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PREPARED BY: PRECIOUS-ANN N.

NIDUA, 4TH YEAR, LLB


DIGESTED CASES IN REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW

1. IBM PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner, v. PRIME SYSTEMS PLUS, INC., Respondent.


G.R. No. 203192, August 15, 2016
FACTS:
IBM, petitioner entered into an agreement with Prime Systems Plus (PSP) whereby the former
will deliver 45 automated teller machines (ATMs) and several computer hardware to PSP. IBM filed a
Complaint for sum of money with 3% monthly interest, attorney's fees, costs of litigation with application
for the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Attachment against respondent.
PSP denied the allegations and alleged that it had folly paid for the fifty six (56) ATMs it
purchased from IBM.
RTC rendered its Decision ordering respondent to pay the sum of P46,036,028.42 with interest
at 6% per annum and attorney's fees in the amount of P1,000,000.00.
PSP filed Petition for Certiorari before the CA.
CA rendered its Decision, partly granting PSP's Petition, it ordered PSP to pay IBM
P24,622,394.72 with 6% annual interest from the time of filing of the Complaint while it deleted the
award of attorney's fees of P1,000,000.00.
The CA explained that IBM's reliance on its letter to respondent imposing the said interest
cannot be used to bind PSP as the same was a unilateral imposition of interest, rather than a mutual
agreement between the parties, citing Article 1956. Finding the 3% monthly interest invalid, the CA
imposed the legal interest of 6% annual interest in consonance with Article 2209 of the Civil Code and
will start from the time the unpaid amount is judicially demanded.
Both parties filed their respective motions for reconsideration; petitioner prayed that the CA
reverse its Decision and reinstate the RTC's Decision while respondent sought to have the CA declare
itself to have overpaid petitioner and the latter be directed to pay respondent P1,000,000.00 each in
moral and exemplary damages.
In a Resolution the CA denied both motions.

Hence, this Petition for Review on Certiorari.


ISSUE:
1. WON petitioner's imposition of 3% monthly interest constitute a written stipulation under Article
1956 of the Civil Code?
2. WON the CA erred in deleting the award of attorney's fees?

RULING: SC ruled negative.


It has been a long-standing rule that for interest to become due and demandable, two requisites
must be present: (1) that there must be an express stipulation for the payment of interest and (2) the
agreement to pay interest is reduced in writing.
Although PSP did agree to the imposition of interest per se, the fact that there was never a clear
rate of interest still leaves room to guess as to how much interest respondent will pay. This is precisely
the reason why Article 1956 was included in the Civil Code - so that both parties clearly agree to and
are folly aware of the price to be paid in a contract.
In the absence of agreement as to the exact rate of interest, the CA properly applied the legal
rate of 6% annual interest following our ruling in Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Court of Appeals and
the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas MB Circular No. 799, series of 2013.
Second issue, SC find that the CA correctly deleted the award of attorney's fees for failure of
the trial court to discuss the basis of such. Jurisprudence instructs that in awarding attorney's fees, the
trial court, must state the factual, legal, or equitable justification for awarding the same, bearing in mind
that the award of attorney's fees is the exception, not the general rule, and it is not sound public policy
to place a penalty on the right to litigate; nor should attorney's fees be awarded every time a party wins
a lawsuit. The matter of attorney's fees cannot be dealt with only in the dispositive portion of the
decision. The text of the decision must state the reason behind the award of attorney's fees. Otherwise,
its award is totally unjustified.

2. SPOUSES FIRMO S. ROSARIO AND AGNES ANNABELLE DEAN-ROSARIO, Petitioners


vs.PRISCILLA P. ALVAR, Respondent

FACTS:

On separate dates in 1989, petitioner Agnes Rosario borrowed from respondent Priscilla Alvar a
total of ₱600,000.00, secured by real estate mortgages over two parcels of land covered by Transfer
Certificates of Title Nos. 167438 (residence of petitioner spouses Agnes and Firmo Rosario) and
167439 (a five-door rental apartment).

In December 1990, the mortgages were discharged.

On March 16, 1992 and July 17, 1992, Agnes executed two Deeds of Absolute Sale over the
two lots in favor of Priscilla's daughter, Evangeline Arceo for the amount of P900,000.00
each. Evangeline later sold the lots to Priscilla also for the price of P900,000.00 each.

On April 27, 1994, Priscilla sent a demand letter to petitioner spouses Rosario asking them to
vacate Lot 1. This prompted petitioner spouses Rosario to file before the Regional Trial Court of Makati
City a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Contract of Sale and Mortgage, Cancellation of Transfer
Certificates of Title and Issuance of new TCTs with Damages, docketed as Civil Case No. 94-1797,
against Priscilla.Petitioner spouses Rosario alleged that Priscilla deceived Agnes into signing the Deeds
of Absolute Sale in favor of Evangeline, as Agnes merely intended to renew the mortgages over the two
lots.

Priscilla, in turn, filed with the RTC a Complaint for Recovery of Possession, she claimed that
she is the absolute owner of the subject lots and that Agnes sold the lots because she was in dire need
of money.

The cases were consolidated and on April 4, 2003, the RTC rendered a Decision granting
Priscilla's complaint for recovery of possession while denying petitioner spouses Rosario's complaint for
declaration of nullity of contract of sale.

On appeal, the CA reversed the April 4, 2003 Decision of the RTC. In its November 15, 2006
Decision,the CA ruled that although the transfers from Agnes to Priscilla were identified as absolute
sales, the contracts are deemed equitable mortgages pursuant to Article 1602 of the Civil Code.Thus,
the CA disposed of the case in this wise:

Anent their prayer for the issuance of new certificates of titles, We hold the cancellation of
petitioner’s title over the 2 lots was void. Titles to the subject lots, which had supposedly been
transferred to Evangeline and later to Priscilla, actually remained with petitioner Agnes, as owner-
mortgagor, conformably with the well-established doctrine that the mortgagee does not automatically
become the owner of the mortgaged property as the ownership thereof remains with the mortgagor.

Since the parties did not file a motion for reconsideration or an appeal, the CA Decision became
final and executory.

On October 17, 2007, Priscilla sent a letter to Agnes demanding the payment of her outstanding
obligation amounting to Pl.8 million.Due to the failure or refusal of petitioner spouses Rosario to heed
the demand, Priscilla filed before the RTC ofMakati, a for Judicial Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgage.

Petitioner spouses Rosario moved for the dismissal of the Complaint, but the RTC denied the
same. They then filed a Petition for Certiorari before the CA, questioning the denial of their Motion to
Dismiss. On May 25, 2010, the CA rendered a Decision dismissing the Petition for lack of merit.

On September 5, 2011, the Supreme Court issued a Resolution denying the Petition for Review
on Certiorari filed by petitioner spouses Rosario. Meanwhile, on May 5, 2009, Priscilla filed a Motion to
Declare Defendants in Default for the failure of petitioner spouses Rosario to file an answer within the
reglementary period, which the RTC granted.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing
the appeal.

RULING:

The Petition lacks merit.

There is conclusiveness of judgment as to the issues pertaining to the existence


of the loan and the legal personality of Priscilla to file a case for judicial foreclosure.

At the outset, it must be pointed out that the November 15, 2006 Decision of the CA in CA-G.R.
CV No. 81350, from which this case arose, has attained finality due to the failure of the parties to file a
motion for reconsideration or an appeal. As such, the factual findings and conclusions in the November
15, 2006 Decision may no longer be disputed by petitioner spouses Rosario as res judicata by
conclusiveness of judgment, which bars them from challenging the same issues.

Unlike res judicata by prior judgment, where there is identity of parties, subject matter, and
causes of action, there is only identity of parties and subject matter in res judicata by conclusiveness of
judgment.39 Since there is no identity of cause of action, the judgment in the first case is conclusive only
as to those matters actually and directly controverted and determined. 40 Thus, there is res judicata by
conclusiveness of judgment when all the following elements are present:

(1) the judgment sought to bar the new action must be final;
(2) the decision must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter
and the parties;
(3) the disposition of the case must be a judgment on the merits; and
(4) there must be as between the first and second action, identity of parties, but not identity of
causes of action.

Since there is conclusiveness of judgment in this case, petitioner spouses Rosario are estopped
from raising issues that were already adjudged in the November 15, 2006 Decision as "the dictum laid
down in the earlier final judgment is conclusive and continues to be binding between the parties, their
privies and successors-in-interest, as long as the facts on which that judgment was predicated continue
to be the facts of the case or incident before the court in a later case. In short, "the binding effect and
enforceability of that earlier dictum can no longer be re-litigated in a later case since the issue has
already been resolved and finally laid to rest in the earlier case."

The only issue left for us to determine is whether a reformation of the contract is required before
the subject lots may be foreclosed which we rule in the negative.

