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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
5 MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT
th

DON CARLOS-KITAOTAO-DANGCAGAN
10th Judicial Region
Don Carlos, Bukidnon

HEIRS OF ALEJANDRO CAILING, Civil Case No. 564017


Rep. by
FLORENCIA O. CAILING
Plaintiffs, FOR: ACCION
-versus- REINDIVICATORIS WITH
PRELIMINARY
x-------------------------------------------
SPOUSES JOVENCIO & ERLINDA INJUNCTION
ANDAM, SPOUSES MICHAEL & ANN
REQUIRON, SPOUSES VICTORIO &
HAZEL DELOS REYES, SPOUSES JOSEPH
& LILING BALANDRA, SPOUSES JESUS
& LUCENA BALANDRA, EDELYN
DENSING & JOHN DOES
Defendants.

x-----------------------------------------x

COMMENT and/or OPPOSITION


To Plaintiff’s Manifestation with Motion
(to admit memorandum dated March 25, 2019)

[T]he bare invocation of "the interest of substantial justice" is not a


magic wand that will automatically compel this Court to suspend
procedural rules. "Procedural rules are not to be belittled or
dismissed simply because their non-observance may have resulted in
prejudice to a party’s substantive rights. Like all rules, they are
required to be followed except only for the most persuasive of
reasons when they may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice
not commensurate with the degree of this thoughtlessness in not
complying with the procedure prescribed.1

COME NOW, Defendants, through the undersigned counsel


and unto this Honorable Court, most respectfully submits this
comment and/or opposition to Plaintiffs’ Manifestation with Motion
dated March 25, 2019, and respectfully state that:

1 CAROLINA B. VILLENA vs. ROMEO Z. RUPISAN and RODOLFO Z.


RUPISAN, G.R. No. 167620, April 4, 2007
1. On March 25, 2019, 2019, Defendants received a copy of
the Manifestation with Motion dated March 25, 2019 of the Plaintiffs
which seeks the admission of its Memorandum which is attached to
the said Manifestation with Motion;

2. As will be demonstrated below, the Manifestation with


Motion deserves scant consideration since the same absolutely fail to
demonstrate any justifiable ground to disregard the rules of
procedure;

THE PLAINTIFFS DO
NOT DESERVE THE LIBERAL
APPLICATION OF THE RULES
OF COURT

3. The plaintiff argued that the postman has been on sick leave for
almost one month and as a consequence, plaintiffs’ counsel failed to
submit its opposition to the formal offer as well as the memorandum
on time;

4. First and foremost, the allegations averred by the plaintiff is


self-serving and hollow. No evidence whatsoever was presented by
the plaintiff of who is this postman. In addition, there was also no
evidence to prove that said postman was on leave;

5. Also, should there be any truth to the explanation of the


plaintiff, there is for sure other alternative in filing and service of its
pleadings such as personal service and filing, or service and filing via
private courier;

6. The explanations made by the plaintiff does not suffice the


application of the liberality of the interpretation of the Rules of Court.
Although, no less than our Supreme Court has held several times that
rules should not be interpreted in a way that it will impair the
substantial rights of the parties, our Supreme Court likewise held that
rules must be followed to have an orderly administration of justice.

7. As held in one case, “[a]lthough technical rules of procedure are


not ends in themselves, they are necessary, however, for an effective
and expeditious administration of justice. It is settled that a party who
seeks to avail of certiorari must observe the rules thereon and non-
observance of said rules may not be brushed aside as "mere
technicality." While litigation is not a game of technicalities, and that
the rules of procedure should not be enforced strictly at the cost of
substantial justice, still it does not follow that the Rules of Court may
be ignored at will and at random to the prejudice of the orderly
presentation, assessment and just resolution of the issues. Procedural
rules should not be belittled or dismissed simply because they may
have resulted in prejudice to a party’s substantial rights. Like all rules,
they are required to be followed except only for compelling
reasons.2 (emphasis supplied)

8. The Supreme Court has invariably ruled that while "litigation is


not a game of technicalities," it is equally important that every case
must be prosecuted in accordance with the procedure to insure an
orderly and speedy administration of justice. Should the failure to
comply with court processes be the result of the plaintiff’s own fault,
it is but logical that a plaintiff must suffer the consequences of his
own heedlessness.3

9. Also, the case of Magsino vs. Ocampo4, citing various


jurisprudence, extensively discussed the rule on the liberality of
interpretation of the rules:

The petitioner is further reminded that any "resort to a


liberal application or suspension of the application of
procedural rules, must remain as the exception to the well-
settled principle that rules must be complied with for the
orderly administration of justice." It cannot be otherwise for
him, for, as the Court aptly put it in Republic v. Kenrick
Development Corporation: Procedural requirements which have
often been disparagingly labeled as mere technicalities have
their own valid raison d’ etre in the orderly administration of
justice. To summarily brush them aside may result in
arbitrariness and injustice.

The Court’s pronouncement in Garbo v. Court of Appeals is


relevant:

“Procedural rules are tools designed to facilitate the


adjudication of cases. Courts and litigants alike are thus

2 CESAR NAGUIT, Petitioner, vs. SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, Respondent G.R. No.
188839June 22, 2015

3 SPOUSES SERGIO C. PASCUAL and EMMA SERVILLION PASCUAL, Petitioners vs. FIRST
CONSOLIDATED RURAL BANK (BOHOL), INC., ROBINSONS LAND CORPORATION and
ATTY. ANTONIO P. ESPINOSA, Register of Deeds, Butuan City, Respondents G.R. No.
202597, February 8, 2017

4 G.R. No. 166944 August 18, 2014


enjoined to abide strictly by the rules. And while the
Court, in some instances, allows a relaxation in the
application of the rules, this, we stress, was never
intended to forge a bastion for erring litigants to
violate the rules with impunity. The liberality in the
interpretation and application of the rules applies
only in proper cases and under justifiable causes and
circumstances. While it is true that litigation is not a
game of technicalities, it is equally true that every case
must be prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed
procedure to insure an orderly and speedy administration
of justice. (emphasis supplied)

Like all rules, procedural rules should be followed


except only when, for the most persuasive of reasons,
they may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice not
commensurate with the degree of his thoughtlessness in
not complying with the prescribed procedure.

