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Special Civil Actions | Atty.

Melo 2011 Digests updated by ALS 2014A


RULE 65 : CERTIORARI
1. Tuazon v. Register of Deeds, 157 SCRA 613 (1988) FACTS: Petitioner spouses, the Tuasons, were retired public school teachers. With funds pooled from their retirement benefits and savings, they bought from Carmel Farms, Inc. a piece of land in the latter's subdivision in Barrio Makatipo, Caloocan City. Some eight (8) years thereafter, the Tuasons' travails began. They woke up one morning to discover that by presidential flat, they were no longer the owners of the land they had purchased with their hard-earned money, and that their land and the other lots in the subdivision had been "declared open for disposition and sale to the members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc., the present bona fide occupants thereof." Mr. Ferdinand Marcos, then president of the country, invoking his emergency powers, issued Presidential Decree No. 293 with immediate effect. The decree invalidated inter alia the title of the Tuasons' vendor, Carmel, which had earlier purchased from the Government the land it had subsequently subdivided into several lots for sale to the public (the Tuasons being among the buyers). Said Presidential Decree No. 293 made the finding that Carmel had failed to complete payment of the price. Upon this adjudgment, Mr. Marcos invalidated the titles of Carmel Farms, Inc. and all those derived therefrom, and declared as aforestated "the members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc. the present bona fide occupants" of the lots. It seems to have completely escaped Mr. Marcos' attention that his decree contained contradictory declarations. While acknowledging on the one hand that the lots in the Carmel Subdivision were occupied by the buyers thereof, and in fact the latter's dwellings stood thereon, he states on the other that the "members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc. (are) the present bona fide occupants" of all said lots.

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Notwithstanding, and upon the factual premise already indicated, Mr. Marcos disposed of the land of the petitioner spouses. The Tuason Spouses thereupon filed with this Court a petition for certiorari assailing the Marcos decree as an arbitrary measure which deprived them of their property in favor of a selected group, in violation not only of the constitutional provisions on due process and eminent domain but also of the provisions of the Land Registration Act on the indefeasibility of Torrens titles. ISSUE: W/N a SCA of Certiorari under rule 65 is proper in this case? HELD: Yes. The extraodinary writ of certiorari may properly issue to nullify only judicial or quasi-judicial acts, unlike the writ of prohibition which may be directed against acts either judicial or ministerial. Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court deals with the writ of certiorari in relation to "any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial functions, while Section 2 of the same Rule treats of the writ of prohibition in relation to "proceedings of any tribunal, corporation, board, or person ... exercising functions judicial or ministerial." But the petition will be shown upon analysis to be in reality directed against an unlawful exercise of judicial power. The decree reveals that Mr. Marcos exercised an obviously judicial function. He made a determination of facts, and applied the law to those facts, declaring what the legal rights of the parties were in the premises. These acts essentially constitute a judicial function, or an exercise of jurisdiction which is the power and authority to hear or try and decide or determine a cause. He adjudged it to be an established fact that neither the original purchasers nor their subsequent transferees have made full payment of all installments of the purchase money and interest on the lots claimed by Carmel Farms, Inc. These acts may thus be properly struck down by the writ of certiorari, because done by an officer in the performance of what in essence is a

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Special Civil Actions | Atty. Melo 2011 Digests updated by ALS 2014A
judicial function, if it be shown that the acts were done without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion. Since Mr. Marcos was never vested with judicial power, such power, as everyone knows, being vested in the Supreme Court and such inferior courts as may be established by law the judicial acts done by him were in the circumstances indisputably perpetrated without jurisdiction. The acts were completely alien to his office as chief executive, and utterly beyond the permissible scope of the legislative power that he had assumed as head of the martial law regime. In any event, this Court has it in its power to treat the petition for certiorari as one for prohibition if the averments of the former sufficiently made out a case for the latter. Considered in this wise, it will also appear that an executive officer had acted without jurisdiction exercised judicial power not granted to him by the Constitution or the laws and had furthermore performed the act in violation of the constitutional rights of the parties thereby affected. The Court will grant such relief as may be proper and efficacious in the premises even if not specifically sought or set out in the prayer of the appropriate pleading, the permissible relief being determined after all not by the prayer but by the basic averments of the parties' pleadings. 2. Meralco Securities v. CBAA FACTS: In this special civil action of certiorari, Meralco Securities Industrial Corporation assails the decision of the Central Board of Assessment Appeals (CBAA) dated May 6, 1976, holding that Meralco Securities' oil pipeline is subject to realty tax. The record reveals that pursuant to a pipeline concession issued under the Petroleum Act, Meralco Securities installed from Batangas to Manila a pipeline system consisting of pipes joined together and buried not less than one meter below the surface along the shoulder of the public highway. The portion passing through Laguna is about thirty kilometers long.

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In order to repair, replace, remove or transfer segments of the pipeline, the pipes have to be cold-cut by means of a rotary hard-metal pipe-cutter after digging or excavating them out of the ground where they are buried. In points where the pipeline traversed rivers or creeks, the pipes were laid beneath the bed thereof. Hence, the pipes are permanently attached to the land. However, Meralco Securities notes that segments of the pipeline can be moved from one place to another as shown in the permit issued by the Secretary of Public Works and Communications which permit provides that the government reserves the right to require the removal or transfer of the pipes by and at the concessionaire's expense should they be affected by any road repair or improvement. Pursuant to the Assessment Law, the provincial assessor of Laguna treated the pipeline as real property and issued Tax Declarations containing the assessed values of portions of the pipeline. Meralco Securities appealed the assessments to the Board of Assessment Appeals of Laguna. That board in its decision of June 18, 1975 upheld the assessments Meralco Securities brought the case to the Central Board of Assessment Appeals. The Board ruled that the pipeline was subject to realty tax. A copy of that decision was served on Meralco Securities' counsel on August 27, 1976. Section 36 of the Real Property Tax Code, provides that the Board's decision becomes final and executory after the lapse of fifteen days from the date of receipt of a copy of the decision by the appellant. Under Rule III of the amended rules of procedure of the Central Board of Assessment Appeals, a party may ask for the reconsideration of the Board's decision within fifteen days after receipt. On September 7, 1976 (the eleventh day), Meralco Securities filed its motion for reconsideration. Secretary of Finance Cesar Virata and Secretary Roo (Secretary Abad Santos abstained) denied the motion in a resolution dated December 2, 1976, a copy of which was received by appellant's counsel on May 24,

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Special Civil Actions | Atty. Melo 2011 Digests updated by ALS 2014A
1977. On June 6, 1977, Meralco Securities filed the instant petition for certiorari. The Solicitor General contends that certiorari is not proper in this case because the Board acted within its jurisdiction and did not gravely abuse its discretion and Meralco Securities was not denied due process of law. Meralco Securities explains that because the Court of Tax Appeals has no jurisdiction to review the decision of the Central Board of Assessment Appeals and because no judicial review of the Board's decision is provided for in the Real Property Tax Code, Meralco Securities' recourse is to file a petition for certiorari. ISSUE: WON the petition for certiorari was proper HELD: We hold that certiorari was properly availed of in this case. It is a writ issued by a superior court to an inferior court, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions whereby the record of a particular case is ordered to be elevated for review and correction in matters of law. The rule is that as to administrative agencies exercising quasijudicial power there is an underlying power in the courts to scrutinize the acts of such agencies on questions of law and jurisdiction even though no right of review is given by the statute. The purpose of judicial review is to keep the administrative agency within its jurisdiction and protect substantial rights of parties affected by its decisions. The review is a part of the system of checks and balances which is a limitation on the separation of powers and which forestalls arbitrary and unjust adjudications. Judicial review of the decision of an official or administrative agency exercising quasi-judicial functions is proper in cases of lack of jurisdiction, error of law, grave abuse of discretion, fraud or collusion or in case the administrative decision is corrupt, arbitrary or capricious.

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3. ANGARA V. FEDMAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION DOCTRINE The supervisory power of the CA/courts to issue a certiorari writ cannot be exercised in order to review the judgment of the lower court as to its intrinsic correctness, either upon the law or the facts of the case. In the absence of a showing that there is reason for the Court to annul the decision of the concerned tribunal or to substitute its own judgment, it is not the office of the Court in a petition for certiorari to inquire into the correctness of the assailed decision or resolution. A writ of certiorari is not intended to correct every controversial interlocutory ruling. FACTS Sen. Angara (petitioner) had installed fences over 4 parcels of land in Barangay Balaytigue, Nasugbu, Batangas in August 1995. When Fedman Development Corporation (Fedman) found out they protested and claimed that the land was titled in their name. A relocation survey confirmed that Fedman owned the land, but despite this and further demand Angara refused to vacate property and surrender possession thereof. In the RTC Angara maintained he was the owner, or if was not originally the owner he had acquired it through acquisitive prescription. Another ground relocation survey was ordered during the pre-trial in 1996 to be conducted jointly by the parties. However, in 2000 the Court moved to dismiss the case for failure to prosecute. Angara & Fedman filed separate motions for the court to render judgment based on the pleadings. The court sided refused to render judgment and sided with Fedman that no joint ground relocation was conducted and the commissioners report had no merit. On petition for certiorari before the CA, the appellate Court affirmed and held that the record of the case show that only orders for and no actual relocation survey was conducted, and that it was not necessary to implead alleged owners of adjacent lands as necessary parties. MR denied.

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Special Civil Actions | Atty. Melo 2011 Digests updated by ALS 2014A
Petition for review on certiorari with the SC to have the orders of the RTC declared rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction because (a) there was no plausible and substantial explanation for the RTC to completely ignore the commissioners report or to render judgment based on it; (b) RTC refused to implead the surrounding property owners in former Hacienda Balaytigue in accordance with Sec. 7 & 2, Rule 3, RoC. (c) to direct that the proper government agency should determine the issue on overlapping or incorrect boundaries. SC denied. This is the present MR. ISSUE (1) Whether the remedy of petition for certiorari before the CA was properly taken. (2) Whether the RTC acted with GADLEJ in not considering the Commissioners Report. (3) Whether the RTC acted with GADLEJ in not impleading the adjoining property owners. HELD Petition denied. (1) NO. Certiorari was not the proper procedural remedy. Petition before the CA is a SCA for certiorari under Rule 65, it is a remedy narrow in scope and inflexible in character. It is not a general tool in the legal workshop. It offers only a limited form of review. Its principal function is to keep an inferior tribunal within its jurisdiction. It can be invoked only for an error of jurisdiction one where the act complained of was issued by the court, officer or a quasi-judicial body without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion which is tantamount to lack or in excess of jurisdiction.