Reformation of an instrument is a remedy in equity where a written instrument already executed


is allowed by law to be reformed or construed to express or conform to the real intention of the
parties.The rationale of the doctrine is that it would be unjust and inequitable to allow the enforcement of
a written instrument that does not express or reflect the real intention of the parties.

In the November 15, 2006 Decision, the CA denied petitioner spouses' Complaint for
declaration of nullity of contract of sale on the ground that what was required was the reformation of the
instruments. In ruling that the Deeds of Absolute Sale were actually mortgages, the CA, in effect, had
reformed the instruments based on the true intention of the parties. Thus, the filing of a separate
complaint for reformation of instrument is no longer necessary because it would only be redundant and
a waste of time.

Besides, in the November 15, 2006 Decision, the CA already declared that absent any proof
that petitioner spouses Rosario had fully paid their obligation, respondent may seek the foreclosure of
the subject lots.51

In view of the foregoing, we find no error on the part of the CA in ruling that a separate action
for reformation of instrument is no longer necessary as the declaration in the November 15, 2006
Decision that the parties' intention was to execute an equitable mortgage is sufficient reformation of
such instrument.

3. People of the Philippines Vs. Menardo Bombasi y Vergara; G.R. No. 211608; September 7,
2016
DEL CASTILLO, J.:
FACTS:
That on or about the 23rd day of January 2006, in the Municipality of San Pedro, Province of
Laguna, the accused willfully, unlawfully and feloniously sell, pass and deliver to a police poseur buyer
one (1) small heat-sealed plastic sachet containing METHAMPHETAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE or
Shabu weighing zero point zero six (0.06) gram in exchange for two (2) pieces One Hundred Peso
(P100.00) marked-bills with Serial Nos. EF500410 and AB635979.
On November 13, 2006, appellant, with the assistance of counsel, was arraigned and pleaded
“NOT GUILTY.” Thereafter, a pre-trial conference was held during which the parties stipulated on the
existence of the letter request for laboratory examination of a small heat-sealed transparent plastic
sachet[5] and Chemistry Report No. D-023-06[6]showing the specimen examined is positive for
methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a dangerous drug. Thus, the testimony of Forensic Chemist
Police Chief Inspector Lorena R. Tria (PCI Tria) was dispensed with.
The RTC found appellant guilty. The CA affirmed the judgment of conviction of the RTC against
and held that the elements for the crime of illegal sale of prohibited drugs under Section 5, Article II of
RA 9165 were satisfied. The CA found substantial compliance with the requirements set forth in Section
21 of RA 9165. It emphasized that although there was no photograph taken on the seized item,
nonetheless, the integrity and evidentiary value of the same was maintained. Hence, the instant appeal.
ISSUE:
WON the integrity of the subject shabu was ensured and its identity was established with moral
certainty.
HELD:
The court ruled in the Negative.
The court agreed with appellant that the prosecution failed to establish the identity of the
prohibited drug which constitutes the corpus delicti of the offense, an essential requirement in a drug-
related case.
We note the glaring inconsistency which the lower courts wittingly overlooked. When PO1
Signap, the poseur-buyer who marked the seized illegal drug stated before the court that the markings
that he placed in the sachet of drugs was M.B which stands for Meynard Bombasi when in fact when the
same substance was brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory for examination, per written request, the
specimen submitted bore a different marking “MB-B.”. this is the same substance with the
corresponding marking that was examined by PCI Tria and eventually offered in court as evidence
which undoubtedly is not the same substance marked by the poseur-buyer. Worse, there was no
explanation given on the discrepancy in the markings.
We also inescapably note the prosecution’s failure to give even a simple indication that the
substance that was being presented in court was identified to be the same substance sold by appellant.
In fact it was not presented or shown to the witness for the intended identification.
To recapitulate, for a successful prosecution of the offense of illegal sale of dangerous drugs
like shabu, the prosecution is bound not only to establish the following elements: (1) identity of the buyer
and the seller, the object and consideration of the sale and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the
payment therefore but also it is equally essential that the prohibited drug confiscated or recovered from
the suspect is the very same substance offered in court as exhibit; and that the identity of said drug be
established with the same unwavering exactitude as that requisite to make a finding of guilt.
This requirement is found wanting in this case. It is evident that the identity of the corpus delicti
has not been properly preserved and established by the prosecution. We therefore find that the
prosecution has not been able to prove the guilt of appellant beyond reasonable doubt. The
presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty invoked by the prosecution and relied upon
by the courts a quo cannot by itself overcome the presumption of innocence nor constitute proof of guilt
beyond reasonable doubt.

4. JACK C. VALENCIA, Petitioner, vs. CLASSIQUE VINYL PRODUCTS CORPORATION,JOHNNY


CHANG (Owner) and/or CANTINGAS MANPOWER SERVICES, Respondents.

FACTS:

On March 24, 2010, Valencia filed with the Labor Arbiter a Complaint for backwages,
Regularization Damages; and, Attorney's Fees against respondents. On April 17, 2010, amended his
complaint to include illegal dismissal.

In his Sinumpaang Salaysay, Valencia alleged that he applied for work with Classique Vinyl but
was told by the latter's personnel office to proceed to CMS, a local manpower agency, and therein
submit the requirements for employment. Upon submission thereof, CMS made him sign a contract of
employment but no copy of the same was given to him. He then proceeded to Classique Vinyl for
interview and thereafter started working for the company in June 2005 as felitizer operator. Five months
later, he was made to serve as extruder. He further averred that he worked for Classique Vinyl for four
years until his dismissal. He claimed that he was paid beyond the minimum wage mandated by law and
did not paid incentives payments and his deductions were not properly remitted.

Classique Vinyl, for its part, denied having hired Valencia.It averred that CMS would only deploy
Valencia to Classique Vinyl whenever there was an urgent specific task or temporary work and these
occasions took place sometime in the years 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

CMS, on the other hand, denied any employer-employee relationship between it and Valencia.
It contended that after it deployed Valencia to Classique Vinyl, it was already the latter which exercised
full control and supervision over him. Also, Valencia's wages were paid by Classique Vinyl only that it
was CMS which physically handed the same to Valencia.

Ruling of the Labor Arbiter

Dismissed the case for lack of merit and/or factual basis

Pieces of evidence to prove that respondent [CMS] is a legitimate Private Recruitment and
Placement Agency. Pursuant to its business objective, respondent CMS entered into several
Employment Contracts with complainant Valencia as Contractual Employee for deployment to
respondent [Classique Vinyl], the last of which was signed by [Valencia] on 06 February 2010.

The foregoing Employment Contract for a definite period supports respondent [Classique
Vinyl's] assertion that [Valencia] was not hired continuously but intermittently ranging from 3 months to 4
months for the years 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010. Notably, no controverting evidence was offered to
dispute respondent [Classique Vinyl's] assertion.

On the other hand, there is no substantial evidence to support After all, it is elementary that he
who makes an affirmative allegation has the burden of proof. On this score, Valencia failed to establish
that he was actually dismissed from his job by respondent [Classique Vinyl], aside from his bare
allegation.

Ruling of the National Labor Relations Commission

NLRC dismissed Valencia's appeal and affirmed the decision of the Labor Arbiter. Applying the
four-fold test, the NLRC, however, declared CMS as Valencia's employer in its Resolution dated April
14, 2011, viz.:

In Order to determine the existence of an employer-employee relationship, the following


yardstick had been consistently applied: (l) the selection and engagement; (2) payment of wages; (3)
power of dismissal and; (4) the power to control the employee's conduct.

Ruling of the Court of Appeals

When Valencia sought recourse from the CA, the said court rendered a Decision dated
December 5, 2012 denying his Petition for Certiorari and affirming the ruling of the NLRC.

Valencia's motion for reconsideration was likewise denied in a Resolution dated March 18,
2013. Elevated to SC Petition for Review on Certiorari imputing upon the CA.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals is correct in affirming the Labor Arbiter and NLRC
decisions relying on the contract.
RULING:

There is no merit in the Petition. Petition for Review on Certiorari is DENIED. 'The assailed
December 5, 2012 Decision and March 18, 2013 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
120999 are AFFIRMED.

As correctly pointed out by Classique Vinyl, the issue of whether or not an employer-employee
relationship existed between Valencia and Classique Vinyl is essentially a question of fact. "The Court is
not a trier of facts and will not review the factual findings of the lower tribunals as these are generally
binding and conclusive." While there are recognized exceptions, none of them applies in this case.

Even if otherwise, the Court is not inclined to depart from the uniform findings of the Labor
Arbiter, the NLRC and the CA.

"It is an oft-repeated rule that in labor cases, as in other administrative and quasi-judicial
proceedings, 'the quantum of proof necessary is substantial evidence, or such amount of relevant
evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion.’ ‘The burden of
proof rests upon the party who asserts the affirmative of an issue’." Since it is Valencia here who is
claiming to be an employee of Classique Vinyl, it is thus incumbent upon him to proffer evidence to
prove the existence of employer-employee relationship between them.

