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JURISDICTION

CIVIL PROCEDURE

CIVIL PROCEDURE

Judge Mike Asuncion

OUTLINE OF JURISDICTION

SUPREME COURT

I. Original Jurisdiction

A. Exclusive

1. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus against the following:

a. Court of Appeals - R.A. No. 296 (Judiciary Act of 1948), Sec. 17 i

b. Sandiganbayan - PD 1606 (amending Sandiganbayan Law), Sec. 7 ii as amended by R.A. No. 8249, Sec. 5

c. Court of Tax Appeals en banc - R.A. No. 1125, Sec. 19 as amended by R.A. No. 9282, Sec. 12 iii

d. Commission on Elections en banc - Constitution, Art. IX-A, Sec. 7; iv Aratuc v. Comelec, G.R. No. 49705-09, February 8, 1979

e. Commission on Audit - Constitution, Art. IX-A, Sec. 7 v

f. Ombudsman in criminal and non-administrative disciplinary cases - Fabian v. Desierto, G.R. No. 129742, September 16, 1998

2. Sitting en banc, it shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and may promulgate its rules for the purpose. - Constitution, Article VII, Sec. 4

3. Review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or the extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing. - Constitution, Article VII, Sec. 18

B. Concurrent

1. with the Court of Appeals

a. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus against the Civil Service Commission - R.A. No

7902 (Act Expanding Jurisdiction of the CA by amending Sec. 9 of BP 129) vi

b. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus against the National Labor Relations Commission under the Labor Code - B.P. 129, Sec. 9, as amended by R.A. No. 7902; vii St. Martins Funeral Homes v. NLRC, G.R. No. 130866, September 16, 1998

c. Petitions for writ of kalikasan - A.M. No. 09-6-8-SC, Part III, Rule 7, Sec. 3 viii

2. with the Court of Appeals and Regional Trial Courts

a. Petitions for habeas corpus and quo warranto - R.A. 7902 (amending Sec. 9 of BP 129) and R.A.

5440 (amending R.A. 296)

b. Actions brought to prevent and restrain violations of laws concerning monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade - R.A. No. 296, Sec. 17 as amended by R.A. No. 5440 ix

c. Petition for writ of continuing mandamus on environmental cases - A.M. No. 09-6-8-SC, Part III, Rule 8, Sec. 2 x

3. with the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan and Regional Trial Courts

a. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus relating to an act or omission of a MTC or of a corporation, a board, an officer, or person - Constitution, Article VIII, Sec. 5(1) and (2); xi Rule 65 as amended by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC dated December 12, 2007 xii

b. Petitions for issuance of writ of amparo - Sec. 3, A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC (The Rule on the Writ of Amparo) xiii

c. Petitions for issuance of writ of habeas data - Sec. 3, A.M. No. 08-1-16-SC (The Rule on the Writ of Habeas Data) xiv

4. with the Regional Trial Courts

a. Actions affecting ambassadors and other public ministers and consuls - Constitution, Art. VIII, Sec.

P.

II. Appellate Jurisdiction xvii

5(1); xv B

Blg. 129, Sec. 21(2) xvi

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CIVIL PROCEDURE

- No law shall be passed increasing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in this

Constitution without its advice and concurrence - Constitution, Article VI, Section 30

A. Ordinary Appeal by Notice of Appeal From the Court of Appeals in all criminal cases involving offences for which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment; or a lesser penalty is imposed for offenses committed on the same occasion or which arose out of the same occurrence that gave rise to the more severe offenses for which the penalty of death is imposed - Sec. 13(c), Rule 124 as amended by A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC; Sec. 13(b), Rule 124; xviii People v. Mateo, G.R. Nos. 147678-87, July 7, 2004

B. By Petition for Review on Certiorari

1. Appeals from the Court of Appeals - R.A. No. 296, Sec. 17 as amended by R.A. No. 5440; Constitution, Article VIII, Sec. 5(2); Rule 45

2. Appeals from the Sandiganbayan on pure questions of law, except where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment, or death - P.D. No. 1606, Sec. 7 (supra) as amended by R.A. No. 8249 (supra); Nuñez v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 50581-50617, January 20, 1982; Rule 45

3. Appeals from judgments or final orders of the RTCs exercising original jurisdiction in the following:

a. All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question

b. All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll or any penalty imposed in relation thereto

c. All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue

d. All cases in which only an error or question of law is involved - Constitution, Article VIII, Sec. 5(2-a, b, c, e); R.A. No. 296, Sec. 17 as amended; B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 9(3); Rule 45; Rule 41, Sec. 2(c); Rule 122, Sec. 3(e)

e. Appeals from decisions or final resolutions of the Court of Tax Appeals en banc - Rule 16, Sec. 1, A.M. No. 05-11-07-CTA or The Revised Rules of the Court of Tax Appeals; xix Sec. 1, Rule 45 as amended by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC dated December 12, 2007; R.A. No. 9282

C. By Special Civil Action of Certiorari (Rule 64) against the following:

1. Commission on Elections - Constitution, Article IX-A, Sec. 7; Aratuc v. Comelec, G.R. No. 49705-09, February 8, 1979

2. Commission on Audit - ibid.

COURT OF APPEALS

I. Original Jurisdiction

A. Exclusive

1. Actions for annulment of judgment of Regional Trial Court - B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 9(2); Rule 47

2. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus involving an act or omission of a quasi-judicial agency, unless otherwise provided by law - Rule 65, Sec. 4 as amended by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC dated December 12, 2007

B. Concurrent

1. with the Supreme Court

a. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus against the Civil Service Commission - R.A. No

7902

b. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus against the National Labor Relations Commission under the Labor Code - B.P. 129, Sec. 9, as amended by R.A. No. 7902; St. Martins Funeral Homes v. NLRC, G.R. No. 130866, September 16, 1998

c. Petitions for writ of kalikasan - A.M. No. 09-6-8-SC dated

2. with the Supreme Court and Regional Trial Courts

a. Petitions for habeas corpus and quo warranto -

b. Actions brought to prevent and restrain violations of laws concerning monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade - R.A. No. 296, Sec. 17 as amended by R.A. No. 5440

c. Petition for writ of continuing mandamus on environmental cases - A.M. No. 09-6-8-SC

3. with the Supreme Court, Sandiganbayan and Regional Trial Courts

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a. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus relating to an act or omission of a MTC or of a corporation, a board, an officer, or person - Constitution, Article VIII, Sec. 5(1) and (2); A.M. No. 07- 7-12-SC dated December 12, 2007

b. Petitions for issuance of writ of amparo - Sec. 3, A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC (The Rule on the Writ of Amparo)

c. Petitions for issuance of writ of habeas data - Sec. 3, A.M. No. 08-1-16-SC

II. Appellate Jurisdiction

A. Ordinary Appeal by Notice of Appeal or with Record on Appeal

1. Appeals

from

the

Sandiganbayan

Regional

Trial

Courts

except

those

appealable

to

the

Supreme

Court

and

2. Appeals from the Regional Trial Courts on constitutional, tax, jurisdictional questions involving questions of fact or mixed questions of fact and law or which should be appealed first to the CA - R.A. No. 296, Sec. 17, par. 4.4, as amended

3. Appeals from the decisions and final orders of the Family Courts - R.A. No. 8369, Sec. 14

4. Appeals from the Regional Trial Courts where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment or where a lesser penalty is imposed but for offenses committed on the same occasion or which arose out of the same occurrence that gave rise to the more serious offense for which the penalty of reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment is imposed - Rule 122, Sec. 3(c) as amended by A.M. No. 00- 5-03-SC; People v. Mateo, G.R. Nos. 147678-8, July 7, 2004

5. Direct appeal from land registration and cadastral cases decided by MTCs, MTCCs and MCTCs based

on their delegated jurisdiction - B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 34 as amended by R.A. No. 7691

B. Special civil action of certiorari (Rule 65) against decisions and final resolutions of the NLRC - A.M. No. 99-2- 01-SC; St. Martin Funeral Homes v. NLRC, G.R. No. 13086, September 16, 1998; Torres v. Specialized Packaging Dev. Corp., G.R. No. 149634, July 6, 2004

C. Automatic review in cases where the Regional Trial Courts impose the death penalty - Secs. 3(d) and 10, Rule 122 as amended by A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC; People v. Mateo, G.R. Nos. 147678-8, July 7, 2004

D. Petition for Review

1. Appeals from the Civil Service Commission - R.A. No. 7902; Rule 43

2. Appeals from the Regional Trial Courts in cases appealed from the MTCs, MTCCs and MCTCs which are not a matter of right - B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 22; Rule 42; Rule 122, Sec. 3(b)

3. Appeals from awards, judgments, final orders or resolutions of, or authorised by, quasi-judicial agencies in the exercise of their quasi-judicial functions, among which are:

a. Securities and Exchange Commission

b. Office of the President

c. Land Registration Authority

d. Social Security Commission

e. Civil Aeronautics Board

f. Intellectual Property Office

g. National Electrification Administration

h. Energy Regulatory Board

i. National Telecommunications Commission

j. Department of Agrarian Reform under R.A. No. 6657

k. Government Service Insurance System

l. Employees Compensation Commission

m. Agricultural Inventions Board

n. Insurance Commission

o. Philippine Atomic Energy Commission

p. Board of Investments

q. Construction Industry Arbitration Commission

r. Voluntary arbitrators authorised by law

s. Decisions of Special Agrarian Courts

4. Appeals from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) - R.A. No. 8371, Sec. 67

5. Appeals from the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases - A.M. No. 99-2-01-SC; Fabian v. Desierto, G.R. No. 129742, September 16, 1998

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SANDIGANBAYAN - P.D. No. 1606, Sec. 4 as amended by R.A. 8249, Sec. 4

I. Original Jurisdiction

A. Exclusive

1. Violations of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; R.A. No. 1379; and Chapter II, Sec. 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code (Bribery), where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense:

a. Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as Grade 27and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (R.A. No. 6758), specifically including:

i. Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers and other provincial department heads

ii. City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers and other city department heads

iii. Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher

iv. Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank

v. Officers of the Philippine National Police while occupying the position of provincial director and those holding the rank of senior superintendent or higher

vi. City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor

vii. Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or -controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations

b. Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade 27and up under R.A. No. 6758

c. Members of the Judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution

d. Chairmen and Members of Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution

e. All other national and local officials classified as Grade 27 and higher under R.A. No. 6758

2. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in no. 1 above in relation to their office

3. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14, 14-A (Sequestration Cases) - R.A. No. 7975, Sec. 2 as amended by R.A. No. 8249 In case none of the accused is occupying the above positions, the original jurisdiction shall be vested in the proper RTC or MTC, etc., as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdiction as provided in B.P. Blg. 129, as amended - R.A. No. 7975, Sec. 2 as amended by R.A. No. 8249 In case there is no specific allegation of facts showing that the offense was committed in relation to the public office of the accused, the original jurisdiction shall also be vested in the proper RTC or MTC, etc., as the case may be - Lacson v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 128096, January 20, 1999

4. Violation of R.A. No. 9160 (Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001) as amended by R.A. No. 9194, when committed by public officers and private persons who are in conspiracy with such public officers

B. Concurrent with the Supreme Court Petitions for issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, habeas corpus, injunction and other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, including quo warranto arising or that may arise in cases filed or which may be filed under Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14, and 14-A - Ibid, as amended by R.A. No. 8249

C. Concurrent with the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Regional Trial Courts

1. Petitions for writ of amparo and writ of habeas data when action concerns public data files of government offices - Sec. 3, A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC (The Rule on the Writ of Amparo); Sec. 3, A.M. No. 08-1-16-SC

2. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus relating to an act or omission of a Municipal Trial Court, corporation, board, officer or person - Sec. 4, Rule 65 as amended by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC

II. Exclusive Appellate Jurisdiction

Final judgments, resolutions or orders of RTCs whether in the exercise of their own original jurisdiction or of their appellate jurisdiction under P.D. No. 1606, as amended - R.A. No. 8249, Sec. 5 COURT OF TAX APPEALS - R.A. No. 9282, Section 7, amending Section 1 of R.A. No. 1125

I. Exclusive Appellate Jurisdiction to Review by Appeal

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A. Decisions of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in cases involving disputed assessments, refunds of internal revenue taxes, fees or other charges, penalties in relation thereto, or other matters arising under the National Internal Revenue or other laws administered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue

B. Inaction by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in cases involving disputed assessments, refunds of internal revenue taxes, fees or other charges, penalties in relations thereto, or other matters arising under the National Internal Revenue Code or other laws administered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, where the National Internal Revenue Code provides a specific period of action, in which case the inaction shall be deemed a denial

C. Decisions, orders or resolutions of the Regional Trial Courts in local tax cases originally decided or resolved by them in the exercise of their original or appellate jurisdiction

D. Decisions of the Commissioner of Customs

1. in cases involving liability for customs duties, fees or other money charges, seizure, detention or release of property affected, fines, forfeitures or other penalties in relation thereto, or

2. other matters arising under the Customs Law or other laws administered by the Bureau of Customs

E. Decisions of the Central Board of Assessment Appeals in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction over cases involving the assessment and taxation of real property originally decided by the provincial or city board of assessment appeals

F. Decisions of the Secretary of Finance on customs cases elevated to him automatically for review from decisions of the Commissioner of Customs which are adverse to the Government under Section 2315 of the Tariff and Customs Code;

G. Decisions of the Secretary of Trade and Industry, in the case of nonagricultural product, commodity or article, and the Secretary of Agriculture in the case of agricultural product, commodity or article, involving dumping and countervailing duties under Section 301 and 302, respectively, of the Tariff and Customs Code, and safeguard measures under Republic Act No. 8800, where either party may appeal the decision to impose or not to impose said duties

II. Exclusive Original Jurisdiction

A. All criminal offenses arising from violations of the National Internal Revenue Code or Tariff and Customs Code and other laws administered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue or the Bureau of Customs: Provided, however, That offenses or felonies mentioned in this paragraph where the principal amount o taxes and fees, exclusive of charges and penalties, claimed is less than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) or where there is no specified amount claimed shall be tried by the regular Courts and the jurisdiction of the CTA shall be appellate.

B. In tax collection cases involving final and executory assessments for taxes, fees, charges and penalties:

Provided, however, That collection cases where the principal amount of taxes and fees, exclusive of charges and penalties, claimed is less than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) shall be tried by the proper Municipal Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court and Regional Trial Court.

III. Exclusive Appellate Jurisdiction

A. Over appeals from the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in tax cases originally decided by them, in their respected territorial jurisdiction

B. Over petitions for review of the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in the exercise of their appellate jurisdiction over tax cases originally decided by the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in their respective jurisdiction.

C. Over appeals from the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in tax collection cases originally decided by them, in their respective territorial jurisdiction

D. Over petitions for review of the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in the Exercise of their appellate jurisdiction over tax collection cases originally decided by the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, in their respective jurisdiction

REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS

I. Original Jurisdiction

A.

Civil

1.

Exclusive

a. Subject of the action is not capable of pecuniary estimation

b. Actions involving title or possession of real property or interest therein where the assessed value exceeds Php20,000.00 or in Metro Manila Php50,000.00, except for forcible entry and unlawful detainer

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c. Actions in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction where demand or claim exceeds Php300,000.00 or in Metro Manila Php400,000.00

d. Matters of probate, testate or intestate, where gross value of estate exceeds Php300,000.00 or in Metro Manila Php400,000.00

e. Cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial function

f. Other cases where the demand, exclusive of interest, damages, attorneys fees, litigation expenses and costs, or value of property in controversy exceeds Php300,000.00 or in Metro Manila Php400,000.00 (B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 19 as amended by R.A. No. 7691). However, if the claim for damages is the main cause of the action, the amount thereof shall be considered in determining the jurisdiction of the court (Administrative Circular No. 09-94 dated June 14, 1994)

g. Additional original jurisdiction transferred under Sec. 5.2 of the Securities Regulation Code:

i. Devices or schemes employed by, or any acts of, the board of directors, business associates, its officers or partnership, amounting to fraud and misrepresentation

ii. Controversies arising out or intra-corporate partnership relations

iii. Controversies in the election or appointment of directors, trustees, officers, or managers of such corporation, partnership, or association

iv. Petitions of corporations, partnerships or associations to be declared in a state of suspension of

payments - R.A. No. 8799

h. Application for issuance of writ of search and seizure in civil actions for infringement of intellectual property rights - Sec. 3, A.M. No. 02-1-06-SC

i. Violations of R.A. No. 9160 (Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001) as amended by R.A. No. 9194

2. Concurrent

a. with the Supreme Court

Actions affecting ambassadors and other public ministers and consuls - B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 21(1)

b. with the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals

i. Petitions for habeas corpus and quo warranto

ii. Petition for writ of continuing mandamus on environmental cases - A.M. No. 09-6-8-SC

c. with the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Sandiganbayan

B.

i. Petitions for writ of amparo and writ of habeas data - Sec. 3, A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC; Sec. 3, A.M. No. 08-1-16-SC

ii. Petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus if they relate to an act or omission of a

municipal trial court, corporation, board, officer or person - Sec. 4, Rule 65 as amended by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC

d. with the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts Application for Protection Order under R.A. No. 9282, Sec. 10, unless there is a Family Court in the residence of petitioner

e. with the Insurance Commission Claims not exceeding Php100,000.00 - Insurance Code, Sec. 416; P.D. No. 612; Applicable if subject of the action is not capable of pecuniary estimation, otherwise, jurisdiction is concurrent with MTC, etc.