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Not every error in proceeding, or every erroneous conclusion of law or fact, is abuse of discretion. The assailed orders of the RTC are but resolutions on incidental matters which do not touch on the merits of the case or put an end to the proceedings in short they are mere interlocutory orders which leaves the petitioners with other remedies. The normal remedy for an interlocutory is to proceed with the case and not to resort to Rule 65, and should he lose in trial his remedy then is to appeal his case. The exception is where there are special circumstances clearly demonstrating the inadequacy of an appeal. No special circumstances exist in this case. A petition for certiorari is intended to correct defects of jurisdiction solely, and not to correct errors of procedure or matters in the RTCs findings or conclusion. Any error therein amounts only to an error of judgment correctible by appeal, and is not a grave abuse of discretion correctible by certiorari. A court with jurisdiction over the case, when questioned on its acts, or allegedly incorrect findings would be considered to have committed an error of law and not an abuse of discretion. The supervisory power of the CA/courts to issue a certiorari writ cannot be exercised in order to review the judgment of the lower court as to its intrinsic correctness, either upon the law or the facts of the case. In the absence of a showing that there is reason for the Court to annul the decision of the concerned tribunal or to substitute its own judgment, it is not the office of the Court in a petition for certiorari to inquire into the correctness of the assailed decision or resolution. A writ of certiorari is not intended to correct every controversial interlocutory ruling. (2) NO. Petitioner failed to demonstrate his claim that the RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of its jurisdiction in denying petitioners prayer for rendition of judgment based on the commissioners report. The Rules of Court clearly provides that the trial court is not bound by the findings of the commissioners or precluded from disregarding the same. It may adopt, modify, reject the report or recommit it with instructions, or require the parties to present further evidence. (3) NO. Petitioner did not identify the property owners allegedly affected

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or will be affected by the suit. The RTC cannot simply order a blanket inclusion of property owners in the entire Barangay Balaytigue, Nasugbu, Batangas as parties-defendants in the case. It is the petitioners responsibility to state the names of all the persons whom he claims will be affected by the suit or any judgment therein. Neither has Angara shown the existence of the property owners injury or interest in the outcome of the suit. More importantly, the joinder of adjoining property owners is not warranted since the RTC did not adopt the surveys and reports of the individual commissioners. The RTC chose not to give credence to the observation of one surveyor that the parties affected are all indispensable parties because the report of the surveyors is not in compliance with its order to make a joint survey. 4. INTESTATE ESTATE OF CARMEN DE LUNA (deceased), CATALINA MORALES GONZALES, vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and ESPERANZA DE LUNA GONZALES AZUPARDO & ISIDORO DE LUNA GONZALES. FACTS This is a petition to review the resolution of the Court of Appeals dated July 19, 1985. Jose de Luna Gonzales and former Judge Ramon Icasiano were appointed co-administrators of the estate of Carmen de Luna in a special proceedings case. Judge Icasiano died so Gonzales performed his duties as sole administrator of the estate. Gonzales through counsel filed a motion for allowances and payment of administrator's commission. The trial court issued an order requiring the administrator to define the fees he was demanding but 10 days thereafter, Gonzales died. His heirs filed an Urgent Supplemental Motion for allowances and payment of administrator's commission or fees asking the amount of P100,000.00. The same was amount was amended to P500,000.00. Both amounts were opposed to by the heirs of De Luna. The administratrix, Catalina (wife of deceased administrator), filed the inventory where the total of the real and personal property of the estate was listed at P10,751,189.97.

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The trial court issued an order granting the compensation asked for by the late administrator amounting to P500,000. Another order was issued authorizing the administratrix to withdraw from bank deposits and mortgage properties. The heirs of De Luna appealed. However, the Court of Appeals decided in favor of the administrator. Appellants filed a Motion for Reconsideration and the CA modified the decision reducing the amount to P4,312.50. The CA denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the administratrix. ISSUE: WON the CA committed grave abuse of discretion by reducing the administrators commission from P500,000 to P4,312.50. HELD: Yes. The last inventory of the late Jose de Luna Gonzales showed a gross estate in the amount of P890,865.25, and since such value has increased by way of increments, dividends and interests earned, and the additional fishponds, farm lands and coconut lands which said administrator discovered and brought to the estate. The inventory of the present administratrix shows that the real and personal estate of the deceased Carmen de Luna amounts to P10,751,189.97. The heirs oppose such claim for being unreasonable and unconscionable, among other reasons. Pursuant to Section 7, Rule 85 an administrator is entitled by way of compensation to the following: (a) P4.00 per day "for the time actually and necessarily employed" by him as such administrator, or (b) a "commission upon the value of so much of the estate as comes into his possession and was finally disposed of by him," according to the schedule therein provided. The CA arrived at the amount of P4,313.50 by applying the schedule provided in computing for commissions. The respondents also contend

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Special Civil Actions | Atty. Melo 2011 Digests updated by ALS 2014A
that the estimates of the real properties reflected in the inventory were highly exaggerated to jack-up the asking price and excluded from the computation of the fee of the administrator the total value of the stocks and cash deposits of the administrator. Consequently, it placed the value of the estate at P1,500,000.00 more or less. However, the applicable provision is the proviso which states: "in any special case, where the estate is large and the settlement has been attended with great difficulty and has required a high degree of capacity on the part of the executor or administrator, a greater sum may be allowed." A wide latitude, leeway or discretion is therefore given to the trial court to grant a greater sum. And the determination of whether the administration and liquidation of an estate have been attended with greater difficulty and have required a high degree of capacity on the part of the executor or administrator rests on the sound discretion of the court which took cognizance of the estate. There appears to be no sound justification why the appellate court should interfere with the exercise of the trial court's discretion, absent a showing that the trial court committed any abuse of discretion in granting a greater remuneration to the petitioner. The trial court's order is based on substantial evidence and the applicable rule. The records of the case is replete with evidence to prove that the late administrator Jose de Luna Gonzales had taken good care of the estate and performed his duties without any complaint from any of the heirs. With regard to the inventory, the respondents did not even present any evidence to counter or disprove the valuations made so their claim that the estimated P10 million value of the properties was exaggerated is without basis and purely conjectural. With the well settled rule that the findings of the trial court are given great respect, we therefore sustain the finding that the value of the estate is worth P10 million as found by the trial court. Considering the size of the estate and extent of the care given by the administrator, the amount asked for is not unreasonable and should therefore be allowed. 5. Lalican v. Vergara

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FACTS An information for violation of Section 68 of the Forestry Reform Code was filed against petitioners. Petitioner Lalican filed a motion to quash the information on the ground that the facts charged did not constitute an offense. Contending that Sec. 68 of P.D. No. 705 refers to "timber and other forest products" and not to "lumber," petitioner alleged that said decree "does not apply to 'lumber.'" He added that the law is "vague and standardless" as it does not specify the authority or the legal documents required by existing forest laws and regulations. Hence, petitioner asserted that the information should be quashed as it violated his constitutional rights to due process and equal protection of the law. The lower court issued an Order quashing the information. On a motion for reconsideration by respondent, the lower court issued an order setting aside the quashal order of the previous judge.The motion for reconsideration of petitioner was denied, hence this petition alleging grave abuse of discretion. ISSUE Whether a petition for Certiorari is proper/there was grave abuse of discretion (NO/NONE) HELD (The Court discussed that lumber is not excluded, as it may fall under other forest products.) The Court, therefore, finds that the lower court did not gravely abuse its discretion in denying the quashal of the information. The petition simply has no legal basis. Certiorari may be issued only where it is clearly shown that there is patent and gross abuse of discretion as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility. Grave abuse of discretion implies a capricious and whimsical exercise of power. Where the court has jurisdiction over the case, even if its findings are not

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correct, its questioned acts would at most constitute errors of law and not abuse of discretion correctible by certiorari. Certiorari will issue only to correct errors of jurisdiction and not to correct errors of procedure or mistakes in the judge's findings and conclusions. Certiorari is not the proper remedy where a motion to quash an information is denied. That the appropriate recourse is to proceed to trial and in case of conviction, to appeal such conviction, as well as the denial of the motion to quash, is impelled by the fact that a denial of a motion to quash is an interlocutory procedural aspect which cannot be appealed nor can it be the subject of a petition for certiorari. The remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive. An interlocutory order may be assailed by certiorari or prohibition only when it is shown that the court acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. However, this Court generally frowns upon this remedial measure as regards interlocutory orders. To tolerate the practice of allowing interlocutory orders to be the subject of review by certiorari would not only delay the administration of justice but also would unduly burden the courts. 6. Gold City Integrated Port Systems, Inc. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 171 SCRA 579 (1989) FACTS: Private respondent, Atty. Florentino G. Dumlao, Jr., was a retained counsel for petitioner company, an arrastre and stevedoring operator since 1976. As retained counsel, he was given a monthly fee of P 1,000.00, representation allowance of P 500.00 and 100 liters per month as gasoline allowance. On 1984 private respondent asked for an increase in retainership fee. Instead of giving the same, petitioner discarded the previous arrangement and proposed that private respondent specify, instead, the legal fee for every legal case to be handled by him, effective 1 June 1984. In three pending cases handled by private respondent for petitioner before the lower Courts, private respondent filed Manifestations/Motions

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for the payment of attorney's fees based on quantum meruit. The same were granted by the respective Trial Courts. Challenging the aforesaid Orders, petitioner resorted to Petitions for Certiorari, not appeals, before the then Intermediate Appellate Court, which decided against petitioner in a consolidated Decision the dispositive portion of which reads: In the main, therefore, what petitioner should have done was to appeal on time the questioned orders. This, it failed to do, and at the very least if these petitions had only been interposed seasonably they could have considered the appeals. Then, even if we were for the moment to ignore the fatal procedural error of petitioner of not appealing, and were we to treat the petitions for certiorari as such, still no comfort and relief could be extended to petitioner, because grave abuses of discretion on the part of respondent judges had not been shown to exist. Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration of said judgment was denied by the Appellate Court. Hence, this recourse. ISSUE: W/N a SCA for certiorari under rule 65 is proper in this case? HELD: No. Certiorari is not proper in this case. Contrary to petitioner's submission, certiorari will neither lie. Certiorari will not be issued to cure errors in proceedings or correct erroneous conclusions of law or fact. As long as a Court acts within its jurisdiction, any alleged errors committed in the exercise of its jurisdiction, will amount to nothing more than errors of judgment which are reviewable by timely appeal and not by a special civil action of certiorari. As pointed out in Tolentino vs. Escalona, having failed to interpose a timely appeal from the impugned Orders, petitioners may not avail of the Writ of certiorari to offset the adverse effects of their omission. And even if certiorari were the proper remedy, petitioner has failed to