In this case, however, Valencia failed to present competent evidence, documentary or


otherwise, to support his claimed employer-employee relationship between him and Classique Vinyl. All
he advanced were mere factual assertions unsupported by proof.

The CA, therefore, did not err in relying on the said employment contract in its determination of
the merits of this case.

5. GR NO. 208053 October 18, 2017 MEATWORLD INTERNATIONAL VS. DOMINIQUE A.


HECHANOVA

FACTS:

Dominique A. Hechanova, respondent, was employed as head butcher of petitioner corporation.

 On March 2, 2011, respondent filed a complaint for illegal dismissal with claim for
backwages against petitioner and/or Joyce Alcoreza, Vice-President of the petitioner.

 The Labor Arbiter ruled that the respondent has been illegally dismissed. Petitioner’s
appeal to the NLRC was denied.

 Petitioner elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals (CA), via a Petition for Certiorary
under Rule 65.

 The CA dismissed the Petition on the following infirmities:


o Petitioner corporation failed to comply with the requirement of proof of service
under Sec. 10, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of procedure.
o Petitioner failed to show competent evidence regarding the identity of Alcoreza
as the alleged authorized representative of the corporation on the attached Verification
and Certification Against Non-Forum Shopping as required by Sec. 12, Rule II of the
2004 Rules on Notarial Practice and that there was no Board Resolution empowering
Alcorez to represent the corporation in the case.
 Petitioner sought reconsideration contending that it complied with the proof of service
requirement and that the Secretary’s Certificate attached to the Petition attesting that Alcoreza was
duly authorized byh the Board of Directors to sign the necessary pleadings, verification, and
certificate of non-forum shopping on behalf of the corporation is sufficient proof of the authority to file
the Petition

 The CA conceded that the petitioner complied with the proof of service requirement,
however, it maintained that the petitioner failed to present the Board Resolution and the competent
evidence of identity of the affiant.

ISSUE:
W/N there were procedural defects in the Petition for Certiorari.

HELD:

There were no procedural defects in the Petition for Certiorari. Under the Corporation Code, a
corporation exercises its powers and transact business through its board of directors or trustees. Its
corporate officers and agents, therefore, cannot exercise any corporate power pertiaing to the
corporation without authority from the board of directors. Corollarily in order for a person to represent a
corporation in a suit, a board resolution authorizing the former to represent the latter is necessary. In
several instances however, the Court has considered a Secretary’s Certificate sufficient proof of service.

In addition the Court ruled that contrary to the CA’s finding, Alcoreza presented “competent
evidence of authority as she presented before the notary public her valid Philippine Passport.

6.COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner vs. ST. LUKE’S MEDICAL CENTER, INC.,
Respondent

FACTS:

On December 14, 2007, respondent St. Luke’s Medical Center, Inc. (SLMC) received from the
Large Taxpayers Service-Documents Processing and Quality Assurance Division of the Bureau of
Internal Revenue (BIR) Audit Results/Assessment Notice Nos. QA-07-0000965 and QA-07-
000097,6 assessing respondent SLMC deficiency income tax under Section 27(B)7 of the 1997 National
Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), as amended, for taxable year 2005 in the amount of ₱78,617,434.54
and for taxable year 2006 in the amount of ₱57,119,867.33.

On January 14, 2008, SLMC filed with petitioner Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) an
administrative protest8assailing the assessments. SLMC claimed that as a non-stock, non-profit
charitable and social welfare organization under Section 30(E) and (G)9 of the 1997 NIRC, as amended,
it is exempt from paying income tax.

On April 25, 2008, SLMC received petitioner CIR's Final Decision on the Disputed Assessment
dated April 9, 2008 increasing the deficiency income for the taxable year 2005 tax to ₱82,419,522.21
and for the taxable year 2006 to ₱60,259,885.

On August 26, 2010, the CTA Division rendered a Decision 13 finding SLMC not liable for
deficiency income tax under Section 27(B) of the 1997 NIRC, as amended, since it is exempt from
paying income tax under Section 30(E) and (G) of the same Code.

On May 9, 2012, the CTA En Banc affirmed the cancellation and setting aside of the Audit
Results/Assessment Notices issued against SLMC. It sustained the findings of the CTA Division that
SLMC complies with all the requisites under Section 30(E) and (G) of the 1997 NIRC and thus, entitled
to the tax exemption provided therein.

On September 17, 2012, the CTA En Banc denied CIR's Motion for Reconsideration. CIR filed
the instant Petition under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court contending that the CTA erred in exempting
SLMC from the payment of income tax.

Meanwhile, on September 26, 2012, the Court rendered a Decision in G.R. Nos. 195909 and
195960, entitled Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. St. Luke's Medical Center, Inc.,18 finding SLMC
not entitled to the tax exemption under Section 30(E) and (G) of the NIRC of 1997 as it does not operate
exclusively for charitable or social welfare purposes insofar as its revenues from paying patients are
concerned.

ISSUE:

Whether or not SLMC is liable for income tax under Section 27(B) of the 1997 NIRC.

RULING:

Yes. SLMC is liable for income tax under Section 27(B) of the 1997 NIRC. We hold that Section
27(B) of the NIRC does not remove the income tax exemption of proprietary non-profit hospitals under
Section 30(E) and (G). Section 27(B) on one hand, and Section 30(E) and (G) on the other hand, can be
construed together without the removal of such tax exemption. The effect of the introduction of Section
27(B) is to subject the taxable income of two specific institutions, namely, proprietary non-profit
educational institutions and proprietary non-profit hospitals, among the institutions covered by Section
30, to the 10% preferential rate under Section 27(B) instead of the ordinary 30% corporate rate under
the last paragraph of Section 30 in relation to Section 27(A)(l).

Section 27(B) of the NIRC imposes a 10% preferential tax rate on the income of (1) proprietary
non-profit educational institutions and (2) proprietary non-profit hospitals. The only qualifications for
hospitals are that they must be proprietary and non-profit. 'Proprietary' means private, following the
definition of a 'proprietary educational institution' as 'any private school maintained and administered by
private individuals or groups' with a government permit. 'Non-profit' means no net income or asset
accrues to or benefits any member or specific person, with all the net income or asset devoted to the
institution's purposes and all its activities conducted not for profit.

However, in view of the payment of the basic taxes made by SLMC on April 30, 2013, the
instant Petition has become moot.

While the Court agrees with the CIR that the payment confirmation from the BIR presented by
SLMC is not a competent proof of payment as it does not indicate the specific taxable period the said
payment covers, the Court finds that the Certification issued by the Large Taxpayers Service of the BIR
dated May 27, 2013, and the letter from the BIR dated November 26, 2013 with attached Certification of
Payment and application for abatement are sufficient to prove payment especially since CIR never
questioned the authenticity of these documents. In fact, in a related case, G.R. No. 200688,
entitled Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. St. Luke's Medical Center, lnc., the Court dismissed the
petition based on a letter issued by CIR confirming SLMC's payment of taxes, which is the same letter
submitted by SLMC in the instant case.

In fine, the Court resolves to dismiss the instant Petition as the same has been rendered moot
by the payment made by SLMC of the basic taxes for the taxable years 2005 and 2006, in the amounts
of ₱49,919,496.40 and ₱4 l,525,608.40, respectively.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DISMISSED.


7. Roble Barbosa and Ramdy Barbosa vs. People of the Philippines;
G.R. No. 207193; July 24, 2017

FACTS
An Informationfor murder was filed against petitioners for the death of Artemio Betita, Jr. (the
victim). Petitioners pleaded “not guilty” during their respective arraignments.

The prosecution established that at 2:45 p.m. on May 16, 1998, Arnem Betita (Betita) was
inside their family home when she heard her father, the victim, mumbling the words: “Nagsalig lang na
sila, kay mahisaon nga mga tawo”(They are confident of themselves, and they are envious people).
Minutes later, she heard a man outside their house shouting “Get out”. Her father responded to the
challenge and stepped out of their house. Three gunshots erupted, which prompted Betita to
investigate. When she went outside, she saw petitioner Ramdy running away with a gun in his hand.
She also noticed petitioner Roble on the terrace of his house holding a long firearm. Betita rushed
towards her wounded father who was slumped on the floor. She knelt and embraced him, then shouted
to Roble “tama na, tama na” (that’s enough, that’s enough). The victim’s mother and neighbors arrived
and brought him to the hospital where he was pronounced “dead on arrival”. The autopsy on the
cadaver of the victim revealed that his death was due to a gunshot wound in his left eyebrow caused by
a bullet fired from a caliber .25 firearm. Petitioners, on the other hand, manifested that they would not
present evidence and submitted the case for decision.

RTC ruled that while prosecution witness Betita was unable to actually see the person who shot
the victim, there were several pieces of evidence sufficient to prove that petitioners were guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of killing him. The RTC held that the circumstantial evidence, when combined,
constituted an unbroken chain that warranted a conclusion that petitioners were responsible for the
killing.

