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Baranda v.


Facts of the case: In the first case, Baranda et al and Perez et al are in dispute as to the ownership of a parcel of land in Iloilo. Both claimed to have Transfer of Certificate Title No. of the said land. However, during the trial, it was found that the TCT No. of Perez et al were fraudulently acquired. Hence, the rights over the land were given to Baranda. Perez filed a motion for reconsideration, but it was denied. Order of demolition was issued. Perez filed petitions for certiorari and prohibition to Court of Appeals, which were also denied. Perez filed a petition for review before the Supreme Court, it was also denied. A motion for reconsideration was also denied and declared judgment final. Hence, Baranda contended that the writs of possession and demolition should now be implemented and that the counsel of Perez be held in contempt of court for purposely delaying the execution of writs of possession and execution. Upon the petition of Baranda, Judge Gustilo of RTC declared TCT of Perez null and void, and declared valid the TCT of Baranda. However, this order was set aside upon a motion for reconsideration filed by the Acting Registrar of Deeds of Iloilo on the ground that there is still a pending case unresolved on the said parcel of land. This was upheld by the RTC pursuant to PD 1529 Sec 77. Baranda again filed a motion of cancellation of the notice of lis pendens in their certificates and reinstate the order of RTC to cancel the notice of lis pendens in the new certificate. Since Judge Gustilo denied the petition to reinstate the previous order, Baranda filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus before the Supreme Court to compel the RTC judge to reinstate his order and to direct the Acting Registrar of Deeds to cancel the notice of lis pendens in their new certificate.

Issues: Whether or not the pendency of the appeal in the Court of Appeals prevents the court from cancelling the notice of lis pendens in the certificates of titles of the petitioners which were earlier declared valid and subsisting by this Court

Held: Petition granted. Order of RTC Judge of writs of possession and demolition granted. Lis pendens notice in the new certificate is cancelled.

Ratio: The purpose of lis pendens is to protect the real rights of the party causing the registration thereof. Perez et al are not entitled to this protection since it found from the beginning that their TCT No. was fraudulently acquired. Judge Gustilo abused his discretion in sustaining the respondent Acting Register of Deeds' stand that, the notice of lis pendens in the certificates of titles of the petitioners cannot be cancelled on the ground of pendency of a case with the Court of Appeals. Sec77 of PD 1529 states Before final judgment, a notice of lis pendens may be cancelled upon Order of the Court after proper showing that the notice is for the purpose of molesting the adverse party, or that it is not necessary to protect the rights of the party who caused it to be registered. It may also be cancelled by the Register of Deeds upon verified petition of the party who caused the registration thereof.

StatCon maxim: The elementary rule in statutory construction is that when the words and phrases of the statute are clear and unequivocal, their meaning must be determined from the language employed and the statute must be taken to mean exactly what it says. Hence, what is not clearly provided in the law cannot be extended to those matters outside its scope.

RCBC v. Intermediate Appellate Court

Facts of the case: BF Homes is a distressed firm and a mortgagee of the respondent bank which is the mortgagorcreditor. BF Homes filed a Petition for Rehabilitation and for Declaration of Suspension of Payments with the Securities and Exchange Commission, RCBC requested the Provincial Sheriff of Rizal to extrajudicially foreclose its real estate mortgage on some properties of BF Homes. A notice of extra-judicial foreclosure sale was issued by the Sheriff. On motion of BF Homes, the SEC issued a temporary restraining order, effective for 20 days, enjoining RCBC and the sheriff from proceeding with the public auction sale. The sale was rescheduled. Days before the rescheduled date of auction, SEC ordered the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction upon petitioners (BF Homes) filing of a bond. However, petitioner did not file a bond until the very day of the auction sale, so no writ of preliminary injunction was issued by the SEC. Unaware of this, the sheriffs proceeded with the auction, with RCBC as its highest bidder. Hence, BF Homes filed a motion to annul the auction sale and to cite RCBC and sheriff in contempt. RCBC opposed the motion. Because of the proceedings in the SEC, the sheriff withheld the delivery to RCBC of a certificate of sale covering the auctioned properties. SEC also issued a writ of preliminary injunction stopping the auction sale which had been conducted by the sheriff. RCBC filed with the RTC an action for mandamus against the provincial sheriff of Rizal and his deputy to compel them to execute in its favor a certificate of sale of the auctioned properties. Sheriffs alleged that they proceeded with the auction sale because no writ of preliminary injunction had been issued by SEC as of that date, but they informed the SEC that they would suspend the issuance of a certificate of sale to RCBC. RTC ruled in favour of the RCBC, ordering sheriff to deliver the certificate of auction sale. As a result, BF Homes filed an original complaint with IAC. IAC set aside the decision of the RTC and ruled in favour of BF Homes. Hence, this petition.