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show that the Orders complained of are tainted with grave abuse of discretion, meaning such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Abuse of discretion alone is not sufficient. Rather, it must be grave as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility and must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. That the Courts below were lawfully vested with jurisdiction to hear and act on the Motions to fix attomey's fees is beyond question. Any alleged mistakes committed in the exercise thereof would be errors of judgment not reviewable by a special civil action of Certiorari. While petitioner claims that the Orders were issued ex-parte, its filing of a Motion for Reconsideration, which was orally argued and subsequently supported by a memorandum and documents, had cured that defect. The broader interests of justice, as petitioner claims, do not justify a contrary conclusion in the face of procedural lapses vis-a-vis valid and lawful Orders. 7. St. Peter Memorial Park v. Campos G.R. No. L-38280 March 21, 1975 Facts: Spouses Regino Cleofas and Lucia de la Cruz filed suit against St. Peter Memorial Park, Inc. (St. Peter), Araceli Wijangco del Rosario, National Investment and Development Corporation (or NIDC), Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank (or Banco Filipino for short), the Register of Deeds of Rizal, the Register of Deeds of Quezon City and the Sheriff of Quezon City (Civil Case No. Q-15001). In their amended complaint, the spouses prayed that they be declared the rightful owners of Lot No. 719 of the Piedad Estate, that the Torrens Title to said lot be reconstituted, the title thereto of their deceased predecessor, Antonio Cleofas, having been burned in a fire in 1933; that the certificates of title over said lot in the name of the Memorial Park, and that in the name of Wijangco del Rosario, and all the certificates of title from which these certificates were derived be declared null and void; that the mortgages over said, lot

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constituted in favor of Banco Filipino and the NIDC be declared null and void; and that the Memorial Park be ordered to pay plaintiffs damages. The amended complaint likewise sought issuance of preliminary injunction and the appointment of a receiver. The lower court ordered appointment of a receiver, but upon filing of a bond by the Memorial Park, the receivership was lifted. After trial, the lower court, on May 2, 1973, rendered a decision in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants. The Memorial Park and Banco Filipino, on June 23, 1973, filed their joint motion for reconsideration of the decision. On June 30, 1973, they filed a joint motion for new trial. On July 9, 1973, the Memorial Park filed a supplement to the motion for reconsideration with prayer for new trial. Plaintiffs opposed the motion for reconsideration and/or new trial. On January 10, 1974, the plaintiffs moved for issuance of writ of preliminary injunction and restoration of receivership. On February 5, 1974, the trial court denied new trial. On February 21, 1974, Banco Filipino and the Memorial Park filed their notice of appeal from the decision of May 2, 1973, and filed their cash bond. Within the reglementary period they filed their joint record on appeal. On February 28, 1974, the Memorial Park filed before the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction (L38280) against the trial judge and the plaintiff spouses, seeking annulment of the court's order denying new trial, on the ground that the same was issued in grave abuse of discretion. Issues: Whether or not the respondent Judge acted in grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the joint appeal of the Memorial Park and Banco Filipino in its order of July 8, 1974. YES. Whether or not the respondent Judge committed a grave abuse of discretion when it denied in its order of February 5, 1974 the motion for new trial of the Memorial Park. YES. Courts Ruling: Petition granted. The grounds cited by petitioners for the allowance of the

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Special Civil Actions | Atty. Melo 2011 Digests updated by ALS 2014A
writ of certiorari, justify the giving of due course to the petitions in these two cases, for ordinary appeal will not be adequate. Respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion in denying the motion for new trial, having disregarded in a capricious and arbitrary manner, the newly discovered evidence. Rationale: It must be noted that the petitioner in L-38280 is only St. Peter Memorial Park. Banco Filipino is not a party in that first proceeding before this Court. Thus, whatever may be the effect of the filing of a petition for certiorari, on the pending appeal, cannot affect the appeal of Banco Filipino. And the respondent Judge clearly committed a clear error and a grave abuse of discretion when it dismissed the appeal of Banco Filipino due to the filing by the Memorial Park of its petition in L- 38280. Moreover, as will now be explained, the dismissal of the appeal violated the restraining order issued by this Court. The general rule is that the extraordinary writ of certiorari is not proper when ordinary appeal is available. However, we have granted the writ in cases where it is shown that appeal would be inadequate, slow, insufficient and will not promptly relieve petitioner from the injurious effects of the order complained of. The grounds cited by petitioners for the allowance of the writ of certiorari, justify the giving of due course to the petitions in these two cases, for ordinary appeal will not be adequate. As many memorial lot buyers are affected, and the very integrity of the torrens system is at stake, public interest is involved. This rule for the granting of a motion for new trial, as all other rules of procedure, should be liberally construed to assist the parties in obtaining a just and speedy determination of their rights. Court litigations are primarily for the search of truth, and a liberal interpretation of the rules by which both parties are given the fullest opportunity to adduce proofs is the best way to find out such truth. The dispensation of justice and vindication of legitimate grievances should not be barred by technicalities. 8. Valencia v. CA, 184 SCRA 561 (1990)

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FACTS: On July 6, 1984, petitioner filed in RTC Bulacan for the rescission of a lease contract over a 24 h. fishpond in Bulacan, with a prayer for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction against private respondents. Private respondents filed an answer with a counterclaim for damages. During the pendency of the case, the lease contract expired and the defendants peacefully surrendered the fishpond to plaintiff. Consequently the court a quo declared that the plaintiff's prayer for rescission of contract had become moot and academic and the only remaining issue was the matter of damages. The trial court awarded P100,000.00 as moral damages and P50,000.00 as exemplary damages to each defendant and further ordered plaintiff to pay P30,000.00 as attorney's fees. Petitioner claims that defendant Bagtas acknowledged in writing his receipt of said decision on January 3, 1989. However, petitioner received a copy of the decision on January 10, 1989, and filed a notice of appeal 4 on January 16, 1989. On the same day, respondent judge issued an order that said notice of appeal be "given due course" and directing that 5 the records of the case be forwarded to the Court of Appeals. On January 17, 1989, private respondents filed a motion for execution pending appeal, alleging that: 2. Under Section 2 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court a writ of execution may be issued to enforce a judgment before the expiration of the period to appeal upon showing good reasons. 3. Pursuant to Section 2 of Rule 39 and the jurisprudence on the matter, defendant is now moving that a writ of execution be issued pending appeal to enforce judgment of this Honorable Court and for this purpose hereby offers to post a bond in such amount that this Honorable Court may deem adequate to answer for all damages that the plaintiff may 6 suffer by reason of the execution prayed for.

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The respondent judge issued an order granting the motion for execution pending appeal, the defendants having filed a bond in the amount of 8 P330,000.00, and granted a period up to April 27, 1989 within which the plaintiff may "file a counterbond to stay the implementation of the Writ of Execution to be issued." Petitioner's MR was denied by the trial court on the ground that "an offer of a bond for immediate execution of judgment is a good ground for execution pending appeal" and "execution pending appeal may be 9 granted as long as movant files a good and sufficient surety." A writ of 10 execution pending appeal was issued by the trial court. Petitioner then filed a petition for certiorari, and mandamus with the CA on the ff. grounds: prohibition
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respondent Court of Appeals dismissed said petition and refused to reconsider such dismissal, hence the appeal to the SC. The SC issued a TRO against respondents.

ISSUE: (1) W/N Trial court exceeded its jurisdiction when it ordered the execution of consequential & exemplary damages, attorneys fees? Yes. (2) W/N Certiorari is the proper remedy? Yes. HELD: Yes. 1) Conformably with Section 2, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, in order that there may be a discretionary issuance of a writ of execution pending appeal the following requisites must be satisfied: (a) There must be a motion by the prevailing party with notice to the adverse party; (b) There must be a good reason for issuing the writ of execution; and (c) The good 15 reason must be stated in a special order. In the case at bar, the ground relied upon by the trial court in allowing the immediate execution, as stated in its order of March 20, 1989, is the filing of a bond by private respondents. The rule is now settled that the mere filing of a bond by the successful party is not a good reason for ordering execution pending appeal The exercise of the power to grant or deny immediate or advance 17 execution is addressed to the sound discretion of the court. However, the existence of good reasons is principally what confers such discretionary power. Absent any such good reason, the special order of execution must be struck down for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion. 2) Anent issue of the propriety of a special civil action for certiorari to assail an order for execution pending appeal, we have ruled in Jaca et 20 al. vs. Davao Lumber Company, et al. that: . . . Although Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court provides that the special civil action of certiorarimay only be invoked when

1. THAT THE RESPONDENT JUDGE, UPON THE PERFECTION OF THE APPEAL FROM THE DECISION RENDERED ON NOVEMBER 29, 1988 IN CIVIL CASE NO. 7554-M, A COPY HAVING BEEN RECEIVED BY BUNYE AND BAGTAS ON JANUARY 3, 1989, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BULACAN BRANCH XV (15) LOST JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE AND NO LONGER HAD ANY JURISDICTION TO ENTERTAIN BUNYE'S AND BAGTAS' MOTION FOR EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL, LET ALONE TO ISSUE A WRIT OF EXECUTION. 2. THAT MERE FILING OF A BOND DOES NOT SUFFICE ABSENT OF A SHOWING OF SUPERIOR CIRCUMSTANCES DEMANDING URGENCY WHICH WILL OUTWEIGH THE INJURY OR DAMAGES SHOULD THE LOSING PARTY SECURE A REVERSAL OF THE JUDGMENT, AND RULING THAT A TRIAL COURT EXCEEDS THE LIMITS OF ITS JURISDICTION WHERE IT ORDERS ADVANCE OF EXECUTION OF CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY'S FEES. 3. INSTEAD, RESPONDENT JUDGMENT SHOULD HAVE IMPLEMENTED HIS ORDER GIVING DUE COURSE TO VALENCIA'S APPEAL AND DIRECTING THE RECORDS OF CIVIL CASE FORWARDED TO THIS COURT.