The RTC ruled that conspiracy was evident from the fact that petitioners: (1) were both armed
during the incident; (2) were strategically positioned while waiting for their prey; (3) were both near the
victim during the incident; and (4) desisted after the victim’s daughter pleaded for them to stop.

In its Decision dated February 22, 2012, the CA affirmed the RTC’s ruling that petitioners are
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide. It concurred with the findings of the RTC that the evidence
were sufficient to establish that petitioners were responsible for the shooting incident that resulted in the
death of the victim. Dissatisfied, petitioners file a Petition for Review under Rule 45. They insist that the
testimony of Betita should not be considered against them for being unreliable and insufficient.
Petitioners contend that there was no conspiracy between them since nobody actually saw the
commission of the crime.

ISSUE

Whether the testimony of Betita, who has not actually seen the act of shooting, was sufficient to
convict the accused.

RULING

The prosecution successfully established the elements of the crime of homicide, which are: (1)
a person was killed; (2) the accused killed that person without justifying circumstance; (3) the accused
had the intention to kill, which is presumed; and (4) the killing was not attended by any of the qualifying
circumstances of murder, or that of parricide or infanticide.
The guilt of the petitioners was sufficiently established by circumstantial evidence, which has
the following requisites: (1) there is more than one circumstance; (2) the facts from which the inferences
are derived are proven; and (3) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce a conviction
beyond reasonable doubt. There are several pieces of circumstantial evidence in this case that form an
unbroken chain leading to a fair and logical conclusion that petitioners committed the crime of homicide.
The RTC and the CA were correct in ruling that petitioners were in conspiracy in killing the victim. The
circumstantial evidence showed that petitioners are father and son, and both carried firearms when they
confronted the victim. During the confrontation, three gunshots were heard, which made it possible that
both of them fired a gun. Petitioner Roble was at the terrace of his house while petitioner Ramdy sought
cover at the wall which was closer to the victim. Their assault ceased after the victim’s daughter pleaded
for them to stop. After shooting the victim, Ramdy fled while Roble sought refuge inside his house
instead of lending assistance to the victim. They clearly acted in unison to achieve the common
objective of killing the victim.

There is also nothing in the records that would show that Betita was actuated by improper
motive, and absent any compelling reason to conclude otherwise, her testimony will be given full faith
and credence. Her positive identification of petitioners as the persons last seen with the victim
immediately after the commission of the crime combined with other pieces of circumstantial evidence
were sufficient to establish that petitioners fatally shot the victim.

The CA was therefore correct in affirming the RTC’s Decision finding petitioners guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of homicide and sentencing them accordingly.

WHEREFORE, the Petition for Review is DENIED.

8. JOSE AUDIE ABAGATNAN, JOSEPHINE A. PARCE, JIMMY ABAGATNAN, JOHN ABAGATNAN,


JENALYN A.DELEON, JOEY ABAGATNAN, JOJIE ABAGATNAN, and JOY
BAGATNAN, Petitioners,
vs.SPOUSES JONATHAN CLARITO and ELSA CLARITO, Respondents,

August 7, 2017, G.R. No. 211966

FACTS:

Wenceslao Abagatnan (Wenceslao) and his late wife, Lydia Capote (Lydia) own a parcel of land
designated as Lot 1472-B, with a total land of 5,046 square meters, and located at Barangay Cogon,
Roxas City. On October 4, 1999, Lydia died, leaving her children, who are co petitioners in this case, to
succeed into the ownership of her conjugal share of said property.

In 1990, respondents allegedly asked Wenceslao for permission to construct a residential


house made of light materials on a 480-square meter portion of Lot 1472-B (subject property).
Wenceslao allowed them, since they are a is a distant relative, to do so subject to the condition that
respondents will vacate the subject property should he need the same for his own use.

In September 2006, petitioners decided to sell portions of Lot 14 72-B, including the subject
property which was then still being occupied by respondents. They offered to sell said portion to
respondents, but the latter declined.

Petitioners sent respondents a Demand Letter dated October 2, 2006 requiring the latter to
vacate however, refused to heed such demand prompting the petitioners to file a Complaint for Unlawful
Detainer and Damages against respondents. Notably, the Complaint alleged that prior barangay
conciliation proceedings are not required as a pre-condition for the filing of the case in court, given that
not all petitioners are residents of Roxas City. Specifically, petitioner Jimmy C. Abagatnan (Jimmy)
resided in Laguna, while petitioner Jenalyn A. De Leon (Jenalyn) resided in Pasig City. In their Answer
with Counterclaim, respondents argued that prior barangay conciliation is a mandatory requirement that
cannot be dispensed with, considering that Jimmy and Jenalyn had already executed a Special Power
of Attomey (SPA) in favor of their co-petitioner and sister, Josephine A. Paree (Josephine), who is a
resident of Roxas City.

Respondents also insisted that Lot 14 72-B is only a portion of Lot 1472 which is covered by its
mother title, Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 9882, under the name of Nicolas Clarita, et al.,
Jonathan's predecessors-in-interest. Unfortunately, said title was lost or destroyed during the war, but a
copy of the owner's duplicate copy was presented before the trial court and made part of the records.

MTCC & RTC rendered judgment in favor of petitioners and ordered respondents to remove the
structures they erected on the subject property and to vacate the same.

The RTC, too, held that the lack of barangay conciliation proceedings cannot be brought on
appeal because it was not made an issue in the Pre-Trial Order.

Following the denial, respondents filed a Petition for Review before the CA.

CA ruled that the findings of fact of both the MTCC and the RTC are supported by the evidence
on record. It gave more probative value to the tax declarations and the Deed of Absolute Sale submitted
by petitioners.

Nevertheless, the CA granted the Petition and dismissed the petitioners' Complaint, albeit
without prejudice, for lack of prior referral to the Katarungang Pambarangay. It pointed out that majority
of petitioners actually resided in Barangay Cogon, Roxas City, while the two non-residents of Roxas City
already executed an SPA in favor of Josephine, whom they authorized, among others, to enter into an
amicable settlement with respondents. Since respondents also reside in the same barangay, the dispute
between the parties is clearly within the ambit of the Lupon Tagapamayapa's (Lupon) authority.

The CA thus concluded that petitioners' Complaint had been prematurely filed with the MTCC,
as it should have been first brought before the Lupon for mandatory conciliation to accord the parties the
chance for amicable settlement.

Petitioners moved for reconsideration, but the CA denied the motion. As a consequence,
petitioners filed the present Petition for Review on Certiorari before the Court.

ISSUE:

Whether the CA correctly dismissed the Complaint for failure to comply with the
prior barangay conciliation requirement under Section 412 of the LGC, despite the fact that not all real
parties in interest resided in the same city or municipality

HELD:

CA erred in dismissing the complaint.

Section 412(a) of the LGC requires the parties to undergo a conciliation process before
the Lupon Chairman or the Pangkat as a pre-condition to the filing of a complaint in court.

The LGC further provides that "the lupon of each barangay shall have authority to bring
together the parties actually residing in the same city or municipality for amicable settlement of all
disputes," subject to certain exceptions enumerated in the law. One such exception is in cases where
the dispute involves parties who actually reside in barangays of different cities or
municipalities, unless said barangay units adjoin each other and the parties thereto agree to submit
their differences to amicable settlement by an appropriate lupon.
Thus, parties who do not actually reside in the same city or municipality or
adjoining barangays are not required to submit their dispute to the lupon as a pre-condition to the filing
of a complaint in court.

In the present case, the Complaint filed before the MTCC specifically alleged that not all the real
parties in interest in the case actually reside in Roxas City: Jimmy resided in Poblacion, Siniloan,
Laguna, while Jenalyn resided in Brgy. de La Paz, Pasig City. As such, the lupon has no jurisdiction
over their dispute, and prior referral of the case for barangay conciliation is not a precondition to
its filing in court.

Besides, as the RTC correctly pointed out, the lack of barangay conciliation proceedings
cannot be brought on appeal because it was not included in the Pre-Trial Order.

In effect, the non-inclusion of this issue in the Pre-Trial Order barred its consideration
during the trial. This is but consistent with the rule that parties are bound by the delimitation of issues
that they agreed upon during the pre-trial proceedings.

WHEREFORE, we GRANT the Petition for Review on Certiorari.