The rules were instituted to be faithfully complied


with, and allowing them to be ignored or lightly
dismissed to suit the convenience of a party like the
petitioner was impermissible. Such rules, often derided as
merely technical, are to be relaxed only in the furtherance
of justice and to benefit the deserving. Their liberal
construction in exceptional situations should then rest on
a showing of justifiable reasons and of at least a
reasonable attempt at compliance with them. We have
repeatedly emphasized this standard. In Bergonia v. Court
of Appeals, (4th Division), for instance, we declared:

The petitioners should be reminded that technical


rules may be relaxed only for the furtherance of justice
and to benefit the deserving. While the petitioners
adverted to several jurisprudential rulings of this
Court which set aside procedural rules, it is noted that
there were underlying considerations in those cases
which warranted a disregard of procedural
technicalities to favor substantial justice. Here, there
exists no such consideration. (emphasis supplied)

The petitioners ought to be reminded that the bare


invocation of "the interest of substantial justice" is
not a magic wand that will automatically compel this
Court to suspend procedural rules. Procedural rules are
not to be belittled or dismissed simply because their
nonobservance may have resulted in prejudice to a party’s
substantive rights. Like all rules, they are required to be
followed except only for the most persuasive of reasons
when they may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an
injustice not commensurate with the degree of his
thoughtlessness in not complying with the procedure
prescribed. (emphasis supplied)

Nor should the rules of procedure be held to be for


the benefit of only one side of the litigation, for they have
been instituted for the sake of all.”

10. The allegations stated by the plaintiff-appellant in its


Manifestation with Motion cannot be, in any way, interpreted as
compelling reasons in order to justify the exemption from the rules.
Without giving a justifiably acceptable explanation, the present
motion must be denied.

11. Also, in the case of Daaco vs. Yu5, the Supreme Court held that,
[c]oncomitant to a liberal application of the rules of procedure should
be an effort on the part of the party invoking liberality to at least
promptly explain its failure to comply with the rules. Indeed, technical
rules of procedure are not designed to frustrate the ends of justice.
These are provided to effect the prompt, proper and orderly
disposition of cases and thus effectively prevent the clogging of court
dockets. Utter disregard of these rules cannot justly be rationalized
by harking on the policy of liberal construction.

12. The facts of the case do not warrant a liberal construction of the
rules nor a treat the plaintiff-appellant with benevolence from the
Court. Whatever circumstance the plaintiff-appellant is now is but a
by-product of its negligence and lack of prudence. Considering that
the plaintiff-appellant failed to offer sufficient justification for its
failure to comply with a simple directive of the court, there is,
therefore, no compelling reason why this Honorable Court would
admit plaintiffs’ memorandum. If prudence, respect and diligence is
given by the plaintiff-appellant to this Honorable Court, it would have
followed its directive to the letter.

13. Sadly, the plaintiff-appellant’s disregard of the directive of the


Court shows nothing more but abandonment of their cause;

14. Moreover, substantial justice is not only applicable to the


plaintiff-appellant but as well as to the defendants-appellees. It is not
a magical incantation that when invoked would brush aside the
5 G.R. No. 183398, June 22, 2015
procedural rules.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, Defendants


most respectfully pray that:

1. Plaintiffs’ Manifestation with Motion (to admit memorandum)


dated March 25, 2019 be DENIED;

OTHER RELIEF IN EQUITY IS LIKEWISE PRAYED FOR.

Malaybalay City. March 28, 2019

LAGAMON AND ASSOCIATES LAW OFFICE


Counsel for the Plaintiff
2 Floor, Jamstar Building
nd

Corner San Isidro-Judge P. Carillo Streets


Barangay 5, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon
Telephone Number (088) 813 3349

by:

DENCE CRIS L. RONDON


Member of the Bar
Roll of Attorneys’ No. 67495
PTR No. 8154304/03 JAN. 2019/BUK.
IBP O.R. No. 62183/04-JAN-2019/BUK.
Tax Identification No. 496-556-017-000
MCLE Compliance No. 0011647

NOTICE

THE CLERK OF COURT


MCTC DON CARLOS-KITAOTAO-DANGCAGAN
Don Carlos, Bukidnon

ATTY. RAYMON CHARL O. GAMBOA


Gamboa Law Office
West Poblacion, Kalilangan, Bukidnon

Please submit the foregoing comment and/or opposition to


plaintiff’s Manifestation with Motion to the consideration of the
Honorable Court immediately upon receipt hereof, sans appearance
or further oral argument.

Thank you.

DENCE CRIS L. RONDON

Copy furnished via private courier6

ATTY. RAYMON CHARL O. GAMBOA


Gamboa Law Office
West Poblacion, Kalilangan, Bukidnon

EXPLANATION

Personal filing and service hereof to plaintiffs’ counsel has been


made via private courier7 due to impracticability of effecting personal
service considering the distance of the addressees.

DENCE CRIS L. RONDON

6Private courier was resorted since the same is faster compared to


PhilPost and plaintiffs’ manifestation with motion was set on March 29,
2019.
7 Private courier was resorted since the same is faster compared to
PhilPost and plaintiffs’ manifestation with motion was set on March 29,
2019.