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"there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the (ordinary) course of law," this rule is not without exception. The availability of the ordinary course of appeal does not constitute sufficient ground to prevent a party from making use of the extraordinary remedy of certiorari where appeal is not an adequate remedy or equally beneficial, speedy and sufficient. It is the inadequacy not the mere absence of all other legal remedies and the danger of failure of justice without the writ that usually determines the propriety of certiorari. Thus, we held therein, and we so reiterate for purposes of the case at bar, that certiorari lies against an order granting execution pending appeal where the same is not founded upon good reasons. Also, the fact that the losing party had appealed from the judgment does not bar the certiorari action filed in respondent court as the appeal could not be an adequate remedy from such premature execution. That petitioner could have resorted to a supersedeas bond to prevent execution pending appeal, as suggested by the two lower courts, is not to be held against him. The filing of such bond does not entitle him to the 21 suspension of execution as a matter of right. It cannot, therefore, be categorically considered as a plain, speedy and adequate remedy. Hence, no rule requires a losing party so circumstances to adopt such remedy in lieu or before availment of other remedial options at hand. Furthermore, a rational interpretation of Section 3, Rule 39 should be that the requirement for a supersedeas bond presupposes that the case presents a presumptively valid occasion for discretionary execution. Otherwise, even if no good reason exists to warrant advance execution, the prevailing party could unjustly compel the losing party to post a supersedeas bond through the simple expedient of filing a motion for, and the trial court improvidently granting, a writ of execution pending appeal although the situation is violative of Section 2, Rule 39. This could not have been the intendment of the rule, hence we give our imprimatur to the propriety of petitioner's action for certiorari in respondent court.

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Exceptions to the general rule that MR is the speediest remedy. 9. NATIONAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS
FACTS: This is a Petition for certiorari in relation to Rule 45. Respondents Rural Power Corporation, Eusebio E. Ferrer, Lourdes Sison, and Eduardo Ferrer (hereinafter referred to as Rural Power) executed a Real Estate Mortgage in favor of petitioner National Electrification Administration (NEA) in the sum of P985,000.00 for the purpose of improving the former's services to the public. On the same date, Rural Power was required to execute two other real estate mortgages to secure two other loans whose amounts were never released. Among the conditions of the mortgage were that the amount to be released to Rural Power would be utilized for the "purposes therein specified subject to availability of funds", and "that the respondents shall adhere strictly with the program of work and specifications attached to the deed." Due to alleged violations of the above-stated conditions, petitioner instituted extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings and the Sheriff set the sale of the properties involved for public auction. Rural Power initiated a civil case for Injunction, release of a sum of money, cancellation of mortgages, and damages. Respondent judhge issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction stopping the auction sale and subsequently decided in favor of Rural Power after trial on the merits. Petitioner NEA filed a Record on Appeal, which as disapproved by respondent judge for non-compliance with Section 6, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court referring to the form and contents of the record on appeal. Petitioner filed an Amended Record on Appeal supplying the deficiencies with the prayer that "all oral and documentary evidence presented in the instant case be elevated together with all the records to the Court of Appeals". Again, respondent Judge disapproved the Amended Record on Appeal for alleged non-compliance with Section 6 of Rule 41.

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Petitioner corporation did not file a Motion for Reconsideration but subsequently filed a Petition for certiorari and mandamus with Preliminary Injunction before respondent Court of Appeals. The CA ruled that failure of the petitioner to file a Motion for Reconsideration was fatal to its cause. ISSUE: WON the CA gravely abused its discretion in holding that petitioner's omission to move for reconsideration before the Trial Court prior to filing a petition for certiorari and mandamus was fatal to the petition. HELD: Yes. First of all, the orders of the respondent judge disapproving petitioner's original and amended Record on Appeal were both vague because they did not specify the requirements not complied with nor the errors or additions that had to be corrected or added. As the Appellate Court had observed "it is possible that the respondent (Judge) was referring to deficiencies other than that specified in (the) order of January 14, 1970". Hence, petitioner cannot be faulted if its Amended Record on Appeal did not meet the standards set by the Trial Judge as there weren't any. Secondly, whatever defects the original Record on Appeal may have contained had been cured in the Amended Record on Appeal by petitioner's prayer that all the documentary and oral evidence be elevated to the Appellate Court as expressly provided for by Section 6, Rule 41 of the Revised Rules of Court. Therefore, respondent judges disapproval of the Amended Record on Appeal was arbitrary and constituted grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. In the eyes of the law, the two disputed Orders were patent nullities, thus excepting the -instant case from the general rule that before certiorari or mandamus may be availed of petitioner must first file a Motion for Reconsideration. In other words, respondent Judge, in effect, deprived petitioner of its right to Appeal and other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinarily course of law, hence, making petitioner's resort to the instant petition a virtual necessity.

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Third, petitioner is a government corporation performing governmental functions. Public interest being involved, a Motion for Read consideration need not be availed of. Fourth, petitioner averred that time was of the essence because respondents were in the process of executing the assailed judgment of the Trial Court with precipitate haste, the enforcement of which would have impaired petitioner corporation's operations and funds. This Court held that a Motion for Reconsideration is no longer a prerequisite where there is urgent necessity and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government. Finally, to sustain Rural Power's stand would be to put a premium on procedural technicality, which should not be made to prevail over petitioner's substantive right to appeal. Considering the fact that the two Records on Appeal were totally unopposed by Rural Power and that giving the appeal due course would not have prejudiced its rights nor substantially affected the merits of the case, the spirit of liberality which animates the Rules rather than strict technicality would be more in keeping with the ends of justice. 10. Abraham v. NLRC Facts: Petitioner Jennifer Abraham filed a complaint for constructive dismissal against the herein respondent Philippine Institute of Technical Education (PITE) and its school administrator Jaime Magnanao before the Regional Arbitration Branch. The labor Arbiter rendered a decision in favor of respondents. Petitioner then appealed to the NLRC which rendered a Resolution reversing the decision of the Labor Arbiter. The aggrieved respondents moved for reconsideration which was granted by the NLRC. Aggrieved by the adverse ruling of the NLRC, petitioner filed a petition for Certiorari with the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals dismissed the petitioners petition on the ground that she failed to file a motion for reconsideration of the Resolution of the NLRC reconsidering its previous Resolution. Issue/s:

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Whether or not the filing of a motion for reconsideration before filing a petition for Certiorari is MANDATORY. Held: Generally, yes but there are exceptions. Generally, certiorari as a special civil action will not lie unless a motion for reconsideration is filed before the respondent tribunal to allow it an opportunity to correct its imputed errors. However, the following have been recognized as exceptions to the rule: (a) where the order is a patent nullity, as where the court a quo has no jurisdiction; (b) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceedings have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court; (c) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable; (d) where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless; (e) where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief; (f) where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is improbable; (g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; (h) where the proceedings was ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and (i) where the issue raised is one purely of law or where public interest is involved. The Court held that the second and fourth exceptions are clearly in point.

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The rationale for the requirement of first filing a motion for reconsideration before the filing of a petition for certiorari is that the law intends to afford the tribunal, board, or office an opportunity to rectify the errors and mistakes it may have lapsed into before resort to the courts of justice can be had. In the present case, the NLRC was already given the opportunity to review its ruling and correct itself when the respondent filed its motion for reconsideration of the NLRCs initial ruling in favor of petitioner. In fact, it granted the motion for reconsideration filed by the respondent and reversed its previous ruling and reinstated the decision of the Labor Arbiter dismissing the complaint of the petitioner. It would be an exercise in futility to require the petitioner to file a motion for reconsideration since the very issues raised in the petition for certiorari, i.e. whether or not the petitioner was constructively dismissed by the respondent and whether or not she was entitled to her money claims, were already duly passed upon and resolved by the NLRC. Thus the NLRC had more than one opportunity to resolve the issues of the case and in fact reversed itself upon a reconsideration. It is highly improbable or unlikely under the circumstances that the Commission would reverse or set aside its resolution granting a reconsideration. 11./13. JP Latex v. Ballons Granger Balloons FACTS Anchoring on an isolated transaction, respondent Granger filed a complaint for rescission and damages against petitioner JP Latex Technology, Inc. The complaint alleged that the president of petitioner corporation, and respondent entered into a contract for the sale of respondent Grangers machinery consisting of four dipping lines and all associated equipment for the amount of US$1,230,000.00 and other non-cash considerations consisting of a 20% shareholding in petitioners distribution company and the distributorship of its balloons in Canada and Greece. Although respondent Granger had performed its end of the bargain, the petitioner allegedly paid only a partial sum of US$748,262.87 and reneged on its other non-cash commitments. According to respondent Granger, it made

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Special Civil Actions | Atty. Melo 2011 Digests updated by ALS 2014A
several written and verbal demands for the full payment of the purchase price to no avail. The RTC rendered its decision in favor of respondent Granger. While the case was pending, respondent Granger moved for the execution pending appeal of the RTC decision. Petitioner opposed respondent Grangers motion for execution pending appeal, which was denied. The RTC granted the plea for execution pending appeal. The writ of execution pending appeal was issued. Thereupon, sheriff Arellano successfully effected the dismantling of the machinery. Thus, petitioner filed a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 before the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals promulgated the assailed decision, denying the petition for certiorari mainly on the ground that petitioner failed to file a motion for reconsideration of the assailed RTC Order. Hence this petition. ISSUE WHETHER A MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION IS A MANDATORY REQUIREMENT FOR FILING A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI UNDER RULE 65 UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE. HELD As a general rule, a petition for certiorari before a higher court will not prosper unless the inferior court has been given, through a motion for reconsideration, a chance to correct the errors imputed to it. This rule, though, has certain exceptions, namely: (1) when the issue raised is purely of law; (2) when public interest is involved; or (3) in case of urgency. As a fourth exception, the Court has ruled that the filing of a motion for reconsideration before availment of the remedy of certiorari is not a sine qua non, when the questions raised are the same as those that have already been squarely argued and exhaustively passed upon by the lower court. In the instant case, the issue raised is purely an issue of law. Moreover, following the fourth exception, a motion for reconsideration of the RTC order allowing the immediate execution of its decision is no longer necessary in view of the fact that the RTC had already passed upon the propriety of respondents motion for execution pending appeal on two

