed a Complaint against the corporation to stop the
extrajudicial sale.
`In the Regional Trial Court, the court decided in favor of the Spouses Pelaez.
However, upon motion of the spouses Pelaez, the Regional Trial Court amended its
previous decision and changed the overage and moral and exemplary damages amounts
to be paid by the corporation. The corporation filed a notice of appeal. Meanwhile, the
spouses Pelaez filed a Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Partial Execution. The Regional
Trial Court, granted the motion of spouses Pelaez. The corporation then filed a Petition for
Certiorari with the Court of Appeals. The same was dismissed. Thus, a Petition for
Certiorari and Prohibition was filed by the corporation with the Supreme Court.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the changes made by the court with its decision constitutes an
amendment or supplemental pleading.

HELD:
The modification is an amendment. The appeal of a final order substantially
amending only some matters in a previously rendered Decision is also an appeal of the
other intimately interwoven matters passed upon in the original decision. The decision of
the Regional Trial Court is not severable since the disposition of some inter-related issues
in the original Regional Trial Court Decision were materially amended by the latest order,
thus, these two issuances must be taken in conjunction with each other.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 39
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
TRINIDAD GO VS VICENTE VELEZ CHAVES
G.R. No. 182341, April 23, 2010

DOCTRINE: A deviation from the rigid application of the procedural rules may thus be
allowed, as the petitioners should be given the fullest opportunity to establish the merits of
their case, rather than lose their property on mere technicalities.

FACTS:
Vicente Chaves filed a complaint against spouses Trinidad and Gonzalo Go for the
removal of the clouds on his certificate of title. Chaves prayed that the SPA and mortgage
to the spouses Go be invalidated. Subsequently, two parties intervened in the case
namely Alice, wife of Vicente Chaves, and Mega Integrated Agro-Livestock Farms Inc.
which claimed that it purchased Vicente a portion of the property in dispute.
The Regional Trial Court decided in favor of Vicente Chaves. Thereafter, spouses Go
appealed to the Court of Appeals. A Motion to Dismiss was filed by Mega and Alice,
alleging that spouses Go failed to furnish them a copy of the brief. The Court of Appeals
granted the motion of Mega and Alice and dismissed the appeal of the spouses Go.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the appellate court erred in dismissing the appeal due to the failure to
append a copy of the assailed judgment and late furnishing of copies of the brief to Mega
and Alice

HELD:
Yes. Despite deficiencies in the petitioner’s appellant brief, it is found to be sufficient
in form and substance as to apprise the appellate court of the essential facts and nature of
the case as well as the issues raised and the laws necessary for the disposition of the
same. The failure of the counsel of spouses Go to serve a copy of the appellant’s brief to
two of the adverse parties was a mere oversight constituting excusable neglect. A
deviation from the rigid application of the procedural rules may thus be allowed, as the
petitioners should be given the fullest opportunity to establish the merits of their case,
rather than lose their property on mere technicalities. Every litigant must be afforded the
amplest opportunity for the proper and just determination of his case, free from the
unacceptable plea of technicalities. Hence, the dismissal of appeals purely on technical
grounds is frowned upon.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 40
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
REGIONAL AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD, VS COURT OF
APPEALS
G.R. No. 165155, April 13, 2010

DOCTRINE: Rules of procedure are tools to facilitate a fair and orderly conduct of
proceedings. Strict adherence thereto must not get in the way of achieving substantial
justice. So long as their purpose is sufficiently met and no violation of due process and fair
play takes place, the rules should be liberally construed, especially in agrarian cases.

FACTS:
Respondents are co-owners of several parcels of land. Petitioners on the other hand
are in actual possession of the said land as tillers thereof. Thereafter, an ejectment case
was filed by respondents with the Department for Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board for
non-payment of rentals.
The Regional Adjudicator decided in favor of the respondents and extinguished the
tenancy leasehold relationship. The petitioners filed two notices of appeal. In answer, the
respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss the Appeal on the basis that the Notice of Appeal
was not filed beyond the reglementary period, it did not state ground relied upon for the
appeal, and that contained the forged signature of the deceased defendants. The motion
was granted. Thereafter, respondents filed a Petition for Certiorari with the Court of
Appeals. The appellate court found merit in respondent’s petition. A Motion for
Reconsideration was filed by the petitioner which was denied.

ISSUE: Whether or not the appeals should be considered as “mere scraps of paper” for
failure to state the grounds relied upon for an appeal.

HELD: No. The defects found in the two notices of appeal are not of such nature that
would cause a denial of the right to appeal. Moreover, the defects are not only excusable
but also inconsequential. Rules of procedure are tools to facilitate a fair and orderly
conduct of proceedings. Strict adherence thereto must not get in the way of achieving
substantial justice. So long as their purpose is sufficiently met and no violation of due
process and fair play takes place, the rules should be liberally construed, especially in
agrarian cases. When the heirs of the real parties in interest signed the Notice of Appeal,
they did not intend, and could not have intended, to visit fraud upon the proceedings; any
intention to mislead is simple negated by their ready admission and participation in the
proceedings as heirs.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 41
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ANGELITA DE GUZMAN V EMILIO A. GONZALEZ III
G.R. No. 158104, March 26, 2010

DOCTRINE: The transmittal of the funds is considered a clear case of restitution and is a
mere mitigating circumstance. It does not obliterate the criminal liability of the accused for
the malversation of public funds.

FACTS:
Angelita De Guzman was indicted for malversation of public funds before the
Regional Trial Court. She requested for a reinvestigation alleging she was not able to
participate during the preliminary investigation as she was out of the country. The
reinvestigation was granted. After reinvestigation, the case was recommended for
dismissal for insufficiency of evidence to establish a probable cause. However the
dismissal of the Prosecutor was recommended for disapproval by Graft Investigation
Officer II Agbada. As an effect, a demand was sent to De Guzman for the transmittal of
the amount due to the Municipality of Claveria. De Guzman complied. Meanwhile, the
Deputy Ombudsman favored the disapproval of the recommendation for dismissal. De
Guzman filed a Motion for Reconsideration.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the prosecution of the case should be continued despite the findings
of the reinvestigating prosecutor that there was no sufficient evidence to establish
probable cause.

HELD:
Yes. A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that more
likely than not a crime has been committed and was committed by the suspect. The
Deputy Ombudsman was merely exercising his power and thus it is discretionary upon
him whether or not he would rely on the findings of fact of the Prosecutor. Moreover, the
transmittal of the funds is considered a clear case of restitution and is a mere mitigating
circumstance. It does not obliterate the criminal liability of the accused for the
malversation of public funds.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 42
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
TEOFILO EVANGELISTA vs. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. 163267, 5 May 2010

DOCTRINE: Once an information is filed in Court, any disposition of the case as to its
dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused rests on the discretion of the court.
The court is not dutifully bound by such finding of the investigating prosecutor.

FACTS:
Petitioner was charged with violation of Section 1 of PD 1866 for allegedly possessing
firearms without the corresponding permit or license from competent authority. He posted
bail and moved that the proceedings be suspended and that a preliminary investigation
be held. The RTC granted his motion and, accordingly, the State Prosecutor conducted
the preliminary investigation.
On its resolution, the State Prosecutor found no probable cause to indict him and
recommended the reversal of the resolution finding probable cause and the dismissal of
the complaint. However, the trial court denied its motion to withdraw the information ruling
that since it was already filed in Court, the matter should be left to its discretion.
Thereafter, trial ensued wherein the petitioner was found guilty for the violation of Illegal
Possession of Firearms and Ammunitions both in the Regional Trial Court and Court of
Appeals.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals gravely erred in disregarding the results of the
preliminary investigation.

HELD:
No. There is nothing procedurally improper on the part of the trial court in disregarding
the result of the preliminary investigation it itself ordered. Judicial action on the motion
rests in the sound exercise of judicial discretion. In denying the motion, the trial court just
followed the jurisprudential rule laid down in Crespo v. Judge Mogul that once a
complaint or information is filed in court, any disposition of the case as to its dismissal or
the conviction or acquittal of the accused rests on the sound discretion of the court. The
court is not dutifully bound by such finding of the investigating prosecutor. In Solar Team
Entertainment, Inc v. Judge How we held:

It bears stressing that the court is however not bound to adopt the resolution of the
Secretary of Justice since the court is mandated to independently evaluate or assess
the merits of the case, and may either agree or disagree with the recommendation of
the Secretary of Justice. Reliance alone on the resolution of the Secretary of Justice
would be an abdication of the trial court’s duty and jurisdiction to determine prima
facie case.

Consequently, petitioner has no valid basis to insist on the trial court to respect the result
of the preliminary investigation it ordered to be conducted.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 43
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
In fine, we find no reason not to uphold petitioner’s conviction. The records substantiate
the RTC and CA’s finding that petitioner possessed, albeit constructively, the subject
firearms and ammunition when he arrived in the Philippines on January 30, 1996.
Moreover, no significant facts and circumstances were shown to have been overlooked or
disregarded which if considered would have altered the outcome of the case.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 44
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. JOSEPH AMPER y REPASO
G.R. 172708, 5 May 2010

DOCTRINE: We have consistently ruled that an accused is estopped from assailing the
legality of his arrest if he fails to raise this issue, or to move for the quashal of the
information against him on this ground, which should be made before arraignment.

FACTS:
An Information was filed against appellant for allegedly taking several pieces of
jewelry and having carnal knowledge with his minor victim. After trial, he was found guilty
of the crime of Robbery with Rape under Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended by R.A. 7659, by the Regional Trial Court. He questioned the legality of his
arrest on appeal, however, the same was denied by the Court.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the appellant may validly question the legality of his arrest before the
Court of Appeals.

HELD:
No. We have consistently ruled that an accused is estopped from assailing the
legality of his arrest if he fails to raise this issue, or to move for the quashal of the
information against him on this ground, which should be made before arraignment. In this
case, appellant only raised for the first time the alleged irregularity of his arrest in his
appeal before the CA. This is not allowed considering that he was already properly
arraigned and even actively participated in the proceedings. He is, therefore, deemed to
have waived such alleged defect when he submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the
court.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 45
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
FELISA R. FERRER vs. DOMINGO CARGANILLO, SERGIO CARGANILLO,
SOLEDAD AGUSTIN and MARCELINA SOLIS
G.R. 170956, 12 May 2010

DOCTRINE: Section 5 of Rule 45 provides that the failure of the petitioner to comply,
among others, with the contents of the petition for review on certiorari shall be sufficient
ground for the dismissal thereof, and, Section 4 of the same rule mandates, among
others, that the petition should state the full name of the appealing party as the petitioner.

This petition concerns four cases, involving the petitioner, jointly heard by the Provincial
Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD), appealed to the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board (DARAB) and subsequently further appealed to the Court of Appeals.
Since the discussion of this digest focuses on the procedural rule applied, only the third
case will be tackled.

FACTS:
In DARAB Case 7864, the first case against respondent Marcelina, Felisa
represented that the tenant of the landholding, Pedro Solis, died in June 1997 and was
survived by his wife, Marcelina. She further alleged that Marcelina took over the
cultivation of the 14,000-square meter landholding without her knowledge and consent. In
addition, during the lifetime of Pedro, the latter failed to pay lease rentals for three
consecutive years from 1995 to 1997. Hence, the case for ejectment against Marcelina.
In her Answer, Marcelina specifically denied Felisa’s allegation of arrears in lease
rentals from 1995 to 1997.
After submission of their respective position papers, the PARAD promulgated a
Decision dismissing both cases for lack of merit and evidence. DARAB also dismissed the
appeal for lack of merit and affirmed the Decision of the PARAD in toto. On Petition for
Review under Rule 43 to the CA, the appellate court affirmed the ruling of the DARAB with
respect to the issue of non-payment of lease rentals. On which basis, the CA dismissed
the petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the dismissal made by the Court of Appeals was proper.

HELD:
Yes. DARAB Case 7864 should be dismissed for failure of Felisa to properly indicate
the appealing party.

With respect to the first case against Marcelina, we resolve to dismiss the appeal of
Felisa. Section 5 of Rule 45 provides that the failure of the petitioner to comply, among
others, with the contents of the petition for review on certiorari shall be sufficient ground
for the dismissal thereof. Section 4 of the same rule mandates, among others, that the
petition should state the full name of the appealing party as the petitioner. In this case,
Felisa indicated in the caption as well as in the parties portion of the petition that she is the
landowner. Even in the verification and certification of non-forum shopping, Felisa
attested that she is the petitioner in the instant case. However, it appears in the PARAD

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 46
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
records that the owners of the subject 14,000-square meter agricultural land are Rosa R.
Pajarito (Pajarito), Elvira A. Madolora (Madolora) and Anastacia F. Lagado
(Lagado). Felisa is only the representative of the said landowners with respect to the first
case against Marcelina. Thus, for failure of Felisa to indicate the appealing party with
respect to the said case, the appeal must perforce be dismissed. However, such failure
does not affect the appeal on the other three cases as Felisa is the owner/co-owner of the
landholdings subject of said three cases.

Procedural lapse aside, DARAB Case No. 7864 should still be dismissed for failure of
Felisa to establish her principals’ claim.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 47
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
JOSE DELOS REYES vs. JOSEPHINE ANNE B. RAMNANI
G.R. No. 169135, 18 June 2010

DOCTRINE: While, as a general rule, all written motions should be set for hearing under
Section 4, Rule 15 of the Rules of Court, excepted from this rule are non-litigious motions
or motions which may be acted upon by the court without prejudicing the rights of the
adverse party.

FACTS:
On October 11, 1977, the trial court rendered a Decision in favor of respondent.
Thereafter, a writ of execution was issued by the same court. On June 6, 1978, then
Branch Sheriff Pedro T. Alarcon conducted a public bidding and auction sale over the
subject property during which respondent was the highest bidder. Consequently, a
certificate of sale was executed in her favor on even date.
On November 17, 1978, a writ of possession was issued by the trial court. On March
8, 1990, the certificate of sale was annotated at the back of TCT No. 480537. Thereafter,
the taxes due on the sale of the subject property were paid on September 26, 2001.
On February 17, 2004, respondent filed a motion for the issuance of an order
directing the sheriff to execute the final certificate of sale in her favor. Petitioner opposed
on the grounds that the subject motion was not accompanied by a notice of hearing and
that the trial court’s October 11, 1977 Decision can no longer be executed as it is barred
by prescription.
The trial court ruled that the prescription for the issuance of a writ of execution is not
applicable in this case. Less than a year from the October 11, 1977 Decision, respondent
exercised her right to enforce the same through the levy and sale of the subject property
on June 6, 1978. Although the certificate of sale was annotated on the title only on March
8, 1990, petitioner did not exercise his right to redeem the subject property within one
year from said registration. Thus, what remains to be done is the issuance of the final
certificate of sale which was, however, not promptly accomplished at that time due to the
demise of the trial court’s sheriff. The issuance of the final certificate of sale is a ministerial
duty of the sheriff in order to complete the already enforced judgment.
In affirming the ruling of the trial court, the CA noted that the subject motion is a
non-litigious motion, hence, the three-day notice rule does not apply. Further, it agreed
with the trial court that the issuance of the final certificate of sale is not barred by
prescription, laches or estoppel because the October 11, 1977 Decision was already
executed through the levy and sale of the subject property on June 6, 1978. Respondent
is entitled to the issuance of the final certificate of sale as a matter of right because
petitioner failed to redeem the subject property.
Petitioner contends that the motion dated February 16, 2004 filed by respondent to
compel the sheriff to execute the final certificate of sale is fatally defective because it does
not contain a notice of hearing. He further claims that the subject motion seeks to enforce
the trial court’s October 11, 1977 Decision which can no longer be done because 27
years have elapsed from the finality of said Decision.
Meanwhile, respondent contends that the subject motion is a non-litigious motion and
that petitioner was not denied due process because he was given an opportunity to be
heard by the trial court. She also points out that said motion is not barred by prescription,

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 48
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
laches, and estoppel considering that the levy and sale of the subject property was
conducted on 6 June 1978 and the petitioner failed to redeem the same.

ISSUE:
Whether the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction in taking cognizance of the fatally defective motion.

HELD:
No. As to petitioner’s claim that the subject motion is defective for lack of a notice of
hearing, the CA correctly ruled that the subject motion is a non-litigious motion. While, as
a general rule, all written motions should be set for hearing under Section 4,11 Rule 15 of
the Rules of Court, excepted from this rule are non-litigious motions or motions which may
be acted upon by the court without prejudicing the rights of the adverse party. As already
discussed, respondent is entitled to the issuance of the final certificate of sale as a matter
of right and petitioner is powerless to oppose the same. Hence, the subject motion falls
under the class of non-litigious motions. At any rate, the trial court gave petitioner an
opportunity to oppose the subject motion as in fact he filed a Comment/ Opposition14 on
March 1, 2004 before the trial court. Petitioner cannot, therefore, validly claim that he was
denied his day in court.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RENE BARON y TANGAROCAN
G.R. No. 185209, 28 June 2010

DOCTRINE: A judgment of conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be


sustained when the circumstances proved form an unbroken chain that results to a fair
and reasonable conclusion pointing to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the
perpetrator.

FACTS:
An Information was filed before RTC Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, charging the
appellant and two others with the special complex crime of robbery with homicide
committed against Juanito Berallo. Only the appellant was arrested while the two others
remain at-large to date.
On his defense, appellant denied any participation in the crime. He claimed that he
was just a passenger in the tricycle when two others announced a hold-up, dragged the
driver to the sugarcane fields, and killed him. According to him, he was also threatened by
the perpetrators should he report the incident to the police which is why he was not able to
escape or at least request for assistance from the people around him even after having
the chance to do so.
The Regional Trial Court found the appellant guilty beyond reasonable of the crime
charged. On appeal, the appellant alleged that the trial court failed to appreciate in his
favor the exempting circumstance of irresistible force and/or uncontrollable fear of an
equal or greater injury. However, the same was disregarded by the CA holding that all
requisites for said circumstances were lacking.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the trial court gravely erred in finding the accused-appellant guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged.

HELD:
No. In this case, the prosecution successfully adduced proof beyond reasonable
doubt that the real intention of the appellant and his companions was to rob the victim.
The appellant and his companions boarded the tricycle of the victim pretending to be
passengers. Midway to their destination, one of the accused declared a hold-up and at
gun point, tied the hands of the victim and brought him towards the sugarcane field where
he was stabbed to death. The victim was divested of his wallet containing ₱1,250.00, a
wrist watch and ring. Emerging from the sugarcane plantation, they boarded the tricycle
of the victim, detached the sidecar and dumped the same in a canal beside the Martesan
Bridge with the fatigue jacket of one of the accused. They proceeded
to Barangay Oringao, Kabankalan and hid the motorcycle in the house of Villatima’s aunt,
Natividad.

Concededly, there is no direct evidence proving that the appellant conspired and
participated in committing the crime. However, his complicity may be proved by
circumstantial evidence, which consists of proof of collateral facts and circumstances
from which the existence of the main fact may be inferred according to reason and

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
common experience. Circumstantial evidence is sufficient to sustain conviction if: (a)
there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived
have been established; (c) the combination of all circumstances is such as to warrant a
finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. A judgment of conviction based on
circumstantial evidence can be sustained when the circumstances proved form an
unbroken chain that results to a fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the accused, to
the exclusion of all others, as the perpetrator.

In this case, the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution leads to the
inescapable conclusion that the appellant and his co-accused conspired to commit
robbery with homicide.
xxx

From [this] series of proven circumstantial evidence, the inescapable and natural
conclusion is the three accused were in conspiracy with one another to kill the victim and
cart away the motorcycle as the combination of these numerous circumstantial evidence
[is] enough to produce the strong moral certainty from an unbiased and [unprejudiced]
mind to safely conclude that no other persons but the three accused conspired to
perpetrate the crime as clearly the series of events indubitably [shows] that there was
unity of purpose, concurrence of will, and that they all acted in concert towards the same
end, the accused being together with a group when they rode the tricycle of the victim; all
of them were together at the scene of the crime, they all rode in the same stolen
motorcycle going to Barangay Oringao, Kabankalan City; all of them were together in
hiding the stolen motorcycle in the house of Natividad Camparicio; and they were
together as a group going to Cadiz City from Kabankalan City passing [through] and
stopping [at] various cities and municipalities.

The concerted manner in which the appellant and his companions perpetrated the
crime showed beyond reasonable doubt the presence of conspiracy. When a homicide
takes place by reason of or on the occasion of the robbery, all those who took part shall be
guilty of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide whether they actually
participated in the killing, unless there is proof that there was an endeavor to prevent the
killing. There was no evidence adduced in this case that the appellant attempted to
prevent the killing. Thus, regardless of the acts individually performed by the appellant
and his co-accused, and applying the basic principle in conspiracy that the "act of one is
the act of all," the appellant is guilty as a co-conspirator. As a result, the criminal liabilities
of the appellant and his co-accused are one and the same.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
VICTORIAS MILLING CO., INC. vs. COURT OF APPEALS and INTERNATIONAL
PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
G.R. No. 168062, 29 June 2010

DOCTRINE: The Rule on Summary Procedure, by way of exception, permits only a


motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter but it does
not mention the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person.

The purpose of the Rule on Summary Procedure is to achieve an expeditious and


inexpensive determination of cases without regard to technical rules.

FACTS:
On March 4, 2004, petitioner filed a complaint for unlawful detainer and damages
against respondent before the MCTC. Summons was served to Danilo Maglasang, IPI's
Human Relations Department Manager.
IPI filed its Answer with express reservation that said Answer should not be construed
as a waiver of the lack of jurisdiction of the MCTC over the person of IPI, for non-service
of summons on the proper person. It then filed an Omnibus Motion for Hearing of
Affirmative Defenses raised in the Answer and moved for the suspension of proceedings.
MCTC issued an Order denying the suspension of the proceedings of the case
sought by IPI and set the case for preliminary conference in accordance with the Rule on
Summary Procedure. Thus, respondent filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of
Appeals to question the jurisdiction of the MCTC over its person.
In the meantime, in the MCTC, IPI moved for the deferment of the preliminary
conference while VMC moved for the termination of the same. The said preliminary
conference was terminated and the parties were directed to submit the affidavits of their
witnesses and other evidence together with their position papers. The parties
subsequently submitted the required position papers with the MCTC.
The petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction
filed by the respondent was granted by the Court of Appeals. It enjoined MCTC from
proceeding with the case and disturbing the possession of the petitioner over the leased
premises during the pendency of this petition until further orders from this Court.
VMC no longer filed a motion for reconsideration of the CA's Resolution, on the
ground that the questioned CA Resolution is patently null and void and due to the urgency
of VMC's predicament. It instead immediately filed the present petition for certiorari. It
contends that the petition for certiorari filed by IPI assailing the MCTC's interlocutory
order in an ejectment case is clearly and specifically prohibited under Section 13 of Rule
70 of the Rules of Court as well as the Rule on Summary Procedure. The rules being clear
and unambiguous, it submits that the said petition should have been dismissed outright
by the CA. It also alleged, among others, that IPI does not have a clear and unmistakable
right to the property subject of the case as to be entitled to an injunctive writ. It
emphasizes that the grant of the injunctive writ by the CA will serve no other purpose but
to cause undue and unnecessary delay to what should be the speedy and summary
disposition of the ejectment suit which is repugnant to public policy.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 52
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
On the other hand, IPI contends that the Rule on Summary Procedure was not
intended to undermine the rules of jurisdiction and rules on service of summons. It insists
that in the present case, as in Go v. Court of Appeals, there is a procedural void which
justified the CA's act of providing an equitable remedy, of not immediately dismissing the
petition for certiorari before it and of issuing the injunctive writ.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals had gravely abused its discretion in ordering the
issuance of an injunctive writ on the basis of a clearly prohibited pleading.

HELD:
Yes. Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, on forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases,
provides:

Sec. 13. Prohibited pleadings and motions.-The following petitions, motions, or


pleadings shall not be allowed:
1. Motion to dismiss the complaint except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over
the subject matter, or failure to comply with section 12;
2. Motion for a bill of particulars;
3. Motion for a new trial, or for reconsideration of a judgment, or for reopening of
trial;
4. Petition for relief from judgment;
5. Motion for extension of time to file pleadings, affidavits or any other paper;
6. Memoranda;
7. Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition against any interlocutory order
issued by the court;
8. Motion to declare the defendant in default;
9. Dilatory motions for postponement;
10. Reply;
11. Third-party complaints; and
12. Interventions. (Emphasis supplied)

Although it is alleged that there may be a technical error in connection with the
service of summons, there is no showing of any substantive injustice that would be
caused to IPI so as to call for the disregard of the clear and categorical prohibition of filing
petitions for certiorari. It must be pointed out that the Rule on Summary Procedure, by
way of exception, permits only a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction
over the subject matter but it does not mention the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the
person. It is a settled rule of statutory construction that the express mention of one thing
implies the exclusion of all others. Expressio unius est exclusio alterius. From this it can
be gleaned that allegations on the matter of lack of jurisdiction over the person by reason
of improper service of summons, by itself, without a convincing showing of any resulting
substantive injustice, cannot be used to hinder or stop the proceedings before the MCTC
in the ejectment suit. With more reason, such ground should not be used to justify the
violation of an express prohibition in the rules prohibiting the petition for certiorari.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 53
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
IPI's arguments attempting to show how the Rule on Summary Procedure or lack of
rules on certain matters would lead to injustice are hypothetical and need not be
addressed in the present case. Of primary importance here is that IPI, the real defendant
in the ejectment case, filed its Answer and participated in the proceedings before the
MCTC.

The purpose of the Rule on Summary Procedure is to achieve an expeditious and


inexpensive determination of cases without regard to technical rules.In the present case,
weighing the consequences of continuing with the proceedings in the MCTC as against
the consequences of allowing a petition for certiorari, it is more in accord with justice, the
purpose of the Rule on Summary Procedure, the policy of speedy and inexpensive
determination of cases, and the proper administration of justice, to obey the provisions in
the Rule on Summary Procedure prohibiting petitions for certiorari.

The present situation, where IPI had filed the prohibited petition for certiorari; the CA's
taking cognizance thereof; and the subsequent issuance of the writ of injunction enjoining
the ejectment suit from taking its normal course in an expeditious and summary manner,
and the ensuing delay is the antithesis of and is precisely the very circumstance which the
Rule on Summary Procedure seeks to prevent.

The petition for certiorari questioning the MCTC’s interlocutory order is not needed
here. The rules provide respondent IPI with adequate relief. At the proper time, IPI has the
right to appeal to the RTC, and in the meantime no injustice will be caused to it by waiting
for the MCTC to completely finish resolving the ejectment suit. The proceedings before
the MCTC being summary in nature, the time and expense involved therein are minimal.
IPI has already raised the matter of improper service of summons in its Answer. The
MCTC's error/s, if any, on any of the matters raised by respondent IPI can be threshed out
during appeal after the MCTC has finally resolved the ejectment case under summary
procedure.

As accurately pointed out by petitioner, Go v. Court of Appeals does not support the
case of respondent IPI. The factual milieu and circumstances of the said case do not fit
with the present case. They are in fact the exact opposite of those in the present case
before the court hearing the original ejectment case. Not only was there an absence of
any "indefinite suspension" of the ejectment suit before the MCTC but likewise there was
no "procedural void" that would otherwise cause delay in the summary and expeditious
resolution thereof that transpired to warrant applicability of Go v. Court of Appeals. It is
worth pointing out that in Go v. Court of Appeals12 the Supreme Court categorically
upheld that "the purpose of the Rule on Summary Procedure is to achieve an expeditious
and inexpensive determination of cases without regard to technical rules. Pursuant to this
objective, the Rule prohibits petitions for certiorari, like a number of other pleadings, in
order to prevent unnecessary delays and to expedite the disposition of cases."
Considering that the petition for certiorari filed before the CA is categorically
prohibited, the CA should not have entertained the same but should have dismissed it
outright.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 54
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ANGELES CITY vs. ANGELES ELECTRIC CORPORATION and REGIONAL
TRIAL COURT BRANCH 57, ANGELES CITY
G.R. No. 166134, 29 June 2010

DOCTRINE: Requisites to warrant the issuance of a writ of the preliminary injunction.

As a rule, the issuance of preliminary injunction rests entirely within the discretion of the
court taking cognizance of the case and will not be interfered with, except where there is
grave abuse of discretion committed by the court.

FACTS:
AEC was granted a legislative franchise under Republic Act 4079 to construct,
maintain and operate an electric light, heat, and power system for the purpose of
generating and distributing electric light, heat and power for sale in Angeles City,
Pampanga.
On September 11, 1974, Presidential Decree 551 reduced the franchise tax of
electric franchise holders. It provided that the franchise tax payable by all grantees of
franchises to generate, distribute and sell electric current for light, heat and power shall be
two percent (2%) of their gross receipts and such franchise tax shall be payable to the
Commissioner of Internal Revenue or his duly authorized representative.
On January 1, 1992, the Local Government Code of 1991 was passed into law,
conferring upon provinces and cities the power, among others, to impose tax on
businesses enjoying franchise. In accordance with the LGC, the Sangguniang
Panlungsod of Angeles City enacted Tax Ordinance No. 33, S-93, otherwise known as
the Revised Revenue Code of Angeles City (RRCAC).
As a result, a petition seeking the reduction of the tax rates and a review of the
provisions of the RRCAC was filed with the Sangguniang Panlungsod by Metro Angeles
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (MACCI) of which AEC is a member. There
being no action taken by the Sangguniang Panlungsod on the matter, MACCI elevated
the petition to the Department of Finance, which referred the same to the Bureau of Local
Government Finance (BLGF). In the petition, MACCI alleged that the RRCAC is
oppressive, excessive, unjust and confiscatory; that it was published only once,
simultaneously on January 22, 1994; and that no public hearings were conducted prior to
its enactment. Acting on the petition, the BLGF issued a First Indorsement to the City
Treasurer of Angeles City, instructing the latter to make representations with
the Sangguniang Panlungsod for the appropriate amendment of the RRCAC in order to
ensure compliance with the provisions of the LGC, and to make a report on the action
taken within five days.
Thereafter, starting July 1995, AEC has been paying the local franchise tax to the
Office of the City Treasurer on a quarterly basis, in addition to the national franchise tax it
pays every quarter to the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The City Treasurer issued a Notice
of Assessment to AEC for payment of business tax, license fee and other charges for the
period 1993 to 2004 in the total amount of ₱94,861,194.10. AEC protested the
assessment claiming that, among others, pursuant to RA 4079, it is exempt from paying
local business tax and the assessment and collection of taxes under the RRCAC cannot

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
be made retroactive to 1993 or prior to its effectivity. However, it was denied by the City
Treasurer for lack of merit.
Aggrieved, AEC appealed the denial of its protest to the RTC of Angeles City via a
Petition for Declaratory Relief.
However, the City Treasurer levied on the real properties of AEC. This prompted AEC
to file with the RTC, where the petition for declaratory relief was pending, an Urgent
Motion for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary
Injunction to enjoin Angeles City and its City Treasurer from levying, annotating the levy,
seizing, confiscating, garnishing, selling and disposing at public auction the properties of
AEC.
After due notice and hearing, the RTC issued a Temporary Restraining Order,
followed by an Order granting the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction. Angeles
City and its City Treasurer moved for its dissolution but the same was denied.
Petitioner’s main argument is that the collection of taxes cannot be enjoined by the
RTC, citing Valley Trading Co., Inc. v. Court of First Instance of Isabela, Branch II,
wherein the lower court’s denial of a motion for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction to enjoin the collection of a local tax was upheld. Petitioner further reasons that
since the levy and auction of the properties of a delinquent taxpayer are proper and lawful
acts specifically allowed by the LGC, these cannot be the subject of an injunctive writ.
Petitioner likewise insists that AEC must first pay the tax before it can protest the
assessment. Finally, petitioner contends that the tax exemption claimed by AEC has no
legal basis because RA 4079 has been expressly repealed by the LGC.
On the other hand, AEC asserts that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the
part of the RTC in issuing the writ of preliminary injunction because it was issued after due
notice and hearing, and was necessary to prevent the petition from becoming moot. In
addition, AEC claims that the issuance of the writ of injunction was proper since the tax
assessment issued by the City Treasurer is not yet final, having been seasonably
appealed pursuant to Section 195 of the LGC. AEC likewise points out that following the
case of Pantoja v. David, proceedings to invalidate a warrant of distraint and levy to
restrain the collection of taxes do not violate the prohibition against injunction to restrain
the collection of taxes because the proceedings are directed at the right of the City
Treasurer to collect the tax by distraint or levy. As to its tax liability, AEC maintains that it
is exempt from paying local business tax. In any case, AEC counters that the issue of
whether it is liable to pay the assessed local business tax is a factual issue that should be
determined by the RTC and not by the Supreme Court via a petition for certiorari under
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the RTC gravely abused its discretion in issuing the writ of preliminary
injunction enjoining Angeles City and its City Treasurer from levying, selling, and
disposing the properties of AEC.

HELD:
No.The LGC does not specifically prohibit an injunction enjoining the collection of
taxes.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 56
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
A principle deeply embedded in our jurisprudence is that taxes being the lifeblood of
the government should be collected promptly, without unnecessary hindrance or delay. In
line with this principle, the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 expressly provides
that no court shall have the authority to grant an injunction to restrain the collection of any
national internal revenue tax, fee or charge imposed by the code. An exception to this rule
obtains only when in the opinion of the Court of Tax Appeals the collection thereof may
jeopardize the interest of the government and/or the taxpayer.
The situation, however, is different in the case of the collection of local taxes as there
is no express provision in the LGC prohibiting courts from issuing an injunction to restrain
local governments from collecting taxes. Thus, in the case of Valley Trading Co., Inc. v.
Court of First Instance of Isabela, Branch II, cited by the petitioner, we ruled that:

Unlike the National Internal Revenue Code, the Local Tax Code does not contain any
specific provision prohibiting courts from enjoining the collection of local taxes. Such
statutory lapse or intent, however it may be viewed, may have allowed preliminary
injunction where local taxes are involved but cannot negate the procedural rules and
requirements under Rule 58.

In light of the foregoing, petitioner’s reliance on the above-cited case to support its
view that the collection of taxes cannot be enjoined is misplaced. The lower court’s denial
of the motion for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin the collection of
the local tax was upheld in that case, not because courts are prohibited from granting
such injunction, but because the circumstances required for the issuance of writ of
injunction were not present.
Nevertheless, it must be emphasized that although there is no express prohibition in
the LGC, injunctions enjoining the collection of local taxes are frowned upon. Courts
therefore should exercise extreme caution in issuing such injunctions.

No grave abuse of discretion was committed by the RTC

Section 3, Rule 58, of the Rules of Court lays down the requirements for the issuance of a
writ of preliminary injunction, viz:

(a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the whole or part of such
relief consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the acts complained
of, or in the performance of an act or acts, either for a limited period or perpetually;
(b) That the commission, continuance or non-performance of the act or acts
complained of during the litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant;
or
(c) That a party, court, or agency or a person is doing, threatening, or attempting to do,
or is procuring or suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in violation of the
rights of the applicant respecting the subject of the action or proceeding, and
tending to render the judgment ineffectual.

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Two requisites must exist to warrant the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction,
namely: (1) the existence of a clear and unmistakable right that must be protected; and (2)
an urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage.

In issuing the injunction, the RTC ratiocinated that:

It is very evident on record that petitioner resorted and filed an urgent motion for
issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop the
scheduled auction sale only when a warrant of levy was issued and published in the
newspaper setting the auction sale of petitioner’s property by the City Treasurer,
merely few weeks after the petition for declaratory relief has been filed, because if the
respondent will not be restrained, it will render this petition moot and academic. To the
mind of the Court, since there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy
available to the petitioner in the ordinary course of law except this application for a
temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction to stop the auction
sale and/or to enjoin and/or restrain respondents from levying, annotating the levy,
seizing, confiscating, garnishing, selling and disposing at public auction the properties
of petitioner, or otherwise exercising other administrative remedies against the
petitioner and its properties, this alone justifies the move of the petitioner in seeking
the injunctive reliefs sought for.

Petitioner in its petition is questioning the assessment or the ruling of the City
Treasurer on the business tax and fees, and not the local ordinance concerned. This
being the case, the Court opines that notice is not required to the Solicitor General since
what is involved is just a violation of a private right involving the right of ownership and
possession of petitioner’s properties. Petitioner, therefore, need not comply with Section
4, Rule 63 requiring such notice to the Office of the Solicitor General.
The Court is fully aware of the Supreme Court pronouncement that injunction is not
proper to restrain the collection of taxes. The issue here as of the moment is the
restraining of the respondent from pursuing its auction sale of the petitioner’s properties.
The right of ownership and possession of the petitioner over the properties subject of the
auction sale is at stake.
Respondents assert that not one of the witnesses presented by the petitioner have
proven what kind of right has been violated by the respondent, but merely mentioned of
an injury which is only a scenario based on speculation because of petitioner’s claim that
electric power may be disrupted.
Engr. Abordo’s testimony reveals and even his Affidavit Exhibit "S" showed that if the
auction sale will push thru, petitioner will not only lose control and operation of its facility,
but its employees will also be denied access to equipments vital to petitioner’s operations,
and since only the petitioner has the capability to operate Petersville sub station, there will
be a massive power failure or blackout which will adversely affect business and economy,
if not lives and properties in Angeles City and surrounding communities.
Petitioner, thru its witnesses, in the hearing of the temporary restraining order,
presented sufficient and convincing evidence proving irreparable damages and injury
which were already elaborated in the temporary restraining order although the same may
be realized only if the auction sale will proceed. And unless prevented, restrained, and

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
enjoined, grave and irreparable damage will be suffered not only by the petitioner but all
its electric consumers in Angeles, Clark, Dau and Bacolor, Pampanga.
The purpose of injunction is to prevent injury and damage from being incurred,
otherwise, it will render any judgment in this case ineffectual.
"As an extraordinary remedy, injunction is calculated to preserve or maintain the
status quo of things and is generally availed of to prevent actual or threatened acts, until
the merits of the case can be heard" (Cagayan de Oro City Landless Res. Assn. Inc. vs.
CA, 254 SCRA 220)
It appearing that the two essential requisites of an injunction have been satisfied, as
there exists a right on the part of the petitioner to be protected, its right[s] of ownership
and possession of the properties subject of the auction sale, and that the acts (conducting
an auction sale) against which the injunction is to be directed, are violative of the said
rights of the petitioner, the Court has no other recourse but to grant the prayer for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction considering that if the respondent will not be
restrained from doing the acts complained of, it will preempt the Court from properly
adjudicating on the merits the various issues between the parties, and will render moot
and academic the proceedings before this court.
As a rule, the issuance of a preliminary injunction rests entirely within the discretion of
the court taking cognizance of the case and will not be interfered with, except where there
is grave abuse of discretion committed by the court. 36For grave abuse of discretion to
prosper as a ground for certiorari, it must be demonstrated that the lower court or tribunal
has exercised its power in an arbitrary and despotic manner, by reason of passion or
personal hostility, and it must be patent and gross as would amount to an evasion or to a
unilateral refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law. In other
words, mere abuse of discretion is not enough.
Guided by the foregoing, we find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC
in issuing the writ of injunction. Petitioner, who has the burden to prove grave abuse of
discretion, failed to show that the RTC acted arbitrarily and capriciously in granting the
injunction. Neither was petitioner able to prove that the injunction was issued without any
factual or legal justification. In assailing the injunction, petitioner primarily relied on the
prohibition on the issuance of a writ of injunction to restrain the collection of taxes. But as
we have already said, there is no such prohibition in the case of local taxes. Records also
show that before issuing the injunction, the RTC conducted a hearing where both parties
were given the opportunity to present their arguments. During the hearing, AEC was able
to show that it had a clear and unmistakable legal right over the properties to be levied
and that it would sustain serious damage if these properties, which are vital to its
operations, would be sold at public auction. As we see it then, the writ of injunction was
properly issued.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ASIAN CONSTRUCTION and DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs. CATHAY
PACIFIC STEEL CORPORATION, (CAPASCO)
G.R. No. 167942, 29 June 2010

DOCTRINE: As a rule, only questions of law may be appealed to the court by petition for
review.

FACTS:
On several occasions, petitioner purchased from respondent various reinforcing
steel bars worth ₱2,650,916.40 covered by a total of twelve invoices. Partial payments
were made by the petitioner, however, the remaining balance of ₱214,704.91 was not
paid despite the repeated demands of the respondent. As a result, the latter filed a
complaint for a sum of money and damages with the RTC Antipolo.
In its answer, petitioner denied that it authorized the purchases/purchase orders from
the respondent; it alleged that no demand for payment was made or received by
petitioner, it had no knowledge as to the truth of the invoices, statement of accounts and
letters as they were never received by petitioner, it had not received the reinforcing steel
bars, the amount billed by respondent was bloated and no deduction was made for the
corresponding payments made by petitioner and that it had not agreed to pay interest and
attorney's fees.
After the pre-trial conference was terminated, trial of the case on the merits was set.
The trial court ordered the petitioner to pay respondent its obligation including attorney’s
fees and costs of suit.
Petitioner then appealed the case to the CA which found that based on the invoices
there is a specific amount of interest agreed upon, which is 24% per annum. It also found
that the outstanding balance of petitioner is ₱241,704.91 which must earn interest from
May 12, 1998, which is the date of extra-judicial demand.
Petitioner argues, among others, that the photocopies of the delivery receipts were
not admissible in evidence and that the witness Chua was incompetent to establish the
admissibility of secondary evidence.
On the other hand, respondent submits that it has duly proven its claim by a
preponderance of evidence. The originals of the invoices were presented during the
hearing and the loss of the delivery receipts was properly established by respondent,
hence the admission of the secondary evidence was proper.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the lower courts erred in admitting the photocopies of the delivery
receipts and the testimony of Mr. David Chua as admissible in evidence.

HELD:
No. As a rule, only questions of law may be appealed to the Court by petition for
review. The Court is not a trier of facts, its jurisdiction is limited to errors of law. Moreover
factual findings of the trial court, particularly when affirmed by the CA, are generally
binding on this Court.

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In the present case, the orders by, deliveries to, and pick-ups by, petitioner of reinforcing
steel bars having a total value of ₱2,650,916.40 were evidenced by the testimony of Chua
and the invoices. Notably the invoices contained a statement to the effect that the
reinforcing steel bars were received in good order and condition.

The total payment in the amount of ₱2,409,211.49 made by petitioner was also supported
by evidence. Some payments made were in fact admitted in the Answer of petitioner.

With regard to the testimony of Chua, the fact that he is the head of Marketing and
Finance proves that he is competent to testify on the sale of the reinforcing steel bars to
petitioner and its unpaid balance. The notations addressed to him on the purchase orders
and his signature on the demand letters further support the finding that he has personal
knowledge of the transactions he testified on. Mere allegations of his incompetence to
testify on such matters, are not proof and these cannot prevail over evidence to the
contrary.

As for the delivery receipts, there is sufficient uncontroverted evidence showing loss of
the originals despite the diligence exerted to find the same. Copies of the same are thus
admissible.

The factual findings of the trial court and the CA were based on a preponderance of
evidence which were not refuted with contrary evidence by petitioner. We thus find no
reason to disturb the factual findings of the trial court and the CA.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ASUNCION URIETA VDA. DE AGUILAR, represented by ORLANDO U. AGUILAR vs.
SPOUSES EDERLINA B. ALFARO and RAUL ALFARO
G.R. No. 164402, 5 July 2010

DOCTRINE: As a rule, only questions of law may be raised in petitions for review on
certiorari.

FACTS:
Petitioner filed a Complaint for Recovery of Possession and Damages before the
RTC San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. She alleged that Ignacio, her husband, was issued
an original certificate of title over a parcel of land situated in Brgy. Buenavista, Sablayan,
Occidental Mindoro. Prior thereto, Ignacio allowed petitioner’s sister, Anastacia Urieta,
mother of respondent Ederlina, to construct a house on the southern portion of said land
and to stay therein temporarily.

When Ignacio died, his heirs decided to partition the subject property. Thus, petitioner
asked the respondents, who took possession of the premises after the death of
Anastacia, to vacate the lot. However, they did not heed her demand.

As a result, petitioner filed a case for accion publiciana praying that respondents be
ordered to vacate subject property, and to pay moral, temperate, and exemplary
damages, as well as attorney’s fees and the costs of suit.

In their Answer, respondents asserted that Ignacio and herein petitioner sold to their
mother Anastacia the southern portion of the lot as shown by the Kasulatan sa
Bilihan which bears the signatures of petitioner and Ignacio. Since then, they and their
mother have been in possession thereof.

The Regional Trial Court ordered the respondents to vacate subject premises and denied
their counterclaim for reconveyance on the grounds of prescription and laches.

On appeal, CA reversed the Decision of RTC. It upheld the validity of the Kasulatan sa
Bilihan since it is a notarized document and disputably presumed to be authentic and duly
executed.

Petitioner contends that the CA grievously erred in upholding the validity and
genuineness of the Kasulatan sa Bilihan. She executed a sworn statement declaring that
she and her husband never sold any portion of the lot and that their signatures appearing
on said deed were forged. She also points to several circumstances which cast doubt on
the authenticity and due execution of the Kasulatan sa Bilihan, but which the CA
inexplicably ignored. Furthermore, petitioner maintains that her title is indefeasible. And
while there are exceptions to the rule on indefeasibility of title, she emphasizes that
respondents never disputed her title.

In their comment, respondents assert that in petitions filed under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court, only questions of law can be raised. Factual issues are prohibited. From the

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
arguments advanced by the petitioner, however, it is clear that she is asking this Court to
examine and weigh again the evidence on record.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the factual issues raised in the petition may be examined by this
Court.

HELD:
Yes. This case falls under the exceptions where the Supreme Court may review
factual issues.

As a rule, only questions of law may be raised in petitions for review on certiorari. It is
settled that in the exercise of the Supreme Court’s power of review, the court is not a trier
of facts and does not normally undertake the re-examination of the evidence presented
by the contending parties during the trial of the case. This rule, however, is subject to a
number of exceptions, one of which is when the findings of the appellate court are
contrary to those of the trial court, like in the present case.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
AMELIA B. HEBRON vs. FRANCO L. LOYOLA,
G.R. No. 168960, July 5, 2010

DOCTRINE: “Burden of Proof. - Burden of proof is the duty of a party to present evidence
on the facts in issue necessary to establish his claim or defense by the amount of
evidence required by law.”
“The children of the deceased shall always inherit from him in their own right, dividing the
inheritance in equal shares."
“Laches is the failure of or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time to
do that which by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier, or to
assert a right within reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled
thereto has either abandoned it or declined to assert it. “

FACTS:
This case originated from a suit for partition and damages concerning the two parcels
of land denominated as Lot Nos. 730 and 879 of the Carmona cadastre.
The administration of the said lots was entrusted to Encarnacion Loyola-Bautista. All
the heirs of Januario and Remigia received their shares in the fruits of the subject
properties during Encarnacion's administration thereof. With the latter's death on 1969,
administration of the subject properties was assumed by her daughter, Amelia
Bautista-Hebron, who, after some time, started withholding the shares of Candida and the
heirs of Conrado.
By the time partition of the said properties was formally demanded on November 4,
1990, Candida was the only one still living among the children of Januario and Remigia.
The rest were survived and represented by their respective descendants and children
For petitioner's failure to heed their formal demand, respondents filed with the RTC of
Imus, Cavite. While manifesting her conformity to the partition demanded by her co-heirs,
petitioner claimed in her amended answer that Candida and the heirs of Conrado have
already relinquished their shares in consideration of the financial support extended them
by her mother, Encarnacion.
Trial on the merits then ensued. While conceding their receipt of financial assistance
from Encarnacion, Candida and the heirs of Conrado maintained that adequate
recompense had been effectively made when they worked without pay at the former's rice
mill and household or, in the case of Carmelita Aguinaldo-Manabo, when she
subsequently surrendered her earnings as a public school teacher to her said aunt.
The RTC ruled in favor of partition, ordering the partition of the disputed lands among
the 7 heirs, disregarding the calim of defendant that Candida and the heirs of Conrado
have waived their share. On appeal, the CA upheld the ruling of the RTC, and denied the
motion for reconsideration.

ISSUES:
(1) Whether or not the trial court was correct in ruling that the defendant failed to prove
base on preponderance of evidence the waiver of Candida and the heirs of Conrado
(2) Whether or not the CA was correct in saying that the spouse cannot relinquish the
hereditary shares of their children

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
(3) Whether or not Candida and the heirs of Conrado are barred by estoppel in asserting
their claims

HELD:
(1) YES. Rule 131 of the Rules of Court states:
Section 1.Burden of Proof. - Burden of proof is the duty of a party to present
evidence on the facts in issue necessary to establish his claim or defense by the
amount of evidence required by law. (Emphasis supplied)
From the above provision, it is clear that the defendant, not only the plaintiff, also has a
burden of proof. The plaintiffs have the duty to establish their claims. And, it is the
defendants who have the duty to establish their defenses.
Petitioner has admitted in her answer that respondents are heirs of Remigia and
Januario; and that the two subject properties were left behind by Remigia and
Januario. "An admission, verbal or written, made by a party in the course of the
proceedings in the same case, does not require proof." Hence, we find no error
committed by the CA when it affirmed the ruling of the trial court that the burden was on
petitioner to establish her affirmative defense of waiver or sale of the shares of Candida
and the heirs of Conrado.
(2) YES. Children of the deceased, like Candida and her siblings, are compulsory heirs
who are entitled to a share in the properties of the deceased. Art. 980 of the Civil Code
states: "The children of the deceased shall always inherit from him in their own right,
dividing the inheritance in equal shares." The heirs of Conrado are also heirs of Remigia
and Januario, being the children of a child of Remigia and Januario; and as such are
entitled to their shares in the estate of Remigia and Januario.
The minor children of Conrado inherited by representation in the properties of their
grandparents Remigia and Januario. These children, not their mother Victorina, were the
co-owners of the inherited properties. Victorina had no authority or had acted beyond her
powers in conveying, if she did indeed convey, to the petitioner’s mother the undivided
share of her minor children in the property involved in this case. "The powers given to her
by the laws as the natural guardian covers only matters of administration and cannot
include the power of disposition. She should have first secured the permission of the court
before she alienated that portion of the property in question belonging to her minor
children."
(3) No.Laches is the failure of or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of
time to do that which by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier,
or to assert a right within reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled
thereto has either abandoned it or declined to assert it.
In the present case, the book of accounts, showing the record of receipts of some heirs of
their shares, has repeated entries in Amelia's handwriting that Candida and the heirs of
Conrado are no longer entitled to shares in the fruits of the properties in litigation because
they have sold or given their share in the said properties to Encarnacion. These entries
only prove that Amelia no longer recognized the entitlement of Candida and the heirs of
Conrado to their respective shares. It is relevant to note however that the entries in the
book of accounts started only on July 17, 1986. Hence, there is definite proof of
non-recognition by petitioner of Candida and the heirs of Conrado's entitlement to shares
in the subject properties starting only on July 17, 1986. Before this time, during the

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
administration of the properties by Encarnacion Loyola-Bautista and some undetermined
number of years after her death, Candida and the heirs of Conrado were proven to have
been receiving their shares in the fruits of the subject properties.
On record is the written demand letter for partition of the litigated properties signed by
Candida and the heirs of Conrado dated November 4, 1990. The complaint for partition
was subsequently filed on February 23, 1993.
From July 17, 1986, to November 4, 1990 only 4 years have elapsed. Even from July 17,
1986 to February 23, 1993 just six years have passed. Considering that the parties are
closely related to each other and considering also that the parties are many different
heirs, some of whom reside outside the Philippines, the passage of six years before the
respondents asked for partition through the court is not unreasonable. We find
respondents not guilty of laches.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SALVADOR V. REBELLION vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 175700, July 5, 2010
DOCTRINE: “It has been consistently ruled that an accused is estopped from assailing
any irregularity of his arrest if he fails to raise this issue or to move for the quashal of the
information against him on this ground before arraignment.”

FACTS:
In the afternoon of July 27, 2000, PO3 George Garcia (PO3 Garcia) and PO3 Romeo
Sotomayor, Jr. (PO3 Sotomayor), together with Michael Fermin and Joseph Apologista,
all members of the Mayor’s Action Command (MAC) of Mandaluyong City, were on
routine patrol along M. Cruz St., Barangay Mauway, when they chanced upon two
individuals chanting and in the act of exchanging something. The police officers
introduced themselves and then inquired from petitioner what he was holding. Petitioner
took out from his possession three strips of aluminum foil which PO3 Garcia confiscated.
PO3 Sotomayor also found on petitioner a plastic sachet which contained white
crystalline substance which looked like tawas. Suspecting that the substance was
"shabu", he confiscated the plastic sachet. Petitioner and his companion, who was later
identified as Clarito Yanson (Clarito), were brought to the MAC station at the Criminal
Investigation Division (CID) for investigation. After laboratory examination, the contents of
the plastic sachet weighing 0.03 gram were found positive for Methamphetamine
Hydrochloride or shabu, a regulated drug. The test on the three strips of aluminum foil
also yielded positive for traces of shabu.
On the basis thereof, petitioner was correspondingly charged with illegal possession
of dangerous drugs. Clarito, on the other hand, was further investigated by the City
Prosecutor’s Office.
The RTC and the CA found the accused guilty of the crime charged. On appeal,
accused-petitioner questioned the validity of their warrantless arrest.

ISSUE:
(1) Whether or not accused-petitioner may question the validity of the warrantless arrest
for the first time on appeal
(2) Whether or not the warrantless arrest is valid

HELD:
(1) No. Petitioner’s claim that his warrantless arrest is illegal lacks merit. We note that
nowhere in the records did we find any objection interposed by petitioner to the
irregularity of his arrest prior to his arraignment. It has been consistently ruled that an
accused is estopped from assailing any irregularity of his arrest if he fails to raise this
issue or to move for the quashal of the information against him on this ground before
arraignment. Any objection involving a warrant of arrest or the procedure by which the
court acquired jurisdiction over the person of the accused must be made before he enters
his plea; otherwise, the objection is deemed waived. In this case, petitioner was duly
arraigned, entered a negative plea and actively participated during the trial. Thus, he is
deemed to have waived any perceived defect in his arrest and effectively submitted
himself to the jurisdiction of the court trying his case. At any rate, the illegal arrest of an
accused is not sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
sufficient complaint after a trial free from error. It will not even negate the validity of the
conviction of the accused.
(2) Yes. A lawful arrest without a warrant may be made by a peace officer or a private
individual under Sec 5(a) Rule 113
Sec 5. Arrest without warrant, when lawful – A peace officer or a private person
may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing or is attempting to commit an offense;
xxx
In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) hereof, the person arrested without a
warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail and he shall
be proceeded against in accordance with Section 7, Rule 112.
Our own review discloses sufficient evidence that the warrantless arrest of petitioner was
effected under Section 5(a), or the arrest of a suspect in flagrante delicto. The MAC team
witnessed petitioner handing a piece of plastic sachet to Clarito. Arousing their suspicion
that the sachet contains shabu, team members PO3 Garcia and PO3 Sotomayor alighted
from their motorcycles and approached them. Clarito was not able to completely get hold
of the plastic sachet because of their arrival. At the first opportunity, the team members
introduced themselves. Upon inquiry by PO3 Garcia what petitioner was holding, the
latter presented three strips of aluminum foil which the former confiscated. At a distance,
PO3 Sotomayor saw petitioner in possession of the plastic sachet which contains white
crystalline substance. There and then, petitioner and Clarito were apprehended and
brought to the CID for investigation. After laboratory examination, the white crystalline
substance placed inside the plastic sachet was found positive for methamphetamine
hydrochloride or shabu, a regulated drug.
Under these circumstances, we entertain no doubt that petitioner was arrested
in flagrante delicto as he was then committing a crime, violation of the Dangerous Drugs
Act, within the view of the arresting team. Thus, his case comes under the exception to
the rule requiring a warrant before effecting an arrest. Consequently, the results of the
attendant search and seizure were admissible in evidence to prove his guilt of the offense
charged.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HERMINIO T. DISINI vs. SANDIGANBAYAN
G.R. No. 175730, July 5, 2010
DOCTRINE:“The simultaneous availment of judicial remedies from different fora for
exactly the same ultimate relief and involving the same issue constitutes forum-shopping.
It is a prohibited malpractice, condemned for trifling with the courts and their processes.”
“an objection based on lack of jurisdiction over the person is waived when the defendant
files a motion or pleading which seeks affirmative relief other than the dismissal of the
case.”

FACTS:
On July 23, 1987, the Republic through the PCGG filed with the Sandiganbayan a
civil complaint for reconveyance, reversion, accounting, restitution, and damages against
petitioner Herminio T. Disini (Disini), spouses Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos (Marcos
spouses) and Rodolfo B. Jacob (Jacob). The same was docketed as Civil Case No. 0013
and assigned to the First Division of the Sandiganbayan (respondent court). Summons
for Disini was issued on July 29, 1987. Per Sheriff’s Return dated September 4, 1987, the
summons was unserved on the ground that petitioner did not live at the given address,
which was No. 92 Kennedy St., Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila. The occupants of
said address were the Roman family.
Between 1987 up until 2002, multiple attempts to serve summons to Disini were all in
vain, as his whereabouts could not be ascertained. Finally, service of summons by
publication was resorted to and by August 27, 2002, petitioner was declared in default for
failure to file his responsive pleading within 60 days from the publication of the summons.
On February 17, 2003, with the motion to drop Sison as party-defendant still pending, the
Republic asked the Sandiganbayan to hold in abeyance the pre-trial until the said motion
had been resolved.
The records of the Sandiganbayan became silent from the year 2003 to 2006, then
petitioner Disini’s wife and children filed a petition in a Swiss Federal Court to remove a
previously issued freeze order on their Swiss accounts. On August 18, 2006, the Swiss
Federal Court rendered a partial decision ordering the counsel for the Republic of the
Philippines to submit a forfeiture order from a Philippine court with regard to the assets of
Liliana and Herminio Disini not later than December 30, 2006; otherwise, the Swiss
Federal Court would revoke the freeze order on the Disini Swiss accounts.
This deadline spurred the Republic (through the PCGG) to file an Urgent
Manifestation and Motion with the Sandiganbayan on November 30, 2006. The Republic
prayed for the resolution of its Urgent Motion to Resolve (its motion to drop Rafael Sison
as party-defendant). Should the resolution of this pending motion be favorable to the
Republic, it likewise prayed for the setting of the ex parte presentation of evidence at an
early date.
On December 7, 2006, petitioner Disini filed a Motion to Lift Order of Default and for
Leave to File and Admit Attached Answer, together with an Answer to Amended
Complaint with Compulsory Counterclaims. He maintained that he was unaware of the
civil case pending against him because he never received summons or other processes
from the court, nor any pleadings from the parties of the case. His only fault, he averred,
was that he was ignorant of the proceedings in the case because of the absence of a
proper notice. Petitioner asked the respondent court to look at his meritorious defenses.

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He then invoked the liberality of the courts in lifting default orders to give both parties
every opportunity to defend their cases, and pointed out that the proceedings, being in
their pre-trial stage, would not be delayed by petitioner’s participation therein.
On December 18, 2006, the Sandiganbayan resolved to deny petitioner’s Motion to Lift
Default Order.
Given the validity of the service of summons, the respondent court held that
petitioner’s failure to file a responsive pleading within the allotted period resulted in his
default. The respondent court refused to lift the order of default on the ground that there
was no fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence that would justify such an
action.
Petitioner then filed an Extremely Urgent Motion for Reconsideration and an
Extremely Urgent Manifestation and Motion on December 19, 2006. Aside from asking for
reconsideration, petitioner also prayed that the republic’s ex parte presentation of
evidence be held in abeyance until the resolution of his motion for reconsideration.
On August 7, 2007, the Sandiganbayan issued its Resolution denying petitioner’s
Extremely Urgent Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit.