9. 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.
10. MALAYAN INSURANCE CO., INC., YVONNE S. YUCHENGCO, ATTY. EMMANUEL G.
VILLANUEVA, SONNY RUBIN,1 ENGR. FRANCISCO MONDELO, and MICHAEL REQUIJO,
Petitioners. vs.EMMA CONCEPCION L. LIN,Respondent.
DEL CASTILLO, J.:
This case is about double insurance claim proceeds plus damages and the prayer for the violation of
unfair claim settlement practice under Section 241 in relation to Section 247 of the Insurance Code.
FACTS:
The original plaintiff of this case is the respondent EMMA CONCEPCION L. LIN, who filed a
complaint against the petitioners on January 4, 2010 before Branch 52 of the Manila RTC. for Collection
of Sum of Money with Damages against Malayan Insurance Co., Inc. (Malayan), Yvonne Yuchengco
(Yvonne), Atty. Emmanuel Villanueva, Sonny Rubin, Engr. Francisco Mondelo, Michael Angelo Requijo
(collectively, the petitioners), and the Rizal Commercial and Banking Corporation (RCBC).
Lin alleged that she obtained various loans from RCBC secured by six clustered warehouses
located at Plaridel, Bulacan; that the five warehouses were insured with Malayan against fire for ₱56
million while the remaining warehouse was insured for ₱2 million;
o that on February 24, 2008, the five warehouses were gutted by fire;
o that on April 8, 2008 the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) issued a Fire Clearance
Certification to her (April 8, 2008 FCC) after having determined that the cause of fire
was accidental;
o that despite the foregoing, her demand for payment of her insurance claim was denied
since the forensic investigators hired by Malayan claimed that the cause of the fire was
arson and not accidental;
o that she sought assistance from the Insurance Commission (IC) which, after a meeting
among the parties and a conduct of reinvestigation into the cause/s of the fire,
recommended that Malayan pay Lin's insurance claim and/or accord great weight to the
BFP's findings;
o that in defiance thereof, Malayan still denied or refused to pay her insurance claim; and
that for these reasons, Malayan's corporate officers should also be held liable for
acquiescing to Malayan's unjustified refusal to pay her insurance claim.

As against RCBC, Lin averred that notwithstanding the loss of the mortgaged properties, the
bank refused to go after Malayan and instead insisted that she herself must pay the loans to RCBC,
otherwise, foreclosure proceedings would ensue; and that to add insult to injury, RCBC has been
compounding the interest on her loans, despite RCBC's failure or refusal to go after Malayan.
That Lin prayed that judgment be rendered ordering petitioners the following reliefs:

1. to pay her insurance claim plus interest on the amounts due or owing her;
2. that her loans and mortgage to RCBC be deemed extinguished as of February
2008;
3. that RCBC be enjoined from foreclosing the mortgage on the properties put
up as collaterals;
4. and that petitioners he ordered to pay her ₱l,217,928.88 in the concept of
filing foes, costs of suit, ₱l million as exemplary damages, and ₱500,000.00
as attorney’s fees.
That five months later, Lin filed an Administrative case against Malayan, represented this time
by Yvonne. This was docketed as Administrative Case No. 431 before the Insurance Commission on
the following grounds:
o due to its unjustified refusal to settle her claim;
o and that in consequence of the foregoing failings, Malayan's license to operate
as a non-life insurance company should be revoked or suspended, until such
time that it fully complies with the IC Resolution ordering it to accord more
weight to the BFP's findings.

On the other hand, the petitioners contended the following:


o That on August 17, 2010, Malayan filed a motion to dismiss Civil Case No. 10-
122738 based on forum shopping. It argued that the administrative case was
instituted to prompt or incite IC into ordering Malayan to pay her insurance
claim;
o that the elements of forum shopping are present in these two cases because
there exists identity of parties since Malayan's individual officers who were
impleaded in the civil case are also involved in the administrative case;
o that the same interests are shared and represented in both the civil and
administrative cases;
o that there is identity of causes of action and reliefs sought in the two cases
since the administrative case is merely disguised as an unfair claim settlement
charge, although its real purpose is to allow Lin to recover her insurance claim
from Malayan;
o that Lin sought to obtain the same reliefs in the administrative case as in the
civil case;
o that Lin did not comply with her sworn undertaking in the Certification on Non-
Forum Shopping which she attached to the civil case, because she deliberately
failed to notify the RTC about the pending administrative case within five days
from the filing thereof.

This motion to dismiss drew a Comment/Opposition, which Lin filed on August 31, 2010.

Ruling of the Regional Trial Court

The Motion to Dismiss filed by the petitioners was DENIED for lack of merit.
The RTC held that in the administrative case, Lin was seeking a relief clearly distinct from that
sought in the civil case; that while in the administrative case Lin prayed for the suspension or revocation
of Malayan's license to operate as a non-life insurance company, in the civil case Lin prayed for the
collection of a sum of money with damages; that it is abundantly clear that any judgment that would be
obtained in either case would not be res judicata to the other, hence, there is no forum shopping to
speak of.
Aggrieved by the decision the petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals via petition for
certiorari and prohibition.
Ruling of the Court of Appeals

December 21, 2012, the CA upheld the RTC decision, and disposed as follows:
WHEREFORE absent grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondent Judge, the Petition
for Certiorari and Prohibition (with Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction) is
DISMISSED.

ISSUES:

1. Whether or not the filing of a civil case and subsequent administrative case constitute forum
shopping despite the fact that the civil case and the administrative case both seek the payment
of the same fire insurance claim;
2. Whether or not the CA erred in dismissing the civil case for failure on the part of [Lin] to comply
with her undertaking in her verification and certification of non-forum shopping appended to the
civil complaint.

HELD:

The Petition is DENIED.

Firstly, it is elementary that "an order denying a motion to dismiss is merely interlocutory and,
therefore, not appealable, x x x to x x x avoid undue inconvenience to the appealing party by having to
assail orders as they are promulgated by the court, when all such orders may be contested in a single
appeal.

Secondly, petitioners’ herein utterly failed to prove that the RTC, in issuing the assailed Orders,
acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. "It is well-settled that an
act of a court or tribunal may only be considered to have been done in grave abuse of discretion when
the same was performed in a capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment which is equivalent to lack or
excess of jurisdiction."29 "[F]or grave abuse of discretion to exist, the abuse of discretion must be patent
and gross so 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.

11. ROSARIO BANGUIS-TAMBUYAT, PETITIONER, VS. WENIFREDA BALCOM-TAMBUYAT,


RESPONDENT.