Criminal

1. Exclusive Criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, or body - B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 20; These include criminal cases where the penalty provided by law exceeds six (6) years imprisonment irrespective of the fine - R.A. No. 7691 These also include criminal cases not falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade 27 and higher - R.A. No. 7975 and R.A. No. 8249 But in cases where the only penalty provided by law is a fine, the RTCs have jurisdiction if the amount of the fine exceeds Php4,000.00 - R.A. No 7691 as clarified by Administrative Circular No. 09-94 dated June 14, 1994

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Jurisdiction over the whole complex crime is lodged with the trial court having jurisdiction to impose the maximum and most serious penalty imposable for an offence forming part of the complex crime - Cuyos v. Garcia, G.R. No. 46934, April 15, 1998

II. Appellate All cases decided by lower courts (MTCs, etc.) in their respective territorial jurisdictions - B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 22

FAMILY COURTS

I. Exclusive and Original Jurisdiction

A. Criminal cases where one or more of the accused is below eighteen (18) years of age but not less than nine (9) years of age, when one or more of the victims is a minor at the time of the commission of the crime:

Provided, That if the minor is found guilty, the court shall promulgate sentence and ascertain any civil liability which the accused may have incurred. The sentence, however, shall be suspended without need of application, pursuant to P.D. No. 1903 (The Child and Youth Welfare Code)

B. Petitions for guardianship, custody of children, and habeas corpus in relation to the latter - Sec. 3, A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC; Sec. 3, A.M. No. 03-02-05-SC

C. Petitions for adoption of children and the revocation thereof (Sec. A.20 and B.28, A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC; also, R.A. No. 9523 - An Act Requiring Certification of the DSWD to Declare a Child Legally Available for Adoptionas a Prerequisite for Adoption Proceedings, Amending Certain Provisions of R.A. No. 8552, otherwise known as The Domestic Adoption Act of 1998, R.A. No. 8043, otherwise known as The Inter- Country Adoption Act of 1995, P.D. No. 603, otherwise known as The Child and Youth Welfare Code, and for Other Purposes)

D. Complaints for annulment of marriage, declaration of nullity of marriage, and those relating to marital status and property relations of husband and wife or those living together under different status and agreements, and petitions for dissolution of conjugal partnership of gains - Sec. 2, A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC

E. Petitions for involuntary commitment of a child, for removal of custody against child-placement or child-caring agency or individual, and for commitment of disabled child - Secs. 4(b), 5(a)(ii), 6(b), A.M. No. 02-1-19

F. Petitions for support and/or acknowledgment

G. Summary judicial proceedings brought under the provisions of Executive Order No. 209 otherwise known as The Family Code of the Philippines

H. Petitions for declaration of status of children as abandoned, dependent or neglected children, petitions for voluntary or involuntary commitment of children, the suspension, termination or restoration of parental authority and other cases cognizable under P.D. No. 603, Executive Order No. 56, series of 1986 and other related laws

I. Petitions for constitution of family home - repealed by Executive Order No. 209

J. Cases against minors cognizable under R.A. No. 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002; A.M. No. 07-8-2-SC

K. Violation of R.A. No. 7610, otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Actas amended by R.A. No. 7658 and as further amended by R.A. No. 9231

L. Violation of R.A. No. 9775 otherwise known as the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009

M. Cases of domestic violence against:

1. Women which are acts of gender-based violence that result or are likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women; and other forms of physical abuse such as battering or threats and coercion which violate a womans personhood, integrity and freedom of movement; and

2. Children which include the commission of all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, violence, and

discrimination and all other conditions prejudicial to their development

N. Cases of violence against women and their children under R.A. No. 9262 otherwise known as Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 including applications for Protection Order under the same Act

O. Criminal cases involving juveniles if no preliminary investigation is required under Sec. 1, Rule 112 - Sec. 1, A.M. No. 02-1-18-SC

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METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS

I. Original Jurisdiction

A. Civil

1. Exclusive

a.

Actions involving personal property valued at not more than Php300,000.00 or in Metro Manila

Php400,000.00

b.

Actions demanding sums of money not exceeding Php300,000.00 or in Metro Manila Php400,000.00; in both cases, exclusive of interest, damages, attorneys fees, litigation expenses and costs, the amount of which must be specifically alleged, but the filing fees thereon shall be paid. These included admiralty and maritime cases.

c.

Actions involving title or possession of real property where the assessed value does not exceed Php20,000.00 or in Metro Manila Php50,000.00

d

Provisional remedies in principal actions within their jurisdiction and in proper cases, such as preliminary attachment, preliminary injunction, appointment of receiver and delivery of personal property - Rules 57, 58, 59 and 60

e.

Forcible entry and unlawful detainer, with jurisdiction to resolve issue of ownership to determine issue of possession

f.

Probate proceedings, testate or intestate, where gross value of estate does not exceed Php300,000.00 or in Metro Manila Php400,000.00 - B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 33 as amended by R.A. No.

7691

g.

Inclusion and exclusion of voters - Sec. 38, B.P. Blg. 881 (Omnibus Election Code)

2. Delegated

Cadastral and land registration cases assigned by the SC where there is no controversy or opposition

and

in contested lots valued at more than Php100,000.00 - B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 34 as amended by R.A.

No.

7691

3. Special Petition for habeas corpus in the absence of all RTC judges - B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 35

B. Criminal

1. Exclusive

a. All violations of city or municipal ordinances committed within their respective territorial jurisdictions

b. All offenses punishable with imprisonment of not more than six (6) years irrespective of the fine and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties and the civil liability arising therefrom; provided, however, that in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence, they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction - B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 32 as amended by R.A. No. 7691

c. All offenses committed not falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan where none of the accused is occupying a position corresponding to salary grade 27 and higher - as amended by R.A. No. 7975 and R.A. No. 8249

d. In cases where the only penalty provided by law is a fine not exceeding Php4,000.00, the MTCs, etc. have jurisdiction - Administrative Circular No. 09-94 dated June 14, 1994

2. Special Applications for bail in the absence of all RTC judges - B.P. Blg. 129, Sec. 35

SHARIAH COURTS

I. Exclusive Jurisdiction

A. All cases involving custody, guardianship, legitimacy, paternity and filiation arising under the Code of Muslim Personal Laws

B. All cases involving disposition, distribution and settlement of estate of deceased Muslims, probate of wills, issuance of letters of administration or appointment of administrators or executors, regardless of the nature or aggregate value of the property

C. Petitions for the declaration of absence and death or for the cancellation and correction of entries in the Muslim Registries

D. All actions arising from the customary contracts in which the parties are Muslims, if they have not specified which law shall govern their relations

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E. All petitions for mandamus, prohibition, injunction, certiorari, habeas corpus and all other auxiliary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction

II. Concurrent Jurisdiction

A. Petitions of Muslims for the constitution of the family home, change of name and commitment of an insane person to an asylum

B. All other personal and legal actions not mentioned in paragraph 1 (d) wherein the parties involved are Muslims except those for forcible entry and unlawful detainer which shall fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the MTC

C. All special civil actions for interpleader or declaratory relief wherein the parties are Muslims or the property involved belongs exclusively to Muslims

SMALL CLAIMS CASES, RULES ON SUMMARY PROCEDURE and BARANGAY CONCILIATION

I. Small Claims - A.M. 08-8-7-SC, Sec. 2

A. MTCs, MeTCs and MCTCs shall have jurisdiction over actions for payment of money where the value of the claim does not exceed Php100,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs

B. Actions covered:

1. purely civil in nature where the claim or relief prayed for by the plaintiff is solely for payment or reimbursement of sum of money

2. the civil aspect of criminal actions, either filed before the institution of the criminal action, or reserved upon the filing of the criminal action in court

3. the enforcement of a barangay amicable settlement or an arbitration award involving a money claim - Sec. 417, R.A. 7160 (Local Government Code)

II. Rules on Summary Procedure

A. Civil Cases

1. All cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer, irrespective of the amount of damages or unpaid rentals sought to be recovered

2. All other cases, except probate proceedings, where the total amount of the plaintiffs claim does not exceed Php100,000.00 or outside Metro Manila Php200,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs

B. Criminal Cases

1. Violations of traffic law, rules and regulations

2. Violation of the rental law

3. All other criminal cases where the penalty prescribed is imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months, or fine not exceeding Php1,000.00, or both, irrespective of other imposable penalties, accessory or otherwise, or of the civil liability arising therefrom, provided, that in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence, RSP shall govern where the imposable fine does not exceed Php10,000.00

III. Barangay Conciliation

A. The Lupon of each barangay shall have the authority to bring together the parties actually residing in the same municipality or city for amicable settlement of all disputes except:

1. where one party is the government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof

2. where one party is a public officer or employee, and the dispute relates to the performance of his official functions

3. offenses punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year or a fine exceeding Php5,000.00

4. offenses where there is no private offended party

5. where the dispute involves real properties located in different cities or municipalities unless the parties thereto agree to submit their differences to amicable settlement by an appropriate lupin

6. Disputes involving parties who actually reside in barangays of different cities or municipalities, except where such barangay units adjoin each other and the parties thereto agree to submit their differences to amicable settlement by an appropriate lupin

7. such other classes of disputes which the President may determine in the interest of justice or upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice

8. any complaint by or against corporations, partnerships, or juridical entities

9. disputes where urgent legal action is necessary to prevent injustice from being committed or further continued, specifically:

a. a criminal case where the accused is under police custody or detention

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b. a petition for habeas corpus by a person illegally detained or deprived of his liberty or one acting in his behalf

c. actions coupled with provisional remedies, such as preliminary injunction, attachment, replevin and support pendente lite

d. where the action may be barred by statute of limitations

10. labor disputes or controversies arising from employer-employee relationship

11. where the dispute arises from the CARL

12. actions to annul judgment upon a compromise which can be directly filed in court

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Week of July 22-26, 2014 - Case Assignment

Jurisdiction of Courts

Supreme Court

1. Cruz v. Mijares, G.R. No. 154464, September 11, 2008

2. First Lepanto Ceramics v. CA, G.R. No. 110571, October 7, 1994

3. Aratuc v. Comelec, G.R. No. 49705-09, February 8, 1979

4. Fabian v. Desierto, G.R. No. 129742, September 16, 1998

Court of Appeals

1. Aragon v. CA, G.R. No. 124333, March 26, 1997

2. St. Martin Funeral Home v. NLRC, G.R. No. 130866, September 16, 1998

3. Torres v. Specialized Packaging, G.R. No. 149634, July 6, 2004

Regional Trial Courts

1. Katon v. Palanca, G.R. No. 151149, September 7, 2004

2. Encarnacion v. Amigo, G.R. No. 169793, September 15, 2006

3. RCPI v. CA, G.R.No. 136109, August 1, 2002

4. Bokingo v. CA, G.R. No. 161739, May 4, 2006

Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts

1. Reyes v. Sta. Maria, G.R. No. L-33213, June 29, 1979

2. Ortigas & Co. v. J. Herrera, G.R. No. L-36098, January 21, 1983

3. Ortigas & Co. CA, G.R. No. 52488, July 25, 1981

4. Villostas v. CA, G.R. No. 96271, June 26, 1992

5. Vda. de Barrera v. Heirs of Vicente Legaspi, G.R. No. 174346, September 12, 2008

Family Courts

1. Madriñañ v. Madriñañ, G.R. No. 159374, July 12, 2007

Commercial Courts

1. Reyes v. RTC of Makati, G.R. No. 165744, August 11, 2008

Katarungang Pambarangay

1. Blardony v. Coscolluela, G.R. No. 70261, February 28, 1990

2. Wee v. De Castro, G.R. No. 176405, August 20, 2008

3. Aquino v. Aure, G.R. No. 153567, February 18, 2008

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i Section 17. Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. - The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls; and original and exclusive jurisdiction in petitions for the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus against the Court of Appeals. In the following cases, the Supreme Court shall exercise original and concurrent jurisdiction with Court of First Instance:

1. In petitions for the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus;

2. In actions between the Roman Catholic Church and the municipalities or towns, or the Filipino Independent Church for

controversy as to title to, or ownership, administration or possession of hospitals, convents, cemeteries or other properties used in connection therewith;

3. In actions brought by the Government of the Philippines against the Roman Catholic Church or vice versa for the title

to, or ownership of, hospitals, asylums, charitable institutions, or any other kind of property; and

4. In actions brought to prevent and restrain violations of law concerning monopolies and combinations in restraint of

trade.

The Supreme Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm on appeal, certiorari or writ of error, as the law or rules of court may provide, final judgment and decrees of inferior courts as herein provided, in -

All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, law, ordinance, or executive order or regulation is in

question;

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto;

All cases in which the jurisdiction of any inferior court is in issue;

All criminal cases involving offenses for which the penalty imposed is death or life imprisonment; and those involving

other offenses which, although not so punished, arose out of the same occurrence or which may have been committed by the accused on the same occasion, as that giving rise to the more serious offense, regardless of whether the accused are charged as principals, accomplices, or accessories, or whether they have been tried jointly or separately;

(5) All civil cases in which the value in controversy exceeds fifty thousand pesos, exclusive of interests and costs, or in

which the title or possession of real estate exceeding in value the sum of fifty thousand pesos to be ascertained by the oath of a party to the cause or by other competent evidence, is involved or brought in question. The Supreme Court shall likewise have exclusive jurisdiction over all appeals in civil cases, even though the value in controversy, exclusive of interests and costs, is fifty

thousand pesos or less, when the evidence involved in said cases is the same as the evidence submitted in an appealed civil case within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided herein;

(6) All other cases in which only errors or questions of law are involved.

ii Section 4. Jurisdiction. Except as herein provided, the Sandiganbayan shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to try and decide:

a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act,

Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of

the commission of the offense:

(1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as Grade

'27' and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758), specifically including:

and provincial treasurers,

assessors, engineers and other provincial department heads;

(b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors engineers and other

city department heads;

(a)

Provincial

governors,

vice-governors,

members

of

the

sangguniang

panlalawigan

(c)

Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher;

(d)

Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank;

(e)

Officers of the Philippine National Police while occupying the position of provincial director and those holding the rank

of senior superintendent or higher;

(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor;

(g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or -controlled corporations, state universities or

educational institutions or foundations;

(2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade’27' and up under the Compensation and Position

Classification Act of 1989;

(3)

Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;

(4)

Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; and

(5)

All other national and local officials classified as Grade’27' and higher under the Compensation and Position

Classification Act of 1989.

b. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and

employees mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to their office.

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c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in

1986.