ISSUES:
(1) Whether or not the Sandiganbayan court gravely abused its discretion in declaring the
defendant in default and not lifting its default order against petitioner Disini
(2) Whether or not the Sandiganbayan court gravely abused its discretion when it allowed
the Republic to present its evidence ex-parte while petitioner’s Motion for
Reconsideration [of the stay of the default order] had not yet been resolved.

HELD:
(1) No. In his Petition, petitioner originally sought the nullification of the proceedings
before the Sandiganbayan on the theory of lack of jurisdiction over his person, premised
on the alleged impropriety in the service of summons.
However, petitioner subsequently filed several motions with the Sandiganbayan which
sought various affirmative reliefs from that court, sans any qualification of the nature of its
appearance and without reserving or reiterating its previous objection on the ground of
lack of jurisdiction over the person.
In regard to the Motion for Leave to Take Deposition (which is the last pleading on
record), it is important to note that there are two instances when the defendant can take
depositions under Section 1 of Rule 23: (1) after the court has acquired jurisdiction over
the defendant or the property subject of the action; and (2) after an answer has been
served. Both instances presuppose that the court has already acquired jurisdiction over
the defendant. By seeking the relief contained in this provision, petitioner is deemed to
have voluntarily submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Thus,
petitioner may be held to have waived his objections regarding the lack of jurisdiction over
his person by seeking affirmative relief through the said provision.
While petitioner bewailed the mode of service of summons on him and questioned
the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction over his person, he has rendered his own arguments
moot by his voluntary appearance or submission to the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
Jurisprudence holds that an objection based on lack of jurisdiction over the person is

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waived when the defendant files a motion or pleading which seeks affirmative relief other
than the dismissal of the case.
(2) Yes. There is forum shopping when one party repetitively avails of several judicial
remedies in different courts, simultaneously or successively, all substantially founded on
the same transactions and the same essential facts and circumstances, and all raising
substantially the same issues either pending in, or already resolved adversely, by some
other court.
In filing a Second Motion to Lift the Order of Default with the Sandiganbayan while the
instant Petition is pending with this Court, petitioner has unfairly doubled his chances of
securing the lifting of the default order. "This misdeed amounts to a wagering on the result
of [petitioner’s] twin devious strategies, and shows not only [his] lack of faith in this Court
in its evenhanded administration of law but also [his] expression of disrespect if not
ridicule for our judicial process and orderly procedure."
Because of the forum-shopping committed by petitioner, the Court cannot grant the relief
he prayed for.

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MUNICIPALITY OF TIWI vs. ANTONIO B. BETITO
G.R. No. 171873, July 9, 2010

DOCTRINE: “A judgment on the pleadings is proper when the answer admits all the
material averments of the complaint. But where several issues are properly tendered by
the answer, a trial on the merits must be resorted to in order to afford each party his day in
court.”

FACTS:
The Sangguniang Bayan of Tiwi passed Resolution No. 15-92 authorizing Mayor
Corral to hire a lawyer to represent Tiwi and its barangays in the recovery of their rightful
share in disputed realty taxes. Thereafter, Mayor Corral sought the services of
respondent Atty. Antonio B. Betito (respondent) and Atty. Alberto Lawenko (Atty.
Lawenko).
As a result, on January 25, 1993, Mayor Corral, representing Tiwi, and respondent
together with Atty. Lawenko entered into a Contract of Legal Services (subject contract).
The subject contract provided, among others, that respondent and Atty. Lawenko would
receive a 10% contingent fee on whatever amount of realty taxes that would be recovered
by Tiwi through their efforts.
The present controversy arose when respondent sought to enforce the Contract of
Legal Services after rendering legal services which allegedly benefited Tiwi. In his
Complaint for sum of money against Tiwi, respondent claims that he handled numerous
cases which resulted to the recovery of Tiwi’s share in the realty taxes. As a result of
these efforts, Tiwi was able to collect the amount of ₱110,985,181.83 and another
₱35,594,480.00 from the NPC as well as other amounts which will be proven during the
trial. Under the Contract of Legal Services, respondent is entitled to 10% of whatever
amount that would be collected from the NPC.
However, despite repeated demands for the Sangguniang Bayan of Tiwi to pass an
appropriate ordinance for the payment of his attorney’s fees, the former refused to pass
the ordinance and to pay what is justly owed him. Respondent prayed that Tiwi be
ordered to pay ₱11,000,000.00 in attorney’s fees and 10% of the other amounts to be
determined during trial plus interest and damages; that the Sangguniang Bayan be
ordered to pass the necessary appropriation ordinance; that the municipal treasurer
surrender all the receipts of payments made by the NPC to Tiwi from January 1993 to
December 1996 for the examination of the court; and that Tiwi pay ₱500,000.00 as
attorney’s fees.
In their Answer, petitioners admitted that the Sangguniang Bayan of Tiwi passed
Resolution No. 15-92 but denied that said resolution authorized then Mayor Corral to
enter into the subject contract. In particular, Mayor Corral exceeded her authority when
she bound Tiwi to a gargantuan amount equivalent to 10% of the amount of realty taxes
recovered from NPC. Further, the legal services under the subject contract should have
been limited to the execution of the decision in National Power Corporation v. Province of
Albay as per Resolution No. 15-92. For these reasons, the subject contract is void,
unenforceable, unconscionable and unreasonable. Petitioners further claim that they are
not aware of the cases which respondent allegedly handled on behalf of Tiwi since these
cases involved officials of the previous administration; that some of these cases were

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
actually handled by the Office of the Solicitor General; and that these were personal
cases of said officials. In addition, the Contract of Legal Services was not ratified by
the Sangguniang Bayan of Tiwi in order to become effective. Petitioners also raise the
defense that the realty taxes were recovered by virtue of the opinion rendered by then
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Antonio T. Carpio and not through the efforts of
respondent.
As to the amount of ₱110,985,181.83 in realty taxes, the same was received by Albay
and not Tiwi while the amount of ₱35,594,480.00 is part of the share of Tiwi in the
utilization of the national wealth. Furthermore, in a Commission on Audit (COA)
Memorandum dated January 15, 1996, the COA ruled that the authority to pass upon the
reasonableness of the attorney’s fees claimed by respondent lies with the Sangguniang
Bayan of Tiwi. Pursuant to this memorandum, the Sangguniang Bayan of Tiwi passed
Resolution No. 27-98 which declared the subject contract invalid. Petitioners also allege
that the contract is grossly disadvantageous to Tiwi and that respondent is guilty of laches
because he lodged the present complaint long after the death of Mayor Corral; and that
the amount collected from NPC has already been spent by Tiwi.
On November 7, 2000, respondent filed a motion for partial judgment on the pleadings
and/or partial summary judgment.
On March 3, 2001, the trial court rendered a partial judgment on the pleadings in favor
of respondent ordering the defendant Municipality of Tiwi to pay the plaintiff the sum of
₱14,657,966.18 plus interest at the legal rate from the filing of the complaint until payment
is fully delivered to the plaintiff; and, for this purpose, the defendant Sangguniang
Bayan of Tiwi, represented by the co-defendants officials, shall adopt and approve the
necessary appropriation ordinance. Trial to receive evidence on the remaining amounts
due and payable to the plaintiff pursuant to the contract of legal services shall hereafter
continue, with notice to all the parties.
The trial court held that petitioners’ answer to the complaint failed to tender an issue,
thus, partial judgment on the pleadings is proper. It noted that petitioners did not
specifically deny under oath the actionable documents in this case, particularly, the
Contract of Legal Services and Resolution No. 15-92. Consequently, the genuineness
and due execution of these documents are deemed admitted pursuant to Section 8, Rule
8 of the Rules of Court. Thus, the authority of Mayor Corral to enter into the subject
contract was deemed established.
It added that the authority given to Mayor Corral to hire a lawyer was not only for the
purpose of executing the decision in National Power Corporation v. Province of Albay but
extended to representing the interest of Tiwi in other cases as well. Further, the said
resolution did not impose as a condition precedent the ratification of the subject contract
by the Sangguniang Bayan in order to render it effective. Lastly, the trial court ruled that
the answer admitted, through a negative pregnant, that Tiwi was paid the amounts of
₱110,985,181.83 and ₱35,594,480.00, hence, respondent is entitled to 10% thereof as
attorney’s fees under the terms of the subject contract.
The CA affirmed the Decision of the trial court:

ISSUES:
(1) Whether or not the application of the rule of judgment on the pleadings and/or
summary judgment is proper

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(2) Whether or not the purported "contract of legal services" exceeded the authority of the
late Mayor Corral and should have been ratified by the Sangguniang Bayan of Tiwi in
order to be enforceable.
(3) Whether or not the authority given includes the authority to represent the Bayan of Tiwi
in all matters

HELD:
(1) No. Judgment on the pleadings is improper when the answer to the complaint tenders
several issues.
A motion for judgment on the pleadings admits the truth of all the material and relevant
allegations of the opposing party and the judgment must rest on those allegations taken
together with such other allegations as are admitted in the pleadings. It is proper when an
answer fails to tender an issue, or otherwise admits the material allegations of the
adverse party’s pleading. However, when it appears that not all the material allegations of
the complaint were admitted in the answer for some of them were either denied or
disputed, and the defendant has set up certain special defenses which, if proven, would
have the effect of nullifying plaintiff’s main cause of action, judgment on the pleadings
cannot be rendered.
In the instant case, a review of the records reveals that respondent (as plaintiff) and
petitioners (as defendants) set-up multiple levels of claims and defenses, respectively,
with some failing to tender an issue while others requiring the presentation of evidence for
resolution. The generalized conclusion of both the trial and appellate courts that
petitioners’ answer admits all the material averments of the complaint is, thus, without
basis.
(2) Yes. Mayor Corral was authorized to enter into the Contract of Legal Services
Section 444(b)(1)(vi) of the LGC provides:
SECTION 444. The Chief Executive: Powers, Duties, Functions and
Compensation. — x x x
(b) For efficient, effective and economical governance the purpose of which is the
general welfare of the municipality and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this
Code, the municipal mayor shall: x x x
(1) Exercise general supervision and control over all programs, projects, services,
and activities of the municipal government, and in this connection, shall: x x x
(vi) Upon authorization by the sangguniang bayan, represent the municipality in all
its business transactions and sign on its behalf all bonds, contracts, and
obligations, and such other documents made pursuant to law or ordinance; x x x
Pursuant to this provision, the municipal mayor is required to secure the prior
authorization of the Sangguniang Bayan before entering into a contract on behalf of the
municipality. In the instant case, the Sangguniang Bayan of Tiwi unanimously passed
Resolution No. 15-92 authorizing Mayor Corral to hire a lawyer of her choice to represent
the interest of Tiwi in the execution of this Court’s Decision in National Power Corporation
v. Province of Albay
The authority necessarily carried with it the power to negotiate, execute and sign on
behalf of Tiwi the Contract of Legal Services. That the authorization did not set the terms
and conditions of the compensation signifies that the council empowered Mayor Corral to
reach a mutually agreeable arrangement with the lawyer of her choice subject, of course,

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to the general limitation that the contract’s stipulations should not be contrary to law,
morals, good customs, public order or public policy, and, considering that this is a
contract of legal services, to the added restriction that the agreed attorney’s fees must not
be unreasonable and unconscionable. On its face, and there is no allegation to the
contrary, this prior authorization appears to have been given by the council in good faith
to the end of expeditiously safeguarding the rights of Tiwi. Under the particular
circumstances of this case, there is, thus, nothing objectionable to this manner of prior
authorization.
The Court is thus satisfied that it was in fact the Council's intention, which it expressed in
clear language, to confer on the Mayor ample discretion to execute a "negotiated
contract" with any interested party, without regard to any official acts of the Council prior
to Resolution No. 21.
Prescinding therefrom, petitioners’ next contention that the subject contract should first
be ratified in order to become enforceable as against Tiwi must necessarily fail. As
correctly held by the CA, the law speaks of prior authorization and not ratification with
respect to the power of the local chief executive to enter into a contract on behalf of the
local government unit. This authority, as discussed above, was granted by
the Sangguniang Bayanto Mayor Corral as per Resolution No. 15-92.
(3) No. The scope of the legal services contemplated in Resolution No. 15-92 was limited
to the execution of the decision in National Power Corporation v. Province of Albay.
The wording of Resolution No. 15-92 is clear. Its title and whereas clauses, previously
quoted above, indicate that the hiring of a lawyer was for the sole purpose of executing
the judgment in National Power Corporation v. Province of Albay, that is, to allow Tiwi to
recover its rightful share in the unpaid realty taxes of NPC.
We cannot accept respondent’s strained reading of Resolution No. 15-92 in that the
phrase "to represent the interest of the Municipality of Tiwi and its Barangays" is taken to
mean such other matters not related to the execution of the decision in National Power
Corporation v. Province of Albay. It could not have been the intention of the Sangguniang
Bayan of Tiwi to authorize the hiring of a lawyer to perform general legal services
because this duty devolves upon the municipal legal officer. The council sought the
services of a lawyer because the dispute was between the municipality (Tiwi) and
province (Albay) so much so that it f ell under the exception provided in Section
481(b)(3)(i) of the LGC which permits a local government unit to employ the services of a
special legal officer. Thus, the provisions of paragraph 4 of the Contract of Legal Services
to the contrary notwithstanding, the basis of respondent’s compensation should be limited
to the services he rendered which reasonably contributed to the recovery of Tiwi’s share
in the subject realty taxes.

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LAZARO PASCO and LAURO PASCO vs. HEIRS OF FILOMENA DE GUZMAN
G.R. No. 165554, July 26, 2010

DOCTRINE:“Having refused to abide by a compromise agreement, the aggrieved party


may either enforce it or regard it as rescinded and insist upon the original demand”

FACTS:
The present petition began with a Complaint for Sum of Money and Damages filed on
December 13, 2000 by respondents, the heirs of Filomena de Guzman (Filomena),
represented by Cresencia de Guzman-Principe (Cresencia), against petitioners Lauro
Pasco (Lauro) and Lazaro Pasco (Lazaro). The case was filed before the Municipal Trial
Court (MTC) of Bocaue, Bulacan.
During the pre-trial of the case on February 15, 2002, the parties verbally agreed to settle
the case. On February 21, 2002, the parties jointly filed a Compromise Agreement that
was signed by the parties and their respective counsel. Said Compromise Agreement,
was approved by the MTC in an Order dated April 4, 2002.
On May 2, 2002, petitioners filed a verified Motion to Set Aside Decision alleging that the
Agreement was written in a language not understood by them, and the terms and
conditions thereof were not fully explained to them. Petitioners further questioned the
MTC’s jurisdiction. In an Order dated June 28, 2002, the MTC denied the motion; it also
granted Cresencia’s prayer for the issuance of a writ of execution. The writ of execution
was subsequently issued on July 3, 2002. Petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration and to
Quash Writ/Order of Execution dated August 1, 2002 was denied by the MTC.
Petitioners filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Application for Temporary
Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction before the Regional Trial Court (RTC).
The RTC dismissed the petition and held that (1) the MTC had jurisdiction over the
subject matter; (2) Cresencia was authorized to institute the action and enter into a
Compromise Agreement on behalf of her co-heirs; and (3) the MTC’s approval of the
Compromise Agreement was not done in a capricious, whimsical, or arbitrary manner;
thus, petitioners’ resort to certiorari under Rule 65 was improper. Petitioners’ Motion for
Reconsideration was denied, hence they sought recourse before the CA.
The CA dismissed petitioners’ appeal.

ISSUES:
(1) Whether or not the MTC has jurisdiction over the case
(2) Whether or not the petitioner’s Certiorari petition under Rule 65 was proper
(3) Whether or not the SPA validly authorized Cresencia to enter into a compromise
agreement

HELD:
(1) Yes. The MTC had jurisdiction over the case.
It is beyond dispute that the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, or Batas Pambansa
(BP) Blg. 129 as amended by Republic Act No. 7691 fixes the MTC’s jurisdiction over
cases where "the demand does not exceed Two hundred thousand pesos (₱200,000.00)
exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses, and

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
costs." Thus, respondents’ initiatory complaint, covering the principal amount of
₱140,000.00, falls squarely within the MTC’s jurisdiction.
(2) Yes. Petitioners properly resorted to the special civil action of certiorari.
On the first question, the CA held that the proper remedy from the MTC’s Order approving
the Compromise Agreement was a Petition for Relief from Judgment under Rule 38 and
not a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65. We recall that petitioners filed a verified Motion
to Set Aside Decision on May 2, 2002, which was denied by the MTC on June 28, 2002.
This Order of denial was properly the subject of a petition for certiorari, pursuant to Rule
41, Section 1, of the Rules of Court:
Section 1. Subject of Appeal – An appeal may be taken from a judgment or final
order that completely disposes of the case, or of a particular matter therein when
declared by these Rules to be appealable.
No appeal may be taken from:
xxx
(e) an order denying a motion to set aside a judgment by consent, confession or
compromise on the ground of fraud, mistake or duress, or any other ground
vitiating consent.
xxxx

In all the above instances where the judgment or final order is not appealable, the
aggrieved party may file an appropriate special civil action under Rule 65.
From the express language of Rule 41, therefore, the MTC’s denial of petitioners’ Motion
to Set Aside Decision could not have been appealed. Indeed, a decision based on a
compromise agreement is immediately final and executory and cannot be the subject of
appeal, for when parties enter into a compromise agreement and request a court to
render a decision on the basis of their agreement, it is presumed that such action
constitutes a waiver of the right to appeal said decision. While there may have been other
remedies available to assail the decision, petitioners were well within their rights to
institute a special civil action under Rule 65.
(3) Yes. Cresencia was authorized to enter into the Compromise Agreement.
As regards the third issue, petitioners maintain that the SPA was fatally defective
because Cresencia was not specifically authorized to enter into a compromise
agreement. Here, we fully concur with the findings of the CA that:
x x x It is undisputed that Cresencia’s co-heirs executed a Special Power of Attorney,
dated 6 April 1999, designating the former as their attorney-in-fact and empowering her to
file cases for collection of all the accounts due to Filomena or her estate. Consequently,
Cresencia entered into the subject Compromise Agreement in order to collect the
overdue loan obtained by Pasco from Filomena. In so doing, Cresencia was merely
performing her duty as attorney-in-fact of her co-heirs pursuant to the Special Power of
Attorney given to her.
Moreover, we note that petitioners never assailed the validity of the SPA
during the pre-trial stage prior to entering the Compromise Agreement. This matter was
never even raised as a ground in petitioners’ Motion to Set Aside the compromise, or in
the initial Petition before the RTC. It was only months later, in December 2002, that
petitioners – rather self-servingly - claimed that the SPA was insufficient.

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UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS vs. DANES B. SANCHEZ
G.R. No. 165569, July 29, 2010

DOCTRINE: “exhaustion of administrative remedies is applicable when there is


competence on the part of the administrative body to act upon the matter complained of.”
“essential test required to sustain dismissal on this ground, we have explained that "[t]he
test of the sufficiency of the facts found in a petition, to constitute a cause of action, is
whether admitting the facts alleged, the court could render a valid judgment upon the
same in accordance with the prayer of the petition."

FACTS:
This case began with a Complaint for Damages filed by respondent Danes B. Sanchez
(respondent) against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and its Board of Directors, the
Dean and the Assistant Dean of the UST College of Nursing, and the University Registrar
for their alleged unjustified refusal to release the respondent’s Transcript of Records
(ToR). The case was raffled to Branch 5 of the RTC of Dinalupihan, Bataan, and docketed
as Civil Case No. DH-788-02.
In his Complaint, respondent alleged that he graduated from UST on April 2, 2002 with a
Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing. He was included in the list of candidates for
graduation and attended graduation ceremonies. On April 18, 2002, respondent sought to
secure a copy of his ToR with the UST Registrar’s Office, paid the required fees, but was
only given a Certificate of Graduation by the Registrar. Despite repeated attempts by the
respondent to secure a copy of his ToR, and submission of his class cards as proof of his
enrolment, UST refused to release his records, making it impossible for him to take the
nursing board examinations, and depriving him of the opportunity to make a living.
The respondent prayed that the RTC order UST to release his ToR and hold UST liable
for actual, moral, and exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, and the costs of suit.
Instead of filing an Answer, petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss where they claimed that
they refused to release respondent’s ToR because he was not a registered student, since
he had not been enrolled in the university for the last three semesters. They claimed that
the respondent’s graduation, attendance in classes, and taking/passing of examinations
were immaterial because he ceased to be a student when he failed to enroll during the
second semester of school year 2000-2001. They also sought the dismissal of the case
on the ground that the complaint failed to state a cause of action, as paragraph 10 of the
complaint admitted that:
10. On several occasions, [respondent] went to see the [petitioners] to get his ToR,
but all of these were futile for he was not even entertained at the Office of the
Dean. Worst, he was treated like a criminal forcing him to admit the fact that he did
not enroll for the last three (3) semesters of his schooling. [Petitioner] Dean tried to
persuade the [respondent] to give the original copies of the Class Cards which he
has in his possession. These are the only [bits of] evidence on hand to prove that
he was in fact officially enrolled. [Respondent] did not give the said class cards and
instead gave photo copies to the [Petitioner] Dean. The Office of the Dean of
Nursing of [petitioner] UST became very strict in receiving documents from the
[respondent]. [They have] to be scrutinized first before the same are received.
Receiving, as [respondent] believes, is merely a ministerial function [of] the

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[petitioners] and the documents presented for receiving need not be scrutinized
especially so when x x x they are not illegal. Copies of the class cards are hereto
attached as "F" hereof.
After the parties filed their responsive pleadings, petitioners filed a Supplement to their
Motion to Dismiss, alleging that respondent sought administrative recourse before the
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) through a letter-complaint dated January 21,
2003. Thus, petitioners claimed that the CHED had primary jurisdiction to resolve matters
pertaining to school controversies, and the filing of the instant case was premature.
The RTC denied the Motion to Dismis on the ground that the issues involved required an
examination of the evidence, which should be threshed out during trial. Petitioners’
Motion for Reconsideration was denied in an Order dated August 1, 2003, so petitioners
sought recourse before the CA.
The CA affirmed the denial of petitioners’ Motion to Dismiss, and directed the RTC to
proceed with trial.

ISSUES:
(1) Whether or not the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies should be
applied
(2) Whether or not respondent violated the rule against forum-shopping
(3) Whether or not the complaint failed to state a cause of action

HELD:
(1) No. The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies does not apply in this case.
The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies requires that where a remedy
before an administrative agency is provided, the administrative agency concerned must
be given the opportunity to decide a matter within its jurisdiction before an action is
brought before the courts. Failure to exhaust administrative remedies is a ground for
dismissal of the action.
In this case, the doctrine does not apply because petitioners failed to demonstrate that
recourse to the CHED is mandatory – or even possible – in an action such as that brought
by the respondent, which is essentially one for mandamus and damages. The doctrine of
exhaustion of administrative remedies admits of numerous exceptions, one of which is
where the issues are purely legal and well within the jurisdiction of the trial court, as in the
present case. Petitioners’ liability – if any – for damages will have to be decided by the
courts, since any judgment inevitably calls for the application and the interpretation of the
Civil Code. As such, exhaustion of administrative remedies may be dispensed with. As we
held in Regino v. Pangasinan Colleges of Science and Technology:
x x x exhaustion of administrative remedies is applicable when there is
competence on the part of the administrative body to act upon the matter
complained of. Administrative agencies are not courts; x x x neither [are they] part
of the judicial system, [or] deemed judicial tribunals. Specifically, the CHED does
not have the power to award damages. Hence, petitioner could not have
commenced her case before the Commission.
In addition, the rule on primary jurisdiction applies only where the administrative agency
exercises quasi-judicial or adjudicatory functions. Thus, an essential requisite for this
doctrine to apply is the actual existence of quasi-judicial power. However, petitioners

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
have not shown that the CHED possesses any such power to "investigate facts or
ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, weigh evidence, and draw conclusions."
Indeed, Section 8 of Republic Act No. 772221 otherwise known as the Higher Education
Act of 1994, certainly does not contain any express grant to the CHED of judicial or
quasi-judicial power.
(2) No. Respondent is not guilty of forum shopping
Forum shopping exists when, as a result of an adverse opinion in one forum, a party
seeks a favorable opinion (other than by appeal or certiorari) in another, or when he
institutes two or more actions or proceedings grounded on the same cause, on the
gamble that one or the other court would make a favorable disposition.
Here, there can be no forum shopping precisely because the CHED is without
quasi-judicial power, and cannot make any disposition of the case – whether favorable or
otherwise.
(3) No. The Complaint states a cause of action
Under Rule 16, Section 1(g) of the Rules of Court, a motion to dismiss may be made on
the ground that the pleading asserting the claim states no cause of action. To clarify the
essential test required to sustain dismissal on this ground, we have explained that "[t]he
test of the sufficiency of the facts found in a petition, to constitute a cause of action, is
whether admitting the facts alleged, the court could render a valid judgment upon the
same in accordance with the prayer of the petition." Stated otherwise, a complaint is said
to assert a sufficient cause of action if, admitting what appears solely on its face to be
correct, the plaintiff would be entitled to the relief prayed for.
The Complaint makes the following essential allegations:
 that petitioners unjustifiably refused to release respondent’s ToR despite his
having obtained a degree from UST;
 that petitioners’ claim that respondent was not officially enrolled is untrue;
 that as a result of petitioners’ unlawful actions, respondent has not been able to
take the nursing board exams since 2002;
 that petitioners’ actions violated Articles 19-21 of the Civil Code;
 that petitioners should be ordered to release respondent’s ToR and held liable for
₱400,000.00 as moral damages, ₱50,000.00 as exemplary damages, ₱50,000.00
as attorney’s fees and costs of suit, and ₱15,000.00 as actual damages.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SONIC STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC. vs. COURT OF APPEALS,
G.R. No. 165976 , July 29, 2010

DOCTRINE:Certiorari under Rule 65 is proper only if there is no appeal or any plain,


speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.

FACTS:
Petitioner Sonic Steel Industries Inc. (Sonic) is engaged in the manufacture and sale of
galvanized steel sheets or G.I. sheets. In March 2003 petitioner loaded 371 crates of
G.I. sheets valued at ₱19,979,460.00 on board respondent Premier Shipping Lines, Inc.’s
(Premier’s) vessel, the M/V Premship XIV, for shipment to its clients in Davao City. Prior
to departure of the vessel, respondent Premier procured an insurance policy from
respondent Oriental Assurance Corporation (Oriental) to cover the goods of petitioner
shipped on board the vessel. While on transit, the Master of the vessel ordered an
inspection on the ship. In the course of the inspection, it was discovered that the cargo
was flooded with seawater.
Despite petitioner Sonic’s demand for indemnification for the total loss of its insured
cargo, respondents Seaboard and Oriental refused to settle its claim. Hence, Sonic filed a
complaint with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila
Petitioner’s original complaint against respondents was filed within 60 days of the loss of
its goods, in compliance with a stipulation in the bill of lading issued by respondent
Premier that "(s)uits based on claims arising from shortage, damage, or non delivery of
shipment shall be instituted within [60] days of the date of accrual of the right of action."
As respondents did not pay petitioner’s claim even long after 90 days from the date of
accrual of the right of action, petitioner moved before the RTC to have its Amended
Complaint admitted, to incorporate Sections 243 and 244 of the Insurance Code, which
provide for the proper interest to be awarded in cases where there is unreasonable
refusal to pay valid claims.
After respondent Seaboard’s Comment and/or Opposition to Petitioner’s Motion for
Leave of Court to File Amended Complaint and Motion to Admit Amended Complaint, and
petitioner’s Reply thereto were filed, the RTC denied the admission of petitioner’s
Amended Complaint. Petitioner moved for a reconsideration but the same was denied.
Petitioner thus filed a petition for certiorari with the CA, which denied the petition as well
as the subsequent motion for reconsideration.

ISSUES:
Whether or not the CA was correct in denying petitioner’s petitions.

HELD:
YES.Certiorari under Rule 65 is proper only if there is no appeal or any plain, speedy
and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. For a writ of certiorari to issue, a
petitioner must not only prove that the tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or
quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction but must also show
that he has no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. On
September 29, 2004, petitioner received the assailed September 17, 2004 Resolution
denying reconsideration of the dismissal of its petition with the CA. It could have filed an

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
appeal by certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, but it did not. Instead it allowed
almost two months to pass and then filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. Certiorari
is not a substitute for a lost appeal. The Rules preclude recourse to the special civil action
of certiorari if appeal, by way of a petition for review, is available as the remedies of
appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive.
At any rate, we find no grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or excess of
jurisdiction on the part of the CA. Petitioner admittedly committed lapses. The CA’s ruling
on such lapses was within the contemplation of the law. "For certiorari to prosper, the
abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive
duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in
contemplation of law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic
manner by reason of passion or personal hostility". In the present case, petitioner failed to
sufficiently show that the CA ruled in a capricious and whimsical manner amounting to an
arbitrary exercise of power.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
NOLI ALFONSO and ERLINDA FUNDIALAN vs. SPOUSES HENRY and LIWANAG
ANDRES
G.R. No. 166236, July 29, 2010

DOCTRINE:Technical rules may be relaxed only for the furtherance of justice and to
benefit the deserving.

FACTS:
The present case stemmed from a complaint for accion publiciana with damages filed
by respondent spouses Henry and Liwanag Andres against Noli Alfonso and spouses
Reynaldo and Erlinda Fundialan before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 77, San
Mateo, Rizal.
On July 8, 1997, the RTC rendered a Decision in favor of respondents. Petitioners,
thus, appealed to the CA.
On November 5, 2003, petitioners' previous counsel was notified by the CA to file
appellants' brief within 45 days from receipt of the notice. The original 45-day period
expired on December 21, 2003. But before then, on December 8, 2003, petitioners'
former counsel filed a Motion to Withdraw Appearance. Petitioners consented to the
withdrawal.
On December 19, 2003, petitioners themselves moved for an extension of 30 days or
until January 21, 2004 within which to file their appellants' brief. Then on March 3, 2004,
petitioners themselves again moved for a fresh period of 45 days from March 3, 2004 or
until April 18, 2004 within which to file their appellants' brief.
On March 17, 2004, the CA issued a Resolution:5 a) noting the withdrawal of
appearance of petitioners' former counsel; b) requiring petitioners to cause the Entry of
Appearance of their new counsel; and c) granting petitioners' motions for extension of
time to file their brief for a period totaling 75 days, commencing from December 21, 2003
or until March 5, 2004.
Petitioners themselves received a copy of this Resolution only on April 6, 2004. By
that time, the extension to file appellants' brief had already long expired.
On April 14, 2004, the Public Attorney's Office (PAO), having been approached by
petitioners, entered its appearance as new counsel for petitioners. However, on August
10, 2004, the CA issued the assailed Resolution dismissing petitioners' appeal.
On September 6, 2004, the PAO filed their Motion for Reconsideration which
requested for a fresh period of 45 days from September 7, 2004 or until October 22, 2004
within which to file appellants' brief. On October 21, 2004, the brief8 was filed by the PAO.
On November 26, 2004, the CA issued a Resolution9which denied petitioners' motion
for reconsideration. Hence, this petition for review.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the declaration of default and the subsequent denial of petitioner’s
motions for reconsideration where proper.

HELD:
YES. The declaration of default and denials of the motions for reconsiderations are
proper.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Rule 50 of the Rules of Court states:
Section 1. Grounds for dismissal of appeal.-An appeal may be dismissed by the
Court of Appeals, on its own motion or on that of the appellee, on the following
grounds:
xxxx
(e) Failure of the appellant to serve and file the required number of copies of his
brief or memorandum within the time provided by these Rules;
Petitioners plead for the suspension of the rules and cite a number of cases where the
Court excused the late filing of a notice of appeal as well as the late filing of the appellant's
brief. They further cite Development Bank of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals where the
late filing of the appellant's brief was excused because the Court found the case
impressed with public interest.
The cases cited by petitioners are not in point. In the present civil case which involves the
failure to file the appellants' brief on time, there is no showing of any public interest
involved. Neither is there a showing that an injustice will result due to the application of
technical rules.
Poverty cannot be used as an excuse to justify petitioners' complacency in allowing
months to pass by before exerting the required effort to find a replacement lawyer.
Poverty is not a justification for delaying a case. Both parties have a right to a speedy
resolution of their case. Not only petitioners, but also the respondents, have a right to
have the case finally settled without delay.

Furthermore, the failure to file a brief on time was due primarily to petitioners' unwise
choices and not really due to poverty. Petitioners were able to get a lawyer to represent
them despite their poverty. They were able to get two other lawyers after they consented
to the withdrawal of their first lawyer. But they hired their subsequent lawyers too late.
It must be pointed out that petitioners had a choice of whether to continue the services of
their original lawyer or consent to let him go. They could also have requested the said
lawyer to file the required appellants' brief before consenting to his withdrawal from the
case. But they did neither of these. Then, not having done so, they delayed in engaging
their replacement lawyer. Their poor choices and lack of sufficient diligence, not poverty,
are the main culprits for the situation they now find themselves in. It would not be fair to
pass on the bad consequences of their choices to respondents. Petitioners' low regard for
the rules or nonchalance toward procedural requirements, which they camouflage with
the cloak of poverty, has in fact contributed much to the delay, and hence frustration of
justice, in the present case.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HEIRS OF FRANCISCA MEDRANO vs ESTANISLAO DE VERA
G.R. No. 165770 , August 9, 2010

DOCTRINE:In cases where the subject property is transferred by the defendant during
the pendency of the litigation, the interest of the transferee pendente lite cannot be
considered independent of the interest of his transferors. If the transferee files an answer
while the transferor is declared in default, the case should be tried on the basis of the
transferee’s answer and with the participation of the transferee.

FACTS:
This case concerns a 463-square meter parcel of land5 covered by Transfer Certificate of
Title (TCT) No. 41860 in the name of Flaviana De Gracia (Flaviana). In 1980, Flaviana
died intestate, leaving her half-sisters Hilaria Martin-Paguyo (Hilaria) and Elena
Martin-Alvarado (Elena) as her compulsory heirs.
In September 1982, Hilaria and Elena, by virtue of a private document denominated
"Tapno Maamoan ti Sangalobongan," waived all their hereditary rights to Flaviana’s land
in favor of Francisca Medrano (Medrano). It stated that the waiver was done in favor of
Medrano in consideration of the expenses that she incurred for Flaviana’s medication,
hospitalization, wake and burial. In the same year, Medrano built her concrete bungalow
on the land in question without any objection from Hilaria and Elena or from their children.
When Hilaria and Elena died, some of their children affirmed the contents of the private
document executed by their deceased mothers. To that end, they executed separate
Deeds of Confirmation of Private Document and Renunciation of Rights in favor of
Medrano. They likewise affirmed in said documents that Medrano had been occupying
and possessing the subject property as owner since September 1982.
Due to the refusal of the other children to sign a similar renunciation, Medrano filed a
Complaint on April 27, 2001 for quieting of title, reconveyance, reformation of instrument,
and/or partition with damages against Pelagia M. Paguyo-Diaz (Pelagia), Faustina
Paguyo-Asumio (Faustina), Jesus Paguyo (Jesus), Veneranda Paguyo-Abrenica, Emilio
a.k.a. Antonio Alvarado, Francisca Alvarado-Diaz (Francisca) and Estrellita
Alvarado-Cordero (Estrellita). Medrano then caused the annotation of a notice of lis
pendens on TCT No. 4186011 on May 3, 2001.
On April 2, 2002, respondent Estanislao D. De Vera (De Vera) filed an Answer with
Counterclaim. De Vera presented himself as the real party-in-interest on the ground that
some of the named defendants (Faustina, Pelagia, Francisca, Elena Kongco-Alvarado,
Jesus, and Estrellita) had executed a Deed of Renunciation of Rights in his favor on
March 23, 2002. He maintained that the "Tapno Maamoan ti Sangalobongan" that was
executed by the defendants’ predecessors in favor of Medrano was null and void for want
of consideration. Thus, while some children affirmed the renunciation of their deceased
mothers’ rights in the lot in favor of Medrano, the other children renounced their hereditary
rights in favor of De Vera.
Medrano filed a Motion to Expunge Answer with Counterclaim of Estanislao D. De Vera
and to Declare Defendants in Default. She argued that respondent De Vera had no
personality to answer the complaint since he was not authorized by the named
defendants to answer in their behalf.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
In an Order,19 dated July 30, 2002, the trial court disagreed with Medrano’s argument
and admitted De Vera’s Answer with Counterclaim. The trial court opined that De Vera did
not need a special power of attorney from the defendants because he did not answer the
complaint in their behalf. De Vera made a voluntary appearance in the case as the
transferee of the defendants’ rights to the subject property. The trial court further
explained that when the presence of other parties is required for granting complete relief,
the court shall order them to be brought in as defendants. While it was unsure whether De
Vera was an indispensable party to the case, the trial court opined that at the very least he
was a necessary party for granting complete relief. It thus held that the admission of De
Vera’s Answer with Counterclaim is proper in order to avoid multiplicity of suits. In the
same Order, the court declared the named defendants in default for not answering the
complaint despite valid service of summons. Thus, it appears that the court a quo treated
the named defendants and De Vera as distinct and separate parties.
Medrano’s response to the aforesaid order was two-fold. With regard to the order
declaring the named defendants in default, Medrano filed on February 13, 2003 a Motion
to Set Reception of Evidence Before the Branch Clerk of Court. She argued that she
could present evidence ex parte against the defaulting defendants on the ground that she
presented alternative causes of action against them in her complaint. Her cause of action
on the basis of acquisitive prescription can be raised solely against the defaulting original
defendants. She thus prayed to be allowed to present evidence ex parte with respect to
her claim of acquisitive prescription against the defaulting defendants. As for the order
admitting De Vera’s Answer with Counterclaim, Medrano filed on February 21, 2003 a
Motion for Reconsideration of Order dated July 30, 2002. She asked the court to order De
Vera to file a pleading-in-intervention so that he could be properly named as a defendant
in the case. De Vera did not comply with the court’s order despite service upon his lawyer,
Atty. Simplicio M. Sevilleja, on April 2, 2003.
The CA reversed the RTC’s ruling. De Vera then filed a Petition for Certiorari to the CA

ISSUE:
(1) Whether or not the trial court was correct in refusing to allow De Vera to participate in
the case and requiring him to file a motion to intervene.
(2) Whether or not the petition for certiorari was proper

HELD:
(1) No. the trial court was wrong.
The trial court gravely abused its discretion in refusing to allow De Vera to participate in
the case and requiring him to file a motion to intervene.
The trial court misjudged De Vera’s interest in Civil Case No. U-7316. It held that De
Vera’s right to participate in the case was independent of the named defendants.
Because of its ruling that De Vera had an "independent interest," the trial court considered
his interest as separate from Medrano’s claims against the named defendants, and
allowed the latter to be tried separately. Thus, it admitted De Vera’s Answer with
Counterclaim but declared the named defendants in default and allowed the ex parte
presentation of evidence by Medrano against the named defendants.
The trial court’s approach is seriously flawed because De Vera’s interest is not
independent of or severable from the interest of the named defendants. De Vera is a

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
transferee pendente lite of the named defendants (by virtue of the Deed of Renunciation
of Rights that was executed in his favor during the pendency of Civil Case No. U-7316).
His rights were derived from the named defendants and, as transferee pendente lite, he
would be bound by any judgment against his transferors under the rules of res judicata.
Thus, De Vera’s interest cannot be considered and tried separately from the interest of
the named defendants.
It was therefore wrong for the trial court to have tried Medrano’s case against the named
defendants (by allowing Medrano to present evidence ex parte against them) after it had
already admitted De Vera’s answer. What the trial court should have done is to treat De
Vera (as transferee pendente lite) as having been joined as a party-defendant, and to try
the case on the basis of the answer De Vera had filed and with De Vera’s participation. As
transferee pendente lite, De Vera may be allowed to join the original defendants under
Rule 3, Section 19:
SEC. 19. Transfer of interest. – In case of any transfer of interest, the action may
be continued by or against the original party, unless the court upon motion directs
the person to whom the interest is transferred to be substituted in the action or
joined with the original party. (Emphasis supplied)
The above provision gives the trial court discretion to allow or disallow the substitution or
joinder by the transferee. Discretion is permitted because, in general, the transferee’s
interest is deemed by law as adequately represented and protected by the participation of
his transferors in the case. There may be no need for the transferee pendente lite to be
substituted or joined in the case because, in legal contemplation, he is not really denied
protection as his interest is one and the same as his transferors, who are already parties
to the case.
We note that under Rule 3, Section 19, the substitution or joinder of the transferee is
"upon motion", and De Vera did not file any motion for substitution or joinder. However,
this technical flaw may be disregarded for the fact remains that the court had already
admitted his answer and such answer was on record when the ex parte presentation of
evidence was allowed by the court. Because De Vera’s answer had already been
admitted, the court should not have allowed the ex parte presentation of evidence.

(2) Yes. Certiorari petition before the CA was proper


Ordinary appeal was not an adequate remedy under the circumstances of the case. An
appeal seeks to correct errors of judgment committed by a court, which has jurisdiction
over the person and the subject matter of the dispute. In the instant case, the trial court
maintained that it had no jurisdiction over De Vera because it did not consider him a party
to the case. Its stance is that De Vera, as a non-party to the case, could not participate
therein, much less assail any of the orders, resolutions, or judgments of the trial court. An
appeal would have been an illusory remedy in this situation because his notice of appeal
would have certainly been denied on the ground that he is not a party to the case.
On the other hand, certiorari is an extraordinary remedy for the correction of errors of
jurisdiction. It is proper if the court acted without or in grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction and there is no appeal or any plain, speedy, and adequate
remedy in law. Given the circumstance that the final decision in Civil Case No. U-7316
prejudices De Vera’s rights despite the fact that he was not recognized as a party thereto
and was not allowed to assail any portion thereof, De Vera’s remedy was to annul the trial

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
court proceedings on the ground that it was conducted with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction. With such annulment, the trial court should hear the case
anew with De Vera fully participating therein.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SALUN-AT MARQUEZ and NESTOR DELA CRUZ vs. ELOISA ESPEJO, ELENITA
ESPEJO, EMERITA ESPEJO, OPHIRRO ESPEJO, OTHNIEL ESPEJO,
ORLANDO ESPEJO, OSMUNDO ESPEJO, ODELEJO ESPEJO and NEMI FERNANDEZ
G.R. No. 168387, August 25, 2010

DOCTRINE: The Best Evidence Rule states that when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a
document, the best evidence is the original document itself and no other evidence (such as a
reproduction, photocopy or oral evidence) is admissible as a general rule. The original is
preferred because it reduces the chance of undetected tampering with the document.

FACTS:
The respondents mortgaged both parcels of land to Rural Bank of Bayombong, Inc. (RBBI)
to secure certain loans. Upon their failure to pay the loans, the mortgaged properties were
foreclosed and sold to RBBI. RBBI eventually consolidated title to the properties and transfer
certificates of title (TCTs) were issued in the name of RBBI. TCT No. T-62096 dated January 14,
1985 was issued for the Murong property. Subsequently, TCT No. T-62836 dated June 4, 1985
was issued for the Lantap property.
On February 26, 1985, respondents Espejos bought back one of their lots from
RBBI. Hovever, Deed of Sale did not mention the barangay where the property was located but
mentioned the title of the property (TCT No. T-62096), which title corresponds to the Murong
property. Meanwhile, RBBI, executed separate Deeds of Voluntary Land Transfer (VLTs) in
favor of the tenants of the Murong property. On February 10, 1997, respondents filed a
Complaint before the RARAD for the cancellation of petitioners CLOAs, the deposit of leasehold
rentals by petitioners in favor of respondents, and the execution of a deed of voluntary land
transfer by RBBI in favor of respondent. The OIC-RARAD agreed to the position of the
respondents but the decision of the OIC-RARAD was reveresed by DARAB. On appeal to the
CA agreed with the respondents. Using the Best Evidence Rule embodied in Rule 130, Section
3, the CA held that the Deed of Sale is the best evidence as to its contents, particularly the
description of the land which was the object of the sale. Since the Deed of Sale expressed that
its subject is the land covered by TCT No. T-62096 the Murong property then that is the property
that the respondents repurchased.

ISSUE:
WON CA erred in utilizing the Best Evidence Rule to determine the subject of the contracts

HELD:
YES. the appellate court erred in its application of the Best Evidence Rule. The Best
Evidence Rule states that when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, the best
evidence is the original document itself and no other evidence (such as a reproduction,
photocopy or oral evidence) is admissible as a general rule. The original is preferred because it
reduces the chance of undetected tampering with the document.
In the instant case, there is no room for the application of the Best Evidence Rule because
there is no dispute regarding the contents of the documents. It is admitted by the parties that the
respondents Deed of Sale referred to TCT No. T-62096 as its subject; while the petitioners
Deeds of Voluntary Land Transfer referred to TCT No. T-62836 as its subject, which is further
described as located in Barangay Murong.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. SATURNINO VILLANUEVA
G.R. No. 181829, September 1, 2010

DOCTRINE: Section 34, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court explicitly provides: The court shall
consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. The purpose for which the evidence
is offered must be specified.

FACTS:
The accused was charged with three counts of qualified rape. When arraigned on
November 14, 2002, appellant pleaded not guilty to all charges.During pre-trial, the parties
stipulated that the appellant is the father of AAA. It was likewise agreed that AAA was below 12
years of age when the rape incidents happened. AAAs birth and medical certificates were
likewise marked as Exhibits A and C, respectively. After the presentation of AAAs testimony, the
prosecution rested its case. The trial court lent credence to the testimony of AAA and convicting
the accused with 3 counts of qualified rape. On appeal, appellant argued that the prosecution
failed to formally offer in evidence AAAs birth certificate. Thus appellant claimed that assuming
he was indeed guilty of the crimes charged, he should only be held liable for simple rape and not
qualified rape because the minority of the victim was not duly established. However, the CA
likewise affirmed the decision of the RTC.

ISSUE:
WON the accused is guilty of three counts of qualified rape.

HELD:
NO. The Supreme Court agreed with the appellant that both the medical certificate and
AAAs birth certificate, although marked as exhibits during the pre-trial, should not have been
considered by the trial court and the CA because they were not formally offered in
evidence. Section 34, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court explicitly provides: The court shall consider
no evidence which has not been formally offered. The purpose for which the evidence is offered
must be specified.

In this case, we note that after the marking of the exhibits during pre-trial, the prosecution did not
formally offer the said medical certificate or birth certificate in evidence. In fact, the prosecution
rested its case after presenting the testimony of AAA without formally offering any documentary
exhibit at all.

In Heirs of Pedro Pasag v. Parocha is instructive, thus:

The rule on formal offer of evidence is not a trivial matter. Failure to make a formal offer within a
considerable period of time shall be deemed a waiver to submit it. Consequently, as in this case,
any evidence that has not been offered shall be excluded and rejected. . . The Rules of Court
[provide] that the court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. A formal
offer is necessary because judges are mandated to rest their findings of facts and their judgment
only and strictly upon the evidence offered by the parties at the trial. Its function is to enable the
trial judge to know the purpose or purposes for which the proponent is presenting the
evidence. On the other hand, this allows opposing parties to examine the evidence and object to

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
its admissibility. Moreover, it facilitates review as the appellate court will not be required to review
documents not previously scrutinized by the trial court. . . Thus, the trial court is bound to
consider only the testimonial evidence presented and exclude the documents not
offered. Documents which may have been identified and marked as exhibits during
pre-trial or trial but which were not formally offered in evidence cannot in any manner be
treated as evidence. Neither can such unrecognized proof be assigned any evidentiary
weight and value. It must be stressed that there is a significant distinction between
identification of documentary evidence and its formal offer. The former is done in the course of
the pre-trial, and trial is accompanied by the marking of the evidence as an exhibit; while the
latter is done only when the party rests its case. The mere fact that a particular document is
identified and marked as an exhibit does not mean that it has already been offered as part of the
evidence. It must be emphasized that any evidence which a party desires to submit for the
consideration of the court must formally be offered by the party; otherwise, it is excluded and
rejected.

In view of the foregoing, we find that the prosecution did not present any satisfactory evidence to
prove AAAs minority. In view of the foregoing, we find appellant guilty only of three counts of
simple rape the penalty for which is reclusion perpetua for each count.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
DELFIN LAMSIS, MAYNARD MONDIGUING, JOSE VALDEZ, JR. and Heirs of AGUSTIN
KITMA, represented by EUGENE KITMA vs. MARGARITA SEMON DONG-E
G.R. No. 173021, October 20, 2010

DOCTRINE: As a rule, an objection over subject-matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time
of the proceedings. This is because jurisdiction cannot be waived by the parties or vested by the
agreement of the parties. Jurisdiction is vested by law, which prevails at the time of the filing of
the complaint.An exception to this rule has been carved by jurisprudence. In the seminal case
of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, the Court ruled that the existence of laches will prevent a party from
raising the courts lack of jurisdiction. Laches is defined as the failure or neglect, for an
unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence,
could or should have been done earlier; it is negligence or omission to assert a right within a
reasonable time, warranting the presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has
abandoned or declined to assert it. Wisely, some cases have cautioned against
applying Tijam, except for the most exceptional cases where the factual milieu is similar
to Tijam.

FACTS:
This case involves a conflict of ownership and possession over an untitled parcel of land,
denominated as Lot No. 1, with an area of 80,736 square meters. The property is located along
Km. 5 Asin Road, Baguio City and is part of a larger parcel of land with an area of 186,090
square meters. While petitioners are the actual occupants of Lot No. 1, respondent is claiming
ownership thereof and is seeking to recover its possession from petitioners. After summarizing
the evidence presented by both parties, the trial court found that it preponderates in favor of
respondents long-time possession of and claim of ownership over the subject property which
was affirmed by the CA. However, the issue of lack of jurisdiction was raised for the first time in
the petition before the SC by the petitioner. Petitioner argued that NCIP has primary jurisdiction
over ancestral lands, hence, the courts should not interfere when the dispute demands the
exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring special knowledge, experience and
services of the administrative tribunal. In cases where the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is
clearly applicable, the court cannot arrogate unto itself the authority to resolve a controversy, the
jurisdiction over which is initially lodged with an administrative body of special competence. It
was never raised before the trial court or the CA.

ISSUE:
Whether the trial court has jurisdiction to decide the case in light of the effectivity of RA 8371
or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 at the time that the complaint was instituted.

HELD:
YES. As a rule, an objection over subject-matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time of
the proceedings. This is because jurisdiction cannot be waived by the parties or vested by the
agreement of the parties. Jurisdiction is vested by law, which prevails at the time of the filing of
the complaint.An exception to this rule has been carved by jurisprudence. In the seminal case
of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, the Court ruled that the existence of laches will prevent a party from
raising the courts lack of jurisdiction. Laches is defined as the failure or neglect, for an
unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence,

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 92
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
could or should have been done earlier; it is negligence or omission to assert a right within a
reasonable time, warranting the presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has
abandoned or declined to assert it. Wisely, some cases have cautioned against
applying Tijam, except for the most exceptional cases where the factual milieu is similar
to Tijam.In Tijam, the surety could have raised the issue of lack of jurisdiction in the trial court but
failed to do so. Instead, the surety participated in the proceedings and filed pleadings, other than
a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. When the case reached the appellate court, the surety
again participated in the case and filed their pleadings therein. It was only after receiving the
appellate courts adverse decision that the surety awoke from its slumber and filed a motion to
dismiss, in lieu of a motion for reconsideration. The CA certified the matter to this Court, which
then ruled that the surety was already barred by laches from raising the jurisdiction issue.In case
at bar, the application of the Tijam doctrine is called for because the presence of laches cannot
be ignored. If the surety in Tijam was barred by laches for raising the issue of jurisdiction for the
first time in the CA, what more for petitioners in the instant case who raised the issue for the first
time in their petition before this Court.At the time that the complaint was first filed in 1998, the
IPRA was already in effect but the petitioners never raised the same as a ground for dismissal;
instead they filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the value of the property did not meet
the jurisdictional value for the RTC.They obviously neglected to take the IPRA into
consideration.When the amended complaint was filed in 1998, the petitioners no longer raised
the issue of the trial courts lack of jurisdiction. Instead, they proceeded to trial, all the time aware
of the existence of the IPRA as evidenced by the cross-examination conducted by petitioners
lawyer on the CSTFAL Chairman Guillermo Fianza. In the cross-examination, it was revealed
that the petitioners were aware that the DENR, through the CSTFAL, had lost its jurisdiction over
ancestral land claims by virtue of the enactment of the IPRA. They assailed the validity of the
CSTFAL resolution favoring respondent on the ground that the CSTFAL had been
rendered functus officio under the IPRA. Inexplicably, petitioners still did not question the trial
courts jurisdiction.When petitioners recoursed to the appellate court, they only raised as errors
the trial courts appreciation of the evidence and the conclusions that it derived therefrom. In their
brief, they once again assailed the CSTFALs resolution as having been rendered functus
officio by the enactment of IPRA. But nowhere did petitioners assail the trial courts ruling for
having been rendered without jurisdiction It is only before this Court, eight years after the filing of
the complaint, after the trial court had already conducted a full-blown trial and rendered a
decision on the merits, after the appellate court had made a thorough review of the records, and
after petitioners have twice encountered adverse decisions from the trial and the appellate
courts that petitioners now want to expunge all the efforts that have gone into the litigation and
resolution of their case and start all over again. This practice cannot be allowed.Thus, even
assuming arguendo that petitioners theory about the effect of IPRA is correct (a matter which
need not be decided here), they are already barred by laches from raising their jurisdictional
objection under the circumstances.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 93
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ENRIQUE MIGUEL LACSON vs. MJ LACSON DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
G.R. No. 168840, December 8, 2010

DOCTRINE: Denial of due process means the total lack of opportunity to be heard or to have
ones day in court. There is no denial of due process where a party has been given an
opportunity to be heard and to present his case.

FACTS:
Respondent MJ Lacson Development Company, Inc. is a corporation engaged in the
business of sugar production. It owns and operates Hacienda San Benito in Moises Padilla,
Negros Occidental. On January 20, 2003, it filed before RTC a Complaint for Injunction with
Preliminary Mandatory Injunction, Accounting and Damages against petitioner Enrique Miguel
Lacson. However, the parties were thereafter able to arrive at an Amicable Settlement. They
submitted the above-quoted Amicable Settlement on April 15, 2003 for the trial courts approval
and same was eventually approved through a Judgment by Compromise dated April 23,
2003.Just less than a month after said approval, however, petitioner filed on May 13, 2003 a
Motion for Partial Modification of the Judgment by Compromise. In said motion, petitioner
alleged that prior to the submission of the Amicable Settlement for approval, the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) installed a group of farmer-beneficiaries who were not workers or
laborers of Hacienda San Benito. Said group allegedly cut the standing crops in
the hacienda and such act, petitioner claimed, could not be stopped by him because at that
time, he has no power to do so because of the TRO issued by the court. Because of this,
petitioner believed that there was a need to partially modify the conditions of the Amicable
Settlement by proportionately reducing the amount covered by the promissory note which he
would execute in favor of respondent pursuant to paragraph 1 of the above-quoted Amicable
Settlement.In an Order dated June 30, 2003, the trial court granted respondents Motion for
Execution, in effect denying petitioners Motion for Partial Modification of the Judgment by
Compromise. On appeal, Petitioner claims that during the hearing of his Motion for Partial
Modification of the Judgment by Compromise, he moved in open court that he be allowed to
present evidence in support of said motion. Unfortunately, the trial court failed to rule on the
same. Because of this, petitioner argues that he was denied due process. However, the CA
affirmed the decision of the RTC.

ISSUE:
WON petitioner was denied due process.

HELD:
NO. We cannot subscribe to petitioners claim that he was denied due process. Denial of
due process means the total lack of opportunity to be heard or to have ones day in court. There
is no denial of due process where a party has been given an opportunity to be heard and to
present his case. Here, petitioner alleges that the trial court conducted a hearing on his Motion
for Partial Modification of the Judgment by Compromise. Clearly, he was given the opportunity
to be heard thereon. The failure of the lower court to rule on his oral motion to present evidence
during said hearing is not denial of due process. The fact is that the trial court heard his motion
for partial modification and his failure to present further evidence to support the same cannot be
equated with lack of due process. Besides, respondent, in its Memorandum advances a

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 94
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
plausible explanation for the trial courts failure to rule on petitioners oral motion to allow him to
present evidence, that is, petitioner was ordered by the trial court to reduce into writing his oral
motion but he did not do so. Petitioner did not dispute this allegation in his Memorandum despite
his having the opportunity to do so, since as shown by the records, respondent served upon
petitioner a copy of its memorandum way ahead of petitioners filing before this Court of his own
memorandum.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
BARANGAY DASMARIÑAS thru BARANGAY CAPTAIN MA. ENCARNACION R.
LEGASPIvs. CREATIVE PLAY CORNER SCHOOL, DR. AMADO J. PIAMONTE,
REGINA PIAMONTE TAMBUNTING, CELINE CONCEPCION LEBRON and CECILE
CUNA COLINA
G.R. No. 169942, January 24, 2011

DOCTRINE:Utter disregard of the rules of procedure cannot justly be rationalized by


harking on the policy of liberal construction.

FACTS:
Petitioner filed a Complaint for Falsification and Use of Falsified Documents against
the respondents alleging that latter falsified and used the Barangay Clearance and
Official Receipt purportedly issued in the name of CPC by the Office of the Barangay.
Respondents on the other hand, denied having falsified the subject documents. The
Prosecutor recommended the dismissal of the case because of failure to establish
probable cause. Petitioner thus brought the case before the Department of Justice (DOJ)
through a Petition for Review. The DOJ, though, after finding that no error which would
justify the reversal of the assailed resolution was committed by Prosecutor Ochoa and
that the petition was filed late, dismissed the Petition for Review.

But before petitioner was able to file its petition, it first sought for an extension of time
of 15 days, which the Court of Appeals granted. Subsequently, petitioner asked for
another extension of five days for the same reason given in its first motion for extension.
But this time the Court of Appeals denied the second motion for having been filed beyond
the period allowed by the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. Hence, this petition.

Petitioner argued on the policy of liberal construction embodied in Section 6, Rule


1 of the Rules of Court which provides that the rules shall be liberally construed in order to
promote their object and to assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy and inexpensive
determination of every action. Petitioner believes that if only the CA examined the records
of the case, it would find that the substantial merits of the case are enough to override
technical deficiencies.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the technical rules should be relaxed and not be strictly followed in the
interest of substantial justice.

HELD:
No. The Supreme Court gave emphasize in Section 4, Rule 43 of the Rules of Court
which provides:
“….. Upon proper motion and the payment of the full amount of the docket fee
before the expiration of the reglementary period, the Court of Appeals may grant an
additional period of fifteen (15) days only within which to file the petition for review. No
further extension shall be granted except for the most compelling reason and in no case
to exceed fifteen (15) days.”

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Considering that the CA has already sufficiently explained how it was able to arrive
at the conclusion that there is no compelling reason for such second extension, the Court
deem it unnecessary to repeat the same especially since the Court are in total agreement
with the ratiocination of the Court of Appeals.

As to petitioner’s invocation of liberal application of the rules, the Court cannot heed
the same. "It is true that litigation is not a game of technicalities and that the rules of
procedure should not be strictly followed in the interest of substantial justice. However, it
does not mean that the Rules of Court may be ignored at will. It bears emphasizing that
procedural rules should not be belittled or dismissed simply because their
non-observance may have resulted in prejudice to a party’s substantial rights. Like all
rules, they are required to be followed except only for the most persuasive of reasons."

The Court has examined the records of this case, however, and the Court is
convinced that the present case is not attended by such an imperative that justifies
relaxation of the rules. Moreover, as pointed out by respondents, petitioner had not only
once transgressed procedural rules. This Court has previously held that "technical rules
may be relaxed only for the furtherance of justice and to benefit the deserving."
Petitioner’s low regard of procedural rules only shows that it is undeserving of their
relaxation.

Besides, even if the Court of Appels ignores the petition’s belated filing, the same
would have been dismissed for being an improper remedy. It has been held that "the
remedy of a party desiring to elevate to the appellate court an adverse resolution of the
Secretary of Justice is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. A Rule 43 petition for review
is a wrong mode of appeal."