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occasions. It should be noted that on the first occasion, the RTC denied respondents motion for execution pending appeal, prompting them to seek reconsideration of its denial. In the second instance, the RTC reversed itself and allowed the execution pending appeal. On these two occasions, the parties had been accorded ample avenue to squarely and exhaustively argue their positions and the RTC more than enough opportunity to study the matter and to deliberate upon the issues raised by the parties. Thus, the filing of another motion for reconsideration of the order of execution pending appeal by petitioner could not be considered a plain and adequate remedy but a mere superfluity under the circumstances of the case. 12. Metro Transit Organization, Inc. v. CA, GR No. 142133, Nov. 19, 2002 Facts: After completion of an inventory count of tokens, petitioners Metro Transit Organization (MTO) and Jovencio Bantang, Jr., an MTO officer, discovered that 2,000 tokens were missing. They then conducted an investigation, which implicated private respondent Ruperto Evangelista, a cash assistant at MTOs Treasury Division, as one of the alleged perpetrators responsible for the said loss. Based on the evidence presented, which consisted of handwritten letters by Evangelista and two other persons, petitioners dismissed Evangelista for lack of trust and confidence. Evangelista filed a case of illegal dismissal against the petitioners. The Labor Arbiter and, upon appeal, National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) ruled in favor of Evangelista. Meanwhile, the CA dismissed the petitioners petition for certiorari because this special civil action would only lie if there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. In this case, that remedy should have been a motion for reconsideration of the assailed NLRC decision. Hence, the instant case.

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Petitioners now contend that a motion for reconsideration is not necessary before resort to the special civil action for certiorari. The said special civil action with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction is allegedly the only remedy available to them. They also argue that, without the extraordinary relief of injunction, the NLRC can immediately execute the questioned decision rendering the issues raised in the petition moot and academic. Besides this, the said motion for reconsideration is not necessary because the questions that will be raised in the same are those that the NLRC had already considered. Issue: Whether a motion for reconsideration is necessary before resort to the special civil action for certiorari Held: YES. The general rule is that a motion for reconsideration is indispensable before resort to the special civil action for certiorari to afford the court or tribunal the opportunity to correct its error, if any. This rule, however, is subject to the following exceptions: 1. Where the order is a patent nullity, as where the court a quo has no jurisdiction; 2. Where the questions raised in the certiorari proceedings have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court; 3. Where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable; 4. Where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless; 5. Where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief;

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6. Where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is improbable; 7. Where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; 8. Where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; 9. Where the proceedings were ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; 10. Where the issue raised was one purely of law or where public interest is involved. Pertinently, certiorari is not a shield from the adverse consequences of an omission to file the required motion for reconsideration. To dispense with this requirement, there must be a concrete, compelling, and valid reason for the failure to comply with the requirement. In the instant case, the petitioners did not file the necessary motion for reconsideration before resorting to the said special civil action. Except for their bare allegation that the said motion was not so necessary, petitioners failed to show sufficient justification for dispensing with the requirement of a prior motion for reconsideration. They failed to show that their case falls in any of the enumerated exceptions. Petition for review denied. 14. Conti v. CA, GR No. 134441, May 19, 1999 Facts: Petitioner Indalicio Conti was an Assistant Professor IV of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), under National Compensation Circular (NCC) No. 33. This circular was intended to be the criteria in ranking faculty members in state universities and colleges.

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By virtue of NCC 68, which amended NCC 33, Conti was reclassified as Professor I after submitting the necessary documents and presenting himself for an interview. Civil Service Commission- NCR (CSC) Director II Dionisia Pingol requested Conti, however, to submit a copy of his MBA diploma or transcript of records in order to determine whether he was indeed a masteral degree holder. Conti replied that a masteral degree was not a requisite for his current position. Consequently, Benita Santos, Director IV of the CSC-NCR, formally charged Conti with dishonesty. CSC then resolved that Conti was guilty of this charge and, thus, should be dismissed from his position with all its accessory penalties. Conti then moved for a reconsideration of CSCs decision. Despite the letters Conti had sent to the CSC reminding it of the pending motion, the latter had not acted accordingly. Conti then filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus before the SC, which referred the same to the CA. CA dismissed this petition, holding that it had been filed out of time. Contrary to the SCs administrative circular requiring that appeals from judgments, final orders, or resolutions of quasi-judicial agencies shall be taken to the CA by way of a petition for review under Rule 43 within 15 days from notice of the assailed judgment, order, or resolution, the instant appeal was filed almost three months past its due date. Hence, the instant petition. Conti now alleges that his petition before the appellate court is an original action under Rule 65 and not an appeal under Rule 43. Accordingly, his petition was not filed out of time. Meanwhile, PUP alleges that the petition at hand is one under Rule 43 since it is the proper remedy in the instant case, not one filed under Rule 65. Issue: Whether the instant petition has been filed out of time Held:

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NO. The old rule (prior to the promulgation of Revised Administrative Circular No. 1-95 in June 1, 1995) was that a decision, order, or ruling from the CSC was unappealable subject to the SCs certiorari jurisdiction. A party aggrieved by the CSCs judgment should proceed to the SC alone on certiorari under Rule 65 within 30 days from the receipt of a copy thereof. By virtue of the said circular, however, an appeal from judgments, final orders, or resolutions of quasi-judicial agencies like the CSC may be taken to the CA by way of a petition for review within 15 days from notice of the assailed order or resolution. As to petitions for certiorari under Rule 65 pending with SC directed against CSC, the Circular provides that they shall be treated as petitions for review and, thus, transferred to the CA for appropriate disposition. In the instant case, Contis petition could have been dismissed outright, if it werent for the presence of exceptional circumstances that justified his recourse to a special remedy. Truly, an essential requisite for the availability of the extraordinary remedies under these Rules is an absence of an appeal or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. This remedy has been defined as that which would equally be beneficial, speedy, and sufficient. It is not merely a remedy which, at some time in the future, will bring about a revival of the judgment complained of in the certiorari proceeding, but a remedy that will promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effects of the judgment and acts of the inferior court or tribunal. Illustrative of such plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law is a motion for reconsideration. In the case at bar, while PUP contends that Contis petition for certiorari was premature, in light of the latters pending motion for reconsideration, it must be noted that CSC has continuously failed to resolve the same for a lengthy period of time. This then amounts to a denial of Contis rights to due process and speedy disposition of his caseone of the circumstances that justify recourse to a petition for certiorari under Rule 65.

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Case remanded to the CA for further proceedings. 15. People v. Albano, GR Nos. L-45376-77, Jul. 26, 1988 Facts: Private respondents Antonio Acharon and Rosalina Bernabe were the City Mayor and then City Vice-Mayor of Davao City, respectively, Before the CFI, they were charged with violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. As to Acharon, he allegedly denied an Emilio Evangelistas application for the renewal of his license to operate a cockpit and, instead, approved his uncles application (relative within the third civil degree). As to both Acharon and Bernabe, they allegedly used the names of their 327 employees to fraudulently procure sacks of RCA rice for sale at a price lower than the prevailing one in the open market to persons other than those employees. Before the pre-suspension hearings can be held and, pursuant to an SC resolution, the case was transferred to the Circuit Criminal Court. Trial was also postponed, in light of the petition for reinvestigation filed by Acharon in the office of the Acting District State Prosecutor. This trial court found that the informations filed against the accused were invalid ab initio and, thus, dismissed the corresponding cases. Hence, this petition for certiorari. In sum, petitioner challenges the manner in which the trial court has arrived at its conclusion that the informations filed are invalid. Issues: 1. Whether in a pre-suspension proceeding to determine the validity of an information filed under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, a court may consider matters not alleged in the information under consideration 2. Whether a court may, without a trial proper, decide a case on the merits by making findings of fact after an assessment of the Held: Petition granted. 1.

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evidence on the record, taking into consideration matters of defense of the accused and, on the basis, thereof, dismiss the same

YES. While suspension of a public officer is mandatory, it is not automatic, the reason being that a hearing on the validity of the information appears conformable to the spirit of the law, taking into account the serious and far-reaching consequences of a suspension of an elective public official even before his conviction. Also, public interest demands a speedy determination of the issues involved in the cases. Thus, before a suspension order can be issued, a hearing on the issue of the validity of the information must first be had. The right to challenge the validity of the information, in prosecutions under the anti-graft law, is not limited to the right to challenge the completeness of sufficiency of the recitals in the information vis--vis the essential elements of the offense as defined by substantive law. Considering the serious and farreaching consequences of a suspension of a public official even before his conviction, the right to challenge the validity of an information entitles the accused to challenge the validity of the criminal proceedings leading to the filing of the information against him.

2. NO. It must be noted, however, that the right of the accused to challenge the validity of the information does not divest the prosecution of its right to prove the guilt of the accused in a trial on the merits, nor should the pre-suspension hearing substitute the trial proper. ! The law does not require that the guilt of the accused must be established in a pre-suspension proceeding before the trial on the merits proceeds. Nor does it prohibit the trial, and thus the

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Special Civil Actions | Atty. Melo 2011 Digests updated by ALS 2014A
suspension, of the innocent. The law permits the trial of the accused based merely on probable cause, as long as probable cause has been properly determined. And for honest lapses in its administration, the law provides for remedial measures upon which an innocent public officer is vindicated and compensated. ! In any event, when the contending parties in both cases agreed to submit the question of the validity of the informations on the basis of the records of the cases, among others,to determine whether accused Acharon can be mandatorily suspended, the trial court was competent to inquire only whether or not (1) accused Acharon had been afforded due preliminary investigation prior to the filing of the informations against him, (2) the acts for which he was charged constitute a violation of the provisions of Rep. Act 3019 or of the provisions on bribery of the Revised Penal Code, or (3) the informations against him can be quashed, under any of the grounds provided in Section 2, Rule 117 of the RoC, not deemed waived in view of the previous arraignment of the accused. In the instant case, the trial court exceeded its jurisdiction when it practically held that the prosecution failed to establish the culpability of the accused in a proceeding which does not even require the prosecution to do so. It acted with grave abuse of discretion, tantamount to lack of jurisdiction, when it preemptively dismissed the cases and, as a consequence thereof, deprived the prosecution of its right to prosecute and prove its case, thereby violating its fundamental right to due process. 16. Escudero v. Dulay, GR No. L-60578, Feb. 23, 1988 Facts: Petitioner Araceli Escudero, wife of co-petitioner Paterno Escudero, executed a Deed of Absolute Sale under Pacto de Retro in favor of private respondents, the spouses Amistad, over a parcel of residential land. The deed stated that redemption was to be made by the vendors within three months after the execution of the same.

