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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G.R. No.

144444 April 3, 2003

STATE INVESTMENT TRUST, INC., petitioner, vs. DELTA MOTORS CORPORATION, respondent. PANGANIBAN, J. le!entar" is the rule that res judicata cannot arise fro! a #ud$!ent that has not attained finalit". The finalit" of the decision is, in fact, the first re%uire!ent for the application of this doctrine. &e also hold that 'ithout a final#ud$!ent, a trial court(s order of e)ecution has no le$ to stand on. On the other hand, an order authori*in$ e)ecution pendin$ appeal is li+e'ise i!proper because it 'as issued after the appeal has been perfected. The Case ,efore us is a Petition for Revie'- under Rule ./ of the Rules of 0ourt, see+in$ to set aside the Nove!ber -1, -222 Decision3 of the 0ourt of 4ppeals5 6047 in 0489R SP No. .:;25. The dispositive part of the Decision reads thus< =&H R >OR , the petition for certiorari is 9R4NT D. The orders of respondent RT0, ,ranch 1 of Manila dated Ma" 3;, -22: and 4u$ust 5, -22: are hereb" 4NN?@@ D. 0osts a$ainst private respondent.=. On the other hand, the annulled Ma" 3;, -22: Order of the Re$ional Trial 0ourt 6RT07/reads as follo's< =It appearin$ that the decision of the Honorable Supre!e 0ourt pro!ul$ated on Aul" 3., -22;, affir!in$ the challen$ed resolutions of Aanuar" /, -22/ and Aul" -., -22/ in 0.4. Sp. No. 32-.;, has beco!e final and e)ecutor"B that the issues raised b" CDelta Motors 0orporationD in its OppositionsE0o!!ent and 0ounter O!nibus Motion dated March 3/, -22: have alread" been resolved 'ith finalit" b" the Honorable Supre!e 0ourt in said decision pro!ul$ated on Aul" 3., -22;, the O!nibus Motion dated March -1, -22: filed b" ) ) ) State Invest!ent House Inc.,1 throu$h counsel, is hereb" $ranted. =&H R >OR , as pra"ed for, 6i7 Sheriff duardo . 0enteno is hereb" directed to e)ecute an 4lias Sheriff(s >inal Deed of Sale involvin$ T0T No.

3;:.;, issued b" the Re$ister of Deeds of Pasa" 0it" 'hich title is no' 'ith the Re$ister of Deeds of ParaFa%ue in favor of State Invest!ent Trust, Inc., 6ii7 the Re$ister of Deeds of ParaFa%ue, Metro Manila is hereb" directed to cancel T0T No. 3;:.; re$istered in the na!e of Delta Motors 0orporation, upon the presentation of said Sheriff(s >inal Deed of Sale and issue a ne' title coverin$ the sa!e propert" in the na!e of State Invest!ent House, Inc., 6iii7 Sheriff duardo 0enteno is hereb" directed to sell at public auction Delta Motors 0orporation(s shares of stoc+s in 0anluban$ 9olf and 0ountr" 0lub covered b" 0ertificate Nos. G;. and G;/ and the levied real properties under T0T Nos. 32/1;, 32/15, 32/1., 32-;-, 32/1/, 32/11 and 53;:. issued b" the Re$ister of Deeds of Da$upan 0it" andB C6iv7D Sheriff duardo 0enteno is hereb" directed to continue 'ith the e)ecution proceedin$s co!!enced b" the late Sheriff Orlando M. 4lcantara in the i!ple!entation of the 4lias &rit of )ecution, and to e)ecute all docu!ents such as, but not li!ited to, the Sheriff(s 0ertificate of Sale or >inal Deed of Sale, and to perfor! all acts necessar" to i!ple!ent said 'rit and to transfer in the na!e of State Invest!ent Trust, Inc. title to the properties of Delta Motors 0orporation sub#ect of notices of lev".=; The Facts The present proceedin$s ori$inated fro! 0ivil 0ase No. :.835G-2, an action for a su! of !one" filed 'ith the RT0 on >ebruar" 32, -2:. b" State Invest!ent Trust, Inc.: 6SITI7 a$ainst Delta Motors 0orporation. On Dece!ber /, -2:., the RT0 rendered a #ud$!ent b" default, orderin$ Delta to pa" SITI P3G,G1-,:2:.2;, plus 3/ percent thereof for attorne"(s fees and costs of the suit. The RT0 Decision 'as published three ti!es in the Thunderer, a Manila8based 'ee+l" ne'spaper. Seventeen da"s fro! the last publication of the Decision, SITI !oved for the issuance of a 'rit of e)ecution. The RT0 $ranted the Motion in its March --, -2:; Order. On Septe!ber 3-, -22G, Delta obtained a certified true cop" of the Dece!ber /, -2:. RT0 Decision. On October --, -22G, it as+ed the 0ourt of 4ppeals to annul the trial court(s Decision on the $round that the su!!ons had been served upon a person not authori*ed to receive itB and pra"ed that #ud$!ent be rendered =annullin$Ereversin$ or settin$ aside the Decision of the CRT0D #ud$e dated Dece!ber /, -2:., Order dated March --, -2:; issued b" the CRT0D incu!bent #ud$e and all other orders or proceedin$s issued and conducted pursuant thereto.=2 Doc+eted as 0489R SP No. 35G1:, this case shall hereafter be referred to as the =>irst 0ase.= On Aanuar" 33, -22-, the 04 rendered a Decision, declarin$ that the su!!ons had been properl" served upon Delta throu$h one vel Torres, the 0orporation(s vice president for finance, but that the RT0 Aud$!ent had not attained finalit". The dispositive portion of the 04 Decision reads<