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 97
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
DIONISIO LOPEZ y ABERASTURIvs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and
SALVADOR G. ESCALANTE, JR.
G.R. No. 172203, February 14, 2011

DOCTRINE:Freedom of expression enjoys an exalted place in the hierarchy of


constitutional rights. Free expression however, "is not absolute for it may be so regulated
that [its exercise shall neither] be injurious to the equal enjoyment of others having equal
rights, nor injurious to the rights of the community or society." Libel stands as an
exception to the enjoyment of that most guarded constitutional right.

The Supreme Court is precluded from making further evaluation of the factual
antecedents of the case. However, the Court cannot lose sight of the fact that both lower
courts have greatly misapprehended the facts in arriving at their unanimous conclusion.

FACTS:
Private complainant, Mayor Escalante of Cadiz City, filed a complaint for libel against
the petitioner for putting up a billboard with the phrase “Cadiz Forever” and a blank phase
following the word “Never.” The accused affixed the nickname of the herein private
complainant "BADING" and the name of the City of "SAGAY" before the word "NEVER.”
According to a witness, petitioner has an ax to grind against the mayor. Another witness
also found the message unpleasant because Mayor Escalante is an honorable and
dignified resident of Cadiz City. According to her, the message is an insult not only to the
person of the mayor but also to the people of Cadiz City.

Petitioner admitted having placed all the billboards because he is aware of all the
things happening around Cadiz City. He mentioned "BADING" because he was not in
conformity with the many things the mayor had done in Cadiz City. He further maintained
that his personal belief and expression was that he will never love Bading and Sagay.

The Regional Trial Court rendered judgment convicting petitioner


of libel. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the resolution of the lower court. Hence,
this petition.

Petitioner avers that there is nothing in said printed matter tending to defame and
induce suspicion on the character, integrity and reputation of private respondent.

The OSG, that "there is nothing in the phrase "CADIZ FOREVER" and "BADING AND
SAGAY NEVER" which ascribe to private respondent any crime, vice or defect, or any
act, omission, condition, status or circumstance which will either dishonor, discredit, or
put him into contempt."

Respondent, on the other hand, argued that the words printed on the billboards
somehow bordered on the incomprehensible and the ludicrous yet they were so
deliberately crafted solely to induce suspicion and cast aspersion against private
respondent’s honor and reputation.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the Supreme Court is precluded from making further evaluation
of the factual antecedents of a case brought before them

2. Whether or not the printed phrase "CADIZ FOREVER, BADING AND SAGAY
NEVER" is libelous

HELD:
1. No. At the outset, only questions of law may be raised in a petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The factual findings of the lower courts are
final and conclusive and are not reviewable by the Supreme Court, unless the case falls
under the following exceptions:

a. When the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmises


and conjectures;
b. When the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible;
c. Where there is a grave abuse of discretion;
d. When the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts;
e. When the findings of fact are conflicting;
f. 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;
g. When the findings are contrary to those of the trial court;
h. When the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on
which they are based;
i. When the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioners’ main and reply
briefs are not disputed by the respondents; and,
j. When the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the supposed
absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record

As a general rule, the Supreme Court is precluded from making further evaluation
of the factual antecedents of the case. However, the Court cannot lose sight of the fact
that both lower courts have greatly misapprehended the facts in arriving at their
unanimous conclusion. Hence, the Court is constrained to apply one of the exceptions
specifically “When the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts.”

2. For an imputation to be libelous, the following requisites must concur: a) it must be


defamatory; b) it must be malicious; c) it must be given publicity and d) the victim must be
identifiable.Absent one of these elements precludes the commission of the crime of libel.

Although all the elements must concur, the defamatory nature of the subject printed
phrase must be proved first because this is so vital in a prosecution for libel. Were the
words imputed not defamatory in character, a libel charge will not prosper. Malice is
necessarily rendered immaterial. To determine "whether a statement is defamatory, the
words used are to be construed in their entirety and should be taken in their plain, natural
and ordinary meaning as they would naturally be understood by persons reading them,
unless it appears that they were used and understood in another sense."

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Tested under these established standards, the Court cannot subscribe to the
appellate court’s finding that the phrase "CADIZ FOREVER, BADING AND SAGAY
NEVER" tends to induce suspicion on private respondent’s character, integrity and
reputation as mayor of Cadiz City. There are no derogatory imputations of a crime, vice or
defect or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending, directly or
indirectly, to cause his dishonor. In its ordinary sense, the word did not cast aspersion
upon private respondent’s integrity and reputation much less convey the idea that he was
guilty of any offense. Simply worded as it was with nary a notion of corruption and
dishonesty in government service, it is the Supreme Court’s considered view to
appropriately consider it as mere epithet or personal reaction on private respondent’s
performance of official duty and not purposely designed to malign and besmirch his
reputation and dignity more so to deprive him of public confidence.

In addition, as observed by the OSG, at the time the billboards were erected and
during the incumbency of private respondent as mayor of Cadiz City, these witnesses
were either employed in the Cadiz City Hall or active in the project of the city government.
These witnesss would naturally testify in his favor.

As ruled in the case of MVRS Publications, Inc. v. Islamic Da’ Wah Council of the
Phils., Inc. "Personal hurt or embarrassment or offense, even if real, is not automatically
equivalent to defamation," "words which are merely insulting are not actionable as libel or
slander per se, and mere words of general abuse however opprobrious, ill-natured, or
vexatious, whether written or spoken, do not constitute bases for an action for defamation
in the absence of an allegation for special damages. The fact that the language is
offensive to the plaintiff does not make it actionable by itself."

In criminal prosecutions, fundamental is the requirement that the elemental acts


constituting the offense be established with moral certainty as this is the critical and only
requisite to a finding of guilt." In this case, contrary to the conclusion of the trial court as
affirmed by the appellate court, the prosecution failed to prove that the controversial
phrase "CADIZ FOREVER, BADING AND SAGAY NEVER" imputes derogatory remarks
on private respondent’s character, reputation and integrity.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
AURORA B. GO vs. ELMER SUNBANUN, GEORGIE S. TAN, DORIS SUNBANUN
and RICHARD SUNBANUN
G.R. No. 168240, February 9, 2011

DOCTRINE: When a procedural rule is amended for the benefit of litigants for the
furtherance of the administration of justice, it shall be retroactively applied to likewise
favor actions then pending, as equity delights equality

FACTS:
Respondents filed a suit for damages against Aurora, her husband Yiu Wai Sang, and
Yiu-Go Employment Agency for breach of warranty in the fire insurance policies that the
respondents made involving the property rented out by petitioner.
The RTC rendered judgment finding only Aurora liable and ordering her to pay moral
damages, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses and costs.
Aurora filed her Motion for Reconsideration on the last day to file her appeal. The court in
its April 27, 2004 Order denied said motion.
Atty. Ycong received the notice of denial with a day left to file her appeal. Explaining that
Aurora has been busy campaigning for the local elections as she was running for the
position of town mayor in Calubian, Leyte and that he and his client have yet to discuss
the pros and cons of appealing the case, Atty. Ycong sought for the relaxation of the
procedural rules by filing an extension of 15 days to file Aurora’s notice of appeal. The
RTC denied the notice of appeal thereafter filed.
For non-compliance with the formal requirements of a petition, the Court of Appeals (CA)
dismissed the certiorari petition filed by petitioner. The CA dismissed the petition for being
procedurally flawed, viz: the Verification/Certification of Non-Forum Shopping is signed
by only one petitioner without a Special Power of Attorney/Secretary’s Certificate
authorizing her to represent the two (2) other petitioners; the Affidavit of Service shows
that respondents were personally served copies of the petition but lacks explanation why
service of the petition with this Court was not done personally; counsel for petitioners
failed to indicate his PTR and IBP numbers; certified true copies of the assailed decision
dated January 26, 2004 attached to the petition is a mere photocopy of a certified true
copy; the copies of pleadings and other relevant documents referred to in the petition
which would support the allegations therein are not attached.

ISSUE:
May the formal deficiencies in the petition before the CA be relaxed in the interest
ofijustice?

HELD:
The signatures/authorizations of Sang and Yiu-Go Employment Agency in the
verification and certification on non-forum shopping are not necessary. The signatures
may be dispensed with as these parties are not involved in the petition.
Non-submission of certified true copy of the January 26, 2004 Decision and copies of the
Complaint and Answer is not fatal. Not all pleadings and parts of case records are
required to be attached, but only those which are material and pertinent that they may
provide the basis for a determination of a prima facie case for abuse of discretion.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 101
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Failure to indicate PTR and IBP Official Receipt Numbers are not fatal. The failure of
petitioner’s former counsel, Atty. Ycong, to indicate in the petition before the CA his PTR
and IBP numbers for the year 2004 was obviously an oversight.
However, whenever practicable, personal service and personal filing of pleadings are
always the preferred modes of service. Should one deviate from the general rule, it is
mandatory for him/her to submit a written explanation why the pleading was not
personally filed/served. Otherwise, the court has the discretion to consider the paper as
not filed. Therefore, there was no grave abuse on the part of the CA in exercising its
discretion to dismiss Aurora’s petition.
Nevertheless, in spite of petitioner’s error, the ‘fresh period rule’ amendment as held in
Neypes v. Court of Appeals will be applied to her benefit.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 102
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN (Third division) and
MANUEL G. BARCENAS
G.R. No. 174504 , March 21, 2011

DOCTRINE: The dismissal order arising from the grant of a demurrer to evidence
amounts to an acquittal and cannot be appealed because it would place the accused in
double jeopardy. The order is reviewable only by certiorari if it was issued with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

FACTS:
Respondents were charged for having violated Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019
before the Sandiganbayan. That the accused being high ranking officials did then and
there, willfully, unlawfully and criminally enter into contracts/transactions for the
construction of the Mabalacat-Clark Spur Road and the Clark Perimeter Road, without
the benefit of public bidding and at the price higher by 60 to 167% than the typical
roadway construction cost, thus, depriving the government of the opportunity of obtaining
the most advantageous construction cost. During the trial, the prosecution presented its
lone witness, Atty. Pagunuran, legal counsel of the Office of the Ombudsman.
Consequently, instead of presenting their evidence, the respondents filed their
respective motions for leave to file their demurrer to evidence and alleged that the
witness had no personal knowledge of the transaction and thus it’s a hearsay and that the
prosecution failed to prove that there was an overpricing and (iii) that the ruling of the
Court of Appeals in an administrative case (C.A. G.R. SP No. 62084), which upheld the
validity of the direct negotiated contracts, even in the absence of a public bidding, was
already the law of the case. The demurrer to evidence was however denied. It opined that the
prosecution’s evidence substantiated the elements of the crime and that the respondents must
present controverting evidence. The respondents then filed a MR and was granted and
the case was dismissed. The SB based its ruling on the ground that that there being want
of substantial evidence to support an administrative charge, there could be no sufficient
evidence to warrant a conclusion that there is probable cause for a violation of Section
3(e) of R.A. No. 3019. Thus this petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not an appeal can be made.

HELD:
Procedurally, the petitioner resorted to a wrong remedy. Section 1 of Rule 122 allows
"any party" to appeal from a judgment or final order, unless the right of the accused
against double jeopardy will be violated. It is axiomatic that an appeal in criminal cases
throws the whole case wide open for review by an appellate court. As a consequence, an
appeal by the prosecution from a judgment of acquittal necessarily places the accused in
double jeopardy. The rule barring an appeal from a judgment of acquittal is, however, not
absolute. The following are the recognized exceptions thereto: (i)when the prosecution is
denied due process of law; and (ii) when the trial court commits grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in dismissing a criminal case by granting the accused’
demurrer to evidence. Where appeal is available, certiorari will not prosper. In the dismissal

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 103
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
of a criminal case upon demurrer to evidence, appeal is not available as such an appeal
will put the accused in double jeopardy. Certiorari, however, is allowed.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 104
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ASIA UNITED BANK, CHRISTINE T. CHAN, and FLORANTE C. DEL MUNDO vs.
GOODLAND COMPANY, INC.
G.R. No. 191388, March 9, 2011

DOCTRINE: There can be no determination of the validity of the extrajudicial foreclosure


and the propriety of injunction in the Injunction Case without necessarily ruling on the
validity of the REM, which is already the subject of the Annulment Case. The identity of
the causes of action in the two cases entails that the validity of the mortgage will be ruled
upon in both, and creates a possibility that the two rulings will conflict with each other.
This is precisely what is sought to be avoided by the rule against forum shopping.

FACTS:
Goodland Company, Inc. (Goodland) executed Third Party Real Estate Mortgage
over two parcels of land in favor of Asia United Bank. The mortgage secured the
obligation amounting to P250,000,000.00 of Radio Radiomarine Network, Inc.
(RMNI). Goodland then filed a complaint before the RTC for the annulment of the REM on
the ground that the same was falsified and done in contravention of parties’ verbal
agreement.While the annulment case was pending, RMNI defaulted in payment of its
obligation to AUB. AUB filed its application for Extrajudicial Foreclosure of Real Estate
Mortgage under Act No. 3135. The mortgaged properties were sold in public auction to
AUB as the highest bidder. Certificate of Sale was issued and was registered with the
Registry of Deeds.Goodland filed another complaint against AUB and its officers. This
complaint sought to annul the foreclosure of sale and to enjoin the consolidation of title.
AUB filed a motion to dismiss with opposition to a TRO in the injunction case. They
brought to the court’s attention Goodland’s forum shopping given pendency of the
annulment case. They argued that the two cases both rely on the alleged falsification of
the real estate mortgage as basis for the reliefs sought.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Goodland committed forum shopping

HELD:
Yes. The cause of action in the earlier Annulment Case is the alleged nullity of the
REM (due to its allegedly falsified or spurious nature) which is allegedly violative of
Goodland’s right to the mortgaged property. It serves as the basis for the prayer for the
nullification of the REM. The Injunction Case involves the same cause of action,
inasmuch as it also invokes the nullity of the REM as the basis for the prayer for the
nullification of the extrajudicial foreclosure and for injunction against consolidation of title.
While the main relief sought in the Annulment Case (nullification of the REM) is ostensibly
different from the main relief sought in the Injunction Case (nullification of the extrajudicial
foreclosure and injunction against consolidation of title), the cause of action which serves
as the basis for the said reliefs remains the same — the alleged nullity of the REM. Thus,
what is involved here is the third way of committing forum shopping, i.e., filing multiple
cases based on the same cause of action, but with different prayers. As previously held
by the Court, there is still forum shopping even if the reliefs prayed for in the two cases are
different, so long as both cases raise substantially the same issues

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 105
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
CENTRAL LUZON DRUG CORPORATION VS. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL
REVENUE
G.R. No. 181371 March 02, 2011

DOCTRINE: When an appeal is withdrawn, the assailed decision becomes final and
executory.

FACTS:
On April 13, 2005, petitioner filed with respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue
(CIR) a request for the issuance of a tax credit certificate in the amount of P32,170,409,
representing the 20% sales discounts allegedly granted to senior citizens fortheyear
2002.

On April 14, 2005, petitioner filed with the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) a Petition for
Review.On July 23, 2007, the First Division of the CTA rendered a Decision denying
petitioner's claim for insufficiency of evidence.Aggrieved, petitioner moved for
reconsideration but the First Division of the CTA denied the same in a Resolution dated
September 12, 2007.On October 3, 2007, petitioner filed a Motion for Extension of Time
to File Petition for Review on Certiorari with the CTA En Banc. On October 19, 2007,
petitioner filed with the CTA En Banc a Petition for Review, docketed as CTA En Banc
Case No. 316. On December 4, 2007, the CTA En Banc resolved to deny due course, and
accordingly, dismissed the Petition for Review.This prompted petitioner to file before us a
Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court to set aside the
Resolutions dated December 4, 2007 and January 17, 2008 of the CTA En Banc.In
response, comments were filed by the respondent and the Office of the Solicitor General.
However, instead of filing a reply to the comments, petitioner filed a Motion to Withdraw,
praying that the case be dismissed without prejudice. According to petitioner, the amount
of tax credit being claimed for 2002 would just be included in its future claims for issuance
of a tax credit certificate since the said amount was carried over to its 2003 Income Tax
Return.

The OSG does not oppose the Motion to Withdraw. However, citing Section 2, Rule 17 of
the Rules of Court, the OSG argues that the withdrawal of the instant case is no longer a
matter of right on the part of petitioner, but is discretionary upon the Court. The OSG also
calls attention to the failure of Mr. Jacinto J. Conception, the person who signed the
Verification and Certification of Non-forum Shopping, to exhibit before the notary public a
valid Identification Card. The OSG insists that such failure renders the instant Petition
defective. Thus, it should be dismissed with prejudice.

ISSUE:
Whether the dismissal should be with prejudice against petitioner.

HELD:
YES. Section 1, Rule 13 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court provides that "[a]
case shall be deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last
pleading, brief, or memorandum that the Court or its Rules require." In the instant case,

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 106
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
records show that on August 19, 2009, we resolved to require petitioner to file a reply.
Instead of complying, petitioner opted to file a motion to withdraw. Clearly, by requiring
petitioner to file its Reply, the Court has not yet deemed the case submitted for decision or
resolution. Thus, we resolve to grant petitioner's Motion to Withdraw.

However, we agree with the OSG that the dismissal of the instant case should be with
prejudice. By withdrawing the appeal, petitioner is deemed to have accepted the decision
of the CTA. And since the CTA had already denied petitioner's request for the issuance of
a tax credit certificate in the amount of P32,170,409 for insufficiency of evidence, it may
no longer be included in petitioner's future claims. Petitioner cannot be allowed to
circumvent the denial of its request for a tax credit by abandoning its appeal and filing a
new claim. To reiterate, "an appellant who withdraws his appeal x x x must face the
consequence of his withdrawal, such as the decision of the court a quo becoming final
and executory."

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 107
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS vs. PIO ROQUE S. COQUIA, Jr.
G.R. No. 167518, March 23, 2011

DOCTRINE: Clearly, then, this Court may not pass upon the same issues which had
been finally adjudicated since a final and executory judgment can no longer be attacked
by any of the parties or be modified, directly or indirectly, even by the Supreme
Court. This principle of immutability of final judgment renders it unalterable as nothing
further can be done except to execute it.

FACTS:
Respondent Coquia filed a complaintfor illegal suspension, illegal dismissal and other
monetary claims against petitioner BPI and some of its corporate officers. On July 29,
1999, the Labor Arbiter rendered a Decisionfinding respondent Coquia’s dismissal illegal.
The NLRC, in its Decision dated April 19, 2000, reversed the assailed decision and
declared that there exist sufficient bases for the dismissal.
From the said NLRC Resolution, petitioner BPI and respondent Coquia filed their
separate petitions before the CA. The CA, however, resolved the petitions differently. In
CA-G.R. SP No. 84230, the CA, through its Special Sixteenth Division, rendered a
Decision dated December 14, 2004 which denied respondent Coquia’s petition and
sustained the NLRC’s deletion of the award of backwages and moral and exemplary
damages. The CA likewise sustained the award of separation pay as reinstatement was
no longer possible due to strained relation between petitioner BPI and respondent
Coquia.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA committed grave abuse of discretion when it ruled on the issue
of payment of separation pay in favor of respondent considering that another division of
the CA first acquired jurisdiction over the said subject matter.

HELD:
The issues regarding the validity of respondent Coquia’s dismissal and the
correctness of the award of separation pay have been barred by the principle of res
judicata by virtue of a final and executory judgment rendered in CA G.R. SP No. 83883
involving the same parties, issues and cause of action.
As mentioned, the judgment rendered in CA-G.R. SP No. 83883 has already become
final and executory. It was rendered based on the merits by a court which has jurisdiction
thereon. The parties involved in that case and in the present petition are the same as well
as the subject matter and cause of action, which revolves around the validity of
respondent Coquia’s termination from employment and the propriety of the award of
separation pay in his favor.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 108
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
STEFAN TITO MIOZA, Petitioner,
vs.
HON. CESAR TOMAS LOPEZ, in his official capacity as Mayor and Chair, Loon
Cockpit Arena Bidding and Awards Committee, its Members namely: HERMINIGILDO
M. CALIFORNIA, NOEL CASTROJO, JESSE SEVILLA, FORTUNATO GARAY,
PERFECTO MANTE, ROGELIO GANADOS, P/INSP. JASEN MAGARAN,
SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF LOON, BOHOL, represented by its Presiding Officer, Vice
Mayor RAUL BARBARONA, and MARCELO EPE,Respondents.
G.R. No. 170914 April 13, 2011

DOCTRINE: There can be no legal duel in court when the one who demands satisfaction from
the alleged offender is not even the offended party.

FACTS:
The Sangguniang Bayan issued a resolution declaring the cockpit owned and operated by
petitioner in Bgy. Lintuan as unlicensed and that the only licensed cockpit is the one in Cogon
Norte. The resolution likewise stated that the cockpit in Bgy. Lintuan has no benches, toilets, or
eateries and that the place is prone to vehicular accidents for lack of parking space. As a result,
Mayor Lopez revoked petitioners temporary license to operate.
Municipal Ordinance No. 03-001 Series of 2003 was approved to regulate cockfighting in the
municipality. Pursuant thereto, the Sangguniang Bayan a resolution which opened for public
bidding a 25-year franchise of the cockpit operation in Loon.Four qualified parties submitted their
cash bids among them is petitioner’s uncle who submitted the bid for and on his behalf.
During the conduct of the public bidding, Marcelo was declared the winner and a franchise for
the cockpit operation in Loon was granted in his favor by way of Municipal Ordinance No.
03-007, Series of 2003.
Petitioner then filed a Complaintwith the RTC against Mayor Lopez, the members of
the Sangguniang Bayan, the members of the Loon Cockpit Bidding and Awards Committee,
and the franchise awardee, Marcelo, for Annulment of both the bidding process and Municipal
Ordinance No. 03-007, Series of 2003 and for Damages.

ISSUE:
Whether petitioner has the standing to challenge the bidding proceedings and the issuance
of Ordinance No. 03-007, Series of 2003.

HELD:
Under this definition, petitioner, not being one of the bidders clearly has no personality to
contest the alleged rigged bidding as well as to pray for the annulment of Ordinance No. 03-007,
Series of 2003 which granted the franchise to Marcelo. The fact that he owns the cockpit in Bgy.
Lintuan does not clothe him with legal standing to have the bidding proceedings annulled and
Marcelo stripped off of the cockpit franchise. Even assuming that the bidding proceeding was
rigged thereby disqualifying Marcelo as a bidder, the highest bidder would still be Jose, and not
the petitioner who was not even a participant. Contrary to petitioners claim that Jose was his
representative, records show that Jose acted in his personal capacity when he applied to be one
of the bidders of the cockpit franchise.[31] Never was it shown that he was bidding on behalf of
someone else, particularly petitioner. Petitioners agreement with his family and Jose, i.e., that

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 109
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
the latter would bid on behalf of the petitioner, does not bind the respondents. Thus, had Jose
been the highest bidder, the franchise would have been awarded in his name and not in favor of
petitioner. Jose would be the one accountable to the Sangguniang Bayan with regard to
fulfillment of the obligations of said franchise.
All told, this Court finds no reason to disturb the judgment of the CA affirming the RTCs dismissal
of petitioners action. Suffice it to state that on the sole basis of the allegations of the complaint,
the court may dismiss the case for lack of cause of action.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 110
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HOME DEVELOPMENT MUTUAL FUND (HDMF) vs. SPOUSES FIDEL and FLORINDA R.
SEE and SHERIFF MANUEL L. ARIMADO
G.R. No. 170292,June 22, 2011

DOCTRINE: A party that loses its right to appeal by its own negligence cannot seek refuge in
the remedy of a writ of certiorari.

FACTS:
Respondent-spouses Fidel and Florinda See (respondent-spouses) were the highest
bidders in the extrajudicial foreclosure sale of a propertythat was mortgaged to petitioner Home
Development Mutual Fund or Pag-ibig Fund (Pag-ibig). They paid the bid price in cash to
respondent Sheriff Manuel L. Arimado (Sheriff Arimado). In turn, respondent-spouses received
a Certificate of Sale wherein Sheriff Arimado acknowledged receipt of the purchase
price. Despite the expiration of the redemption period, Pag-ibig refused to surrender its
certificate of title to the respondent-spouses because it had yet to receive the
respondent-spouses payment from Sheriff Arimado who failed to remit the same despite
repeated demands. It turned out that Sheriff Arimado withdrew from the clerk of court the money
paid by respondent-spouses, on the pretense that he was going to deliver the same to
Pag-ibig. The money never reached Pag-ibig and was spent by Sheriff Arimado for his personal
use.
Considering Pag-ibigs refusal to recognize their payment, respondent-spouses filed a
complaint for specific performance with damages against Pag-ibig and Sheriff Arimado. The
complaint alleged that the law on foreclosure authorized Sheriff Arimado to receive, on behalf of
Pag-ibig, the respondent-spouses payment. Pag-ibig admitted the factual allegations of the
complaint but maintained that respondent-spouses had no cause of action against it. Pag-ibig
insisted that it has no duty to deliver the certificate of title to respondent-spouses unless Pag-ibig
actually receives the bid price. When the case was called for pre-trial conference, the parties
submitted their Compromise Agreement for the courts approval.

ISSUE:
Whether certiorari was the proper remedy.

HELD:
No. Certiorari is a limited form of review and is a remedy of last recourse. It is proper only
when appeal is not available to the aggrieved party. In the case at bar, the decision of the trial
court was appealable under Rule 41 of the Rules of Court because it completely disposed of
respondent-spouses case against Pag-ibig. Pag-ibig does not explain why it did not resort to an
appeal and allowed the trial courts decision to attain finality. In fact, the decision of the trial court
was already at the stage of execution when Pag-ibig belatedly resorted to a Rule 65 Petition
for Certiorari. Clearly, Pag-ibig lost its right to appeal and tried to remedy the situation by
resorting to certiorari. It is settled, however, that certiorari is not a substitute for a lost appeal,
especially if the party’s own negligence or error in the choice of remedy occasioned such loss or
lapse.
Moreover, even assuming arguendo that a Rule 65 certiorari could still be resorted to,
Pag-ibigs petition would still have to be dismissed for having been filed beyond the reglementary
period of 60 days from notice of the denial of the motion for reconsideration. Pag-ibig admitted

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 111
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
receiving the trial courts Order denying its Motion for Reconsideration on March 22, 2002; it thus
had until May 21, 2002 to file its petition for certiorari. However, Pag-ibig filed its petition only on
May 24, 2002, which was the 63rd day from its receipt of the trial courts order and obviously
beyond the reglementary 60-day period.
Pag-ibig stated that its petition for certiorari was filed within sixty (60) days from receipt of
the copy of the writ of execution by petitioner [Pag-ibig] on 07 May 2002, which writ sought to
enforce the Decision assailed in the petition. This submission is beside the point. Rule 65,
Section 4 is very clear that the reglementary 60-day period is counted from notice of the
judgment, order or resolution being assailed, or from notice of the denial of the motion [for
reconsideration], and not from receipt of the writ of execution which seeks to enforce the
assailed judgment, order or resolution. The date of Pag-ibigs receipt of the copy of the writ of
execution is therefore immaterial for purposes of computing the timeliness of the filing of the
petition for certiorari.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 112
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
MA. LIGAYA B. SANTOS vs. LITTON MILLS INCORPORATED
G.R. No. 170646, June 22, 2011

DOCTRINE:Technical rules of procedure should be used to promote, not frustrate, the cause of
justice. While the swift unclogging of court dockets is a laudable aim, the just resolution of cases
on their merits, however, cannot be sacrificed merely in order to achieve that objective. Rules of
procedure are tools designed not to thwart but to facilitate the attainment of justice; thus, their
strict and rigid application may, for good and deserving reasons, have to give way to, and be
subordinated by, the need to aptly dispense substantial justice in the normal course.

FACTS:
Atty. Mario, personnel manager of respondent Litton Mills, directed petitioner to explain
in writing why no disciplinary action should be imposed on her after having been caught
engaging in an unauthorized arrangement with a waste buyer. Allegedly, petitioner has been
demanding money from a certain Leonardo A. Concepcion (Concepcion) every time he
purchases scrap and sludge oil from the company and threatening to withhold the release of the
purchased materials by delaying the release of official delivery receipt and gate pass if he would
not oblige. In her letter-reply, petitioner denied the accusation and explained that herjob is
merely clerical in nature and that she has no authority to hold the release of purchased waste
items. Atty. Mario notified petitioner that an administrative investigation and requested her to
appear and present her defenses on the charges. During the hearing, petitioner, represented by
three officers of the union of which she was a member, submitted a Motion for Reinvestigation
(which she also filed in the criminal case for extortion). Petitioner received a Letter of
Termination from respondents for obtaining or accepting money as a result of an unauthorized
arrangement with a waste buyer, an act considered as affecting company interests.
The Labor Arbiter found that her dismissal is valid. The NLRC affirmed the findings of the
Labor Arbiter. Petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorariwith the CA. In a Resolution, the CA
dismissed the petition for failure of the petitioner to indicate in the petition the actual addresses of
the parties and to state in the Verification and Certification of non-forum shopping that there
were no other pending cases between the parties at the time of filing. Petitioner filed a Motion for
Reconsideration explaining that her petition substantially complied with the provisions of Section
3, Rule 46 of the Rules of Court because it indicated that the parties may be served with notices
and processes of the Court through their respective counsels whose addresses were
specifically mentioned therein. She also insisted that although the Verification and Certification
attached to the petition was an abbreviated version, the same still substantially complied with the
Rules.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the rules can give a liberal construction upon faithful compliance of
petitioner.

HELD:
Yes. Under Section 3, Rule 46 of the Rules of Court, petitions for certiorari shall contain,
among others, the full names and actual addresses of all the petitioners and respondents. The
petitioner should also submit together with the petition a sworn certification that (a) he has not
theretofore commenced any other action involving the same issues in any court, tribunal or

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of his knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending
therein; (b) if there is such other pending action or claim, he must state the status of the same;
and (c) if he should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is
pending, he shall promptly inform the court within five days therefrom. The Rule explicitly
provides that failure to comply with these requirements shall be sufficient ground to dismiss the
petition.
To us, the mention of the parties respective counsels addresses constitutes substantial
compliance with the requirements of Section 3, Rule 46 of the Rules of Court which provides in
part that [t]he petition shall contain the full names and actual addresses of all the petitioners and
respondents. Our observation further finds support in Section 2, Rule 13 which pertinently
provides that [i]f any party has appeared by counsel, service upon him shall be made upon his
counsel or one of them, unless service upon the party himself is ordered by the Court.
Moreover, in her motion for reconsideration, petitioner explained that she was of the
honest belief that the mention of the counsel’s address was sufficient compliance with the
rules. At any rate, she fully complied with the same when she indicated in her Motion for
Reconsideration the actual addresses of the parties. Hence, we are at a loss why the CA still
proceeded to deny petitioners petition for certiorari and worse, even declared that: Instead of
[rectifying] the deficiencies of the petition, the petitioner chose to avoid compliance, arguing
more than revising the mistakes explicitly pointed out. It is settled that subsequent and
substantial compliance may call for the relaxation of the rules of procedure. The Court has time
and again relaxed the rigid application of the rules to offer full opportunity for parties to ventilate
their causes and defenses in order to promote rather than frustrate the ends of justice.

Because there was substantial and subsequent compliance in this case, we resolve to
apply the liberal construction of the rules if only to secure the greater interest of justice. Thus, the
CA should have given due course to the petition.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 114
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ANICETO CALUBAQUIB et.al., vs. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 170658, June 22, 2011

DOCTRINE:Due process rights are violated by a motu proprio rendition of a summary


judgment.

FACTS:
President Manuel L. Quezon issued Proclamation No. 80 which declared a
39.3996-hectare landholding located at Barangay Caggay, Tuguegarao, Cagayan, a military
reservation site. The proclamation expressly stated that it was being issued subject to private
rights, if any there be. Respondent filed before the RTC a complaint for recovery of
possessionagainst petitioners alleging that sometime in 1992, petitioners unlawfully entered the
military reservation through strategy and stealth and took possession of a five-hectare portion
(subject property) thereof. Petitioners denied the allegation that they entered the subject
property through stealth and strategy. They maintained that they and their
predecessor-in-interest, Antonio Calubaquib (Antonio), have been in open and continuous
possession of the subject property since the early 1900s. When Antonio died in 1918, his six
children acknowledged inheriting the subject property from him in a private document
entitled Convenio. In 1926, Antonios children applied for a homestead patent but the same was
not acted upon by the Bureau of Lands. Petitioners cite as their basis a proviso in Proclamation
No. 80, which exempts from the military reservation site private rights, if any there be. Without
any trial, the trial court rendered a Decision dismissing petitioners claim of possession of the
subject property in the concept of owner. The trial court held that while Proclamation No. 80
recognized and respected the existence of private rights on the military reservation, petitioners
position could not be sustained, as there was no right of [petitioners] to speak of that was
recognized by the government. The CA affirmed the decision of the trial court.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the rendering of a summary judgment is proper in this case.

HELD:
No. Summary judgments are proper when, upon motion of the plaintiff or the
defendant, the court finds that the answer filed by the defendant does not tender a genuine
issue as to any material fact and that one party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.A
summary judgment is permitted only if there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and [the]
moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. The test of the propriety of rendering
summary judgments is the existence of a genuine issue of fact, as distinguished from a sham,
fictitious, contrived or false claim. The filing of a motion and the conduct of a hearing on the
motion are therefore important because these enable the court to determine if the parties
pleadings, affidavits and exhibits in support of, or against, the motion are sufficient to overcome
the opposing papers and adequately justify the finding that, as a matter of law, the claim is
clearly meritorious or there is no defense to the action.

In the case at bar, the trial court proceeded to render summary judgment with neither of
the parties filing a motion therefor. Under these circumstances, it was improper for the trial court
to have persisted in rendering summary judgment. Considering that the remedy of summary

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
judgment is in derogation of a party's right to a plenary trial of his case, the trial court cannot
railroad the parties rights over their objections.By proceeding to rule against petitioners without
any trial, the trial and appellate courts made a conclusion which was based merely on an
assumption that petitioners defense of acquisitive prescription was a sham, and that the ultimate
facts pleaded in their Answer (e.g., open and continuous possession of the property since the
early 1900s) cannot be proven at all.This assumption is as baseless as it is premature and
unfair. No reason was given why the said defense and ultimate facts cannot be proven during
trial. The lower courts merely assumed that petitioners would not be able to prove their defense
and factual allegations, without first giving them an opportunity to do so.

It is clear that the guidelines and safeguards for the rendition of a summary judgment
were all ignored by the trial court. The sad result was a judgment based on nothing else but an
unwarranted assumption and a violation of petitioners due process right to a trial where they can
present their evidence and prove their defense.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
LEONARDO S. UMALE vs. ASB REALTY CORPORATION
G.R. No. 181126, June 15, 2011

DOCTRINE:Being placed under corporate rehabilitation and having a receiver appointed to


carry out the rehabilitation plan do not ipso facto deprive a corporation and its corporate officers
of the power to recover its unlawfully detained property.

FACTS:
Amethyst Pearl executed a Deed of Assignment in Liquidation of the subject premises in
favor of ASB Realty in consideration of the full redemption of Amethyst Pearls outstanding
capital stock from ASB Realty. Thus, ASB Realty became the owner of the subject premises.
ASB Realty commenced an action in the Metropolitan Trial Court for unlawful detainer of the
subject premises against petitioner Leonardo S. Umale (Umale). ASB Realty alleged that it
entered into a lease contractwith Umale. Their agreement was for Umale to conduct a
pay-parking business on the property and pay a monthly rental to ASB Realty.Upon the
contracts expiration, Umale continued occupying the premises and paying rentals albeit at an
increased monthly rental.
ASB Realty served on Umale a Notice of Termination of Lease and Demand to Vacate
and Pay. Umale failed to comply with ASB Realtys demands and continued in possession of the
subject premises, even constructing commercial establishments thereon.
Umale admitted occupying the property since 1999 by virtue of a verbal lease contract
but vehemently denied that ASB Realty was his lessor. He was adamant that his lessor was the
original owner, Amethyst Pearl. Umale further claimed that when his oral lease contract with
Amethyst Pearl ended, they both agreed on an oral contract to sell. Umale also challenged ASB
Realtys personality to recover the subject premises considering that ASB Realty had been
placed under receivership by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a
rehabilitation receiver had been duly appointed.

ISSUE:
Whether the corporate officer of ASB Realty (duly authorized by the Board of Directors)
file suit to recover an unlawfully detained corporate property despite the fact that the corporation
had already been placed under rehabilitation.

HELD:
Yes. The Court resolves the issue in favor of ASB Realty and its officers.

Corporations, such as ASB Realty, are juridical entities that exist by operation of law. As
a creature of law, the powers and attributes of a corporation are those set out, expressly or
impliedly, in the law. Among the general powers granted by law to a corporation is the power to
sue in its own name. This power is granted to a duly-organized corporation,
unless specifically revoked by another law. Corporate rehabilitation is defined as the restoration
of the debtor to a position of successful operation and solvency, if it is shown that its continuance
of operation is economically feasible and its creditors can recover by way of the present value of
payments projected in the plan more if the corporation continues as a going concern than if it is
immediately liquidated. The intention of the law is to effect a feasible and viable rehabilitation
by preserving a floundering business as a going concern, because the assets of a business are

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
often more valuable when so maintained than they would be when liquidated. This concept of
preserving the corporations business as a going concern while it is undergoing rehabilitation is
called debtor-in-possession or debtor-in-place. This means that the debtor corporation (the
corporation undergoing rehabilitation), through its Board of Directors and corporate officers,
remains in control of its business and properties, subject only to the monitoring of the
appointed rehabilitation receiver. While the Court rules that ASB Realty and its corporate officers
retain their power to sue to recover its property and the back rentals from Umale, the necessity
of keeping the receiver apprised of the proceedings and its results is not lost upon this
Court. Tasked to closely monitor the assets of ASB Realty, the rehabilitation receiver has to be
notified of the developments in the case, so that these assets would be managed in accordance
with the approved rehabilitation plan.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
JOHN ANTHONY ESPIRITU vs. MANUEL N. TANKIANSEE AND JUANITA U. TAN
G.R. No. 164153, June 13, 2011

DOCTRINE: There is forum shopping when two or more actions or proceedings, founded on
the same cause, are instituted by a party on the supposition that one or the other court would
make a favorable disposition.

FACTS:
John Anthony B. Espiritu, for himself and as attorney-in-fact of Westmont Investment
Corporation, Sta. Lucia Realty and Development Corporation, Golden Era Holdings, Inc., and
Exchange Equity Corporation (Espiritu Group) and Tony Tan Caktiong and William Tan Untiong
(Tan Group) filed a Petition for Issuance of Shares of Stock and/or Return of Management and
Controlwith the Regional Trial Court of Manila against United Overseas Bank Limited, United
Overseas Bank Philippines, Manta Ray Holdings, Inc., Wee Cho Chaw, Wee Ee Cheong,
Samuel Poon Hon Thang, Ong Sea Eng, Chua Ten Hui, Wang Lian Khee and Marianne
Malate-Guerrero (UOBP Group). Manuel N. Tankiansee and Juanita U. Tan, joined by Farmix
Fertilizer Corp., and Pearlbank Securities, Inc. (intervenors), filed a Motion for Leave to
Intervene and to Admit Attached Petition-In-Intervention. Following suit, the Espiritu and Tan
Groups attempted to resort to discovery procedure. On January 31, 2003, they filed a Notice to
Take Depositions. Upon Oral Examination of Manuel Tankiansee and Juanita U. Tan.While this
case was pending resolution before the appellate court or on February 2, 2004, the trial court
rendered a Decision in the main case (i.e., Civil Case No. 02-103160). From this judgment,
petitioners, except petitioner Westmont Investment Corporation, filed a notice of appeal.

ISSUE:
Whether petitioners are guilty of forum shopping.

HELD:
Yes. As stated earlier, while this case was pending review before the Court of Appeals,
the trial court rendered a Decision in the main case (i.e., Civil Case No. 02-103160). From this
judgment, petitioners, except petitioner Westmont Investment Corporation, filed a notice of
appeal. With these developments, the instant petition should be denied because (1) petitioners
appeal before the appellate court is the appropriate and adequate remedy, and (2) the certiorari
petition, subject matter of this case, constitutes forum shopping. Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court, clearly provides that a petition for certiorari is available only when there is no appeal, or
any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. A petition
for certiorari cannot co-exist with an appeal or any other adequate remedy. The existence and
the availability of the right to appeal are antithetical to the availment of the special civil action
for certiorari. In the same vein, petitioner’s certiorari petition, questioning the three interlocutory
orders which denied their resort to discovery procedure, has been superseded by the filing of
their subsequent appeal before the Court of Appeals. We find that petitioners appeal from the
February 2, 2004 Decision of the trial court in the main case is the appropriate and adequate
remedy in this case as it challenges the aforesaid interlocutory orders and the decision in the
main case.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SPOUSES MANUEL AND FLORENTINA DEL ROSARIO vs. GERRY ROXAS
FOUNDATION, INC.
G.R. No. 170575,June 8, 2011

DOCTRINE:The allegations in the complaint and the reliefs prayed for are the determinants of
the nature of the action and of which court has jurisdiction over the action.

FACTS:
Petitioners filed a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer against the respondent before the
Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Roxas City. The complaints contain that the plaintiffs
are the true, absolute and registered owners of a parcel of land.Sometime in 1991, without the
consent and authority of the plaintiffs, defendant took full control and possession of the subject
property, developed the same and use it for commercial purposes.Plaintiffs have allowed the
defendant for several years to make use of the land without any contractual or legal
basis. Hence, defendant’s possession of the subject property is only by tolerance.But plaintiffs’
patience has come to its limits. Hence, sometime in the last quarter of 2002, plaintiffs made
several demands upon said defendant to settle and/or pay rentals for the use of the
property.Notwithstanding receipt of the demand letters, defendant failed and refused, as it
continues to fail and refuse to pay reasonable monthly rentals for the use and occupancy of the
land, and to vacate the subject premises. Consequently, defendant is unlawfully withholding
possession of the subject property from the plaintiffs, who are the owners thereof.After the
MTCC issued an Order setting the case for preliminary conference, respondent filed on a Motion
to Resolve its Defenses on Forum Shopping and Lack of Cause of Action.

ISSUE:
Whether or not in determining if there is a case for unlawful detainer, a court should limit itself in
interpreting a single phrase/allegation in the complaint.

HELD:
Yes. The Court ruled that taken in its entirety, the allegations in the complaint
establish a cause of forcible entry, not unlawful detainer. In forcible entry, one is deprived of
physical possession of any land or building by means of force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or
stealth. Where the defendants possession of the property is illegal ab initio, the summary action
for forcible entry (detentacion) is the remedy to recover possession.
In their Complaint, petitioners maintained that the respondent took possession and
control of the subject property without any contractual or legal basis. Assuming that these
allegations are true, it hence follows that respondents possession was illegal from the very
beginning. Therefore, the foundation of petitioners’ complaint is one for forcible entry that is the
forcible exclusion of the original possessor by a person who has entered without right. Thus, and
as correctly found by the CA, there can be no tolerance as petitioners alleged that respondent’s
possession was illegal at the inception.
Corollarily, since the deprivation of physical possession, as alleged inpetitioners
Complaint and as earlier discussed, was attended by strategy and force, this Court finds that the
proper remedy for the petitioners was to file a Complaint for Forcible Entry and not the instant
suit for unlawful detainer.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 120
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
LUCIA RODRIGUEZ ANDPRUDENCIA RODRIGUEZ vs. TERESITA V. SALVADOR
G.R. No. 171972,June 8, 2011

DOCTRINE: Agricultural tenancy is not presumed but must be proven by the person alleging it.

FACTS:
Teresita V. Salvador filed a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer against petitioners Lucia
(Lucia) and Prudencia Rodriguez, mother and daughter, respectively before the Municipal Trial
Court (MTC) of Dalaguete, Cebu. Respondent alleged that she is the absolute owner of a parcel
of land and that petitioners acquired possession of the subject land by mere tolerance of her
predecessors-in-interest. Salvador alleged that despite several verbal and written demands
made by her, petitioners refused to vacate the subject land.In their Answer, petitioners
interposed the defense of agricultural tenancy. Lucia claimed that she and her deceased
husband, Serapio, entered the subject land with the consent and permission of respondent’s
predecessors-in-interest, siblings Cristino and Sana Salvador, under the agreement that Lucia
and Serapio would devote the property to agricultural production and share the produce with
the Salvador siblings. Since there is a tenancy relationship between the parties, petitioners
argued that it is the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) which has
jurisdiction over the case and not the MTC.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioners-defendants are tenants of the subject land based on
factual and legal basis and supported by substantial evidence.

HELD:
No. Agricultural tenancy exists when all the following requisites are present: 1) the
parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; 2) the subject matter of the
relationship is an agricultural land; 3) there is consent between the parties to the relationship; 4)
the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; 5) there is personal
cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and 6) the harvest is shared between
landowner and tenant or agricultural lessee.
In this case, to prove that an agricultural tenancy relationship exists between the parties,
petitioners submitted as evidence the affidavits of petitioner Lucia and their neighbors. The
statements in the affidavits presented by the petitioners are not sufficient to prove the existence
of an agricultural tenancy. As correctly found by the CA, the element of consent is
lacking. Except for the self-serving affidavit of Lucia, no other evidence was submitted to show
that respondent’s predecessors-in-interest consented to a tenancy relationship with
petitioners. Self-serving statements, however, will not suffice to prove consent of the landowner;
independent evidence is necessary.Aside from consent, petitioners also failed to prove sharing
of harvest. The affidavits of petitioners’ neighbors declaring that respondent and her
predecessors-in-interest received their share in the harvest are not sufficient. Petitioners should
have presented receipts or any other evidence to show that there was sharing of harvest and
that there was an agreed system of sharing between them and the landowners.As we have
often said, mere occupation or cultivation of an agricultural land will not ipso facto make the tiller
an agricultural tenant. It is incumbent upon a person who claims to be an agricultural tenant to
prove by substantial evidence all the requisites of agricultural tenancy.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
OEB M. ALIVIADO et.al.vs. PROCTER & GAMBLE PHILS., INC., and PROMM-GEM INC.
G.R. No. 160506, June 6, 2011

DOCTRINE: The doctrine of finality of judgment provides that once a judgment has become
final and executory, it may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is
meant to correct an erroneous conclusion of fact or law, and regardless of whether the
modification is attempted to be made by the court rendering it or by the highest court of the land,
as what remains to be done is the purely ministerial enforcement or execution of the judgment.

FACTS:
The Supreme Court rendered a Decisionholding: (a) that Promm-Gem, Inc.
(Promm-Gem) is a legitimate independent contractor; (b) that Sales and Promotions Services
(SAPS) is a labor-only contractor consequently its employees are considered employees of
Procter & Gamble Phils., Inc. (P&G); (c) that Promm-Gem is guilty of illegal dismissal; (d) that
SAPS/P&G is likewise guilty of illegal dismissal; (e) that petitioners are entitled to reinstatement;
and (f) that the dismissed employees of SAPS/P&G are entitled to moral damages and
attorney’s fees there being bad faith in their dismissal. P&G filed a Motion for Reconsideration,
an Opposition (to petitioners' motion for partial reconsideration), and Supplemental Opposition.
On the other hand, petitioners filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration and Comment/
Opposition (to P&G's motion for reconsideration). Before any of the parties received the notice of
Entry of Judgment, P&G filed on August 9, 2010 a Motion for Leave to File Motion to Refer the
Case to the Supreme Court En Banc with Second Motion for Reconsideration and Motion for
Clarification and a Motion to Refer the Case to the Supreme Court En Banc with Second Motion
for Reconsideration and Motion for Clarification. On October 4, 2010, P&G filed a Motion for
Leave to Admit the Attached Supplement to the Motion to Refer the Case to the Supreme Court
En Banc with Second Motion for Reconsideration and Motion for Clarification as well as
a Supplement to the Motion to Refer the Case to the Supreme Court En Banc with Second
Motion for Reconsideration and Motion for Clarification. Thereafter, or on November 8, 2010,
P&G filed a Manifestation and Motionpraying that its Motion for Leave to File Motion to Refer the
Case to the Supreme Court En Banc with Second Motion for Reconsideration and Motion for
Clarification, Motion to Refer the Case to the Supreme Court En Banc with Second Motion for
Reconsideration and Motion for Clarification, Motion for Leave to Admit the Attached
Supplement to the Motion to Refer the Case to the Supreme Court En Banc with Second Motion
for Reconsideration and Motion for Clarification as well as its Supplement to the Motion to Refer
the Case to the Supreme Court En Banc with Second Motion for Reconsideration and Motion
for Clarification, be resolved as they were filed before it received notice of the entry of judgment.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not the Entry of Judgment was properly issued.
2. Whether or not the P&G can file a second motion for reconsideration.

HELD:
1. Yes. The Court stressed that the issuance of the Entry of Judgment on July 27, 2010
was proper because it was made after receipt by P&G of a copy of the Resolution denying its
motion for reconsideration. Section 1, Rule 15 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme
Court provides that:

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SECTION 1. Finality of decisions and resolutions. - A decision or resolution of the
Court may be deemed final after the lapse of fifteen days from receipt by the
parties of a copy of the same subject to the following:

(a) the date of receipt indicated in the registry return card signed by the party or,
in case he or she is represented by counsel, by such counsel or his or her
representative, shall be the reckoning date for counting the fifteen-day period;
and

(b) if the Judgment Division is unable to retrieve the registry return card within
thirty (30) days from mailing, it shall immediately inquire from the receiving post
office on (i) the date when the addressee received the mailed decision or
resolution, and (ii) who received the same, with the information provided by
authorized personnel of the said post office serving as the basis for the
computation of the fifteen-day period.

It is immaterial that the Entry of Judgment was made without the Court having first resolved
P&Gs second motion for reconsideration. This is because the issuance of the entry of judgment
is reckoned from the time the parties received a copy of the resolution denying the first motion
for reconsideration. The filing by P&G of several pleadings after receipt of the resolution denying
its first motion for reconsideration does not in any way bar the finality or entry of
judgment. Besides, to reckon the finality of a judgment from receipt of the denial of
the second motion for reconsideration would be absurd. First, the Rules of Court and the
Internal Rules of the Supreme Court prohibit the filing of a second motion for
reconsideration. Second, some crafty litigants may resor

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
FELIXBERTO ABELLANA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and
SPS. SAAPIA B. ALONTO AND DIAGA ALONTO
G.R. No. 174654

DOCTRINE: It is an established rule in criminal procedure that a judgment of acquittal


shall state whether the evidence of the prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of
the accused or merely failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In either case,
the judgment shall determine if the act or omission from which the civil liability might arise
did not exist.

FACTS:
Abellana extended a loan to Sps. Alonto, secured by a deed of real estate mortgage.
Subsequently, Abellana prepared a deed of absolute sale conveying said lots to him,
which Sps. Alonto signed in Manila but was notarized by Abellana in Cebu without the
Alonto’s appearing before the notary. Thereafter, Abellana caused the transfer of the
titles to his name and sold the lots to third persons.

Sometime later, an information was filed against Abellana for Estafa and falsification
of Public Document.

The RTC ruled that Abellana is only guilty of falsification of a public document by
private individuals and not of estafa through falsification of public document. RTC noted
that Abellana did not intend to defraud the Alonto’s; that after the latter failed to pay their
obligation, Abellana prepared a Deed of Absolute Sale which the Alonto’s actually signed,
but the DOA was notarized without the Alonto’s personally appearing before the notary
public.

On appeal to the CA, the CA held that Abellana who was charged with and arraigned
for estafa through falsification of public document (Article 171 (1)) could not be convicted
of falsification of public document by a private individual. (Article 171 (2)) The CA opined
that the conviction of Abellana for an offense not alleged in the Information or one not
necessarily included in the offense charged violated his constitutional right to be informed
of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Nevertheless, the CA affirmed the
decision of the RTC with respect to the civil liabilities.

ISSUE: Whether or not Abellana could still be held civilly liable despite his acquittal by the
trial court and the CA.

HELD:
No. Abellana could not be held civilly liable.

For civil liability to arise, one must by his own act or omission, done intentionally, or
negligently, causes damage to another.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
For Abellana to be civilly liable to the Alonto’s, it must be proven that the acts he
committed had caused damage to the spouses. Based on the records of the case, the
acts allegedly committed by Abellana did not cause any damage to the Alonto’s.

First, the Alonto’s actually signed the DOA. Second, the non appearance of the
Alonto’s before the notary public for the notarization does not necessarily nullify or render
void ab initio the parties’ transaction. Since the defective notarization does not invalidate
the DOA, the transfer of said properties from the Alonto’s to Abellna remains valid. Hence,
Abellana caused the cancellation of Sps. Alonto’s title and the issuance of new ones
under his name, and thereafter sold the same to third persons.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 125
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ATIKO TRANS, INC and CHENG LIE NAVIGATION CO., vs. PRUDENTIAL
GUARANTEE AND ASSURANCE, INC.
G.R. No. 167545, August 17, 2011

DOCTRINE(S): Jurisdiction over the person of the defendant can be acquired not only by
proper service of summons but also by defendant’s voluntary appearance without
expressly objecting to the court’s jurisdiction.

The filing of motions seeking affirmative relief, such as, to admit answer, for additional
time to file answer, for reconsideration of a default judgment, and to lift order of default
with motion for reconsideration, are considered voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of
the court.

The issue of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant must be seasonably raised.

Defendant cannot be declared in default unless such declaration is preceded by a


valid service of summons.

FACTS:
Fourty (40) coils of electrolytic tinplates were loaded on board a ship in Taiwan for
shipment to Manila. The shipment was covered by a bill of lading issued by Cheng Lie
Navigation (a Taiwanese corporation) with Oriental Tin Can as the notify party. The
cargoes were insured against all risk by Prudential Guarantee.

Upon the arrival of the shipment in Manila, it was found out that one of the tinplates
was damaged. Oriental then filed a claim against Prudential which it paid.

Prudential then filed a complaint for sum of money against Cheng Lie and Atiko
(authorized agent of Cheng Lie) before the MeTC of Makati. Later on, Prudential filed a
motion to declare defendant in default alleging that a copy of the summons was served
upon Atiko’s cashier Cristina Figueroa and despite receipt thereof, Atiko failed to file any
responsive pleadings. MeTC ordered Atiko in default and subsequently rendered
judgment in favor of Prudential.

Atiko filed a Notice of Appeal before the RTC of Makati.

In its Memorandum, Atiko and Cheng Lie argued that the MeTC never acquired
jurisdiction over its person. RTC dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the
MeTC. The CA affirmed the RTC’s decision.

ISSUE: Whether or not MeTC acquired jurisdiction over Cheng Lie and Atiko?

HELD:
MeTC properly acquired jurisdiction over Atiko.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 126
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
It is true that Atiko is a domestic corporation, and service of summons may be made
only upon the persons enumerated in Sec. 11 of Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. However,
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant can be acquired not only by proper service of
summons but also by defendant’s voluntary appearance without expressly objecting to
the court’s jurisdiction.

When Atiko filed its Notice of Appeal, Memorandum of Appeal, Motion for
Reconsideration, and Petition for Review, it never questioned the jurisdiction of the MeTC
over its person. The filing of these pleadings seeking affirmative relief amounted to
voluntary appearance and, hence, rendered the alleged lack of jurisdiction moot.

Moreover, Atiko’s contention is a mere afterthought. It was only in their Memorandum


with the SC where they claimed, for the first time, that Atiko was not properly served with
summons. It has been held in a litany of cases that the issue of jurisdiction over the
person of the defendant must be seasonably raised. Failing to do so, a party who invoked
the jurisdiction of a court to secure an affirmative relief cannot be allowed to disavow such
jurisdiction after unsuccessfully trying to obtain relief.

MeTC did not acquire jurisdiction over Cheng Lie.

In the present case, no summons was served upon Cheng Lie in any manner
prescribed by the Rules of Court (Sec.12, Rule 14). It should be recalled that Atiko was
not properly served with summons. The MeTC acquired jurisdiction over Atiko thru its
voluntary appearance. Thus, since there being no proper service of summons to Atiko to
speak of, it follows that the MeTc never acquired jurisdiction over the person of Cheng
Lie. Cheng Lie’s filing of numerous pleadings cannot be considered as voluntary
appearance, since it never sought affirmative relief other than the dismissal of the
complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over its person.

Thus, Cheng Lie cannot be served in default since such declaration must be
preceded by a valid service of summons.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 127
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
EUGENIO BASBAS ET AL., vs. BEATA SAYSON and ROBERTO SAYSON
G.R. No. 172660, August 24, 2011

DOCTRINE: What distinguishes a judgment on the pleadings from a summary judgment


is the presence of issues in the Answer to the complaint. When the answer fails to tender
any issue a judgment on the pleadings is appropriate. On the other hand, when the
Answer specifically denies the averments of the complaint or asserts affirmative
defenses, a summary judgment is proper provide that the issue raised is not genuine.

FACTS:
In 1976, Sps. Sayson filed a Petition for Registration of an agricultural land located in
Leyte. Said application was opposed by the State and Eugenio Basbas Sr.. The CFI
rendered a decision adjudicating to Sps. Sayson said agricultural land and approving its
registration. On appeal, the CA affirmed in toto the decision of the RTC. The CA decision
became final and executory, accordingly a writ of possession was issued but was never
implemented.

In 1986, an OCT was issued to the Sps. Sayson pursuant to the CFI Decision. In
1989, an Alias Writ of Possession was issued but could not be implemented because of
the refusal of Basbas, claiming that the land they occupied is not the same land subject of
the CFI decision. A relocation survey was conducted by the order of the RTC of Ormoc
city.

In 1989, the RTC ordered Basbas to vacate the subject property. However the 1989
order was not implemented within the 5 year period from the time it became final. Hence
Sayson filed a complaint for revival of judgment. In the answer of Basbas, he admitted the
following: (1) the land registration case was decided in favor of the Sps. Sayson; (2) the
said decision became final and executor; (3) OCT was issued in the name of the Sps.
Sayson; (4) there was a relocation order. Furthermore, Basbas contended that the Order
sought to be revived is not the judgment contemplated under Sec. 6, Rule 39 of the Rules
of Court, hence the action for revival of judgment is improper Also they averred that they
cannot be made parties to be complaint of revival of judgment as they were not parties to
the land registration case (the petitioners here are heirs succeeding the original parties in
this case). Thus order sought to be revived is not binding upon them. Sayson
subsequently filed an omnibus motion for judgment on the pleadings and/or summary
judgment.

RTC ruled in favor of Sayson. On appeal, the CA denied the appeal. However it noted
that Basbas’ answer admitted almost all of the allegations in Sayson’s complaint. Hence
the RTC committed no reversible error when it granted Sayson’s motion.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the RTC was correct in granting the Omnibus Motion for Judgment on
the Pleadings and/or Summary Judgment?

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 128
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HELD:
Judgment on the Pleadings is not proper; Summary Judgment is proper.

What distinguishes a judgment on the pleadings from a summary judgment is the


presence of issues in the Answer to the Complaint. When the Answer fails to tender any
issue, that is, if it does not deny the material allegations in the complaint or admits said
material allegations of the adverse party’s pleadings by admitting the truthfulness thereof
and/or omitting to deal with them at all, a judgment on the pleadings is appropriate. On the
other hand, when the Answer specifically denies the material averments of the complaint
or asserts affirmative defenses, or in other words raises an issue, a summary judgment is
proper provided that the issue raised is not genuine.

Judgment on the pleadings is not proper because petitioners’ Answer tendered


issues.