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The period of redemption expired without the petitioners making an offer of repurchase. Consequently, the spouses Amistad filed a petition for consolidation of title over the subject land. Araceli opposed the petition, contending that what had transpired amongst the parties was a transaction of loan and not one of sale. According to her, the transaction of equitable mortgage can be gleaned from the gross inadequacy of the purchase price and the fact that she, the alleged vendor, remained in possession of the land and continued to enjoy the fruits thereof. Notably, however, one month after the expiration of the redemption period, Araceli deposited a bank managers check, whose amount represents the redemption money, with the clerk of court of the respondent court, CFI. Consequently, the counsel for petitioners filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings before CFI, alleging that: 1. The deposit of the managers check constitutes Aracelis abandonment of her defense as alleged in her answer and that she is deemed to have admitted material allegations in the complaint; and 2. The spouses Amistad cannot consolidate their ownership over the land because, pursuant to Art. 1606 of the Civil Code, the vendor in a pacto de retro sale still has the right to repurchase the property within 31 days after the date of the final judgment in a civil case on the basis that the contract was a true sale with a right to repurchase. CFI, however, ruled against the petitioners, holding that Art. 1606 contemplates a legal controversy as to the juridical nature of the contractthat is, whether it is a pacto de retro sale or an equitable mortgage. In the instant case, there is none. As earlier said, the petitioners expressly abandoned their defense that the contract was one of equitable mortgage. Consequently, their act of depositing the managers check was one of no force and effect. CA affirmed the CFIs decision. Hence, this special civil action for certiorari. Petitioners now contend, through their new counsel, that the judgments rendered against them by the respondent courts are null and void,

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Special Civil Actions | Atty. Melo 2011 Digests updated by ALS 2014A
because they have been deprived of their day in court and divested of their property without due process of law, through the gross ignorance, mistake and negligence of their previous counsel. They acknowledge that, while as a rule, clients are bound by the mistake of their counsel, the rule should not be applied automatically to their case, as their trial counsel's blunder in procedure and gross ignorance of existing jurisprudence changed their cause of action and violated their substantive rights. Issue: Whether petitioners claims before the SC justify their filing of the special civil action for certiorari Held: YES. Ordinarily, a special civil action under Rule 65 will not be a substitute or cure the failure to file a timely petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. Where, however, the application of this rule will result in a manifest failure or miscarriage of justice, the rule may be relaxed. In the instant case, there is good and valid evidence to support petitioners allegation that the disputed transaction is one of equitable mortgage. While this Court is cognizant of the rule that, generally, a client will suffer the consequences of the negligence, mistake or lack of competence of his counsel, in the interest of justice and equity, exceptions may be made to such rule, in accordance with the facts and circumstances of each case. Adherence to the general rule would, in the instant case, result in the outright deprivation of their property through a technicality. Petition granted. 17. Leonor v. CA, GR No. 112597, Apr. 2, 1996 Facts:

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Petitioner Virginia Leonor and private respondent Mauricio Leonor, Jr. were married. They were separate for a substantial part of their married life, with Viriginia working as a nurse in Laguna and Mauricio studying and working in Switzerland. Mauricio, however, became unfaithful and lived with a Swiss woman. Consequently, Virginia instituted a civil action in the Swiss court for separation and alimony, while Mauricio countersued for divorce. While the proceedings in the Swiss courts were ongoing, Mauricio, represented by his brother, filed a petition for the cancellation of the late registration of marriage in the civil registry applied for by Virginia3 before the RTC. The RTC rendered judgment, declaring that the marriage was null and void. After receiving the notice of the decision, Virginia filed the corresponding appeal. RTC dismissed her appeal, however, on the ground that she had failed to file a record on appeal within 30 days and had thus failed to perfect her appeal. Virginia filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus with the CA and sought the nullification of the RTCs decisions for having been issued in excess of jurisdiction and/or grave abuse of discretion. CA dismissed the petition, saying that the remedy for the purpose of seeking the reversal of the trial courts decision was an appeal, not a special civil action. It granted the petition seeking the nullification of the decision dismissing the appeal. Hence, the instant case. Issues: 1. Whether CA erred in holding that Virginia should have appealed from the RTCs decision instead of filing a petition for certiorari

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2. Whether CA erred in refusing to decide upon the merits of the case, that is, to declare whether the RTCs judgment is null and void Held: YES, to both issues. At the outset, the CA acted within its authority in simply ordering the trial court to give course to petitioners appeal without going into the merits of the case. In a certiorari proceeding involving an incident in a case, the CA has no jurisdiction to rule on the merits of the main case itself which has not been on appeal before it. In other words, the CA has already done its duty by declaring that the RTC has gravely abused its discretion or acted without jurisdiction in refusing to give due course to petitioners appeal. It must be noted, however, that the SC is not just a toothless promoter of procedural niceties, which are understood only by lawyers and jurists. It cannot shrink from its quintessential role as the fountain of speedy, adequate, and substantial justice. In the instant case, therefore, the SC resolves to make an exception to the normal procedures and to delve deeper into the substantive issue of the validity or nullity of the trial courts proceedings. In the instant case, therefore, the SC resolves to make an exception to the normal procedures and to delve deeper into the substantive issue of the validity or nullity of the trial courts proceedings. Also, it must be observed that Virginia actually filed a proper Notice of Appeal which the trial court disallowed. Hence, she had no choice but to bring her petition for certiorari in the respondent Court. To constrain her to go back to said Court, this time by ordinary appeal, would be tantamount to punishing her and delaying her cause for faults not attributable to her, but rather to the manifest error of the respondent trial judge. So, too, as will be shown shortly, the trial court's decision is really a nullity for utter want of jurisdiction. Hence it could be challenged at any time.

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Insofar as the SC can figure out from the RTCs decision, it (a) declared the marriage null and void and (b) ordered the local civil registrar of San Carlos City to cancel its entry in the local civil registry, the sum total of which, coincidentally (and most conveniently), would enable Mauricio to show to the Swiss courts that he was never married and thus, to convince said courts to reverse their order granting alimony to his abandoned wife. Such blatant abuse and misuse of court proceedings cannot be countenanced by this Court. Also, RTCs decision is void for want of jurisdiction. As the RoC provides, where the effect of a correction in a civil registry will change the civil status of petitioner and her children from legitimate to illegitimate, the same cannot be granted except only in an adversarial proceeding. Petition granted. 18. DD COMMENDADOR CONSTRUCTION CORP. V. SAYO DOCTRINE The general rule is that certiorari and prohibition are not available where the petitioner has the remedy of appeal or some other plain, speedy or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. The only exception is when appeal would be inadequate, slow, insufficient and will not promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effects of the order complained. FACTS DD Commendador Construction Corp. (Corp), from October 1977 to July 6, 1978, purchased construction materials from Sayo for the total value of P108,799.54. As payment, Corp. issued a post-dated check for November 22, 1977 in the amount of P24,455 to Sayo. Check was subsequently dishonored when presented for encashment. On March 1980, Sayo filed a civil case against Corp, with a prayer for preliminary attachment, which was granted and certain construction equipment were levied by the Sheriff.

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Corp filed its answer alleging Sayo and Corp had an understanding that the payment is subject to releases by the government due to the Corp. and such was sufficient to answer for the debt. Sayo filed a motion for summary judgment and/or judgment on the pleadings. Court granted Judgment on the Pleadings. The hearing was set for March 5, 1981, whereupon Corp. failed to appear. Corp. had been earlier granted a motion to reset the hearing. Judge declared the case submitted for decision. Corp.s MR was denied. Corp. then filed the present petition for certiorari with the SC. While the petition was pending Corp was adjudged liable in the civil case, as the court was serve with late notice of the petition. On appeal to the CA, Sayo attacked in his memoranda the propriety of filing the present petition when the remedy of appeal was still available. Corp. justifies its action, citing St. Peter Memorial Park, Inc. v. Campos Jr. (63 SCRA 180), which held that certiorari may be availed of although there is a remedy of appeal, if appeal would be inadequate, slow, insufficient and will not promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effects of the order complained. ISSUE (1) Whether judgment on the pleadings was proper. (2) Whether present petition can proceed when the main case has been decided and is now on appeal. HELD (1) YES. The pleadings have not raised any genuine issue that would require the reception of material evidence. The issue raised was refuted by Corp in its answer when it admitted to issuing the post-dated check as initial payment, an action that made payment not subject to government releases received by the Corp.