=&H R >OR , 'hile the assailed decision 'as validl" rendered b" the CRT0D, nonetheless it has not attained finalit" pendin$ service of a cop" thereof on ) ) ) D @T4, 'hich !a" appeal therefro! 'ithin the re$le!entar" period.=-G Notabl", the 04 Decision 'as silent on the assailed March --, -2:; RT0 Order $rantin$ the e)ecution. Delta then appealed to this 0ourt. Ho'ever, its Petition, doc+eted as 9R No. -GG511, 'as dis!issed on 4u$ust -., -22-, because of Delta(s failure to present proof that a cop" of the Petition 'as served on the RT0, as re%uired b" Revised Supre!e 0ourt 0ircular No. -8::, 'hich had ta+en effect on Aul" -, -22-. On Nove!ber -3, -22-, Delta filed its Notice of 4ppeal 'ith the RT0, 'hich, ho'ever, dis!issed it on Aune 5, -223, upon SITI(s !otion. Thereafter, Delta filed a Petition for 0ertiorari in 0489R SP No. 32-.; 6the =Second 0ase=7, assailin$ the RT0 Order dis!issin$ the Notice of 4ppeal. The 04 $ranted the Petition in its Aune -;, -225 Decision< =&H R >OR , the %uestioned order of Cthe RT0D dated Aune 5, -223, dis!issin$ the notice of appeal dated Nove!ber 1, -22-B and the order dated Septe!ber -., -223 of the sa!e court den"in$ the !otion for reconsideration filed b" CDeltaD, throu$h counsel, are hereb" S T 4SID B and respondent court [is] hereby ordered to ELEVATE the records of the case to the Court of Appeals, on appeal.=-SITI elevated the 04 rulin$ to this 0ourt. &hile the appeal 'as pendin$, Delta filed 'ith the 04 an O!nibus Motion as+in$ the latter to ta+e the follo'in$ steps< =-7 Declare as null and void ab initio and 'ithout an" force and effect the Order of Cthe RT0D dated March --, -2:; orderin$ the issuance of the 'rit of e)ecutionB =37 Declare as null and void ab initio and 'ithout an" force and effect the 'rit of e)ecution issued pursuant to the Order dated March --, -2:;B =57 4ll other proceedin$s held, conducted and e)ecuted b" ) ) ) sheriff i!ple!entin$ the aforesaid 'rit of e)ecution.=-3 In its Aul" -:, -22. Resolution, this 0ourt denied SITI(s appeal and upheld the 04 Decision in the Second 0ase. Hence, on October 31, -22., Delta !oved for the resolution of the O!nibus Motion it had earlier filed 'ith the 04. The latter denied the O!nibus Motion in its Aanuar" /, -22/ Resolution< =0onse%uentl", the !atters pra"ed for in the O!nibus Motion of ) ) ) Delta CMotorsD 0orporation dated >ebruar" -G, -22. and above8%uoted are !atters 'hich 'ere not raised as issues b" CDeltaD in the instant petition and,