Issue: Whether or not preferred creditors of distressed corporations stand on equal footing with all other creditors gain relevance and materiality only upon the appointment of a management committee, rehabilitation receiver, board, or body.

Held: Petition of RCBC granted. Decision of IAC reversed.

Ratio: According to PD 902-A, upon appointment of a management committee rehabilitation receiver, board or bod, all actions for claims against corporations, partnerships or associations under management or receivership, pending before any court, tribunal, board or body shall be suspended accordingly. Hence, suspension of claims against a corporation under rehabilitation is counted or figured up only upon the appointment of a management committee or a rehabilitation receiver. In this case, petitioner RCBC rightfully moved for the extrajudicial foreclosure of its mortgage dated on October 26, 1984 because a management committee was not appointed by the SEC until March 18, 1985.

StatCon maxim: Where what is not clearly provided in the law is read into the law by construction because it is more logical and wise, it would be to encroach upon legislative prerogative to define the wisdom of the law, which is judicial legislation.

National Marketing Corporation v. Tecson

Facts of the case: On November 14, 1955, the Court of First Instance of Manila rendered judgment in a civil case entitled "Price Stabilization Corporation vs. Miguel D. Tecson and Alto Surety and Insurance Co., Inc. Decision of the court became final on December 21, 1955. On December 21, 1965, the National Marketing Corporation, as successor to all the properties, assets, rights, and choses in action of the Price Stabilization Corporation, filed with the same court a complaint, against the same defendants for the revival of the judgment rendered 10 years ago. Defendant Miguel Tecson seek the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction and prescription. As for lack of jurisdiction, the amount involved is less than P10,000 by which the matter of jurisdiction must be admitted. But as for prescription, plaintiffs admit the decision of the Court became final on December 21, 1955. The present case was filed exactly on December 21, 1965 but since 1960 and 1964 are leap years, Tecson alleged that the present case is two days late since a period of one year is contemplated to be consisted of 365 years. Hence, this petition.

Issue: Whether or not the present action for the revival of a judgment is barred by the statute of limitations.

Held: Petition affirmed.

Ratio: Pursuant to Art. 1144(3) of the Civil Code, an action upon a judgment "must be brought within ten years from the time the right of action accrues," which means "commences from the time the judgment sought to be revived has become final." In the case at bar, the final judgment was rendered 30 days after the notice of judgment (November 21, 1955 notice; December 21, 1955 judgment became final). In the Civil Code of Spain, it was held that when the law speaks of a month, it is 30 days. However, this was modified by Sec 13 of Revised Administrative Code "month shall be understood to refer to a calendar month."

StatCon maxim: A decent regard to the legislative will should inhibit the court from engaging in judicial legislation to change what it thinks are unrealistic statutes that do not conform with ordinary experience or practice.

Aguila v. CFI Batangas

Facts of the case: Juliana had two husbands. Her first husband was Alabastro, who died and was replaced by Aguila. In an earlier action filed with the CFI, Maria Alabastro, sole offspring of the first marriage, sued for partition and damages against Juan Aguila and his wife, on the ground that some of their properties were properties gained in the first marriage of their mother, Juliana, and that the second marriage of their mother had not acquired any property. CFI ruled in favour of Alabastro after Aguila failed to show evidence due to the failure to appear of his counsel on scheduled hearings. Two motions of reconsiderations were denied by the court. They were given a 20-day and another 15-day extension to file their appeal but they were denied because decision had already become final and executory. The trial court issued a writ of execution and put the land on bidding, with plaintiff (Alabastro et al) as its highest bidders. The acts of the trial court were questioned by the defendants in a petition for certiorari and mandamus with preliminary injunction, which was denied by the Court of Appeals. So was their motion for reconsideration. The defendants then came to Supreme Court in a petition for review by certiorari which was also denied. An "amended" petition was considered and a motion for reconsideration and was likewise denied. On August 16, 1976, another motion for reconsideration was also denied with finality, with the warning that no further motions would be entertained. On June 8, 1977, a complaint for reconveyance of the properties was filed by Aguila with res judicata as his defense.