FACTS:
Adriano M. Tambuyat (Adriano) and respondent Wenifreda Balcom-Tambuyat (Wenifreda) were
married on September 16, 1965.During their marriage, Adriano acquired several real properties,
including a 700-square meter parcel of land located at Barangay Muzon, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan
(the subject property) which was bought on November 17, 1991. The deed of sale over the said property
was signed by Adriano alone as vendee; one of the signing witnesses to the deed of sale was petitioner
Rosario Banguis-Tambuyat (Banguis), who signed therein as "Rosario Banguis."When Transfer
Certificate of Title No. T-145321(M) (TCT T-145321) covering the subject property was issued, however,
it was made under the name of "ADRIANO M. TAMBUYAT married to ROSARIO E. BANGUIS." All this
time, petitioner Banguis remained married to Eduardo Nolasco (Nolasco). They were married on
October 15, 1975, and at all times material to this case, Nolasco was alive, and his marriage to
petitioner subsisted and was never annulled.
On June 7, 1998, Adriano died intestate.
On October 18, 1999, Wenifreda filed a Petition for Cancellation of TCT T-145321, which was
docketed as LRC Case No. P-443-99 and assigned to Branch 10 of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos,
Bulacan (Malolos RTC). She alleged therein that she was the surviving spouse of Adriano; that TCT T-
145321 was erroneously registered and made in the name of "ADRIANO M. TAMBUYAT married to
ROSARIO E. BANGUIS;" that per annexed Marriage Contract, Banguis was still married to Nolasco;
that Banguis could not have been married to Adriano; that the issuance of the title in Banguis's name as
Adriano's spouse was due to "an insidious machination by her and the person who brokered the sale of
the subject property, allegedly a cousin or relative of hers;"and that consequently, she suffered
damages. Thus, Wenifreda prayed that TCT T-145321 be cancelled; that a new certificate of title be
made out in Adriano's name, with her as the spouse indicated; that Banguis be ordered to surrender her
copy of TCT T-145321; and that moral and exemplary damages, attorney's fees, and costs of litigation
be adjudged in her favor.
In her Opposition,to the petition for cancellation, Banguis denied specifically that the subject
property was acquired by Adriano and Wenifreda during their marriage. She claimed that on the other
hand, she alone bought the subject property using her personal funds; that she and Adriano were
married on September 2, 1988 and thereafter lived together as a married couple; that their union
produced a son, who was born on April 1, 1990; that the trial court has no jurisdiction over the petition
for cancellation, which is merely a summary proceeding considering that a thorough determination will
have to be made as to whether the property is conjugal or exclusive property, and since she and
Adriano have a child whose rights will be adversely affected by any judgment in the case; and that
Wenifreda is guilty of forum-shopping in filing LRC Case No. P-443-99, considering that a prior similar
case was already filed by her and dismissed on April 22, 1999 by Branch 76 of the Malolos RTC.
Banguis prayed for the dismissal of LRC Case No. P-443-99 and to be paid moral damages and
attorney's fees by way of counterclaim.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the cancellation of the TCT filed by Wenifreda be granted by the court
RULING:
Yes, Under Section 108 of PD 1529, noting that Banguis's name was included in TCT T-145321
by error or mistake. It held that the evidence adduced proved that Wenifreda and not Banguis is the
lawful wife of Adriano; that there is a valid and subsisting marriage between Nolasco and Banguis, and
the latter admitted to such fact during the course of the proceedings in the trial court; and that Banguis's
opposition to Wenifreda's petition for cancellation of TCT T-145321 is not real and genuine as to place
the latter's title to the subject property in doubt. The CA added that contrary to Banguis's position, a
separate and different proceeding is not necessary to resolve her opposition to the petition in LRC Case
No. P-443-99, as: 1) she in effect acquiesced and freely submitted her issues and concerns to the trial
court for complete determination, submitting all her relevant documentary and other evidence to the
court in order to prove her allegations particularly that she is the lawful spouse of Adriano and that she
is the actual owner and possessor of the subject property; and 2) pursuant to law and jurisprudence, the
distinction between the trial court sitting as a land registration court and as a court of general jurisdiction
has been eliminated with the passage of PD 1529. It held further that, based on the evidence adduced,
Adriano and Banguis are not co-owners of the subject property as it has been shown that: a) both of
them had valid and subsisting marriages when they conducted their adulterous relations; b) Banguis
failed to present even a modicum of evidence that she contributed to the purchase of the subject
property; and c) the deed of sale itself indicated that Adriano alone was the vendee. Finally, in denying
Wenifreda's pecuniary awards and Banguis's counterclaim, the CA held that the parties are not entitled
thereto as there is no legal and factual basis to grant them.
12. FCD PAWNSHOP vs. UNION BANK FCD PAWNSHOP AND MERCHANDISING COMPANY, ET
AL. VS. UNION BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.
FACTS:
Together with Felicitas Dionisio-Juguilon and Adelaida Dionisio, petitioners Fortunato C.
Dionisio, Jr, and Franklin C. Dionisio owned FCD Pawnshop and Merchandising Company, which in turn
was the registered owner of a pared of fond in Makati under Transfer Certificate of Title No. (168302) S-
3664, or TCT (168302) S-3664.
In 2009, Fortunato and Franklin entrusted the original owner’s copy of TCT (168302) S-3664 to
Atty. Rowena Dionisio. It was later discovered that the said title was used as collateral by Sunyang
Mining Corporation to obtain a ₱20 million loan from respondent Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP).
Civil Case No. 11-116 – for annulment of mortgage
On February 9, 2011, Fortunato and Franklin filed against UBP, Sunyang, the Registry of
Deeds of Makati, and several others Civil Case No. 11-116, a Petition to annul the Sunyang mortgage
and claim for damages, based on the premise that TCT (168302) S-3664 was fraudulently mortgaged.
Civil Case No. 11-1192 – for annulment of foreclosure sale and certificate of sale
On account of perceived irregularities in the foreclosure and sale proceedings, Fortunato and
Franklin filed in December 2011 a Complaint against UBP, the Registry of Deeds of Makati, and several
others for annulment of the extrajudicial foreclosure and certificate of sale issued, with injunctive relief.
In a written opposition, UBP claimed that the filing of Civil Case No. 11-1192 violated the rule
against forum shopping. On March 26, 2012, Branch 133 issued an Order dismissing Civil Case No. 11-
1192 on the ground of forum shopping. Fortunato and Franklin moved to reconsider, but the trial court,
in a June 14, 2012, held its ground,
Petitioners filed an original Petition for Certiorari before the CA docketed as CA-G.R. SP. No.
l26075. However, claiming that there is no forum shopping. On February 28, 2013, the CA rendered the
assailed Decision dismissing the Petition.
A Motion for Reconsideration was filed, but the same was denied in a June 28, 2013 Resolution
of the CA.
ISSUES:
Whether in maintaining Civil Case Nos. 11-116 and 11-1192, Petitioners are not guilty of forum
shopping, nor did they violate the rule on litis pendentia.

RULING:
It so happened that the assigned ponente has had the occasion to rule on a case where a party
instituted two cases against the same set of defendants – one for the annulment of a real estate
mortgage, and a second for injunction and nullification of the extrajudicial foreclosure and consolidation
of title, rooted in the same real estate mortgage – who moved to dismiss the second case on the ground
of forum shopping, claiming that both cases relied on a determination of the same issue: that is, the
validity of the real estate mortgage. The trial court dismissed the second case, but the CA ordered its
reinstatement. The ponente affirmed the trial court, declaring as follows:
There is forum shopping ‘when a 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.’ The different ways by which forum shopping may be
committed were explained in Chua v. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company:
Forum shopping can be committed in three ways: (1) filing multiple cases based on the same
cause of action and with the same prayer, the previous case not having been resolved yet (where the
ground for dismissal is litis pendentia); (2) filing multiple cases based on the same cause of action and
the same prayer, the previous case having been finally resolved (where the ground for dismissal is res
judicata); and (3) filing multiple cases based on the same cause of action but with different prayers
(splitting causes of action, where the ground for dismissal is also either litis pendentia or res judicata).
The factual milieu in the present case is the same as in the above-cited cases. The plaintiffs in
both cases first filed a case for annulment of the mortgage, followed by the case for annulment of the
foreclosure proceedings. For this reason, the underlying principle in these previously decided cases
must apply equally to the instant case. Thus, the Court completely agrees with the CA’s findings that in
the event that the court in Civil Case No. 11-116 (annulment of mortgage case) should nullify the
Sunyang mortgage, then subsequent proceedings based thereon, including the foreclosure, shall also
be nullified. Notably as well, the CA’s observation in Civil Case No. 11-1192 (case for annulment of
foreclosure and sale) – that since the complaint therein repeatedly makes reference to an “unlawful” and
“fraudulent” Sunyang mortgage, then the same evidence in Civil Case No. 11-116 will have to be
utilized- is well-taken.
Petitioners maintain that Civil Case No. 11-1192 (case for annulment of foreclosure and sale) is
grounded on specific irregularities committed during the foreclosure proceedings. However, their
Complaint in said case reiterates the supposed illegality of the Sunyang mortgage, thus presenting the
court in said case with the opportunity and temptation to resolve the issue of validity of the mortgage.
There is therefore a danger that a decision might be rendered by the court in Civil Case No. 11-1192
that contradicts the eventual ruling in Civil Case No. 11-116, or the annulment of mortgage case.
The rules of procedure are geared toward securing a just, speedy, and inexpensive disposition
of every action and proceeding. “Procedural law has its own rationale in the orderly administration of
justice, namely, to ensure the effective enforcement of substantive rights by providing for a system that
obviates arbitrariness, caprice, despotism, or whimsicality in the settlement of disputes.” With these
principles in mind, the Court would rather have petitioners try their cause of action in Civil Case No. 11-
116, rather than leave the trial court in danger of committing error by issuing a decision or resolving an
issue in Civil Case No. 11-1192 that should properly be rendered or resolved by the court trying Civil
Case No. 11-116.
The Court denied the petition, and the February 28, 2013 Decision and June 28, 2013
Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP. No. 126075 are affirmed.