therefore, not 'ithin the #urisdiction and po'er of this 0ourt in the instant petition to decide. =&H R >OR , the O!nibus Motion is hereb" D NI D.=-5 0onse%uentl", Delta lod$ed 'ith this 0ourt an appeal doc+eted as 9R No. -3-G;/. In its Aul" 3., -22; Decision, ho'ever, this 0ourt pro!ul$ated a Decision affir!in$ the 04 Resolution den"in$ Delta(s O!nibus Motion. 4fter this Decision beca!e final and e)ecutor", SITI filed 'ith the RT0 on March -1, -22:, an O!nibus Motion in 0ivil 0ase No. :.835G-2, as+in$ for the issuance of an order< =-. Directin$ the incu!bent sheriff of this branch, duardo . 0enteno, andEor his successor in office, to e)ecute an 4lias Sheriff(s >inal Deed of Sale involvin$ T0T No. 3;:.;, issued b" the Re$ister of Deeds of Pasa" 0it" 6no' title is 'ith Re$ister of Deeds of ParaFa%ue7 in favor of State Invest!ent Trust, Inc.B =3. Directin$ the Re$ister of Deeds of ParaFa%ue, Metro Manila, to cancel T0T No. 3;:.; re$istered in the na!e of Delta Motors 0orporation, upon the presentation of said Sheriff(s >inal Deed of Sale and issue a ne' title coverin$ the sa!e propert", in the na!e of State Invest!ent CTrustD, Inc.B =5. Directin$ the incu!bent Sheriff of this branch, duardo . 0enteno andEor his successor in office, to sell at public auction Delta Motors 0orporation(s shares of stoc+s in 0anluban$ 9olf and 0ountr" 0lub covered b" 0ertificate Nu!bers G;. and G;/, and the levied real properties under T0T Nos. 32/1;, 32/15, 32/1., 32-;-, 32/1/, 32/11 and 53;:. issued b" the Re$ister of Deeds of Da$upan 0it"B =.. Directin$ the incu!bent sheriff, andEor his successor in office, to continue 'ith the e)ecution proceedin$s co!!enced b" the late sheriff Orlando M. 4lcantara in the i!ple!entation of the 4lias &rit of )ecution, and to e)ecute all docu!ents such as, but not li!ited to, the Sheriff(s 0ertificate of Sale or >inal Deed of Sale, and to perfor! all acts necessar" to i!ple!ent said 'rit and to transfer in the na!e of State Invest!ent Trust, Inc. title to the properties of Delta Motors 0orporation sub#ect of notices of lev". =Other reliefs #ust and e%uitable are li+e'ise pra"ed for.=-. In opposin$ the Motion, Delta pointed out that the case had not attained finalit" because of its pendin$ appeal. The RT0 nevertheless rendered the Ma" 3;, -22: Order $rantin$ SITI(s O!nibus Motion. Thereafter, Delta challen$ed that Order on certiorari before the 04, 'hich then annulled it in the present assailed Decision. Ruling of the Court of Appeals 3