Issue: Whether or not, reconveyance of the subject properties is allowed which the petitioner says were unjustly taken from him as a result of his lawyer's mistakes?

Held: Petition denied.

Ratio: This remedy is available in cases where, as a result of mistake or fraud, property is registered in the name of a person not its owner. Clerical error in designating the real owner is a valid ground for reconveyance after the decree shall have become final following the lapse of one year therefrom.

Reconveyance may also be sought where it is established that a person not entitled to the property succeeded in registering it in his name to the prejudice of the real owner. However, it cannot be employed to negate the effects of a valid decision of a court of justice determining the conflicting claims of ownership of the parties in an appropriate proceeding. But in this case, the fault of the counsel of the defendant would not grant him the remedy of reconveyance since he should have changed his counsel in the first place.

StatCon maxim: Where the law is clear, appeals to justice and equity as justification to construe it differently are unavailing. For equity is available only in the absence of law and not its replacement. Equity is described as justice outside legality, which simply means that it cannot supplant although it may supplement the law. All abstract arguments based on equity should yield to positive rules. Appeals for justice and equity cannot justify disregard of the mandate of the law so long as it remains in force. The applicable maxim, which goes back to the ancient days of the Roman jurists and which is still observed is aequitas nunquam contravenit legis. Equity never acts in contravention of the law.

Manila Jockey Club Inc. v. Games and Amusement Board

Facts of the case: Section 4 of RA 309 provides the matrix of schedule designated for racing days. The designation is as follows: Philippine Anti-Tuberculosis Society for 12 Sundays, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for 6 Sundays, White Cross for 4 Sundays, Grand Derby Race of Philippine Anti-Tuberculosis Society for 1 Sunday, and private individuals and entities for 19 Sundays, for a total of 52 Sundays. However, RA 1502 increased the sweepstakes draw and races of the PCSO to twelve, but without specifying the days on which they are to be run. To accommodate these additional races, the GAB resolved to reduce the number of Sundays assigned to private individuals and entities by six. Appellants protested, contending that the said increased should be taken from the 12 Saturdays reserved to the President, for charitable, relief, or civic purposes, or should be assigned to any other day of the week besides Sunday, Saturday, and legal holiday.

Issue: Whether or not appellants have vested rights to unreserved Sundays.

Held: No. Appellants have no vested rights.

Ratio: Section 4 Republic Act No. 309, as amended by Republic Act No. 983 states that Private individuals and entities duly licensed by the Commission on Races (now GAB) may hold horse races on Sundays not reserved under this Act, on twenty-four Saturdays as may be determined by the said Commission (GAB), and on legal holidays, except Thursday and Friday of Holy Week, July fourth, commonly known as Independence Day, and December thirtieth, commonly known as Rizal Day. Hence, their holding of races on these days is merely permissive, and not mandatory, and subject to the licensing and determination by the GAB. Therefore, when Republic Act No. 1502 was enacted increasing by six (6) the sweepstakes draw and races, but without specifying the days for holding them, the GAB had no alternative except to make room for the additional races, as it did, form among the only available racing days unreserved by any law

the Sundays on which the private individuals and entities have been permitted to hold their races, subject to licensing and determination by the GAB.

StatCon maxim: Where a statute totally fails to express a meaning, a becoming sense of judicial modesty forbids the court from assuming and consequently from supplying a meaning thereto. The statute, in such a case, is necessarily inoperative.

Santiago v. Comelec

Facts of the case: On December 6, 1996, Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with COMELEC a Petition to Amend the

Constitution to Lift Term Limits of elective Officials by Peoples Initiative. He prayed the Comelec to 1) set the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country; 2) cause the necessary publication of the said petition in papers of general circulation; and 3) instruct local election registrars to assist petitioners and volunteers in establishing signing stations. Miriam Defenso-Santiago together with Alexander Padilla and Maria Isabel Ongpin filed a special civil action for prohibition against the Delfins petition. Santiago et al argued that the peoples initiative to amend the Constitution can only be implemented by law to be passed by Congress and no such law has been passed yet. They further alleged that R.A. No. 6735 provides for systems of initiative, namely, initiative on the Constitution, on statutes, and on local legislation. However, it failed to provide any subtitle on initiative on the Constitution, unlike in the other modes of initiative, which are specifically provided for in Subtitle II and Subtitle III. This deliberate omission indicates that the matter of people's initiative to amend the Constitution was left to some future law.