In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade '27' or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or military or PNP officers mentioned above, exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court and municipal circuit trial court ' as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended. The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over final judgments, resolutions or orders or regional trial courts whether in the exercise of their own original jurisdiction or of their appellate jurisdiction as herein provided. The Sandiganbayan shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions for the issuance of the writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, injunctions, and other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction and over petitions of similar nature, including quo warranto, arising or that may arise in cases filed or which may be filed under Executive Order Nos. 1,2,14 and 14-A, issued in 1986: Provided, That the jurisdiction over these petitions shall not be exclusive of the Supreme Court. The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as well as the implementing rules that the Supreme Court has promulgated and may hereafter promulgate, relative to appeals/petitions for review to the Court of Appeals, shall apply to appeals and petitions for review filed with the Sandiganbayan. In all cases elevated to the Sandiganbayan and from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court, the Office of the Ombudsman, through its special prosecutor, shall represent the People of the Philippines, except in cases filed pursuant to Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986. In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees, including those employed in govemment-owned or controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees in the proper courts which shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over them. Any provisions of law or Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding, the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability shall at all times be simultaneously instituted with, and jointly determined in, the same proceeding by the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts, the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action, and no right to reserve the filing of such civil action separately from the criminal action shall be recognized: Provided, however, That where the civil action had therefore been filed separately but judgment therein has not yet been rendered, and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court, said civil action shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court, as the case may be, for consolidation and joint determination with the criminal action, otherwise the separate civil action shall be deemed abandoned."

iii Sec. 19. Review by Certiorari. - A party adversely affected by a decision or ruling of the CTA en banc may file with the Supreme Court a verified petition for review on certiorari pursuant to Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

iv Section 7. Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its Members, any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the Commission itself. Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof.

v Ibid.

vi Sec. 9. Jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals shall exercise:

(1) Original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, and quo warranto, and auxiliary writs or processes, whether or not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction; (2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgment of Regional Trial Courts; and (3) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders or awards of Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Social Security Commission, the Employees Compensation Commission and the Civil Service Commission, except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the Labor Code of the Philippines under Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, the provisions of this Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948. The Court of Appeals shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or further proceedings. Trials or hearings in the Court of Appeals must be continuous and must be completed within three (3) months, unless extended by the Chief Justice.

vii Ibid. viii Sec. 3. Where to file.The petition shall be filed with the Supreme Court or with any of the stations of the Court of

Appeals.

ix Sec. 17. Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls; and original and exclusive jurisdiction in petitions for the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus against the Court of Appeals. In the following cases, the Supreme Court shall exercise original and concurrent jurisdiction with Courts of First Instance:

1. In petition for the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus; and 2. In actions brought to prevent and restrain violations of law concerning monopolies and combinations in restraint of

trade.

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The Supreme Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm on appeal, as the law or rules of court may provide, final judgments and decrees of inferior courts as herein provided, in (1) All criminal cases involving offenses for which the penalty imposed is death or life imprisonment; and those involving other offenses which, although not so punished, arose out of the same occurrence or which may have been committed by the accused on the same occasion, as that giving rise to the more serious offense, regardless of whether the accused are charged as principals, accomplices or accessories, or whether they have been tried jointly or separately; (2) All cases involving petitions for naturalization or denaturalization; and (3) All decisions of the Auditor General, if the appellant is a private person or entity. The Supreme Court shall further have exclusive jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm on certiorari as the law or rules of court may provide, final judgments and decrees of inferior courts as herein provided, in (1) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, law, ordinance, or executive order or regulation is in

question;

(2) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment or toil, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto; (3) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any inferior court is in issue; (4) All other cases in which only errors or questions of law are involved: Provided, however, That if, in addition to constitutional, tax or jurisdictional questions, the cases mentioned in the three next preceding paragraphs also involve questions of fact or mixed questions of fact and law, the aggrieved party shall appeal to the Court of Appeals; and the final judgment or decision of the latter may be reviewed, revised, reversed, modified or affirmed by the Supreme Court on writ of certiorari; and (5) Final awards, judgments, decisions, or orders of the Commission on Elections, Court of Tax Appeals, Court of Industrial Relations, the Public Service Commission and the Workmen's Compensation Commission.

x Sec. 2. Where to file the petition.The petition shall be filed with the Regional Trial Court exercising jurisdiction over the territory where the actionable neglect or omission occurred or with the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court.

xi Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:

(1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus. (2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:

(a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question.

(b)

All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto.

(c)

All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue.

(d)

All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.

(e)

All cases in which only an error or question of law is involved.

xii Sec. 4. When and where to file the petition. The petition shall be filed not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment, order or resolution. In case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or not, the petition shall be filed not later than sixty (60) days counted from the notice of the denial of the motion. If the petition relates to an act or an omission of a municipal trial court or of a corporation, a board, an officer or a person, it shall be filed with the Regional Trial Court exercising jurisdiction over the territorial area as defined by the Supreme Court. It may also be filed with the Court of Appeals or with the Sandiganbayan, whether or not the same is in aid of the courts appellate jurisdiction. If the petition involves an act or an omission of a quasi-judicial agency, unless otherwise provided by law or these rules, the petition shall be filed with and be cognizable only by the Court of Appeals. In election cases involving an act or an omission of a municipal or a regional trial court, the petition shall be filed exclusively with the Commission on Elections, in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.

xiii Sec. 3. Where to File. The petition may be filed on any day and at any time with the Regional Trial Court of the place where the threat, act or omission was committed or any of its elements occurred, or with the Sandiganbayan, the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court, or any justice of such courts. The writ shall be enforceable anywhere in the Philippines. When issued by a Regional Trial Court or any judge thereof, the writ shall be returnable before such court or judge. When issued by the Sandiganbayan or the Court of Appeals or any of their justices, it may be returnable before such court or any justice thereof, or to any Regional Trial Court of the place where the threat, act or omission was committed or any of its elements occurred. When issued by the Supreme Court or any of its justices, it may be returnable before such Court or any justice thereof, or before the Sandiganbayan or the Court of Appeals or any of their justices, or to any Regional Trial Court of the place where the threat, act or omission was committed or any of its elements occurred.

xiv SEC. 3. Where to File.The petition may be filed with the Regional Trial Court where the petitioner or respondent resides, or that which has jurisdiction over the place where the data or information is gathered, collected or stored, at the option of the petitioner. The petition may also be filed with the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals or the Sandiganbayan when the action concerns public data files of government offices.

xv Supra.

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xvi Sec. 3. Where to File.The petition may be filed with the Regional Trial Court where the petitioner or respondent resides, or that which has jurisdiction over the place where the data or information is gathered, collected or stored, at the option of the petitioner. The petition may also be filed with the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals or the Sandiganbayan when the action concerns public data files of government offices.

xvii Article VI, Sec. 30 of the Constitution provides: No law shall be passed increasing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in this Constitution without its advice and concurrence.” xviii Sec. 13. Certification or appeal of case to the Supreme Court.(a) Whenever the Court of Appeals finds that the penalty of death should be imposed, the court shall render judgment but refrain from making an entry of judgment and forthwith certify the case and elevate its entire record to the Supreme Court for review. (b) Where the judgment also imposes a lesser penalty for offenses committed on the same occasion or which arose out of the same occurrence that gave rise to the more severe offense for which the penalty of death is imposed, and the accused appeals, the appeal shall be included in the case certified for review to, the Supreme Court. (c) In cases where the Court of Appeals imposes reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment or a lesser penalty, it shall render and enter judgment imposing such penalty. The judgment may be appealed to the Supreme Court by notice of appeal filed with the Court of Appeals.

xix Section 1. Appeal to Supreme Court by petition for review on certiorari. A party adversely affected by a decision or ruling of the Court en banc may appeal therefrom by filing with the Supreme Court a verified petition for review on certiorari within fifteen days from receipt of a copy of the decision or resolution, as provided in Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. If such party has filed a motion for reconsideration or for new trial, the period herein fixed shall run from the partys receipt of a copy of the resolution denying the motion for reconsideration or for new trial.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE

SUPREME COURT

 

aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for the purpose, or with the aid an attorney. In any other court, a party may conduct his

 

CRUZ vs MIJARES

 

litigation personally or by aid of an attorney, and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar.

G.R. No. 154464, September 11, 2008

 

Facts:

Ferdinand A. Cruz was the plaintiff in a civil case for Abatement of Nuisance pending in the sala of respondent judge. He sought permission to enter his appearance for and on his behalf. Claim anchored on Sec. 34, Rule 138: a non- lawyer may appear before any court and conduct his litigation personally. During the pre-trial, Judge Mijares required petitioner to secure written permission from the Court Administrator before he could be allowed to appear as counsel for himself. Counsel for the defendant filed a motion to dismiss. Petitioner objected, alleging that an motion to dismiss is not allowed after the Answer has been filed.

Rule 138-A Law Student Practice Rule

Section 1. Conditions for student practice. A law student who has successfully completed his 3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal education program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of the law school.

Respondent judge remarked, “Hay naku, masama yung marunong pa sa Huwes. Ok?” Petitioner filed a manifestation and motion to inhibit: there was partiality on the part of respondent judge as can be seen from her contumacious remarks. Motion denied. Motion for reconsideration denied. Cruz’s appearance was also denied as he failed to submit the document required by Rule 138-A of the Rules of Court. Motion for reconsideration: basis of his appearance was Rule 138, Sec. 34, not Rule 138-A. 138 applicable to any non-lawyer; 138-Aspecifically for law students. Motion for reconsideration denied, still invoking Rule 138- A. Hence, this petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus.

Issue:

 

Whether

or

not

SC

have

jurisdiction

to

entertain

the

petition.

Held:

Yes. SC has concurrent jurisdiction with RTC and CA to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, and injunction. This concurrence does not mean that the petitioner has absolute freedom to choose where the petition will be filed. Still has to give due regard to the judicial hierarchy. Thus, petitions for the issuance of extraordinary writs against RTCs should be filed with the CA. Only in exceptional cases and for compelling reasons may the SC take cognizance of petitions directly filed before it. SC assumes jurisdiction over this petition as it concerns the interpretation of Sec. 34, Rule 138 and Rule 138-A of the Rules of Court. Petitioner is cautioned not to continue his practice of filing directly with the SC.

*******

What rule applies in the case of petitioner, Rule 138 or 138-A? Rule

138.

Rule 138 Attorneys and Admission to Bar

Section 34. By whom litigation conducted. In the court of a justice of the peace a party may conduct his litigation in person, with the

Section 2. Appearance. The appearance of the law student authorized by this rule, shall be under the direct supervision and control of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines duly accredited by the law school. Any and all pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other papers to be filed, must be signed by the supervising attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic.

Court agrees with petitioner that the basis of his appearance is Rule 138, not 138-A. As plaintiff, he can personally conduct the litigation of the case.

He would be acting not as counsel or lawyer, but as a party exercising his right to represent himself.

The fact that petition is a law student does not mean that the applicable rule is always 138-A. Again, he seeks to represent himself.

TC’s conclusion that 138-A superseded 138 is incorrect. It is an addendum to the instances when a non-lawyer may appear in courts.

Should respondent judge inhibit herself? NO.

Her “hay naku” statement is not enough to show arbitrariness and prejudice.

In fact, petitioner’s administrative case against respondent judge for violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics was dismissed for lack of merit.

Presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties applies.

DISPOSITION: Petition partially granted.

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CASES: JURISDICTION

CASES: JURISDICTION CIVIL PROCEDURE

CIVIL PROCEDURE

CASES: JURISDICTION CIVIL PROCEDURE

FIRST LEPANTO CERAMICS vs CA

G.R. No. 110571, October 7, 1994

Facts:

Petitioner assailed the conflicting provisions of B.P. 129, EO 226 (Art. 82) and a circular, 1-91 issued by the Supreme Court which deals with the jurisdiction of courts for appeal of cases decided by quasi-judicial agencies such as the Board of Investments (BOI).

BOI granted petitioner First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc.'s

application to amend its BOI certificate of registration by changing the scope of its registered product from "glazed floor tiles" to "ceramic tiles." Oppositor Mariwasa filed a motion for reconsideration of the said BOI decision while oppositor Fil-Hispano Ceramics, Inc. did not move to reconsider the same nor appeal therefrom. Soon rebuffed in its bid for reconsideration, Mariwasa filed a petition for review with CA. CA temporarily restrained the BOI from implementing its decision. The TRO lapsed by its own terms twenty (20) days after its issuance, without respondent court issuing any preliminary injunction. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss and to lift the restraining order contending that CA does not have jurisdiction over the BOI case, since the same is exclusively vested with the Supreme Court pursuant to Article 82 of the Omnibus Investments Code of

1987.

Petitioner argued that the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 or B.P. 129 and Circular 1-91, "Prescribing the Rules Governing Appeals to the Court of Appeals from a Final Order or Decision of the Court of Tax Appeals and Quasi-Judicial Agencies" cannot be the basis of Mariwasa's appeal to respondent court because the procedure for appeal laid down therein runs contrary to Article 82 of E.O. 226, which provides that appeals from decisions or orders of the BOI shall be filed directly with the Supreme Court. While Mariwasa maintains that whatever inconsistency there may have been between B.P. 129 and Article 82 of E.O. 226 on the question of venue for appeal, has already been resolved by Circular 1-91 of the Supreme Court, which was promulgated on February 27, 1991 or four (4) years after E.O. 226 was enacted.

ARATUC vs COMELEC

G.R. No. 49705-09, February 8, 1979

Facts:

On April 7, 1978, election for the position of Representative to the B atasangPambansa were held throughout the Philippines. The cases at bar concern only the results of the elections in Region XII which comprises the provinces of Lanao Del Sur, Lanao Del Norte ,Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, and the cities of Marawi, Iligan andCotabato. Tomatic Aratuc sought the suspension of the canvass then being undertaken byRegional Board of canvassers in Cotabato City and in which, the returns in 1,966 out of 4,107voting centers in the whole region had already been canvassed

results.

showing

ASupervening Panel headed by Commissioner of Election Hon. Vena ncio S. Duque hadconducted the hearings of the complaints of the petitioners therein of the alleged irregularities inthe election records

of the mentioned provinces. On July 11, 1978, the Regional Board of Canvassers issued a resolution, over the objection of the Konsensiya ng Bayan candidates,declaring all the eight Kilusan ng Bagong Lipunan candidates elected. Appeal was taken by theKB

candidates to the Comelec. On January 13, 1979, the Comelec issued its questionedresolution declaring seven KBL candidates and one KB

having

the

candidate

firsteight places, and ordering the Regional Board of Canvassers to p roclaim the winningcandidates. The KB candidates interposed the present petition.

partial

as

obtained

Issue:

Whether or not respondent Comelec has committed grave abuse of discretion,amounting to lack of jurisdiction.

Held:

“As the Superior administrative body having control over boards of

canvassers, theComelec may review the actuations of the Regional Board of Canvassers, such as by extendingits inquiry beyond the election records of the voting centers in questions.”“The authority of the Commission is in reviewing such actuations does not spring from anyappellant jurisdiction conferred by any provisions of the

such

law,

for

there

is

none

Issue:

provisionanywhere in the election Code, but from the plenary prero

Whether or not the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over

gative of direct control andsupervision endowed to it by the

the case.

provisions in Section 168. And in administrative law, it is a toowell

Held:

settled postulate to need any supporting citation here, that a superior body or office havingsupervision and control over another

YES. Circular 1-91 effectively repealed or superseded Article 82 of E.O. 226 insofar as the manner and method of enforcing the right to appeal from decisions of the BOI are concerned. Appeals from decisions of the BOI, which by statute was previously allowed to be filed directly with the Supreme Court, should now be brought to the Court of Appeals.

may do directly what the latter is supposed to do or oughtto have done.

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FABIAN vs DESIERTO

Gr. No. 129742, September 16, 1998

Facts:

Petitioner Teresita Fabian was the major stockholder and President of PROMAT Construction Development Corporation which was engaged in the construction business. Private respondent Nestor Agustin was the District Engineer of the First Metro Manila Engineering District. PROMAT participated in the bidding for government construction projects, and private respondent, reportedly taking advantage of his official position, inveigled petitioner into an amorous relationship. Their affair lasted for some time, in the course of which, private respondent gifted PROMAT with public works contracts and interceded for it in problems concerning the same in his office. When petitioner tried to terminate their relationship, private respondent refused and resisted her attempts to do so to the extent of employing acts of harassment, intimidation and threats. Petitioner filed an administrative complaint against private respondent. Ombudsman found private respondent guilty of misconduct and meted out the penalty of suspension without pay for 1 year. After private respondent moved for reconsideration, the Ombudsman discovered that the private respondent’s new counsel had been his classmate and close associate, hence, he inhibited himself. The case was transferred to respondent Deputy Ombudsman who exonerated private respondent from the administrative charges. Petitioner appealed to the SC by certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

Issue:

Whether or not Section 27 of RA 6770 which provides for appeals in administrative disciplinary cases from the Office of the Ombudsman to the SC in accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court is valid

Held:

The revised Rules of Civil Procedure preclude appeals from quasi-judicial agencies to the SC via a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. Under the present Rule 45, appeals may be brought through a petition for review on certiorari but only from judgments and final orders of the courts enumerated in Sec. 1 thereof. Appeals from judgments and final orders of quasi-judicial agencies are now required to be brought to the CA on a verified petition for review, under the requirements and conditions in Rule 43 which was precisely formulated and adopted to provide for a uniform rule of appellate procedure for quasi-judicial agencies. Section 27 of RA 6770 cannot validly authorize an appeal to the SC from decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases. It consequently violates the proscription in Sec. 30, Art. VI of the Constitution against a law which increases the appellate jurisdiction of the SC.

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COURT OF APPEALS

 

1.