Rulin$ on the Second 0ase, the 04 refused to !a+e an" cate$orical decision on the validit" of the March --, -2:; RT0 Order on the $round that it had no #urisdiction over the !atter. It noted that the onl" issue raised in the Second 0ase 'as the correctness of the Aune 5, -223 RT0 Order dis!issin$ respondent(s appeal of the Dece!ber /, -2:. RT0 Decision. In 9R No. --G11;, this 0ourt affir!ed the 04. Hence, the 04 b" its refusal to rule on the March --, -2:; RT0 Order, did not pass upon the substantial ri$hts of the parties, contrar" to petitioner(s contention. &hile it did not nullif" the March --, -2:; RT0 Order in its Decision in the >irst 0ase, the 04 held, ho'ever, that the RT0 #ud$!ent, 'hich had not been validl" served on Delta, 'as not "et final and e)ecutor". The 04 ruled that the RT0 had acted 'ithout #urisdiction 'hen the latter issued its March --, -2:; Order $rantin$ SITI(s Motion for a &rit of )ecution. The appellate court noted that the RT0(s assailed Decision 'as not "et final and e)ecutor" at the ti!e, because it ordered the records of the case to be elevated to it for revie' in its Aune -;, -225 Decision. The 04 also found that the RT0 had acted 'ithout #urisdiction 'hen it relied on 9R No. -3-G;/ to $rant petitioner(s March -1, -22: O!nibus Motion. The appellate court held that the lo'er court(s action effectivel" allo'ed e)ecution of the Dece!ber /, -2:. Decision even 'hen it had not "et beco!e final and e)ecutor". Hence, this appeal.-/ ssues Petitioner sub!its the follo'in$ issues for our consideration< =4. The 0ourt of 4ppeals erred in findin$ that there 'as no valid rulin$ !ade 'ith respect to the -;-1 March -2:; Order and all orders or proceedin$s issued pursuant thereto. =,. The 0ourt of 4ppeals erred in concludin$ that the doctrine of res judicata and conclusiveness of #ud$!ent is inapplicable to the case at bar. =0. The 0ourt of 4ppeals erred in findin$ CthatD the RT0 acted 'ithout #urisdiction 'hen it $ranted and issued the &rit of )ecution. =D.

The 0ourt of 4ppeals erred in not findin$ that b" reason of laches and ine)cusable inaction, Delta has lost its ri$ht to appeal.=-; The issues can be su!!ed up into three< 6-7 'hether 0489R SP No. .:;25 is barred b" res judicata or the doctrine of conclusiveness of #ud$!ent, 637 'hether the RT0 acted 'ithout #urisdiction in issuin$ the &rit of )ecution, and 657 'hether respondent(s appeal is barred b" laches. The Court!s Ruling The Petition has no !erit. First ssue< Res "udicata Petitioner contends that b" not nullif"in$ the Decision of the RT0 and the subse%uent proceedin$s it conducted, the 04-: and this 0ourt-2 affir!ed the validit" of the March --, -2:; Order of )ecution. It contends that Delta is thus barred fro! %uestionin$ the subse%uent RT0 Orders, 'hich !erel" e!anated fro! the alle$edl" valid Order $rantin$ e)ecution. &e disa$ree. The 04 Decision in 0489R SP No. 35G1: focused solel" on the issue of ='hether or not there 'as valid service CofD su!!ons as to vest Cthe RT0D 'ith #urisdiction over ) ) ) CDeltaD.= The appellate court i$nored respondent(s assertion of the validit" of the March --, -2:; Order for the e)ecution of the RT0 Decision. The silence of the 04 on the !atter, ho'ever, cannot be ta+en as its i#pri#atur on the RT0 Order. 0ontrar" to petitioner(s ar$u!ent, the validit" of this Order cannot be inferred fro! the 04 Decision, 'hich !erel" stated that the RT0 Decision 'as not "et final and e)ecutor". To put it bluntl", the RT0 Order clashed 'ith the 04 Decision. The 04 correctl" e)plained< =It is 'ithout CaD doubt therefore that the decision of the CRT0D has not beco!e final and e)ecutor". 4s a natural or inherent and inevitable conse%uence of said declaration, a decision 'hich has not beco!e final and e)ecutor" !a" not be ordered e)ecuted or enforced under Section -, Rule 52 of the -22; Rules of 0ivil Procedure. =Neither is the Order of March --, -2:; properl" an e)ecution pendin$ appeal under Section 36a7, Rule 52 of the said Rule, as the $round of the RT0 in $rantin$ the 'rit of e)ecution 'as that the Decision had alread" beco!e final and e)ecutor" 'hich is patentl" erroneous as it had been e)pressl" held b" this 0ourt in 0489.R. SP No. 35G1: that the RT0 decision insofar as Delta is concerned has not beco!e final and e)ecutor".