In this case, we note that while petitioners’ Answer to respondents’ Complaint


practically admitted all the material allegations therein, it nevertheless asserts the
affirmative defenses that the action for revival of judgment is not the proper action and
that petitioners are not the proper parties. As issues obviously arise from these affirmative
defenses, a judgment on the pleadings is clearly improper in this case.
However, before we consider this case appropriate for the rendition of summary
judgment, an examination of the issues raised, that is, whether they are genuine issues or
not, should first be made.
The issues raised are not genuine issues; hence rendition of summary judgment is
proper.
To resolve the issues of whether a revival of judgment is the proper action and
whether respondents are the proper parties thereto, the RTC merely needed to examine
the following: 1) the RTC Order dated September 13, 1989, to determine whether same is
a judgment or final order contemplated under Section 6, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court;
and, 2) the pleadings of the parties and pertinent portions of the records showing, among
others, who among the respondents were oppositors to the land registration case, the
heirs of such oppositors and the present occupants of the property.
Plainly, these issues could be readily resolved based on the facts established by
the pleadings. A full-blown trial on these issues will only entail waste of time and
resources as they are clearly not genuine issues requiring presentation of evidence.
Petitioners aver that the RTC should not have granted respondents’ Motion for Judgment
on the Pleadings and/or Summary Judgment because of the controverted stipulations
and the issues enumerated in the Pre-trial Order, which, according to them, require the
presentation of evidence. These stipulations and issues, however, when examined,
basically boil down to questions relating to the propriety of the action resorted to by
respondents, which is revival of judgment, and to the proper parties thereto – the same
questions which we have earlier declared as not constituting genuine issues.

In sum, this Court holds that the instant case is proper for the rendition of a
summary judgment, hence, the CA committed no error in affirming the Order of the RTC
granting respondents’ Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and/or Summary Judgment.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 129
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
RADITO AURELIO y REYES vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R.No. 174980, August 31, 2011

DOCTRINE: Inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses that refer to trivial and


insignificant details do not destroy their credibility; Testimonies of witnesses need only to
corroborate each other on important and relevant details concerning the principal
occurrence.

FACTS:
Chief Police Inspector Bien Calag instructed SPO2 Julius Bacero to verify a report of
rampant selling of Shabu in Brgy. Harapin and bukas, Mandaluyong City. Bacero and
PO1 Ronald Jacuba proceeded to the area to conduct surveillance. An informant directed
them to the house where the sale of shabu was being conducted. Thereafter, upon return
of the police officers, Calag formed a buy-bust team then proceeded to the house of
Aurelio. After Aurelio handed the shabu to Bacero, Jacuba arrived and together with
Bacero arrested Aurelio.
Aurelio denied the allegations and argued he was staying at a friend’s house
watching TV. He only went out to buy cigarettes but suddenly was apprehended by the
police officers.
Petitioner asserts that the credibility of the prosecution witness is adversely affected
by several inconsistencies in their testimonies. These inaccuracies consist of the
following: (a) the information regarding petitioner’s illegal sale of shabu was not entered in
the police blotter; (b) the participation of Bacero in the test-buy with the petitioner is not
clear, because if it is true that the test-buy yielded positive result, then, Bacero should
have arrested petitioner, (c) Bacero vacillated in his declaration that he has personal
knowledge regarding petitioner illegal activities (d) the testimonies of Bacero and Jacuba
regarding the surveillance on the petitioner contradict each other; (e) length of time
Bacero waited for the petitioner to return with the shabu is incredulous and cannot be
ascertained if it was three minutes or three seconds; (f) testimonies of said officers on the
buy bust money was recovered also oppose each other.
The RTC convicted Aurelio. The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC.

ISSUES:
Whether or not the RTC erred in giving credence to the testimonies of the prosecution
witnesses due to several inconsistencies.

HELD:
After a thorough review of the inconsistencies mentioned by the petitioner, the Court
found that they do not relate to the elements of the offenses committed. They tend to
focus on minor and insignificant matters. These inconsistencies do not detract from the
fact that the prosecution’s key witness who conducted the entrapment, identified the
petitioner as the same person who sold the shabu to him and from whose possession
another plastic sachet was recovered.
Inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses that refer to trivial and insignificant
details do not destroy their credibility. Moreover, minor inconsistencies serve to
strengthen rather than diminish the prosecution’s case as they tend to erase any

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 130
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
suspicion that the testimonies have been rehearsed thereby negating any misgiving that
the same were perjured.

Testimonies of witnesses need only to corroborate each other on important and


relevant details concerning the principal occurrence.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 131
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
AGAPITO ROM et al. vs. ROXAS & COMPANY, INC
G.R. No. 169331, September 5, 2011

DOCTRINE: Findings of fact of qusi-judicial bodies which have acquired expertise to


specific matters, are generally accorded not only great respect but even with finality.

FACTS:
Respondent filed an application with the DAR seeking for the exemption of a parcel of
land located in Nasugbu, Batangas from the coverage of CARP. Respondent asserted
that that the CARL covers only agricultural land. Respondent claimed that prior to the
effectivity of the CARL the lands subject of the application were already re-classified as
part of the residential cluster by a zoning ordinance which was approved by the HLURB.

DAR denied the application because the application was not accompanied by proof of
disturbance compensation as required by its rules. To comply with the requirement,
respondent offered payment of disturbance compensation and attempted to obtain the
required waivers from petitioners, who are the farmer-beneficiaries of the subject parcels
of land. However, the parties failed to reach an agreement as regards the amount, hence,
respondent filed a petition to fix disturbance compensation before the PARAD of
Batangas.

PARAD granted the application. Petitioner’s filed an MR arguing that the certifications
(dated 1997 and 1998) on which the application was based was superseded by a
Sanguniang Bayan Resolution in 1993. Further they argued that the application for
exemption is already barred by laches or estoppel considering the CLOAs have been
issued to petitioners in 1991 and that since then they have been occupying the subject
parcels of land in the concept of an owner. MR denied by the PARAD.

Petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari before the CA arguing that the DAR has no
jurisdiction of the application since the application submitted by respondent lacks the
necessary proof of payment of disturbance compensation and they further argued that
such payment was a condition sine qua non before DAR could take cognizance of the
application by respondent. The CA denied the petition for being the improper remedy. CA
held that petitioner’s should have filed a Petition for Review under rule 43 of the Rules of
Court.

ISSUES:
Whether or not the parcel of land subject of the application may be exempted from the
coverage of CARL.

HELD:
The documents submitted by respondent to support its application for exemption
clearly show that the parcels of land, specifically identified, were already re-classified as
residential prior to the effectivity of the CARL.”Well settled is the rule that findings of fact
of xxx quasi-judicial bodies (like the DAR) which have acquired expertise because their
jurisdiction is confined to specific matters are generally accorded not only great respect

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 132
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
but even finality. They are binding upon this Court unless there is a showing of grave
abuse of discretion or where it is clearly shown that they were arrived at arbitrarily or in
utter disregard of the evidence of on record.”

The Court finds that respondent has substantially complied with the requirement of
submitting the proof of payment of disturbance compensation. Records show that upon
being required by PARAD to submit proof of payment of disturbance compensation,
respondent exerted efforts to comply with the said requirement but failed to agree on the
price.

Further, Sec. 61 of R.A. 6657 clearly mandates that judicial review of DAR orders or
decisions are governed by the Rules of Court. Thus, petitioners resorted to a wrong mode
of appeal. Petitioner’s should have assailed before the CA the orders of the DAR through
a petition for Review under Rule 43.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 133
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ELENA JANE DUARTE vs. MIGUEL SAMUEL A.E. DURAN
G.R. No. 173038, September 14, 2011

DOCTRINE: Fresh period rule; Litigants must be given a fresh period of 15 days within
which to appeal counted from the receipt of the order dismissing a motion for a new trial or
motion for reconsideration under Rules 40, 41, 42, 42 and 45 of the Rules of Court; ruling
retroactively applies even to cases pending prior to the promulgation of Neypes, there
being no vested rights in the rules of procedure.

A contract of sale is perfected the moment the parties agree upon the object of the
sale, the price, and the terms of payment; Once perfected, the parties are bound by it
whether the contract is verbal or in writing because no form is required,.

FACTS:
Respondent offered to sell a laptop for the sum of 15k to petitioner thru the help of a
common friend Josephine Dy. Since petitioner was undecided, respondent left the laptop
with petitioner for two days. Later on, petitioner informed respondent that she was willing
to buy the laptop on installment. Petitioner proposed that she will pay 5k as initial payment
and promised to pay 3k and 7k later on, to which respondent agreed.

Subsequently, petitioner gave her second installment to Josephine, who signed the
handwritten receipt allegedly made by petitioner as proof of payment. But when Dy
returned to get the remaining balance, petitioner only offered to pay 2k claiming that the
laptop was only worth 10k. Due to the refusal of petitioner to pay the remaining balance,
respondent sent petitioner a demand letter.

Petitioner denied writing the receipt and receiving the demand letter. Petitioner
claimed that there was no contract of sale. Petitioner claimed that Josephine offered to
sell respondent’s laptop but because petitioner was not interested in buying it, Josephine
asked if petitioner could instead lend respondent money with the laptop as collateral.
Petitioner gave the money under the agreement that the amounts she lent to respondent
would be considered as partial payments for the laptop in case she decides to buy it. Later
on, petitioner informed respondent that she has finally decided not to buy the laptop.
Respondent, however, refused to pay and insisted that petitioner purchase the laptop
instead.

MTCC ruled in favor of respondent. It found that the receipt and the testimonies of
respondent and Dy were sufficient to prove that there was a contract of sale. On appeal,
the RTC reversed the decision of the MTCC, and held that the receipt shows no proof of
conformity or acknowledgement on the part of the petitioner. On petition for review with
the CA, the appellate court reversed the decision of the RTC and reinstated the decision
of the MTCC. It held that the RTC erred in not giving weight and credence to the demand
letter. The CA pointed out that petitioner failed to overturn the presumption that the
demand letter sent by respondent by registered mail was received by her, neither was she
able to deny the genuineness and due execution of the receipt.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Petitioner contends that the filing of the Petition for Review with the CA was
beyond the reglementary period. Records show that respondent received a copy of the
RTC decision on March 25, 2004, filed a MR on April 12, 2004 since April 9 and 10 were
holidays and April 11, 2004 was a Sunday, and received a copy of the RTC Order denying
his MR on May 27, 2004. Thus, he only had one day left from May 27, 2004 to file a
Petition for Review with the CA. Petitioner likewise denies the existence of a contract of
sale, insisting that the laptop was not sold to her but was given as a security for
respondent’s debt.

Respondent argues that his Petition for review was timely filed with the CA because
he has 15 days from receipt of the RTC Order within to file the Petition for Review with the
CA. Further, respondent argued that the receipt is an actionable document, and thus,
petitioner’s failure to deny under oath its genuineness and due execution constitutes
execution thereof. In addition, petitioner’s denial of the receipt of the demand letter cannot
overcome the presumption that the said letter was received in the regular course of mail.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Respondent’s Petition for Review with the CA was timely filed;
Whether or not there was a perfected contract of sale?

HELD:
Petition for Review was timely filed.

To standardize the appeal periods and afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their
cases, the SC ruled in Neypes vs CA that litigants must be given a fresh period of 15 days
within which to appeal, counted from receipt of the order dismissing a motion for new trial
or motion for reconsideration. Such pronouncement retroactively applies even to cases
pending prior to the promulgation of Neypes, there being no vested rights in the rules of
procedure.

Since the instant case was pending in the CA at the time Neypes was promulgated,
respondent is entitled to a fresh period of 15 days counted from the date respondent
received the RTC Order denying his MR within which to file his Petition for Review.

There was a contract of sale. The absence of a written contract of sale does not mean
otherwise.

A contract of sale is perfected the moment the parties agree upon the object of the
sale, the price and the terms of payment. Once perfected, the parties are bound by it
whether the contract is verbal or in writing because no form is required. The absence of a
written contract is not fatal to respondent’s case. Respondent only needed to show by a
preponderance of evidence that there was an oral contract of sale, which he did by
submitting evidence his own affidavit,, the affidavit of his witness Josephine and the
demand letter.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 135
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
FERDINAND A. CRUZ vs. JUDGE HENRICK F. GINGOYON and
JUDGE JESUS B. MUPAS
G.R. No. 170404, September 28, 2011

DOCTRINE: A pleading containing derogatory, offensive or malicious statements


submitted to the court or the judge in which the proceedings are pending is equivalent to
“misbehavior committed in the presence of or so near a court or judge as to interrupt the
proceedings before the same” within the meaning of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court and
therefore, constitutes direct contempt.

FACTS:
The case stemmed from a civil complaint filed by petitioner against Benjamin Mina in
the RTC of Pasay City for abatement of nuisance. Petitioner sought redress from the
court to declare as a nuisance the “basketball goal” which was permanently attached to
the 2nd floor of Mina’s residence but protrudes to the alley which serves as the public’s
only right of way. Mina was declared in default hence petitioner presented his evidence
ex-parte.
After trial, Judge Gingoyon in his decision declared the basketball goal as a public
nuisance but dismissed the case on the ground that petitioner lacked locus standi. Judge
Gingoyon ruled that the action for abatement of nuisance should be commenced by the
city or municipal mayor and not by a private individual like the petitioner and further
narrated a detailed description of what has been happening in the alley subject of the civil
case.
Petitioner then filed an MR and accused Judge Gingoyon to be communicating with
Mina off-record as it pictured a detailed description of the alley in its decision. Petitioner
argued that it’s impossible for Judge Gingoyon to picture such detailed description when it
is only petitioner who presented its evidence ex parte while the defendant Mina was
declared in default.
Judge Gingoyon issued an Order finding petitioner guilty of direct contempt of court
ordered the arrest of petitioner. Petitioner on his part filed an ex parte motion to post bond
and quast warrant of arrest. Petitioner then filed with the SC a Petition for Certiorari.

ISSUE:
Whether the respondent court properly adjudged petitioner in direct contempt of court

HELD:
A pleading containing derogatory, offensive or malicious statements submitted to the
court or judge wherein proceedings are pending has been held to be equivalent to
misbehavior committed in the presence of or so near a court or judge as to interrupt the
proceedings before the same within the meaning of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court,
therefore, constitutes direct contempt.

The MR filed by petitioner contained a serious allegation that Judge Gingoyon has
been communicating with the defendant off the record, which is considered as a grave
offense. This allegation is unsubstantiated and totally bereft of factual basis. In fact, when

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
asked to adduce proof of the allegation, petitioner was not able to give any, but repeatedly
argued that is is his “fair observation or conclusion.”

The act of petitioner in openly accusing Judge Gingoyon of communicating with Mina
off the record, without factual basis, brings the court into disrepute and exposes Judge
Gingoyon to severe reprimand and even removal from office.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Ho Wai Pang vs. People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 176229, October 19, 2011

DOCTRINE:Infraction of the rights of an accused during custodial investigation or the


so-called Miranda Rights render inadmissible only the extra-judicial confession or
admission made during such investigation. The admissibility of other evidence, provided
they are relevant to the issue and is not otherwise excluded by law or rules, is not affected
even if obtained or taken in the course of custodial investigation.

FACTS:
On September 6, 1991, at around 11:30 in the evening, United Arab Emirates Airlines
Flight No. 068 from Hongkong arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Among the passengers were 13 Hongkong nationals who came to the Philippines as
tourists. At the arrival area, the group leader Wong Kwok Wah (Sonny Wong) presented a
Baggage Declaration Form to Customs Examiner Gilda L. Cinco (Cinco), who was then
manning Lane 8 of the Express Lane. Cinco examined the baggages of each of the 13
passengers as their turn came up. From the first travelling bag, she saw few personal
belongings such as used clothing, shoes and chocolate boxes which she pressed.
When the second bag was examined, she noticed chocolate boxes which were almost of
the same size as those in the first bag. Becoming suspicious, she took out four of the
chocolate boxes and opened one of them. Instead of chocolates what she saw inside
was white crystalline substance contained in a white transparent plastic. Cinco thus,
immediately called the attention of her immediate superiors Duty Collector Alalo and
Customs Appraiser Nora Sancho who advised her to call the Narcotics Command
(NARCOM) and the police. Thereupon, she guided the tourists to the Intensive Counting
Unit (ICU) while bringing with her the four chocolate boxes earlier discovered.
At the ICU, all in all, 18 chocolate boxes were recovered from the baggages of the six
accused. NARCOM Agent Neowillie de Castro, after conducting the Mandelline Re-Agent
test, found that the white crystalline substance is positive for methamphetamine
hydrochloride or shabu.
On September 7, 1991, the 13 tourists were brought to the NBI for further
questioning. The forensic chemist’s findings revealed that the representative samples
were positive for methampethamine hydrochloride and its total weight was 31.126
kilograms.
On September 19, 1991, six informations were filed. The reinvestigation conducted
gave way to a finding of conspiracy among the accused. Thus, a single Amended
Information under Criminal Case No. 91-1592 was filed and all the other Informations
were withdrawn.On April 6, 1995, the Regional Trial Court rendered a Decision finding all
the accused guilty of violating Section 15, Article III of R.A. No. 6425, as amended.
On June 16, 2006, the Court of Appeals denied the appeal and affirmed the decision
of RTC. While conceding that petitioner’s constitutional right to counsel during custodial
investigation was indeed violated, it nevertheless went on to hold that there were other
evidence sufficient to warrant his conviction.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 138
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ISSUE:
Whether or not infraction of the rights of an accused during custodial investigation
render inadmissible evidence other than extra-judicial confession or admission made
during such investigation.

HELD:
NO. The Court categorically ruled that the infractions of the so called Miranda rights
render inadmissible only the extra-judicial confession or admission made during
custodial investigation. The admissibility of other evidence provided they are relevant to
the issue and not otherwise excluded by law or rules, are not affected even if obtained or
taken in the course of custodial investigation.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 139
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PABLO POLSOTIN, JR. ARWIN RAYALA, GERONIMO LIMPANTE, RAUL DOMDOM
and OSCAR ANDRIN vs. DE GUIA ENTERPRISES, INC.
G.R. No. 172624, December 5, 2011

DOCTRINE:A worker cannot be deprived of his job, a property right, without satisfying the
requirement of due process. As enshrined in our bill of rights, no person shall be deprived
of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

FACTS:
Petitioners Polsotin, Rayala, Limpante, Domdom and Andrin (petitioners) were bus drivers
and conductors of respondent De Guia Enterprises, Inc. (respondent). Alleging that they were
dismissed without cause and due process, petitioners filed on July 17, 2001 a complaint for
illegal dismissal and payment of backwages and damages against respondent before the
NLRC.

During the hearings set before the Labor Arbiter, respondent failed to appear despite due
notice.It likewise failed to timely submit its position paper. Thus, on the last hearing held on
January 14, 2002, the case was submitted for decision.

On February 8, 2002, respondent filed its position paper without furnishing petitioners a
copy of the same. On December 27, 2002, the Labor Arbiter rendered a Decisiondismissing
petitioners complaint for lack of merit. It held that petitioners were validly terminated from
employment for violation of company rules and regulations as well as for gross and habitual
neglect of duties as supported by petitioners employment records submitted by
respondent. The Labor Arbiter added that the procedural requirements for dismissing petitioners
were likewise satisfied.
Petitioners appeal before the NLRC was dismissed purely on technical grounds as it did
not contain the required certification of non-forum shopping and proof of service upon the
respondent. Immediately, petitioners rectified these lapses by filing their motion for
reconsideration indicating therein that there was no intention on their part to commit forum
shopping and that the registry receipt showing proof of service upon respondent was attached to
their Memorandum of Appeal filed with the NLRC. With respect to their petition for certiorari with
the CA, petitioners failed to affix their individual signatures on top of their typewritten names in
the verification and certification of non-forum shopping attached to the petition. On this basis and
on the conclusion that the NLRC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in dismissing
petitioners appeal on technical grounds, the CA denied due course to the petition and dismissed
the same.

Note, however, that in both instances, petitioners were not represented by a


lawyer. They had no counsel on record and had been filing and signing all pleadings only
through their representative, petitioner Rayala.

ISSUE:
Whether or not in spite of technicalities, the petitioner’s appeal should have been
given due course.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HELD:
YES. The Court has often set aside the strict application of procedural technicalities to
serve the broader interest of substantial justice. It bears stressing that the dismissal of an
employees appeal on purely technical ground is inconsistent with the constitutional mandate on
protection to labor. Aware that petitioners are not represented by counsel, the CA could have
been more prudent by giving petitioners time to engage the services of a lawyer or at least by
reminding them of the importance of retaining one. It is worthy to mention at this point that the
right to counsel, being intertwined with the right to due process, is guaranteed by the
Constitution to any person whether the proceeding is administrative, civil or criminal. Indeed,
labor tribunals are mandated to use all reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case
speedily, objectively and without regard to technicalities of law or procedure. However, in every
proceeding before it, the fundamental and essential requirements of due process should not to
be ignored but must at all times be respected. Besides, petitioners case concerns their job,
considered as a property right, of which they could not be deprived of without due process

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 141
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
MARIALY O. SY, et al., vs. FAIRLAND KNITCRAFT CO., INC.
G.R. No. 182915, December 20, 2011

DOCTRINE:Although as a rule, modes of service of summons are strictly followed in


order that the court may acquire jurisdiction over the person of a defendant, such
procedural modes, however, are liberally construed in quasi-judicial proceedings,
substantial compliance with the same being considered adequate. Moreover, jurisdiction
over the person of the defendant in civil cases is acquired not only by service of summons
but also by voluntary appearance in court and submission to its authority. Appearance by
a legal advocate is such voluntary submission to a court’s jurisdiction. It may be made not
only by actual physical appearance but likewise by the submission of pleadings in
compliance with the order of the court or tribunal.

FACTS:
Fairland is a domestic corporation engaged in garments business, while Susan de
Leon (Susan) is the owner/proprietress of Weesan Garments (Weesan).On the other hand, the
complaining workers (the workers) are sewers, trimmers, helpers, a guard and a secretary who
were hired by Weesan.

On December 23, 2002, workers Marialy O. Sy, Vivencia Penullar, Aurora Aguinaldo,
Gina Aniano, Gemma dela Pea and Efremia Matias filed with the Arbitration Branch of the NLRC
a Complaint for underpayment and/or non-payment of wages, overtime pay, premium pay for
holidays, 13th month pay and other monetary benefits against Susan/Weesan. In January 2003,
the rest of the aforementioned workers also filed similar complaints. Eventually all the cases
were consolidated as they involved the same causes of action.

On February 5, 2003, Weesan filed before the Department of Labor and


Employment-National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) a report on its temporary closure for a
period of not less than six months. As the workers were not anymore allowed to work on that
same day, they filed on February 18, 2003 an Amended Complaint, and on March 13, 2003,
another pleading entitled Amended Complaints and Position Paper for Complainants, to include
the charge of illegal dismissal and impleaded Fairland and its manager, Debbie Manduabas
(Debbie), as additional respondents.

A Notice of Hearing was thereafter sent to Weesan requesting it to appear before Labor
Arbiter Ramon Valentin C. Reyes (Labor Arbiter Reyes) on April 3, 2003, at 10:00 a.m. On said
date and time, Atty. Antonio A. Geronimo (Atty. Geronimo) appeared as counsel for Weesan
and requested for an extension of time to file his clients position paper. On the next hearing on
April 28, 2003, Atty. Geronimo also entered his appearance for Fairland and again requested for
an extension of time to file position paper.

On May 16, 2003, Atty. Geronimo filed two separate position papers one for
Fairland[15] and another for Susan/Weesan. The Position Paper for Fairland was verified by
Debbie while the one for Susan/Weesan was verified by Susan. To these pleadings, the workers
filed a Reply.[17]Atty. Geronimo then filed a Consolidated Reply verified both by Susan and
Debbie.On November 25, 2003, the workers submitted their Rejoinder.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
The Labor Arbiter rendered a decision dismissing the complaint for lack of merit. Said
decision was set aside by the NLRC. Thus, Fairland, for the second time now through Atty.
Melina O. Tecson filed MR assailing jurisdiction of the labor arbiter and NLRC, claiming that it
was never summoned to appear, but denied by the NLRC. Hence, a Petition for Certiorari was
filed but CAs first division denied the same. Since a Motion for Voluntary Inhibition was granted,
the case now was transferred to CAs Special Ninth Division that granted the MR.

On May 9, 2008, the CA now reversed the First Division’s ruling. It held that the labor
tribunals did not acquire jurisdiction over the person of Fairland. Aggrieved, the workers filed a
Petition for Review on Certiorati docketed as G.R. No. 182915.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the labor tribunal validly acquired jurisdiction over the person of the
defendant.

HELD:
YES. Jurisdiction over the person of Fairland and Debbie was acquired through their
voluntary appearance.Appearance by a legal advocate is such voluntary submission to a
court’s jurisdiction. It may be made not only by actual physical appearance but likewise by
the submission of pleadings in compliance with the order of the court or tribunal.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
MAKILITO B. MAHINAY vs. HON. IRENEO LEE GAKO JR, Presiding Judge, Regional
Trial Court, Branch 5, Cebu City and JOCELYN B. SORENSEN
G.R. No. 165338, November 28, 2011

DOCTRINE: Verification of pleading is not an empty ritual bereft of any legal importance. It is
intended to secure an assurance that the allegations contained in the pleading are true and
correct; are not speculative or merely imagined; and have been made in good faith. A pleading
may be verified by stating that the pleaders have read the allegations in their petition and that the
same are true and correct based either on their personal knowledge or authentic records, or
based both on their personal knowledge and authentic records. While the rule gives the
pleaders several ways of verifying their pleading, the use of the phrase personal
knowledge or authentic records is not without any legal signification and the pleaders are not at
liberty to choose any of these phrases fancifully.

FACTS:
Constantina H. Sanchez, Josefina H. Lopez and Susan Honoridez are the registered
owners parcel of land known as Lot 5 located in Cebu City. On July 25, 1994, Mahinay filed a
complaint for specific performance against the owners and one Felimon Suarez to compel them
to convey Lot 5 to him. In traversing Mahinays allegations, the owners asserted that they did not
violate Mahinays preferential right to buy as the transaction between them and Suarez was
actually an equitable mortgage, and not a sale. The RTC rendered a Decision debunking the
owners theory of equitable mortgage. It held that the notarized documents Mahinay presented,
particularly the Deed of Absolute Sale, outweigh the owners evidence consisting of private
documents which was affirmed by the CA. Sorensen thus filed with the CA a petition
for certiorari. In a Resolution promulgated on April 24, 2007, however, the CA outrightly
dismissed Sorensens petition for her failure to state that the allegations in her petition are true
and correct not only based on her personal knowledge but also based on authentic records.

ISSUE:
WON the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing Sorensens petition for certiorari.

HELD:
NO.The rule requiring certain pleadings to be verified is embodied in Section 4, Rule 7 of the
Rules of Court. It reads:SEC. 4. Verification. Except when otherwise specifically required bylaw
or rule, pleadings need not be under oath, verified or accompanied by affidavit.A pleading is
verified by an affidavit that the affiant has read the pleading and that the allegations therein are
true and correct of his personal knowledge or based on authentic records.A pleading required to
be verified which contains a verification based on information and belief, or upon knowledge,
information and belief, or lacks a proper verification, shall be treated as an unsigned pleading.
Verification of pleading is not an empty ritual bereft of any legal importance. It is intended
to secure an assurance that the allegations contained in the pleading are true and correct; are
not speculative or merely imagined; and have been made in good faith. A pleading may be
verified by stating that the pleaders have read the allegations in their petition and that the same
are true and correct based either on their personal knowledge or authentic records, or based
both on their personal knowledge and authentic records. While the rule gives the pleaders
several ways of verifying their pleading, the use of the phrase personal knowledge or authentic

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
records is not without any legal signification and the pleaders are not at liberty to choose any of
these phrases fancifully. Hun Hyung Park v. Eung Won Choi teaches us when to properly
use authentic records in verifying a pleading:[A]uthentic records as a basis for verification bear
significance in petitions wherein the greater portions of the allegations are based on the records
of the proceedings in the court of origin and/or the court a quo, and not solely on the personal
knowledge of the petitioner. To illustrate, petitioner himself could not have affirmed, based on his
personal knowledge, the truthfulness of the statement in his petition before the CA that at the
pre-trial conference respondent admitted having received the letter of demand, because he
(petitioner) was not present during the conference. Hence, petitioner needed to rely on the
records to confirm its veracity.
In her CA petition, Sorensen questioned the September 1, 2006 and September 18,
2006 Orders of Judge Gako which respectively granted Mahinays Reiteratory Motion and
denied her Motion for Reconsideration. In addition to said Orders and Motions, and to support
the allegations in her petition, Sorensen also attached copies of the August 12, 2005 Decision of
this Court in G.R. No. 153762 and other material portions of the records of Civil Case No.
CEB-16335. Quite obviously, Sorensen had no participation in the preparation and execution of
these documents although they constitute the main bulk of her evidence. Hence, it was
necessary for Sorensen to state in the verification that the allegations in her petition are true and
correct not only based on her personal knowledge but also based on the information she
gathered from authentic records. The CA is, therefore, correct in its observation that Sorensens
verification is insufficient.
Nonetheless, the Rules and jurisprudence on the matter have it that the court may allow
such deficiency to be remedied. In Altres v. Empleo, this Court pronounced for the guidance of
the bench and the bar that non-compliance x x x or a defect [in the verification] does not
necessarily render the pleading fatally defective. The court may order its submission or
correction or act on the pleading if the attending circumstances are such that strict compliance
with the Rule may be dispensed with in order that the needs of justice may be served
thereby.Pitted against this test, we sustain the CA for not taking a liberal stance in resolving
Sorensens petition for certiorari as the dismissal thereof did not impair or affect her substantive
rights.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM vs. MANUEL P. BESITAN
G.R. No. 178901, November 23, 2011

DOCTRINE:In compensation proceedings, the test of proof is probability, not absolute


certainty; hence a claimant only needs to show reasonable work connection and not
direct causal relation.

FACTS:
Petitioner GSIS is a social insurance institution created under Commonwealth Act (CA) No.
186, charged with the management and administration of the trust fund of the Employees
Compensation Commission (ECC) for government officials and employees.

Respondent Besitan was employed by the Central Bank of the Philippines (now Bangko
Sentral ng Pilipinas) on January 21, 1976 as a Bank Examiner. Subsequently, he was promoted
as Bank Officer II and eventually as Bank Officer III. His duties and responsibilities are as follows:

1. Heads a team of examiners in the conduct of regular/special examination of


rural banks;
2. Submits report of examination/memoranda to MB and other reports related
to examination;
3. Confers with Head/Top Management of rural banks under examination;
4. Monitors, verifies, and analyzes various periodic and special reports required
of rural banks to ascertain, among others, compliance with pertinent laws and
regulations, and prepares reports corresponding thereto;
5. Evaluates, processes, and prepares memoranda/reports on various
requests such as the establishment of branches/banking offices and
investments in allied undertakings/subsidiaries/affiliates, both locally and
abroad; as well as prepares appropriate recommendations on
requests/complaints received from the public, etc.;
6. Performs related duties as may be assigned.

In October 2005, Besitan was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease secondary to
Chronic Glomerulonephritis and thus, had to undergo a kidney transplant at the National Kidney
and Transplant Institute (NKTI), for which he incurred medical expenses amounting
to P817,455.40.

Believing that his working condition increased his risk of contracting the disease, Besitan
filed with the GSIS a claim for compensation benefits under Presidential Decree (PD) No. 626,
as amended. The GSIS, however, denied the claim in a letter dated May 2, 2006. Besitan
sought reconsideration in a letter dated June 6, 2006; but the GSIS denied the same in a letter
dated June 20, 2006. The Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) affirmed the appealed
decision ratiocinating that there is no substantial evidence to prove that the illness was directly
caused by the employees duties. On appeal, the CA reversed the ruling of the ECC. The CA
ruled that Besitan is entitled to compensation benefits under PD No. 626, as amended, because
his ailment was aggravated by the nature of his work. GSIS filed a Motion for Reconsideration

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 146
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
which was denied by the CA in a resolution dated July 17, 2017. Hence, this petition for Review
on Certiorari under Rule 45of the Rules of Court was filed.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Besitan is entitled to compensation benefits under P.D. No. 626, as
amended.

HELD:
YES. Under the increased risk theory, there must be a reasonable proof that the employees
working condition increased his risk of contracting the disease, or that there is a connection
between his work and the cause of the disease. Only a reasonable proof of work-connection, not
direct causal relation, however, is required to establish compensability of a non-occupational
disease. Probability, and not certainty, is the yardstick in compensation proceedings; thus, any
doubt should be interpreted in favor of the employees for whom social legislations, like PD No.
626, were enacted.

Moreover, direct and clear evidence, is not necessary to prove a claim. Strict rules of
evidence do not apply as PD No. 626 only requires substantial evidence or such relevant
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 147
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SPS. RICARDO HIPOLITO, JR. and LIZA HIPOLITO
G.R. No. 174143, November 28, 2011

DOCTRINE:Findings of fact by administrative agencies are generally accorded great


respect, if not finality, by the courts by reason of the special knowledge and expertise of
said administrative agencies over matters falling under their jurisdiction.

FACTS:
Petitioner-spouses Ricardo Hipolito, Jr. and Liza Hipolito (petitioners) allege that on June
15, 1989, Edeltrudis Hipolito y Mariano (Edeltrudis)entered into an agreementwith Francisco
Villena(now deceased) to rent a portion of the property located at 2176 Nakar Street, San
Andres Bukid, Manila and to construct an apartment-style building adjacent to the existing
house thereon. The contract was for a period of 20 years. Pursuant to the agreement, Edeltrudis
built a three-storey apartment building without securing a building permit. Petitioners inherited
the apartment building upon the death of Edeltrudis.

In 2002 or 13 years after the execution of the agreement, petitioners and the heirs of
Francisco Villena, all residing in the property, were informed that respondent Atty. Carlos D.
Cinco (Atty. Cinco) acquired the subject property through a deed of sale sometime in 1976.

On June 17, 2002, herein respondents Atty. Cinco, Teresita Cinco and Dr. Carlota Balde
Cinco (respondents) filed with the OBO a verified requestfor structural inspection of an old
structure located at 2176 Nakar Street, San Andres Bukid, Manila.

Acting on the request, Building Inspector Engineer Leonardo B. Rico (Engr. Rico)
conducted an initial inspection. In his memorandum Engr. Rico reported that two old and
dilapidated buildings made of wooden materials were found in the premises and recommended
that the matter be referred to the Committee on Buildings (Committee) for further appropriate
action and disposition.

With prior notices to the parties and the tenants, three hearings were subsequently held
from August 12, 2002 to September 20, 2002 for purposes of resolving the focal issue of the
structural stability, architectural presentability, electrical and fire safety aspect to determine
[whether] or not the subject buildings are still safe for continued occupancy.On September 20,
2002, Victoria Villena, wife and heir of Francisco Villena and owner of one of the two buildings,
filed a counter manifestation questioning respondents personality to file the petition for
condemnation, and refuting the technical evaluation reports of Engr. Rico and respondents
commissioned engineer. Whereupon, the Committee was constrained to schedule an ocular
inspection of the subject buildings on October 7, 2002. The Office of the Building Official
declared the buildings dangerous and ruinous and recommended their demolition. Said
Resolution was based on Ocular Inspection revealing that the subject structures incurred an
extensive degree of deterioration by 60%-80%. A demolition order was issued and the
petitioners and tenants were furnished a copy hereof. Despite successive and consistent
dismissal of appeals to the Secretary of the DPWH, to the Office of the President and to the
Court of Appeals, the petitioners remained undaunted. Unwilling to concede, petitioners now

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 148
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
come before this Court by way of Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the Resolution of the Administrative
Authorities sustaining the recommendations of the Office of the Building of Manila.

HELD:
NO. The CA did not err in affirming the Resolution of the Administrative Authorities
sustaining the recommendations of the Office of the Building of Manila. Findings of fact by
administrative agencies are generally accorded great respect, if not finality, by the courts
by reason of the special knowledge and expertise of said administrative agencies over
matters falling under their jurisdiction. Such findings must be respected as long as they are
supported by substantial evidence, even if such evidence is not overwhelming or even
preponderant.It is not the task of the appellate court to once again weigh the evidence submitted
before and passed upon by the administrative body and to substitute its own judgment regarding
sufficiency of evidence. Similarly, this Court will not disturb these factual findings absent
compelling reasons to do so. This Court, in numerous occasions, has cited exceptions to the
general rule that it is not a trier of facts. None of the said exceptions is present in this case.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SAMUEL JULIAN, represented by his Attorney-in-Fact, ROBERTO DELA CRUZ
vs.DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES and THE CITY SHERIFF
G.R. No. 174193, December 7, 2011

DOCTRINE: The requirement of an appeal fee is not a mere technicality of law or


procedure and should not be disregarded without the most compelling of reasons.

FACTS:
This case was stemmed when Thelma, mother of herein petitioner Samuel Julian,
obtained a housing loan from respondent DBP, and executed a Real Estate Mortage in
favor of the respondent. Subsequently, Thelma died, so the property was sold to the
respondent through public auction since there was failure to pay the loan. The actual
occupants of the property, petitioners’ sibling, offered DBP to buy the subject property.
However, since they failed to pay resulting to rescission, DBP filed Unlawful Detainer
case for their refusal to vacate the premises. Petitioner then filed for Cancellation of
Respondent’s Title to the property. However, RTC dismissed the case for the failure of the
parties to comply with court’s order. Then petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal to the Court of
Appeals, but failed to pay the docket and other lawful fees.

The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal for non-payment of the required docket
and other lawful fees. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals was correct in strictly applying the rules on the
payment of docket fees.

HELD:
Yes. Payment of full docket fees within the prescribed period for taking an appeal is
mandatory.

It is well-established that "the right to appeal is a statutory privilege and must be


exercised only in the manner and in accordance with the provisions of the law." "Thus,
one who seeks to avail of the right to appeal must strictly comply with the requirements of
the rules, and failure to do so leads to the loss of the right to appeal."

The applicable rule for appeals from judgments issued by the RTC in the exercise
of its original jurisdiction is Rule 41 of the Rules of Court, Section 4 of which provides:

Section 4.Appellate court docket and other lawful fees. - Within the period for
taking an appeal, the appellant shall pay to the clerk of the court which rendered the
judgment or final order appealed from, the full amount of the appellate court docket and
other lawful fees. Proof of payment of said fees shall be transmitted to the appellate court
together with the original record or the record on appeal.

The Rules also provide that failure of the appellant to pay the docket and other
lawful fees is a ground for dismissal of the appeal.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
The Court has consistently ruled in a number of cases that the payment of the full
amount of docket fees within the prescribed period is both mandatory and jurisdictional.It
is a condition sine qua non for the appeal to be perfected and only then can a court
acquire jurisdiction over the case.The requirement of an appeal fee is not a mere
technicality of law or procedure and should not be undermined except for the most
persuasive of reasons. Non-observance would be tantamount to no appeal being filed
thereby rendering the challenged decision, resolution or order final and executory.

Admittedly, this rule is not without recognized qualifications. The Court has
declared that in appealed cases, failure to pay the appellate court docket fee within the
prescribed period warrants only discretionary as opposed to automatic dismissal of the
appeal and that the court shall exercise its power to dismiss in accordance with the tenets
of justice and fair play and with great deal of circumspection considering all attendant
circumstances.

Clearly, the case applies to a situation where payment of the docket fees was
made albeit incomplete. In the instant case, no payment was made by petitioner at all.
The Court sees no justifiable reason to allow this Court to relax the strict application of the
Rules.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Spouses William Guidangen and Mary Guidangen vs.
Devota B. Wooden
G.R. No. 174445, February 15, 2012

DOCTRINE: It is settled that a mere assumption cannot be made the basis of a


decision in a case or in granting relief. A judgment must always be based on the court's
factual findings.

FACTS:
Devota Wooden (respondent) filed a complaint with the RTC of Lagawe, Ifugao to
compel the petitioners William and Mary Guidangen to execute a registrable document
of a conveyance of a two-storey house located at the Philippine National Police (PNP)
barracks in Lagawe, Ifugao. Respondent alleged that sometime in 1994 to 1995, she and
her husband, Nestor Wooden, a member of the PNP, bought the said house from the
petitioners for the sum of P60,000.00 as evidenced by a private document. This private
document, however, was allegedly taken by petitioner Mary Guidangen (Mary) along with
some other documents when she processed the claims and benefits due from the PNP of
Nestor who died in 1997.

In their Answer,petitioners denied having sold the old house to Nestor and
respondent or having executed a private document relative to its sale. They alleged that
they built the old house and lived there until 1988 after which they transferred to their new
house. In 1983, their nephew Nestor, who was still single then, lived with them in the old
house as well as in their new house until 1995 after the couple got married. They also
entrusted to the couple the collection of rents from tenants. In support of their claim of
ownership, petitioners presented the tax declaration and clearance for payment of taxes
of the old house in their name.

In reply, respondent maintained that petitioners sold the old house to her and
Nestor. She denied that Nestor lived with petitioners or that she and her husband asked
petitioners to allow them to stay in the old house. She also denied having sought
permission from the petitioners to collect the rentals from tenants for minor repair works.

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Instead, they pointed out that what they undertook in the old house were not minor repairs
but a major renovation. To further bolster her claim that the old house was already sold to
them, respondent averred that Mary even prepared Nestor’s Statement of Assets,
Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for the year 1996 while the latter was hospitalized. The
old house was declared therein as part of Nestor’s assets, thereby proving that the same
already belongs to the Wooden spouses.

Respondent presented as witnesses the former tenants in the ground floor of the
old house, PO3 Oscar Mamaclay and Policeman Jay Telan, who testified that they paid
their rentals to the respondent. Telan recounted that he initially paid rentals to Mary but
was later advised by her to make the payments to respondent because she has already
sold the house to the Wooden spouses.

On the other hand, Mary testified that she and her husband constructed the old
house in the latter part of 1981. They occupied the same in 1982 until 1988, after which
they left and moved to their newly-built house. The old house was leased to tenants and in
the latter part of 1995, they allowed the Wooden spouses to occupy the second floor
thereof for free.

The RTC ruled that respondent was not able to prove the sale of the old house with
preponderant evidence which would justify the court to compel petitioners to execute the
documents of sale/ conveyance. It dismissed the complaint.

On appeal, the CA reversed the RTC through its decision and held that respondent
"was able to present other cogently strong proofs in amplification of her evidence which
were entirely ignored by the court a quo to the effect that the subject house was sold by
appellees to them."

Petitioners moved for reconsiderationbut their motion was denied by the CA for
lack of merit.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the findings by the Honorable Court of Appeals are manifestly
mistaken, without evidentiary basis and contradictory to the findings of the Trial Court?

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HELD:

Yes. "It is a matter of judicial policy to accord the trial court’s findings of facts with the
highest respect and not to disturb the same on appeal unless there are strong and
impelling reasons to do so. The reason for this is that trial courts have more opportunity
and facilities to examine factual matters than appellate courts. They are in a better
position to assess the credibility of witnesses, not only by the nature of their testimonies,
but also by their demeanor on the stand. (Borillo v. Court of Appeals)" No clear specific
contrary evidence was cited by the CA to justify the reversal of the trial court’s findings.
Thus, in this case, between the factual findings of the trial court and those of the CA,
those of the trial court must prevail over those of the latter.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Pacific Ace Finance LTD. vs. Eiji* Yanagisawa
G.R. No. 175303, April 11, 2012

DOCTRINE: When a court of competent jurisdiction acquires jurisdiction over the subject
matter of a case, its authority continues, subject only to the appellate authority, until the
matter is finally and completely disposed of, and that no court of co-ordinate authority is at
liberty to interfere with its action.

FACTS:
Eiji, a Japanese national, married Evelyn who is a Filipina. During their marriage,
Evelyn purchased a townhouse under her name. After sometime, Eiji filed a complaint for
declaration of nullity of their marriage on the ground of bigamy. During its pendency, filed
a Motion for Issuance of Restraining Order against Evelyn and an Application of Writ of
Preliminary Injuction. He asked that Evelyn be enjoined from disposing or encumbering
all of the properties registered in her name. Evelyn voluntary agreed which led the court to
issue an order. The order indicated that the properties registered in the name of the
defendant would not be disposed of, alienated or encumbered in any manner during the
pendency of the petition. This was annotated on the title of the subject townhouse.

The Makati RTC had dissolved Eiji and Evelyn’s marriage, and had ordered the
liquidation of their registered properties, including the Paranaque townhouse unit, with its
proceeds to be divided between the parties.

Evelyn obtained a loan from Pacific Ace Finance Ltd. (PAFIN). To secure
theloan, she executed a real estate mortgaged in favor of PAFIN over the subject town
house. At the time of this mortgage, the appeal in the nullity of marriage case was pending
before the CA.

Eiji filed a complaint for the annulment of real estate mortgage against Evelyn
and PAFIN before the RTC of Paranaque. The Paranaque RTC dismissed and
explained that Eiji, as a foreign national, cannot possibly own the mortgaged property
without ownership, or any other law or contract binding the defendants to him; Eiji has no
cause of action that may be asserted against them.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Eiji appealed to the CA. The appellate court determined that the Paranaque
RTC’s decision was improper because it violated the doctrine of non-interference. The
CA annulled and set aside the Paranaque RTC’s decision to dismiss Eiji’s complaint. It
also annulled the real estate mortgage executed by Evelyn in favor of PAFIN.

Evelyn and PAFIN filed separate motions for reconsideration which were both
denied for lack of merit.

PAFIN filed this petition for review. Petitioner seeks a reversal of the CA decision,
which allegedly affirmed the Makati RTC ruling that Eiji is a co-owner of the mortgaged
property. PAFIN insists that the CA sustained a violation of the constitution with its
declaration that an alien can have an interest in real property located in the Philippines.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Paranaque RTC can rule on the same issue that was already
ruled upon by the Makati RTC and is pending appeal in the CA?

HELD:

No, the RTC of Paranaque violated the doctrine of non-interference. The issue
of ownership and liquidation of properties acquired during the cohabitation of Eiji and
Evelyn has been submitted for the resolution of the Makati RTC, and is pending appeal
before the CA. The doctrine of judicial stability or non-interference dictates that the
assumption by the Makati RTC over the issue operates as an “insurmountable barrier” to
the subsequent assumption by the Paranaque RTC. By insisting on ruling on the same
issue, the Paranaque RTC effectively interfered with the Makati RTC’s resolution of the
issue and created the possibility of conflicting decisions.

Cojuangco v. Villegas states: “The various branches of the [regional trial courts] of
a province or city, having as they have the same or equal authority and exercising as they
do concurrent and coordinate jurisdiction, should not, cannot and are not permitted to
interfere with their respective cases, much less with their orders or judgments. A contrary
rule would obviously lead to confusion and seriously hamper the administration of
justice.” The matter is further explained thus:

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It has been held that "even in cases of concurrent jurisdiction, it is, also, axiomatic that the
court first acquiring jurisdiction excludes the other courts."

In addition, it is a familiar principle that when a court of competent jurisdiction


acquires jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case, its authority continues, subject only
to the appellate authority, until the matter is finally and completely disposed of, and that
no court of co-ordinate authority is at liberty to interfere with its action. This doctrine is
applicable to civil cases, to criminal prosecutions, and to courts-martial. The principle is
essential to the proper and orderly administration of the laws; and while its observance
might be required on the grounds of judicial comity and courtesy, it does not rest upon
such considerations exclusively, but is enforced to prevent unseemly, expensive, and
dangerous conflicts of jurisdiction and of the process.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
JOVINA DABON VDA. DE MENDEZ vs. COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES
MINEO and TRINIDAD B. DABON,
G.R NO. 174937, June 13, 2012

DOCTRINE: While the court has the power to relax procedure rules for persuasive and
weighty reasons, this does not mean that [they] are too belittled or dismissed simply
because their non-observance may have prejudiced a party’s substantive rights. Just like
any other rule (procedural rules) are required to be followed except for the most
persuasive of reasons when they may be relaxed.

FACTS:
On June 19, 1995 petitioner Jovina Dabon Vda. De Mendez filed a Complaint for
Nullity of Deed of Sale, Transfer Certificate of Title, Tax Declaration and other relevant
documents, and Reconveyance of property with damages, docketed as Civil Case No.
MAN-2445, against respondent Sps. Mineo and Trinidad Dabon before the RTC of
Mandaue City, Branch 56. Petitioner, in her complaint, alleged that she is the registered
owner of a paraphernal property situated in Barangay Ibabao, Mandaue City, containing
an area of 174 square meters, covered by TCT No. 9408, that she never sold the subject
property to respondent-spouses, and that her signature in the Deed of Absolute Sale
dated July 15, 1982 was forged. Petitioner further claimed that sometime in 1982, due to
financial difficulties and illness of her youngest son, she mortgaged her property to
Banco Cebuano to secure a Php 20,000.00 loan. When her property was about to be
foreclosed by the bank, she borrowed from her first cousin, respondent Mineo. After
paying the bank, Gloria Singson, Mineo’s sister went to petitioner’s house and asked her
to sign some papers, including a receipt containing the loan. Later, refused to accept the
same demanding instead Php 50,000.00. Respondent-spouses filed their Answer,
contending that there was a valid sales as evidenced by the Deed of Absolute sale
signed by petitioner on July 15, 1982 before Notary Public Bienvenido N. Mabanto, Jr.
They narrated that after petitioner signed the Deed of Absolute Sale, they paid the
amount of Php 20,000.00 to the bank in order to prevent the foreclose of the subject
property, and that since then, they have been paying the taxes for the said property. Trial
on the merits ensued on July 31, 2002, the RTC rendered a Decision in favour of
respondent-spouses. It ruled that petitioner’s cause of action had prescribed since an
action for reconveyance of a parcel of land based on implied or constructive trust
prescribed in 10 years and the court found that the Deed of Absolute Sale was duly
executed. On the Appeal, the CA agreed with the RTC that there was no forgery, but it
also ruled that petitioner failed to overcome the presumption of authenticity and due
execution of the notarized Deed of Absolute Sale.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not the petitioner has failed the correct remedy of Petition for certiorari
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court before the Supreme Court in assailing the Decision
dated September 12, 2006 of the Court of Appeals.
2. Whether petitioner’s signature in the Deed of Absolute Sale dated July 15, 1982
was forged.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HELD:
1. Petitioner, in filing a petition for certiorari under rule 65 of the Rules of Court,
availed of the wrong remedy. Under the Rules of Court, the proper remedy of a party
aggrieved by a judgment, final order, or resolution of the CA is to file with the Supreme
Court a verified petition for review in certiorari under rule 45 within15 days from notice of
the judgment, final order or resolution appealed from records show that petitioner filed
her petition 33 days after receipt of the Resolution dated September 12, 2006. Whether
we treat the petition as an appeal or as a special civil action for certiorari the petition
must be dismissed as the core issue of whether petitioner’s signature in the Deed of
Absolute Sale dated July 15, 1982 was forged, is a question of fact not allowed in both
instances.
2. A finding of forgery does not depend entirely on the testimony of hand-writing of
experts. More credence was also given by the RTC and the CA to the testimony of the
notary public who personally saw petitioner sign the Deed of Absolute Sale. No doubt,
direct evidence such as the testimony of the notary public, outweighs the testimony of
the expert witness, which, at best, is considered indirect or circumstantial evidence.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. MICHAEL BIGLETE Y CAMACHO
G.R. NO. 182920, June 18, 2012

DOCTRINE: Direct evidence is not the only matrix by which the guilt of the accused may
be determined. Resort to circumstantial evidence may be made in the absence of direct
evidence.

FACTS:
On August 27, 2001, around 8:00 pm, Arnel Alcos was driving his passenger
jeepney plying the San Pablo City-Sto. Angel route. Seated beside him was his wofe,
Susan Alcos. While they were already cruising along Schetelig Avenue in San Pablo
City, Susan heard a gunshot. Seconds after, a red motorcycle overtook their jeep. The
driver of the motorcycle was holding a gun.
After a while, Susan noticed her husband slumped in his seat with his head resting
on the steering wheel. The passenger jeepney they were riding turned turtle. Later, she
discovered that Arnel was hit in his head which caused his death. Victor Andaya who
was, at that time, in a waiting shed approximately 20 meters away from where the
incident happened saw it.
Some 500 meters from Schetelig Avenue, Julius Panganiban who was at his house
preparing dinner when he heard a loud noise. When he went out to investigate, he saw a
motorcycle crashed into his gate and a revolver lying near it. However, the motorcycle
driver was nowhere to be found. Julius reported the matter to the police authorities and
at the same time surrendered possession of the motorcycle and revolver.
At about 2:00 pm of August 28, 2001, appellant went to the police station and
reported to SPO2 Joselito Mendoza Calabia that on August 27, 2001, his motorcycle
was stolen by three men who mauled him. He escaped from them by climbing a high
concrete fence at Tirones Compund at Barangay III-C. Appellant admitted that he owned
the subject motorcycle. However, he claimed that on August 27, 2001 at around 7:00
pm, while he was traversing Balagtas Blvd., somebody hit him at the back with a piece of
wood. When he fell down from the motorcycle, somebody got it from him. Appellant then
ran towards a vacant lot. Thereafter, he sought his cousin, Rodelo Biglete, Jr. and
proceeded to the police station and reported the incident.
The RTC rendered its judgment finding appellant guilty as charged. The appellate
court affirmed the factual findings of the trial court.

ISSUE:
With the categorical denial by the appellant, the principal issue therefore is factual,
that is: whether the prosecution presented sufficient evidence to convict
accused/appellant for murder.

HELD:
It was held that the crime committed is murder. The lack of direct evidence does not
ipso facto bar the finding of guilt against the appellant. As long as the prosecution
establishes the appellant’s participation through credible and sufficient circumstantial
evidence that leads to the inescapable conclusion that the appellant committed the
imputed crime, the latter should be convicted. Section 4, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
instruct us when circumstantial evidence is deemed sufficient for conviction, viz:
1) ,when there is more than one circumstance;
2) when the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven;
3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction
beyond reasonable doubt.

The combination of the following events leads to no other conclusion that the
appellant/accused was the author of the crime, thus:
1) Arnel Alcos was shot while he was driving a jeepney;
2) right after the shooting, accused/appellant was seen by Susan Alcos and Victor
Andaya as the only one holding a gun on board the motorcycle which overtook the
jeepney driven by Arnel Alcos; and
3) accused was the owner of the motorcycle.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
EDGARDO NAVIA, RUBEN DIO and ANDREW BUISING vs. VIRGINIA PARDICO, for
and in behalf and in representation of BENHUR V. PADRICO
G.R. NO. 184467, June 19, 2012

DOCTRINE: For the protective writ of amparo to issue in enforced disappearance cases,
allegation and proof that the persons subject thereof are missing are not enough. It must
also be shown by the required quantum of proof that their disappearance was carried out
by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, (the government) or a political
organization followed by a refusal to acknowledge (the same or) give information on the
fate or whereabouts of (said missing) persons.

FACTS:
Versions of Petitioners:
On March 31, 2008, at around 8:30 pm, petitioners Ruben Dio (Dio) and Andrew
Buising (Buising), who both work as security guards at the Asian Land Security, invited
Enrique Lapore (Bong) and Benhur Pardico (Ben) to their office because they received a
report from a certain Mrs. Emphasis, a resident of Grand Royale Subdivision, that she
saw Bong and Ben removing a lamp from a post in said subdivision.
At the security office, Dio and Buising interviewed Bong and Ben. The suspects
admitted that they took the lamp but clarified that they were only transferring it to a post
nearer the house of Lolita (Bong’s mother). According to Egdardo Navia (Navia),
Supervisor of the security guards, considering that the complainant was not interested in
the investigation, he ordered the release of Bong and Ben. Bong signed a statement to
the effect that the guards released him without inflicting any harm or injury to him. His
mother, Lolita, also signed the logbook below an entry which states that she will never
again harbor or entertain Ben in her house. Thereafter, Lolita and Bong left the security
office. Ben was left behind as Navia was still talking to him. Ben also affixed his signature
on the logbook to affirm the statements entered by the guards that he was released
unharmed and without any injury.
Upon Navia’s instructions, Dio and Buising went back to the house of Lolita to make
her sign the logbook as witness that they indeed released Ben from their custody.
Subsequently petitioners received an invitation from the Malolos City Police Station
requesting them to appear thereat on April 17, 2008 relative to the complaint of Virginia
Pardico (Virginia) about her missing husband, Ben. Petitioners informed her that they
released Ben and that they have no information as to his whereabouts.

Version of the Respondent:


According to the respondents, Bong and Ben were not merely invited. They were
unlawfully arrested, shoved into the Asian Land vehicle and brought to the security office
for investigation. Upon seeing Ben at the security office, Navia lividly grumbled “Ikaw
naman?,” and slapped him while he was still seated. Ben begged for mercy, but his pleas
were met with a flurry of punches coming from NAvia hitting him in different parts of his
body. Navia then took hold of his gun, looked at Bong and said, “Wala kang nakita at
wala kang nadinig, papatayin ko na si Ben.”
Later on Lolita was instructed to sign an entry in the guard’s logbook where she
undertook not to allow Ben to stay in her house anymore, that as proof that they released

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
her son Bong unharmed but Ben had to stay as the latter’s case will be forwarded to the
barangay. When Bong had to leave, Ben pleaded not to leave him. However, since they
were afraid of Navia, they left Ben behind. Moments after Lolita and Bong reached their
house, Buising arrived and asked Lolita to sign the logbook again without reading what
she signed.
The following morning, Virginia went to the Asian Land Security Office to visit her
husband, Ben, but only to be told that petitioners had already released him together with
Bong the night before. Since she could not find her husband, Virginia reported the matter
to the police. Exasperated with the mysterious disappearance of her husband, Virginia
filed a petition for writ of amparo before the RTC of Malolos City. A writ of amparo was
accordingly issued on the petitioners.

ISSUE:
Whether Ben’s disappearance as alleged in Virginia’s petition and prove during the
summary proceedings conducted before the court a quo, falls within the ambit of AM No.
07-9-12-SC and relevant laws.

HELD:
It does not. Section 1 of AM No, 07-9-12 provides: Section 1. Petition. The petition
for a writ of amparo is a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty, and
security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public
official or employee, or of a private individual or entity. The writ shall cover extralegal
killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof. (emphasis ours) While Section 1
provides AM No. 07-9-12-SC’s coverage, said rule does not, however, define extralegal
killings and enforced disappearances. The courts in probing enforced disappearance
cases, courts should read AM No. 07-9-12-Sc in relation to RA No. 9851, as Section 3(g)
thereof defines enforced or involuntary disappearance, quoted as follows: (g) “Enforced
or involuntary disappearance of persons” means the arrest, detention, or abduction of
persons by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, a State or a political
organization followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom, or to give
information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing
from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time. Under Section 1 of AM No.
07-9-12-SC, a writ of amparo may lie against a private individual or entity. But even if the
person sought to be held accountable or responsible in an amparo petition is a private
individual or entity. Still, government involvement in the disappearance remains an
indispensable element. Here, petitioners are mere security guards at Grand Royale
Subdivision in Barangay Lugam, Malolos City and their principal, the Asian Land, is a
private entity. They do not work for the government and nothing has been presented that
would link or connect them to some covert police, military or governmental operation. To
fall within the ambit of AM No. 07-9-12-SC in relation to RA No. 9851, the disappearance
must be attended by some governmental involvement.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
EMILIA LIM vs. MINDANAO WINES AND LIQUOR GALLERIA, Single Proprietorship
Business Outfit Owned by Evelyn S. Valdevieso
G.R. NO. 175851, July 4, 2012

DOCTRINE: Acquittal from a crime does not necessarily mean absolution from civil
liability.