No. What was on appeal before the Court of Appeals was the

 

decision rendered in Civil Case No. Q-91-10200 (Delivery of Title and Damages) where the parties are petitioner herein and respondent MBC. However, the said court, in deciding the issues raised in the aforesaid case, took cognizance of Civil Case No. Q-89-1797 (Specific Performance and Damages) where the parties were different i.e. petitioner and MARENIR. Furthermore, said case was not appealed before the Court of Appeals nor was there any action commenced to annul the judgment of the court a quo. Hence, the decision over that case became final and executory. Respondent court clearly committed an error when it declared as null and void the proceedings in Civil Case No. Q-89-1797 as it was not the case appealed before it. Even if MARENIR itself, the losing party to the aforementioned case decides now to appeal the decision or to file any other proceeding seeking its nullification, it cannot at this very late stage do so. This is in consonance with the legal tenet that failure to perfect an appeal renders the trial court's judgment final and executory and it can no longer be subject to review. As such, any modification of that judgment by the appellate court cannot be upheld.

ARAGON vs CA

 

G.R. No. 124333, March 26, 1997

Facts:

MARENIR executed a real estate mortgage over its 5 subdivision lots to cover the P4M loan it obtained from the private respondent. The mortgage was annotated in all the TCTs, and subsequently, increased its mortgage loan to P4,560,000.00. In 1982, it sold one of the lots to the petitioner on installment. After the full payment of the purchase price, MARENIR was unable to transfer the TCT to the petitioner. Petitioner then filed a complaint for Specific Performance and Damages against MARENIR with the RTC.

The RTC rendered a decision ordering MARENIR to execute a deed of absolute sale in favor of the petitioner and to deliver the TCT and the actual physical possession thereof to petitioner. Since no appeal was filed by MARENIR, petitioner filed a Motion to Direct Branch Clerk of Court or Deputy Sheriff to Execute Absolute Deed of Sale, which was granted by the RTC. Subsequently, the branch clerk of court executed for and in behalf of MARENIR, a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of the petitioner. However, the RD refused to register the deed unless the ODC of TCT is presented, which was in the possession of the Manila Banking Corp. (MBC). The MBC agreed to release the TCT to the petitioner upon payment of its corresponding value in the amount of P185,020.52, which the petitioner refused to pay. Petitioner left no other recourse but to file a complaint for Delivery of Title and Damages against MBC with RTC. RTC rendered judgment in favor of the petitioner. MBC appealed to the CA which reversed the RTC decision and orders the dismissal of the complaint. The CA ratiocinated that: The Specific Performance and Damages filed by the petitioner against MARENIR should have been filed with the HLURB, the RTC had no jurisdiction to hear and decide the complaint. Declaring as null and void the decision rendered by the judge for having been rendered without jurisdiction - a void judgment cannot acquire finality; it is non-existent; it is in legal effect no judgment or order at all; and so was the order to the branch clerk to execute the deed of absolute sale; it follows that the deed of absolute sale executed by the branch of clerk was also null and void

There being no decision upon which the challenged decision is based, no deed of absolute sale in favor of the petitioner, hence, no cause of action against MBC There is no obligation on the part of MBC to respect or not to violate such right Hence, the present petition.

2.

Yes. The SC cited the case of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy where they

ruled that even if they found that the trial court had no jurisdiction

over the case, they still ruled that the proceedings conducted therein was valid based on the doctrine of laches. In that case, the SC defined laches as failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier. It is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting presumption that the party entitled to assert it has abandoned it or declined to assert it. Although we agree with private respondent's contention that jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case may be objected to at any stage of the proceeding even on appeal, this

particular rule, however, means that jurisdictional issues in a case can be raised only during the proceedings in said case and during the appeal of said case. It certainly does not mean that lack of jurisdiction of a court in a case may be raised during the proceedings

of

another

case,

in

another

court

and

even

by

anybody

at

all. Certainly, we cannot countenance this procedure as this will lead to absurdity and is against the basic principle of jurisdiction. WHEREFORE, the decision of the respondent Court of Appeals is REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and the decision of the Regional Trial Court dated January 31, 1994 is REINSTATED, with costs against private respondents.

Issues:

1. Whether or not CA acquire appellate jurisdiction over

any case not properly brought to it by the parties concerned

2. Whether or not estoppel by laches is applicable

Held:

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ST. MARTIN FUNERAL HOME vs. NLRC

G.R. No. 130866, September 16, 1998

Facts:

The present petition for certiorari stemmed from a complaint for illegal dismissal filed by herein private respondent before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), Regional Arbitration Branch No. III, in San Fernando, Pampanga. Private respondent alleges that he started working as Operations Manager of petitioner St. Martin Funeral Home on February 6, 1995. However, there was no contract of employment executed between him and petitioner nor was his name included in the semi-monthly payroll. On January 22, 1996, he was dismissed from his employment for allegedly misappropriating P38,000.00 which was intended for payment by petitioner of its value added tax (VAT) to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Petitioner on the other hand claims that private respondent was not its employee but only the uncle of Amelita Malabed, the owner of petitioner St. Martin’s Funeral Home. Sometime in 1995, private respondent, who was formerly working

as an overseas contract worker, asked for financial assistance from the mother of Amelita. Since then, as an indication of gratitude, private respondent voluntarily helped the mother of Amelita in overseeing the business. In January 1996, the mother of Amelita passed away, so the latter she took over the management of the business. She then discovered that there were arrears in the payment of taxes and other government fees, although the records purported to show that the same were already paid. Amelita then made some changes

in the business operation and private respondent and his wife were

no longer allowed to participate in the management thereof. As a consequence, the latter filed a complaint charging that petitioner had illegally terminated his employment. Based on the position papers of the parties, the labor arbiter rendered a decision in favor of petitioner on October 25, 1996 declaring that no employer-employee relationship existed between the parties and, therefore, his office had no jurisdiction over the case.

Not satisfied with the said decision, private respondent appealed to the NLRC contending that the labor arbiter erred (1) in not giving credence to the evidence submitted by him; (2) in holding that he worked as a "volunteer" and not as an employee of St. Martin Funeral Home from February 6, 1995 to January 23, 1996, or

a period of about one year; and (3) in ruling that there was no

employer-employee relationship between him and petitioner. On June 13, 1997, the NLRC rendered a resolution setting aside the questioned decision and remanding the case to the labor arbiter for immediate appropriate proceedings. [5] Petitioner then filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the NLRC in its resolution dated August 18, 1997 for lack of merit, [6] hence the present petition alleging that the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion. [7]

Issue:

Whether or not the decision of the NLRC are appealable to the Court of Appeals.

Held:

The Court is of the considered opinion that ever since appeals from the NLRC to the SC were eliminated, the legislative intendment was that the special civil action for certiorari was and still is the proper vehicle for judicial review of decisions of the NLRC. The use of the word appealin relation thereto and in the instances we have noted could have been a lapsus plumae because appeals by certiorari and the original action for certiorari are both modes of judicial review addressed to the appellate courts. The important distinction between them, however, and with which the Court is particularly concerned here is that the special civil action for certiorari is within the concurrent original jurisdiction of this Court and the Court of Appeals; whereas to indulge in the assumption that appeals by certiorari to the SC are allowed would not subserve, but would subvert, the intention of the Congress as expressed in the sponsorship speech on Senate Bill No. 1495. Therefore, all references in the amended Section 9 of B.P No. 129 to supposed appeals from the NLRC to the Supreme Court are interpreted and hereby declared to mean and refer to petitions for certiorari under Rule65. Consequently, all such petitions should henceforth be initially filed in the Court of Appeals in strict observance of the doctrine on the hierarchy of courts as the appropriate forum for the relief desired.

TORRES vs. SPECIALIZED PACKAGING

G.R. No. 149634, July 6, 2004

Facts:

Petitioners claim to be employees of the Specialized Packaging Development Corporation (SPDC), a business entity engaged in the repackaging of cosmetic products. In three separate Complaints, they charged SPDC and alleged labor recruiters Eusebio Camacho General Services (ECGS) and MPL Services with illegal dismissal; and with nonpayment of overtime, premium and 13 th month pays, and night differential. The cases were later consolidated and assigned to Labor Arbiter (LA) Salimathar Nambi. On June 30, 1995, the LA issued his Decision in favor of petitioners, because SPDC and MPL Services had failed to submit their position papers on or before the deadline. SPDC was ordered to reinstate all petitioners to their former positions and to pay them back wages, premium pay for holidays and rest days, service incentive leave pay and 13 th month pay. The LA's Decision was appealed by SPDC to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), which set aside the ruling and ordered the case remanded to LA Nambi for further proceedings. The case was then set again for hearings. Respondents SPDC and ECGS submitted their position papers five months after the case had been considered submitted for decision. On December 14, 1999, LA Nambi issued a second Decision finding petitioners' employment to have been illegally

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terminated by SPDC. The NLRC, however, again reversed and set aside this new Decision on June 9, 2000. On January 29, 2001, petitioners appealed to the CA, which dismissed their petition, finding that the verification and the certification against forum shopping to be either defective or insufficient. (signed by only two petitioners out of 25 petitioners)

Denying petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration, the

appellate court pointed out that disregarding the rules could not be

rationalized by invoking a liberal construction thereof. Furthermore,

it found no satisfactory explanation why the 25 principal petitioners,

who resided in different provinces, had not executed a special power of attorney in favor of either of the two petitioners or their counsel.

Hence, this Petition.

Issue:

Whether or not decisions and final resolutions of the NLRC

may be reviewed by a civil action for certiorari.

Held:

Yes. The proper procedure for seeking a review of the final dispositions of the NLRC was laid down in 1998 in St. Martin Funeral Homes v. NLRC. That case heralded two very important rules: 1) decisions and final resolutions of the NLRC may be reviewed only via

a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of

Court; and 2) such petition must be filed with the CA in strict observance of the doctrine of the hierarchy of courts. Thus, after St. Martin became final, special civil actions challenging NLRC rulings have been referred by this Court to the CA for proper disposition. Exceptions to this rule were those instances when -- prior to the finality of St. Martin -- both parties had already filed their respective memoranda with this Court, and it then opted to take final cognizance of the case. Under AM No. 99-2-01-SC, however, all new cases erroneously filed with this Court after June 1,

1999, were dismissed forthwith.

x Indeed, rules of procedure are established to secure substantial justice. Being instruments for the speedy and efficient administration of justice, they must be used to achieve such end,

not to derail it. Technical requirements may thus be dispensed with

in meritorious appeals.

It has been our consistent holding that the ends of justice are better served when cases are determined on the merits -- after all parties are given full opportunity to ventilate their causes and defenses -- rather than on technicality or some procedural imperfections. Consequently, the case should be remanded to the CA for

a proper determination of the substantive issues. Time-honored is the principle that when the law entrusts the review of factual and substantive issues to a lower court or to a quasi-judicial tribunal, that court or agency must be given the opportunity to pass upon those issues. Only thereafter may the parties resort to this Court.

WHEREFORE, this Petition is GRANTED. The assailed Resolutions of the Court of Appeals are SET ASIDE, and the case is remanded to the CA for a proper determination of the substantive issues. No costs.

X

x

x

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REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS

KATON vs. PALANCA

G.R. No. 151149, September 7, 2004

Where prescription, lack of jurisdiction or failure to state a cause of action clearly appear from the complaint filed with the trial court, the action may be dismissed motu proprio by the Court of Appeals, even if the case has been elevated for review on different grounds. Verily, the dismissal of such cases appropriately ends useless litigations.

Facts:

On August 2, 1963, a parcel of land located in Sombrero Island, Puerto Princessa, Palawan was reclassified from forest to agricultural land upon the request by the above-named petitioner. The names of Felicisimo Corpuz, Clemente Magdayao and Jesus Gapilango and Juan Fresnillo were included in the endorsement as co-applicants of the petitioner. Respondent Manuel Palanca, Jr. was issued Homestead Patent No. 145927 and OCT No. G-7089 on March 3, 1977 with an area of 6.84 hectares of Sombrero Island. Petitioner assails the validity of the homestead patents and original certificates of title covering certain portions of Sombrero Island issued in favor of Manuel Palanca and the other respondents on the ground that the same were obtained through fraud.

Petitioner prays for the reconveyance of the whole island in his favor. On the other hand, Palanca said that petitioner never filed any homestead application for the island and insisted that they already had their respective occupancy and improvements on the island. Respondents aver that they are all bona fide and lawful possessors of their respective portions and have declared said portions for taxation purposes and that they have been faithfully paying taxes thereon for twenty years. Respondents contend that the petitioner has no legal capacity to sue insofar as the island is concerned because an action for reconveyance can only be brought by the owner and not a mere homestead applicant and that petitioner is guilty of estoppel by laches for his failure to assert his right over the land for an unreasonable and unexplained period of time. In the instant case, petitioner claims that he has the exclusive right to file an application for homestead patent over the whole island since it was he who requested for its conversion from forest land to agricultural land. The assailed Resolution by the CA, denied the Motion for Reconsideration filed by petitioner. It affirmed the RTC’s dismissal of his Complaint in Civil Case No. 3231, not on the grounds relied upon by the trial court, but because of prescription and lack of jurisdiction.

Issues:

1.

Is the Court of Appeals correct in resolving the Petition for Certiorari based on an issue not raised (the merits of the case) in the Petition?

2. Is the Court of Appeals correct in invoking its alleged residual prerogative under Section 1, Rule 9 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure in resolving the Petition on an issue not raised in the Petition?

Held:

Propriety of Ruling on the Merits.

1. Yes. This is not the first time that petitioner has taken

issue with the propriety of the CA’s ruling on the merits. He raised it with the appellate court when he moved for reconsideration of its December 8, 2000 Decision. The CA even corrected itself in its November 20, 2001 Resolution, as follows:

"Upon another review of the case, the Court concedes that it may indeed have lost its way and been waylaid by the variety, complexity and seeming importance of the interests and issues involved in the case below, the apparent reluctance of the judges, five in all, to hear the case, and the volume of the conflicting, often confusing, submissions bearing on incidental matters. We stand corrected. That explanation should have been enough to settle the issue. The CA’s Resolution on this point has rendered petitioner’s issue moot. Hence, there is no need to discuss it further. Suffice it to say that the appellate court indeed acted ultra jurisdiction in ruling on the merits of the case when the only issue that could have been, and was in fact, raised was the alleged grave abuse of discretion committed by the trial court in denying petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration. Settled is the doctrine that the sole office of a writ of certiorari is the correction of errors of jurisdiction. Such writ does not include a review of the evidence, more so when no determination of the merits has yet been made by the trial court, as in this case.

Dismissal for Prescription and Lack of Jurisdiction

2. No. The "residual jurisdiction" of trial courts is available

at a stage in which the court is normally deemed to have lost jurisdiction over the case or the subject matter involved in the appeal. This stage is reached upon the perfection of the appeals by the parties or upon the approval of the records on appeal, but prior to the transmittal of the original records or the records on appeal. In either instance, the trial court still retains its so-called residual jurisdiction to issue protective orders, approve compromises, permit appeals of indigent litigants, order execution pending appeal, and allow the withdrawal of the appeal. The CA’s motu proprio dismissal of petitioner’s Complaint could not have been based, therefore, on residual jurisdiction under Rule 41. Undeniably, such order of dismissal was not one for the protection and preservation of the rights of the parties, pending the disposition of the case on appeal. What the CA referred to as residual prerogatives were the general residual powers of the courts to dismiss an action motu proprio upon the grounds mentioned in Section 1 of Rule 9 of the Rules of Court and under authority of Section 2 of Rule 1 of the same rules.

To be sure, the CA had the excepted instances in mind when it dismissed the Complaint motu proprio "on more fundamental grounds directly bearing on the lower court’s lack of

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jurisdiction" and for prescription of the action. Indeed, when a court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter, the only power it has is to dismiss the action. Nonetheless, In Aldovino v. Alunan, the Court has held that when the plaintiff’s own complaint shows clearly that the action has prescribed, such action may be dismissed even if the defense of prescription has not been invoked by the defendant. In Gicano v. Gegato,we also explained thus:

"x x x Trial courts have authority and discretion to dismiss an action on the ground of prescription when the parties' pleadings or other facts on record show it to be indeed time-barred; (Francisco v. Robles, Feb. 15, 1954; Sison v. McQuaid, 50 O.G. 97; Bambao v. Lednicky, Jan. 28, 1961; Cordova v. Cordova, Jan. 14, 1958; Convets, Inc. v. NDC, Feb. 28, 1958; 32 SCRA 529; Sinaon v. Sorongan, 136 SCRA 408); and it may do so on the basis of a motion to dismiss (Sec. 1,f, Rule 16, Rules of Court), or an answer which sets up such ground as an affirmative defense (Sec. 5, Rule 16), or even if the ground is alleged after judgment on the merits, as in a motion for reconsideration (Ferrer v. Ericta, 84 SCRA 705); or even if the defense has not been asserted at all, as where no statement thereof is found in the pleadings (Garcia v. Mathis, 100 SCRA 250; PNB v. Pacific Commission House, 27 SCRA 766; Chua Lamco v. Dioso, et al., 97 Phil. 821); or where a defendant has been declared in default (PNB v. Perez, 16 SCRA 270). What is essential only, to repeat, is that the facts demonstrating the lapse of the prescriptive period be otherwise sufficiently and satisfactorily apparent on the record; either in the averments of the plaintiff's complaint, or otherwise established by the evidence."45 (Italics supplied) Clearly then, the CA did not err in dismissing the present case. After all, if and when they are able to do so, courts must endeavor to settle entire controversies before them to prevent future litigations.