=Thus, the RT0 acted 'ithout #urisdiction 'hen it $ranted and issued a 'rit of e)ecution under Section -, Rule 52 despite the fact that the decision had not beco!e final and e)ecutor".=3G Neither can the 04(s refusal to nullif" the March --, -2:; Order in the other Petitions be construed as a declaration of its validit". The 04 painsta+in$l" e)plained< =CIDndeed in 0489.R. SP No. 32-.;, this 0ourt actuall" desisted fro! cate$oricall" rulin$ on the issue of the validit" of the order of Cthe RT0D dated March --, -2:; as 'ell as the other court processes. Ho'ever, contrar" to CSITI(sD assertions, no substantial ri$hts 'ere deter!ined b" reason of such refusal to rule on said issue. This 0ourt declined to rule on said issue principall" because the sa!e 'as not raised in the petition, thus, the lac+ of #urisdiction of the 0ourt of 4ppeals to rule on a !atter forei$n to that brou$ht to it. The Supre!e 0ourt in 9.R. No. C-3-G;/D, ) ) ) upheld the refusal of the 0ourt of 4ppeals to rule on said issue si!pl" because it a$reed that the latter court had no #urisdiction to do so in said particular petition, 'hich 'as filed onl" for the purpose of assailin$ the RT0 order dis!issin$ Delta(s appeal.=34s !atters stood prior to 0489R SP No. .:;25 6the presentl" appealed 04 Decision7, directl" or inferentiall", there 'as "et no #ud$!ent or final order on the !erits re$ardin$ the March --, -2:; Order for the e)ecution of the RT0 Decision and the proceedin$s conducted relative thereto. Neither 'as one !ade in 0489R SP No. 35G1:, 32-.; or 9R No. -3-G;/. It follo's that petitioner(s reliance on res judicata !ust fail. Such concept is spelled out in Section .; of Rule 52 of the Rules of 0ivil Procedure, 'hich reads< =S 0. .;. Effect of judg#ents or final orders. H The effect of a #ud$!ent or final order rendered b" a court of the Philippines, havin$ #urisdiction to pronounce the #ud$!ent or final order, !a" be as follo's< ))) ))) )))

In $irpuri %& Court of Appeals,33 the 0ourt e)plained< =@iterall", res judicata !eans a !atter ad#ud$ed, a thin$ #udiciall" acted upon or decidedB a thin$ or !atter settled b" #ud$!ent. In res judicata, the #ud$!ent in the first action is considered conclusive as to ever" !atter offered and received therein, as to an" other ad!issible !atter 'hich !i$ht have been offered for that purpose, and all other !atters that could have been ad#ud$ed therein. Res #udicata is an absolute bar to a subse%uent action for the sa!e causeB and its re%uisites are< 6a7 the for!er #ud$!ent or order !ust be finalB 6b7 the #ud$!ent or order !ust be one on the !eritsB 6c7 it !ust have been rendered b" a court havin$ #urisdiction over the sub#ect !atter and partiesB 6d7 there !ust be bet'een the first and second actions, identit" of parties, of sub#ect !atter and of causes of action.= ))) ))) )))