13. Cathay Land, Inc. and Cathay Metal Corporation Vs. Ayala Land, Inc., Avida Land
Corporation and Laguna Technopark, Inc.; G.R. No. 210209; August 9, 2017
FACTS:
Cathay Land, Inc. and Cathay Metal Corporation (Cathay Group) own and develop a mixed-
use and multi-phase subdivision development project known as the South Forbes Golf City located in
Silang, Cavite. The petitioners filed a Complaint against Respondents Ayala Land. Inc., Avida Land
Corporation, and Laguna Technopark, Inc., (Ayala Group) before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Tagaytay City for easement of right of way with prayer for the issuance of a preliminary
injunction/temporary restraining order for allegedly denying passage to Cathay Group’s personnel,
vehicles and heavy equipment through its properties by putting up checkpoints and constructing gates
which caused interruption and delay to the said project.
On July 4, 2003, before the trial could ensue, the parties executed a Compromise Agreement
where they “mutually agreed to amicably settle all their claims as well as other claims and causes of
action that they may have against each other in relation to the [Complaint].” The Ayala Group granted a
pedestrian, vehicular and utility easement of right of way in favor of the Cathay Group and the latter, on
the other hand, should develop its properties into such developments which are consistent with the
residential character of the adjacent developments of Ayala Land and Laguna Properties in the Sta.
Rosa, Laguna and Silang, Cavite areas, specifically Cathay Group should not develop one or more of
the following types of projects: (i) cemetery, memorial park, mortuary or similar development or related
structures; (ii) industrial park or estate, whether for heavy, medium or light industries; (iii) high-rise
buildings; (iv) low-cost or socialized housing subdivisions within the purview of Batas Pambansa Blg.
220; and (v) warehouse or warehouse facilities. It was also expressly stated in the Compromise
Agreement that the Ayala Group reserves the right to withdraw or suspend the grant of easement of
right of way in the event Cathay Group should breach the said Agreement.
The RTC approved the Compromise Agreement and ordered the parties to strictly comply. After
2 years, Cathay Group commenced the development of the South Forbes Golf City project. Upon finding
out that the Cathay Land will develop a thirty-hectare cyber park which will house, among others, call
center offices, and to construct high-rise buildings, the Ayala Group made verbal and written demands
but to no avail. Thereafter, the Ayala Group found out that the Cathay Group had applied for a variance
from a local zoning ordinance of Silang, Cavite which then imposed a three-storey height limit on
buildings to be constructed in the area. The Ayala Group then filed for a Motion for Execution with
Application for Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and Writ of Injunction before the RTC.
The Cathay Group opposed the said motion and that denied that they committed a breach. They
contended that the Compromise Agreement does not contain a provision limiting building height at three
storeys and the proscription therein only pertains to the construction of high-rise buildings without any
specific qualifications.
RTC denied the Motion for Lack of Merit because the Ayala Group’s basis for the term “high rise
building” is the definition stated in the Fire Code of the Philippines, which defines the same as “at least
15 meters high” and not the one stated in Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the National
Building Code (NBC) which states that “high rise building” are those “buildings with 16 storeys or taller in
height, or 48 meters above established grade”. The NBC’s definition should be given weight in this case
since the NBC is the governing law on the construction of buildings, and not the Fire Code.
The Ayala Group then filed a Motion for Reconsideration before the RTC and it was granted.
Thereafter, the RTC ordered that a writ of execution be issued to enforce the terms and conditions of
the Compromise Agreement and directed the issuance of a writ of injunction against the Cathay Group
enjoining the construction of high-rise structures on the land for being contrary to laws and ordinances
of Silang, Cavite.
The Cathay Group filed a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court before the
CA and while it was pending in court, the RTC issued a Writ of Execution and a Writ of Injunction
against the Cathay Group.
The Court of Appeals dismissed the Petition for Certiorari on the ground that they found no
merit in the Cathay Group’s claim that Judge Young failed to provide any factual or legal basis in the
granting of the Motion for Reconsideration. Moreover, the CA noted that the IRR of NBC cannot be
applied since it was promulgated only in 2005 and the Compromise Agreement was entered prior to
that. They have also ruled that the limitation on the height of the buildings or structures defined in its
undertaking to ensure that its development plan must be “consistent with the residential character of the
adjacent developments of the Ayala Group in the Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Silang, Cavite areas. Cathay
Group moved for Reconsideration however the CA denied it hence the petition.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the Order made by the RTC should be nullified as it does not state the facts and
the law on which it is based, in violation of the requirements under Section 14, Article VIII of the
Constitution;
2. Whether or not the CA seriously erred when it affirmed the questioned RTC Order, since it was
never shown that the Cathay Group had violated any of the laws and ordinances of Silang,
Cavite;
3. Whether or not the term “high-rise building” as used in the Compromise Agreement should not
be interpreted to imply a “height limit of three storeys,” as such definition in the Fire Code was
not contemplated by the parties when they entered into the Compromise Agreement; and
4. Whether or not the Writ of Execution dated December 2, 2009 is void because it gives the
Sheriff unbridled authority to halt any of the Cathay Group’s construction projects which, in his
personal view, constitutes a “high-rise” structure.

RULING
The Court ruled in favor of Cathay Land, Inc. and Cathay Metal Corporation. The Court finds the
petition with merit as the judgment based on compromise agreement shall be executed/implemented
based strictly on the terms agreed upon by the parties. It has the effect and authority of res judicata
upon the parties, but there shall be no execution except in compliance with a judicial compromise.
The Compromise Agreement, which was approved by a final order of the court, is a contract
binding only upon the parties thereto and the judges, therefore, have the ministerial and mandatory duty
to implement and enforce it. There was no violation of Section 14 of Article VIII of the Constitution since
it is the decision based on a compromise agreement that is considered as a judgment on the merits, not
the order pertaining to its execution. Nevertheless, in implementing a compromise agreement, the
“courts cannot modify, impose terms different from the terms of [the] agreement, or set aside the
compromises and reciprocal concessions made in good faith by the parties without gravely abusing their
discretion.”
The specific right that is enforceable through a writ of execution is the available remedies
available to the Ayala Group stated in Sections 4 and 6 of the Compromise Agreement which are the
following: To notify the Cathay Group of such breach; and, either to withdraw or suspend the grant of
easement of right-of-way to the Cathay Group, if the latter does not undertake to rectify the said breach
within 30 days from notice. In short, the Ayala Group has no right, under the Compromise Agreement, to
seek injunctive relief from the courts in case the Cathay Group commits an act contrary to its
undertakings in the agreement as the only right available to them is only the suspension or withdrawal of
the grant of easement of right of way. Therefore, the RTC erred when it issued a Writ of Execution and
Writ of Injunction prohibiting the Cathay Group from constructing the said buildings and gravely abused
its discretion when it granted a remedy that is not available to the Ayala Group, thereby imposing terms
different from what was agreed upon by the parties in their Compromise Agreement. Thus, the CA
seriously erred in dismissing the Petition for Certiorari filed by the Cathay Group.
Moreover, we note that there is no clear definition in the Compromise Agreement as to what
constitutes a “high-rise building.” A review of the records shows that the parties never agreed on the
definition of the term “high-rise buildings” when they entered into the Compromise Agreement on July 4,
2003. In this case, the records are bereft of proof to show that the parties had agreed to adopt the
definition of the term “high-rise building” found in the IRR of the Fire Code. The Compromise
Agreement, too, does not contain any provision that points to a reference to the Fire Code as to the
usage of the term.
Finally, the Ayala Group prematurely moved for the execution of the compromise agreement in
order to prevent the Cathay Group from actually committing a breach of the terms of the agreement and
there is likewise no sufficient proof that the Cathay Group had violated the terms of the Compromise
Agreement, so as to warrant the RTC’s issuance of a writ of execution and a writ of injunction in favor of
the Ayala Group. The records show that the Ayala Group based its Motion for Execution on mere
development and structural plans, and marketing materials for the Cathay Group’s project which
allegedly involved “the construction of ninety-seven (97) high-rise residential and commercial buildings
having as much as twelve (12) floors.” It had simply anticipated that the Cathay Group would violate its
undertaking not to construct high-rise buildings in the area.

14. WILLIAM ANGIDAN SIY, Petitioner vs. ALVIN TOMLIN, Respondent

FACTS:
In July, 2011, petitioner William Anghian Siy filed before the Regional Trial Court a Complaint
for Recovery of Possession with Prayer for Replevin against Frankie Domanog Ong (Ong), Chris
Centeno (Centeno), John Co Chua (Chua) and respondent Alvin Tomlin.
Petitioner alleged that he is the owner of a 2007 model Range Rover which he purchased from
Alberto Lopez III. In 2010, he entrusted the said vehicle to Ong, a businessman who owned a second-
hand car sales, after the latter claimed that he had a prospective buyer, Ong failed to remit the proceeds
of the purported sale nor return the vehicle. Petitioner later found out that the vehicle had been
transferred to Chua. Hence the petitioner filed a complaint for the crime of Anti-Carnapping. Ong, upon
learning of the complaint, met with petitioner to arrange the return of the vehicle however Ong still failed
to surrender the vehicle.
The petitioner learned that the vehicle was being transferred to respondent and the vehicle was
later impounded and taken into custody by the PNP-Highway Patrol Group. Petitioner thus prayed that a
writ of replevin be issued for the return of the vehicle to him, and that the defendants be ordered to pay
him ₱100,000.00 attorney's fees and the costs of suit.
The RTC granted the Writ of Replevin and required Siy to post a bond of P8 million. Petitioner
posted the required ₱8 million bond which was approved by the trial court and the Writ of Replevinwas
then issued.
The respondent filed an Omnibus Motion seeking to quash the Writ of Replevin, dismiss the
Complaint, and turn over or return the vehicle to him. Respondent claimed that he is the lawful and
registered owner of the subject vehicle. Furthermore, he alleged that the Complaint in Civil Case No. Q-
11-69644 should be dismissed for failure to pay the correct amount of docket fees and that the
Complaint is defective for failing to allege the correct and material facts as to ownership,
possession/detention by defendant, warranty against distraint/levy/seizure, and actual value of the
vehicle and that the implementation of the writ was attended by procedural irregularities.