Petition DENIED; assailed Resolution AFFIRMED; dismissal of complaint SUSTAINED on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, failure to state a cause of action and prescription.

ENCARNACION vs. AMIGO

G.R. No. 169793, September 15, 2006

Facts:

Petitioner is the registered owner of 2 parcels of land formerly owned by his mother-in-law who signed a waiver of right in his favor when his father-in-law, Victoriano Magpantay, died. The latter acquired the said property through sale from Mallapitan who acquire the same from Valiente. Respondent Amigo allegedly entered the premises and took possession of a portion of the property without the permission of the then owner, Magpantay, which continued even after the issuance of the TCTs to the petitioner. Consequently, the petitioner, through his lawyer, sent a letter to the respondent demanding her to vacate the subject property which the latter refused. Thereafter, the petitioner filed a

complaint for ejectment, damages with injunction and prayer for restraining order with the MTC in Cities of Isabela. In her Answer, she alleged that she has been in possession of a portion of the subject property since 1968 and that the issuance of Free Patent, and titles in the name of petitioner was tainted with irregularities. The MTC rendered judgment in favor of the petitioner. On appeal to the RTC, the RTC ruled to dismiss the case on the ground that the MTC had no jurisdiction over the case, the RTC acquired no appellate jurisdiction thereof. Aggrieved, the petitioner filed a petition for review under Rule 42 before the CA which ruled to remand the case to the RTC for further proceedings. Hence, the present petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the CA erred in holding that the proper action is accion publiciana and not unlawful detainer as determined by the allegations in the complaint filed by the petitioner.

Held:

Yes. After a careful evaluation of the evidence on record of this case, we find that the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in holding that the proper action in this case is accion publiciana; and in ordering the remand of the case to the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20, for further proceedings. Well settled is the rule that jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter of the action is determined by the allegations of the complaint at the time of its filing, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein. What determines the jurisdiction of the court is the nature of the action pleaded as appearing from the allegations in the complaint. The averments therein and the character of the relief sought are the ones to be consulted. On its face, the complaint must show enough ground for the court to assume jurisdiction without resort to parol testimony. From the allegations in the complaint, it appears that the petitioner became the owner of the property on April 11, 1995 by virtue of the waiver of rights executed by his mother-in-law. He filed the complaint for ejectment on March 2, 2001 after his February 1, 2001 letter to the respondent demanding that the latter vacate the premises remained unheeded. While it is true that the demand letter was received by the respondent on February 12, 2001, thereby making the filing of the complaint for ejectment fall within the requisite one year from last demand for complaints for unlawful detainer, it is also equally true that petitioner became the owner of the subject lot in 1995 and has been since that time deprived possession of a portion thereof. From the date of the petitioner's dispossession in 1995 up to his filing of his complaint for ejectment in 2001, almost 6 years have elapsed. The length of time that the petitioner was dispossessed of his property made his cause of action beyond the ambit of an accion interdictal and effectively made it one for accion publiciana. After the lapse of the one-year period, the suit must be commenced in the Regional Trial Court via an accion publiciana which is a suit for recovery of the right to possess. It is

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an ordinary civil proceeding to determine the better right of possession of realty independently of title. It also refers to an ejectment suit filed after the expiration of one year from the accrual of the cause of action or from the unlawful withholding of possession of the realty. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 30, 2005 in CA-G.R. SP No. 73857 ordering the remand of Civil Case No. Br. 20-1194 to the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20, for further proceedings, is AFFIRMED. NOTE:

The three kinds of actions for the recovery of possession of real property are:

1. Accion interdictal, or an ejectment proceeding which may be either that for forcible entry (detentacion) or unlawful detainer (desahucio), which is a summary action for recovery of physical possession where the dispossession has not lasted for more than one year, and should be brought in the proper inferior court;

2. Accion publiciana or the plenary action for the recovery of the real right of possession, which should be brought in the proper Regional Trial Court when the dispossession has lasted for more than one year; and

3. Accion reinvindicatoria or accion de reivindicacion, which is an action for the recovery of ownership which must be brought in the proper Regional Trial Court

Hence, we agree with the Court of Appeals when it declared that:

The respondent's actual entry on the land of the petitioner was in 1985 but it was only on March 2, 2001 or sixteen years after, when petitioner filed his ejectment case. The respondent should have filed an accion publiciana case which is under the jurisdiction of the RTC. However, the RTC should have not dismissed the case. Section 8, Rule 40 of the Rules of Court provides: SECTION 8. Appeal from orders dismissing case without trial; lack of jurisdiction. If an appeal is taken from an order of the lower court dismissing the case without a trial on the merits, the Regional Trial Court may affirm or reverse it, as the case may be. In case of affirmance and the ground of dismissal is lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, the Regional Trial Court, if it has jurisdiction thereover, shall try the case on the merits as if the case was originally filed with it. In case of reversal, the case shall be remanded for further proceedings. If the case was tried on the merits by the lower court without jurisdiction over the subject matter, the Regional Trial Court on appeal shall not dismiss the case if it has original jurisdiction thereof, but shall decide the case in accordance with the preceding section, without prejudice to the admission of amended pleadings and additional evidence in the interest of justice. The RTC should have taken cognizance of the case. If the case is tried on the merits by the Municipal Court without jurisdiction over the subject matter, the RTC on appeal may no longer dismiss the case if it has original jurisdiction thereof.

Moreover, the RTC shall no longer try the case on the merits, but shall decide the case on the basis of the evidence presented in the lower court, without prejudice to the admission of the amended pleadings and additional evidence in the interest of justice.

RCPI vs. CA
RCPI vs. CA

G.R.No. 136109, August 1, 2002

Facts:

Private respondent Dulawon filed with the RTC a complaint for breach of contract of lease with damages against Radio Communications of the Phils, Inc. (RCPI). Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction contending that it is the MTC which has jurisdiction as the complaint is basically one for collection of unpaid rentals in the amount of P84,000.00, which does not exceed the jurisdictional amount of P100,000.00 for RTCs. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss as well as the MR. Hence, petitioner went to CA on petition for certiorari, which dismissed the petition. MR having been denied, hence, this petition for review.

Issue:

not

complaint filed by Dulawon.

Whether

or

the

RTC

has

jurisdiction

over

the

Held:

Yes. Pertinent portion of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by Republic Act No. 7691, provides: SEC. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction: In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is

x

all

other cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and costs or the

value of the property in controversy exceeds One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in such other cases in Metro Manila, where the demand, exclusive of the abovementioned items exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00).

09-94,

x 2.The exclusion of the term “damages of whatever kind” in determining the jurisdictional amount under Section 19 (8) and Section 33 (1) of B.P. 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691, applies to cases where the damages are merely incidental to or a consequence of the main cause of action. However, in cases where the claim for

x

Corollary thereto, states:x x x

x

incapable of pecuniary estimation;

x

x x x

x x x (8) In

Administrative

x

x

Circular

No.

x

x

damages is the main cause of action, or one of the causes of action, the amount of such claim shall be considered in determining the

x

x x x. In Russell, et al., v. Vestil, et al., [8] the Court held that in determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation, the nature of the principal

x

jurisdiction of the court. x x x

x

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action or remedy sought must first be ascertained. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and jurisdiction over the action will depend on the amount of the claim. However, where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money, where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal relief sought, the action is one where the subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, which is cognizable exclusively by Regional Trial Courts. It is axiomatic that jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred by law and is determined by the allegations in the complaint and the character of the relief sought, irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to all or some of the claims asserted therein.

In the case at bar, the allegations in the complaint plainly show that private respondent’s cause of action is breach of contract. It is settled that a breach of contract is a cause of action either for specific performance or rescission of contracts. In Manufacturer’s Distributors, Inc. v. Siu Liong, the Court held that actions for specific performance are incapable of pecuniary estimation and therefore fall under the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court. Here, the averments in the complaint reveal that the suit filed by private respondent was primarily one for specific performance as it was aimed to enforce their three-year lease contract which would incidentally entitle him to monetary awards if the court should find that the subject contract of lease was breached. As alleged therein, petitioner’s failure to pay rentals due for the period from January to March 1997, constituted a violation of their contract which had the effect of accelerating the payment of monthly rentals for the years 1997 and 1998. The same complaint likewise implied a premature and unilateral termination of the term of the lease with the closure of and removal all communication equipment in the leased premises. [14] Under the circumstances, the court has to scrutinize the facts and the applicable laws in order to determine whether there was indeed a violation of their lease agreement that would justify the award of rentals and damages. The prayer, therefore, for the payment of unpaid rentals in the amount of P84,000.00 plus damages consequent to the breach is merely incidental to the main action for specific performance. Clearly, the action for specific performance case, irrespective of the amount of rentals and damages sought to be recovered, is incapable of pecuniary estimation, hence cognizable exclusively by the Regional Trial Court. The trial court, therefore, did not err in denying petitioner’s motion to dismiss. WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the petition is DENIED and the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 45987 is AFFIRMED.

BOKINGO vs. CA

 

G.R. No. 161739, May 4, 2006

Background of the case:

Petitioner filed an application for titling of a parcel of land before the DENR. Upon learning of the application, the private respondents filed a Protest against the petitioner contending that the subject parcel of land was inherited by the private respondents from their father, Celestino Busa. The Provincial Environmental and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) resolved the Protest in favor of the private respondents, and a certification stating that said Order has become final and executory. A survey Authority was issued by CENRO authorizing Campos (one of the private respondents) to survey the subject land. However, the petitioner stopped the survey. Private respondents availed of the Brgy. Justice System to resolve the controversy but to no avail, thus, a Certificate to File Action was issued. Hence, the filing of the instant complaint.

Facts:

Petitioner is one of the defendants in the complaint for injunction and damages filed by Ernesto Campos et al. with the RTC. He filed a motion to dismiss alleging that the latter has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim. Specifically, he contended that it could be gleaned from the complaint that the issue between the parties involved the possession of the land. As such, the assessed value of the land was crucial to determine the court’s jurisdiction over the subject matter in accordance with either Section 19(2) or Section 33(3) of BP 129 as amended by RA 7691. He pointed out that the assessed value of the subject property was not indicated.

The RTC ruled to deny the motion to dismiss holding that the relief being sought in the complaint is injunction in order that the respondent’s right to survey the subject land would not be defeated. It also held that it had jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim under Section 2 Rule 58 of the Rules of Court which provides in part that “preliminary injunction may be granted by the court where the action or proceeding is pending.” Petitioner filed with the CA a petition for certiorari alleging grave abuse of discretion. The CA dismissed the petition for lack of merit. It ruled that the remedy of certiorari is unavailing to the petitioner because “an order denying a motion to dismiss is interlocutory and cannot be the subject of the extraordinary petition for certiorari or mandamus.” Hence, the filing of the instant petition for review seeking the reversal of the said CA decision.

Issue:

Whether or not the contention of CA is correct.

Held:

Yes. It is axiomatic that the nature of the action and which court has original and exclusive jurisdiction over the same is determined by the material allegations of the complaint, the type of relief prayed for by the plaintiff, and the law in effect when the action is filed, irrespective of whether the plaintiffs are entitled to some or all of the claims asserted therein. The caption of the complaint is not determinative of the nature of the action. Nor does

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the jurisdiction of the court depend upon the answer of the defendant or agreement of the parties, or to the waiver or acquiescence of the parties. In this connection, it is well to note that the Court had the occasion to explain that "in determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation, the nature of the principal action, or remedy sought must first be ascertained. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and jurisdiction over the action will depend on the amount of the claim. However, where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money, where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal relief sought, the action is one where the subject of litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, which is cognizable exclusively by Regional Trial Courts." As gleaned from the complaint, the principal relief sought by the respondents in their complaint is for the court a quo to issue an injunction against petitioner Bokingo and his representatives to permanently enjoin them from preventing the survey of the subject land.

Significantly, the respondents’ complaint has not sought to recover the possession or ownership of the subject land. Rather, it is principally an action to enjoin petitioner Bokingo and his representatives from committing acts that would tend to prevent the survey of the subject land. It cannot be said therefore that it is one of a possessory action. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision dated December 17, 2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 71510 is AFFIRMED in toto.

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MTC CASE DIGEST

 

ORTIGAS & Co. vs J. HERRERA

 

Gr. No. L-36098, January 21, 1983

REYES vs STA. MARIA

 

Gr. No. L-33213, June 29, 1979

 

Facts:

Facts:

Petitioner and private respondent entered into an agreement with a consideration, the former agreed to sell to the latter a parcel of land with a special condition that should private respondent as purchaser complete the construction including the painting of his residential house on said lot. Upon failure of petitioner to pay his obligation, private respondent filed a complaint for sum of money and damages with the City Court of Manila, against petitioner A reconsideration of the said order having been denied, petitioner filed with the CFI Manila, a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction. A motion to dismiss was filed by private respondent, the petition was dismissed on the ground that the claim of private respondent in his complaint, being less than P10,000.00, is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the city court.

Petitioner thus filed the present petition and argues among others that: (a) as determined from the allegations of the complaint, the action is for specific performance of contract; and (b) actions in which the subject of litigation is not capable of pecuniary estimation such as complaints for specific performance of contract are exclusively cognizable by the Court of First Instance.

Artemio and Hilarion Reyes(Reyes) FILED: action termed as one to quiet title against private respondents Hilaria Santos De Lopez and Pilar Santos (Santos) @ CFI Bulacan. They alleged that:

They are owners of a lot in Barrio San Sebastian, Hagonoy, Bulacan. Through their tolerance and goodwill they let Maximo Santos(Father of defendants occupy the same on the condition that (1)Instead of rental Santos will pay the real estate taxes, (2)Santos would leave anytime Reyes’s demanded them to do so. Feb 1986 – Reyes verbally demanded Santos to vacate. The latter unreasonably refused at the same time claiming ownership thourgh purchase of the land from a certain Pablo Aguinaldo. They prayed that they be declared as owners, possession be given to them, P50 as rental/damages, and atty’s fees. Santos FILED: Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. That the case is actually one for ejectment or unlawful detainer which falls in the exclusive jurisdiction of the inferior or municipal court not the CFI. CFI: Granted motion. Case DISMISSED. The allegation that it was an action was instituted “in order to quiet title” is not sufficient by itself to consider this case as that action under

CC476(Property)

Issue:

Issue:

Whether or not the City Court of Manila has jurisdiction over the complaint.

Whether or not the action is that of unlawful detainer cognizable only by the MTC/ accion publiciana in which case CFI has jurisdiction.

Held: No. The action involved in this case is one for specific performance and not for a sum of money and wherefore incapable of pecuniary estimation because what private respondent seeks is the performance of petitioner's obligation under a written contract to make a refund but under certain specific conditions still to be proven or established. In a case for the recovery of a sum of money, as the collection of a debt, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation because the obligation to pay the debt is not conditioned upon any specific fact or matter. But when a party to a contract has agreed to refund to the other party a sum of money upon compliance by the latter of certain conditions and only upon compliance therewith may what is legally due him under the written contract be demanded, the action is one not capable of pecuniary estimation. The payment of a sum of money is only incidental which can only be ordered after a determination of certain acts the performance of which being the more basic issue to be inquired into. Although private respondent's complaint in the court a quo is designated as one for a sum of money and damages, an analysis of all the factual allegations of the complaint patently shows that what private respondent seeks is the performance of petitioner's obligation under the written contract to make the refund of the rate of P10.00 per square meter or in the total amount of P4,820.00, but only after proof of having himself fulfilled the conditions that will give rise to petitioner's obligation, a matter clearly incapable of pecuniary estimation.