=) ) ) 4 #ud$!ent is on the !erits 'hen it deter!ines the ri$hts and liabilities of the parties based on the disclosed facts, irrespective of for!al, technical or dilator" ob#ections.=35 4ll the decisions relied upon b" petitioner contain no discussion of the ri$hts and the liabilities of the parties vis8I8vis the March --, -2:; Order. The #ud$!ent in 0489R SP No. 35G1: 'as li!ited to the validit" of the su!!ons and the RT0 Decision. 048 9R SP No. 32-.; and 9R No. -3-G;/ delved onl" on the Notice of 4ppeal. ,oth !atters 'ere distinct fro! the sub#ect of e)ecution, 'hich 'as involved in the March --, -2:; RT0 Order. In the absence of a final #ud$!ent or final order on the !erits, there can be no res judicata to spea+ of. In su!, the 04 co!!itted no error in brushin$ aside petitioner(s cater'aulin$ on res judicata. 'econd ssue( The RTC!s "urisdiction in )rdering the E*ecution Petitioner asserts that the RT0 acted correctl" in issuin$ the Ma" 3;, -22: Order directin$ the continuation of the e)ecution of the RT0 Decision. The follo'in$ facts are relevant to the resolution of this issue< -. The Dece!ber /, -2:. RT0 Decision in 0ivil 0ase No. :.835G-2 is the sub#ect of the Notice of 4ppeal filed b" respondent on Nove!ber -3, -22-. 3. The records of that case have not been actuall" elevated to the 04 b" the RT0 despite the for!er(s Decision in 0489R SP No. 32-.; directin$ the elevation of the records. .

=6b7 In other cases, the #ud$!ent or final order is, 'ith respect to the !atter directl" ad#ud$ed or as to an" other !atter that could have been raised in relation thereto, conclusive bet'een the parties and their successors in interest b" title subse%uent to the co!!ence!ent of the action or special proceedin$, liti$atin$ for the sa!e thin$ under the sa!e title and in the sa!e capacit"B and =6c7 In an" other liti$ation bet'een the sa!e parties or their successors in interest, that onl" is dee!ed to have been ad#ud$ed in a for!er #ud$!ent or final order 'hich appears upon its face to have been so ad#ud$ed, or 'hich 'as actuall" and necessaril" included therein or necessar" thereto.=

5. ?pon petitioner(s O!nibus Motion dated March -1, -22:, the RT0 issued the Ma" 3;, -22: Order directin$ the sheriff to continue 'ith the e)ecution of its Dece!ber /, -2:. Decision. .. ,efore this 0ourt in 9R No. --G1;;, petitioner assailed the 04 Decision directin$ the elevation of the records. In our Aul" -:, -22. Decision, 'e affir!ed the 04. Petitioner insists that the pre8-22; Rules of 0ourt 'ere applicable. &e disa$ree. The issue to be resolved pertains to the Ma" 3;, -22: RT0 Order $rantin$ petitioner(s O!nibus Motion dated March -1, -22:. Thus, the -22; Rules of 0ivil Procedure, bein$ then alread" in effect, 'ere applicable. 0onsiderin$ further that the RT0 Decision sou$ht to be e)ecuted b" the Order 'as not "et final and e)ecutor", Section 3 of Rule 52 of the ne' Rules should appl". It states< =+iscretionary e*ecution.8 =6a7 E*ecution of a judg#ent or a final order pending appeal. H On !otion of the prevailin$ part" 'ith notice to the adverse part" filed in the trial court 'hile it has #urisdiction over the case and is in possession of either the ori$inal record or the record on appeal, as the case !a" be, at the ti!e of the filin$ of such !otion, said court !a", in its discretion, order e)ecution of a #ud$!ent or final order even before the e)piration of the period to appeal. =4fter the trial court has lost #urisdiction, the !otion for e)ecution pendin$ appeal !a" be filed in the appellate court. =Discretionar" e)ecution !a" onl" issue upon $ood reasons to be stated in a special order after due hearin$.= Section 2 of Rule .- of the Rules of 0ourt e)plains the instances 'hen the trial court loses #urisdiction over a case< =4 part"(s appeal b" record on appeal is dee!ed perfected as to hi! 'ith respect to the sub#ect !atter thereof upon the approval of the record on appeal filed in due ti!e. ))) ))) )))

