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CERTIFICATION AGAINST FORUM SHOPPING A. The certification against forum shopping is a sworn statement certifying to the following matters: a. That the party has not commenced or filed any claim involving the same issue in any court, tribunal, or quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of his knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending; b. That if there is such other pending action or claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof; and c. That if he should therefore learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending, he shall report that fact within 5 days therefrom to the court wherein his aforesaid complaint or initiatory pleading has been filed. B. It is an act of a party against whom an adverse judgment has been rendered in one forum of seeking and possibly getting a favorable opinion in another forum, other than by appeal or the special civil action of certiorari, or the institution of two or more actions or proceedings grounded on the same cause on the supposition that one or the other court would make a favorable disposition. C. Forum shopping is an act of malpractice, as the litigants trifle with the courts and abuse their processes. It is improper conduct and degrades the administration of justice. D. To determine whether a party violated the rule against forum shopping, the most important question to ask is whether the elements of litis pendentia are present or whether a final judgment in one case will result to res judicata in another. The test is to see whether in the two or more cases pending, there is identity of parties, identity of rights or causes of action, and identity of reliefs sought. E. It is the plaintiff or principal party who executes the certification under oath. The reason for requiring that it must be signed by the principal party himself is that he has actual knowledge, or knows better than anyone else, whether he has initiated similar action/s in other courts, agencies or tribunals. F. The failure to comply with the required certification is not curable by a mere amendment. The dismissal for failure to comply with the requirement is not to be done by the court motu proprio. The rule requires that the dismissal be upon motion and after hearing. The dismissal is without prejudice. G. The failure to submit a certification is a ground for dismissal, separate and distinct from forum shopping as a ground for dismissal. H. An order dismissing an action without prejudice is not appealable, the remedy is to avail of the appropriate special civil action of certiorari under rule 65 of the rules of court.


The submission of a false certification or failure to comply with the undertakings shall constitute indirect contempt of court without prejudice to the corresponding administrative and criminal sanctions. If the acts committed constitute willful and deliberate forum shopping, the same shall be a ground for summary dismissal. The dismissal in this case is with prejudice and shall constitute direct contempt as well as cause for administrative sanctions.