FACTS:
Respondent Mindanao Wines and Liquor Galleria (Mindanao Wines) delivered
several cases of liquors to H and E Commercial owned by Emilia Lim, for which the latter
issued four Philippine National Bank (PNB) postdated checks worth Php 25,000.00 each.
When two of these checks, particularly PNB Check Nos. 951453 and 951454 dated
October 10, 1996 and October 20, 1996, respectively, bounced for the reasons
ACCOUNT CLOSED and DRAWN AGAINST INSUFFICIENT FUNDS. Mindanao Wines,
thru its proprietress Evelyn Valdevieso, demanded from H and E Commercial the
payment of the value through two separate letters both dated November 8, 1996. When
the demands went unheeded, Mindanao Wines filed before Branch 2 of the Municipal
Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Davao City Criminal Case Nos. 68-309-B-98 and
68-310-B-98 against Emilia for violations of BP 22. After the prosecution rested its case,
Emilia filed a Demurrer to Evidence claiming insufficiency of evidence. In its December
10, 1999 order, MTCC granted the demurrer to evidence. It ruled that while Emilia did
issue the check to value, the prosecution nevertheless miserably failed to prove one
essential element that consummates the crime of BP 22, i. e. the fact of dishonor of the
two subject checks. It noted that other than the checks, no bank representatives testified
about presentment and dishonor. Hence, the MTCC acquitted Emilia of the criminal
charges. However, the MTCC still found her civilly liable because when she redeemed
one of the checks during the pendency of the criminal case, the MTCC considered the
same as an acknowledgement on her part of her obligation with Mindanao Wines. On
appeal with the RTC, the RTC clarified that the MTCC dismissed the criminal case based
on reasonable doubt and not on insufficiency of evidence. And while the prosecution
failed to prove criminal liability beyond reasonable doubt, Emilia’s indebtedness was
nonetheless proven by preponderance of evidence, the quantum of evidence required to
prove the same. Thus, it dismissed the appeal. Undettered, Emilia filed with the CA a
Petition for Review still insisting that the MTCC’s dismissal was based on insufficiency of
evidence and that the same pertains to both the criminal and civil aspect of BP 22. In its
June 30, 2006 Decision, the CA ruled that the dismissal of the criminal cases against
Emilia was expressly based on reasonable doubt, hence she is not free from civil liability
because the same is not extinguished by acquittal based on said ground. The CA further
declared that even granting that her acquittal was for insufficiency of evidence, the same
is still akin to a dismissal based on reasonable doubt. Hence, this petition for review on
certoriari. Emilia prays for the reversal and setting side of the said rulings of the CA.

ISSUE:
Whether the dismissal of Emilia’s BP 22 cases likewise includes the dismissal of
their civil aspect.

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HELD:
Emilia’s allegations that she was denied due process and that Mindanao Wines is
not the real party in interest do not merit our attention as these were never raised for
resolution before the courts below. These new issues are mere afterthoughts. They were
raised only for the first time in this petition for review on certoriari. Notwithstanding her
acquittal, Emilia is civilly liable. The extinction of the penal action does not carry with it
the extinction of the civil liability where xxx the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as
only preponderance of evidence is required in civil cases. Moreover, it is well to
remember that a check may be evidence of indebtedness. A check, the entries of which
are in writing, could prove a loan transaction. While Emilia is acquitted of violation of BP
22, she would nevertheless pay the debt she owes.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HEIRS OF JOSE MARCIAL K OCHOA namely: RUBY B. OCHOA MICAELA B.
OCHOA and JOMAR B. OCHOA vs. G & S TRANSPORT CORPORATION
G.R NO. 170071, July 16, 2012
G & S TRANSPORT CORPORATION vs. HEIRS OF JOSE MARCIAL K OCHOA
NAMELY: RUBY B. OCHOA MICAELA B. OCHOA and JOMAR B. OCHOA
G.R NO. 170125

DOCTRINE: It must be remembered that this requirement of authentication only pertains


to private documents and does not apply to public documents proof of their due
execution or genuineness.

FACTS:
These petitions stemmed from a complaint for damages filed by the heirs against G
& S with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Pasig City, Branch 164 on account of Jose
Marcial’s death while on board a taxi cab owned and operated by G & S. The RTC
adjudged G & S guilty of breach of contract of carriage and ordered it to pay the heirs the
following amounts: 1. Php 50,000.00 as civil indemnity; 2. Php 6,537,244.96 for loss of
earning capacity of the deceased; 3. Php 100,000.00 as attorney’s fees and; 4. Cost of
litigation The RTC also ordered G & S to pay the heirs the following: 1. Php 300,000.00
as moral damages; 2. Php 50,000.00 as exemplary damages On appeal, the CA
affirmed the RTC Decision but with the modifications that the awards of loss of income in
the amount of Php 6,537,244.96 be deleted and that moral damages reduced to Php
200,000, the deletion ordered on the ground that the income certificate issued by Jose
Marcial’s employer, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is
self-serving, unreliable and biased, and that the same was not supported by competent
evidence such as income tax returns or receipt. With respect to moral damages, the CA
found the same excessive disproportionate to the award of Php 50,000.00 exemplary
damages. Thus, the same was reduced to Php 200,000.00. The parties’ respect appeals
from the CA Decision became the subject of this Court’s (SC) March 9, 2011 Decision
which denied G & S petition and partly granted that of the heirs. The Court affirmed the
assailed CA Decision with the modification that for loss of earning capacity of the
deceased, as well as moral damages on the reduced amount of Php 100,000.00 Hence,
this G & S Motion for Reconsideration. G & S argued that the USAID Certification used
as basis in computing the award for loss of income is inadmissible in evidence because it
was not properly authenticated and identified in Court by the signatory thereof; that it
exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of its
employees and, hence, was able to overcome the presumption of fault imputed to it; and,
that while settled in the rule that this Court is not a trier of facts, even if it did not
particularly state under which exception to such rule its case falls. The heirs filed their
comment thereto.

ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the USAID Certification is a public or private document.
2. Whether G & S exercise the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection
and supervision of its employees.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
3. Whether there is a compelling reason to re-examine the factual findings of the
lower courts.
HELD:
1. Before a private document offered as authentic be received in evidence, its due
execution and authenticity must first be proved. It must be remembered that this
requirement of authentication only pertains to private documents, these being admissible
without further proof of their rule, namely: said documents have been executed in the
proper registry and are presumed to be valid and genuine until the contrary is shown by
clear and convincing proof; and, second, because public documents are authenticated
by the official signature and seals which they bear and of which seals, court may take
judicial notice. Hence, in a case, the court held that in the presentation of public
documents as evidence, due execution and authenticity thereof are already presumed. If
therefore becomes necessary to first as certain whether the subject USAID Certification
is a private document before this Court can rule upon the corrections of its admission
and consequent use as basis for the award of loss of income in these case. Section 19,
Rule 132 of the Rule of Court clarifies documents as either public or private, viz: Section
19: Classes of Documents – for the purpose of their presentation in evidence,
documents are either public or private. Public documents are: a. The written official acts
or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority, official bodies and tribunals, and
public officers, whether of the Philippines, or of a foreign country; x x x x x x In view of
these, it is clear that the USAID Certification is a public document pursuant to paragraph
(a), section 19, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. Hence, the authenticity and due
execution of said Certification are already presumed. Moreover, as a public document
issued in the performance of a duty by public officer, the subject USAID Certification is
prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein. The USAID Certification could very well
be used as basis for the award of loss of income to the heirs.

2. G & S insisted that it exercised the required diligence of a good father of a family
when it hired and continued to employ Bibiano Padilla Jr. (the driver of the ill-fated Avis
taxicab). The reasons advanced by G & S in support of this argument are mere rehash if
not a repetition of those raised in its petition which have already been considered and
passed upon in their March 9, 2011 Decision, hence, do not require reconsideration. The
conclusion therefore that G & S failed to overcome the presumption that the common
carrier is at fault or is negligent when a passenger dies or is injured stands. (Emphasis
supplied).

3. As we have consistently held, “this court is not a trier of facts. It is not a function of
this court to analyze or weigh evidence. When we give due course to such situations, it is
solely by way exception, such exception apply only in the presence of extremely
meritorious cases.” Hence, we note that although G & S enumerated in its consolidated
Memorandum the exceptions to the rule that a petition for review on certiorari should
only raise questions of law, it nevertheless did not point out under what exception its
case falls. And, upon review of the records of the case, we are convinced that it does not
fall under any way. Hence, we cannot proceed to resolve said issues and disturb the
findings and conclusions of the CA with respect thereto x x x (Emphasis supplied). The
Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED with FINALITY.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
LILYLIM vs. KOU CO PING a.k.a. CHARLIE CO.
G.R. No. 175256 & 179160 / August 23, 2012

DOCTRINE: Is it forum shopping for a private complainant to pursue a civil complaint for
specific performance and damages, while appealing the judgment on the civil aspect of a
criminal case for estafa?

FACTS:
Lim file a civil case for specific performance and damages during the pendency of
her appeal on the civil aspect of the criminal case she filed against Charlie Co. She
claims that the cause of action for the damages is based on the crime of estafa, as Co
Violated Lim’s right to be protected against forum shopping. He represented to Lim that
she can withdraw 37,200 bags of cement using the authorities she bought from him.
This is a fraudulent representation because Co knew, at the time that they entered into
the contract, that he could not deliver what he promised.
On the other hand, Lim’s cause of action for the case of specific performance is based
on contract. Co violated Lim’s rights as a buyer in a contract of sale. Co received
payment for the 37,200 bags of cement but did not deliver the goods that were the
subject of the sale.

ISSUE:
Did Lim commit forum shopping in filing the civil case for specific performance and
damages during the pendency of her appeal on the civil aspect of the criminal case for
estafa?

HELD:
Since civil liabilities arising from felonies and those arising from other sources of
obligations are authorized by law to proceed independently of each other, the resolution
of the present issue hinges on whether the two cases herein involve different
kinds of civil obligations such that they can proceed
independently of each other. The answer is in the affirmative.
A single act or omission that causes damage to an offended party may give rise to two
separate civil liabilities on the part of the offender (1) civil liability ex delicto, that is, civil
liability arising from the criminal offense under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code,
and (2) independent civil liability, that is, civil liability that may be pursued independently
of the criminal proceedings. The independent civil liability may be based on “an
obligation not arising from the act or omission complained of as a felony,” as provided in
Article 31 of the Civil Code (such as for breach of contract or for tort53). It may also be
based on an act or omission that may constitute felony but, nevertheless, treated
independently from the criminal action by specific provision of Article 33 of the Civil Code
(“in cases of defamation, fraud and physical injuries”).
The civil liability arising from the offense or ex delicto is based on the acts or omissions
that constitute the criminal offense; hence, its trial is inherently intertwined with the
criminal action. For this reason, the civil liability ex delicto is impliedly instituted with the
criminal offense. If the action for the civil liability ex delicto is instituted prior to or
subsequent to the filing of the criminal action, its proceedings are suspended until the

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
final outcome of the criminal action.55 The civil liability based on delict is extinguished
when the court hearing the criminal action declares that “the act or omission from which
the civil liability may arise did not exist.
Because of the distinct and independent nature of the two kinds of civil liabilities,
jurisprudence holds that the offended party may pursue the two types of civil liabilities
simultaneously or cumulatively, without offending the rules on forum shopping, litis
pendentia, or res judicata.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
V.C PONCE COMPANY INC., petitioner vs. Municipality of Parañaque and
Sampaguita Hills Homeowners Association, INC., respondents
G.R. No. 178731 / November 12, 2012

DOCTRINE: "It is a settled rule that relief will not be granted to a party when the loss or
the loss of the remedy at law was due to his own negligence, or to a mistaken mode of
procedure.”

FACTS:
Respondent Municipality (now City) of Parañaque (municipality) filed a complaint7
against petitioner VCP for the expropriation of its property, which is located in the
municipality’s Barrio San Dionisio and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No.
116554. The municipality intended to develop the property for its landless residents, in
line with the Presidential Commission on Urban Poor’s classification of the site as an
area of priority development. Respondent Sampaguita Hills Homeowners Association,
Inc. (SHHAI), consisting of the property’s actual occupants, who are also the intended
beneficiaries of the action, intervened in the case.
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Parañaque, Branch 274, sustained the municipality’s
right to expropriate the said property and to a writ of possession. The parties did not file
any objection to the above Order and proceeded to submit the names of their respective
nominees for commissioner. The trial court appointed three commissioners to assist in
ascertaining the just compensation.
commissioners Bienvenido Reyes and Jose Marleo Del Rosario informed the trial court
that VCP did not participate in the meetings despite notification and that, due to time
constraints, the commissioners denied VCP’s request for an additional four months to
submit its independent valuation of the property. The commissioners also informed the
court that Cenon Astudillo, VCP’s choice for commissioner, did not contribute to the
commission’s work due to his frequent absences.
Judge Fortunito L. Madrona (Judge Madrona) rendered his Decision rejecting the report.
The trial court explained that just compensation, as Section 4 of Rule 67 of the Rules of
Court provides,27 must reflect the value and character of the property sought to be
expropriated, at the time it was taken or at the time the complaint for expropriation was
filed, whichever came first. Applying this rule to the facts of the case, the reckoning
period should have been the time of filing of the complaint in 1987 because it took place
before the taking of the property in 2002. The report violated this rule by using data
from 1996 onwards.
The trial court then made an independent finding based on the evidence already on
hand. It determined that there exists, on record, a certification from the Office of the
City Assessor, that the property’s market value for the years 1985 to 1993 (which
includes the year the complaint was filed) was P1,366,400.00. This value roughly
translates to P75 per square meter, for a total of P1,372,350.00.
VCP moved for a reconsideration, which the trial court denied in its Order dated August
15, 2005.
VCP received its copy of the said Order on August 24, 2005.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
On October 21, 2005 or 58 days since VCP received the Order denying its Motion for
Reconsideration, it filed with the CA a Motion for Extension of Time (MOTEX) to File
Petition for Certiorari, which the CA granted.
VCP filed its Petition for Certiorari on November 7, 2005. It justified its resort to the
extraordinary remedy on the ground that “there is no appeal or plain, speedy and
adequate remedy in the course of law that is available to the petitioner.” It assailed the
trial court’s rejection of the appraisal report as a grave abuse of discretion. VCP
maintained that the appraisal, which is based on the property’s value at the time of its
taking in 2002, is correct. Assuming arguendo that the commissioners committed an
error, the trial court should have recommitted the valuation to a new set of
commissioners, instead of substituting its own judgment. VCP insisted that the trial
court’s own valuation of P75.00 per square meter is unrealistic and is unsupported by the
evidence. Lastly, VCP argued that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion
when it failed to impose legal interests on the just compensation from the time of taking
until VCP is fully paid. It prayed for the annulment of the trial court’s Decision.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is the
proper remedy to be applied in the case.

HELD:
The Court ruled in the negative.
VCP attempts to extricate itself from the effects of its negligence by alleging that an
appeal would not have been speedy and adequate for its purpose. The Court,
however, finds no merit in its contention.
A court with appellate jurisdiction can review both the facts and the law, including
questions of jurisdiction. It can set aside an erroneous decision and even nullify the
same, if warranted. Appeal is a speedy remedy, as an adverse party can file its appeal
from a final decision or order immediately after receiving it. A party, who is alleging that
an appeal will not promptly relieve it of the injurious effects of the judgment, should
establish facts to show how the appeal is not speedy or adequate. VCP’s empty
protestations, therefore, fail to impress. There is no reason, and VCP cannot explain,
why an appeal would not be speedy and adequate to address its assigned errors. VCP
cannot complain of delay because it was guilty of delay itself, and it even waited until the
58th day of its receipt of the CA Decision before taking action. Clearly, petitioner
resorted to certiorari as a substitute for its lost appeal. The CA did not err in dismissing
the same.
In sum, VCP’s continued negligence, and its resort to the wrong remedy, placed all
perceived errors in the decisions below beyond the CA’s and this Court’s grasp.
Period for filing a Motion for Reconsideration not extendible; failure to file Motion
for Reconsideration on time renders the Decision final.
VCP received the CA Decision on April 10, 2007. Based on Rule 52 of the Rules of
Court and Rule 7 of the 2002 Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals (IRCA), VCP had 15
days from its receipt of the Decision, or until April 25, 2007, to file a motion for
reconsideration, an appeal, or a motion for new trial. Failure to file the necessary

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
pleading within the reglementary period would render the CA Decision final and
executory.
Instead of filing a Motion for Reconsideration on April 25, 2007, VCP filed a MOTEX on
the ground that its lawyer had withdrawn from the case and it was still in the process of
retaining a new counsel. The CA was correct in denying petitioner’s MOTEX because
the period to file a Motion for Reconsideration is not extendible. The Court has
pronounced strict adherence to the rule laid down in Habaluyas Enterprises, Inc. v.
Judge Japson that “no motion for extension of time to file a motion for new trial or
reconsideration may be filed with the Metropolitan or Municipal Trial Courts, the Regional
Trial Courts, and the Intermediate Appellate Court (now Court of Appeals).” Since the
period to file a Motion for Reconsideration is not extendible, VCP’s MOTEX did not toll
the reglementary period. Thus, there being no Motion for Reconsideration as of April 25,
2007, the Decision of the CA dated March 23, 2007 became final and executory by
operation of law.64 The CA was correct in denying the Motion for Reconsideration that
VCP had belatedly filed on May 25, 2007 as its lateness had rendered it moot.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
RUBEN MAGTOTO vs. CA, and Leonila dela Cruz
GR No. 175792 / November 21, 2012

DOCTRINE: Petitioners’ failure to timely file their Answer was unreasonable and
unjustified. The trial court properly declared them in default. We thus sustain the
appellate court’s ruling dismissing petitioners’ appeal for lack of merit.

FACTS:
Leonila filed before the RTC a Complaint for Specific Performance with Damages and
prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction against the spouses Magtoto. Alleging that on
January 11, 1999, she sold her three parcels of land situated in Mabalacat, Pampanga to
petitioner Ruben C. Magtoto (Ruben) for P11,952,750.00.As payment therefor, Ruben
issued several postdated checks.After the parties executed the corresponding Deed of
Absolute Sale,Leonila delivered the Transfer Certificates of Title (TCTs) of the properties
to spouses Magtoto. From then on, the spouses Magtoto exercised acts of dominion
over the said properties, enjoyed the use thereof, and transferred their titles in the name
of Ruben.
Meanwhile, most of the checks that Ruben issued were dishonored. Out of the total
purchase price of P11,952,750.00, the spouses Magtoto were only able to pay the
amount of P2,455,000.00. Despite Leonila’s repeated demands, the balance of
P9,497,750.00 remained unpaid. Hence, the Complaint.
The spouses Magtoto were served with summons requiring them to file an Answer within
15 days from notice.The said spouses, however, thrice moved for extensions of time
within which to file the same.In an Orderdated July 25, 2003, the RTC granted the
spouses Magtoto a final extension until August 2, 2003 within which to file their Answer.
On August 4, 2003 or two days after the last day for filing the Answer, the spouses
Magtoto instead filed a Motion to Dismiss.In an Orderdated September 11, 2003, the
RTC denied the Motion to Dismiss for lack of merit.
On January 23, 2004, Leonila filed a Motion to Declare Defendants in Default and to
Render Judgment Based on the Complaint. Citing Section 4, Rule 16 of the Rules of
Court, Leonila argued that after the denial of their Motion to Dismiss, spouses Magtoto
should have filed their Answer within the reglementary period. However, despite the
lapse of more than three months from receipt of notice of denial of their Motion to
Dismiss, the spouses Magtoto still failed to file their Answer. Leonila also cautioned the
spouses Magtoto that their counsel’s withdrawal of appearance does not justify their
failure to file an Answer.
The motion to declare petitioners in default was heard by the RTC on March 18, 2004.
During said hearing, Ruben was present. The court a quo noted that despite the spouses
Magtoto’s counsel’s withdrawal of appearance as early as September 25, 2003, they
have not yet engaged the services of another counsel.The RTC thus deemed the motion
submitted for resolution.Eventually, the RTC declared the spouses Magtoto in default on
March 23, 2004.Leonila’s presentation of evidence ex parte and formal offer of evidence
followed.
On June 25, 2004 or almost three months after they were declared in default, the
spouses Magtoto, through their new counsel, filed an Omnibus Motion to Lift Order of

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Default and to Admit Attached Answer,and their Answer.The RTC, however, denied the
said motion.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioners were correctly declared in default?

HELD:
YES.
The RTC correctly declared the spouses Magtoto in default. The records show that after
receipt of the summons, the spouses Magtoto thrice requested for extensions of time to
file their Answer. The RTC granted these requests. For their final request for extension,
the RTC gave the spouses Magtoto until August 2, 2003 within which to file their Answer.
But still, no Answer was filed. Instead, on August 4, 2003, or two days after the deadline
for filing their Answer, the spouses Magtoto filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint.
Despite its belated filing, the RTC acted on the motion and resolved the same, albeit not
in favor of the said spouses. Thereafter, Atty. Canlas, petitioners’ former counsel, filed a
motion to withdraw his appearance since he could no longer effectively defend spouses
Magtoto because he had lost communication with them.
After the denial of their Motion to Dismiss on September 11, 2003, petitioners should
have filed their Answer within the balance of the period prescribed in Rule 11. Instead,
they filed their Answer on June 25, 2004 or nine months after the denial of their Motion to
Dismiss or three months after they were declared in default. This delay is unreasonable
as well as unjustified.
In an attempt to pass the blame on the RTC for their failure to timely file an Answer, the
spouses Magtoto aver that it took them a while to secure the services of a new counsel
because they were waiting for the RTC to rule on Atty. Canlas’s motion for withdrawal of
appearance and for its advice for them to retain a new counsel. The belated filing of the
Answer is solely attributable to the spouses Magtoto. They miserably failed to be vigilant
in protecting and defending their cause. The RTC thus properly declared them in default.
At the outset, it must be pointed out that petitioners’ resort to a Petition for Certiorari
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is inappropriate. Petitioners’ remedy from the
adverse Decision of the CA lies in Rule 45 which is a Petition for Review on Certiorari. As
such, this petition should have been dismissed outright for being a wrong mode of
appeal. Even if the petition is to be treated as filed under Rule 45, the same must still be
denied for late filing and there being no reversible error on the part of the CA. Records
show that petitioners received a copy of the CA Resolution denying their Motion for
Reconsideration on October 30, 2006.They therefore had 15 days or until November 14,
2006 within which to file their Petition for Review on Certiorari before this Court.
However, they filed their Petition for Certiorari on December 29, 2006,after the period to
file a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 had expired. Hence, this Petition for
Certiorari under Rule 65 was resorted to as a substitute for a lost appeal which is not
allowed.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ANTONIO PERLA vs. MIRASOL BARING and RANDY PERLA
G.R. No. 172471 / November 12, 2012

DOCTRINE: An order for support must be issued only if paternity or filiation is


established by clear and convincing evidence.

FACTS:
Respondent Mirasol Baring (Mirasol) and her then minor son, Randy (collectively
respondents), filed before the RTC a Complaint for support against Antonio.
They alleged in said Complaint that Mirasol and Antonio lived together as common-law
spouses for two years. As a result of said cohabitation, Randy was born on November
11, 1983. However, when Antonio landed a job as seaman, he abandoned them and
failed to give any support to his son. Respondents thus prayed that Antonio be ordered
to support Randy.
In his Answer with Counterclaim, Antonio, who is now married and has a family of his
own, denied having fathered Randy. Although he admitted to having known Mirasol, he
averred that she never became his common-law wife nor was she treated as such. And
since Mirasol had been intimidating and pestering him as early as 1992 with various suits
by insisting that Randy is his son, Antonio sought moral and exemplary damages by way
of counterclaim from respondents.
The RTC ruled that Mirasol and Randy are entitled to the relief sought since Antonio
himself admitted that he had sex with Mirasol. It also noted that when the 15-year old
Randy testified, he categorically declared Antonio as his father. The RTC opined that
Mirasol would not have gone through the trouble of exposing herself to humiliation,
shame and ridicule of public trial if her allegations were untrue. Antonio’s counterclaim
was denied due to the absence of bad faith or ill-motive on the part of Mirasol and
Randy.
The CA upheld Randy’s illegitimate filiation based on the certified true copies of his birth
certificate and of his baptismal certificate identifying Antonio as his father. According to
the appellate court, while these documents do not bear the signature of Antonio, they are
proofs that Antonio is the known, imputed and identified father of Randy. The CA also
affirmed the trial court’s findings on the credibility of the witnesses and its appreciation of
facts, as there was nothing to suggest that the RTC erred in such respects. It
highlighted Antonio’s vacillation in his testimony regarding the number of times he had
sex with Mirasol and concluded that the same is a clear badge of his lack of candor - a
good reason to disregard his denials.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the order for Support was proper?

HELD:
The Court ruled in the negative.
Since respondents’ complaint for support is anchored on Randy’s alleged illegitimate
filiation to Antonio, the lower courts should have first made a determination of the same.
Respondents’ Complaint for support is based on Randy’s alleged illegitimate filiation to
Antonio. Hence, for Randy to be entitled for support, his filiation must be established

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
with sufficient certainty. A review of the Decision of the RTC would show that it is bereft
of any discussion regarding Randy’s filiation. Although the appellate court, for its part,
cited the applicable provision on illegitimate filiation, it merely declared the certified true
copies of Randy’s birth certificate and baptismal certificate both identifying Antonio as
the father as good proofs of his filiation with Randy and nothing more. This is despite
the fact that the said documents do not bear Antonio’s signature. “Time and again, this
Court has ruled that a high standard of proof is required to establish paternity and
filiation. An order for support may create an unwholesome situation or may be an
irritant to the family or the lives of the parties so that it must be issued only if paternity or
filiation is established by clear and convincing evidence.
Respondents presented the Certificate of Live Birth of Randy identifying Antonio as the
father. However, said certificate has no probative value to establish Randy’s filiation to
Antonio since the latter had not signed the same. It is settled that “[a] certificate of live
birth purportedly identifying the putative father is not competent evidence of paternity
when there is no showing that the putative father had a hand in the preparation of said
certificate.” We also cannot lend credence to Mirasol’s claim that Antonio supplied
certain information through Erlinda. Aside from Antonio’s denial in having any
participation in the preparation of the document as well as the absence of his signature
thereon, respondents did not present Erlinda to confirm that Antonio indeed supplied
certain entries in Randy’s birth certificate. Besides, the several unexplained
discrepancies in Antonio’s personal circumstances as reflected in the subject birth
certificate are manifestations of Antonio’s non-participation in its preparation. Most
important, it was Mirasol who signed as informant thereon which she confirmed on the
witness stand.
Anent Randy’s baptismal certificate, we cannot agree with the CA that the same is a
good proof of Antonio’s paternity of Randy. Just like in a birth certificate, the lack of
participation of the supposed father in the preparation of a baptismal certificate renders
this document incompetent to prove paternity. And “while a baptismal certificate may be
considered a public document, it can only serve as evidence of the administration of the
sacrament on the date specified but not the veracity of the entries with respect to the
child’s paternity. Thus, baptismal certificates are per se inadmissible in evidence as
proof of filiation and they cannot be admitted indirectly as circumstantial evidence to
prove the same.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 176
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
VALERIANA VILLONDO vs. CARMEN QUIJANO, ADRIANO ALCANTARA, and
MARCELINO EBENA
G.R. No. 173606, December 3, 2012

DOCTRINE:In giving recognition to the action of forcible entry and detainer, the purpose
of the law is to protect the person who in fact has actual possession; and in case of
controverted right, it requires the parties to preserve the status quo until one or the other
of them sees fit to invoke the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction upon the
question of ownership. It is obviously just the person who has first acquired possession
[who] should remain in possession pending this decision.

FACTS:
Plaintiff Valeriana Villondo (Valeriana) claimed that respondent Carmen Quijano
(Carmen) and her farm laborers, respondents Adriano Alcantara and Marcelino Ebena,
intruded into her land with the help of three policemen and other barangay officials. They
destroyed the plants therein, harvested the root crops, corn, and banana, built a hut,
fenced off the area, and posted a "NO TRESPASSING" sign, thus preventing Valeriana
and her family from entering the premises where they have always resided and depriving
them of their harvest alleging that they were the owners of the said land. Valeriana based
her and her family’s right of possession on Certificate of Stewardship No. 146099 in the
name of Daniel T. Villondo, which she claimed to have been awarded to her
now-deceased husband whose actual name is Daniel P. Villondo. On the other hand,
Carmen based her right of possession through her tax declarations. With this,
respondents questioned Valeriana’s legal personality to sue, contending that "Daniel T.
Villondo,"13 the named tiller in the Certificate of Stewardship No. 146099, is the real
party-in-interest and thus should be the plaintiff in the suit and not Valeriana. They
claimed that "Daniel T. Villondo" is actually Valeriana’s son Romualdo Villondo
(Romualdo), a construction worker who had never even cultivated the subject land.
Hence, the court a quo should have dismissed the complaint since it does not state a
cause of action.

ISSUE:
Whether Valeriana is a real party-in-interest in the forcible entry case she filed.

HELD:
Yes. ‘Interest’ within the meaning of the rules means material interest, an interest
in issue and to be affected by the decree as distinguished from mere interest in the
question involved, or a mere incidental interest. A real party-in-interest is one who has a
legal right. x x x The action must be brought by the person who, by substantive law,
possesses the right sought to be enforced. x x x
Section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court specifies who may be the plaintiff in an action for
forcible entry, viz:
Section 1. Who may institute proceedings, and when. - x x x a person deprived of the
possession of any land or building by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or
stealth, or a lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person against whom the possession of any
land or building is unlawfully withheld after the expiration or termination of the right to hold

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 177
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
possession, by virtue of any contract, express or implied, or the legal representatives or
assigns of any such lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person, may, at any time within one
(1) year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession, bring an action in
the proper Municipal Trial Court against the person or persons unlawfully
withholding or depriving of possession, or any person or persons claiming under
them, for the restitution of such possession, together with damages and
costs. (Emphasis supplied.)
Sans the presence of the awardee of the Certificate of Stewardship, the provision clearly
allows Valeriana to institute the action for the recovery of the physical possession of the
property against the alleged usurper. She has a right or interest to protect as she was the
one dispossessed and thus, she can file the action for forcible entry. Any judgment
rendered by the courts below in the forcible entry action will bind and definitely affect her
claim to possess the subject property. The fact that Valeriana is not the holder of the
Certificate of Stewardship is not in issue in a forcible entry case. This matter already
delves into the character of her possession. We emphasize that in ejectment suits, it does
not even matter if the party’s title to the property is questionable.
The court highlighted the principle behind ejectment proceedings:
Regardless of the actual condition of the title to the property the party in peaceable quiet
possession shall not be thrown out by a strong hand, violence or terror. Neither is the
unlawful withholding of property allowed. Courts will always uphold respect for prior
possession.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 178
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
LETICIA DIONA, represented by her Attorney-in-Fact, MARCELINA DIONA vs.
ROMEO A. BALANGUE, SONNY A. BALANGUE, REYNALDO A. BALANGUE, and
ESTEBAN A. BALANGUE, JR.
G.R. No. 173559, January 7, 2013

DOCTRINE: The great of a relief neither sought by the party in whose favor it was given
not supported by the evidence presented violates the opposing party’s right to due
process nor may be declared void ab initio in a proper proceeding.

FACTS:
Respondents obtained a loan from petitioner payable in six months and secured
by a Real Estate Mortgage over their 202-square meter property located in Marulas,
Valenzuela and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. V-12296. When the
debt became due, respondents failed to pay notwithstanding demand. Thus, petitioner
filed with the RTC a Complaint praying that he be paid. The court granted the relief
sought by the petitioner. Subsequently, petitioner filed a Motion for Execution, alleging
that respondents did not interpose a timely appeal despite receipt by their former counsel
of the RTC’s Decision. Before it could be resolved, however, respondents filed a Motion
to Set Aside Judgment claiming that not all of them were duly served with summons.
According to the other respondents, they had no knowledge of the case because their
co-respondent Sonny did not inform them about it. They prayed that the RTC’s Decision
be set aside and a new trial be conducted. But RTC ordered the issuance of a Writ of
Execution to implement its October 17, 2000 Decision. Respondents then filed a Motion
to Correct/Amend Judgment and To Set Aside Execution Sale, claiming that the parties
did not agree in writing on any rate of interest and that petitioner merely sought for a 12%
per annum interest in her Complaint. Surprisingly, the RTC awarded 5% monthly interest
(or 60% per annum). Resultantly, their indebtedness inclusive of the exorbitant interest
from March 2, 1991 to May 22, 2001 ballooned from ₱124,400.00 to ₱652,000.00.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion and
serious error of law when it granted respondents’ petition for annulment of judgment as a
substitute or alternative remedy of a lost appeal.

HELD:
No. The court ruled that it be set aside in a Petition for Annulment of Judgment
filed under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court. Annulment of judgment under Rule 47; an
exception to the final judgment rule; grounds therefor.
A Petition for Annulment of Judgment under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court is a remedy
granted only under exceptional circumstances where a party, without fault on his part, has
failed to avail of the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other
appropriate remedies. Said rule explicitly provides that it is not available as a substitute
for a remedy which was lost due to the party’s own neglect in promptly availing of the
same. "The underlying reason is traceable to the notion that annulling final judgments
goes against the grain of finality of judgment. Litigation must end and terminate sometime

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 179
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
and somewhere, and it is essential to an effective administration of justice that once a
judgment has become final, the issue or cause involved therein should be laid to rest."
While under Section 2, Rule 47 of the Rules of Court a Petition for Annulment of
Judgment may be based only on the grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction,
jurisprudence recognizes lack of due process as additional ground to annul a
judgment. In Arcelona v. Court of Appeals, this Court declared that a final and executory
judgment may still be set aside if, upon mere inspection thereof, its patent nullity can be
shown for having been issued without jurisdiction or for lack of due process of law.
We agree with respondents that the award of 5% monthly interest violated their right to
due process and, hence, the same may be set aside in a Petition for Annulment of
Judgment filed under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court.
It is settled that courts cannot grant a relief not prayed for in the pleadings or in excess of
what is being sought by the party. They cannot also grant a relief without first ascertaining
the evidence presented in support thereof. Due process considerations require that
judgments must conform to and be supported by the pleadings and evidence presented in
court. In Development Bank of the Philippines v. Teston,36 this Court expounded that:
Due process considerations justify this requirement. It is improper to enter an order which
exceeds the scope of relief sought by the pleadings, absent notice which affords the
opposing party an opportunity to be heard with respect to the proposed relief. The
fundamental purpose of the requirement that allegations of a complaint must provide the
measure of recovery is to prevent surprise to the defendant.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 180
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
MARY LOUISE R. ANDERSON vs. ENRIQUE HO
G.R. No. 172590 , January 7, 2013

DOCTRINE: The rules on forum shopping, which were precisely designed to promote
and facilitate the orderly administration of justice, should not be interpreted with such
absolute literalness as to subvert its own ultimate and legitimate objective, which is simply
to prohibit and penalize the evils of forum shopping. The subsequent filing of the
certification duly signed by the petitioner himself should thus be deemed substantial
compliance, pro hac vice.

FACTS:
Anderson filed a Complaint for Ejectment against respondent Enrique Ho (Ho)
before the (MeTC) of Quezon City. She alleged that through her mere tolerance, Ho is in
possession of her parcel of land. As she was already in need of the said property,
Anderson served upon Ho a Demand Letter to Vacate but Ho refused. Because of this,
Anderson prayed that the MeTC order Ho to vacate the propety and pay her damages.
Ho denied that his occupation of the property is through Anderson’s mere tolerance. He
claimed that he managed her affairs in the Philippines and administered her properties.
When Anderson sought his assistance in ejecting her relatives from the and in
demolishing the Church built thereon, he was able to secure a judgment from the court in
favor of Anderson.
For all these, Anderson did not pay Ho a single centavo and instead executed a written
document which states that as partial payment for Ho’s services, Anderson is authorizing
him “to make use of the property as his residence free of charge provided he vacates [it]
if there is a buyer for the lot” and “that the balance of Ho’s compensation shall consist of
10% of the proceeds of the sale of any or all of her properties
In view of this, Ho averred that he possesses the property not through mere tolerance
but as part of his compensation for services rendered to Anderson. Hence, he is entitled
to the continued possession thereof until such time that the property is sold and he is
paid.
MeTC dismissed the case for lack of cause of action. It gave much weight to the written
document executed by Anderson wherein she gave her consent for Ho to occupy the
property provided that the latter shall vacate the same if there is already a buyer for the
lot. There being no allegation that the said property already has a buyer, she could not
eject Ho therefrom.
The RTC is inclined to consider the dismissal of the complaint. The CA, on the other
hand, resolves to dismiss. Although after many extensions granted for the filing of the
petition for review by anderson’s counsel because anderson was in the USA, when the
petition was already filed, the certification against forum shopping attached thereto was
signed by him on Anderson’s behalf without any accompanying authority to do so. Thus,
dismissal of the complaint. Hence, petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Anderson’s prayer of relaxation of the rules on certification against
forum shopping should be granted and therefore giving her sufficient cause of action for
ejectment and damages against Ho.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 181
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HELD:
No. No justifiable reason exists in this case as to relax the rule on certification
against forum shopping.

The certificate of non-forum shopping has, time and again, been declared as basic,
necessary and mandatory for procedural orderliness. Non-compliance therewith or a
defect therein is generally not curable by its subsequent submission or correction
thereof.

Thus, SC denied petition. Ejectment case against Ho shall not prosper for lack of cause
of action and for failure of the Petitioner to abide by the rules as to the certification
against forum shopping, compliance of which is necessary and mandatory for procedural
orderliness.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 182
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SALVACION VILLANUEVA, TEOFILO TREDEZ, DONALD BUNDAC, DANNY
CABIGUEN, GREGORIO DELGADO, and BILLY BUNGAR vs. PALAWAN COUNCIL
FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (PSCD)
G.R. No. 178347 February 25, 2013

DOCTRINE: The writ of certiorari is an extraordinary remedy that the Court issues only
under closely defined grounds and procedures that litigants and their lawyers must
scrupulously observe.

FACTS:
The controversy in the instant case arose when PCSD issued an SEP Clearance to
Patricia Louise Mining and Development Corporation (PLMDC) for its proposed
small-scale nickel mining project to be conducted in a controlled use area in Barangay
Calategas in the Municipality of Narra, Province of Palawan.

The petitioners, who are farmers and residents of Barangay Calategas, sought the recall
of the said clearance in their letter to PCSD Chairman, Abraham Kahlil Mitra. The PCSD,
through its Executive Director, Romeo B. Dorado, denied their request for lack of basis.

On August 7, 2006, petitioners filed a Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus against
PCSD and PLMDC with the RTC of Palawan and Puerto Princesa City. They prayed for
the nullification of the said SEP Clearance for violating various provisions of RA 7611
and PCSD Resolution No. 05-250. They alleged that these provisions prohibit
small-scale nickel mining for profit in the proposed site, which, they maintain, is not even
a controlled use zone, but actually a core zone.

PLMDC and PCSD sought the dismissal of the Petition on various grounds, including the
impropriety of the remedy of certiorari. PCSD argued that it did not perform a
quasi-judicial function.

ISSUE:
Whether or notRTC has certiorari jurisdiction over PCSD because the latter is a
quasi-judicial body functioning only within the RTC’s territorial jurisdiction

HELD:
NO. The following requisites must concur for a Petition for Certiorari to prosper,
namely:
(a) The writ is directed against a tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or
quasi-judicial functions;
(b) Such tribunal, board, or officer has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; and

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 183
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
(c) There is no appeal or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course
of law.

In the case at bar, the parties submit that the public respondent PCSD is exercising a
quasi-judicial function in its issuance of the SEP clearance based on the procedure it
follows under its own AO 6 or Guidelines in the Implementation of SEP Clearance
System. This procedure includes reviewing the sufficiency and accuracy of the
documents submitted by the project proponent and conducting public hearings or
consultations with the affected community.

The Court disagrees with the parties’ reasoning and holds that PCSD did not perform a
quasi-judicial function that is reviewable by petition for certiorari. There must be an
enabling statute or legislative act conferring quasi-judicial power upon the administrative
body. RA 7611, which created the PCSD, does not confer quasi-judicial powers on the
said body.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 184
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
EFREN ALMUETE v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 179611 : March 12, 2013

DOCTRINE: Section 6,1 Rule 120 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure allows
promulgation of judgment in absentia and gives the accused a period of fifteen (15) days
from notice to him or his counsel within which to appeal; otherwise, the decision
becomes final.

FACTS:
Efren D. Almuete (petitioner), Johnny Ila (Ila) and Joel Lloren (Lloren) were charged
before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Nueva Vizcaya, Branch 27, with violation of
Section 687 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 705, otherwise known as the "Revised
Forestry Code of the Philippines," as amended by Executive Order (E.O.) No. 277,
docketed as Criminal Case No. 2672. On the scheduled date of promulgation of
judgment, petitioners counsel informed the trial court that petitioner and Lloren were ill
while Ila was not notified of the scheduled promulgation. The RTC, however, found their
absence inexcusable and proceeded to promulgate its Decision as scheduled and
finding accused guilty. The petitioner and co-accused filed a Petition for Certiorari on
Court of Appeals which granted the petition in favor of Almuete. The People of the
Philippines elevate the case to Supreme Court which reinstated RTC’s decision.
Aggrieved, the accused moved for reconsideration and repromulgation but was denied.
CA also denied their reconsideration.

ISSUE:
Whether or not CA committed grave abuse of discretion when it acquitted petitioner
Almuete in a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court

HELD:
YES. Petitioners right to appeal has prescribed. As to whether petitioner may still
appeal the RTCs September 8, 1998 Decision, we rule in the negative.

In People v. Court of Appeals, this Court reversed petitioners acquittal by the CA as it


was made with grave abuse of discretion. This Court explained that an acquittal via a
Petition for Certiorari is not allowed because "the authority to review perceived errors of
the trial court in the exercise of its judgment and discretion x x x are correctible only by
appeal by writ of error." Thus, in filing a Petition for Certiorari instead of an appeal,
petitioner availed of the wrong remedy.

The CA reviewed the trial courts assessment of the evidence on record, its findings of
facts, and its conclusions based on the said findings. The CA forthwith concluded that
the said evidence was utterly insufficient on which to anchor a judgment of conviction,
and acquitted respondent Almuete of the crime charged.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 185
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
The appellate court acted with grave abuse of its discretion when it ventured beyond the
sphere of its authority and arrogated unto itself, in the certiorari proceedings, the
authority to review perceived errors of the trial court in the exercise of its judgment and
discretion, which are correctible only by appeal by writ of error. Consequently, the
decision of the CA acquitting respondent Almuete of the crime charged is a nullity. If a
court is authorized by statute to entertain jurisdiction in a particular case only, and
undertakes to exercise the jurisdiction conferred in a case to which the statute has no
application, the judgment rendered is void. The lack of statutory authority to make a
particular judgment is akin to lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. In this case, the CA is
authorized to entertain and resolve only errors of jurisdiction and not errors of judgment.

A void judgment has no legal and binding effect, force or efficacy for any purpose. In
contemplation of law, it is non-existent. It cannot impair or create rights; nor can any right
be based on it. Thus, respondent Almuete cannot base his claim of double jeopardy on
the appellate courts decision

Clearly, petitioners right to appeal the RTCs September 8, 1998 Decision has long
prescribed. Consequently, the said Decision is no longer open to an appeal.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 186
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HEIRS OF LAZARO GALLARDO v. PORFERIO SOLIMAN
G.R. NO.178952 : April 10, 2013

DOCTRINE: The signature of only one of the petitioners in the certification against forum
shopping substantially complied with rules because all the petitioners share a common
interest and invoke a common cause of action or defense

FACTS:
Petitioners are heirs of Lazaro Gallardo (Lazaro). Lazaro and Prosperidad are the
registered owners of a 4.3699-hectare parcel of land in Balingcanaway, Tarlac, Tarlac,
covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. (TCT) 976035 (the land). The land was
placed under the coverage of Operation Land Transfer pursuant to Presidential Decree
(PD) No. 27, and respondent Porferio Soliman (Porferio) was instituted as a qualified
farmer tenant-transferee thereof. On June 2, 1995, petitioners filed a Complaint for
collection of land amortizations, dispossession, ejectment, and cancellation of Deed of
Transfer and Emancipation Patent against respondent Porferio before the Office of the
Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD), Diwa ng Tarlak, Tarlac City. The case
was docketed as DARAB Case No. 898-T 95.

PARAD directed Porferio, Vivian and Antonio to pay petitioners a total of about 478.24
cavans of palay, P25,000.00 moral and exemplary damages, P15,000.00 attorney's
fees, and costs. DARAB also upheld the ruling with modifications. The Court of Appeals
dismissing petitioners' Petition for Review on the ground that the verification and
certification against forum shopping was signed by only four of the six petitioners.
Petitioners Mario Lazaro P. Gallardo and Lazaro P. Gallardo, Jr. did not sign, and no
special power of attorney to sign in their favor accompanied the Petition. The CA held
that the certification against forum shopping must be executed and signed by all of the
petitioners, or else it is insufficient.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the signing of the Verification and Certification of Non-Forum
Shopping by only 4 of the 6 petitioners is insufficient to meet the requirements of the rule

HELD:
YES. The general rule is that the certificate of non-forum shopping must be signed
by all the plaintiffs in a case and the signature of only one of them is insufficient.
However, the Court has also stressed that the rules on forum shopping were designed to
promote and facilitate the orderly administration of justice and thus should not be
interpreted with such absolute literalness as to subvert its own ultimate and legitimate
objective. The rule of substantial compliance may be availed of with respect to the
contents of the certification. This is because the requirement of strict compliance with the
provisions regarding the certification of non-forum shopping merely underscores its
mandatory nature in that the certification cannot be altogether dispensed with or its

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 187
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
requirements completely disregarded. Thus, under justifiable circumstances, the Court
has relaxed the rule requiring the submission of such certification considering that
although it is obligatory, it is not jurisdictional.

In HLC Construction and Development Corporation v. Emily Homes Subdivision


Homeowners Association, it was held that the signature of only one of the petitioners in
the certification against forum shopping substantially complied with rules because all the
petitioners share a common interest and invoke a common cause of action or defense.
The same leniency was applied by the Court in Cavile v. Heirs of Cavile, because the
lone petitioner who executed the certification of non-forum shopping was a relative and
co-owner of the other petitioners with whom he shares a common interest.

Furthermore, we have consistently held that verification of a pleading is a formal, not a


jurisdictional, requirement intended to secure the assurance that the matters alleged in a
pleading are true and correct. Thus, the court may simply order the correction of
unverified pleadings or act on them and waive strict compliance with the rules. It is
deemed substantially complied with when one who has ample knowledge to swear to the
truth of the allegations in the complaint or petition signs the verification; and when
matters alleged in the petition have been made in good faith or are true and correct.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 188
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
BOARDWALK BUSINESS VENTURES, INC. v. ELVIRA A. VILLAREAL
G.R. No. 181182 : April 10, 2013

DOCTRINE: The right to appeal is neither a natural right nor is it a component of due
process. It is a mere statutory privilege, and may be exercised only in the manner and in
accordance with the provisions of law

FACTS:
The case stemmed on Boardwalk filing a Complaint for Replevin against Villareal.
MeTC rendered decision favoring Boardwalk. RTC granted the appeal filed by Villareal.
Boardwalk filed Motion for Reconsideration but was denied. It filed with RTC Manila a
Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review and paid the docket and other
legal fees thereto. Boardwalk also filed its Notice of Appeal with RTC. Court of Appeals
dismissed outright the petition holding that Boardwalk erred in filing its Motion for
Extension and payment of fees with the RTC. It should have done so with the CA as
required by the Rules.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Boardwalk properly filed its appeal

HELD:
NO. Petitioner's case is not unique, and there is no compelling reason to accord it
the privilege it now seeks. The right to appeal is neither a natural right nor is it a
component of due process. It is a mere statutory privilege, and may be exercised only in
the manner and in accordance with the provisions of law." This being so, x x x an
appealing party must strictly comply with the requisites laid down in the Rules of Court.
Deviations from the Rules cannot be tolerated. The rationale for this strict attitude is not
difficult to appreciate as the Rules are designed to facilitate the orderly disposition of
appealed cases. In an age where courts are bedeviled by clogged dockets, the Rules
need to be followed by appellants with greater fidelity. Their observance cannot be left to
the whims and caprices of appellants. Petitioner must comply with the following
requirements laid down in Rule 42 of the Rules of Court. However, records show that
petitioner failed to comply with the foregoing rules.

Concededly, this Court in several cases exercised leniency and relaxed the Rules.
However, in this case, petitioner committed multiple violations of the Rules which should
sufficiently militate against its plea for leniency. As will be shown below, petitioner failed
to perfect its appeal by not filing the Petition within the reglementary period and paying
the docket and other lawful fees before the proper court. These requirements are
mandatory and jurisdictional

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 189
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
DARMA MASLAG v. AND ELIZABETH MONZON, WILLIAM GESTON, REGISTRY OF
DEEDS OF BENGUET
G.R. No. 174908, June 17, 2013

DOCTRINE: It is incumbent upon x x x appellants to utilize the correct mode of appeal of


the decisions of trial courts to the appellate courts. In the mistaken choice of their
remedy, they can blame no one but themselves

FACTS:
In 1998, petitioner filed a Complaint for reconveyance of real property with
declaration of nullity of original certificate of title (OCT) against respondents Elizabeth
Monzon (Monzon), William Geston and the Registry of Deeds of La Trinidad, Benguet.
The Complaint was filed before the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of La Trinidad, Benguet.
After trial, the MTC found respondent Monzon guilty of fraud in obtaining an OCT.
Respondents appealed to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of La Trinidad, Benguet which
reversed the ruling of MTC. Petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal. Respondents moved to
dismiss petitioner’s ordinary appeal for being the improper remedy. They asserted that
the proper mode of appeal is a Petition for Review under Rule 42 because the RTC
rendered it in its appellate jurisdiction. Court of Appeals dismissed the case for improper
remedy.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals was correct in dismissing the appeal filed by
the Petitoner

HELD:
YES. Section 2, Rule 50 of the Rules of Court provides for the dismissal of an
improper appeal:

SECTION 2.Dismissal of improper appeal to the Court of Appeals. – An appeal under


Rule 41 taken from the Regional Trial Court to the Court of Appeals raising only
questions of law shall be dismissed, issues purely of law not being reviewable by said
court. Similarly, an appeal by notice of appeal instead of by petition for review from the
appellate judgment of a Regional Trial Court shall be dismissed.

An appeal erroneously taken to the Court of Appeals shall not be transferred to the
appropriate court but shall be dismissed outright.

There are two modes of appealing an RTC decision or resolution on issues of fact and
law. The first mode is an ordinary appeal under Rule 41 in cases where the RTC
exercised its original jurisdiction. It is done by filing a Notice of Appeal with the RTC. The
second mode is a petition for review under Rule 42 in cases where the RTC exercised its

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 190
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
appellate jurisdiction over MTC decisions. It is done by filing a Petition for Review with
the CA. Simply put, the distinction between these two modes of appeal lies in the type of
jurisdiction exercised by the RTC in the Order or Decision being appealed.

The MTC has original and exclusive jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case;
hence, there is no other way the RTC could have taken cognizance of the case and
review the court a quo’s Judgment except in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction. It
cannot be overemphasized that jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred only by
law and it is "not within the courts, let alone the parties, to themselves determine or
coveniently set aside." Neither would the active participation of the parties nor estoppel
operate to confer original and exclusive jurisdiction where the court or tribunal only
wields appellate jurisdiction over the case. Thus, the CA is correct in holding that the
proper mode of appeal should have been a Petition for Review under Rule 42 of the
Rules of Court, and not an ordinary appeal under Rule 41.

Was it rendered by the RTC in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, or in the exercise of
its appellate jurisdiction? In short, we look at what type of jurisdiction was actually
exercised by the RTC. We do not look into what type of jurisdiction the RTC should have
exercised. This is but logical. Inquiring into what the RTC should have done in disposing
of the case is a question which already involves the merits of the appeal, but we
obviously cannot go into that where the mode of appeal was improper to begin with.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 191
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
TERESA C. AGUILAR, CESAR D. RAAGAS, VILLAMOR VILLEGAS, and THE REGISTER
OF DEEDS FOR THE CITY OF MAKATIvs. MICHAEL J. O'PALLICK
G.R. No. 182280, July 29, 2013

Doctrine: "The principle that a person cannot be prejudiced by a ruling rendered in an action or
proceeding in which he was not made a party conforms to the constitutional guarantee of due
process of law."

Facts:
O’Pallick (respondent) was the assignee of Poblete and Villanueva in a Contract to Sell for the
purchase of the Makati Prime Citadel Condominium in Makati (unit) between the latter and
Primetown Property Group, Inc. (PPGI). After respondent paid the full purchase price of the unit,
PPGI issued a deed of sale in his favor but said deed of sale was not registered or annotated in
the title. Meanwhile, Aguilar (petitioner) was able to obtain a final and executory decision in her
favor against PPGI before the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), and, as a
result, several properties of PPGI including the unit were levied. A Notice of sale was posted by
the sheriff which was also published. But before the scheduled auction sale, respondent filed
and affidavit of third party claim. When the auction sale was completed, petitioner was declared
the highest bidder and was issued a certificate of sale. Respondent filed a case for quieting of
title and to set aside the levy on execution of the subject unit, to annul the certificate of sale
issued in favor of Aguilar, as well as to recover the unit.

Issue:
Whether or not respondent is bound by the decision of the HLURB and the subsequent
auction sale.

HELD:
No, respondent is not bound by the decision of the HLURB.
"The principle that a person cannot be prejudiced by a ruling rendered in an action or proceeding
in which he was not made a party conforms to the constitutional guarantee of due process of
law." Thus, we agree with the CA’s pronouncement that since respondent was not impleaded in
the HLURB case, he could not be bound by the decision rendered therein. Because he was not
impleaded in said case; he was not given the opportunity to present his case therein. But, more
than the fact that O’Pallick was not impleaded in the HLURB case, he had the right to vindicate
his claim in a separate action, as in this case. As a prior purchaser of the very same
condominium unit, he had the right to be heard on his claim.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 192
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
CAROLINA B. JOSE vs. PURITA SUAREZ
G.R. No. 176111, July 17, 2013

Doctrine: When a trial court is confronted to rule on "a motion to dismiss a case or to withdraw
an Information", it is its "bounden duty to assess independently the merits of the motion, and this
assessment must be embodied in a written order disposing of the motion."

Facts:
Jose (petitioner) filed two complaints against Suarez (respondent) for estafa. In a joint resolution,
the city prosecutor found probable cause to indict respondent for estafa and, as a result, the
corresponding information was filed against her. Respondent filed a petition for review before
the Department of Justice (DOJ) to which the latter resolved to reverse the findings of the city
prosecutor finding that there was in fact, no probable cause to indict respondent for estafa.
Pursuant to the DOJ’s directive, the city prosecutor moved for the withdrawal of the information
before the Regional Trial Court (RTC). The RTC, however, denied the motion and ruled in this
wise:
“Acting on the Motion to Resolve "Motion to Withdraw Information" dated July 13, 2005, and
finding it to be unmeritorious, the Court resolves to deny the motion.
SO ORDERED.”
A motion for reconsideration was filed by respondent but the same was likewise denied.

Issue:
Whether or not the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied the motion to
withdraw the information without making an independent evaluation of the merits of the case as
to whether there was probable cause or not.

HELD:
Yes, there was grave abuse of discretion.
When a trial court is confronted to rule on "a motion to dismiss a case or to withdraw an
Information", it is its "bounden duty to assess independently the merits of the motion, and this
assessment must be embodied in a written order disposing of the motion." The RTC simply
declared that it was denying the motion for being "unmeritorious," without further elaborating on
the bases of its conclusion. Moreover, there is nary any reference made to the findings of the
DOJ. Likewise, in itsdenial of respondent’s Motion for Reconsideration, the RTC merely stated
that the 5% interest is a matter of defense. There was never any discussion as to how it reached
such conclusion, or how the DOJ findings impacted on its ruling. And instead of confronting the
reasons stated in the motion for the withdrawal of the Information, the RTC digressed and
focused solely on what constitutes estafa involving bouncing checks.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 193
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HEIRS OF NUMERIANO MIRANDA, SR., namely: CIRILA (deceased), CORNELIO,
NUMERIANO, JR., ERLINDA, LOLITA, RUFINA, DANILO, ALEJANDRO, FELIMON,
TERESITA, ELIZABETH and ANALIZA, all surnamed MIRANDA, Petitioners, vs. PABLO
R. MIRANDA, Respondent.
G.R. No. 179638, July 8, 2013

Doctrines:While filing a pleading by private courier is not prohibited by the Rules, "the date of
delivery of pleadings to a private letter-forwarding agency is not to be considered as the date of
filing thereof in court;" instead, "the date of actual receipt by the court is deemed the date of filing
of that pleading."
An action for revival of a judgment cannot modify, alter, or reverse the original judgment, which
is already final and executory.

Facts:
In a case filed by the Heirs of Numeriano Miranda Sr. (petitioners) against the heirs of Pedro
Miranda, among whom Pablo Miranda (respondent) was a part of, the Regional Trial Court
ruled, among others, that some of the petitioners were to vacate the premises of a certain
property and pay the respondent monthly rentals. Petitioners did not file an appeal and the same
became final and executory. More than 5 years later, respondent filed an Ex-parte motion
praying that the RTC issue a Break-Open and Demolition Order" in order to compel the
petitioners to vacate his property but since more than five years have elapsed from the time the
Writ of Execution should have been enforced, the RTC denied the Motion. This prompted
respondent to file with the RTC a Petition for Revival of Judgment. On June 20, 2006 the RTC
rendered its decision granting the Petition. On July 13, 2006, the petitioners filed a notice of
appeal via LBC.

Issues:
Whether or not the appeal was filed out of time.
Whether or not an appeal on the Petition for revival of Judgment can modify, alter or reverse
the original judgment.

HELD:
Yes, the appeal was filed out of time.
It is basic and elementary that a Notice of Appeal should be filed "within fifteen (15) days from
notice of the judgment or final order appealed from." Under Section 3, In this case, however, the
counsel for petitioners filed the Notice of Appeal via a private courier, a mode of filing not
provided in the Rules. Though not prohibited by the Rules, we cannot consider the filing of
petitioners’ Notice of Appeal via LBC timely filed. It is established jurisprudence that "the date of
delivery of pleadings to a private letter-forwarding agency is not to be considered as the date of
filing thereof in court;" instead, "the date of actual receipt by the court x x x is deemed the date of
filing of that pleading."Rule 13 of the Rules of Court, pleadings may be filed in court either
personally or by registered mail. In the first case, the date of filing is the date of receipt. In the
second case, the date of mailing is the date of receipt.
No, a petition for revival of judgement cannot modify, alter or reverse the original judgment.
An action for revival of judgment is a new and independent action.It is different and distinct from
the original judgment sought to be revived or enforced. As such, a party aggrieved by a decision

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 194
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
of a court in an action for revival of judgment may appeal the decision, but only insofar as the
merits of the action for revival is concerned. The original judgment, which is already final and
executory, may no longer be reversed, altered, or modified.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 195
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. JOEMARIE JALBONIAN alias "Budo"
G.R. No. 180281, July 01, 2013

Doctrine: "Well-settled is the rule that the testimony of a lone prosecution witness, as long as it
is credible and positive, can prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt."

Facts:
Jalbonian (Accused) was charged of the crime of murder for causing the death of Fortunato
Quintanilla through stabbing with a bladed weapon. Accused was apprehended only after more
than 5 years of hiding and was subsequently arraigned and entered the plea of not guilty. During
the trial, the lone witness of the prosecution was Barangay Chairman Oscar Valenciano
(Valenciano) who testified that at around noon of the day of the crime, he saw accused position
himself behind the deceased and subsequently proceeded to stab the latter at the back.
According to his testimony, Valenciano was merely about three arms-length away from the
accused when he saw the incident. Further, immediately after the stabbing incident, Valenciano
ordered Julio Gaston, who was a member of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit
(CAFGU), to chase the accused but the latter eluded arrest. The Regional Trial Court (RTC)
convicted the accused for the crime of murder. The accused appealed the decision assailing the
credibility of Valenciano and contending that the RTC erred in relying on the latter’s testimony
which was incredible and insufficient to prove his guilt.

Issue:
Whether or not the RTC erred in convicting the accused by relying only on the testimony of
Valenciano.