Held:

The action is that of accion publiciana, since it was to recover possession de jure (if not one of accion reindivicatoria) falling within the jurisdiction of the CFI and not a mere action for detainer to recover physical possession that would fall within the jurisdiction of the MTC. (Recall Santos claimed they owned the land) Recall three types for recovery of possession and/ ownership. Accion interdictal, Accion publiciana, Accion reindivicatoria. In accion interdictal/forcible entry/unlawful detainer cases it is the physical possession and not the possession de jure which is in question. HERE the lower court was in error, since it was clear in the complaint that Santos refused to deliver possession due to adverse claim of ownership. Clearly the present case is one for recovery of the right to possess and falls within the jurisdiction of the CFI. Reyes correctly filed their accion publiciana. ACCORDINGLY LC judgment set aside, REMANDED to continue proceedings.

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ORTIGAS & CO vs CA

Gr. No. 52488, July 25, 1981

Facts:

Without prejudice to the right of Ortigas to file the proper action in the proper court, the decisions of the CA, CFI and MC of San Juan Rizal are set aside.

Petition for review of the decision of the CA. In 1974, Ortigas and Co. filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against Maximo Belmonte in the Municipal Court of San Juan Rizal, praying that judgment be rendered 1.) ordering the defendant his successors-in-interest to vacate and surrender the lot to plaintiff; 2.) declaring the residential building constructed on the lot by defendant as forfeited in favor of plaintiff; 3.0 condeming defendant to pay monthly rent of 5,000 from July 18, 1971 up to the time he vacates, together with attorney's fees and exemplary damages. The Ruled in favor of plaintiff and granted the relieves prayed for. Belmonte filed a motion to dismiss in the Cfi based on lack of jurisdiction on the part of the MC. CFI denied motion and affirmed in totot the MC judgment. The said court also issued a writ of execution. Belmonte filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminsry injunction in the CA, assiling the 1.) the jurisdiction of the CFI andf MC; 2.) the propriety of the judgment on the pleadings rendered by the MC; and 3.) the propriety of the issuance of the writ of execution issued by the CFI. The Ca ruled in favor of Belmonte, holding that the MC has no jurisdiction. Hence the present petition.

Issues:

 

VILLOTAS vs CA

 

Gr. No. 96271, June 26, 1992

Facts:

Private respondent's Electrolux sales agents were making door to door selling of its products in the subdivision. Petitioner Villostas placed an order for 1 unit of said water purifier for an installment basis. After 2 times of complaint against the respondents of the impurities and bad odor of the unit, petitioner sent a letter to the private respondent's branch manager stating that she decided to return the unit and demand a refund for the amount paid. Electrolux's branch manager offered to change the water purifier with another brand of any of its appliance of the unit in her favor. Petitioner did not accept it as she was disappointed with the original unit which did not perform as warranted and did not pay any more the subsequent installments in the amount of P14,540.00 exclusive of interests. Respondent Electrolux Marketing, Inc. filed a complaint against petitioner Villostas with the MTC of Makati for the recovery of the sum of P14,540.00 representing the unpaid balance of the purchase price of one (1) Electrolux Water Purifier plus interest thereon at the rate of 42% per annum in accordance with the Sales Contract with Reservation of Title. Petitioner Villostas asserted that by reason of private respondent's breach of warranty she was availing of the remedy of rescission of the contract of sale and offered to return the water purifier to the seller as in fact, it was already being offered for return, aside from claiming for the refund of her payments. Petitioner prayed that the contract of sale be declared rescinded and the payments refunded to her together with the full grant of the claims asserted in her counterclaims. MTC rendered decision in favor of respondent. The petitioner, thereafter, filed a notice of appeal from the judgment of said lower court. The Regional Trial Court of Makati rendered its judgment affirming the disputed decision. A motion for reconsideration having been denied, petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals and was given an inextendible period of 15 days to file a petition for review. Anticipating that she would fail to comply with the deadline, herein petitioner filed a second extension to file a petition for review which, however, was denied. Before the CA, petitioner contended that the RTC erred when it ruled that its claim for rescission had prescribed inasmuch as she had formally notified the seller within a reasonable time, that is, 2 months and 26 days, from the delivery of water purifier on September 13, 1986 of her election to rescind. Private respondent countered that the petitioner was not entitled to rescission vis-a-vis alleged violation of the warranty for

1. Whether or not the CA has appellate jurisdiction over this case

2. Whether or not the MC had jurisdiction to resolve the issues in

the

original complaint

Held:

 
 

1.

NO. After analyzing the issues raised by Belmonte

before the CA, namely 1.) the jurisdiction of the CFI andf MC; 2.) the propriety of the judgment on the pleadings rendered by the MC; and

3.) the propriety of the issuance of the writ of execution issued by

the

CFI, the SC held that the same are purely legal in nature. Since

appellate jurisdiction over cases involving purely legal questions is exclusively vested in the SC by Sec. 17 of the Judiciary Act (RA 296),

it is apparent that the decision under review rendered by the CA without jurisdiction should be set aside.

 

2.

NO. Where a subdivision owner seeks not just to eject

the

lot buyer who defaulted in his payments but also prays that the

residential building constructed by the buyer be forfeited in

plaintiff's favor, jurisdiction over the case belongs to the CFI not the

MC

in an ejectment case. The issues raised before the inferior court

did

not only involved the possession of the lot but also rights and

obligations of the parties to the residential building which under Art. 45 of the CC is real property. Aslo, plaintiff's claim to the bldg raises

question of ownership. A CFI cannot assume jurisdiction in a case appealed to it under SECII Rule 40 where one of the parties objected to its jurisdiction. Since the original case was decided by the MC without jurisdiction over the subject matter thereof, the CFI should have dismissed the cases when it was brought before it on appeal.

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hidden defects for the reason that rescission of contract sought by petitioner was beyond the jurisdictional competence of the trial court. It adds that petitioner could no longer avail of rescission because said legal recourse was time barred judging from delivery of the water purifier on September 13, 1986 pursuant to Art. 1571 of the New Civil Code.

Issue:

Whether or not the MTC has a jurisdictional competence to order rescission of the herein contract.

Held:

Yes. Anent the jurisdictional competence of the Metropolitan Trial Court to order rescission of contract, suffice it to say that the action was initiated by herein private respondent Electrolux when it filed a complaint for collection of a sum of money worth P14,540.00, against petitioner Villostas. Said amount is indubitably within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Court since it does not exceed P20,000.00 exclusive of interest and costs but inclusive of damages of whatever. Moreover, the jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter is determined by the allegations of the complaint irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein. When the petitioner, therefore, raised rescission of contract in her answer, the court is not divested of its jurisdiction over the case on account of defenses raised by the answer. The court is then merely authorized to receive evidence thereon. Clearly, the jurisdiction of the court cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the answer or upon the motion to dismiss. Otherwise, the question of jurisdiction would depend almost entirely upon the defendant

VDA. DE BARRERA vs HEIRS OF VICENTE LEGASPI

Gr. No. 174346, September 12, 2008

Facts:

This is a petition for review of the Decision of the CA which affirmed that of the RTC Branch 16, of Tangub City, ordering the defendants-petitioners herein, Fernanda Geonzon vda. de Barrera and Johnny Oco. Jr. to return possession of the subject property to the plaintiffs-herein respondents, Heirs of Vicente Legaspi. On October 1, 1996, petitioner Johnny Oco Jr. forced his way into respondents' 0.9504-hectare irrigated farmland located at Liloan, Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental. After dispossessing respondents of the property, Oco and company used a tractor to destroy the planted crops, took possession of the land, and had since tended it. On February 7, 1997, respondents filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court of Tangub City for Reconveyance of Possession with Preliminary Mandatory Injunction and Damages against petitioners. They alleged that the land was occupied, possessed and cultivated by their predecesseor-in-interest since

1935. However, after a subdivision survey conducted in November 30, 1976, it was found out that the land formed part of the titled property of Andrea Lacson but despite this discovery, they never filed any action to recover ownership since they were left undisturbed in their possession until the present issue. Petitioners raised the issue of ownership as a special affirmative defense and also questioned the jurisdiction of the RTC over the subject matter of the complaint, the assessed value of the land being only P11,160, as reflected in Tax Declaration No. 7565. On November 27, 1998, the trial court rendered a decision in favor of the respondents ordering the petitioners to return the possession of the land in question to the respondents and to desist from further depriving and disturbing the latter’s peaceful possession thereof, unless there be another court judgment to the contrary.

On the issue of jurisdiction over the subject matter, the trial court held that what determines the nature of the action as well as the jurisdiction of the court are the facts alleged in the complaint and not those alleged in the answer of the defendants. In the plaintiff’s complaint, the present estimated value of the land being

50,000.

Petitioners thereupon appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the trial court's disposition of the issue of jurisdiction over the subject matter and the merits finding that appellees, through their predecessors-in-interest, have been in peaceful, continuous, public and actual possession of the property in dispute even before the year 1930. The appellate court emphasized that in an accion publiciana, the only issue involved is the determination of possession de jure.

Issue:

Whether the rtc has jurisdiction over the subject matter based on the present estimated value/fair market value.

Held:

Section 33(3) of BP 129 as amended by Republic Act No. 7691 provides for the jurisdiction of metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts and municipal circuit trial courts wherein these courts have exclusive original jurisdiction over civil actions which involve title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein where the assessed value of the real property does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000) or, in Metro Manila where it does not not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000). Accordingly, the jurisdictional element is the assessed value of the property. The subject land has an assessed value of P11,160 as reflected in Tax Declaration No. 7565, a common exhibit of the

falls

parties.

original

jurisdiction of the municipal trial court. It was error then for the RTC

to take cognizance of the complaint based on the allegation that "the present estimated value [of the land is] P50,000," which allegation is, oddly, handwritten on the printed pleading. The estimated value, commonly referred to as fair market value, is entirely different from the assessed value of the property. Furthermore, respondents' cause of action - accion publiciana is a wrong mode. The dispossession took place on October 1, 1996 and the complaint was filed four months thereafter

The

case,

therefore,

within

the

exclusive

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or on February 7, 1997. Respondents' exclusion from the property had thus not lasted for more than one year to call for the remedy of accion publiciana. In fine, since the RTC has no jurisdiction over the complaint filed by respondents, all the proceedings therein as well as the Decision of November 27, 1998, are null and void. The complaint should perforce be dismissed. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED whereby the decision of the CA is SET ASIDE and the decision of Branch 16 of the RTC is declared NULL and VOID for lack of jurisdiction.

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FAMILY COURTS

Gr. No. 159374, July 12, 2007

Facts:

Petitioner Felipe N. Madriñan and respondent Francisca R. Madriñan were married with three sons and a daughter. After a bitter quarrel petitioner left their home and took their three sons with him to Albay and subsequently to Laguna. Thus respondent wife filed a petition for habeas corpus of their 3 sons in the CA. Petitioner husband filed a memorandum alleging that the wife is unfit and he also questioned the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals claiming that under Section 5(b) of RA 8369 (otherwise known as the "Family Courts Act of 1997") family courts have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide the petition for habeas corpus filed by respondent wife. The CA rendered a decision asserting its authority to take cognizance of the petition and ruling that, under Article 213 of the Family Code, respondent wife was entitled to the custody of 2 minor sons who were at that time aged six and four, subject to the visitation rights of husband. With respect to Ronnick (the eldest) who was then eight years old, the court ruled that his custody should be determined by the proper family court in a special proceeding on custody of minors under Rule 99 of the Rules of Court.

Issue:

Whether or not CA has a jurisdiction over the case.

Held:

The Supreme Court ruled in a previous jurisprudence that the Court of Appeals should have cognizance of this case since there is nothing in RA 8369 that revoked its jurisdiction to issue writs of habeas corpus involving the custody of minors. RA 8369 did not divest the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of their jurisdiction over habeas corpus cases involving the custody of minors. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the family courts of Habeas Corpus involving custody of minors. The Court of Appeals should take cognizance of the case since there is nothing in RA 8369 that revoked its jurisdiction to issue writs of habeas corpus involving the custody of minors. SC ruled therefore that RA 8369 did not divest the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of their jurisdiction over habeas corpus cases involving the custody of minors. The provisions of RA 8369 reveal no manifest intent to revoke the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court to issue writs of habeas corpus relating to the custody of minors. Further, it cannot be said that the provisions of RA 8369, RA 7092 [An Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals] and BP 129 [The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980] are absolutely incompatible since RA 8369 does not prohibit the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court from issuing writs of habeas corpus in cases involving the custody of minors. Thus, the provisions of RA 8369

must be read in harmony with RA 7029 and BP 129 that family courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court in petitions for habeas corpus where the custody of minors is at issue. The rule therefore is: when by law jurisdiction is conferred on a court or judicial officer, all auxiliary writs, processes and other means necessary to carry it into effect may be employed by such court or officer. Once a court acquires jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case, it does so to the exclusion of all other courts, including related incidents and ancillary matters. Petition is denied.

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COMMERCIAL COURTS

REYES vs RTC OF MAKATI

Gr. No. 165744, August 11, 2008

Facts:

Zenith Insurance Corp. and Rodrigo Reyes filed a derivative suit against his brother Oscar to obtain an accounting of the funds and assets of the corporation that were arbitrarily and fraudulently appropriated by Oscar for himself. Oscar moved to declare the complaint as a nuisance and harassment suit and should be dismissed according to the Interim Rules of Procedure for Intra-Corporate Controversies. RTC of Makati, designated as a special commercial court:

denied the motion and declared that the complaint is a proper derivative suit. Oscar went to the CA on a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus and prayed that the RTC Order be annulled and set aside and that the trial court be prohibited from continuing with the proceedings. CA: affirmed the RTC Order and denied the petition. Oscar now comes before the SC on appeal through a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

Issue:

Whether the trial court, sitting as a special commercial court, has jurisdiction over the subject matter.

Held:

The SC ruled that that jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred by law and is determined by the allegations of the complaint, irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to all or some of the claims asserted therein. P.D. No. 902-A enumerates the cases over which the SEC (now the RTC acting as a special commercial court) exercises exclusive jurisdiction: SECTION 5. In addition to the regulatory and adjudicative functions of the Securities and Exchange Commission over corporations, partnership, and other forms of associations registered with it as expressly granted under existing laws and decrees, it shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving: a) Devices or schemes employed by or any acts of the board of directors, business associates, its officers or partners, amounting to fraud and misrepresentation which may be detrimental to the interest of the public and/or of the stockholders, partners, members of associations or organizations registered with the Commission. b) Controversies arising out of intra-corporate or partnership relations, between and among stockholders, members, or associates; between any or all of them and the corporation, partnership or association of which they are stockholders, members, or associates, respectively; and between such corporation, partnership or association and the State insofar as it concerns their individual franchise or right to exist as such entity; and c) Controversies in the election or appointment of directors, trustees, officers, or managers of such corporations, partnerships, or associations. The Court ruled that the charges of fraud against Oscar were not properly supported by the required factual allegations.

While the complaint contained allegations of fraud purportedly committed by him, these allegations are not particular enough to bring the controversy within the special commercial court’s jurisdiction; they are not statements of ultimate facts, but are mere conclusions of law: how and why the alleged appropriation of shares can be characterized as "illegal and fraudulent" were not explained nor elaborated on. Not every allegation of fraud done in a corporate setting or perpetrated by corporate officers will bring the case within the special commercial court’s jurisdiction. To fall within this jurisdiction, there must be sufficient nexus showing that the corporation’s nature, structure, or powers were used to facilitate the fraudulent device or scheme. Contrary to this concept, the complaint presented a reverse situation. No corporate power or office was alleged to have facilitated the transfer of the shares; rather, Oscar, as an individual and without reference to his corporate personality, was alleged to have transferred the shares of Anastacia to his name, allowing him to become the majority and controlling stockholder of Zenith, and eventually, the corporation’s President. In ordinary cases, the failure to specifically allege the fraudulent acts does not constitute a ground for dismissal since such defect can be cured by a bill of particulars. In cases governed by the Interim Rules of Procedure on Intra-Corporate Controversies, however, a bill of particulars is a prohibited pleading. It is essential, therefore, for the complaint to show on its face what are claimed to be the fraudulent corporate acts if the complainant wishes to invoke the court’s special commercial jurisdiction. We note that twice in the course of this case, Rodrigo had been given the opportunity to study the propriety of amending or withdrawing the complaint, but he consistently refused. The court’s function in resolving issues of jurisdiction is limited to the review of the allegations of the complaint and, on the basis of these allegations, to the determination of whether they are of such nature and subject that they fall within the terms of the law defining the court’s jurisdiction. Regretfully, we cannot read into the complaint any specifically alleged corporate fraud that will call for the exercise of the court’s special commercial jurisdiction. Thus, we cannot affirm the RTC’s assumption of jurisdiction over Rodrigo’s complaint on the basis of Section 5(a) of P.D. No. 902-A

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KATARUNGANG PAMBARANGAY

BLARDONY vs COSCULLUELA

Gr. No. 70261, February 28, 1990

Facts:

The petitioner and the private respondent were spouses but due to irreconcilable differences, petitioner and private respondent separated in March, 1981. The wife filed a Petition for Dissolution of Conjugal Partnership and Partition of Conjugal Partnership Properties in the Court of First Instance of Rizal. The husband filed a motion to dismiss the petition on jurisdictional grounds, claiming that it should have been filed first in the Lupon Tagapamayapa as provided in P.D. 1508, because both are residents of the same Municipality of Makati. Mrs. Blardony opposed the motion to dismiss. Judge Segundo Soza dismissed her petition for her failure, as plaintiff, to comply with Section 6 of P.D. 1508. Mrs. Blardony filed a motion for reconsideration. In the meantime, the courts were reorganized and the case was transferred to Branch CXLVI (146) of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, presided over by Judge Jose Coscolluela, Jr. Judge Coscolluela set aside Judge Soza's order of dismissal and required the defendant to submit an accounting of his salaries, allowances, bonuses, and commissions. The latter's motion for reconsideration of that order was denied by the court. Hence, this petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction on the grounds that respondent Judge exceeded his jurisdiction in assuming jurisdiction over the case without prior referral to the Lupon Tagapamayapa as required by P.D. 1508.