=In either case, prior to the trans!ittal of the ori$inal record or the record on appeal, the court !a" issue orders for the protection and preservation of the ri$hts of the parties 'hich do not involve an" !atter liti$ated b" the appeal, approve co!pro!ises, per!it appeals of indi$ent liti$ants, order e)ecution pendin$ appeal in accordance 'ith Section 3 of Rule 52, and allo' 'ithdra'al of the appeal.= In the case at bar, the appeal filed b" respondent 'as perfected on Nove!ber -3, -22-, 'hen it filed its Notice of 4ppeal. 0onsiderin$ that it had alread" filed such Notice, and that the period of appeal for petitioner had alread" e)pired, the RT0 no lon$er had #urisdiction over the case. Hence, the trial court acted i!properl" 'hen it issued its Ma" 3;, -22: Order $rantin$ petitioner(s O!nibus Motion. That Motion 'as filed four "ears after this 0ourt had affir!ed the 04 Decision directin$ the elevation of the records on appeal. >or havin$ been issued 'ithout #urisdiction, the Order is plainl" null and void.3. >urther!ore, the Order of e)ecution 'as !ade 'ithout an" state!ent of the special reason for its issuance. The rule allo'in$ e)ecution pendin$ appeal is strictl" construed a$ainst the !ovant, because courts loo+ 'ith disfavor upon an" atte!pt to e)ecute a #ud$!ent that has not ac%uired a final character.3/ =4n e)ecution pendin$ appeal is an e)traordinar" re!ed", bein$ !ore of the e)ception rather than the rule. It is allo'ed onl" upon sho'in$ of ($ood reasons( b" the !ovant.=31 In the present case, no reason has been sho'n for the issuance of the Order directin$ e)ecution pendin$ appeal. Third ssue( Laches Petitioner asserts that respondent is $uilt" of laches, because it failed to file a ti!el" Notice of 4ppeal. Neither did it do an"thin$ to cause the trans!ittal of the records of the case to the 04. The issue re$ardin$ the Notice of 4ppeal 'as alread" the sub#ect of the 04 Decision in 0489R SP No. 32-.;, 'hich passed upon and directl" addressed it. Moreover, the !atter 'as laid to rest b" this 0ourt in 9R No. --G1;;. &e !ust abide b" the rulin$ therein affir!in$ the ti!eliness of respondent(s Notice of 4ppeal. Laches !eans the failure or ne$lect, for an unreasonable and une)plained len$th of ti!e, to do that 'hich b" e)ercisin$ due dili$ence could or should have been done earlier.3; It is ne$li$ence or o!ission to assert a ri$ht 'ithin a reasonable ti!e, 'arrantin$ a presu!ption that the part" entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it.3: &e note that respondent pursued its appeal b" filin$ a Notice of 4ppeal on Nove!ber -3, -22-. Since the RT0 dis!issed it, respondent had to battle for its ri$ht to appeal to the 04 and the Supre!e 0ourt. This battle 'ent on until the latter part of -22..32 /

=In appeals b" notice of appeal, the court loses #urisdiction over the case upon the perfection of the appeals filed in due ti!e and the e)piration of the ti!e to appeal of the other parties. ))) ))) )))