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Further, the motion was granted only after hearing and formal written opposition had been filed by Corp. (2) NO. But the court moved to settle the issue in this case to avoid long litigation. The general rule is that certiorari and prohibition are not available where the petitioner has the remedy of appeal or some other plain, speedy or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. The only exception is when appeal would be inadequate, slow, insufficient and will not promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effects of the order complained. Compared to the St. Peter case, where certiorari was granted, Corp., here, failed to prove that the remedy of appeal falls under the exception. The Corp. had originally filed the petition not as an exception to the general rule held in the St Peter case, - that there existed extraordinary circumstances which justified it - but only in order to overturn a disfavorable interlocutory order, which is not the subject of appeal. If the questioned orders had suffered from any legal or jurisdictional infirmity, any objection that may be raised by certiorari or prohibition were foreclosed by the rendition of judgment in the main case and the appeal taken. The validity of the orders should have been questioned in connection with the appeal. 19. Pastor, Jr. v. CA, GR No. L-56340, Jun. 24, 1983 Facts: Pastor, Sr., a Spanish subject, died. He was survived by his wife and their two illegitimate children, one of which is the petitioner Pastor, Jr., and an illegitimate child, not natural, who is private respondent Quemada. Quemada filed a petition for the probate and allowance of an alleged holographic will of Pastor, Sr. with CFI. The will contained only one testamentary provision: a legacy in favor of Quemada consisting of 30% of Pastor, Sr.s 42% share in the operation by Atlas Consolidated Mining

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and Development Corporation of some mining claims. The probate court appointed Quemada as special administrator of the decedents estate. Pursuant thereto, Quemada instituted against Pastor, Jr. and his wife an action for reconveyance of alleged properties of the estate. Meanwhile, the latter filed their opposition to the petition for probate and the order appointing Quemada as special administrator. The probate court issued an order allowing the will to probate. The CA and SC affirmed this order, with the latter remanding the case to the probate court. After some time from the said remand, Quemada filed pleading after pleading, asking for the payment of his legacy and seizure of the properties subject of the said legacy. Pastor, Jr. opposed these pleadings, claiming that the action for reconveyance was pending in another CFI. While the said reconveyance suit was still being litigated, the probate court issued the now assailed order of execution and garnishment against Pastor, Jr. and his wife. Before the motion for reconsideration filed by Pastor, Jr. could be restored, however, he and his wife filed with the CA a petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for writ of preliminary injunction. This petition was denied, however. Hence, the instant case. In sum, petitioners now contend that probate court has acted beyond its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion when it has issued the assailed orders. According to them, before the provisions of the holographic will can be implemented, the questions of ownership of the mining properties and the intrinsic validity of the holographic will must first be resolved with finality. Meanwhile, Quemada challenges the propriety of certiorari as a means to assail the validity of the disputed order of execution. He contends that the error, if any, is one of judgment, not jurisdiction, and properly correctible only by appeal, not certiorari. Issue:

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Whether filing of the petition for certiorari is proper to assail the validity of the order of execution and the implementing writ Held: YES. Under the circumstances of the case at bar, the challenge must be rejected. Grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction is much too evident in the actuations of the probate court to be overlooked or condoned. As a rule, the question of ownership is an extraneous matter which the Probate Court cannot resolve with finality. It is also well- recognized that the execution of a judgment must conform to that decreed in the dispositive part of the decision. In the instant case, the order sought to be executed by the assailed order of execution allegedly resolved the question of ownership of the disputed mining properties. But, it did not. As an attempt to justify the issuance of the order of execution, the probate court in its earlier order explained that its bases for its conclusion as the question of ownership were that (1) during the lifetime of the decedent, he was receiving royalties from Atlas; (2) he had resided in the Philippines since pre-war days and was engaged in the mine prospecting business since 1937; and (3) Pastor, Jr. was only acting as dummy for his father because the latter was a Spaniard. Based on this justification, the conclusion is far-fetched. It was then error for the assailed implementing Orders to conclude that the probate order adjudged with finality the question of ownership of the mining properties and royalties, and that, premised on this conclusion, the dispositive portion of the said probate order directed the special administrator to pay the legacy in dispute. In light of this, the ordered payment of legacy would be violative of the rule requiring prior liquidation of the estate of the deceased, i.e. the determination of the assets of the estate and payment of all debts and

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expenses, before apportionment and distribution of the residue among the heirs and legatees. It is within a court's competence to order the execution of a final judgment. But to order the execution of a final order (which is not even meant to be executed) by reading into it terms that are not there and in utter disregard of existing rules and law, is manifest grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. Consequently, the rule that certiorari may not be invoked to defeat the right of a prevailing party to the execution of a valid and final judgment, is inapplicable. For when an order of execution is issued with grave abuse of discretion or is at variance with the judgment sought to be enforced, certiorari will lie to abate the order of execution. CA decision reversed. 20. Chua v. CA, GR No. 150793, Nov. 19, 2004 Facts: Private respondent Lydia Hao, treasurer of Siena Realty Corporation, filed a complaint for falsification of public documents with the City Prosecutor against petitioner Francis Chua and his wife. The latter allegedly indicated in the Minutes of the Annual Stockholders Meeting of the Board of the Board of Directors of the said company that Hao was present, when she really wasnt. The City Prosecutor filed the corresponding information with the MeTC against Chua but dismissed that filed against his wife. During the trial in the MeTC, Haos counsel appeared as private prosecutors and presented Hao as their first witness. After Haos testimony, Chua moved to exclude Haos counsel as private prosecutors on the ground that Hao had failed to allege and prove any civil liability in the case. MeTC granted Chuas motion, prompting Hao to move for reconsideration. Haos motion was denied. She then filed a petition for certiorari in her own behalf and for the benefit of the company before the RTC. The RTC gave due course to the petition and reversed the MeTCs order.

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Dissatisfied, Chua filed a petition for certiorari before the CA. The RTC allegedly acted with grave abuse of discretion in (1) refusing to consider material facts, (2) allowing Siena Realty Corporation to be impleaded as co-petitioner although it was not a party to the criminal complaint, and (3) effectively amending the information against the accused in violation of his constitutional rights. Also, according to Chua, Hao had no authority to bring a suit in behalf of the company. It being a derivative suit, Hao has to first secure the issuance of a board resolution authorizing her to file the suit. Meanwhile, Hao claims that no such resolution is needed, especially where the directors or trustees refuse to file a suit even when the stockholders demand it. CA denied Chuas petition. Hence, the instant case. Among others, petitioner now claims that the company is not a proper party in the petition for certiorari under Rule 65 before the RTC since it is not a private complainant in the criminal case filed. Issue: Whether Haos recourse through a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 was proper, despite that Siena Realty Corporation was not so impleaded as a private complainant in the said criminal case Held: YES. When a trial court commits grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the person aggrieved can file a special civil action for certiorari. The aggrieved parties in such a case are the State and the private complainant. In a string of cases, the SC has consistently ruled that only a party-ininterest may file certiorari cases. Notably, however, in Pastor, Jr. v. CA, even a non-party may institute a petition for certiorari. In that case,

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petitioner was the holder in her own right of three mining claims and could file a petition for certiorari, the fastest and most feasible remedy since she could not intervene in the probate of her father-in-laws estate. In the instant case, Haos recourse to the CA was proper. Although, the corporation was not a complainant in the criminal action, the subject of the falsification was the corporation's project and the falsified documents were corporate documents. Therefore, the corporation is a proper party in the petition for certiorari because the proceedings in the criminal case directly and adversely affected the corporation. Petition denied. Whether petitioners contention should be upheld 21. Tang v. CA, GR No. 117204, Feb. 11, 2000 Held: Facts: The court-appointed administrator, Prudencio Teodoro, of the respondent Estate of the Spouses Teodoro sought to have the two lots belonging thereto fenced. He then applied with the City Engineer for a permit to fence the said lots, who then endorsed the application to the City Legal Officer, for appropriate action. In a conference called by the City Legal Officer between Prudencio and the owners of the properties adjoining the subject lots, petitioners herein, the latter opposed the issuance of the fencing permit on the claim that the subject lots were street lots. Their fencing would mean the closure of their access to public roads. The City Legal Officer then recommended that the fencing permit be denied, which the City Engineer did accordingly. This denial prompted Prudencio to file a petition before the probate court to order the City Engineer to issue the fencing permit for the subject lots. After hearing, the probate court granted the petition. Upon noticing that the subject lots were being fenced, petitioners filed a special civil action for certiorari with prayer for preliminary injunction before the CA. The CA denied this petition, however, on the ground that

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certiorari was not the proper remedy for petitioners to annul and set aside the order of the lower court. Hence, this petition. Petitioners now assert that the special civil action of certiorari is the only available remedy to them because they cannot otherwise avail themselves of the remedy of appeal under Rule 42. They were not parties in the proceedings in the probate court. Issue:

NO. Although Section 1 of Rule 65 provides that the special civil action of certiorari may be availed of by a "person aggrieved" by the orders or decisions of a tribunal, the term "person aggrieved" is not to be construed to mean that any person who feels injured by the lower court's order or decision can question the said court's disposition viacertiorari. To sanction a contrary interpretation would open the floodgates to numerous and endless litigations which would undeniably lead to the clogging of court dockets and, more importantly, the harassment of the party who prevailed in the lower court. In a situation where the order or decision being questioned underwent adversarial proceedings before a trial court, the "person aggrieved" referred to under Section 1 of Rule 65 who can avail himself of the special civil action of certiorari pertains to one who was a party in the proceedings before the lower court. The correctness of this interpretation can be gleaned from the fact that a special civil action for certiorari may be dismissed motu proprio if the party elevating the case failed to file a motion for reconsideration of the questioned order or decision before the lower court. Obviously, only one who was a party in the case before the lower court can file a motion for reconsideration since a stranger to the litigation would not have the legal standing to interfere in the orders or decisions of the said court. In relation to this, if a non-party in the

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proceedings before the lower court has no standing to file a motion for reconsideration, logic would lead us to the conclusion that he would likewise have no standing to question the said order or decision before the appellate court via certiorari. Another factor, which militates against the availability of certiorari to petitioners, is the principle that the SC will only exercise its power of judicial review if the case is brought before it by a party who has the legal standing to raise the legal question. "Legal standing" denotes a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the act that is being challenged. The term "interest" means material interest as distinguished from a mere incidental interest. In the present case, aside from the fact that petitioners were not parties in the proceedings before the lower court, they have not cited any acceptable or valid basis to support their legal standing to question the probate court's order. Since respondent estate is the undisputed owner of the subject private lots, the right of the administrator to have the same fenced cannot be questioned by petitioners who do not have any vested right over the subject lots. The fact that petitioners are neighboring lot owners whose access to public roads will allegedly be affected by the fencing of the subject lots, merely gives them an incidental interest over the questioned order of the probate court and cannot serve as basis to support their legal standing to elevate the order of the probate court to the Court of Appeals and before this Court. Although petitioners maintain that their legal basis for filing the special civil action of certiorari with the CA and the present petition before this Court is Section 22 of "The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers' Protective Decree,# the said section is evidently inapplicable to the present case since it pertains to the proscription imposed upon a subdivision owner or developer. In the present case, respondent estate is not a subdivision owner or developer but merely the owner of a neighboring lot. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that the only person who can rightfully oppose the issuance of the fencing permit is the City Engineer.!Petition denied. 22. Rodriguez v. Gadiane

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Facts: Petitioner, Thomasita Rodriguez was the private complainant in a criminal case filed against Rolando Gadiane and Ricardo Rafols, Jr. (respondents), for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 (B.P. 22). The Municipal Trial Court (MTC) hearing the complaint had suspended the criminal proceeding on the ground that a prejudicial question was posed in a separate civil case then pending. Petitioner then filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), seeking to set aside the MTC order of suspension. Respondents filed a motion to dismiss the petition on the ground that the petition was filed by the private complainant, instead of the government prosecutor representing the People of the Philippines in criminal cases. The RTC dismissed the petition for lack of conformity or signature of the government prosecutor. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but it was denied. Aggrieved, the petitioner filed the instant petition for review. Issue/s: Whether a private offended party in a criminal proceeding may file a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65, assailing an interlocutory order, without the conformity of the public prosecutor. Held: YES. A special civil action for certiorari may be filed by an aggrieved party alleging grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction on the part of the trial court. In a long line of cases, the Court construed the term aggrieved parties to include the State and the private offended party or complainant.