HELD:
No, the RTC did no err in convicting the accused based on Valenciano’s testimony alone.
We are convinced that it was appellant who killed the victim. Valenciano clearly narrated the
details of the stabbing incident and positively identified appellant as the assailant. In a simple,
spontaneous, and straightforward manner. The witness pointed to the person who stood up[,]
and when asked[,] identified himself as Joemarie Jalbonian y Mellendez. Also, the fact that
Valenciano was just a few meters away from the victim and that the crime was committed in
broad daylight bolster Valenciano’s identification of appellant as the assailant.
Likewise untenable is appellant’s contention that Valenciano’s testimony cannot be relied upon
since it was not corroborated by other witnesses to the crime. Finding of guilt based on the
testimony of a lone witness is not uncommon. "For although the number of witnesses may be
considered a factor in the appreciation of evidence, preponderance is not necessarily with the
greatest number and conviction can still be had on the basis of the credible and positive
testimony of a single witness. Corroborative evidence is deemed necessary ‘only when there
are reasons to warrant the suspicion that the witness falsified the truth or that his observation
had been inaccurate.’"

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 196
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SPOUSES CLEMENCIO C. SABITSANA, JR. and MA. ROSARIO M. SABITSANA vs.
JUANITO F. MUERTEGUI, represented by his Attorney-in-Fact DOMINGO A.
MUERTEGUI, JR.
G.R. No. 181359, August 5, 2013

Doctrines:An action for quieting of title may be instituted in the RTCs, regardless of the
assessed value of the real property in dispute.
Act 3344 is the law that is applicable over unregistered sale of real estate not Art. 1544 of the
Civil Code.

Facts:
On September 2, 1981, Alberto Garcia (Garcia) executed an unnotarized Deed of Sale in favor
of Juanito Muertegui (respondent) over an unregistered parcel of land. The respondent’s father
and brother took actual possession over the lot and started planting coconut and ipil-ipil trees.
They also paid real property taxes over the said parcel of land. On October 17, 1991, Garcia
sold the same parcel of land to the family lawyer of the Muertegui, Atty. Clemencio Sabastina
(petitioiners) through a notarized Deed of Absolute Sale. The sale was also registered with the
register of deeds and a new title was issued in favor of petitioner. When the father of respondent
passed away, his heirs applied for registration and coverage under the Public Land Act.
Petitioner opposed the application for registration through a letter addressed to the DENR
claiming that he was the true owner of the lot. He further asked that the application be held in
abeyance until the issue of ownership is resolved. Respondents then filed a case for quieting of
title with preliminary injunction against petitioner and his wife before the Regional Trial Court
(RTC).

Issues:
Whether or not it was the RTC who had jurisdiction over the case considering that the
assessed value of the land was merely P 1,230.00.
Whether or not the applicable law in this case is Article 1544 of the Civil Code which gives the
petitioners the better right to the lot.

HELD:
Yes, it is the RTC who has jurisdiction over the case.
On the question of jurisdiction, it is clear under the Rules that an action for quieting of title may be
instituted in the RTCs, regardless of the assessed value of the real property in dispute. Under
Rule 63 of the Rules of Court, an action to quiet title to real property or remove clouds therefrom
may be brought in the appropriate RTC. It must be remembered that the suit for quieting of title
was prompted by petitioners’ letter-opposition to respondent’s application for registration. Thus,
in order to preventa cloud from being cast upon his application for a title, respondent filed the
case to obtain a declaration of his rights. In this sense, the action is one for declaratory relief,
which properly falls within the jurisdiction of the RTC pursuant to Rule 63 of the Rules.
No, the applicable law is not Article 1544 of the Civil Code.
What applies in this case is Act No. 3344,as amended, which provides for the system of
recording of transactions over unregistered real estate. Act No. 3344 expressly declares that
any registration made shall be without prejudice to a third party with a better right. The sale to
respondent Juanito was executed on September 2, 1981 via an unnotarized deed of sale, while

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 197
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
the sale to petitioners was made via a notarized document only on October 17, 1991, or ten
years thereafter. Thus, Juanito who was the first buyer has a better right to the lot, while the
subsequent sale to petitioners is null and void, because when it was made, the seller Garcia was
no longer the owner of the lot. Nemo dat quod non habet.
The fact that the sale to Juanito was not notarized does not alter anything, since the sale
between him and Garcia remains valid nonetheless. Notarization, or the requirement of a public
document under the Civil Code,is only for convenience, and not for validity or enforceability.And
because it remained valid as between Juanito and Garcia, the latter no longer had the right to
sell the lot to petitioners, for his ownership thereof had ceased.
Nor can petitioners’ registration of their purchase have any effect on Juanito’s rights. The mere
registration of a sale in one’s favor does not give him any right over the land if the vendor was no
longer the owner of the land, having previously sold the same to another even if the earlier sale
was unrecorded. Neither could it validate the purchase thereof by petitioners, which is null and
void. Registration does not vest title; it is merely the evidence of such title. Our land registration
laws do not give the holder any better title than what he actually has.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 198
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK vs. MARY SHEILA ARCOBILLAS
G.R. No. 179648, August 7, 2013

Doctrines:The filing of a Motion for Reconsideration is not a mere technicality of procedure. It is


a jurisdictional and mandatory requirement which must be strictly complied with.
Gross neglect of duty "denotes a flagrant and culpable refusal or unwillingness of a person to
perform a duty." It "refers to negligence characterized by the want of even slight care, acting or
omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to act, not inadvertently but willfully and
intentionally, with a conscious indifference to consequences insofar as other persons may be
affected.

Facts:
Mary Sheila Arcobillas (respondent), a bank teller, inadvertently misposted the amount of US$
5,517.00 to the account of Avelina Nomad-Spoor instead of the amount of P5, 517.00 thereby
causing damage to her employer Philippine National Bank (petitioner) the amount of P214,
641.23. After investigation, respondent was administratively charged with neglect of duty and
was subsequently found by respondent’s Administrative Adjudication Panel guilty of gross
neglect of duty resulting in her forced resignation with benefits. Respondent filed a case of illegal
dismissal before the Labor Arbiter (LA) who found that there was no sufficient evidence to hold
respondent of gross and habitual negligence of duty. Petitioner appealed to the National Labor
Relations Commission (NLRC) who subsequently affirmed the decision of the LA. Without filing
a motion for reconsideration, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals
(CA).

Issues:
Whether or not the CA can give due course to the petition for certiorari even without the filing
of the motion for reconsideration before the lower tribunal/quasi-judicial body.
Whether or not respondent is guilty of gross and habitual negligence of duty.

HELD:
No, the CA cannot give due course to the petition for certiorari without the filing of the
motion for reconsideration before the lower tribunal/quasi-judicial body.
PNB’s failure to file a Motion for Reconsideration with the NLRC before filing its Petition for
Certiorari before the CA is a fatal infirmity. it is a well-established rule that "a [M]otion for
[R]econsideration is an indispensable condition before an aggrieved party can resort to the
special civil action for certiorari x x x. The rationale for the rule is that the law intends to afford the
NLRC an opportunity to rectify such errors or mistakes it may have committed before resort to
courts of justice can be had. Of course, the rule is not absolute and jurisprudence has laid down
exceptions when the filing of a [P]etition for [C]ertiorari is proper notwithstanding the failure to file
a [M]otion for [R]econsideration,"such as "(a) where the order is a patent nullity, as where the
court a quo has no jurisdiction; (b) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceedings have
been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised and
passed upon in the lower court; (c) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the
question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the
petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable; (d) where, under the circumstances, a
[M]otion for [R]econsideration would be useless; (e) where petitioner was deprived of due

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 199
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
process and there is extreme urgency for relief; (f) where, in a criminal case, relief from an order
of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relied by the trial court is improbable; (g) where the
proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; (h) where the proceeding was
ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and, (i) where the issue raised is
one purely of law or where public interest is involved." Here, PNB did not at all allege to which of
the above-mentioned exceptions this case falls. Neither did it present any plausible justification
for dispensing with the requirement of a prior Motion for Reconsideration before the NLRC. It
bears to stress that the filing of a Motion for Reconsideration is not a mere technicality of
procedure. It is a jurisdictional and mandatory requirement which must be strictly complied with.
No, respondent is not guilty of gross and habitual neglect of duty.
To warrant removal from service, the negligence should be gross and habitual.Although it was
her second time to commit misposting (i.e., the first misposting was in 1995 while the second
misposting was committed in 1998), Arcobillas’s act cannot be considered as gross as to
warrant her termination from employment. Gross neglect of duty "denotes a flagrant and
culpable refusal or unwillingness of a person to perform a duty." It "refers to negligence
characterized by the want of even slight care, acting or omitting to act in a situation where there
is a duty to act, not inadvertently but willfully and intentionally, with a conscious indifference to
consequences insofar as other persons may be affected."As aptly held by the labor tribunals,
the misposting was not deliberately done as to constitute as gross negligence. Rather, it was a
case of simple neglect brought about by carelessness which, as satisfactorily explained by
Arcobillas, was the effect of her heavy workload that day and the headache she was
experiencing.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 200
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
VIRGINIA M. VENZON vs. RURAL BANK OF BUENAVISTA (AGUSAN DEL NORTE), INC.,
represented by LOURDESITA E. PARAJES
G.R. No. 178031, August 28, 2013

Doctrine:

Facts:
Virginia Venzon (petitioner) obtained a loan from Rural Bank of Buenavista (respondent)
which was secured by a real estate mortgage. According to petitioner, when she offered to pay
the balance of the loan, respondent shoved her out of the premises of the bank resulting in the
former’s failure to pay the balance of the loan. Subsequently, respondent foreclosed the
mortgage and the property was sold to the latter as the highest bidder. 18 years after the
foreclosure sale, petitioner filed a petition to nullify the foreclosure proceedings on the ground
that the same is void for lack of notice and publication of the sale. The Regional Trial Court
(RTC) ruled against petitioner stating among others that under the Rural Bank Act as amended,
the foreclosure of mortgages covering loans granted by rural banks and executions of
judgments thereon involving real properties levied upon by a sheriff shall be exempt from
publication where the total amount of the loan, including interests due and unpaid, does not
exceed ₱10,000.00. Since petitioner’s outstanding obligation amounted to just over ₱6,000.00
publication was not necessary. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was denied.
Petitioner then filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals (CA) who dismissed the
same stating that the petition for certiorari is not the proper remedy.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioner’s petition for certiorari is the proper remedy given the factual
circumstance.

HELD:
No, the petition for certiorari is an improper remedy.
The Court finds no error in the CA’s treatment of the Petition for Certiorari. The trial court’s July
13, 2006 Resolution dismissing the case was indeed to be treated as a final order, disposing of
the issue of publication and notice of the foreclosure sale – which is the very core of petitioner’s
cause of action in Civil Case No. 5535 – and declaring the same to be unnecessary pursuant to
the Rural Banks Act, as petitioner’s outstanding obligation did not exceed ₱10,000.00, and thus
leaving petitioner without basis to maintain her case. This constitutes a dismissal with the
character of finality. As such, petitioner should have availed of the remedy under Rule 41, and
not Rule 65.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SPOUSES CARMELITO AND ANTONIA ALDOVER vs.THE COURT OF APPEALS,
SUSANA AHORRO, et al.
G.R. No. 167174, September 23, 2013

Doctrine:A Petition for Certiorari is not the proper remedy to review the intrinsic correctness of
the public respondent’s ruling. It is settled that as long as a court or quasi-judicial body acts
within its jurisdiction, any alleged errors committed in the exercise of its jurisdiction will amount to
nothing more than errors of judgment which are not reviewable in a special civil action
of certiorari.

Facts:
The Reyeses were the registered owners of a parcel of land. On August 12, 1999, the
Reyeses obtained a loan from Antonia Aldover (petitioners) secured by a real estate
mortgage on the parcel of land. The Reyeses failed to pay their loan and the petitioners
caused the extrajudicial foreclosure of the lot where the latter emerged as the winning
bidder. Subsequently, a Certificate of Sale was issued in favor of petitioner. Thereafter,
petitioners filed a verified petition for the issuance of a Writ of Possession before the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 71. Despite the Reyeses’ opposition to the petition,
RTC Branch 71 issued the Writ of Possession and ordered its sheriff to place the
petitioner in possession of the land. The sheriff, however, failed to do the same as there
were several persons who occupy portions of the land claiming to be the owners
thereof (private respondents). Private respondents filed a Complaint for Declaration of
Documents and Title, Reconveyance and Damages with Prayer for Temporary Restraining
Order and/or Preliminary Injunction against the petitioners stating, among others, in said
complaint that the respondents have been residing in the subject land since the 1960’s by virtue
of a lease with the Reyeses. They further allege that their possession became in the concept of
an owner when the Reyeses sold parts of the land to them. Finally they claim that the mortgage
was fictitious since during the time of the execution of the same, the Reyeses were no longer the
owners of the property; hence, the mortgage and the foreclosure were void. RTC Branch 268
denied the prayer for TRO. This was followed by an Order granting respondents’ Motion to
Admit and admitting respondents’ Amended Complaint where they withdrew their ancillary
prayer for injunctive relief. Meanwhile, RTC Branch 71 granted petitioners’ Motion for Special
Order of Demolition. The respondents filed a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition, Injunction with
prayer for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and/or Writ of Preliminary
Injunction against the petitioners before the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA ultimately resolved
the petition in favor of the respondents. Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was
denied; thus, they filed a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court (SC).

Issue:
Whether or not a petition for certiorari may lie against the CA for issuing a Writ of Preliminary
Injunction considering that petitioner was the buyer of the subject land in a foreclosure sale and
therefore has the right to possess the same.

HELD:
No.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
A Petition for Certiorari is not the proper remedy to review the intrinsic correctness of the public
respondent’s ruling. It is settled that as long as a court or quasi-judicial body acts within its
jurisdiction, any alleged errors committed in the exercise of its jurisdiction will amount to nothing
more than errors of judgment which are not reviewable in a special civil action of certiorari. Thus,
whether the CA committed errors in proceedings, misappreciated the facts, or misapplied the
law is beyond our power of review in this Petition for Certiorari for it cannot be used for any
purpose except to limit the action of the respondent court within the bounds of its jurisdiction.
It should also be noted that to justify the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction, the following
must be present (1) that they have a clear and unmistakable right to be protected, that is a
right in esse; (2) there is a material and substantial invasion of such right; (3) there is an urgent
need for the writ to prevent irreparable injury to the applicants; and, (4) there is no other ordinary,
speedy, and adequate remedy to prevent the infliction of irreparable injury.
In the instant case even though petitioners were indeed the purchasers of the subject land in the
foreclosure sale, Sec.33 of Rule 39 provides thus:
“xxx Upon the expiration of the right of redemption, the purchaser or redemptioner shall be
substituted to and acquire all the rights, title, interest and claim of the judgment obligor to the
property as of the time of the levy. The possession of the property shall be given to the
purchaser or last redemptioner by the same officer unless a third party is actually holding the
property adversely to the judgment obligor.”
Considering the foregoing and the fact that respondents properly alleged that they were the
owners of the subject property, the CA cannot be said to have acted apriciously, whimsically,
arbitrarily or despotically in issuing a Writ of Preliminary Injunction.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
GREGORIO SINGIAN, JR. vs. SANDIGANBAYAN (3RD DIVISION), THE PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, and THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSIONON GOOD GOVERNMENT
G.R. Nos.195011-19, September 30, 2013

Doctrine:The grant or denial of a Demurrer to Evidence is left to the sound discretion of the
court, and its ruling on the matter shall not be disturbed in the absence of a grave abuse of such
discretion.

Facts:
Gregorio Singian, Jr. (Petitioner), the Executive Vice-President of Integrated Shoe, Inc. (ISI),
is one of the many accused in a case for violation of Section 3(g) of RA 3019 (The Anti-graft and
Corrupt Practices Act) due to the purported granting of behest loans by the government’s
Philippine National Bank (PNB) to ISI. During the trial for the case of petitioner, the prosecution
called to the stand 9 witnesses as well as presented 8 documentary evidence. After the
prosecution rested its case, petitioner, with prior leave, filed a Demurrer to Evidence anchored
on the following grounds: 1) lack of proof of conspiracy with any PNB official; (2) the contracts
with PNB contained provisions that are beneficial, and not manifestly and grossly
disadvantageous, to the government; (3)the loans could not be characterized as behest loans
because they were secured by sufficient collaterals and ISI increased its capitalization; and (4)
assuming the loans are behest loans, petitioner could not be held liable for lack of any
participation. The Sandiganbayan denied petitioner’s demurrer to evidence. Petitioner’s Motion
for Reconsideration having been denied, the latter filed a petition for certiorari before the
Supreme Court (SC).

Issue:
Whether or not the SC can disturb the decision of a lower court with regard to a demurrer to
evidence through a petition for certiorari.

HELD;
No, the SC cannot disturb the decision of a lower court with regard to a demurrer to
evidence through a petition for certiorari.
"A demurrer to the evidence is an objection by one of the parties in an action, to the effect that
the evidence which his adversary produced is in sufficient in point of law, whether true or not, to
make out a case or sustain the issue. The party demurring challenges the sufficiency of the
whole evidence to sustain a verdict. The court, in passing upon the sufficiency of the evidence
raised in a demurrer, is merely required to ascertain whether there is competent or sufficient
evidence to sustain the indictment or to support a verdict of guilt."
"Sufficient evidence for purposes of frustrating a demurrer thereto is such evidence in character,
weight or amount as will legally justify the judicial or official action demanded according to the
circumstances. To be considered sufficient therefore, the evidence must prove: (a) the
commission of the crime, and (b) the precise degree of participation therein by the accused."
"The resolution of a demurrer to evidence should be left to the exercise of sound judicial
discretion. A lower court’s order of denial shall not be disturbed, that is, the appellate courts will
not review the prosecution’s evidence and precipitately decide whether such evidence has
established the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt, unless accused has

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
established that such judicial discretion has been gravely abused, there by amounting to a lack
or excess of jurisdiction. Mere allegations of such abuse will not suffice."
In this case, petitioner miserably failed to present an iota of evidence to show that the
Sandiganbayan abused, much more, gravely abused, its discretion in denying petitioner’s
Demurrer to Evidence. We agree with the PCGG’s observation that the Sandiganbayan arrived
at its conclusion after a careful and deliberate examination and assessment of all the evidence
submitted. A closer scrutiny of the assailed Resolutions would indeed show that the
Sandiganbayan meticulously discussed both testimonial and documentary evidence presented
by the prosecution.It was only after a careful analysis of the facts and evidence presented did
the respondent court lay down its find

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
MANOLITO DE LEON and LOURDES E. DE LEON vs. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE
ISLANDS
G.R. No. 184565, November 20, 2013

DOCTRINE:The party who alleges a fact has the burden of proving it.

In civil cases, the burden of proof rests upon the plaintiff, who is required to establish his
case by a preponderance of evidence. Once the plaintiff has established his case, the
burden of evidence shifts to the defendant, who, in turn, has the burden to establish his
defense.

FACTS:
Petitioner-spouses Manolito and Lourdes de Leon executed a Promissory Note
binding themselves to pay Nissan Gallery Ortigas the amount of P458,784.00 in 36
monthly installments of P12,744.00, with a late payment charge of five percent (5%) per
month. To secure the obligation under the Promissory Note, they constituted a Chattel
Mortgage over a 1995 Nissan Sentra 1300. On the same day, Nissan Gallery Ortigas,
with notice to petitioner-spouses, executed a Deed of Assignment of its rights and
interests under the Promissory Note with Chattel Mortgage in favor of Citytrust Banking
Corporation. Citytrust was then merged with and absorbed by respondent Bank of the
Philippine Islands.
When petitioner-spouses failed to pay their monthly amortizations, BPI, thru counsel,
sent them a demand letter. Afterwhich, BPI filed before the Metropolitan Trial Court
(MeTC) of Manila a Complaint for Replevin and Damage against petitioner-spouses.
Petitioner-spouses, in their Answer, averred that the case should be dismissed for
failure of respondent BPI to prosecute the case pursuant to Section 3 of Rule 17 of the
Rules of Court because the mortgaged vehicle was stolen while the insurance policy was
still in force. They averred that BPI should have collected the insurance proceeds and
applied the same to the remaining obligation.
Petitioner-spouses offered as evidence the Alarm Sheet issued by the PNP, the
Sinumpaang Salaysay executed by Reynaldo Llanos and the testimonies of Ultu and
petitioner Manolito.
MeTC ruled in favor of BPI and declared petitioner-spouses liable to pay their
remaining obligation for failure to notify Citytrust or BPI of the alleged theft of the
mortgaged vehicle and to submit proof thereof. RTC reversed the MeTC Decision. CA
reversed and set aside the RTC Order and reinstated the MeTC Decision.

ISSUE:
Who has the burden of proving that the mortgaged vehicle was stolen and that
Citytrust received notice and proof of loss of the mortgaged vehicle.

HELD:
The party who alleges a fact has the burden of proving it. Section 1, Rule 131 of the
Rules of Court defines "burden of proof" as "the duty of a party to present evidence on the
facts in issue necessary to establish his claim or defense by the amount of evidence
required by law." In civil cases, the burden of proof rests upon the plaintiff, who is required

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
to establish his case by a preponderance of evidence. Once the plaintiff has established
his case, the burden of evidence shifts to the defendant, who, in turn, has the burden to
establish his defense.
In this case, BPI had to prove that petitioner-spouses failed to pay their obligations
under the Promissory Note. Petitioner-spouses, on the other hand, had to prove their
defense that the obligation was extinguished by the loss of the mortgaged vehicle, which
was insured.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
DIGITAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS PHILIPPINES, INC. vs. JESSIE E. CANTOS
G.R. No. 180200, November 25, 2013

DOCTRINE:DIsmissal of the indirect contempt charge against respondent amounts to


an acquittal, which effectively bars a second prosecution.

FACTS:
By virtue of Republic Act (RA) No. 7678, DIGITEL was granted a legislative franchise
to install, operate and maintain telecommunications systems throughout the Philippines.
Upon seeking the renewal of its Mayor's Permit to operate and provide
telecommunications service in Balayan, Batangas, petitioner was informed by Mayor
Benjamin E. Martinez, Jr. that its business operation would be restrained should it fail to
pay the assessed real property taxes. When petitioner failed to pay, the Chief of the
Permit and License Division of Balayan, Batangas issued a Cease and Desist Order
enjoining petitioner from further operating its business.
Petitioner thus promptly filed a case for Annulment of the Cease and Desist Order
before the RTC of Balayan, Batangas. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. 3514.
RTC ruled in favor of petitioner and declared that the issuance of the Cease and Desist
Order was without legal basis. It held that the enjoinment of petitioner's business
operation is not one of the remedies available to enforce collection of real property taxes
under existing laws. The RTC also ruled that petitioner is only liable to pay real property
taxes on properties not used in connection with the operation of its franchise.
The ruling became final and executory as shown in an Entry of Judgment dated
February 2, 2000.
In June 2002, respondent, in his capacity as Provincial Treasurer of the Province of
Batangas, issued seven Warrants of Levy certifying that several real properties of
petitioner situated in the Municipalities of Ibaan, San Juan, Sto. Tomas, Cuenca,
Nasugbu, Balayan, and Lemery, all in the Province of Batangas, are delinquent in the
payment of real property taxes. Hence, the properties would be advertised and sold at
public auction. Petitioner wrote respondent to request the lifting of the Warrants of Levy
and to refrain from proceeding with the public sale of its property located in Balayan,
Batangas. It invoked the final Decision in Civil Case No. 3514 decreeing petitioner's
exemption from the payment of real property tax which it claimed to be binding upon
respondent. But since the warrants remained uplifted, petitioner filed with the RTC a
Petition for Indirect Contempt and Prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a Writ of
Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order (TRO).
RTC issued an Order denying petitioner's prayer for the issuance of a Writ of
Preliminary Injunction. It held that the issuance of the writ prayed for had already become
moot and academic since the public auction sale sought to be enjoined was already
consummated. RTC rendered its Decision 25 dated July 7, 2003 dismissing petitioner's
Petition for Indirect Contempt and Prohibition against respondent (Civil Case No. 4051).
The RTC ruled that since respondent was not a party in Civil Case No. 3514, he had no
duty to render obedience to the Decision therein.
CA noted that the dismissal of the case for indirect contempt by the RTC amounted
to an acquittal from which an appeal is not allowed.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent Cantos is guilty of indirect contempt?

HELD:
No. Contempt is not a criminal offense. However, a charge for contempt of court
partakes of the nature of a criminal action. Rules that govern criminal prosecutions
strictly apply to a prosecution for contempt. In fact, Section 11 of Rule 71 of the Rules of
Court provides that the appeal in indirect contempt proceedings may be taken as in
criminal cases. This Court has held that an alleged contemner should be accorded the
same rights as that of an accused. Thus, the dismissal of the indirect contempt charge
against respondent amounts to an acquittal, which effectively bars a second prosecution.
Respondent is not guilty of indirect contempt. "Contempt of court is defined as a
disobedience to the court by acting in opposition to its authority, justice, and dignity. It
signifies not only a willful disregard or disobedience of the court's order, but such
conduct which tends to bring the authority of the court and the administration of law into
disrepute or, in some manner, to impede the due administration of justice. It is a defiance
of the authority, justice, or dignity of the court which tends to bring the authority and
administration of the law into disrespect or to interfere with or prejudice party-litigants or
their witnesses during litigation."
In this case, the acts of respondent in issuing the Warrants of Levy and in effecting
the public auction sale of petitioner's real properties, were neither intended to undermine
the authority of the court nor resulted to disobedience to the lawful orders of Branch IX.
He merely performed a ministerial function which he is bound to perform.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
FRANCISCO LIM vs. EQUITABLE PCI BANK, now known as the BANCO DE ORO
UNIBANK, INC.
G.R. No. 183918, January 15, 2014

DOCTRINE: The basic rule is that he who alleges must prove his case.

FACTS:
Petitioner Francisco Lim authorizes his brother, Franco Lim to mortgage his share in
the property by executing an Irrevocable Special Power of Attorney. On 1989, Banco De
Oro Savings and Mortgage Bank released a loan in the amount of P8.5 million by virtue
of the said Irrevocable Special Power of Attorney, which was entered in the Register of
Deeds of San Juan, Metro Manila. On 1992, the loan was fully paid by Franco.
On 1996, petitioner, Franco, and their mother Victoria Yao Lim obtained from
respondent Equitable PCI Bank a loan in the amount of P30 million in favor of Sun Paper
Products, Inc. To secure the loan, petitioner and Franco executed in favor of respondent
a Real Estate Mortgage over the same property. However, when the loan was not paid,
respondent foreclosed the mortgaged property. On this 2 nd loan, petitioner alleged that
he did not authorize Franco to mortgage the subject property to respondent and that his
signatures in the Real Estate Mortgage and the Surety Agreement were forged.
RTC ruled in favor of petitioner. It ruled that petitioner was able to prove by
preponderance of evidence that he did not participate in the execution of the mortgage
contract giving rise to the presumption that his signature was forged. CA reversed the
RTC Decision. It ruled that petitioner's mere allegation that his signature in the mortgage
contract was forged is not sufficient to overcome the presumption of regularity of the
notarized document.

ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioner was able to prove that his signature was forged.

HELD:
No. Petitioner failed to prove that his signature was forged.
Allegations of forgery, like all other allegations, must be proved by clear, positive,
and convincing evidence by the party alleging it. It should not be presumed but must be
established by comparing the alleged forged signature with the genuine signatures.
Although handwriting experts are often offered as witnesses, they are not indispensable
because judges must exercise independent judgment in determining the authenticity or
genuineness of the signatures in question.
In this case, the alleged forged signature was not compared with the genuine
signatures of petitioner as no sample signatures were submitted. What petitioner
submitted was another mortgage contract executed in favor of Planters Development
Bank, which he claims was also forged by his brother. But except for this, no other
evidence was submitted by petitioner to prove his allegation of forgery. His allegation
that he was in the US at the time of the execution of the mortgage contract is also not
sufficient proof that his signature was forged.
Moreover, petitioner's subsequent actions belie his allegation of forgery. Before the
expiration of the redemption period, petitioner sent respondent a letter signifying his

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
intention to reacquire the said property. He even visited the bank to discuss the matter.
Clearly, his acts contradict his claim of forgery, which appears to be an afterthought and
a last-ditch effort to recover the said property.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
MANLAR RICE MILL, INC. vs. LOURDES L. DEYTO, doing business under the trade
name "J.D. Grains Center" and JENNELITA DEYTO ANG, a.k.a. "JANET ANG," G.R. No.
191189 January 29, 2014

DOCTRINE:In civil cases, the quantum of proof required is preponderance of evidence, which
connotes "that evidence that is of greater weight or is more convincing than that which is in
opposition to it. It does not mean absolute truth; rather, it means that the testimony of one side is
more believable than that of the other side, and that the probability of truth is on one side than on
the other."

FACTS:
Petitioner Manlar Rice Mill, Inc. is engaged in the business of rice milling and selling of
grains. Respondent Lourdes L. Deyto does business under the trade name "JD Grains Center"
and is engaged in the business of milling and selling of grains. Respondent Jennelita Deyto Ang
or Janet Ang is Deyto’s daughter and, prior to her alleged absconding, operated her own rice
trading business through her own store, "Janet Commercial Store". Ang entered into a rice
supply contract with Manlar, with the former purchasing rice from the latter amounting to
₱3,843,220.00. The transaction was covered by nine postdated checks issued by Ang from her
personal bank/checking account with Chinabank. Upon presentment, all of the checks were
dishonored. Manlar made oral and written demands upon both Deyto and Ang, which went
unheeded. It appears that during the time demand was being made upon Deyto, she informed
Manlar, through its Sales Manager Pablo Pua, that Ang could not be located. Manlar filed a
Complaint for sum of money against Deyto and Ang before the RTC.The Court ruled in favor of
Manlar prompting Deyto’s appeal to CA which reversed the decision and ruled in favor of Deyto.
Hence, the petition.

ISSUE:
w/n Deyto is solidarily liable with Ang who was alleged to be the only person who transacted
with Manlar.

HELD:
No. It is a basic rule in evidence that he who alleges must prove his case or claim by the
degree of evidence required. In civil cases, the quantum of proof required is preponderance of
evidence, which connotes "that evidence that is of greater weight or is more convincing than that
which is in opposition to it. It does not mean absolute truth; rather, it means that the testimony of
one side is more believable than that of the other side, and that the probability of truth is on one
side than on the other." The evidence does not support Manlar’s view that both Deyto and Ang
contracted with Manlar for the delivery of rice on credit. The preponderance of evidence
indicates that it was Ang alone who entered into the rice supply agreement with Manlar.
Evidence showed that Deyto was an old lady who owned properties in Isabela and Manila. She
is a reputable businessperson in Isabel and that Ang originally worked for JD Grains Center, but
was removed in 1997 for failure to remit collections. Ang and Deyto were no longer on good
terms as a result of Ang’s activities. Deyto took custody of one of Ang’s children, who was
previously recovered from a kidnapping perpetrated by no less than Ang’s best friend. Ang
appeared to have abandoned her own family and could no longer be located. What this Court
sees is an attempt to implicate Deyto in a transaction between Manlar and Ang so that the

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
former may recover its losses, since it could no longer recover them from Ang as a result of her
absconding. This conclusion is consistent with what the totality of the evidence show. However,
as a general rule, a contract affects only the parties to it, and cannot be enforced by or against a
person who is not a party thereto. "It is a basic principle in law that contracts can bind only the
parties who had entered into it; it cannot favor or prejudice a third person." Under Article 1311 of
the Civil Code, contracts take effect only between the parties, their assigns and heirs. Thus,
Manlar may sue Ang, but not Deyto, who the Court finds to be not a party to the rice supply
contract.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SPOUSES VICENTE AFULUGENCIA and LETICIA AFULUGENCIA vs.
METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST CO. and EMMANUEL L. ORTEGA, Clerk of Court,
Regional Trial Court and Ex-Officio Sheriff, Province of Bulacan
G.R. No. 185145 February 5, 2014

DOCTRINE:Section 6, Rule 25 of the Rules of Court provides that "a party not served with
written interrogatories may not be compelled by the adverse party to give testimony in open
court, or to give a deposition pending appeal." The provision seeks to prevent fishing expeditions
and needless delays. Its goal is to maintain order and facilitate the conduct of trial.

FACTS:
Petitioners, spouses Vicente and Leticia Afulugencia, filed a Complaint for nullification of
mortgage, foreclosure, auction sale, certificate of sale and other documents, with damages,
against respondents Metrobank and Emmanuel L. Ortega. After the filing of the parties’
pleadings and with the conclusion of pre-trial, petitioners filed a Motion for Issuance of
Subpoena Duces Tecum Ad Testificandum7 to require Metrobank’s officers8 to appear and
testify as the petitioners’ initial witnesses during the August 31, 2006 hearing for the presentation
of their evidence-in-chief, and to bring the documents relative to their loan with Metrobank, as
well as those covering the extrajudicial foreclosure and sale of petitioners’ 200-square meter
land in Meycauayan, Bulacan. The trial court issued an Order denying petitioners’ Motion for
Issuance of Subpoena Duces Tecum Ad Testificandum. The court stated that as pointed out by
the defendant bank in its opposition, the motion under consideration is a mere scrap of paper by
reason of its failure to comply with the requirements for a valid notice of hearing as specified in
Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 15 of the Revised Rules of Court. Moreover, the defendant bank and
its officers are adverse parties who cannot be summoned to testify unless written interrogatories
are first served upon them, as provided in Sections 1 and 6, Rule 25 of the Revised Rules of
Court. The Court of Appeals likewise dismissed petitioners’ appeal.

ISSUES:
(1) w/n the notice and hearing (secs. 4 and 5, rule 15, rules of court) are required for a mere
motion for subpoena of respondent bank’s officers when such requirements apply only to
deposition under sec. 6, rule 25, rules of court
(2) w/n the bank officers can be summoned without the written interrogatories.

HELD:
(1)Yes. Metrobank was notified of the Motion for Issuance of Subpoena Duces Tecum Ad
Testificandum; in fact, it filed a timely Opposition thereto. The technical defect of lack of notice of
hearing was thus cured by the filing of the Opposition.

(2) No. Contrary to petitioners’ submission, the case of Adorio cannot apply squarely to this
case. In Adorio, the request for subpoena duces tecum was sought against bank officials who
were not parties to the criminal case for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22. The situation is
different here, as officers of the adverse party Metrobank are being compelled to testify as the
calling party’s main witnesses; likewise, they are tasked to bring with them documents which
shall comprise the petitioners’ principal evidence. This is not without significant consequences
that affect the interests of the adverse party, as will be shown below.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 214
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
As a rule, in civil cases, the procedure of calling the adverse party to the witness stand is not
allowed, unless written interrogatories are first served upon the latter. This is embodied in
Section 6, Rule 25 of the Rules, which provides – Sec. 6. Effect of failure to serve written
interrogatories. Unless thereafter allowed by the court for good cause shown and to prevent a
failure of justice, a party not served with written interrogatories may not be compelled by the
adverse party to give testimony in open court, or to give a deposition pending appeal.
One of the purposes of the above rule is to prevent fishing expeditions and needless delays; it is
there to maintain order and facilitate the conduct of trial. Besides, since the calling party is
deemed bound by the adverse party’s testimony, compelling the adverse party to take the
witness stand may result in the calling party damaging its own case. Another reason for the rule
is that by requiring prior written interrogatories, the court may limit the inquiry to what is relevant,
and thus prevent the calling party from straying or harassing the adverse party when it takes the
latter to the stand.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 215
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
LUCENA D. DEMAALA vs. SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division) and OMBUDSMAN
G.R. No. 173523 February 19, 2014

DOCTRINE:Where a party was afforded the opportunity to participate in the proceedings, yet he
failed to do so, he cannot be allowed later on to claim that he was deprived of his day in court.

FACTS:
Petitioner Lucena D. Demaala is the Municipal Mayor of Narra, Palawan, and is the
accused for several violations of RA 3019 which cases are pending before the Sandiganbayan.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor filed before the Sandiganbayan a Motion to Suspend the
Accused Pursuant to Section 13, RA 3019 arguing that under Section 13 of RA
3019, petitioner’s suspension from office was mandatory. Petitioner opposed the motion but
Sandiganbayan still ordered the preventive suspension. Petitioner thereafter filed her Motion for
Reconsideration and set the date of hearing. The Ombudsman (Prosecution) also filed a Motion
to Reset the Scheduled Trial and was set for hearing. However, three days before the hearing
for the latter motion, Ombudsman sought to reset the scheduled hearing for the continuation of
the presentation of the prosecution’s evidence to a later date. Thereafter even before the
hearing, Sandiganbayan denied the petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. Hence, the petition.

ISSUE:
w/n petitioner was denied due process when the Sandiganbayan issued its Resolution
denying the Motion for Reconsideration without conducting a hearing thereon.

HELD:
No. Petitioner’s cause of action lies in the argument that her Motion for Reconsideration,
which was earlier set for a hearing was reset to another schedule. Nonetheless, before the said
date could arrive, Sandiganbayan issued the assailedResolution denying her Motion for
Reconsideration, thus depriving her of the opportunity to be heard. This premise, however, is
grossly erroneous. A reading and understanding of the Sandiganbayan’s Order on the motion
indicates that what it referred to were the two hearing dates covering the continuation of the trial
proper – the ongoing presentation of the prosecution’s evidence – and not the single hearing
date for the determination of petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration. Petitioner’s failure to attend
the scheduled hearing of her own Motion for Reconsideration is fatal to her cause.
Consequently, there was nothing procedurally irregular in the issuance of the assailed May 23,
2006 Resolution by the Sandiganbayan. The contention that petitioner was deprived of her day
in court is plainly specious; it simply does not follow. Where a party was afforded the opportunity
to participate in the proceedings, yet he failed to do so, he cannot be allowed later on to claim
that he was deprived of his day in court. It should be said that petitioner was accorded ample
opportunity to be heard through her pleadings.
A formal trial-type hearing is not, at all times and in all instances, essential to due process – it is
enough that the parties are given a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their respective
sides of the controversy and to present supporting evidence on which a fair decision can be
based. "To be heard" does not only mean presentation of testimonial evidence in court - one
may also be heard through pleadings and where the opportunity to be heard through pleadings
is accorded, there is no denial of due process.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 216
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PIDLTRANCO SERVICE ENTERPRISES, INC., represented by its Vice-President for
Administration, M/GEN. NEMESIO M. SIGAYA vs. PHILTRANCO WORKERS
UNION-ASSOCIATION OF GENUINE LABOR ORGANIZATIONS (PWU-AGLO),
represented by JOSE JESSIE OLIVAR
G.R. No. 180962 February 26, 2014

DOCTRINE:While a government office may prohibit altogether the filing of a motion for
reconsideration with respect to its decisions or orders, the fact remains that certiorari inherently
requires the filing of a motion for reconsideration, which is the tangible representation of the
opportunity given to the office to correct itself.

FACTS:
Petitioner Philtranco Service Enterprises, Inc., a local land transportation company engaged
in the business of carrying passengers and freight, retrenched 21 of its employees.
Consequently, the company union, herein private respondent Philtranco Workers
Union-Association of Genuine Labor Organizations (PWU-AGLU), filed a Notice of Strike with
DOLE, claiming that petitioner engaged in unfair labor practices. Parties were not able to settle.
So the case reached the DOLE Secretary who ordered reinstatement. Petitioner filed a Motion
for Reconsideration while respondents filed a Partial Appeal. The Secretary of Labor held that
the complainant’s and the respondent’s respective pleadings need not be acted upon for lack of
legal basis. Petitioner then filed before the CA an original Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition,
and sought injunctive relief. The CA held that, in assailing the Decision of the DOLE voluntary
arbitrator, petitioner erred in filing a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules, when it
should have filed a petition for review under Rule 43 thereof, which properly covers decisions of
voluntary labor arbitrators. For this reason, the petition is dismissible pursuant to Supreme Court
Circular No. 2-90. The CA added that since the assailed Decision was not timely appealed
within the reglementary 15-day period under Rule 43, the same became final and executory.
Another Motion for Reconsideratio was filed but CA likewise dismissed it.

ISSUE:
w/nthe petitioner availed of the correct remedy in filing a petition for certiorari under rule 65
instead of under rule 43 of the rules of court.

HELD:
Yes. It has long been settled that the remedy of an aggrieved party in a decision or
resolution of the Secretary of Labor is to timely file a motion for reconsideration as a precondition
for any further or subsequent remedy, and then seasonably file a special civil action for certiorari
under Rule 65. There is no distinction: when the Secretary of Labor assumes jurisdiction over a
labor case in an industry indispensable to national interest, "he exercises great breadth of
discretion" in finding a solution to the parties’ dispute. "The authority of the Secretary of Labor to
assume jurisdiction over a labor dispute causing or likely to cause a strike or lockout in an
industry indispensable to national interest includes and extends to all questions and
controversies arising therefrom. The power is plenary and discretionary in nature to enable him
to effectively and efficiently dispose of the primary dispute."
The very nature of certiorari – which is an extraordinary remedy resorted to only in the absence
of plain, available, speedy and adequate remedies in the course of law – requires that the office

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
issuing the decision or order be given the opportunity to correct itself. Quite evidently, this
opportunity for rectification does not arise if no motion for reconsideration has been filed. The
only way by which a labor case may reach the Supreme Court is through a petition for certiorari
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court alleging lack or excess of jurisdiction or grave abuse of
discretion. Such petition may be filed within a reasonable time from receipt of the resolution
denying the motion for reconsideration of the NLRC decision." Clearly, before a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court may be availed of, the filing of a motion for
reconsideration is a condition sine qua non to afford an opportunity for the correction of the error
or mistake complained of.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 218
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
ONE NETWORK RURAL BANK, INC. vs. DANILO G. BARIC
G.R. No. 193684 March 5, 2014

DOCTRINE: It is well-settled that a party who has not appealed from a decision cannot seek
any relief other than what is provided in the judgment appealed from. An appellee who has
himself not appealed may not obtain from the appellate court any affirmative relief other than the
ones granted in the decision of the court.

FACTS:
Jaime Palado was the registered owner of real property with a building containing
commercial spaces for lease, located in Barangay Piapi, Davao City. Respondent Danilo G.
Baric was a lessee therein, operating a barber shop on one of the commercial spaces. Palado in
December 2000, demanded the return of the leased property through a written notice. Baric took
the matter to the office of the Barangay Lupon. However, on the scheduled dates of conciliation,
Baric failed to attend, which prompted the Barangay Chairman to issue a Certificate to Bar
Action. In the meantime, it appears that the building was demolished. Baric filed a case for
forcible entry with prayer for injunctive relief against Palado and herein petitioner One Network
Rural Bank, Inc. Baric filed an Amended Complaint and alleged that he had been occupying the
leased space since 1994; that in 2000, he renovated the leased space with Palado’s consent
and knowledge. After the sale a new title was issued in the bank’s name. It then constructed a
new building on the lot. MTC and RTC both ruled in favor of Palado and the bank. Upon appeal,
CA reversed the decision holding that Palado was guilty of forcible entry. While Palado’s notice
to vacate required Baric to vacate the premises within 40 days, the latter was granted, under the
lease contract the right to at least four months advance notice. In addition, Network Bank’s
purchase of the property was subject to all liens and encumbrances found thereon, and the
bank merely stepped into the shoes of the former owner. Since the restoration of the possession
was already impracticable, nominal damages were awarded. Hence, the petition.

ISSUES:
(1) w/n Baric can be reinstated to the premises
(2) w/n the bank may be held liable for nominal damages

HELD:
(1) No. With regard to Baric's argument that he should be reinstated to the premises and
awarded damages, this may not be allowed. He did not question the CA ruling in an appropriate
Petition before this Court. "It is well-settled that a party who has not appealed from a decision
cannot seek any relief other than what is provided in the judgment appealed from. An appellee
who has himself not appealed may not obtain from the appellate court any affirmative relief other
than the ones granted in the decision of the court below."

(2) No.Nominal damages are not for indemnification of loss suffered but for the vindication or
recognition of a right violated or invaded. Network Bank did not violate any of Baric's rights; it
was merely a purchaser or transferee of the property.Surely, it is not prohibited from acquiring
the property even while the forcible entry case was pending, because as the registered owner of
the subject property, Palado may transfer his title at any time and the lease merely follows the
property as a lien or encumbrance. Any invasion or violation of Baric's rights as lessee was

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 219
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
committed solely by Palado, and Network Bank may not be implicated or found guilty unless it
actually took part in the commission of illegal acts, which does not appear to be so from the
evidence on record. On the contrary, it appears that Barie was ousted through Palado's acts
even before Network Bank acquired the subject property or came into the picture. Thus, it was
error to hold the bank liable for nominal damages.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 220
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. SHERWIN BIS y AVELLANEDA
G.R. No. 191360 March 10, 2014

DOCTRINE: In prosecutions involving narcotics, the narcotic substance itself constitutes the
corpus delicti of the offense and the fact of its existence is vital to sustain a judgment of
conviction beyond reasonable doubt. The integrity of the evidence is presumed to be preserved
unless there is a showing of bad faith, ill will or proof that the evidence has been tampered
with and in such case, the burden of proof rests on the appellant.

FACTS:
Both the RTC and CA found that accused Sherwin Bis feloniously distributed and sold 3
heat sealed transparent plastic sachets containing methamphetamine hydrochloride otherwise
known as shabu to PO2 Manuel Espejo who was a poseur-buyer. The latter used marked
money, a piece of One thousand peso bill.

ISSUE:
w/n the chain of custody was properly established

HELD:
Yes. In the present case, the totality of the prosecution’s evidence shows the integrity of the
drugs seized to be intact. The identity of the drugs was proven and the chain of its custody and
possession has been duly accounted for and not broken. This can be gleaned from the
testimonies of Espejo and Arce who narrated that from the moment the items were seized from
appellant, the same were brought to the police station where Espejo marked them with his
initials, properly inventoried, and, together with the laboratory request, were immediately
delivered by Espejo himself to the PNP Crime Laboratory for examination to determine the
presence of dangerous drugs. Police Inspector Melanie Joy Ordoño conducted an examination
on the specimens submitted with the corresponding markings and concluded that the three heat
sealed transparent plastic sachets contained methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a
dangerous drug.
Incidentally, this conclusion is bolstered by the defense’s admission of the existence and due
execution of the request for laboratory examination, the Chemistry Report and the specimens
submitted. Moreover, Espejo, when confronted during trial, identified the three plastic sachets
containing white crystalline substance as the very same items confiscated from the appellant.
Under the situation, this Court finds no circumstance whatsoever that would hint any doubt as to
the identity, integrity and evidentiary value of the items subject matter of this case. "Besides, the
integrity of the evidence is presumed to be preserved unless there is a showing of bad faith, ill
will or proof that the evidence has been tampered with" and in such case, the burden of proof
rests on the appellant. Here, appellant miserably failed to discharge this burden.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 221
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SPOUSES FERNANDO and MA. ELENA SANTOS vs. LOLITA ALCAZAR,
represented by her Attorney-in-Fact DELFIN CHUA
G.R. No. 183034. March 12, 2014

DOCTRINE: While it is a basic rule of evidence that the original copy prevails over a
mere photocopy, there is no harm if in a case, both the original and a photocopy thereof
are authenticated, identified and formally offered in evidence by the party proponent.

FACTS:
Lolita Alcazar, proprietor of Legazpi Color Center (LCC), instituted through her
attorney-in-fact Delfin Chua a Complaintfor sum of money against the petitioners,
spouses Fernando and Ma. Elena Santos, to collect the value of paint and construction
materials obtained by the latter from LCC amounting to P1,456,000.00, which remained
unpaid despite written demand. Pre-trial was conducted. On November 8, 2005,
respondent presented her evidence and testified in court as the lone witness. On
November 21, 2005, she made a formal offer of her evidence and rested her case. On
January 17, 2006, petitioners filed a Demurrer toEvidence,which respondent opposed.
Petitioners argued that the Acknowledgment — respondent’s Exhibit “A” which was
presented in court — was not an original copy and thus inadmissible; petitioners’ receipt
of the written demand was not proved; the alleged deliveries of paint and construction
materials were not covered by delivery receipts; and respondent’s testimony was merely
hearsay and uncorroborated. The trial court issued an Orderdenying petitioners’
demurrer for lack of merit. Petitioners moved to reconsider the trial court’s order but was
denied. Petitioner’s motion to reset the hearing was likewise denied. Petitioners went up
to the CA on certiorari.

ISSUE:
WON the photocopy presented and offered in evidence is inadmissible and could
not be the basis for arriving at a finding of liability on their part, pursuant to the best
evidence rule.

HELD:
No. Respondent’s failure to present the original copy of the Acknowledgment
during the taking of her testimony for the second time, and the presentation of a mere
photocopy thereof at said hearing, does not materially affect the outcome of the case. It
was a mere procedural inadvertence that could have been cured and did not affect
petitioners’ cause in any manner. As conceded by them and as held by the CA, the
original exists and was made part of the records of the case when respondent’s evidence
was first taken. Though respondent now claims that she had lost the original, the CA
proclaimed that the document resides in the record. This would explain then why
respondent cannot find it in her possession; it is with the court as an exhibit. Besides, it
evidently appears that there is no question raised on the authenticity and contents of the
photocopy that was presented and identified in court; petitioners merely insist that the
photocopy is inadmissible as a result of respondent’s failure to present the original,
which they nevertheless admit to exist and is found and included in the record of the
case. While it is a basic rule of evidence that the original copy prevails over a mere

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 222
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
photocopy,there is no harm if in a case, both the original and a photocopy thereof are
authenticated, identified and formally offered in evidence by the party proponent. More to
the point is the fact that petitioners failed to deny specifically under oath the genuineness
and due execution of the Acknowledgment in their Answer. The effect of this is that the
genuineness and due execution of the Acknowledgment is deemed admitted. “By the
admission of the genuineness and due execution [of such document] is meant that the
party whose signature it bears admits that he signed it or that it was signed by another
for him with his authority; that at the time it was signed it was in words and figures exactly
as set out in the pleading of the party relying upon it; that the document was delivered;
and that any formal requisites required by law, such as a seal, an acknowledgment, or
revenue stamp, which it lacks, are waived by him. Hence, such defenses as that the
signature is a forgery x x x; or that it was unauthorized x x x; or that the party charged
signed the instrument in some other capacity than that alleged in the pleading setting it
out x x x; or that it was never delivered x x x, are cut off by the admission of its
genuineness and due execution.”

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 223
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SPOUSES EDMUNDO DELA CRUZ and AMELIA CONCIO-DELA CRUZ vs.
SPOUSES RUFINO R. CAPCO and MARTYC. CAPCO
G.R. No. 176055. March 17, 2014.

DOCTRINE: To give the court jurisdiction to effect the ejectment of an occupant or


deforciant on the land, it is necessary that the complaint should embody such a
statement of facts as brings the party clearly within the class of cases for which the
statutes provide a remedy, as these proceedings are summary in nature.

FACTS:
On October 6, 2003, the spouses Dela Cruz filed a Complaintfor Unlawful
Detainer against the spouses Capco before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of
Pateros. They alleged that Teodora T. Concio (Teodora), mother of petitioner Amelia
Concio-Dela Cruz (Amelia), acquired ownership over a piece of land by virtue of a
Decision rendered by the RTC of Pasig in Land Registration Case. The said property
was eventually registered in her name. Teodora, out of neighborliness and blood
relationship, tolerated the spouses Capco’s occupation thereof. Subsequently, the
subject property was conveyed to the spouses Dela Cruz. Intending to construct a house
thereon and utilize the space for their balut and salted eggs business, the spouses Dela
Cruz thus demanded that the spouses Capco vacate the property. As the spouses
Capco refused, the matter was brought before the Barangay Lupon for conciliation
wherein several meetings were held but to no avail.The MeTC rejected the spouses
Capco’s claimed right to possess the subject property. It concluded that since the
spouses Capco’s possession of the subject property was by mere tolerance of the
spouses Dela Cruz, the latter have the better right to possess and thus may recover the
same upon demand. The spouses Capco appealed to the RTC but the latter did not find
merit in the spouses Capco’s appeal. Undeterred, the spouses Capco filed a Petition for
Review with the CA. The CA found in favor of the spouses Capco. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:
WON the MeTC acquired jurisdiction over the Spouses Dela Cruz’ complaint even
when there was a failure of the Complaint to allege when and how the spouses Capco
came into possession of the property.

HELD:
Yes. A complaint, to sufficiently make out a case for unlawful detainer and fall
under the jurisdiction of the MeTC, must allege that: 1. initially, possession of property by
the defendant was by contract with or by tolerance of the plaintiff; 2. eventually, such
possession became illegal upon notice by plaintiff to defendant of the termination of the
latter’s right of possession; 3. thereafter, the defendant remained in possession of the
property and deprived the plaintiff of the enjoyment thereof; and 4. within one year from
the last demand on defendant to vacate the property, the plaintiff instituted the complaint
for ejectment. Here, the Complaint alleged that the spouses Dela Cruz’
predecessor-in-interest, Teodora, is the registered owner of the property per TCT No.
31873 and that she tolerated the spouses Capco’s occupation of the lot. The spouses
Dela Cruz subsequently acquired the property through conveyance and they extended

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
the same tolerance to the spouses Capco. The spouses Dela Cruz demanded for the
spouses Capco to vacate the property but to no avail; hence, they sent the latter a formal
demand letter which, per the attached copy to the Complaint, is dated September 1,
2003.The Complaint was filed on October 6, 2003 or within one year from the time the
formal demand to vacate was made. Clearly, the Complaint sufficiently established a
case for unlawful detainer as to vest the MeTC jurisdiction over it.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 225
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
VILMA MACEDONIO vs. CATALINA RAMO, YOLANDA S. MARQUEZ, SPOUSES
ROEL and OPHELIA PEDRO, SPOUSES JOEFFRY and ELIZA BALANAG, and BPI
FAMILY SAVINGS BANK, INC.
G.R. No. 193516. March 24, 2014.

DOCTRINE: Dismissing the action without allowing the parties to present evidence and
after ordering them to compromise is tantamount to deprivation of due process, and the
“dismissal of an action for failure to submit a compromise agreement, which is not even
required by any rule, is definitely a harsh action.

FACTS:
Civil Case No. 5703-R
On January 6, 2004, Vilma Macedonio (petitioner) filed a civil case for rescission of
contract under Article 1191 of the Civil Code,with damages, against respondent Catalina
Ramo (Ramo). The complaintalleged that on October 29, 2003, petitioner and Ramo
entered into an agreement for the purchase by petitioner of a 240-square meter portion
of Ramo’s 637-square meter unregistered lot located at Brgy. Sto. Rosario Valley,
Baguio City (the subject property); that Ramo assured petitioner that the subject property
was free from liens and encumbrances; that of the agreed P1,700,000.00 sale price,
petitioner paid P850,000.00 as earnest money; that a “Deed of Sale with Mortgage to
Secure Payment of Price” (October 29, 2003 deed of sale) was executed between the
parties, and Ramo handed to petitioner a copy of the tax declaration covering the
property, which indicated that it was subject to several liens and encumbrances, namely
a) levy made in relation to a case before Branch 60 of the Baguio RTC and b) mortgage
to ARGEM, a lending institution; that Ramo assured petitioner that she would clear the
property of liens and encumbrances before petitioner pays the balance of the price on
January 3, 2004 as stipulated in the October 29, 2003 deed of sale; that petitioner failed
to clear the property of the ARGEM mortgage. The parties were unable to submit a
compromise agreement. The trial court dismissed Civil Case No. 5703-R for failure to
prosecute. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, who was given until the end of
this month of August, 2006 in order to substantiate her Motion for Reconsideration. The
September 4, 2006 hearing did not push through, as petitioner’s counsel filed a motion to
reset. On February 11, 2008, petitioner filed a Motionpraying that the trial court issue an
order directing theparties to comply with their oral agreement for Ramo to return
petitioner’s money — or the P850,000.00 advance she made. Ramo opposed the
motion. In October 2009, petitioner’s new counsel filed a Notice of Appearance with
Manifestation and Motioninforming the court of Ramo’s June 29, 2009 letter and offer,
petitioner’s refusal of the offer, and praying that the case be set for pretrial since all
efforts to settle the issues between the parties failed. On February 2, 2010, an Entry of
Judgmentwas issued by the trial court, certifying that the October 23, 2006 Order
—which declared that Civil Case No. 5703-R was already terminated — became final
and executory on November 17, 2006. On December 2, 2009, petitioner filed a written
Protestwith the office of the Regional Executive Director of the DENR Cordillera
Administrative Region, seeking an investigation into Ramo’s acquisition of the subject
property, and claiming that Ramo’s sales patent was issued despite her having

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
committed multiple violations of the law. It appears that to this date, no action has been
taken on
the protest.

Civil Case No. 7150-R


On April 21, 2010, petitioner filed another civil case against respondents for specific
performance, annulment of documents and titles, with damages. Ramo filed her answer
with motion to dismiss the case, claiming that in filing the case, petitioner violated the
rule against forum shopping since there had already been a prior terminated case (Civil
Case No. 5703-R) and a pending Protest with the DENR. To this, petitioner filed her
comment and opposition, arguing that since Civil Case No. 5703-R was not decided on
the merits and no trial was conducted, Civil Case No. 7150-R is not barred. The trial
court dismissed Civil Case No. 7150-R with prejudice and held that held that petitioner
filed multiple cases based on the same cause of action, although with different prayers
for relief. Petitioner moved to reconsider, but in an August 16, 2010 Order, the trial court
stood its ground. Thus, petitioner instituted this direct recourse. In a July 29, 2013
Resolution,the Court resolved to give due course to the Petition.

ISSUE:
WON Civil Case No. 5703-R bars the filing of the second case — or Civil Case
No. 7150-R.

HELD:
No. It is understandable why the trial court in Civil Case No. 5703-R should not have
precipitately dismissed the case: petitioner sought a refund of her payments but
evidently, Ramo was not willing to pay her. Indeed, even as Ramo made a judicial
admission of her liability to petitioner — that is, in open court on June 22, 2009 — and an
extrajudicial admission thereafter — via her June 29, 2009 letter which she and her
counsel signed — she refuses to pay petitioner what she owes. For the same reasons,
the Court finds that the dismissal of Civil Case No. 7150-R was unwarranted. It is true
that while it was incumbent for petitioner to have informed the trial court of Civil Case No.
5703-R and the pending DENR Protest, this Court is inclined to forego petitioner’s failure
to abide by the requirements of the 1997 Rules regarding certifications against forum
shopping, in favor of deciding the case on the basis of merit, seeing, as the Court does,
that a rigid interpretation of the 1997 Rules would result in substantial injustice to
petitioner. The circumstances require that substance must prevail over form, keeping in
mind, as the Court has held countless times, that procedural rules are mere tools
designed to facilitate the attainment of justice; their application should be relaxed when
they hinder instead of promote substantial justice. Public policy dictates that court cases
should as much as possible be resolved on the merits and not on technicalities. Besides,
“the Rules of Civil Procedure on forum shopping are not always applied with inflexibility.”
The Court took into consideration the evidence and Ramo’s admissions that while she
refuses to honor her obligations under the sale or at least return petitioner’s money, she
went on to subdivide and transfer or sell the property to other individuals, which is
absolutely unfair if not perverse. Apparently, this injustice has been lost on the trial court,

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
having decided the way it did by disregarding the basic facts and adhering to
technicalities.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
VENUS B. CASTILLO, LEAH J. EVANGELISTA, DITAS M. DOLENDO, DAWN
KAREN S. SY and PRUDENTIAL PLANS, INC. EMPLOYEES UNION-FEDERATION
OF FREE WORKERS (PPEU-FFW) vs. PRUDENTIALIFE PLANS, INC., and/or JOSE
ALBERTO T. ALBA, ATTY. CEFERINO A. PATIÑO, JR., and ROSEMARIE DE
LEMOS
G.R. No. 196142. March 26, 2014.