The trial court denied the respondent's Omnibus Motion for lack of merit. It held that
respondent's remedy is not to move to quash the writ of replevin, but to post a counterbond within the
reglementary period allowed under the 1997 Rules. For failure to post said, counterbond, respondent's
prayer for the return of the vehicle to him is premature and the issues of ownership and insufficiency of
the allegations in the complaint are best determined during trial and that an allegation of undervaluation
of the vehicle cannot divest the court of jurisdiction.

Respondent moved for reconsideration, but was also denied.

Respondent filed a Petition for Certiorari before the CA. The CA granted the Petition. It held that
the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the instant case for failure of petitioner to pay the correct
docket fees and there were irregularities in the seizures. Petitioner moved to reconsider, but it was
denied by the CA. Hence, the present Petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the complaint for recovery of possession with prayer of replevin must be granted
HELD:

The Supreme Court denied the petition.

In a complaint for replevin, the claimant must convincingly show that he is either the owner or
clearly entitled to the possession of the object sought to be recovered, and that the defendant, who is in
actual or legal possession thereof, wrongfully detains the same. Rule 60 of the ROC allows a plaintiff, in
an action for the recovery of possession of personal property, to apply for a writ of replevin if it can be
shown that he is 'the owner of the property claimed or is entitled to the possession thereof.’ The plaintiff
need not be the owner so long as he is able to specify his right to the possession of the property and his
legal basis therefor."

A party praying for the recovery of possession of personal property must show by his own
affidavit or that of some other person who personally knows the facts that he is the owner of the
property claimed, particularly describing it, or is entitled to the possession thereof. It must be borne in
mind that replevin is a possessory action the gist of which focuses on the right of possession that, in
turn, is dependent on a legal basis that, not infrequently, looks to the ownership of the object sought to
be replevied. Wrongful detention by the defendant of the properties sought in an action for replevin must
be satisfactorily established. If only a mechanistic averment thereof is offered, the writ should not be
issued.

Since Ong was able to sell the subject vehicle to Chua, petitioner thus ceased to be the owner
thereof. Nor is he entitled to the possession of the vehicle; together with his ownership, petitioner lost
his right of possession over the vehicle. His argument that respondent is a buyer in bad faith, when the
latter nonetheless proceeded with the purchase and registration of the vehicle on March 7, 2011,
despite having been apprised of petitioner's earlier November, 2010 "Failed to Return Vehicle" report
filed with the PNP-HPG, is unavailing. Petitioner had no right to file said report, as he was no longer the
owner of the vehicle at the time; indeed, his right of action is only against Ong, for collection of the
proceeds of the sale.

15. C.F. Sharp Crew Management, Inc., its President, and Gulf Energy Maritime VS. Noel Orbeta

FACTS:

On June 11, 2009, respondent Noel N. Orbeta was hired by petitioner C.F. Sharp Crew
Management, Inc. on behalf of its foreign principal and co-petitioner herein, Gulf Energy Maritime as
Able Seaman on board the vessel “M/T Gulf Coral”. He boarded on September 9, 2009 and thereupon
commenced his work.

It appears that on January 3, 2010, while on duty, respondent, as he was closing the vessel’s
air valve, slipped and fell on his back, and landed on the vessel’s metal floor. On February 8, 2010,
while the vessel was docked in the United Arab Emirates, respondent was referred for medical
examination after complaining of pain in his lower right abdomen, difficulty in passing urine, and slight
irritation in the urinal area. After examination by a physician, he was diagnosed with acute lumbago and
recommended for immediate repatriation.

On February 10, 2010, respondent was repatriated and, upon arrival, he immediately reported
for post-employment examination and treatment to the company-designated physician, to whom he
disclosed the January 3, 2010 accident. He was placed under the care of an orthopedic surgeon, who
found him to be suffering from “compression fracture. He is given a PERMANENT DISABILITY. He is
UNFIT FOR SEADUTY in whatever capacity as a SEAMAN.
On February 23, 2011, a Decision was rendered by Labor Arbiter granting disability benefits
and attorney’s fees in favor of respondent.

Considering therefore the degree of the injury suffered and the duration of complainant’s
Medical treatment this Office finds the disability rating stated in paragraph 4, Chest-Trunk-Spine,
Section 32 of Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Employment of Filipino Seafarers on
Board Ocean-Going Vessel applicable which states The [claim] for payment of Medical expenses and
damages has no legal and factual bases hence the same must fail.

WHEREFORE, premised on the foregoing considerations, judgment is hereby rendered


ordering the respondents

1. To pay complainant his disability benefits equivalent to Disability Grade 6 in the amount
of US$44,550 or its peso equivalent at the time of payment.

2. To pay attorney’s fee of ten (10%) percent of complainant’s monetary award.

Ruling of the National Labor Relations Commission

The appeal has no merit.

It is an undisputed fact that complainant-appellee’s work-related injury has not been resolved
despite the extensive medical management undertaken by the company-designated physician for a
period of more than 120 days or from February 11 to June 16, 2010. As it remains unresolved,
complainant-appellee continues to suffer intermittent pain on his back. It is worthy to underscore that
both doctors are Orthopedic Surgeons, whose competence and expertise to address the medical
condition of the complainant-appellee are definitely beyond question.

However, We cannot ignore the fact that the company doctor merely gave a provisional rating.
Additionally, complainant-appellee was advised to undergo bone scan. We are convinced that these
facts are articulate indicators that complainant-appellee’s illness has not been resolved even after the
lapse of 120 days.

The concept of total and permanent disability has been expounded by the Supreme Court in
this wise: ‘To be entitled to Grade 1 disability benefits, the employee ‘s disability must not only be total
but also permanent.

Permanent disability is the inability of a worker to perform his job for more than 120 days,
regardless of whether or not he loses the use of any of his body.

With regard to the amount of total and permanent disability benefit due complainant-appellee,
the sum of US$89,100.00 is hereby awarded to him based on the benevolent provisions of the CBA and
not on the POEA Standard Employment Contract x xx.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appeal is DENIED. The Decision of Labor Arbiter
Catalino R. Laderas dated February 23, 2011 is hereby MODIFIED as follows:

1) Complainant-Appellee is hereby awarded the sum of US$89,100.00 or its equivalent in


Philippine Peso at the time of payment, representing his total and permanent disability benefits under
the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA); and
2) The award of attorney’s fees is DELETED.
Petitioners thus filed a Petition for Certiorari, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 125046, questioning
the NLRC’s pronouncements was unwarranted; that the NLRC should have limited itself to determining
which of the two medical opinions, should prevail; and that mere incapacity to return to work after 120
days does not automatically entitle respondent to a Grade 1 disability rating, as his injury is specifically
governed by the provisions of the POEA contract.

Petitioners moved to consider, but the CA was unmoved. Hence, the present Petition

ISSUES:

W/N Private respondent Noel Orbeta is entitled to permanent disability benefits.

RULING:

The Court grants the Petition in part.

An employee’s disability becomes permanent and total when so declared by the company-
designated physician, or, in case of absence of such a declaration either of fitness or permanent total
disability, upon the lapse of the 120- or 240-day treatment periods, and the company-designated
physician fails to arrive at a definite assessment of the employee’s fitness or disability. The ‘mere lapse
of the 120-day period itself does not automatically warrant the payment of permanent total disability
benefits.’ ‘If the 120-day initial period is exceeded and no such declaration is made because the
seafarer requires further medical attention, then the temporary total disability period may be extended
up to a maximum of 240 days. The seaman may of course also be declared fit to work at any time such
declaration is justified by his medical condition.

For a little over 120 days, or from February 10, 2010 to June 16, 2010, 126 days to be exact,
respondent underwent treatment by the company-designated physician. On June 16, 2010, he was
partially diagnosed with “lumbosacral muscular spasm with mild, the company physician also concluded
that there was no compression fracture, and respondent was told to return for a scheduled bone scan.
However, instead of returning for further diagnosis and treatment, respondent opted to secure the
opinion of an independent physician of his own choosing who, although arriving at a finding of
permanent total disability, nonetheless required respondent to subject himself to further Bone Scan and
Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Velocity tests “to determine the exact problem on his lumbar
spine.

Instead of heeding the recommendations of his own doctor, respondent went on to file the
subject labor complaint. In point of law, respondent’s filing of the case was premature.

Consequently, respondent is entitled only to compensation equivalent to or commensurate with


his injury. In this regard, the Court finds the Labor Arbiter’s findings to be correct and in point, even with
respect to his ruling on respondent’s entitlement to attorney’s fees. As far as respondent is concerned,
his work-related condition was serious enough to require further medical care, yet it could have been
resolved if he had undergone the procedure prescribed by the company-designated physician and his
own appointed doctor. For his omissions, he is only entitled to disability benefits consistent with his
injury suffered.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED IN PART. The assailed October 18, 2013 Decision
and January 28, 2014 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 125046
are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The February 23, 2011 Decision of Labor Arbiter Catalino R. Laderas
is REINSTATED and AFFIRMED.