Issue:

Whether or not the respondent Judge exceeded his jurisdiction in assuming jurisdiction over the case without prior referral to the Lupon Tagapamayapa as required by P.D. 1508.

Held:

No. The petition has no merit. Our jurisprudence is replete with decisions of this Court to the effect that while the referral of a case to the Lupon Tagapayapa is a condition precedent for filing a complaint in court, it is not a jurisdictional requirement, "its non- compliance cannot affect the jurisdiction which the court has already acquired over the subject matter or over the person of the defendant." (Fernandez vs. Militante, May 31, 1988; Gonzales vs. Court of Appeals, 151 SCRA 287; Royales vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 127 SCRA 470). Petitioner waived the pre-litigation conciliation procedure prescribed in P.D. No. 1508 when he did not file a motion to dismiss the complaint on that score, but filed his answer thereto wherein he prayed the court to make an equitable partition of the conjugal properties. While petitioners could have prevented the trial court from exercising jurisdiction over the case by seasonably taking exception thereto, they instead invoked the very same jurisdiction

Upon

this premise, petitioners cannot be allowed belatedly to adopt an inconsistent posture by attacking the jurisdiction of the court to which they had submitted themselves voluntarily. Furthermore, under Section 6 of P.D. 1508, the complaint may be filed directly in a competent court without passing the

Lupon Tagapayapa in the following cases: SECTION 6. Conciliation, pre-condition to filing of complaint. No complaint, petition, action or proceeding involving any matter within the authority of the Lupon as provided in Section 2 hereof, shall be filed or instituted in court or any other government office for adjudication unless there has been

a confrontation of the parties before the Lupon Chairman or the

by filing an answer and seeking affirmative relief from

Pangkat and no conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by the Lupon Secretary or the Pangkat Secretary, attested by the Lupon or Pangkat Chairman, or unless the settlement has been repudiated. However, the parties may go directly to court in the following cases: xxx xxx xxx (3) Actions coupled with provisional

remedies such as preliminary injunction, attachment,delivery of personal properly and support pendente lite;

WEE vs DE CASTRO

Gr. No. 176405, August 20, 2008

Facts:

Respondents alleged that they were the registered owners

of the subject property, a two-storey building erected on a parcel of

land registered under Transfer Certificate of Title and rented out the subject property to petitioner on a month to month. Both parties agreed the rental payment shall be increased. Petitioner, however, failed or refused to pay the corresponding increase on rent when his rental obligation for the month of October became due. The rental dispute was brought to the Lupon Tagapagpamayapa of Poblacion, Alaminos, Pangasinan, in an attempt to amicably settle the matter but the parties failed to reach an agreement, resulting in the issuance by the Barangay Lupon of a Certification to file action in court. Respondent George de Castro sent a letter to petitioner terminating their lease agreement and demanding that the latter vacate and turn over the subject property to respondents. Since petitioner stubbornly refused to comply with said demand letter, respondent George de Castro, together with his siblings and co- respondents filed the Complaint for ejectment before the MTC. Petitioner then argued that respondents failed to comply with the jurisdictional requirement of conciliation before the Barangay Lupon prior to the filing of Civil Case. No. 1990, meriting the dismissal of their Complaint therein. The Certification to file action issued by the Barangay Lupon appended to the respondents' Complaint merely referred to the issue of rental increase and not the matter of ejectment. Petitioner asserted further that the MTC lacked jurisdiction over the ejectment suit, since respondents'

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Complaint was devoid of any allegation that there was an "unlawful withholding" of the subject property by the petitioner. MTC dismissed the respondents' Complaint in Civil Case No. 1990 for failure to comply with the prior conciliation requirement before the Barangay Lupon. RTC then declared that respondents' failure to refer the matter to the Barangay court for conciliation process barred the ejectment case, conciliation before the Lupon being a condition sine qua non in the filing of ejectment suits. Respondents filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari with the CA. Respondents further claimed that the MTC was not divested of jurisdiction over their Complaint for ejectment because of the mere absence therein of the term "unlawful withholding" of their subject property, considering that they had sufficiently alleged the same in their Complaint, albeit worded differently. Court of Appeals rendered a Decision granting the respondents' petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the Certification dated January 2002 issued by the Barangay Lupon stating that no settlement was reached by the parties on the matter of rental increase sufficient to comply with the prior conciliation requirement under the Katarungang Pambarangay Law to authorize the respondents to institute the ejectment suit against petitioner.

Held:

Yes. While it is true that the Certification to file action dated 18 January 2002 of the Barangay Lupon refers only to rental increase and not to the ejectment of petitioner from the subject property, the submission of the same for conciliation before the Barangay Lupon constitutes sufficient compliance with the provisions of the Katarungang Pambarangay Law. Given the particular circumstances of the case at bar, the conciliation proceedings for the amount of monthly rental should logically and reasonably include also the matter of the possession of the property subject of the rental, the lease agreement, and the violation of the terms thereof. The barangay justice system was established primarily as a means of easing up the congestion of cases in the judicial courts. This could be accomplished through a proceeding before the barangay courts which, according to the one who conceived of the system, the late Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro, is essentially arbitration in character; and to make it truly effective, it should also be compulsory. With this primary objective of the barangay justice system in mind, it would be wholly in keeping with the underlying philosophy of Presidential Decree No. 1508 (Katarungang Pambarangay Law), which would be better served if an out-of-court settlement of the case is reached voluntarily by the parties. To ensure this objective, Section 6 of Presidential Decree No. 1508 requires the parties to undergo a conciliation process before the Lupon Chairman or the Pangkat ng Tagapagkasundo as a precondition to filing a complaint in court subject to certain exceptions. The said section has been declared compulsory in nature.

AQUINO vs AURE

Gr. No. 153567, February 18, 2008

Facts:

Aure Lending filed a Complaint for ejectment against Aquino. In their Complaint, Aure and Aure Lending alleged that they acquired the subject property from a Deed of Sale. Aquino countered that the Complaint lacks cause of action for Aure and Aure Lending do not have any legal right over the subject property. MeTC rendered in favor of Aquino and dismissed the Complaint for ejectment of Aure and Aure Lending for non- compliance with the barangay conciliation process, among other grounds. Te MeTC observed that Aure and Aquino are residents of the same barangay but there is no showing that any attempt has been made to settle the case amicably at the barangay level. RTC affirmed.

CA reversed the MeTC and RTC Decisions and remanding the case to the MeTC for further proceedings and final determination of the substantive rights of the parties.

Issue:

Whether or not non-compliance with the barangay conciliation proceedings is a jurisdictional defect that warrants the dismissal of the complaint.

Held:

NO. There is no dispute herein that the present case was never referred to the Barangay Lupon for conciliation before Aure and Aure Lending instituted Civil Case No. 17450. In fact, no allegation of such barangay conciliation proceedings was made in Aure and Aure Lending’s Complaint before the MeTC. It is true that the precise technical effect of failure to comply with the requirement of Section 412 of the Local Government Code on barangay conciliation (previously contained in Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 1508) is much the same effect produced by non-exhaustion of administrative remedies -- the complaint becomes afflicted with the vice of pre-maturity; and the controversy there alleged is not ripe for judicial determination. The complaint becomes vulnerable to a motion to dismiss. Nevertheless, the conciliation process is not a jurisdictional requirement, so that non-compliance therewith cannot affect the jurisdiction which the court has otherwise acquired over the subject matter or over the person of the defendant. As enunciated in the landmark case of Royales v. Intermediate Appellate Court: Ordinarily, non-compliance with the condition precedent prescribed by P.D. 1508 could affect the sufficiency of the plaintiff's cause of action and make his complaint vulnerable to dismissal on ground of lack of cause of action or prematurity; but the same would not prevent a court of competent jurisdiction from exercising its power of adjudication over the case before it, where the defendants, as in this case, failed to object to such exercise of jurisdiction in their answer and even during the entire proceedings a quo. While petitioners could have prevented the trial court from exercising jurisdiction over the case by seasonably taking

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exception thereto, they instead invoked the very same jurisdiction by filing an answer and seeking affirmative relief from it. What is more, they participated in the trial of the case by cross-examining respondent Planas. Upon this premise, petitioners cannot now be allowed belatedly to adopt an inconsistent posture by attacking the jurisdiction of the court to which they had submitted themselves voluntarily. x x x (Emphasis supplied.) Jurisdiction in ejectment cases is determined by the allegations pleaded in the complaint. As long as these allegations demonstrate a cause of action either for forcible entry or for unlawful detainer, the court acquires jurisdiction over the subject matter. This principle holds, even if the facts proved during the trial do not support the cause of action thus alleged, in which instance the court -- after acquiring jurisdiction -- may resolve to dismiss the action for insufficiency of evidence. x x x. The law, as revised, now provides instead that when the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession. On its face, the new Rule on Summary Procedure was extended to include within the jurisdiction of the inferior courts ejectment cases which likewise involve the issue of ownership. This does not mean, however, that blanket authority to adjudicate the issue of ownership in ejectment suits has been thus conferred on the inferior courts. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Petition is DENIED. The Court of Appeals Decision dated 17 October 2001 and its Resolution dated 8 May 2002 in CA-G.R. SP No. 63733 are hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against the petitioner.

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SUPREME COURT

(Full Text)

Ferdinand Cruz vs JUDGE PRISCILLA MIJARES, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 108, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Public Respondent. BENJAMIN MINA, JR, Private Respondent.

G.R. No. 154464, September 11, 2008

DECISION

NACHURA, J.:

This is a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus, with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. It was directly filed with this Court assailing the Resolutions dated May 10, 2002 1 and July 31, 2002 2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 108, Pasay City, which denied the appearance of the plaintiff Ferdinand A. Cruz, herein petitioner, as party litigant, and the refusal of the public respondent, Judge Priscilla Mijares, to voluntarily inhibit herself from trying the case. No writ of preliminary injunction was issued by this Court.

The antecedents:

On March 5, 2002, Ferdinand A. Cruz (petitioner) sought permission to enter his appearance for and on his behalf, before the RTC, Branch 108, Pasay City, as the plaintiff in Civil Case No. 01-0410, for Abatement of Nuisance. Petitioner, a fourth year law student, anchors his claim on Section 34 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court 3 that a non-lawyer may appear before any court and conduct his litigation personally.

During the pre-trial, Judge Priscilla Mijares required the petitioner to secure a written permission from the Court Administrator before he could be allowed to appear as counsel for himself, a party-litigant. Atty. Stanley Cabrera, counsel for Benjamin Mina, Jr., filed a Motion to Dismiss instead of a pre-trial brief to which petitioner Cruz vehemently objected alleging that a Motion to Dismiss is not allowed after the Answer had been filed. Judge Mijares then remarked, "Hay naku, masama ‘yung marunong pa sa Huwes. Ok?" and proceeded to hear the pending Motion to Dismiss and calendared the next hearing on May 2, 2002.

On March 6, 2002, petitioner Cruz filed a Manifestation and Motion to Inhibit, 4 praying for the voluntary inhibition of Judge Mijares. The Motion alleged that expected partiality on the part of the respondent judge in the conduct of the trial could be inferred from the contumacious remarks of Judge Mijares during the pre-trial. It asserts that the judge, in uttering an uncalled for remark, reflects a negative frame of mind, which engenders the belief that justice will not be served. 5

In an Order 6 dated April 19, 2002, Judge Mijares denied the motion for inhibition stating that throwing tenuous allegations of partiality based on the said remark is not enough to warrant her voluntary inhibition, considering that

it was said even prior to the start of pre-trial. Petitioner filed

a motion for reconsideration 7 of the said order.

On May 10, 2002, Judge Mijares denied the motion with finality. 8 In the same Order, the trial court held that for the failure of petitioner Cruz to submit the promised document and jurisprudence, and for his failure to satisfy the requirements or conditions under Rule 138-A of the Rules of Court, his appearance was denied.

In a motion for reconsideration, 9 petitioner reiterated that the basis of his appearance was not Rule 138-A, but Section 34 of Rule 138. He contended that the two Rules were distinct and are applicable to different circumstances, but the respondent judge denied the same, still invoking Rule 138-A, in an Order 10 dated July 31, 2002.

On August 16, 2002, the petitioner directly filed with this Court, the instant petition and assigns the following errors:

I.

THE RESPONDENT REGIONAL TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED AND ABUSED ITS DISCRETION WHEN IT DENIED THE APPEARANCE OF THE PETITIONER, FOR AND IN THE LATTER’S BEHALF, IN CIVIL CASE NO. 01-0401 [sic] CONTRARY TO RULE 138, SECTION 34 OF THE RULES OF COURT, PROVIDING FOR THE APPEARANCE OF NON-LAWYERS AS A PARTY LITIGANT;

II.

THE RESPONDENT COURT GRAVELY ERRED AND ABUSED ITS DISCRETION WHEN IT DID NOT VOLUNTARILY INHIBIT DESPITE THE ADVENT OF JURISPRUDENCE [sic] THAT SUCH AN INHIBITION IS PROPER TO PRESERVE THE PEOPLE’S FAITH AND CONFIDENCE TO THE COURTS.

The core issues raised before the Court are: (1) whether the extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Court may issue; and (2) whether the respondent court acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it denied the appearance of the petitioner as party litigant and when the judge refused to inhibit herself from trying the

case.

This Court’s jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus and injunction is not exclusive; it has concurrent jurisdiction with the RTCs and the Court of Appeals. This concurrence of jurisdiction is not, however, to be taken as an absolute, unrestrained freedom to choose the court where the application therefor will be directed. 11 A becoming regard of the judicial hierarchy most certainly

indicates that petitions for the issuance of extraordinary writs against the RTCs should be filed with the Court of Appeals. 12 The hierarchy of courts is determinative of the appropriate forum for petitions for the extraordinary writs; and only in exceptional cases and for compelling reasons, or

if warranted by the nature of the issues reviewed, may this

Court take cognizance of petitions filed directly before it. 13

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Considering, however, that this case involves the interpretation of Section 34, Rule 138 and Rule 138-A of the Rules of Court, the Court takes cognizance of herein petition. Nonetheless, the petitioner is cautioned not to continue his practice of filing directly before this Court petitions under Rule 65 when the issue raised can be resolved with dispatch by the Court of Appeals. We will not tolerate litigants who make a mockery of the judicial hierarchy as it necessarily delays more important concerns before us.

In resolving the second issue, a comparative reading of Rule 138, Section 34 and Rule 138-A is necessary.

Rule 138-A, or the Law Student Practice Rule, provides:

RULE 138-A

LAW STUDENT PRACTICE RULE

Section 1. Conditions for Student Practice. A law student who has successfully completed his 3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal education program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of the law school.

Sec. 2. Appearance. The appearance of the law student authorized by this rule, shall be under the direct supervision and control of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines duly accredited by the law school. Any and all pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other papers to be filed, must be signed by the supervising attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic.

The respondent court held that the petitioner could not appear for himself and on his behalf because of his failure to comply with Rule 138-A. In denying petitioner’s appearance, the court a quo tersely finds refuge in the fact that, on December 18, 1986, this Court issued Circular No. 19, which eventually became Rule 138-A, and the failure of Cruz to prove on record that he is enrolled in a recognized school’s clinical legal education program and is under supervision of an attorney duly accredited by the law school.

However, the petitioner insisted that the basis of his appearance was Section 34 of Rule 138, which provides:

Sec. 34. By whom litigation is conducted. - In the court of a justice of the peace, a party may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney, and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar.

and is a rule distinct from Rule 138-A.