DOCTRINE: It is an established rule that the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (SC) in
cases brought before it from the Court of Appeals (CA) via Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure is generally limited to reviewing errors of law; There are, however,
recognized exceptions to this rule such as when there is a divergence between the
findings of facts of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and that of the
Court of Appeals

FACTS:
Individual petitioners were regular employees of respondent Prudentialife Plans, Inc.
Prudential Plans Employees Union-FFW (PPEU-FFW), on the other hand, is a local
chapter of the Federation of Free Workers and is the authorized bargaining agent of
Prudentialife’s rank-and-file employees. The individual petitioners are members of
PPEU-FFW. Under Section 4, Article X of the parties’ CBA, Prudentialife employees
were granted an optical benefit allowance of P2,500.00 to subsidize prescription
eyeglasses for those who have developed vision problems in the course of employment.
Suspecting fraud, Prudentialife began an investigation into the matter, and it sent
individual written Notices to Explainto petitioners and other employees who availed of
the benefit. The notices revealed its initial findings — that the given address and
telephone number of Alavera Optical were fictitious; that the official receipts and
prescriptions issued by Alavera Optical appear to have been forged; that the eyeglasses
were grossly overpriced; and that Prudentialife was being required to pay for the
eyeglasses even though they have not been released as yet. Prudentialife concluded
that petitioners and other employees knowingly availed of the optical benefit allowance
to obtain a refund of the maximum P2,500.00 benefit even though they did not have
vision problems, or that their eyeglasses were worth less than P2,500.00. On April 10,
2006, Prudentialife issued individual Notices of Termination to petitioners and other
employees. Petitioners and the other availing employees submitted their respective
written explanations. On May 5, 2006, petitioners filed a Complaint for illegal dismissal,
money claims and damages against respondents. The Labor Arbiter held that there was
ground to dismiss petitioners, finding that there was a concerted and premeditated
scheme to defraud Prudentialife. Respondents filed an appeal with the NLRC. In a
December 8, 2008 Decision, the NLRC reversed the Labor Arbiter’s decision.
Respondents went up to the CA via an original Petition for Certiorari, insisting that there
was just cause to dismiss the petitioners for serious misconduct. The CA reversed the
decision of the NLRC. Petitioners moved to reconsider, but was denied. Thus, the instant
Petition. Petitioners urge a judicious review of the case given the conflicting decisions of
the labor tribunals and the appellate court. They add that it was improper for the CA to
adjudge them guilty of wrongdoing based on the written admissions of their
co-employees and not on evidence pointing to their wrongdoing, and it is unfair for the

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
CA to sweepingly rule that the acts of some employees were attributable to all who
availed of the optical benefit allowance.

ISSUE:
WON Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is generally limited to
reviewing errors of law.

HELD:
Yes. When there is a divergence between the findings of facts of the labor tribunals
and the CA, there is a need to refer to the record. “It is an established rule that the
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in cases brought before it from the CA via Rule 45 of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is generally limited to reviewing errors of law. This
Court is not a trier of facts. In the exercise of its power of review, the findings of fact of
the CA are conclusive and binding and consequently, it is not our function to analyze or
weigh evidence all over again. There are, however, recognized exceptions to this rule
such as when there is a divergence between the findings of facts of the NLRC and that of
the CA.”

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. MANUEL APLAT y SUBLINO
and JACKSON DANGLAY y BOTIL, accused, MANUEL APLAT y SUBLINO,
accused-appellant.
G.R. No. 191727. March 31, 2014

DOCTRINE: It is perfectly natural for different witnesses testifying on the occurrence of a


crime to give varying details as there may be some details which one witness may notice
while the other may not observe or remember.

FACTS:
In an Informationdated April 19, 2006, appellant and Danglay were charged with
Violation of Section 5, Article II of RA 9165. That on or about the 12th day of April 2006,
in the City of Baguio, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually aiding one another, did
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously sell and deliver one (1) brick of dried
marijuana leaves with fruiting tops wrapped in a newspaper weighing 950 grams, more
or less, for [P]1,500.00 to PO3 PHILIP R. FINES, a bona fide member of the Drug
Enforcement Unit of the Baguio City Police Office, who acted as poseur-buyer, knowing
fully well that said drug is a dangerous drug and that the sale and delivery of such drug is
prohibited without authority of law to do so, in violation of the aforementioned provision of
law. Appellant and Danglay pleaded not guilty to the charge upon their separate
arraignment. RTC found appellant and Danglay guilty as charged. Aggrieved, appellant
and Danglay separately appealed to the CAwherein they questioned the chain of
custody of the subject drugs and the finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt against
them. Like the RTC, the CA gave credence to the police officers’ narration of the incident
as prosecution witnesses. Undeterred, appellant interposed the present appeal.

ISSUE:
WON the inconsistencies in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses are
sufficient to diminish their credibility.

HELD:
No. Appellant further challenges the legality of the buy-bust operation by adverting to
the alleged inconsistency between the testimony of PO3 Fines, who claims that he did
not notice who was carrying the plastic bag containing the alleged dangerous drug or
where it came from, and that of SPO4 Sison, who stated that it was Danglay who was
carrying the bag. He also invites the Court’s attention to the conflicting testimonies of the
prosecution witnesses as to the color of the bag. While PO3 Fines mentioned a red
colored bag, SPO4 Sison and PO3 Sagmayao stated that Danglay was carrying a blue
colored sando bag.The Court, however, finds that the CA correctly agreed with the
appellee that the perceived inconsistencies in the testimonies of the prosecution
witnesses are insufficient to diminish their credibility. Indeed, the inconsistencies alluded
to by the appellant refer merely to minor details and collateral matters that do not in any
way affect the material points of the crime charged. As held in People v.
Castro,“[i]nconsistencies on minor details and collateral matters do not affect the
substance of their declaration, their veracity or the weight of their testimonies.” “It is

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
perfectly natural for different witnesses testifying on the occurrence of a crime to give
varying details as there may be some details which one witness may notice while the
other may not observe or remember.”

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ROY SAN GASPAR
G.R. No. 180496. April 2, 2014.

DOCTRINE: It has been held that in the absence of any ill motives on the part of
the witnesses, their testimonies are worthy of full faith and credit.

FACTS:
On June 2, 2000, appellant was charged with the crime of Parricide under Article 246
of the RPC in an Information, that on or about 11:30 o’clock in the evening of April 25,
1999, at Purok Ma-oy, Barangay Bambad, Municipality of Isulan, Province of Sultan
Kudarat, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said
accused, armed with a [.12] Gauge Homemade Shotgun, with intent to kill, did then and
there, [willfully], [unlawfully] and feloniously, attack, assault and shot IMELDA E. SAN
GASPAR, his legitimate wife, thereby inflicting gunshot wound upon the latter, which
directly caused her death. Upon being arraigned on July 12, 2000, appellant, with the
assistance of counsel, pleaded not guilty to the crime charged.After pre-trial was
terminated, trial on the merits ensued. The RTC in its Decisionon January 29, 2003
convicted appellant of the crime of Parricide. The RTC relied on the testimonies of the
witnesses for the prosecution particularly, Joramel and Cherme. Having witnessed the
shooting incident, both of them positively identified appellant as the person who shot
their mother, Imelda. To the RTC, such positive identification, without any showing of ill
motive on the part of the eyewitnesses, was enough to establish the guilt of the appellant
beyond reasonable doubt.On appeal, the CA affirmed with modification theDecision of
the RTC. Not satisfied, appellant now appeals to this Court asserting that the lower
courts erred in not giving exculpatory weight to the defense he interposed.

ISSUE:
WON the testimonies of Joramel and Cherme were impelled by any ill motive to
testify against appellant.

HELD:
No. Joramel and Cherme positively and categorically identified appellant as the one
who shot and killed Imelda. Their testimonies corroborated each other on material
details. Moreover, there is no showing that Joramel and Cherme were impelled by any ill
motive to testify against appellant. It has been held that in the absence of any ill motives
on the part of the witnesses, their testimonies are worthy of full faith and credit.On the
other hand, appellant only offered his bare denial of the offense. However, “[t]he Court
had consistently stressed that denial, like alibi, is a weak defense that becomes even
weaker in the face of positive identification of the accused by prosecution witnesses.”The
Court, therefore, finds no reason to disturb the factual findings of the trial court. “It is a
well-settled rule that factual findings of the trial court involving the credibility of witnesses
are accorded respect since trial courts have first-hand account on the witnesses’ manner
of testifying and demeanor during trial. The Court shall not supplant its own interpretation
of the testimonies for that of the trial judge since he is in the best position to determine
the issue of credibility.”Furthermore, “in the absence of misapprehension of facts or
grave abuse of discretion on the court a quo, and especially when the findings of the

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
judge have been adopted and affirmed by the CA, the factual findings of the trial court
shall not be disturbed.”

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. FRANCISCO ABAIGAR,
accused-appellant.
G.R. No. 199442. April 7, 2014.

DOCTRINE: It is settled that the assessment of the credibility of witnesses is within the
province and expertise of the trial court.

FACTS:
An Informationwas filed charging appellant Francisco Abaigar with the crime of
murder, the accusatory portion of which reads, that on or about the 11th day of July
2001, at about 9:00 o’clock in the evening, at Barangay Rosalim, Municipality of San
Jorge, Province of Samar, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
the above-named accused did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, without
any justifiable cause, with intent to kill, and by means of treachery and evident
premeditation, attack, assault and use personal violence upon the person of JOSEPH
GABUYA by shooting him with the use of a homemade shotgun locally known as
“Bardog,” which the accused had conveniently provided himself for the purpose, hitting
the victim’s left side of the face and behind the head, thereby inflicting upon him serious
and mortal wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of his death. During his
arraignment, appellant pleaded not guilty to the charge.The trial court rendered
itsJudgmentfinding appellant guilty as charged. Aggrieved, appellant appealed before
the Court of Appeals. In a Decision, the appellate court affirmed in full the Judgment of
the trial court. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE:
WON Relecita has ill motive to testify against appellant.

HELD:
No. Appellant basically argues that the trial court and the Court of Appeals erred in
lending credence to the testimony of eyewitness Relecita. Appellant claims that Relecita
could have forewarned the victim of his presence if indeed Relecita saw him in the
vicinity; and that it was improbable that Relecita could see him considering the poor
lighting condition of the place. The Court is not persuaded. It is settled that the
assessment of the credibility of witnesses is within the province and expertise of the trial
court. In this case, we find no cogent reason to depart from the findings of the trial court.
The court below categorically found that Relecita had no ill motive to testify against
appellant; she “has no reason to impute on him the heinous crime of murder had she not
witnessed the actual killing of the victim.”Similarly, the appellate court found Relecita to
have “positively identified the appellant as the perpetrator of the crime.”Also, the failure
of Relecita to warn the victim of the appellant’s impending attack should not be taken
against her. Neither should it be taken as a blemish to her credibility.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HEIRS OF FRANCISCO BIHAG, namely: ALEJANDRA BIHAG, NICOMEDES B.
BIHAG, VERONICA B. ACOSTA, SUSANA B. MIÑOZA, PAULINO B. BIHAG,
DANILO B. BIHAG, TIMOTEO B. BIHAG JR., EDILBERTO B. BIHAG, JOSEPHINE B.
MIÑOZA, and MA. FE B. ARDITA,petitioners, vs. HEIRS OF NICASIO BATHAN,
namely: PRIMITIVA B. BATHAN and DUMININA B. GAMALIER, respondents.
G.R. No. 181949. April 23, 2014.

DOCTRINE: The Supreme Court, in order to standardize the appeal periods provided in
the Rules and to afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their cases, declared that an
aggrieved party has a fresh period of 15 days counted from receipt of the order
dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for reconsideration, within which to file the
notice of appeal in the Regional Trial Court (RTC). Also, it is a settled rule that a decision
or order becomes final and executory if the aggrieved party fails to appeal or move for a
reconsideration within 15 days from his receipt of the court’s decision or order disposing
of the action or proceeding.

FACTS:
On April 23, 1992, petitioners heirs of Francisco Bihag (Francisco), filed with the
RTC of Mandaue City a Complaintfor Quieting of Title, Damages, and Writ of Injunction
and TRO against respondents spouses Bathan and their daughter, Duminina Bathan
Gamalier. Petitioners alleged that sometime in the 1960’s, respondent Primitiva
approached her brother, Francisco, to borrow money.But since he did not have money at
that time, she instead asked him to mortgage his unregistered land in Casili, Mandaue
City, to the Rural Bank of Mandaue City so that she could get a loan.She promised that
she would pay the obligation to the bank and that she would return to him the
documents, which were submitted to the bank in support of the loan
application.Francisco agreed on the condition that respondent Primitiva would pay the
real property tax of the subject land while it was mortgaged. When Francisco died on
December 13, 1976, petitioners found out that the mortgage had long been
cancelled.They confronted respondents to return the documents but to no
avail.Petitioners later discovered that respondents took possession of the land and were
hauling materials and limestones from it to the prejudice of petitioners. The RTC issued a
Decisionin favor of respondents. Petitioners moved for a reconsideration but the RTC
denied the same. Unfazed, petitioners filed a Notice of Appeal on October 2, 2006.On
January 5, 2007, the RTC issued an Orderdenying the Notice of Appeal. Thereafter,
respondents filed a Motion for the Issuanceof a Writ of Execution,which petitioners did
not oppose. The RTC issued an Ordergranting the Motion and issued a Writ of
Execution. The petitioners filed with the CA a Petition for Certiorari with prayer for the
issuance of a TRO and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunctionunder Rule 65 of the Rules of
Court. On October 26, 2007, the CA issued a Resolutiondismissing the Petition for being
insufficient in form and substance. Aggrieved, petitioners filed a Motion for
Reconsiderationattaching a copy of the RTC’s August 24, 2007 Order andexplaining that
no motion for reconsideration was filed since they never received a copy of the RTC’s
January 5, 2007 Order, denying their Notice of Appeal.

ISSUE:

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WON the Notice of Appeal by the petitioners was erroneously denied by the RTC.
HELD:
Yes. In Neypes, the Supreme Court, in order to standardize the appeal periods
provided in the Rules and to afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their cases,
declared that an aggrieved party has a fresh period of 15 days counted from receipt of
the order dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for reconsideration, within which to
file the notice of appeal in the RTC.In light of the foregoing jurisprudence, we agree with
petitioners that their Notice of Appeal was timely filed as they had a fresh 15-day period
from the time they received the Order denying their Motion for Reconsideration within
which to file their Notice of Appeal. But while we agree with petitioners that their Notice of
Appeal was erroneously denied by the RTC, we are nevertheless constrained to deny
the instant Petition as the January 5, 2007 Order, denying petitioners’ Notice of Appeal,
has attained finality. It is a settled rule that a decision or order becomes final and
executory if the aggrieved party fails to appeal or move for a reconsideration within 15
days from his receipt of the court’s decision or order disposing of the action or
proceeding.Once it becomes final and executory, the decision or order may no longer be
amended or modified, no even by an appellate court.In this case, petitioners, through
their counsel, received a copy of the assailed January 5, 2007 Order, under Registry
Receipt No. E-0280, on January 22, 2007, as evidenced by the Certification of the
assistant postmaster. As such, petitioners should have filed their motion for
reconsideration within 15 days, or on or before February 6, 2007, but they did not.
Instead, they filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Court of Appeals on October 10,
2007. At this time, the RTC’s January 5, 2007 Order denying the Notice to Appeal had
long become final and executory. Petitioners’ mere denial of the receipt of the assailed
Order cannot prevail over the Certification issued by the assistant postmaster as we
have consistently declared that “[t]he best evidence to prove that notice was sent would
be a certification from the postmaster, who should certify not only that the notice was
issued or sent but also as to how, when and to whom the delivery and receipt was
made.”

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. WILFREDO SOLANO, JR. y
GECITA, accused-appellant.
G.R. No. 199871. June 2, 2014.

DOCTRINE: Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: (a) there is more than
one circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and (c)
the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt.

FACTS:
Appellant Wilfredo Solano, Jr. y Gecita was charged with the crime of rape with
homicide in an Information that reads as follows, that on or about the 22nd day of April,
2007 at around 9:00 o’clock in the morning, at Sitio Okdo, Barangay Palanas,
Municipality of Pilar, Province of Sorsogon, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with lewd design, by means of force, threat
and intimidation, and by employing personal violence upon “AAA,”a 12-year old girl, did
then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, have sexual intercourse with her
against her will and without her consent, and after the sexual assault said accused
strangled “AAA,” resulting in the immediate death of said victim, to the damage and
prejudice of her legal heirs. The crime is aggravated by the minority of the victim being
twelve years old (12) at the time of the incident. When arraigned on June 6, 2007,
appellant entered a plea of not guilty. Regional Trial Court of Sorsogon City rendered its
Decisionfinding appellant guilty as charged based on circumstantial evidence. Appellant
appealed to the Court of Appeals. In its Decision, the appellate court affirmed in full the
trial court’s Decision. Hence, this appeal.Appellant claims that the pieces of
circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution are insufficient to prove his guilt
beyond reasonable doubt. He insists that it was highly improbable for prosecution
witness Edwin Jr. to have seen him chasing “AAA” from a distance of 50 to 60 meters or
even identify him as the perpetrator of the crime. Appellant also assails the testimony of
Nestor that he saw appellant dragging the victim’s body towards the swamp considering
the lack of explanation why he was in the vicinity or how he reached the place.

ISSUE:
WON the pieces of circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution are
insufficient.

HELD:
No. “Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: (a) there is more than one
circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and (c) the
combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt.”In this case, it is beyond doubt that all the circumstances taken
together point to the singular conclusion that appellant, to the exclusion of all others,
committed the crime. As found by the trial court and affirmed by the appellate court, the
victim was last seen in the presence of the appellant. Edwin Jr. saw appellant chasing
the victim. Nestor also saw appellant dragging the motionless body of “AAA.” The body
of the victim was eventually found buried in the mud near the place where she was last

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
seen with the appellant. Appellant admitted holding a grudge against the family of “AAA”
because he believes that a relative of “AAA” had raped his [appellant’s] sister. The
autopsy report showed that “AAA” was raped and strangled. Likewise, appellant could
not ascribe any ill motive on the part of prosecution witnesses Edwin Jr., Edwin Sr. and
Nestor whom he even considered as friends.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
JOSELITO MA. P. JACINTO (formerly President of F. Jacinto Group, Inc.),
petitioner, vs. EDGARDOGUMARU, JR., respondent.
G.R. No. 191906. June 2, 2014.

DOCTRINE: When a judgment has been satisfied, it passes beyond review,”and “there
are no more proceedings to speak of inasmuch as these were terminated by the
satisfaction of the judgment.”

FACTS:
On December 6, 2004, a Decisionwas rendered in favor of respondent Eduardo
Gumaru, Jr. and against petitioner Joselito Ma. P. Jacinto and F. Jacinto Group, Inc.
Petitioner and F. Jacinto Group, Inc. filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC). However, the appeal was not perfected for failure to post the
proper cash or surety bond; this was the finding of the NLRC in its Resolution dated
September 30, 2005.Thus, the December 6, 2004 Decision became final and executory.
Entry of judgment was issued by the NLRC on November 23, 2005.On February 6, 2006,
a Writ of Executionwas issued in the labor case. A Second Alias Writ of Execution was
issued and returned when the first one expired. Petitioner filed an Extremely Urgent
Motion to Lift and Annul Levy on Executionpraying, among others, that the scheduled
June 27, 2008 auction sale be restrained, and that the execution process covered by the
Second Alias Writ of Execution be invalidated but was denied. Petitioner went up to the
CA on certiorari but was denied.

ISSUE:
WON the petitioner may execute a special power of attorney designating his counsel
of record to sign the Petition on his behalf.

HELD:
Yes. It is true, as petitioner asserts, that if for reasonable or justifiable reasons he is
unable to sign the verification and certification against forum shopping in his CA Petition,
he may execute a special power of attorney designating his counsel of record to sign the
Petition on his behalf. However, while the Court takes the petitioner’s side with regard to
the procedural issue dealing with verification and the certification against forum
shopping, it nonetheless appears that the Petition has been overtaken by events. In a
May 24, 2011 Manifestation,respondent informed this Court that the judgment award has
been satisfied in full. The petitioner does not dispute this claim, in which case, the labor
case is now deemed ended. “It is axiomatic that after a judgment has been fully satisfied,
the case is deemed terminated once and for all.”And “when a judgment has been
satisfied, it passes beyond review, satisfaction being the last act and the end of the
proceedings, and payment or satisfaction of the obligation thereby established produces
permanent and irrevocable discharge; hence, a judgment debtor who acquiesces to and
voluntarily complies with the judgment is estopped from taking an appeal therefrom.”
With the above development in the case, the instant Petition is rendered moot and
academic. The satisfaction of the judgment in full has placed the case beyond the
Court’s review. “Indeed, there are no more proceedings to speak of inasmuch as these
were terminated by the satisfaction of the judgment.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
MA. CONSOLACION M. NAHAS, doing business under the name and style —
PERSONNEL EMPLOYMENT AND TECHNICAL RECRUITMENT AGENCY,
petitioner, vs. JUANITA L. OLARTE, respondent.
G.R. No. 169247. June 2, 2014.

DOCTRINE: Settled is the rule that the findings of the Labor Arbiter, when affirmed by
the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and the Court of Appeals (CA), are
binding on the Supreme Court (SC), unless patently erroneous.

FACTS:
Olarte was deployed as a domestic helper to Hail, Saudi Arabia for a contract term of
two years. Per her employment contract,she was to serve her employer, Fahad
Abdulaziz Mohammed Al-Mijary (Fahad) for a basic monthly salary of US$200.00.
Fajad’s information sheet, on the other hand, provides that there are two adults and
three children living in his household and that no disabled or sick person is to be put
under Olarte’s care. Upon arriving in Fahad’s home, Olarte was surprised that there were
four children with one suffering from serious disability. This notwithstanding, Olarte
served Fahad’s family diligently. However, her salaries were not paid. In the succeeding
months, Olarte started feeling intense pain in her legs. She was later diagnosed to be
suffering from ostro-arthritis. Because of her condition, Olarte requested Fahad to just
allow her go home to the Philippines. But her pleas fell on deaf ears. At that point, Fahad
was already frequently maltreating her since she could no longer accomplish all the
household chores due to her illness. Olarte finally saw an opportunity to escape from the
abusive hands of her employer. Several months later, Olarte filed a Complaintfor illegal
dismissal, damages, attorney’s fees and refund of placement fees against her foreign
employer Fahad and Nahas/PETRA/Royal Dream. The Labor Arbiter ruled that
PETRA/Royal Dream/Nahas failed to discharge the burden of proving that Olarte’s
termination and repatriation were for just cause; and also rejected their claim against
liability after giving weight to the fact that Nahas admitted to have interviewed Olarte but
failed to substantiate the claim that the latter withdrew her application. Nahas appealed
to the NLRC. The NLRC, however, was not persuaded and affirmed the decision of the
LA. Nahas filed a Motion for Reconsiderationwhich was denied. Hence, the recourse to
the CA via a Petition for Certiorari, which was also denied.The Motion for
Reconsiderationthereto having been denied in the CA Resolutiondated July 8, 2005,
Nahas now comes to this Court via the present Petition for Review on Certiorari.

ISSUE:
WON the issue of Nahas’ act for and in behalf of PETRA and/or Royal Dream in
deploying Olarte abroad is a question of fact.

HELD:
Yes. It must be stressed, at the outset, that the resolution of the issue of whether
Nahas acted for and in behalf of PETRA and/or Royal Dream in deploying Olarte abroad
is a question of fact. “Well-settled is the rule that this Court is not a trier of facts and this
doctrine applies with greater force in labor cases. Questions of fact are for the labor
tribunals to resolve. Only errors of law are generally reviewed in petitions for review on

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
certiorari criticizing decisions of the CA.”Also “settled is the rule that the findings of the
Labor Arbiter, when affirmed by the NLRC and the CA, are binding on the Supreme
Court, unless patently erroneous.”In this case, the Labor Arbiter, the NLRC, and the CA
are one in their factual conclusion that Nahas, acting for and in behalf of PETRA and
Royal Dream, interviewed Olarte, caused her to sign an employment contract, and
facilitated and made possible her deployment abroad. The Court is, therefore, not
dutybound to inquire into the accuracy of this factual finding, particularly in this case
where there is no showing that it was arbitrary and bereft of any rational basis.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
JOSE ESPINELI a.k.a. DANILO ESPINELI vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 179535. June 9, 2014.

DOCTRINE: Under Section 4, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court, circumstantial evidence
would be sufficient to convict the offender “if i) there is more than one circumstance; ii)
the facts from which the inference is derived are proven; and iii) the combination of all
circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.”

FACTS:
On June 24, 1997, an Informationcharging petitioner with the crime of murder was
filed before the RTC,the accusatory portion of which reads as follows, that on or about
the 15th day of December, 1996 in the Municipality of Imus, Province of Cavite,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed
accused, together with one (1) Sotero Paredes and three (3) other unidentified persons,
whose real names, identities and whereabouts are still unknown, said Sotero Paredes
having been earlier charged with the same offense, and is now undergoing trial before
Branch 90, of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite, then armed with firearms, conspiring,
confederating and mutually helping one another, with intent to kill, with treachery and
evident premeditation and taking advantage of superior strength, did then and there,
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, attack, assault and shoot one Alberto Berbon y
Downie with the use of said firearms, thereby inflicting upon the latter multiple gunshot
wounds on his head and different parts of his body which caused his instantaneous
death, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of said Alberto Berbon y Downie.
Petitioner was arrested and when arraigned with the assistance of counsel, entered a
plea of not guilty. The trial court adjudged petitioner guilty of murder. Petitioner
seasonably appealed his conviction before this Court. Pursuant, however, to the Court’s
pronouncement in People v. Mateo,the case was ordered transferred to the CA for
appropriate action and disposition through a Resolutiondated March 22, 2006. The CA
affirmed with modification the findings of the trial court. Dissatisfied, petitioner filed a
Motion for Reconsiderationwhich the CA denied in its Resolutiondated September 14,
2007. Hence, this Petition. Petitioner anchors his quest for the reversal of his conviction
on the alleged erroneous admission in evidence of the Sinumpaang Salaysayof Reyes
for being hearsay and inadmissible. He avers that the said sworn statement should not
have been given probative value because its contents were neither confirmed nor
authenticated by the affiant. Thus, all circumstances emanating from or included in the
sworn statement must be totally brushed aside as lacking any evidentiary and probative
value.

ISSUE:
WON the circumstantial evidence failed to establish his guilt beyond reasonable
doubt.

HELD:
No. Truly, “direct evidence of the commission of a crime is not the only basis from
which a court may draw its finding of guilt.”The rules of evidence allow a trial court to rely

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
on circumstantial evidence to support its conclusion of guilt. Circumstantial evidence is
that evidence “which indirectly proves a fact in issue through an inference which the
fact-finder draws from the evidence established.”Under Section 4, Rule 133 of the Rules
of Court, circumstantial evidence would be sufficient to convict the offender “if i) there is
more than one circumstance; ii) the facts from which the inference is derived are proven;
and iii) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt.”All the circumstances must be consistent with one another, consistent
with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty and at the same time inconsistent with the
hypothesis that he is innocent. Thus, conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be
upheld provided that the circumstances proved constitute an unbroken chain which leads
to one fair and reasonable conclusion that points to the accused, to the exclusion of all
others as the guilty person.In this case, the circumstances found by the CA as forming
an unbroken chain leading to one fair and reasonable conclusion that petitioner, to the
exclusion of all others, is the guilty person.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
GIPA vs. SOUTHERN LUZON INSTITUTE, represented by RUBEN ASUNCION
G.R. No.177425 June 18, 2014
DOCTRINE:A court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon payment of the
prescribed docket fees does not apply where the party does not deliberately intend to
defraud the court in payment of docket fees, and manifests its willingness to abide by the
rules by paying additional docket fees when required by the court.
The payment of the full amount of the docket fee is an indispensable step for the
perfection of an appeal. In both original and appellate cases, the court acquires
jurisdiction over the case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fees.
A party’s failure to pay the appellate docket fee within the reglementary period
confers only a discretionary and not a mandatory power to dismiss the proposed appeal.
Such discretionary power should be used in the exercise of the court’s sound judgment
in accordance with the tenets of justice and fair play with great deal of circumspection,
considering all attendant circumstances and must be exercised wisely and prudently,
never capriciously, with a view to substantial justice.
Those who seek exemption from the application of the rule have the burden of
proving the existence of exceptionally meritorious reason warranting such departure.
FACTS:
Southern Luzon Institute (SLI), an educational institution in Bulan, Sorsogon, filed
a Complaint for Recovery of Ownership and Possession with Damages against
petitioners Alonzo Gipa, Imelda Marollano, Juanito Ludovice, Demar Bitangcor, Virgilio
Gojit, Felipe Montalban and four others namely, Arturo Rogacion, Virgilio Gracela,
Rosemarie Alvarez and Rosita Montalban. SLI alleged that it is the absolute owner of a
parcel of land occupied by the petitioners and refused to vacate the same despite
demand. They asserted that they did not heed SLI’s demand to vacate as they believed
that they have the right to stay on the said property. They relied on their occupation
thereof and that of their predecessors-in-interest which, according to them, dates back to
as early as 1950. Finding SLI to have proven its ownership of the property, the RTC
rendered a decision in its favor.
Petitioners filed a Notice of Appealwhich was granted by the RTC. The CA,
however, dismissed the appeal since it was not shown that the appellate court docket
fees and other lawful fees were paid.Petitioners promptly filed a Motion for
Reconsiderationto which they attached a Certificationfrom the RTC that they paid the
appeal fee in the amount of ₱3,000. In view of this, the CA granted the said motion and
consequently reinstated the appeal. Subsequently, however, the CA further required
petitioners to remit within ten days from notice the amount of ₱30.00 for legal research
fund, which apparently was not included in the ₱3,000.00 appeal fee previously paid by
them. Despite the lapse of nine months from their counsel’s receipt of the said resolution,
petitioners failed to comply with the CA’s directive. Hence, the said court dismissed the
appeal.
The CA contends that:

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 245
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Jurisprudence is replete that the nonpayment of the docket and
other lawful fees within the reglementary period as provided under Section
4 of Rule 41 of the Revised Rules of Court is a ground for the dismissal of
an appeal, as provided for under Section 1(c)[,] Rule 50 of the same Rule.
We quote:

SECTION 1.Grounds for dismissal of appeal. – An appeal may be


dismissed by the Court of Appeals, on its own motion or on that of the
appellee, on the following grounds:
xxx xxx xxx
c. Failure of the appellant to pay the docket and other lawful fees as
provided in Section 4 of Rule 41; x x x

Petitioners and their co-defendants filed a Motion for Reconsideration invoking the
principle of liberality in the application of technical rules considering that they have paid
the substantial amount of ₱3,000.00 for docket and other legal fees and fell short only by
the meager amount of ₱30.00. As compliance, they attached to the said motion a postal
money order in the sum of ₱30.00 payable to the Clerk of Court of the CA.
ISSUE:
Whether the CA gravely erred in dismissing the appeal filed by the petitioners for
failure to remit the amount needed
HELD:
No. The CA properly dismissed the case.
Payment of the full amount of appellate court docket and lawful fees is mandatory
and jurisdictional; Relaxation of the rule on payment of appeal fee is unwarranted in this
case.
Section 4, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court provides:
Sec. 4.Appellate court docket and other lawful fees. – Within the period for taking
an appeal, the appellant shall pay to the clerk of court which rendered the judgment or
final order appealed from, the full amount of the appellate court docket and other lawful
fees. Proof of payment of said fees shall be transmitted to the appellate court together
with the original record or the record on appeal.
In Gonzales v. Pe (G.R. No. 167398, August 8, 2011), the Court’s explanation
anent the requirement of full payment of docket and other lawful fees under the
above-quoted provision was iterated, viz:

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
In Far Corporation v. Magdaluyo, as with other subsequent cases of the
same ruling, the Court explained that the procedural requirement under Section 4
of Rule 41 is not merely directory, as the payment of the docket and other legal
fees within the prescribed period is both mandatory and jurisdictional. It bears
stressing that an appeal is not a right, but a mere statutory privilege. An ordinary
appeal from a decision or final order of the RTC to the CA must be made within 15
days from notice. And within this period, the full amount of the appellate court
docket and other lawful fees must be paid to the clerk of the court which rendered
the judgment or final order appealed from. The requirement of paying the full
amount of the appellate docket fees within the prescribed period is not a mere
technicality of law or procedure. The payment of docket fees within the prescribed
period is mandatory for the perfection of an appeal. Without such payment, the
appeal is not perfected. The appellate court does not acquire jurisdiction over the
subject matter of the action and the Decision sought to be appealed from
becomes final and executory. Further, under Section 1 (c), Rule 50, an appeal
may be dismissed by the CA, on its own motion or on that of the appellee, on the
ground of the non-payment of the docket and other lawful fees within the
reglementary period as provided under Section 4 of Rule 41. The payment of the
full amount of the docket fee is an indispensable step for the perfection of an
appeal. In both original and appellate cases, the court acquires jurisdiction over
the case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fees.
Here, petitioners concede that payment of the full amount of docket fees within
the prescribed period is not a mere technicality of law or procedure but a jurisdictional
requirement. Nevertheless, they want this Court to relax the application of the rule on the
payment of the appeal fee in the name of substantial justice and equity.
The Court is not persuaded.
The liberality which petitioners pray for has already been granted to them by the
CA at the outset. It may be recalled that while petitioners paid a substantial part of the
docket fees, they still failed to pay the full amount thereof since their payment was short
of ₱30.00. Based on the premise that the questioned Decision of the RTC has already
become final and executory due to non-perfection, the CA could have dismissed the
appeal outright. But owing to the fact that only the meager amount of ₱30.00 was lacking
and considering that the CA may opt not to proceed with the case until the docket fees
are paid, it still required petitioners, even if it was already beyond the reglementary
period, to complete their payment of the appeal fee within 10 days from notice. Clearly,
the CA acted conformably with the pronouncement made in Camposagrado, a case cited
by petitioners, that "[a] party’s failure to pay the appellate docket fee within the
reglementary period confers only a discretionary and not a mandatory power to dismiss
the proposed appeal. Such discretionary power should be used in the exercise of the
court’s sound judgment in accordance with the tenets of justice and fair play with great
deal of circumspection, considering all attendant circumstances and must be exercised
wisely and prudently, never capriciously, with a view to substantial justice."

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 247
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
The CA’s leniency over petitioners’ cause did not end there. Although they were
given only 10 days to remit the ₱30.00 deficiency, the said court allowed an even longer
period of nine months to lapse, apparently in the hope that petitioners’ compliance would
be on its way. But as no payment was remitted, it was constrained to finally dismiss the
appeal for non-perfection. Surprisingly, petitioners were again heard of when they filed a
Motion for Reconsideration to which they attached a postal money order of ₱30.00.
Nevertheless, they did not offer any plausible explanation either as to why they, at the
start, failed to pay the correct docket fees or why they failed to comply with the CA’s
directive for them to remit the ₱30.00-deficiency. Instead, they focused on begging the
CA for leniency, arguing that the meager amount of the deficiency involved justifies
relaxation of the rules. What is worse is that even if the CA already took note of the lack
of such explanation in its Resolution denying petitioners’ motion for reconsideration,
petitioners, up to now, have not attempted to tender one in this Petition and instead
continue to capitalize on substantial justice, fair play and equity to secure a reversal of
the dismissal of their appeal. The Court cannot, therefore, help but conclude that there is
really no plausible reason behind the said omission.
Suffice it to say that "[c]oncomitant to the liberal interpretation of the rules of
procedure should be an effort on the part of the party invoking liberality to adequately
explain his failure to abide by the rules." Those who seek exemption from the application
of the rule have the burden of proving the existence of exceptionally meritorious reason
warranting such departure. Petitioners’ failure to advance any explanation as to why they
failed to pay the correct docket fees or to complete payment of the same within the
period allowed by the CA is thus fatal to their cause. Hence, a departure from the rule on
the payment of the appeal fee is unwarranted. Neither do the cases cited by petitioners
help because they are not in point. Unlike in this case, the CA in Camposagrado no
longer required the petitioners therein to complete the payment of the appeal fee by
remitting the ₱5.00 deficiency but just dismissed the appeal outright. Moreover, a
justifiable reason for the insufficient payment was tendered by petitioners in the said
case, i.e., that they relied on the assessment made by the collection officer of the court
and honestly believed that the amount collected from them was that which is mandated
by the Rules. The same thing goes true with Gutierrez. In fact, the pronouncement made
in Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. v. Asuncion, as cited in Gutierrez, even militates against
petitioners. It was reiterated therein that the rule that "a court acquires jurisdiction over
any case only upon payment of the prescribed docket fees does not apply where the
party does not deliberately intend to defraud the court in payment of docket fees, and
manifests its willingness to abide by the rules by paying additional docket fees when
required by the court." As may be recalled, petitioners in this case did not immediately
remit the deficient amount of ₱30.00 when required by the CA and only did so after the
lapse of more than nine months when their appeal was already dismissed.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
JOSE vs. NOVIDA
G.R. No.177374 July 2, 2014
DOCTRINE: A review under Rule 45 is not a matter of right but of sound judicial
discretion, and will be granted only when there are special and important reasons
therefor. Moreover, a petition for review under Rule 45 covers questions of law only.
"The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in cases brought before it from the CA via Rule 45
of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is generally limited to reviewing errors of law. This
Court is not a trier off acts. In the exercise of its power of review, the findings of fact of
the CA are conclusive and binding and consequently, it is not our function to analyze or
weigh evidence all over again."
FACTS:
Respondents Ernesto M. Novida, Rodolfo Palaylay, Jr., Alex M. Belarmino, Rodrigo
Libed, Leonardo L. Libed, Bernardo B. Belarmino, Benjamin G. Acosta, Modesto A.
Orlanda, Warlito B. Mejia, Mamerto B. Belarmino and Marcelo O. Delfin, together with
Cristina M. Esteban, were each granted – as farmer-beneficiaries – Emancipation
Patents (EPs) and Certificates of Title(covering one hectare each) over a parcel of land
in Pangasinan which was placed within the coverage of Operation Land Transfer.
Petitioners Mariano, Camilo, Victoria, Tiburcia and Fermina, as well as Josefina
and Anecita – all surnamed Jose – filed with the Office of Department of Agrarian Reform
a Petition for Reinvestigation and Cancellation of Anomalously Prepared and Generated
Emancipation Patents against the respondents, claiming that they are the bona fide and
actual tenant-tillers of the subject property; that they were issued Certificates of Land
Transfer (CLTs) to the same; that they are actually in possession of the same; and that
the EPs issued to respondents were anomalous. The Office of the DAR Region I ruled in
favor of the petitioners.
Respondents filed a complaint for recovery of possession, accounting, liquidation
and damages with injunctive relief against petitioners before the Regional Office of the
DARAB Urdaneta, Pangasinan. The DARAB held in favor of the respondents.
Meanwhile, the DAR Secretary issued an order affirming the order of the DAR
Region I Director in the petition for reinvestigation and cancellation of EPs filed by
petitioners against the respondents. However, on respondents’ motion for
reconsideration, the DAR Secretary issued another order stating that the DARAB has no
jurisdiction over the case.
Meanwhile, failing to obtain a reconsideration of the DARAB Urdaneta’s decision,
they appealed to DARAB Quezon City. The appeal was premised on the arguments that
the DARAB Urdaneta erred in taking cognizance of the case, which is under the
exclusive jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform as the subject property was
covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP); and that there is
another case between the parties – for cancellation of anomalously prepared/generated
Emancipation Patents – pending in the Office of the DAR Secretary. DARAB Quezon
City affirmed the DARAB Urdaneta decision. Petitioners filed a Motion for
Reconsideration,but the DARAB Quezon City denied the same. Petitioners went up to

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
the CA via Petition for Reviewinsisting that the DAR Secretary has exclusive jurisdiction
over the case. The CA affirmed the DARAB decision. Their motion for reconsideration
was denied.
Respondents point out that a review under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure is discretionary and will be granted only when there are special and important
reasons therefor; that such special and important circumstances that should warrant
review do not obtain in petitioners’ case.
ISSUE:
Whether or not a Petition for Review under Rule 45 is the proper remedy to assail a
decision of a quasi-judicial body
HELD:
No. As correctly pointed out by the respondents, a review of the instant petition
under Rule 45 is not a matter of right but of sound judicial discretion, and will be granted
only when there are special and important reasons therefor. Moreover, a petition for
review under Rule 45 covers questions of law only. “The jurisdiction of the Supreme
Court in cases brought before it from the CA via Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure is generally limited to reviewing errors of law. This Court is not a trier off acts.
In the exercise of its power of review, the findings of fact of the CA are conclusive and
binding and consequently, it is not our function to analyze or weigh evidence all over
again."
This Court finds that no special and important reasons exist to warrant a thorough
review of the assailed CA Decision. Quite the contrary, the Court is satisfied with and
can simply rely on the findings of the DARAB Urdaneta, DARAB Quezon City, and the
CA - as well as the very admissions of the petitioners themselves - to the effect that
respondents fulfilled all the requirements under the agrarian laws in order to become
entitled to their EPs; that F elicisimo voluntarily surrendered and abandoned the subject
property in favor of his creditors, who took over the land and tilled the same until 1987;
that Felicisimo migrated to the U.S.A. and became a naturalized American citizen; that in
1991, respondents were illegally dispossessed of their landholdings through force and
intimidation by the petitioners after Felicisimo returned from abroad; and that as between
petitioners and respondents, the latter are legally entitled to the subject property. These
identical findings are not only entitled to great respect, but even finality. For petitioners to
question these identical findings is to raise a question of fact.
It must be said as well that "factual findings of administrative bodies charged with
their specific field of expertise, are afforded great weight by the courts, and in the
absence of substantial showing that such findings were made from an erroneous
estimation of the evidence presented, they are conclusive, and in the interest of stability
of the governmental structure, should not be disturbed."

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
PLDT vs. OCAMPO
G.R. No. 163999 July 9, 2014
DOCTRINE: The 60-day limitation (Rule 65) may be relaxed only for the most
persuasive reasons and only in meritorious cases, which must be sufficiently shown by
the party invoking liberality.
FACTS:
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), through its Quality Control
Investigation Division (QCID), conducted an investigation on the alleged illegal
International Simple Resale (ISR) activities in Makati City. ISR is a method of routing and
completing an international long distance call using lines, cables, antennas, and/or
airwave or frequency that directly connect to the local or domestic exchange facilities of
the country of destination of the call. Likened to a jumper, the unauthorized routing of
international long distance calls by-passes petitioner’s International Gateway Facilities
(IGF) with the use of ISR access numbers, making international long distance calls
appear as local calls, and thereby, depriving petitioner of substantial revenues.
After confirming that some PLDT subscribers wereindeed operating ISR businesses
in Makati City, under the business names INFILNET and Emergency Monitoring
System(EMS), petitioner requested the assistance of the National Bureau of
Investigation (NBI) to apprehend the said subscribers. The Manila RTC issued two
search warrantsdirected at the officeof EMS, both located in Makati City.On the same
day, NBI agents conducted simultaneous raids during which electronic gadgets,
documents,assorted office supplies, several pieces of computer equipment, and some
personal belongings of the employees of INFILNET and EMS were seized.
An Information for the crime of simple theft was filed before the RTC of Makati City
against respondents Millard R. Ocampo, Cipriano Rey R. Hipolito, Eric F. Merjilla, and
Jose R. Carandang.Respondents posted bail the following day. Respondets filed before
the Makati RTC a Motion to Suppress or Exclude or Return Inadmissible Evidence
Unlawfully Obtained,assailing the validity of the Search Warrants on the ground that the
searches conducted were not in accordance with the established constitutional rules and
statutory guidelines. Makati RTC denied the Motion ruling that it is the issuing court, in
this case, the Manila RTC, which has the jurisdiction to rule on the validity of the Search
Warrants. Respondents moved for reconsideration but the same was
unavailing,prompting them to file with the CA a Petition for Certiorari. The CA rendered a
Decisiondismissing the Petition.
Respondents applied for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum against certain
persons allegedly in possession of documents relating to PAMTEL, a foreign
telecommunicationscompany with tie-ups to INFILNET and EMS.Finding the documents
irrelevant and immaterial to the resolution of the case, the RTC denied the application for
subpoena duces tecum. Respondents sought reconsideration but the RTC denied the
same in its Orderdated October 10, 2002. Respondents were notified of the denial of
their Motion for Reconsideration on October 18, 2002.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Respondents elevated the case to the CA via a Petition for Certiorariassailing the
Orders of the RTC Makati.The CA rendered a Decisionfinding grave abuse of discretion
on the part of the RTC in issuing the assailed Orders.In reversing the denial of the
Motion toSuppress, the CA explained thatcontrary to the findings of the RTC, there was
no intention on the part of respondents to delay the resolution of the Motion.
Petitioner assails the propriety of the CA’s reversal of the Orders of the RTC, positing
that in filing the Petition for Certiorari, respondents failed to observe procedural rules.
First, no motion for reconsideration of the RTC Makati order dated November 29, 2002,
denying respondents’ Motion to Suppress, was filed prior to the filing of the Petition for
Certiorari.Second, more than60-days had lapsed from the time respondents were
notified of the denialof their Motion for Reconsideration of the Order dated July 11, 2002,
which denied their application for subpoenaduces tecum. Respondents, on the other
hand, insist that their failure to file a motion for reconsideration of the Order dated
November 29, 2002 is not fatal as the rule is subject to exceptions.In this case,
respondents no longer filed a motion for reconsideration as they already moved inopen
court for a reconsideration of the denial of their Motion to Suppress butthe RTC flatly
denied the same.As to the alleged non-compliance with the 60-day period, respondents
brush aside the issue arguing that technical rules cannot prevent the CA fromgiving due
course to a Petition for Certiorari, which it considers to be meritorious.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the 60-day period required for filing of a special civil action should be
complied with
HELD:
Yes. The Petition for Certiorari should have been filed within 60 days from notice
of the denial of the Motion for Reconsideration of the assailed Order.
Section 4,Rule 65 of the Rules of Court provides that a special civil action for
certiorari should be instituted within 60 days from notice of the judgment, order, or
resolution, or from the notice of the denial of the motion for reconsideration of the
judgment, order, or resolution being assailed. The 60-day period, however, is
inextendible to avoid any unreasonable delay, which would violate the constitutional
rights of parties to a speedy disposition of their cases. Thus, strict compliance of this rule
is mandatory and imperative. But like all rules, the 60-day limitation may be relaxed "for
the most persuasive of reasons," which must be sufficiently shown by the party invoking
liberality.”
In this case, respondents were notified of the denial of their Motion for
Reconsideration on October 18, 2002.Accordingly, they had until December 17, 2002
within which to file a Petition for Certiorariwith the CA. Records, however, show that it
was only on January 20, 2003 that respondents filed their Petition for Certiorari. Instead
of admitting that more than 60 days had lapsed, respondents kept silent about it in their
Petition for Certiorari. When petitioner brought up the issue,respondents’ replywas
unresponsive. Infact, they did not even confirm or deny the alleged lapse of the 60-day
period. They have not offered any plausible justification for their non-compliance. In fact,

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
their adamant refusal to admit the obvious truth as well as their deliberate attempt to hide
this procedural lapse cannot be ignored. Leniency is given only to those deserving of it.
In this case, respondents are not entitled to any because they intentionally omitted to
indicate in their Petition for Certiorarithe date they were notified of the Order dated
October 10, 2002 in order to mislead the CA. Besides, relaxing the rule would not only be
unfair and unjust but would also be prejudicial to petitioner, who had every right to
believe that the order had attained finality and may no longer be altered, modified, or
reversed. As we have said, the 60-day limitation may be relaxed only for the most
persuasive reasons and only in meritorious cases, which must be sufficiently shown by
the party invoking liberality.Such is not the situation in this case.In the absence of a
motion for reconsideration, the Petition for Certiorari should have been
dismissed.Jurisprudence consistently holds that the filing of a motion for reconsideration
is a prerequisite to the institution of a petition for certiorari.Although this rule is subject to
certain exceptions, none of which is present in this case.Respondents admit that they
failed to file a motion for reconsideration of the Order dated November 29, 2002 prior to
filing the Petition for Certiorari. As an excuse, they alleged that their counselverbally
moved for a reconsideration of the denial of their Motion to Suppress, which the RTC
flatly denied in open court. Such allegation, however, as aptly pointed out by petitioner,is
not supported by the evidence as the Order dated November 29, 2002 made no mention
of such fact.It is also unlikely for respondents’ counsel to have moved for a
reconsideration of the said Order considering that, as stated in the Order, he appeared
only after the hearings were over.Besides, the lower court should first be informed of its
supposed error and be allowed to correct or rectify the same through a re-examination of
the legal and factual aspects of the case, which could only be done by filing a motion for
reconsideration of the assailed order.This respondents failed todo. Thus, in the absence
of a motion for reconsideration, the CA erred in giving due course to the Petition and in
reversing the Order dated November 29, 2002.In closing, we must emphasize thatwhile
litigation isnot a game of technicalities, this does not mean that procedural rules may be
ignored at will or that their non-observance may be dismissed simply because it may
prejudice a party’s substantial rights.Mere invocations of substantial justice and liberality
are not enough for the court tosuspend procedural rules.Again, except only for the most
compelling or persuasive reasons, procedural rules must be followed to facilitate the
orderly administration of justice.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
CANDELARIA and BASIT vs. HON. MARIA AMIFAITH S. FIDER-REYES
G.R. No. 173861 July 14, 2014
DOCTRINE: A Petition for Certiorari is dismissible for failure to allege that there is no
appeal, nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law as to
justify resort to certiorari.
The writ of certiorari is restricted to truly extraordinary cases wherein the act of
the lower court or quasi-judicial body is wholly void. Moreover, it is designed to correct
errors of jurisdiction and not errors in judgment.
FACTS:
During an alleged buy-bust operation conducted Jay Candelaria and Eric Basit
werefor delivering, with the intention to sell, five cases of counterfeit FundadorBrandy.
They were charged with violation of Section 155 in relation to Section 170 of Republic
Act No. 8293, otherwise known as the IntellectualProperty Code of the
Philippines.petitioners filed a Motion to Suppress/Exclude Evidence based on
inadmissibility of evidence. They contended that the evidence the prosecution intended
to present were obtained in violation of their constitutional right against unreasonable
searches and seizures. This is considering that at the time the alleged counterfeit
productswere seized, they were neither committing nor attempting to commit a crime in
the presence of the arresting officers as to justify the conduct of search and seizure
following their unlawful arrest.
RTC issued an order denying the Motion to Suppress/Exclude Evidence. Observing
that the motion was anchored on petitioners’ alleged illegal arrest, it held that any
objection to an arrest must be made before an accused enters his plea on arraignment.
Having failed to move for the quashal of the information before the arraignment, an
accused is estopped from questioning the legality of his arrest. Petitioners filed a Motion
for Reconsiderationwhich the RTC denied.
Thus they filed this Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Courtto nullify
and set aside two Orders of the RTC.
ISSUE:
Whether or not a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 is the proper remedy in the
given case
HELD:
No. It is to be stressed that in every special civil action under Rule 65, a party
seeking the writ whether for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus, must be able to show
that his or her resort to such extraordinary remedy is justified by the absence of an
appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. “[H]e
must allege in his petition and establish facts to show that any other existing remedy is
not speedy or adequate x x x.” As held in Visca v. Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources:

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
x x x [I]t is incumbent upon an applicant for a writ of certiorari to allege with
certainty in his verified petition facts showing that “there is no appeal, nor any
plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law,” because this is
an indispensable ingredient of a valid petition for certiorari. “Being a special civil
action, petitioner-appellant must allege and prove that he has no other speedy
and adequate remedy.” “Where the existence of a remedy by appeal or some
other plain, speedy and adequate remedy precludes the granting of the writ, the
petitioner must allege facts showing that any existing remedy is impossible or
unavailing, or that excuse petitioner for not having availed himself of such
remedy. A petition for certiorari which does not comply with the requirements of
the rules may be dismissed.17cralawlawlibrary

Pursuant to the foregoing, the instant Petition for Certiorari is dismissible for failure
to allege that there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law as to justify resort to certiorari.
Assuming the assailed October 12, 2005 Order (The Order denying the Motion to
Suppress/Exclude Evidence) to be erroneous, the mistake is an
error in judgment which is beyond the
ambit of certiorari.
In Triplex Enterprises, Inc. v. PNB-Republic Bank,the Court held that:

The writ of certiorari is restricted to truly extraordinary cases wherein the


act of the lower court or quasi-judicial body is wholly void. Moreover, it is designed
to correct errors of jurisdiction and not errors in judgment. The rationale of this
rule is that, when a court exercises its jurisdiction, an error committed while so
engaged does not deprive it of the jurisdiction being exercised when the error is
committed. Otherwise, every mistake made by a court will deprive it of its
jurisdiction and every erroneous judgment will be a void judgment.

When the court has jurisdiction over the case and person of the defendant, any
mistake in the application of the law and the appreciation of evidence committed
by a court may be corrected only by appeal. The determination made by the trial
court regarding the admissibility of evidence is but an exercise of its jurisdiction
and whatever fault it may have perpetrated in making such a determination is an
error in judgment, not of jurisdiction. Hence, settled is the rule that rulings of the
trial court on procedural questions and on admissibility of evidence during the
course of a trial are interlocutory in nature and may not be the subject of a
separate appeal or review on certiorari. They must be assigned as errors and
reviewed in the appeal properly taken from the decision rendered by the trial court
on the merits of the case.19cralawlawlibrary

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 255
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Here, it is undisputed that the RTC had jurisdiction over the case and the person of
the petitioners. As such, any perceived error in its interpretation of the law and its
assessment of evidence is correctible by appeal, not certiorari, as the same would only
be considered an error of judgment and not of jurisdiction. In particular, the RTC’s denial
of the Motion to Suppress/Exclude Evidence based on its assessment that the evidence
sought to be suppressed/excluded is admissible, was done in the proper exercise of its
jurisdiction. Assuming that the RTC’s determination is erroneous, the mistake is clearly
not an error of jurisdiction but of judgment which is not correctible by certiorari.
No grave abuse of discretion.
Even assuming that petitioners’ resort of certiorari is proper, the Petition must still be
dismissed for their failure to show that the RTC acted in grave abuse of discretion as to
amount to lack of jurisdiction. “Grave abuse of discretion is the capricious and whimsical
exercise of judgment on the part of the public officer concerned which is equivalent to an
excess or lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to
amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by
law, or to act at all in contemplation of law as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary
and despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility.

In this case, petitioners miserably failed to show how the RTC supposedly abused its
discretion. In fact, we note that the main issue raised by petitioners in their Petition is
when is the proper time to file a motion to suppress/exclude evidence.They even
conceded that this is a pure question of law.
In any case, our perusal of the records shows that the RTC did not abuse, much
more, gravely abuse its discretion. The RTC thoroughly considered the pleadings
submitted by the parties, to wit: Motion to Suppress/Exclude Evidence; Opposition (to
the Motion to Suppress Evidence); Reply; Rejoinder; and Sur-Rejoinder; as well as the
Joint affidavit submitted by the arresting officers. Only after a careful analysis of the
submissions of the parties did the RTC render its judgment.
Petitioners violated the principle
of hierarchy of courts.
It also did not escape our attention that from the RTC, petitioners made a direct
recourse to this Court. This is against the well-settled principle dictating that a petition
for certiorari assailing the interlocutory orders of the RTC should be filed with the Court
of Appeals and not directly with the Supreme Court. It was held in Rayos v. City of
Manilathat:
Indeed, this Court, the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Courts
exercise concurrent jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus,
quo warranto, habeas corpus and injunction. However, such concurrence in
jurisdiction does not give petitioners unbridled freedom of choice of court forum.
In Heirs of Bertuldo Hinog v. Melicor, citing People v. Cuaresma, the Court held:

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
This Court’s original jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari is not exclusive.
It is shared by this Court with Regional Trial Courts and with the Court of Appeals.
This concurrence of jurisdiction is not, however, to be taken as according to
parties seeking any of the writs an absolute, unrestrained freedom of choice of the
court to which application therefor will be directed. There is after all a hierarchy of
courts. That hierarchy is determinative of the venue of appeals, and also serves
as a general determinant of the appropriate forum for petitions for the
extraordinary writs. A becoming regard for that judicial hierarchy most certainly
indicates that petitions for the issuance of extraordinary writs against first level
(“inferior”) courts should be filed with the Regional Trial Court, and those against
the latter, with the Court of Appeals. A direct invocation of the Supreme Court’s
original jurisdiction to issue these writs should be allowed only when there are
special and important reasons therefor, clearly and specifically set out in the
petition. This is [an] established policy. It is a policy necessary to prevent
inordinate demands upon the Court’s time and attention which are better devoted
to those matters within its exclusive jurisdiction, and to prevent further
over-crowding of the Court’s docket.

Clearly, a direct invocation of this Court’s original jurisdiction may only be allowed if
there are special and important reasons clearly and specifically set out in the petition
which, however, are not obtaining in this case.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SILVERIO, SR. vs. SILVERIO, JR.
G.R. No. 186589, July 18, 2014
DOCTRINE: The pendency of a special civil action for certiorari instituted in relation to a
pending case does not stay the proceedings therein in the absence of a writ of
preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order.
A hearing is required in order to resolve a charge of indirect contempt; the
respondent to the charge may not be convicted on the basis of written pleadings alone.
FACTS:
The RTC Makati issued an Omnibus Order on the case, “In re: Intestate Estate of the
Late Beatriz S. Silverio, Ricardo C. Silverio, Sr., Petitioner, versus Ricardo S. Silverio,
Jr., Heir-Administrator Designate, Edmundo S. Silverio, Heir-Movant, and Ligaya S.
Silverio, represented by her Legal Guardian Nestor Dela Merced II, Heir-Intervenor,”
Petitioner Ricardo C. Silverio, Sr. (Ricardo Sr.) is the surviving spouse of the
decedent Beatriz S. Silverio, with whom he has children: herein respondent Ricardo Jr.
(Ricardo Jr.); Edmundo; Ligaya; and Nelia Silverio-Dee (Nelia). Lorna Cillan-Silverio
(Lorna) is Ricardo Sr.’s second wife. The subject matter of case is the decedent’s
intestate estate (the estate), which includes, among others, shares of stock in Pilipinas
Development Corporation (PDC) and a residential house in Urdaneta Village (house at
Urdaneta Village).
Nelia filed a Petition for Certiorari with the CA with an application for Writ of
Preliminary Injunction questioning the trial court’s Omnibus Order, particularly Ricardo
Jr.’s appointment as the new administrator.The CA granted Nelia’s petition.
Ricardo Jr. filed with this Court an “Appeal under Rule 45 and/or Certiorari under
Sec. 1, Rule 65” with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or
writ of preliminary injunction, seeking among others a reversal of the CA’s Resolution
and the issuance of injunctive relief. Respondent contended therein that the CA acted
with grave abuse of discretion in issuing the order and in granting injunctive relief against
him.
He wrote and sent two letters, one each to petitioners. Ricardo Jr. demanded in
the first letter that Ricardo Sr. cease and desist from 1) exercising the rights of a
stockholder in PDC; 2) managing PDC’s affairs and business; and 3) transacting with
third persons for and in behalf of PDC and to turn over all of its books and records. In
the second letter, Ricardo Jr. demanded that Lorna immediately vacate the house at
Urdaneta Village.