Issue: Whether or not, R.A. No. 6735 is an adequate statute to implement Section 2, Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution?

Held: No. Petition of Santiago et al granted. R.A. No. 6735 inadequate to cover the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution

Ratio: The first point that the Supreme Court made is that the petition of Delfin constitutes not merely an amendment but a revision of the Constitution. It may appear that a single portion would only be amended. However, one should not miss to take account that this single amendment would affect other parts of the Constitution. Hence, the petition is not simply an amendment, but a revision thereof. The second point the Supreme Court made is that, Sec 2 Article 17 of the Constitution is not selfexecutory, and that RA 6735 does not provide for the exercise of this right to initiative to amend the

Constitution. Although Sec 2 of RA 6735 states The power of the people under a system of initiative and referendum to directly propose, enact, approve or reject, in whole or in part, the Constitution, laws, ordinances, or resolutions passed by any legislative body upon compliance with the requirements of this Act is hereby affirmed, recognized and guaranteed other portions of the statute are silent about amendments to Constitution. The subtitle does not also provide for system of initiative on Constitutional amendment, unlike initiative on local legislations which was provided by the said RA. The inclusion of the word Constitution therein was a delayed afterthought. The word is not relevant to the section which is silent as to amendments of the Constitution.

StatCon maxim: Statute must be capable of interpretation, otherwise inoperative.

Tanada v. Cuenco

Facts of the case: The result of the 1955 elections was 231. 23 seats in the Senate were occupied by the Nacionalista Party, with its sole opposition coming from the Citizens Party, Lorenzo Tanada. Another petitioner in this case was Diosdado Macapagal, a member of the House of Representatives, who lost his senatorial candidacy, therefore, contesting it before the Senate Electoral Tribunal. However, this petition of Macapagal could not be acted upon without choosing the members of SET. SET SHALL be composed of 9 members three justices, three members of the majority, and three members of the minority. However, this would not be made possible since there is only one, Lorenzo Tanada, who is from the minority party. The remaining two seats were filled by members of Nacionalista Party, which Tanada questioned. Macapagal also questioned this asserting that his petition would be denied since he was coming from the opposition party. Cuenco and other members of the Nacionalista Party averred that the SC cannot take cognizance of the issue because it is a political question. Cuenco further argued that the power to choose the members of the SET is vested in the Senate alone and the remedy for Lorenzo and Diosdado is not to raise the issue before judicial courts.

Issue: Whether or not the constitutional mandate with regard to the composition of SET is mandatory to be filled?

Held: Court ruled in favour of Tanada and Macapagal. The appointment of two more members from the NP to SET was null and void.

Ratio: Although the Constitutional mandate of 6 Senate members in the Electoral Tribunal must be followed, this cannot be done if it will violate the spirit and philosophy of Art. VI, Sec. 2 which is to provide judgment against partisan decisions. The respondents practical interpretation of the law cannot be accepted, although they followed mandate on number, they disobeyed mandate on procedure.

StatCon maxim: As a general rule of statutory construction, the spirit or intention of a statute prevails over the letter thereof, and whatever is within the spirit of statute is within the statute although it is not within the letter, while that which is within the letter, but not within the spirit of a statute, is not within the statute;

Torres v. Limjap

Facts of the case: There were two actions commenced in the Court of First Instance of Manila. In the first case the plaintiffs alleged that Jose B. Henson, in his lifetime, executed in their favor a chattel mortgage on his drug store known as Farmacia Henson, to secure a loan of P7,000, although it was made to appear in the instrument that the loan was for P20,000. In the second case the plaintiffs alleged that they were the heirs of the late Don Florentino Torres; and that Jose B. Henson, in his lifetime, executed in favor of Don Florentino Torres a chattel mortgage on his three drug stores known as Henson's Pharmacy, Farmacia Henson and Botica Hensonina, to secure a loan of P50,000, which was later reduced to P26,000, and for which, Henson's Pharmacy remained as the only security by agreement of the parties. In both cases the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant violated the terms of the mortgage and that, in consequence thereof they became entitled to the possession of the chattels and to foreclose their mortgages thereon. Defendants denied the petitioners allegations and averred that 1) the chattel mortgages are null and void for lack of sufficient particularity in the description of the property mortgaged; and 2) the chattels which the plaintiffs sought to recover were not the same property described in the mortgage. The CFI of Manila rendered judgment that the plaintiff (Torres) were entitled to the possession of the drug stores Farmacia Henson and Hensons Pharmacy and attachment of said drug stores be delivered to the plaintiffs. The defendant (Limjap) appealed.