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As early as in the case of Paredes v. Gopengco, it was held that the offended parties in criminal cases have sufficient interest and personality as "person(s) aggrieved" to file the special civil action of prohibition and certiorari under Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 65. Apropos thereto is the case cited by petitioner, De la Rosa v. Court of Appeals, wherein it was categorically stated that the aggrieved parties are the State and the private offended party or complainant. It was further held in De la Rosa that the complainant has such an interest in the civil aspect of the case that he may file a special civil action questioning the decision or action of the respondent court on jurisdictional grounds. In so doing, complainant should not bring the action in the name of the People of the Philippines. He should do so and prosecute it in his name as such complainant. In this case, there is no doubt that petitioner maintains an interest in the litigation of the civil aspect of the case against respondents. Section 1(b), Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure states that the criminal action for violation of B.P. 22 shall be deemed to include the corresponding civil action. Hence, the possible conviction of respondents would concurrently provide a judgment for damages in favor of petitioner. The suspension of the criminal case which petitioner decries would necessarily cause delay in the resolution of the civil aspect of the said case which precisely is the interest and concern of petitioner. Such interest warrants protection from the courts. Significantly, under the present Rules of Court, complainants in B.P. 22 cases have to pay filing fees upon the commencement of such cases in court to protect their interest. In a special civil action for certiorari filed under Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court wherein it is alleged that the trial court committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction or on other jurisdictional grounds, the rules state that the petition may be filed by the person aggrieved. In such case, the aggrieved parties are the State and the private offended party or complainant. The complainant has an interest in the civil aspect of the case so he may file such special civil action questioning the decision or action of the respondent court on jurisdictional grounds. In so doing,

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complainant should not bring the action in the name of the People of the Philippines. The action may be prosecuted in name of said complainant. 23. Jerome Castro v. People of the Philippines FACTS: This petition for review on certiorari emanated from the complaint for grave oral defamation filed by Albert Tan against petitioner Jerome Castro. On November 11, 2002, Reedley International School (RIS) dismissed Tans son, Justin Albert (then a Grade 12 student), for violating the terms of his disciplinary probation. Upon Tans request, RIS reconsidered its decision but imposed non-appealable conditions such as excluding Justin Albert from participating in the graduation ceremonies. Aggrieved, Tan filed a complaint in the Department of Education (DepEd) for violation of the Manual of Regulation of Private Schools, Education Act of 1982 and Article 19 of the Civil Code against RIS. He alleged that the dismissal of his son was undertaken with malice, bad faith and evident premeditation. After investigation, the Dep-Ed found that RIS code violation point system allowed the summary imposition of unreasonable sanctions (which had no basis in fact and in law). The system therefore violated due process. Hence, the Dep-Ed nullified it. Meanwhile, on November 20, 2002, the Dep-Ed ordered RIS to readmit Justin Albert without any condition. Thus, he was able to graduate from RIS and participate in the commencement ceremonies held on March 30, 2003. After the graduation ceremonies, Tan met Bernice Ching, a fellow parent at RIS. In the course of their conversation, Tan intimated that he was contemplating a suit against the officers of RIS in their personal capacities, including petitioner who was the assistant headmaster. Ching telephoned petitioner sometime the first week of April and told him that Tan was planning to sue the officers of RIS in their personal

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capacities. Before they hung up, petitioner told Ching Okay, you too, take care and be careful talking to [Tan], thats dangerous. Ching then called Tan (si Ching may kasalanan dito eh!) and informed him that petitioner said talking to him was dangerous. Insulted, Tan filed a complaint for grave oral defamation in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City against petitioner on August 21, 2003. The MeTC found that Chings statements in her affidavit and in open court were consistent and that she did not have any motive to fabricate a false statement. Petitioner, on the other hand, harbored personal resentment, aversion and ill-will against Tan since the Dep-Ed compelled RIS to readmit his son. Thus, the MeTC was convinced that petitioner told Ching talking to Tan was dangerous and that he uttered the statement with the intention to insult Tan and tarnish his social and professional reputation. Thus, the MeTC found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of grave oral defamation. On appeal, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) affirmed the factual findings of the MeTC. However, in view of the animosity between the parties, it found petitioner guilty only of slight oral defamation. But because Tan filed his complaint in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City only on August 21, 2003 (or almost five months from discovery), the RTC ruled that prescription had already set in; it therefore acquitted petitioner on that ground. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals (CA) assailing the decision of the RTC. It contended that the RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion when it downgraded petitioners offense to slight oral defamation. The RTC allegedly misappreciated the antecedents which provoked petitioner to utter the allegedly defamatory statement against Tan. The CA found that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion when it misapprehended the totality of the circumstances and found petitioner guilty only of slight oral defamation. Thus, the CA reinstated the MeTC decision. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but it was denied. Hence, he filed a petition for certiorari.

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Petitioner basically contends that the CA erred in taking cognizance of the petition for certiorari inasmuch as the OSG raised errors of judgment (i.e., that the RTC misappreciated the evidence presented by the parties) but failed to prove that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion. Thus, double jeopardy attached when the RTC acquitted him. ISSUE: WON errors of judgment can be raised in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 HELD: Under this provision, double jeopardy occurs upon (1) a valid indictment (2) before a competent court (3) after arraignment (4) when a valid plea has been entered and (5) when the accused was acquitted or convicted or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused. Thus, an acquittal, whether ordered by the trial or appellate court, is final and unappealable on the ground of double jeopardy. The only exception is when the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion or, as we held in Galman v. Sandiganbayan, when there was mistrial. In such instances, the OSG can assail the said judgment in a petition for certiorari establishing that the State was deprived of a fair opportunity to prosecute and prove its case. The rationale behind this exception is that a judgment rendered by the trial court with grave abuse of discretion was issued without jurisdiction. It is, for this reason, void. Consequently, there is no double jeopardy. In this case, the OSG merely assailed the RTCs finding on the nature of petitioners statement, that is, whether it constituted grave or slight oral defamation. The OSG premised its allegation of grave abuse of discretion on the RTCs erroneous evaluation and assessment of the evidence presented by the parties. What the OSG therefore questioned were errors of judgment (or those involving misappreciation of evidence or errors of law). However,

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a court, in a petition for certiorari, cannot review the public respondents evaluation of the evidence and factual findings. Errors of judgment cannot be raised in a Rule 65 petition as a writ of certiorari can only correct errors of jurisdiction (or those involving the commission of grave abuse of discretion). Because the OSG did not raise errors of jurisdiction, the CA erred in taking cognizance of its petition and, worse, in reviewing the factual findings of the RTC. We therefore reinstate the RTC decision so as not to offend the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. 24. Tanjuan v. Phil. Postal Savings Bank, GR No. 155278, Sep. 16, 2003 Facts: Respondent Philippine Postal Savings Bank, Inc. (PPSBI) hired petitioner Tanjuan as Property Appraisal Specialist and Officer- in-Charge of its Credit and Supervision and Control Department. Respondent Torres, PPSBIs president and chief executive officer, issued a memorandum addressed to Tanjuan and five other employees charging them with negligence in the performance of their duties and misrepresentation in violation of the banks rules and regulations for approving certain loan applications. Tanjuan claimed that he merely reviewed and validated the findings of the Property Appraiser. Nevertheless, Torres issued an order informing Tanjuan of his preventive suspension in view of the pending administrative investigation against the latter. Tanjuan alleged that only the Ombudsman had the authority to issue such order. Eventually, Torres then reduced the period within which the suspension was to take effect. Subsequently, by virtue of a board resolution approving PPSBIs reorganization via retrenchment of employees and realignment of functions and positions for the purpose of preventing further serious

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losses, Torres informed all PPSBI employees that the latter were enjoined to apply for their desired plantilla positions under the new set-up until a certain period. Tanjuan did not apply for any position. Consequently, he received a notice of termination. The release of his separation pay was withheld, however, in light of the pending criminal case filed against him. Displeased with his termination, Tanjuan filed a complaint for illegal dismissal with money claims against PPSBI. The Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of Tanjuan. Upon appeal, the NLRC reversed the Labor Arbiters decision, finding that the private respondents evidence (presented for the first time before the NLRC) was sufficient to support their claim of business losses to justify retrenchment. CA affirmed NLRCs decision. Hence, the instant case. Issue: Whether the SC should be bound by the NLRCs and CAs findings, even when the evidence of alleged business losses was presented for the first time on appeal before the NLRC Held: YES. It is well-settled that the NLRC is not precluded from receiving evidence, even for the first time on appeal, because technical rules of procedure are not binding in labor cases. This rule applies equally to both the employee and the employer. In the interest of due process, the Labor Code directs labor officials to use all reasonable means to ascertain the facts speedily and objectively, with little regard to technicalities or formalities. However, delay in the submission of evidence should be clearly explained and should adequately prove the employers allegation of the cause for termination. In the instant case, it is undisputed that the evidence of business losses

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was introduced before the NLRC only. The CA correctly noted, however, that respondents reserved the right to introduce the evidence to the labor arbiter, if and when required to do so. Reasons of confidentiality and the volatile nature of PPSBIs business as a banking institution prompted respondents to limit the presentation of this evidence at the outset. Indeed, it would have been foolhardy for the NLRC and the CA to reject the evidence, just because it had not been presented before the labor arbiter. Such evidence was absolutely necessary to resolve the issue of whether petitioners employment was validly terminated. The CA did not also err in disregarding the Labor Arbiters findings. Notably, the NLRC already rejected these findings, pursuant to its exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by labor arbiters. Thereafter, its decision was properly reviewed by the CA via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. Accordingly, the CAs factual findings affirming those of the NLRC are generally binding on the SC and will not, as a rule, be reviewed on appeal. Petition denied.

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