Petitioners filed with the CA a Petition for Indirect Contemptseeking that herein
respondent Ricardo Jr. be declared in indirect contempt of court and punished
accordingly. They alleged that respondent’s demand letters violate and defy the
CA’sResolutions which enjoined respondent’s appointment as administrator pursuant to
the Omnibus Order. The CA issued the assailed Decision, which held thus –

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
After a careful evaluation of the evidentiary records, this Court finds it
inappropriate to make a ruling on whether or not the Respondent has committed
certain acts violative of Revised Rule 71 of the Rules.Accordingly, in the light of
the foregoing development, this Court is compelled to restrain itself from resolving
the issuesin the instant petition.
Petitioners filed a Petiton for Review on Certiorari before the Supreme Court praying
that the assailed Decision be set aside and that the Court declare respondent guilty of
indirect contempt.
Ricardo Jr. submits that the mere act of writing and sending the letters to
petitioners does not make him liable for indirect contempt of court, as they do not deal
directly or indirectly with any of the enjoined acts enumerated in the Omnibus Order.
ISSUES:
Whether or not the CA is correct in suspending the application for a Petition for
Certiorari of the petitioner pending the appeal of the respondent
Whether or not the Supreme Court can take cognizance of the indirect contempt
proceedings filed before the appellate court
HELD:
No. The pendency of a special civil action for certiorari instituted in relation to a
pending case does not stay the proceedings therein in the absence of a writ of
preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order. Rule 65, Section 7 of the 1997
Rules makes this clear:
The court in which the petition is filed may issue orders expediting the
proceedings, and it may also grant a temporary restraining order or a writ of
preliminary injunction for the preservation of the rights of the parties pending such
proceedings. The petition shall not interrupt the course of the principal case
unless a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction has been
issued against the public respondent from further proceeding in the case.
The public respondent shall proceed with the principal case within ten (10) days from
the filing of a petition for certiorari with a higher court or tribunal, absent a temporary
restraining order or a preliminary injunction, or upon its expiration. Failure of the public
respondent to proceed with the principal case may be a ground for an administrative
charge.
Petitioners are thus correct in arguing that the pendency of Ricardo, Jr.’s appeal
with the CA did not interrupt the course of Nelia’s Petition for Certiorari with the CA, in
the absence of a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction issued in
the former case. This is because "an original action for certiorari is an independent
action and is neither a continuation nor a part of the trial resulting in the judgment
complained of." The CA therefore committed error in dismissing petitioners' indirect

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 259
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
contempt petition, on the ground of pendency of the respondent’s appeal. It need not
wait for this Court to resolve the same before the petitioners' contempt charge may be
heard.
No. The Supreme Court cannot, at this point, grant petitioners' plea to resolve the
merits of their petition for indirect contempt; it is the CA that should properly try the same.
Aside from the fact that the CA is the court against which the alleged contempt was
committed, a hearing is required in resolving a charge for indirect contempt. The
respondent in an indirect contempt charge may not be convicted on the basis of written
pleadings alone.
Sections 3 and 4, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, specifically outline the procedural
requisites before the accused may be punished for indirect contempt. First, there must
be an order requiring the respondent to show cause why he should not be cited for
contempt. Second, the respondent must be given the opportunity to comment on the
charge against him. Third, there must be a hearing and the court must investigate the
charge and consider respondent's answer. Finally, only if found guilty will respondent be
punished accordingly. The law requires that there be a charge in writing, duly filed in
court, and an opportunity given to the person charged to be heard by himself or counsel.
What is most essential is that the alleged contemner be granted an opportunity to meet
the charges against him and to be heard in his defenses. This is due process, which
must be observed at all times.
In contempt proceedings, the prescribed procedure must be followed. To be sure,
since an indirect contempt charge partakes the nature of a criminal charge, conviction
cannot be had merely on the basis of written pleadings. A respondent in a contempt
charge must be served with a copy of the motion/petition. Unlike in civil actions, the
Court does not issue summons on the respondent. While the respondent is not required
to file a formal answer similar to that in ordinary civil actions, the court must set the
contempt charge for hearing on a fixed date and time on which the respondent must
make his appearance to answer the charge.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the DOLE vs. NAMBOKU PEAK,
INC.
G.R. No.169745, July 18, 2014

DOCTRINE: A real party-in-interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by


the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit.
FACTS:
Namboku is a domestic corporation engaged in the business of providing manpower
services to variousclients, mainly airline companies. The Philippine Aircraft Loaders and
Cargo Employees AssociationSolidarity of Unions in the Philippines for Empowerment
and Reforms (PALCEA-SUPER) filed a Petitionfor direct certification election before the
Med-Arbiter seeking to represent the rank-and-file employees of Namboku assigned at
the Cargo and Loading Station of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) in Ninoy Aquino
International Airport; and that Namboku is an unorganized establishment. Namboku
opposed the Petitionon the ground of inappropriateness. It claimed that the members of
the PALCEA-SUPER are project employees. Hence, they cannot represent its regular
rank-and-file employees. The Med-Arbiter issued an Orderholding that the members of
PALCEA-SUPER are regular employees of Namboku.
Namboku appealedthe Med-Arbiter’s Order to the Secretary of the Labor,
maintaining that the members of PALCEA-SUPER are mere project employees. In the
meantime, Namboku received a summons setting the pre-election conference and
stating that the Order granting the conduct of a certification election in an unorganized
establishment is not appealable.
Namboku filed a Manifestation and Motion,as well as a Supplemental Motion and
Manifestation,seeking to suspend the conduct of certification election pending resolution
of its appeal. It contended that Section 17,Rule VIII of Department Order No. 40-03
prohibiting the filing of an appeal from an order granting the conduct of a certification
election in an unorganized establishment is unconstitutional because it runs counter to
Article 259of the Labor Code. The Secretary of Labor denied the appeal and affirmed the
Med-Arbiter’s Order. In rejecting Namboku’s contention that Section 17, Rule VIII of
Department Order No. 40-03 is unconstitutional, the Secretary of Labor ratiocinated that
unless said Department Order is declared by a competent court as unconstitutional, her
office would treat the same as valid.
Namboku filed before the CA a Petition for Certiorari. Namboku imputed grave abuse
of discretion on the part of the Secretary ofLabor in (i) not resolving the issue of
appropriateness and (ii) rejecting its appeal based on an invalid provision of Department
Order 40-03. The CA issued its Decisiongranting Namboku’s Petition and reversing the
resolution of the Secretary of Labor.
The Secretary of Labor filed a Motion for Reconsideration.This prompted
Namboku to file a Motion to Expungeon the ground that the Secretary of Labor is a mere
nominalparty who has no legal standing to participate or prosecute the case. It argued

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
that the Secretary of Labor should have refrained from filing the said Motion for
Reconsideration and should havemaintained the cold neutrality of an impartial judge.
The CA issued a Resolutiondenying the Secretary of Labor’s Motion for
Reconsideration on the ground, among others, that she is merely a nominal party to the
case and has no personal interest therein.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Secretary of Labor has legal standing to file a Motion for
Reconsideration against reversal of its order by the CA
HELD:
No. The Secretary of Labor isnot the real party-in-interest vested with personality to
file the present petitions. A real party-in-interest is the party who stands to bebenefited or
injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit.As thus
defined, the real parties-in-interest in these cases would have been PALCEA-SUPER
and PJWU-SUPER. The Sec. of Labor was impleaded in the Petitions for Certiorari filed
before the CA as a nominal party because one of the issues involved therein was
whether she committed an error of jurisdiction. But that does not make her a real
party-in-interest or vests her withauthority to appeal the Decisions of the CA in case it
reverses her ruling. Under Section 1, Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, only real
parties-in-interest who participated in the litigation of the case before the CA canavail of
an appeal by certiorari.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SPOUSES MANZANILLA and VELASCO vs. WATERFIELDS INDUSTRIES CORP.
G.R. No.177484, July 18, 2014
DOCTRINE: Under the doctrine of estoppel, an admission or representation is rendered
conclusive upon the person making it, and cannot be denied or disproved as against the
person relying thereon.
Rule 129, SEC. 4. Judicial admissions. – An admission, verbal or written, made
by a party in the course of the proceedings in the same case, does not require proof. The
admission may be contradicted only by showing that it was made through palpable
mistake or that no such admission was made.
FACTS:
The spouses Manzanilla are the owners of a parcel of land in Barangay San Miguel,
Sto. Tomas, Batangas. They leased a 6,000-square meter portion of the
above-mentioned property to Waterfields, as represented by its President Aliza R. Ma.
Beginning April 1997, however, Waterfields failed to pay the monthly rental.
Hence, Ma sent the spouses Manzanilla a letter dated July 7, 1997 which reads as
follows:

Spouses Mr. & Mrs. Alejandro Manzanilla


Sto. Tomas, Batangas
I promise to pay the following rentals in arrears:
10 April 97 8,000.00
10 May 97 18,000.00
10 June 97 18,000.00
10 July 97 18,000.00
check replacement 8,000.00
P70,000.00

by way of check payment dated July 15, 1997.

In addition to the aforementioned, I will give a check for the amount of P18,000,
representing advance rental for the month of August 1997.

From hereon, notwithstanding the terms of the lease contract, I shall pay rentals
(eve) on or before the 10th day of each month, (30-day) representing advance
rental.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
The deposit stipulated in our lease contract shall be used exclusively for the
payment of unpaid utilities, if any, and other incidental expenses only and applied
at the termination of the lease.

The lease contract dated 5/24/94 shall be amended according to the above
provision.

(Signed) ALIZA MA President


Waterfields Industries Corporation
7/9/97
Quezon City
The spouses Manzanilla filed before the MTC a Complaint for Ejectment against
Waterfields. On the other hand, Waterfields claimed that it did not fail or refuse to pay the
monthly rentals but was just utilizing the rental deposit. It argued that the spouses
Manzanilla have no cause of action against it. Waterfields also asserted that the
precipitate filing of the Complaint against it is tainted with bad faith and intended to cause
it grave injustice considering that it already spent an enormous amount in developing the
property.
The MTC found Ma’s letter to have amended the Contract of Lease. In particular,
Section 4 of the Contract of Lease which provides that the rental deposit shall answer for
any unpaid rentals, damages, penalties and unpaid utility charges was superseded by
the portion in Ma’s July 9, 1997 letter which states that “the deposit stipulated in our
lease contract shall be used exclusively for the payment of unpaid utilities, if any,
and other incidental expenses only and applied at the termination of the lease”.
Hence, the MTC found no merit in Waterfield’s claim that it did not fail or refuse to pay
the monthly rentals as it was applying the rental deposit to its payment of the same.
Consequently, the MTC declared that Waterfields violated the lease agreement due to
non-payment of rentals.
Before the RTC, Waterfields questioned the MTC’s ruling that Ma’s letter of July 9,
1997 effectively amended the Contract of Lease. It argued that the said letter is
unenforceable under the Statute of Frauds since the same was merely in the handwriting
of Ma, unsubscribed by both parties, and unacknowledged before a notary public.
Hence, the rental deposit should have been applied as payment for monthly rentals
pursuant to the original Contract of Lease.
The RTC, however, was unimpressed. It noted in its Decision dated July 14, 2000
that in its Answer, Waterfields admitted paragraph 5 of the Complaint which states that
the Contract of Lease was amended on June 6, 1994 and July 9, 1997.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
The CA reversed the RTC’s decision. The spouses Manzanilla contend that there
can be no issue as to the due execution, effectivity and enforceability of Ma’s July 9,
1997 letter since aside from the fact that Waterfields itself admitted in its Answer that the
Contract of Lease was amended on July 9, 1997, the MTC and the RTC had uniformly
ruled that the said letter operates as an amendment to the original contract. Hence, this
Petition for Certiorari.

ISSUES:
Whether or not the CA is correct in reversing the RTC’s decision

HELD:
No.
Waterfields cannot now contradict its
judicial admission that the Contract of
Lease was amended on July 9, 1997;
the doctrine of estoppel likewise bars it
from falsifying Ma’s July 9, 1997 letter
in this litigation.

Section 4, Rule 129 of the Rules of Court provides:

SEC. 4. Judicial admissions. – An admission, verbal or written, made by a


party in the course of the proceedings in the same case, does not require proof.
The admission may be contradicted only by showing that it was made through
palpable mistake or that no such admission was made.

“A party may make judicial admissions in (a) the pleadings, (b) during trial, either
by verbal or written manifestations or stipulations, or (c) in other stages of the
judicial proceeding.”

Here, paragraph 5 of the Complaint alleges

5. That, subsequently, the said Contract of Lease was amended on 06 June


1994 and on 09 July 1997 x x x.

Whereas, paragraph 2 of Waterfields’ Answer reads:

2. Paragraphs 4, 5, and 6 of the Complaint are admitted.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Clearly, Waterfields admitted in its Answer the truth of the material allegation that the
Contract of Lease was amended on July 9, 1997. “It is well- settled that judicial
admissions cannot be contradicted by the admitter who is the party itself and binds the
person who makes the same, and absent any showing that this was made thru palpable
mistake (as in this case), no amount of rationalization can offset it.”

Moreover, “[u]nder the doctrine of estoppel, an admission or representation is


rendered conclusive upon the person making it, and cannot be denied or disproved as
against the person relying thereon. A party may not go back on his own acts and
representations to the prejudice of the other party who relied upon them. In the law of
evidence, whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or omission, intentionally
and deliberately led another to believe a particular thing [to be] true, and to act upon
such belief, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such declaration, act, or omission,
be permitted to falsify it.”

In view of these, any effort on the part of Waterfields to impugn the July 9, 1997 letter
is futile.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
LAS MARIAS GRILL AND RESTAURANT vs. BUCAD
G.R. No. 196249, July 21, 2014
DOCTRINE: In the exercise of its power of review, the findings of fact of the CA are
conclusive and binding and consequently, it is not our function to analyze or weigh
evidence all over again.
Factual findingsof administrative bodies charged with their specific field of
expertise, are affordedgreat weight by the courts, and in the absence of substantial
showing that suchfindings were madefrom an erroneous estimation of the evidence
presented, they are conclusive, and in the interest of stability of the governmental
structure, should not be disturbed
FACTS:
Complaints for Illegal Dismissal and Money Claims filed by respondents,
Ferdinand M. Bucad, Charleston A. Reynante, Bernadine B. Roaquin, Marlon A. Ompoy,
Ruben N. Laroza, Evageline B. Bumacod, Wilma Caingles, Brian Ogario, Evelyn
A.Bastan, Anaclito A. Bastan, Ma. Gina Benitez, Herminio Agsaoay, Norberto
Ballasteros, Demetrio L. Berdin, Jr., Joel Ducusin, Jovy R. Balata, and Maribel Roaquin,
against petitioners Las Marias Grill and Restaurant and Café Teria Bar and Restaurant,
single proprietorships owned by petitionersRose Hana Angeles and Zenaida Angeles,
respectively. They bewailed thatthey were underpaid workers.
Petitioners offered not a tinge of explanation as they failed to submit their Position
Paper.Ensuingly, the Labor Arbiter rendered a Decision ruling that petitioners are guilty
of illegal dismissal. Aggrieved, petitioners seasonably appealed to the National Labor
Relations Commission ("NLRC") flatly denying the charges against them. They were
surprised to discover that their former counsel did not file any pleading in their behalf to
refute respondents’ accusations.
The NLRC affirmed the Labor Arbiter’s decision. The CA affirmed the NLRC
decision. The petitioners filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari. They would have this
Court resolve issues which require a reevaluation of the evidence; issues of fact relating
to the dismissal of their employeesand the computation of monetary claims, which have
been passed upon by the Labor Arbiter, the NLRC, and the CA.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Supreme Court can review findings of fact of the Court of Appeals
and of the NLRC
HELD:
No. What must be realized, however, is that this Court is not a trier of facts. "The
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in cases brought before it from the CA viaRule 45 of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is generally limited to reviewing errors of law. This
Court is not a trier offacts. In the exercise of its power of review, the findings of fact of the
CA are conclusive and binding and consequently, it is not our function to analyze or
weigh evidence all over again."26 This principle applies with greater force in labor cases,

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
where this Court has consistently held that findings of fact of the NLRC are accorded
great respect and even finality,especially if they coincide withthose of the LaborArbiter
and are supported by substantial evidence.
"Judicial review by this Court does not extend to a reevaluation of the sufficiency
ofthe evidence uponwhich the proper labor tribunal has based its determination."Factual
issues are beyond the scope of this Court’s authority to review on certiorari.
Moreover, "factual findingsof administrative bodies charged with their specific field
of expertise, are affordedgreat weight by the courts, and in the absence of substantial
showing that suchfindings were madefrom an erroneous estimation of the evidence
presented, they are conclusive, and in the interest of stability of the governmental
structure, should not be disturbed."

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SPOUSES MAURICIO M. TABINO and LEONILA DELA CRUZ-TABINO vs.LAZARO
M. TABINO
G.R. No. 196219, July 30, 2014

DOCTRINE: Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies and Forum-Shopping

FACTS:
Proclamation No. 518 was issued, establishing the military reservation known as
Fort Bonifacio situated in the then municipalities of Pasig, Taguig, Pateros and
Parañaque, Province of Rizal and Pasay City. Proc. 518 allowed a maximum area of 300
square meters for disposition to any bona fide occupants/residents of different
Barangays. Petitioner Mauricio M. Tabino (Mauricio) – a technical sergeant in the military
– and his brother, respondent Lazaro M. Tabino – a colonel in the military – occupied a
353-square meter lot in Pembo, Makati City. Mauricio established residence within the
lot, while respondent continued to reside in Novaliches, Quezon City. The lot was later
subdivided into two portions, denominated as Lots 2 and 3, Block 255, Zone 12, Group
10, Sampaguita Extension, Pembo, Makati City.
On May 11, 2004, respondent filed an ejectment case against Mauricio and the latter’s
wife, Leonila dela Cruz with the Metropolitan Trial Court of Makati. The ejectment case is
based on the theory that respondent is the true and sole owner of the 353-square meter
lot; Petitioners countered in their Answer that respondent had no right to eject them, that
the parties’ true agreement was that petitioners would act as caretakers of respondent’s
Lot 3, and for this, respondent would pay petitioners a monthly salary of
₱800.00. Petitioners and respondent both filed Protests with the DENR relative to Lots 2
and 3. The DENR held that respondent (plaintiff) is not qualified to acquire Lot 2 under
Proc. 518 since he was already awarded a home lot in Fort Bonifacio. The ejectment
case in MeTC favored the Petitioners. It ruled that the Plaintiff’s contention that
defendants’ stay on the premises is by mere tolerance is devoid of merit.
Well-established is the rule that findings of administrative agencies are accorded not
only respect but also finality when the decision or order is not tainted with unfairness or
arbitrariness that would amount to grave abuse of discretion. RTC affirmed the lower
court’s decision. However, CA, reversed the decision.

ISSUE/S:
1) CAN THE COURT ACQUIRE JURISDICTION TO HEAR AND ADJUDICATE ON
REVIEW THE FINDINGS OF FACTS BY AN ADMINISTRATIVE BODY
WITHOUT HAVING ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES FIRST EXHAUSTED?

2) HAS RESPONDENT VIOLATEDTHE RULE AGAINST FORUM- SHOPPING IN


FILING EJECTMENT CASE AGAINST PETITIONERS DURING THE
PENDENCY OF THE MISCELLANEOUS SALES APPLICATION CASES
BEFORE THE DENR WHICH ADMINISTRATIVE BODY, IN EXERCISE OF ITS
QUASI-JUDICIAL FUNCTION, HAS FIRST ACQUIRED JURISDICTION OVER
THE SAME PARTIES, SAME SUBJECT MATTER AND SAME ISSUES OF
FACT AND LAW?

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HELD:
Respondent is correct in arguing that petitioners may not raise the issues of
exhaustion of administrative remedies and forum-shopping, after having voluntarily
submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the MeTC and the RTC trying the ejectment
case. Besides, these issues are being raised for the first time at this stage of the
proceedings. Moreover, petitioners in the instant Petition pray for the reinstatement of
the MeTC Decision. As such, they cannot be allowed to simultaneously attack and adopt
the proceedings or actions taken by the lower courts.
On this point, it is worth stressing that the courts generally accord great respect, if not
finality, to factual findings of administrative agencies because of their special knowledge
and expertise over matters falling under their jurisdiction. Echoing the explanation of the
private respondent DENR, citing the case of Ortua vs. Encarnacion, the findings of facts
of the Director of Land (now the Regional Director) is conclusive in the absence of any
showing that such decision was rendered in consequence of fraud, imposition or
mistake, other than error of judgment in estimating the value or effect of evidence,
regardless of whether or not it is consistent with the preponderance of evidence, so long
as there is some evidence upon which the findings in question could be made.
We agree with the respondents and dismiss the petition for petitioners’ failure to exhaust
administrative remedies. The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is a
cornerstone of Our judicial system. The thrust of the rule is that courts must allow
administrative agencies to carry out their functions and discharge their responsibilities
within the specialized areas of their respective competence. The rationale for this doctrine
is obvious. It entails lesser expenses and provides for the speedier resolution of
controversies. Comity and convenience also impel courts of justice to shy away from a
dispute until the system of administrative redress has been completed.
Another important reason for the doctrine of exhaustion is the separation of powers,
which enjoins the Judiciary a becoming policy of non-interference with matters coming
primarily (albeit not exclusively) within the competence of the other departments. The
theory is that the administrative authorities are in a better position to resolve questions
addressed to their particular expertise and that errors committed by subordinates in their
resolution may be rectified by their superiors if given a chance to do so. Strict
enforcement of the rule could also relieve the courts of a considerable number of
avoidable cases which otherwise would burden their heavily loaded dockets.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
MEYR ENTERPRISES CORPORATION vs. ROLANDO CORDERO
G.R. No. 197336, September 3, 2014

DOCTRINE:A question of fact cannot be raised in petitions for review on certiorari; in


such appeals by petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45, only questions of law
shall be raised.

FACTS:
On August 22, 2002, Meyr Enterprises Corporation (plaintiff-appellant,) filed a
Complaint7 for Damages and Attorney’s Fees before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu
City against Rolando Cordero (defendant-appellee). Meyr claims to be the registered
owner of a 4,887-square meter parcel of land covered by TCT No. T-1198. He alleged
that sometime in July 2002, defendant constructed a dike in front of his land. The flow of
the waves of the sea causing damages to his land. The trees in the land were allegedly
in danger of being uprooted and the sand of disappearing further. Plaintiff-appellant
prays actual damages, moral damages, and exemplary damages. Cordero averred that
the construction of the dike began December 2001 through the authority of the Local
Government of Guinsiliban, Camiguin pursuant to a resolutionof the Sangguniang
Bayan. He added that plaintiff-appellant has no personality to sue as the area in
controversy is a foreshore land, owned by the State and under no circumstances will
plaintiff suffer any damage or injury there from. RTC dismissed the complaint of the
plaintiff based on defendant-appellee’s affirmative defenses. Plaintiff’s file an MR but
was also denied. In CA, it concluded that Meyr is not assailing the dismissal of its
complaint but only the award of moral damages, attorney’s fees, and litigation cost by the
trial court, which it based on malicious prosecution, but it affirmed the decision of the
RTC.

ISSUE/S:
1) WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS AND THE TRIAL COURT
GROSSLY ERRED WHEN IT RULED THAT PETITIONER FILED SUBJECT
COMPLAINT WITH THE INTENTION TO VEX, HUMILIATE AND ANNOY
RESPONDENT WHICH AMOUNTED TO MALICIOUS PROSECUTION

HELD:
The Court denies the Petition. The resolution of the case hinges on the question of
whether petitioner is guilty of malice and bad faith in instituting Civil Case, if it is not so,
then there is no ground to hold it liable for malicious prosecution. The existence of bad
faith is a question of fact and is evidentiary. It requires that the reviewing court look into
the evidence to find if indeed there is proof that is substantial enough to show such bad
faith. However, this Court is not a trier of facts, it is not duty-bound to analyze again and
weigh the evidence introduced in and considered by the tribunals below. When supported
by substantial evidence, the findings of fact of the CA are conclusive and binding on the
parties and are not reviewable by this Court. This being the case, the instant Petition must
fail because a question of fact cannot properly be raised in a petition for review on
certiorari. An appeal by petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 shall raise only

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
questions of law.Of course this is subject to exceptions. However, these exceptions do
not obtain in the instant case. It will suffice for this Court to rely on the judgment of the trial
and appellate court prevailing jurisprudence uniformly holds that findings of facts of the
trial court, particularly when affirmed by the Court of Appeals, are binding upon this Court.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION vs. LUIS SAMAR and MAGDALENA SAMAR
G.R. No. 197329, September 8, 2014

DOCTRINE:Determination of just compensation under Rule 67 of the 1997 Rules of Civil


Procedure.

FACTS:
Petitioner National Power Corporation (NPC) filed Civil Case No. IR-2243 with the
RTC, seeking to expropriate respondent spouses Luis and Magdalena Samar’s
1,020-square meter lot which NPC needed for the construction of a transmission line.
The RTC directed the issuance of a Writ of Condemnation in favor of NPC. Accordingly,
NPC entered the subject lot and constructed its transmission line denominated as Tower
No. 83. However, the trial court issued another Order5 dismissing Civil Case No. IR-2243
without prejudice for failure to prosecute, to wit - After almost three (3) years since the
said order was issued, the Committee has not met nor deliberated on said matter and the
parties in this case have not exerted efforts in pursuing their claims despite so long a
time. Case is dismissed without prejudice.
Respondents filed with the same trial court a Complaint, docketed as Civil Case No.
IR-2678, for compensation and damages against NPC relative to the subject lot which
NPC took over but for which it failed to pay just compensation on account of the
dismissal of Civil Case No. IR-224. Atty. Wenifredo Pornillo, recommended a valuation
within the range of ₱1,000.00 to ₱1,500.00 per square meter. Lorenzo C. Orense,
commissioner for NPC, did not set an amount, although he stated that the lot should be
valued at the prevailing market prices of agricultural, and not residential, lands within the
area. The court representative, Esteban D. Colarina, proposed a ₱1,100.00 per square
meter valuation. RTC, ruled the value of the subject lot at ₱1,000.00 per square meter.
NPC filed an appeal to CA which was denied.

ISSUE/S:
1) WHETHER OR NOT CA COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE ERROR IN NOT
REMANDING THE COURT FOR DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF JUST
COMPENSATION FOR THE EXPROPRIATED PROPERTY INACCORDANCE
WITH SECTION 4, RULE 67 OF THE REVISED RULES OF COURT.

HELD:
The Court grants the Petition. NPC insists that Section 4, Rule 67 of the 1964 Rules of
Court should have been observed in fixing the amount of just compensation for the
subject lot, that the value of the lot at the time of NPC’s taking thereof or filing of Civil
Case No. IR-2243 in 1990 should have been the basis for computing just compensation
and not the prevailing market value at the time of the filing or pendency of Civil Case No.
IR-2678 in 1995. NPC thus prays that Civil Case No. IR-2678 be remanded to the trial
court for determination of just compensation applying Section 4, Rule 67 of the 1964
Rules of Court.
In Republic v. Court of Appeals, Just compensation is based on the price or value of the
property at the time it was taken from the owner and appropriated by the government.

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Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
However, if the government takes possession before the institution of expropriation
proceedings, the value should be fixed as of the time of the taking of said possession,
not of the filing of the complaint. The value at the time of the filing of the complaint should
be the basis for the determination of the value when the taking of the property involved
coincides with or is subsequent to the commencement of the proceedings.
The procedure for determining just compensation is set forth in Rule 67 of the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure. Section 5 of Rule 67 partly states that ‘upon the rendition of the
order of expropriation, the court shall appoint not more than three (3) competent and
disinterested persons as commissioners to ascertain and report to the court the just
compensation for the property sought to be taken.’ However, we held in Republic v.
Court of Appeals that Rule 67 presupposes a prior filing of complaint for eminent domain
with the appropriate court by the expropriator. If no such complaint is filed, the
expropriator is considered to have violated procedural requirements, and hence, waived
the usual procedure prescribed in Rule 67, including the appointment of commissioners
to ascertain just compensation. In National Power Corporation v. Court of Appeals, we
clarified that when there is no action for expropriation and the case involves only a
complaint for damages or just compensation, the provisions of the Rules of Court on
ascertainment of just compensation (i.e., provisions of Rule 67) are no longer applicable,
and a trial before commissioners is dispensable.

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Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
EDUARDO D. MONSANTO, DECOROSO D. MONSANTO, SR., AND REV. FR.
PASCUAL D. MONSANTO, JR. vs. LEONCIO LIM AND LORENZO DE GUZMAN
G.R. No. 178911 September 17, 2014

DOCTRINE: Filing the appropriate initiatory pleading and the payment of the prescribed
docket fees vest a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter.

FACTS:
Flordelis B. Menzon, Regional Director of the Home Development Mutual Fund
requested the intervention of Executive Judge Sinforiano A. Monsanto of the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Catbalogan, Samar on the alleged anomalous auction sale
conducted by Sheriff IV Lorenzo De Guzman. According to Pag-IBIG, De Guzman
previously acceded to its request to move the date of the auction sale to January 20,
2004; however, to its surprise, the sale proceeded as originally scheduled on January
15, 2004. Pag-IBIG also claimed that the winning bid of Leoncio Lim in the amount of
P500,000.00 was grossly disadvantageous to the government considering that the
outstanding loan obligations of the mortgagor, Eduardo Monsanto, was more than the
bid amount. Executive Judge Monsanto refrained from acting on the letter considering
that Eduardo is his relative; instead he re-assigned the same to Judge Sibanah E.
Usman of Branch 28.
Pag-IBIG informed the trial court that the loan of Eduardo had been restructured and that
Eduardo had commenced paying monthly amortizations, that as a result of the
restructuring, Pag-IBIG is withdrawing its Petition for Extra-judicial Foreclosure. And that
it is no longer interested in pursuing an administrative action against De Guzman.
Leoncio opposed Pag-IBIG’s manifestation. Leoncio filed with Branch 27 a Manifestation
with Ex-Parte Motion for Issuance of Writ of Possession claiming that the reglementary
period had elapsed without Eduardo redeeming the subject property, as such, he is
already entitled to the issuance of a writ of possession. On July 15, 2005, Decoroso D.
Monsanto and Pascual moved to intervene in the case. Both claimed that they are
co-owners and actual possessors of the subject property. RTC ruled that The public
auction sale are in order. There is no showing that he has abused his authority during
the conduct of the public auction. CA affirmed the decision of the RTC.

ISSUE/S:
WHETHER OR NOT CA ERRED IN RULING THAT NO GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION WAS COMMITTED BY THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BRANCH 27, IN
ITS ISSUANCE OF THE WRIT OF POSSESSION AND ITS ISSUANCE DOES NOT
NEED A MOTION FOR THE CONFIRMATION OF SALE WHICH REQUIRES A
HEARING.

HELD:
The Petition is dismissed.Filing the appropriate initiatory pleading and the payment
of the prescribed docket fees vest a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject
matter. Section 5, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court specifically provides that a civil action is
commenced by the filing of the original complaint in court. Moreover, every ordinary civil
action must be based on a cause of action.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 275
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
In this case, records show that no formal complaint or petition was filed in court. The
case was supposedly “commenced” through a letter of Pag-IBIG asking the intervention
of Executive Judge Monsanto on the alleged anomalous foreclosure sale conducted by
De Guzman. However, said letter could not in any way be considered as a
pleading. Section 1, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court defines pleadings as “written
statements of the respective claims and defenses of the parties submitted to the court for
appropriate judgment.” To stress, Pag-IBIG’s letter could not be considered as a formal
complaint or petition. First, the parties to the case were not identified pursuant to
Section 1, Rule 3 and Section 1,31 Rule 7. Second, the so-called claim or cause of
action was not properly mentioned or specified. Third, the letter miserably failed to
comply with the requirements of Rule 7, Rules of Court. The letter bore no caption, it
was not even assigned a docket number; the parties were not properly identified, the
allegations were not properly set forth, no particular relief is sought, in fact, only the
intervention of Executive Judge Monsanto is requested, it was not signed by a counsel,
and most of all, there is no verification or certification against forum-shopping.
We have also noted that no docket fees were paid before the trial court. Section 1, Rule
141 of the Rules of Court mandates that upon the filing of the pleading or other
application which initiates an action or proceeding, the fees prescribed therefore shall be
paid in full. It is hornbook law that courts acquire jurisdiction over a case only upon
payment of the prescribed docket fee.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 276
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HEIRS OF TELESFORO JULAO, namely, ANITA VDA. DE ENRIQUEZ, SONIA J.
TOLENTINO and RODERICK JULAO vs.SPOUSES ALEJANDRO and MORENITA
DE JESUS
G.R. No. 176020 September 29, 2014

DOCTRINE: Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law and is determined by
the material allegations of the complaint. Thus, it cannot be acquired through, or waived
by, any act or omission of the parties nor can it be cured by their silence, acquiescence, or
even express consent.

FACTS:
Telesforo Julao filed before the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR), Baguio City, two Townsite Sales Applications (TSA), TSA No. V-2132 and TSA
No.V-6667.Upon his death on June 1, 1971, his applications were transferred to his heirs.
On April 30, 1979, Solito Julao (Solito) executed a Deed of Transfer of Rights, transferring
his hereditary share in the property covered by TSA No. V-6667 to respondent spouses
Alejandro and Morenita De Jesus. In 1983, respondent spouses constructed a house on
the property they acquired from Solito. In 1986, Solito went missing. DENR issued an
Order, Rejection and Transfer of Sales Rights. Consequently, on December 21, 1998,
Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. P-2446,covering a 641-square meter property, was
issued in favor of the heirs of Telesforo.
On March 2, 1999, petitioners, representing themselves to be the heirs of Telesforo,
filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Baguio City, a Complaint or Recovery of
Possession of Real Property, against respondent spouses. Petitioners alleged that they
are the true and lawful owners of a 641-square meter parcel of land located at Naguilian
Road, Baguio City, covered by OCT No. P-2446. Respondent spouses filed a Motion to
Dismiss on the ground of prescription, which the RTC denied for lack of merit.Thus, they
filed an Answer contending that they are the true and lawful owners and possessors of
the subject property, that they acquired the said property from petitioners' brother,
Solito; and that contrary to the claim of petitioners, TSA No. V-6667 and TSA No. V-2132
pertain to the same property.
After petitioners rested their case, respondent spouses filed a Motion for Leave of
Court to File a Demurrer to Evidence. The RTC, however, denied the Motion.
The heirs of Solito then moved to intervene and filed an Answer-ln-lntervention, arguing
that their father, Solito, is a legitimate son of Telesforo and that Solito sold his hereditary
share in the estate of his father to respondent spouses by virtue of a Deed of Transfer of
Rights. RTC rendered a decision in favor of the petitioners. On Appeal, the CA reversed
the ruling of the RTC. The CA found the Complaint dismissible on two grounds: (1) failure
on the part of petitioners to identify the property sought to be recovered; and (2) lack of
jurisdiction.

ISSUE/S:
1) WHETHER OR NOT THE CA COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN RULING
THAT THE TRIAL COURT DID NOT ACQUIRE JURISDICTION OVER THE
COMPLAINT.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 277
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
HELD:
The Petition lacks merit.
The assessed value must be alleged in the complaint to determine which court has
jurisdiction over the action.
Jurisdiction as we have said is conferred by law and is determined by the allegations in
the complaint, which contains the concise statement of the ultimate facts of a plaintiffs
cause of action. SEC. 19.Jurisdiction in Civil Cases. - Regional Trial Courts shall exercise
exclusive original jurisdiction:
(2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real property, or any
interest therein, where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds twenty
thousand pesos (₱20,000.00) or for civil actions in Metro Manila, where such value
exceeds Fifty thousand pesos (₱50,000.00) except actions for forcible entry into and
unlawful detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon
the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts:
SEC. 33.Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal
Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases. – Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:
(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
therein does not exceed Twenty Thousand Pesos (₱20,000.00) or, in civil actions in
Metro Manila, where such assessed value does not exceed Fifty Thousand Pesos
(₱50,000.00) 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 value of the adjacent lots.
Based on the foregoing, it is clear that in an action for recovery of possession, the
assessed value of the property sought to be recovered determines the court's jurisdiction.
In this case, for the RTC to exercise jurisdiction, the assessed value of the subject
property must exceed ₱20,000.00. Since petitioners failed to allege in their Complaint the
assessed value of the subject property, the CA correctly dismissed the Complaint as
petitioners failed to establish that the RTC had jurisdiction over it. In fact, since the
assessed value of the property was not alleged, it cannot be determined which trial court
had original and exclusive jurisdiction over the case.
In an action to recover, the property must be identified
Moreover, Article 434 of the Civil Code states that "[i]n an action to recover, the property
must be identified, and the plaintiff must rely on the strength of his title and not on the
weakness of the defendant's claim." The plaintiff, therefore, is duty-bound to clearly
identify the land sought to be recovered, in accordance with the title on which he anchors
his right of ownership.66 It bears stressing that the failure of the plaintiff to establish the
identity of the property claimed is fatal to his case.67
In this case, petitioners failed to identify the property they seek to recover as they failed to
describe the location, the area, as well as the boundaries thereof. In fact, as aptly pointed
out by the CA, no survey plan was presented by petitioners to prove that respondent
spouses actually encroached upon the 70-square meter portion of petitioners'
property.68 Failing to prove their allegation, petitioners are not entitled to the relief prayed
for in their Complaint.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 278
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
All told, we find no error on the part of the CA in dismissing the Complaint for lack of
jurisdiction and for failing to identify the property sought to be recovered.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 279
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
GEORGE PIDLIP P. PALILEO and JOSE DE LA CRUZ vs.
PLANTERS DEVELOPMENT BANK
G.R. No. 193650, October 8, 2014

DOCTRINE: Failure to appeal within the 15-day period amounts to the acceptance of the
judgment rendered by the court.

FACTS:
The proceedings in the case would have been greatly abbreviated if the court a quo
and the CA did not overlook the fact that PDB’s Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and
for New Trial was filed one day too late. The bank received a copy of the trial court’s
June 15, 2006 Decision on July 17, 2006; thus, it had 15 days – or up to August 1, 2006
– within which to file a notice of appeal, motion for reconsideration, or a motion for new
trial, pursuant to the Rules of Court.Yet, it filed the omnibus motion for reconsideration
and new trial only on August 2, 2006.
Hence the Regional Trial Court issued a writ of execution which was affirmed by the
Court of Appeals.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the 15-day period to appeal is mandatory.

HELD:
Yes, since PDB’s Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and for New Trial was filed
late and the 15-day period within which to appeal expired without PDB filing the requisite
notice of appeal, it follows that its right to appeal has been foreclosed; it may no longer
question the trial court’s Decision in any other manner. "Settled is the rule that a party is
barred from assailing the correctness of a judgment not appealed from by him”.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 280
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
RESIDENTS OF LOWER ATAB & TEACHERS' VILLAGE, STO.TOMAS PROPER
BARANGAY, BAGUIO CITY, represented by BEATRICE T. PULAS, CRISTINA A.
LAPP AO. MICHAEL MADIGUID, FLORENCIO MABUDYANG and FERNANDO
DOSALIN, Petitioners vs. STA. MONICA INDUSTRIAL & DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION, Respondent.
G.R. No.198878 October 15, 2014

DOCTRINE: An action to quiet title in order to prosper, two indispensable requisites must
be present, namely: "(1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or
interest in the real property subject of the action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance,
or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid
or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy.

FACTS:
In May 2001, petitioners – residents of Lower Atab & Teachers’ Village, Sto. Tomas
Proper Barangay, Baguio City – filed a civil case for quieting of title with damages
against respondent Sta. Monica Industrial and Development Corporation. The Complaint
in said case essentially alleged that petitioners are successors and
transferees-in-interest of Torres, the supposed owner of an unregistered parcel of land in
Baguio City.Petitioners acknowledged that while they declared their respective lots for
tax purposes, they applied for the purchase of the same – through Townsite Sales
applications – with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The
petitioners did not have any original certificate of title moreover they are currently
applying to buy the lot from the Baguio city coursed thru the DENR.

ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioners are entitled for relief thru the remedy of action to quiet title.

HELD:
No, petitioners do not have legal or equitable title to the subject property. Evidently,
there are no certificates of title in their respective names. And by their own admission in
their pleadings, specifically in their pre-trial brief and memorandum before the trial court,
they acknowledged that they applied for the purchase of the property from the
government, through townsite sales applications coursed through the DENR.Legal title
denotes registered ownership, while equitable title means beneficial ownership."
Beneficial ownership has been defined as ownership recognized by law and
capable of being enforced in the courts at the suit of the beneficial owner.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 281
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE, as represented by the COMMISSIONER OF
INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner vs. COURT OF APPEALS, SPOUSES ANTONIO
VILLAN MANLY, and RUBY ONG MANLY, Respondents.
G.R. No. 197590 November 24, 2014

DOCTRINE:When the remedy of appeal is available, an action for certiorari under Rule
65 of the Rules of Court, will not prosper because it is not a substitute for a lost appeal.

FACTS:
Respondent Antonio Villan Manly (Antonio) is a stockholder and the Executive
Vice-President of Standard Realty Corporation, a family-owned corporation. He is also
engaged in rental business. On April 27, 2005, petitioner Bureau of Internal Revenue
(BIR) issued Letter of Authority authorizing its revenue officers to investigate respondent
spouses’ internal revenue tax liabilities for taxable year 2003 and prior years.
On June 6, 2005, petitioner issued a letter to respondent spouses requiring them to
submit documentary evidence to substantiate the source of their cash. The state
prosecutor issued a resolution recommending the filing of criminal charges. The
Department of Justice however reverses the decision of the prosecutor and dismisses the
case which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 is a proper remedy when appeal
is available.

HELD:
No, the remedy of a party aggrieved by a decision, final order, or resolution of the CA
is to file a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. If the
remedy of an appeal is available, an action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of
Court, which is an original or independent action based on grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, will not prosper because it is not a substitute
for a lost appeal. However, exceptions to this rule, to wit: 1) when public welfare and the
advancement of public policy dictate; 2) when the broader interest of justice so requires;
3) when the writs issued are null and void; 4) when the questioned order amounts to an
oppressive exercise of judicial authority; 5) when, for persuasive reasons, the rules may
be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice not commensurate with his failure to comply
with the prescribed procedure; 6) when the judgment or order is attended by grave abuse
of discretion; or 7) in other meritorious cases, petitioner was able to convincingly show
that the CA committed grave abuse of discretion when it affirmed the dismissal of the
criminal charges against respondent spouses despite the fact that there is probable
cause to indict them.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 282
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
DEMETRIA DE GUZMAN, ET AL. vs. FILINVEST DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
G.R. No. 191710 January 14, 2015

DOCTRINE: One cannot avail of the remedy provided for under Rule 65 when an appeal
is still available.

FACTS:
In this case, petitioners question the extent of the easement of right of way granted to
them and the indemnity for the same as fixed by the Court of Appeals, petitioners assail
the judgment of the Court of Appeals by interposing on their appeal that the Appellate
Court’s decision was not in accord with the law, however their Prefatory statement states
that: “Plaintiffs-petitioners are left with no appeal, nor is there any plain, speedy, and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law after the respondent Court of Appeals
incorrectly denied their motion for reconsideration. Respondent Court of Appeals gravely
abused its discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction not only in reversing the final ruling
of the trial Court, but also on the award of indemnity, then in their Arguments/Discussion,
petitioners alleged that: The Court of Appeals whimsically and capriciously reversed the
final ruling of the Regional Trial Court.” Petitioners arguments provide that the petition
should have been Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65. But the title of the petition is
petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45.

ISSUE:
Whether to treat the petition as under Rule 45 or under Rule 65.

HELD:
Under rule 45, since it was filed well within the reglementary period provided under
the said rule. It was held in Sanchez v. Court of Appeals that the Rules of Court should be
liberally construed in order to promote their object of securing a just, speedy and
inexpensive disposition of every action or proceeding. The rules of procedure should be
viewed as mere tools designed to aid the courts in the speedy, just and inexpensive
determination of the cases before them. Liberal construction of the rules and the
pleadings is the controlling principle to effect substantial justice. Litigations should, as
much as possible, be decided on their merits and not on mere technicalities. Moreover,
The general rule is that the remedy to obtain reversal or modification of judgment on the
merits is appeal. Thus, the proper remedy for the petitioner should have been a petition
for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court since the decision sought to be
reversed is that of the CA. The existence and availability of the right of appeal proscribes
a resort to certiorari, because one of the requisites for availment of the latter is precisely
that there should be no appeal. The remedy of appeal under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
was still available to the petitioner.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 283
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
SPOUSES JOSE O. GATUSLAO and ERMILA LEONILA LIMSIACO-GATUSLAO vs.
LEO RAY V. YANSON
G.R. No. 191540 January 21, 2015

DOCTRINE:It is settled that the issuance of a Writ of Possession may not be stayed by a
pending action for annulment of mortgage or the foreclosure itself.

FACTS:
Petitioner Ermila Leonila Limsiaco-Gatuslao is the daughter of the late Felicisimo
Limsiaco (Limsiaco) who died intestate on February 7, 1989. Limsiaco was the registered
owner of two parcels of land with improvements in the City of Bacolod. Limsiaco
mortgaged the said lots along with the house standing thereon to Philippine National
Bank (PNB). Upon Limsiaco’s failure to pay, PNB extrajudicially foreclosed on the
mortgageand caused the properties’ sale at a public auction on June 24, 1991 where it
emerged as the highest bidder. When the one-year redemption period expired without
Limsiaco’s estate redeeming the properties, PNB caused the consolidation of titles in its
name. On November 10, 2006, a Deed of Absolute Sale was executed by PNB conveying
the subject properties in favor of respondent. As a consequence thereof, the Registry of
Deeds of Bacolod City issued TCT Nos. T-311125and T-311126 in respondent’s name in
lieu of PNB’s titles. The petitioner thereafter contest the writ of possession being applied
by the respondent-buyer.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the owner can be stopped from possessing the property by the
respondent who fails to redeem it.

HELD:
No, the purchaser, therefore, in the public auction sale of a foreclosed property is
entitled to a writ of possession PNB, therefore, as the absolute owner of the properties is
entitled to a writ of possession. And since respondent purchased the properties from
PNB, the former has necessarily stepped into the shoes of the latter. Otherwise stated,
respondent, by subrogation, has the right to pursue PNB’s claims against petitioners as
though they were his own.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 284
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
IRENE D. OFILADA vs. SPOUSES RUBEN ANDAL and MIRAFLOR ANDAL
G.R. No. 192270 January 26, 2015

DOCTRINE: The material averments in the complaint determine the jurisdiction of a


court.

FACTS:
Irene, together with her husband Carlos Ofilada (Carlos), bought from the heirs of
Teresita Liwag (Teresita) a 27,974-square meter parcel of land principally planted with
rambutan, a number of coconut trees and other fruit-bearing plants located in Barrio Puri,
Tiaong, Quezon. Wherein respondent Miraflor Andal (Miraflor), who brokered the sale of
the property, signed as ‘tenant.’ Apparently, ten days prior to the sale, Miraflor appeared
before Anastacio Lajara (Anastacio), the then Barangay Agrarian Reform Council
(BARC) Chairman of Barangay Puri, San Antonio, and executed a Pagpapatunay stating
that: Spouses Andal are not tenants of the said land. The land was eventually registered
in the name of Irene Ofilada, 8 years later Irene filed an ejectment case against the
Spouses Andals. The Andals interposed the defense that they are tenants of the land
hence the jurisdiction must be in the DARAB (Dept. of Agrarian reform adjudication
board) and not in the MTC. The MTC granted the ejectment case which was affirmed by
the RTC.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the MTC has jurisdiction over the case.

HELD:
Yes, a court does not lose jurisdiction over an ejectment suit by the simple expedient
of a party raising as a defense therein the alleged existence of a tenancy relationship
between the parties. The court continues to have the authority to hear and evaluate the
evidence, precisely to determine whether or not it has jurisdiction, and, if, after hearing,
tenancy is shown to exist, it shall dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. Forcible entry
and unlawful detainer cases fall under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the
metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts, and the municipal circuit trial courts. On
the other hand, the DAR is vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate
agrarian reform matters and has exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving
the implementation of agrarian reform. As DAR’s adjudicating arm, it is the DARAB that
has exclusive and original jurisdiction involving all agrarian disputes.

Albano, Alcazaren, Asensi, Cabañgon, Castillo, Catindig, Coronel, Corporal, Corpuz, De la Cruz, De Mesa, Page 285
Echiverri, Espina, Francisco, Gloria, Inguillo, Lastimosa, Lumberio, Marquez, Martinez, Palad, Ramirez,
Rañigo, Reyes, Rodriguez, Sandoval, Santos, Sy, Tabugan, Tecson, Valiente, Valois
Hon. Ramon Jesus P. Paje, In His Capacity as Secretary of the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), v. Hon. Teodoro A. Casiño, Et. Al.,
G.R. No. 207257, February 3, 2015

DOCTRINE: The function of the extraordinary and equitable remedy of a Writ of


Kalikasan should not supplant other available remedies and the nature of the forums that
they provide. The Writ of Kalikasan is a highly prerogative writ that issues only when
there is a showing of actual or imminent threat and when there is such inaction on the
part of the relevant administrative bodies that will make an environmental catastrophe
inevitable. It is not a remedy that is availing when there is no actual threat or when
imminence of danger is not demonstrable. The Writ of Kalikasan thus is not an excuse
to invoke judicial remedies when there still remain administrative forums to properly
address the common concern to protect and advance ecological rights. After all, we
cannot presume that only the Supreme Court can conscientiously fulfill the ecological
duties required of the entire state.

FACTS:
In February 2006, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), and Taiwan
Cogeneration Corporation (TCC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
expressing their intention to build a power plant in Subic Bay which would supply reliable
and affordable power to Subic Bay Industrial Park (SBIP).
On July 28, 2006, SBMA and TCC entered into another MOU, whereby TCC
undertook to build and operate a coal-fired power plant. The SBMA Ecology Center
issued SBFZ Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) No.
EC-SBFZ-ECC-69-21-500 in favor of Taiwan Cogeneration International Corporation
(TCIC), a subsidiary of TCC, for the construction, installation, and operation of
2x150-MW Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant at Sitio
Naglatore. TCC assigned all its rights and interests under the MOU dated July 28, 2006
to Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc. (RP Energy).
The Sangguniang Panglungsod of Olongapo City expressed the city government’s
objection to the coal-fired power plant as an energy source and urging the proponent to
consider safer alternative sources of energy for Subic Bay through the issuance of
several resolutions.
RP Energy requested the DENR to amend its ICC to include additional components
in its proposed coal-fired power plant, which was opposed by the Sangguniang
Panglusod several times.
On July 20, 2012, respondents filed a Petition for Writ of kalikasan against RP
Energy, SBMA, and Hon. Ramon Jesus P. Paje, in his capacity as Secretary of the
DENR. In the Petition, the Casiño Group alleged, among others, that the power plant
project would cause grave environmental damage; that it would adversely affect the
health of the residents of the municipalities of Subic, Zambales, Morong, Hermosa, and
the City of Olongapo; that the ECC was issued and the LDA entered into without the prior
approval of the concerned sanggunians as required under Sections 26 and 27 of the
Local Government Code (LGC); that the LDA was entered into without securing a prior
certification from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) as required
under Section 59 of RA 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA Law);

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that Section 8.3 of DENR Administrative Order No. 2003-30 (DAO 2003-30) which allows
amendments of ECCs is ultra vires because the DENR has no authority to decide on
requests for amendments of previously issued ECCs in the absence of a new EIS; and
that due to the nullity of Section 8.3 of DAO 2003-30, all amendments to RP Energy’s
ECC are null and void.
The CA rendered a Decision denying the privilege of the writ of kalikasan and the
application for an environment protection order due to the failure of the Casiño Group to
prove that its constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology was violated or
threatened.

ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the Casiño Group failed to substantiate its claims that the
construction and operation of the power plant will cause environmental damage.

2. Whether the ECC is invalid for lack of signature of Mr. Luis Miguel Aboitiz, as
representative of RP Energy, in the Statement of Accountability of the ECC.

3. Whether the first and second amendments to the ECC are invalid for failure to
undergo a new environmental impact assessment (EIA) because of the utilization
of inappropriate EIA documents.

4. Whether the Certificate of Non-Overlap, under Section 59 of the IPRA Law, is a


precondition to the issuance of an ECC and the lack of its prior issuance rendered
the ECC invalid.

5. Whether the Certificate of Non-Overlap, under Section 59 of the IPRA Law, is a


precondition to the consummation of the Lease and Development Agreement
(LDA) between SBMA and RP Energy and the lack of its prior issuance rendered
the LDA invalid.

6. Whether compliance with Section 27, in relation to Section 26, of the LGC (i.e.,
approval of the concerned sanggunian requirement) is necessary prior to the
implementation of the power plant project.

7. Whether the validity of the third amendment to the ECC can be resolved in this
case.

HELD:
1. YES. The appellate court correctly ruled that the Casiño Group failed to
substantiate its claims that the construction and operation of the power plant
will cause environmental damage of the magnitude contemplated under the
writ of Kalikasan. On the other hand, RP Energy presented evidence to
establish that the subject project will not cause grave environmental damage
through its Environmental Management Plan which will ensure that the project
will operate within the limits of existing environmental laws and standards

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2. No. The appellate court erred when it invalidated the ECC on the ground of
lack of signature of Mr. Aboitiz. in the ECC’s Statement of Accountability
relative to the copy of the ECC submitted by RP Energy to the appellate court.
While the signature is necessary for the validity of the ECC, the particular
circumstances of this case show that the DENR and RP Energy were not
properly apprised of the issue of lack of signature in order for them to present
controverting evidence and arguments on this point as the issue only arose
during the course of the proceedings upon clarificatory questions from the
appellate court. Consequently RP Energy cannot be faulted for submitting the
certified true copy of the ECC only after it learned that the ECC had been
invalidated on the ground of lack of signature in the Decision of the appellate
court. The certified true copy of the ECC bearing the signature Mr. Aboitiz in
the Statement of Accountability portion was issued by the DENR and remains
uncontroverted. It showed that the Statement of Accountability was signed Mr.
Aboitiz on December 24, 2008. Because the signing was done after the official
release of the ECC on December 22, 2008, the DENR did not strictly follow its
rules which require that the signing of the Statement of Accountability should
be done before the official release of the ECC. However, considering that the
issue was not adequately argued nor was evidence presented before the
appellate court on the circumstances at the time of signing, there is insufficient
basis to conclude that the procedure adopted by the DENR was tainted with
bad faith or inexcusable negligence. Thus, the Supreme Court ruled that the
signature requirement was substantially complied with.

3. The Supreme Court ruled that the appellate court erred when it ruled that the
first and second amendments to the subject ECC were invalid for failure to
comply with a new EIA and for violating DAO 2003-30 and the Revised
Manual. The appellate court failed to properly consider the applicable
provisions in DAO 2003-30 and the Revised Manual on amendments to ECCs.
Our examination of the provisions on amendments to ECCs, as well as the
EPRMP and PDR themselves, shows that the DENR reasonably exercised its
discretion in requiring an EPRMP and a PDR for the first and second
amendments, respectively. Through these documents, which the DENR
reviewed, a new EIA was conducted relative to the proposed project
modifications. Hence, absent sufficient showing of grave abuse of discretion or
patent illegality, relative to both the procedure and substance of the
amendment process, we uphold the validity of these amendments.

4. The Supreme Court ruled that the ECC is not the license or permit
contemplated under Section 59 of the IPRA Law and its implementing rules.
Hence, there is no necessity to secure the CNO under Section 59 before an
ECC may be issued and the issuance of the subject ECC without first securing
the aforesaid certification does not render it invalid.

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5. The Supreme Court ruled that a CNO should have been secured prior to the
consummation of the LDA between SBMA and RP Energy. However,
considering that this is the first time we lay down the rule of action appropriate
to the application of Section 59, we refrain from invalidating the LDA due to
equitable considerations.

6. The Supreme Court ruled that the implementation of the project is not subject
to the prior approval of the concerned sanggunians, under Section 27 of the
LGC, and the SBMA’s decision to approve the project prevails over the
apparent objections of the concerned sanggunians of the LGUs, by virtue of
the clear provisions of RA 7227. Thus, there was no infirmity when the LDA
was entered into between SBMA and RP Energy despite the lack of approval
of the concerned sanggunians.

7. The appellate court correctly ruled that the issue as to the validity of the third
amendment to the ECC cannot be resolved in this case because it was not
one of the issues set during the preliminary conference, and would, thus,
violate RP Energy’s right to due process.

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People of the Philippines vs. Jimmy Gabuya y Adlawan
G.R. No. 195245, February 16, 2015

DOCTRINE: Objection to evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal; when a
party desires the court to reject the evidence offered, he must so state in the form of an
objection. Without such objection, he cannot raise the question for the first time on
appeal.

FACTS:
Accused Appellant was charged with violation of Sections 5 (sale of dangerous
drugs) and 11 (possession of dangerous drugs), Article II of Republic Act No. 91653
(R.A. 9165). The RTC ruled that the prosecution was able to prove the guilt of appellant
beyond reasonable doubt for the offenses charged. It found the buy-bust operation to
be valid, the warrantless arrest and body search carried out against appellant as
justified, and the testimony of PO1 Rosales to be credible. The RTC likewise held that
the prosecution was able to establish the unbroken link in the chain of custody of the
illegal drugs in both cases. The CA affirmed the RTC’s Decision.

Insisting on his acquittal, appellant interposes this appeal where he raises as additional
issues in his Supplemental Brief17 the following: (1) the failure of the police officers to
mark the seized sachets of shabu not only at the scene of the crime but also in his
presence; and (2) the lack of information on the whereabouts of the shabu after it was
examined by the Forensic Chemist, P/Insp. Calabocal, whose testimony did not cover
the manner in which the specimens were handled after the examination.

ISSUE:
Whether or not accused can raise objection to evidence for the first time on appeal.

HELD:
The records of the case are bereft of evidence that appellant, during trial, interposed
any objection to the non-marking of the seized items in his presence and the lack of
information on the whereabouts of the shabu after it was examined by P/Insp. Calabocal.
While he questioned the chain of custody before the CA, the alleged defects appellant is
now alluding to were not among those he raised on appeal. The defects he raised
before the CA were limited to the alleged lack of physical inventory, non-taking of
photographs of the seized items, and the supposed failure of the police officers to mark
the sachets of shabu at the crime scene. But even then, it was already too late in the
day for appellant to have raised the same at that point since he should have done so
early on before the RTC. It bears stressing that the Court has already brushed aside an
accused’s belated contention that the illegal drugs confiscated from his person is
inadmissible for failure of the arresting officers to comply with Section 21 of R.A. 9165.
This is considering that “[w]hatever justifiable grounds may excuse the police officers
from literally complying with Section 21 will remain unknown, because [appellant] did not
question during trial the safekeeping of the items seized from him. Objection to evidence
cannot be raised for the first time on appeal; when a party desires the court to reject the
evidence offered, he must so state in the form of an objection. Without such objection,

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he cannot raise the question for the first time on appeal.” Besides and as already
mentioned, the CA has already concluded that the identity of the seized drugs was
established by the prosecution and its integrity preserved.

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People of the Philippines vs. Allan Roxas Diaz
G.R. No. 197818, February 25, 2015

DOCTRINE:Objection to the admissibility of evidence cannot be raised for the first time
on appeal. When a party desires the court to reject the evidence offered, he must so
state in the form of objection. Without such objection, he cannot raise the question for the
first time on appeal.

FACTS:
Accused Appellant was charged with violation of Sections 5 (sale of dangerous
drugs) Article II of Republic Act No. 91653 (R.A. 9165). The RTC rendered a Decision
finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged. The CA affirmed
the RTC’s Decision.
In this appeal, Appellant assails the trial court's assessment of the credibility of
prosecution witness PO2 Coronel. He faults the RTC in giving more faith and credit to
PO2 Coronel's testimony regarding the buy-bust operation over his defense of denial.
Appellant banks on the prosecution's alleged failure to comply with the requirements of
law with respect to the proper marking, inventory, and taking of photograph of the seized
specimen.

ISSUE:
Whether or not accused can raise objection to evidence for the first time on appeal.

HELD:
The Supreme Court noted that appellant failed to contest the admissibility in
evidence of the seized item during trial. In fact, at no instance did he manifest or even
hint that there were lapses on the part of the police officers in handling the seized item
which affected its integrity and evidentiary value. Objection to the admissibility of
evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal. When a party desires the court to
reject the evidence offered, he must so state in the form of objection. Without such
objection, he cannot raise the question for the first time on appeal. In this case, appellant
raised the police operatives' alleged non-compliance with Section 21, Article II of R.A.
No. 9165 for the first time on appeal before the CA. Thus, following est