Issues: Whether or not, the provision of Chattel Mortgage Law that extends coverage to after-acquired property is valid and binding

Held: Yes. SC affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Ratio: Last paragraph of Sec 7, Act No.1508 states A chattel mortgage shall be deemed to cover only the property described therein and not like or substituted property thereafter acquired by the mortgagor and placed in the same depository as the property originally mortgaged, anything in the mortgage to the contrary notwithstanding. The primary aim of that law-making body was undoubtedly

to promote business and trade in these Islands and to give impetus to the economic development of the country. With this, it could not have been the intention of the Philippine Commission to apply the provision of section 7 above quoted to stores open to the public for retail business, where the goods are constantly sold and substituted with new stock, such as drug stores, grocery stores, dry-goods stores, etc. If said provision were intended to apply to this class of business, it would be practically impossible to constitute a mortgage on such stores without closing them, contrary to the very spirit about a handicap to trade and business, would restrain the circulation of capital, and would defeat the purpose for which the law was enacted which is the promotion of business and the economic development of the country. On the other hand, a stipulation in the mortgage, extending its scope and effect to afteracquired property, is valid and binding where the after-acquired property is 1) in renewal of, or in substitution for, goods on hand when the mortgage was executed, or is 2) purchased with the proceeds of the sale of such goods, etc. It was also held that a mortgage may, by express stipulations, be drawn to cover goods put in stock in place of others sold out from time to time. A mortgage may be made to include future acquisitions of goods to be added to the original stock mortgaged, but the mortgage MUST EXPRESSLY PROVIDE that such future acquisitions shall be held as included in the mortgage.

StatCon maxim: In construing statutes, the proper course is to start and follow the true intent of the legislature and to adopt that sense which harmonizes best with the context and promotes in the fullest manner the apparent policy and object of the legislature.

Sarcos v. Castillo

Facts of the case: Petitioner Domingo N. Sarcos, the duly elected Mayor of Barobo, Surigao del Sur, was charged with misconduct and dishonesty in office by respondent Recaredo Castillo, the Provincial Governor of Surigao del Sur. The act constituting the alleged dishonesty and misconduct in office consisted in petitioner allegedly conniving with certain private individuals to cut and fell timber and selling the timber or logs so cut or felled for their own use and benefit, within the communal forest reserve of the Municipality of Barobo, Province of Surigao del Sur, to the damage and prejudice of the public and of the government. On the basis of the above administrative complaint that respondent Governor, Castillo ordered the immediate suspension of petitioner from his position as Mayor of Barobo, Surigao del Sur. The same Administrative Order contains the immediate designation of Vice-Mayor Brigido L. Mercader of the same town as Acting Mayor.

Issue: Whether or not, the power of preventive suspension of a municipal mayor against whom charges have been filed still vested in the provincial governor

Held: No. the preventive suspension of petitioner by respondent Castillo annulled and set aside with the result that his immediate reinstatement to his position as Municipal Mayor of Barobo, Surigao del Sur

Ratio: Section 5 of Republic Act No. 5185, otherwise known as the 'Decentralization Act of 1967 provides "Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the suspension and removal of elective local officials shall be governed exclusively by the provisions of this section." In the paragraph which talks about the preventive suspension, it says "Within seven days after the charges are preferred, the President, GOVERNOR, or Mayor, as the case may be, or his duly authorized representative, as provided in the preceding paragraph, shall NOTIFY the respondent of such charges. The President, PROVINCIAL BOARD and City or Municipal Council, as the case may be, SHALL HEAR and INVESTIGATE the truth or falsity of the charges within ten days after receipt of such notice.

According to the old law, Section 2188 of the Revised Administrative Code, the provincial governor, if the charge against a municipal official was one affecting his official integrity could order his preventive suspension. At present, the law is anything but that. A reading of the pertinent paragraph above quoted makes manifest that it is the provincial board to which such a power has been granted under conditions therein specified.

StatCon maxim: The principle, that the deliberate selection of language other than that used in an earlier act is indicative that a change in the law was intended, calls for application.