Thereafter, it 'as the dut" of the RT0 cler+ of court to trans!it the records to the appellate court.5G The 04, in 0489R SP No. 32-.;, in fact ordered the RT0 to elevate those records. 0onse%uentl", the RT0 'as dut"8bound to obe" this !andate 'ithin ten 6-G7 da"s fro! its receipt of the Notice of the entr" of final #ud$!ent effected on October -;, -22.. The branch cler+ of court, not respondent, 'as pri!aril" responsible for seein$ to it that the records of appealed cases 'ere properl" sent to the appellate court 'ithout dela".5Respondent 'as 'ell 'ithin reason to e)pect and 'ait for the RT0 to elevate the records 'ithout further proddin$. In opposin$ petitioner(s O!nibus Motion, respondent indeed brou$ht up the !atter of the pendin$ appeal. >inall", upon noticin$ that the elevation of the records 'as not forthco!in$, it filed a Motion therefor in 4u$ust -22:.53These acts are inco!patible 'ith the presu!ption that it had abandoned its appeal. Hence, it cannot be found $uilt" of laches. &H R >OR , the Petition is hereb" D NI D and the assailed Decision 4>>IRM D. 0osts a$ainst petitioner. SO ORD R D. ,uno, -Chair#an., 'ando%al/0utierre1, Corona, and Carpio/$orales, ""&, concur. !oo"#o"$% Rollo, pp. 285G. 3 d., pp. 5/8/G. 5 Seventh Division. Penned b" Austice Ma. 4licia 4ustria8Martine* 6Division chair!an and no' a #ustice of this 0ourt7 and concurred in b" Austices Salvador A. Valde* Ar. and Renato 0. Dacudao 6!e!bers7. . 4ssailed Decision, p. -1B rollo, p. /G. / Rendered b" Presidin$ Aud$e @olita 0. Du!lao. 1 The corporate na!e 'as later chan$ed to State Invest!ent Trust, Inc. ; Order dated Ma" 3;, -22:B 04 rollo, pp. -18-;. : >or!erl" +no'n as State Invest!ent House, Inc. 2 Petition for Revie' in the >irst 0ase, p. -1B rollo, p. ;3. -G 04 Decision in the >irst 0ase, p. ;B rollo, p. :5. -04 Decision in the Second 0ase, p. :B rollo, p. -/:. !phasis provided. -3 Rollo, p. -1G. Ori$inal in upper case. -5 04 Resolution in the Second 0ase, p. /B rollo, p. -12. -. 04 rollo, pp. 3583.. -/ This case 'as dee!ed sub!itted for resolution on Ma" -;, 3GG-, upon receipt b" this 0ourt of respondent(s Me!orandu! si$ned b" 4tt". Rodolfo dela 0ru*. Petitioner(s Me!orandu!, si$ned b" 4tt"s. Pablito 4. Pere* and Ain+" Rose @. 9o of ,uFa$ Japunan Mi$allos K Pere*, 'as received on 4pril 5G, 3GG-. -1 The date should be March --, -2:;, because the assailed Decision does not !ention an" March -;, -2:; Order. -; Petitioner(s Me!orandu!, pp. -G8--B rollo, pp. 5G:85G2. Ori$inal in upper case.

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In 0489R SP No. 32-.; and 0489R SP No. 35G1:. In 9R No. -3-G;/. 3G 04 Decision in 0489R SP No. .:;25, pp. -58-.B rollo, pp. .;8.:. 3d., pp. -- K ./. 33 5-: S0R4 /-1, Nove!ber -2, -222. 35 d., pp. /518/52, per Puno, A. 3. $ara2i $arantao 0eneral 3ospital, nc& %& Court of Appeals, 5.2 S0R4 53-, Aanuar" -1, 3GG-. 3/ $aceda "r& %& +4,, 5-5 S0R4 355, 4u$ust 31, -222B ,lanters ,roducts nc& %& Court of Appeals, 5-; S0R4 -2/, October 33, -222. 31 $aceda "r& %& +4,, supra, per Pan$aniban, A. 3; Republic %& Court of Appeals, 5G- S0R4 511, Aanuar" 3-, -222B +e Vera %& Court of Appeals, 5G/ S0R4 13., 4pril -., -222B 'u#bad %& Court of Appeals, 5G: S0R4 /;/, Aune 3-, -222. 3: )chagabia %& Court of Appeals, 5G. S0R4 /:;, March --, -222B Eduarte %& Court of Appeals, 5-- S0R4 -:, Aul" 33, -222B Reyes %& Court of Appeals, 5-/ S0R4 131, Septe!ber 5G, -222. 32 In a resolution dated Septe!ber 3-, -22., the Supre!e 0ourt denied SITI(s !otion for reconsideration. 5G L-G of Rule .- of the Rules of 0ourt. 5Tan %& Coliflores, 3.G S0R4 5G5, Aanuar" 3G, -22/. 53 See 04 rollo, pp. 3-/ and 33G