From the clear language of this provision of the Rules, it will

have to be conceded that the contention of the petitioner has merit. It recognizes the right of an individual to represent himself in any case to which he is a party. The Rules state that a party may conduct his litigation personally or with the aid of an attorney, and that his appearance must either be personal or by a duly authorized member of the Bar. The individual litigant may personally do everything in the course of proceedings from commencement to the termination of the litigation. 14 Considering that a party personally conducting his litigation is restricted to the same rules of evidence and procedure as those qualified to practice law, 15 petitioner, not being a lawyer himself, runs the risk of falling into the snares and hazards of his own ignorance. Therefore, Cruz as plaintiff, at his own instance, can personally conduct the litigation of Civil Case No. 01-0410. He would then be acting not as a counsel or lawyer, but as a party exercising his right to represent himself.

The trial court must have been misled by the fact that the petitioner is a law student and must, therefore, be subject to the conditions of the Law Student Practice Rule. It erred in applying Rule 138-A, when the basis of the petitioner’s claim is Section 34 of Rule 138. The former rule provides for conditions when a law student may appear in courts, while the latter rule allows the appearance of a non-lawyer as a party representing himself.

The conclusion of the trial court that Rule 138-A superseded Rule 138 by virtue of Circular No. 19 is misplaced. The Court never intended to repeal Rule 138 when it released the guidelines for limited law student practice. In fact, it was intended as an addendum to the instances when a non- lawyer may appear in courts and was incorporated to the Rules of Court through Rule 138-A.

It may be relevant to recall that, in respect to the constitutional right of an accused to be heard by himself and counsel, 16 this Court has held that during the trial, the right to counsel cannot be waived. 17 The rationale for this ruling was articulated in People v. Holgado, 18 where we declared that "even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the science of law, particularly in the rules of procedure, and without counsel, he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how to establish his innocence."

The case at bar involves a civil case, with the petitioner as plaintiff therein. The solicitous concern that the Constitution accords the accused in a criminal prosecution obviously does not obtain in a civil case. Thus, a party litigant in a civil case, who insists that he can, without a lawyer’s assistance, effectively undertake the successful pursuit of his claim, may be given the chance to do so. In this case, petitioner alleges that he is a law student and impliedly asserts that he has the competence to litigate the case himself. Evidently, he is aware of the perils incident to this decision.

In addition, it was subsequently clarified in Bar Matter 730, that by virtue of Section 34, Rule 138, a law student may appear as an agent or a friend of a party litigant, without need of the supervision of a lawyer, before inferior courts. Here, we have a law student who, as party litigant, wishes to

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represent himself in court. We should grant his wish.

Additionally, however, petitioner contends that the respondent judge committed manifest bias and partiality by ruling that there is no valid ground for her voluntary inhibition despite her alleged negative demeanor during the pre-trial when she said: "Hay naku, masama ‘yung marunong pa sa Huwes. Ok?" Petitioner avers that by denying his motion, the respondent judge already manifested conduct indicative of arbitrariness and prejudice, causing petitioner’s and his co-plaintiff’s loss of faith and confidence in the respondent’s impartiality.

We do not agree.

It must be noted that because of this incident, the petitioner filed an administrative case 19 against the respondent for violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, which we dismissed for lack of merit on September 15, 2002. We now adopt the Court’s findings of fact in the administrative case and rule that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of Judge Mijares when she did not inhibit herself from the trial of the case.

In a Motion for Inhibition, the movant must prove the ground for bias and prejudice by clear and convincing evidence to disqualify a judge from participating in a particular trial, 20 as voluntary inhibition is primarily a matter of conscience and addressed to the sound discretion of the judge. The decision on whether she should inhibit herself must be based on her rational and logical assessment of the circumstances prevailing in the case before her. 21 Absent clear and convincing proof of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the judge, this Court will rule in favor of the presumption that official duty has been regularly performed.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The assailed Resolution and Order of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 108, Pasay City are MODIFIED. Regional Trial Court, Branch 108, Pasay City is DIRECTED to ADMIT the Entry of Appearance of petitioner in Civil Case No. 01-0410 as a party litigant.

No pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 110571 October 7, 1994

FIRST

vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS and MARIWASA MANUFACTURING,

INC., respondents.

LEPANTO

CERAMICS,

INC., petitioner,

Castillo, Laman. Tan & Pantaleon for petitioner.

De Borja, Medi, Aldea, Ata, Bello, Guevarra & Serapio for private respondent.

R E S O L U T I O N

MENDOZA, J.:

This is a motion for the reconsideration of the decision of the Second Division 1 sustaining the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals over appeals from the decisions of the Board of Investments and, consequently, dismissing the petition forcertiorari and prohibition filed by petitioner First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc. Because of the importance of the question raised, the Court en banc agreed to accept the matter for consideration.

Petitioner's contention is that Circular No. 1-91 cannot be deemed to have superseded art. 82 of the Omnibus Investments Code of

1987

No. 226) because the Code, which President Aquino promulgated in the exercise of legislative authority, is in the nature of a substantive act of Congress defining the jurisdiction of courts pursuant to Art. VIII, § 2 of the Constitution, while the circular is a rule of procedure

which this Court promulgated pursuant to its rule-making power under Art. VIII § 5(5). Petitioner questions the holding of the Second Division that although the right to appeal granted by art. 82 of the Code is a substantive right which cannot be modified by a rule of procedure, nonetheless, questions concerning where and in what manner the appeal can be brought are only matters of procedure which this Court has the power to regulate.

(E.O.

Even assuming that there is merit in petitioner's contention, however, the result reached in the main decision is nonetheless, correct from another point of view.

Judicial review of the decisions and final orders of the BOI was originally provided for in the Omnibus Investments Code of 1981

1789), 2

(P.D. Art. 78 of which stated:

No.

Art. 78. Judicial Relief . All orders or decisions of the Board in cases involving the provisions of this Code shall immediately be executory. No appeal from the order or decision of the Board by the party adversely affected shall stay such order or decision: Provided, That all appeals shall be filed directly with the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from receipt of the order or decision.

Art. 78 was thereafter amended by B.P. Blg. 129, 3 by granting in § 9 thereof exclusive appellate jurisdiction to the then Intermediate Appellate Court (now the Court of Appeals) over the decisions and final orders of quasi-judicial agencies. When the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987 (E.O. No. 226) was promulgated on July 17, 1987, the right to appeal from the decisions and final orders of

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the BOI to the Supreme Court was again granted. Thus, the present Code provides:

Art. 82. Judicial Relief . All orders or decisions of the Board in cases involving the provisions of this Code shall immediately be executory. No appeal from the order or decision of the Board by the party adversely affected shall stay such order or decision: Provided, That all appeals shall be filed directly with the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from receipt of the order or decision.

By then, however, the present Constitution had taken effect. 4 The Constitution now provides in Art. VI, § 30 that "No law shall be passed increasing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in this Constitution without its advice and concurrence." This provision is intended to give the Supreme Court a measure of control over cases placed under its appellate jurisdiction. For the indiscriminate enactment of legislation enlarging its appellate jurisdiction can unnecessarily burden the Court and thereby undermine its essential function of expounding the law in its most profound national aspects.

Now, art. 82 of the 1987 Omnibus Investments Code, by providing for direct appeals to the Supreme Court from the decisions and final orders of the BOI, increases the appellate jurisdiction of this Court. Since it was enacted without the advice and concurrence of this Court, this provision never became effective, with the result that it can never be deemed to have amended BP Blg. 129, § 9. Consequently, the authority of the Court of Appeals to decide cases appealed to it from the BOI must be deemed to have been conferred by B.P. Blg. 129, § 9, to be exercised by it in accordance with the procedure prescribed by Circular No. 1-91.

Indeed, there is no reason why decisions and final orders of the BOI must be directly appealed to this Court. As already noted in the main decision in this case, the purpose of § 9 of B.P. Blg. 129 is to provide uniform appeals to the Court of Appeals from the decisions and final orders of all quasi-judicial agencies, with the exception only of those issued under the Labor Code and those rendered by the Central Board of Assessment Appeals. It is, therefore, regrettable that in the adoption of the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987 the advice and concurrence of the Supreme Court, as required by the Constitution, had not been obtained in providing for the appeal of the decisions and final orders of the BOI directly to the Supreme Court.

WHEREFORE, the motion for reconsideration is DENIED.

SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 110571 March 10, 1994

FIRST

vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS and MARIWASA MANUFACTURING, INC., respondents.

LEPANTO

CERAMICS,

INC., petitioner,

Castillo, Laman, Tan & Pantaleon for petitioner.

De Borja, Medialdea, Ata, Bello, Guevarra & Serapio for private respondent.

NOCON, J.:

Brought to fore in this petition for certiorari and prohibition with application for preliminary injunction is the novel question of where and in what manner appeals from decisions of the Board of Investments (BOI) should be filed. A thorough scrutiny of the conflicting provisions of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, otherwise known as the "Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980," Executive Order No. 226, also known as the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987 and Supreme Court Circular No. 1-91 is, thus, called for.

Briefly, this question of law arose when BOI, in its decision dated December 10, 1992 in BOI Case No. 92-005 granted petitioner First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc.'s application to amend its BOI certificate of registration by changing the scope of its registered product from "glazed floor tiles" to "ceramic tiles." Eventually, oppositor Mariwasa filed a motion for reconsideration of the said BOI decision while oppositor Fil-Hispano Ceramics, Inc. did not move to reconsider the same nor appeal therefrom. Soon rebuffed in its bid for reconsideration, Mariwasa filed a petition for review with respondent Court of Appeals pursuant to Circular 1-91.

Acting on the petition, respondent court required the BOI and petitioner to comment on Mariwasa's petition and to show cause why no injunction should issue. On February 17, 1993, respondent court temporarily restrained the BOI from implementing its decision. This temporary restraining order lapsed by its own terms on March 9, 1993, twenty (20) days after its issuance, without respondent court issuing any preliminary injunction.

On February 24, 1993, petitioner filed a "Motion to Dismiss Petition and to Lift Restraining Order" on the ground that respondent court has no appellate jurisdiction over BOI Case No. 92-005, the same being exclusively vested with the Supreme Court pursuant to Article 82 of the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987.

On May 25, 1993, respondent court denied petitioner's motion to dismiss, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows:

WHEREFORE, private respondent's motion to dismiss the petition is hereby DENIED, for lack of merit. Private respondent is hereby given an inextendible period of ten (10) days from receipt hereof within which to file its comment to the petition. 1

Upon receipt of a copy of the above resolution on June 4, 1993, petitioner decided not to file any motion for reconsideration as the question involved is essentially legal in nature and immediately filed a petition for certiorariand prohibition before this Court.

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Petitioner posits the view that respondent court acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in issuing the questioned resolution of May 25, 1993, for the following reasons:

I. Respondent court has no jurisdiction to entertain Mariwasa's

appeal from the BOI's decision in BOI Case No. 92-005, which has become final.

II. The appellate jurisdiction conferred by statute upon this Honorable Court cannot be amended or superseded by Circular No. 1-91. 2

Petitioner then concludes that:

III. Mariwasa has lost it right to appeal

in this case. 3

Petitioner argues that the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 or Batas Pambansa Bilang 129 and Circular 1-91, "Prescribing the Rules Governing Appeals to the Court of Appeals from a Final Order or Decision of the Court of Tax Appeals and Quasi-Judicial Agencies" cannot be the basis of Mariwasa's appeal to respondent court because the procedure for appeal laid down therein runs contrary to Article 82 of E.O. 226, which provides that appeals from decisions or orders of the BOI shall be filed directly with this Court, to wit:

Judicial relief. All orders or decisions of the Board

(of Investments) in cases involving the provisions of this Code shall immediately be executory. No appeal from the order or decision of the Board by the party adversely affected shall stay such an order or decision; Provided, that all appeals shall be filed directly with the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from receipt of the order or

decision.

On the other hand, Mariwasa maintains that whatever "obvious inconsistency" or "irreconcilable repugnancy" there may have been between B.P. 129 and Article 82 of E.O. 226 on the question of venue for appeal has already been resolved by Circular 1-91 of the Supreme Court, which was promulgated on February 27, 1991 or four (4) years after E.O. 226 was enacted.

Sections 1, 2 and 3 of Circular 1-91, is herein quoted below:

1. Scope. These rules shall apply to appeals from final orders or

decisions of the Court of Tax Appeals. They shall also apply to appeals from final orders or decisions of any quasi-judicial agency from which an appeal is now allowed by statute to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court. Among these agencies are the

Securities and Exchange Commission, Land Registration Authority, Social Security Commission, Civil Aeronautics Board, Bureau of Patents, Trademarks and Technology Transfer, National Electrification Administration, Energy Regulatory Board, National Telecommunications Commission, Secretary of Agrarian Reform and Special Agrarian Courts under RA 6657, Government Service Insurance System, Employees Compensation Commission, Agricultural Inventions Board, Insurance Commission and Philippine Atomic Energy Commission.

2. Cases not covered. These rules shall not apply to decisions and

interlocutory orders of the National Labor Relations Commission or

the Secretary of Labor and Employment under the Labor Code of the Philippines, the Central Board of Assessment Appeals, and other

quasi-judicial agencies from which no appeal to the courts is prescribed or allowed by statute.

3. Who may appeal and where to appeal. The appeal of a party affected by a final order, decision, or judgment of the Court of Tax Appeals or of a quasi-judicial agency shall be taken to the Court of Appeals within the period and in the manner herein provided, whether the appeal involves questions of fact or of law or mixed questions of fact and law. From final judgments or decisions of the Court of Appeals, the aggrieved party may appeal by certiorari to the Supreme Court as provided in Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

It may be called that Section 9(3) of B.P. 129 vests appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders or awards of quasi-judicial agencies on the Court of Appeals, to wit:

(3) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders, awards of Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the provisions of this Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.

The Intermediate Appellate Court shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or further proceedings.

These provisions shall not apply to decisions and interlocutory orders issued under the Labor Code of the Philippines and by the Central Board of Assessment Appeals.

Clearly evident in the aforequoted provision of B.P. 129 is the laudable objective of providing a uniform procedure of appeal from decisions of all quasi-judicial agencies for the benefit of the bench and the bar. Equally laudable is the twin objective of B.P. 129 of unclogging the docket of this Court to enable it to attend to more important tasks, which in the words of Dean Vicente G. Sinco, as quoted in our decision in Conde v. Intermediate Appellate Court 4 is "less concerned with the decisions of cases that begin and end with the transient rights and obligations of particular individuals but is more intertwined with the direction of national policies, momentous economic and social problems, the delimitation of governmental authority and its impact upon fundamental rights.

In Development Bank of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals, 5 this Court noted that B.P. 129 did not deal only with "changes in the rules on procedures" and that not only was the Court of Appeals reorganized, but its jurisdiction and powers were also broadened by Section 9 thereof. Explaining the changes, this Court said:

Its original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari and habeas corpus, which theretofore could be exercised only in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, was expanded by (1) extending it so as to include the writ of quo warranto, and also (2) empowering it to issue all said extraordinary writs "whether or not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction." Its appellate jurisdiction was also extended to cover not only final judgments of Regional Trial

Courts, but also "all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders or

awards of

quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or

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commissions, except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the provisions of this Act, and of sub-paragraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948," it being noteworthy in this connection that the text of the law is broad and comprehensive, and the explicitly stated exceptions have no reference whatever to the Court of Tax Appeals. Indeed, the intention to expand the original and appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals over quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards, or commissions, is further stressed by the last paragraph of Section 9 which excludes from its provisions, only the "decisions and interlocutory orders issued under the Labor Code of the Philippines and by the Central Board of Assessment Appeals." 6

However, it cannot be denied that the lawmaking system of the country is far from perfect. During the transitional period after the country emerged from the Marcos regime, the lawmaking power was lodged on the Executive Department. The obvious lack of deliberation in the drafting of our laws could perhaps explain the deviation of some of our laws from the goal of uniform procedure which B.P. 129 sought to promote.

In exempli gratia, Executive Order No. 226 or the Omnibus

Investments Code of 1987 provides that all appeals shall be filed

directly with the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from receipt

of the order or decision.

Noteworthy is the fact that presently, the Supreme Court entertains ordinary appeals only from decisions of the Regional Trial Courts in criminal cases where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher. Judgments of regional trial courts may be appealed to the Supreme Court only by petition for review on certiorari within

fifteen (15) days from notice of judgment in accordance with Rule 45

of the Rules of Court in relation to Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of

1948, as amended, this being the clear intendment of the provision

of the Interim Rules that "(a)ppeals to the Supreme Court shall be

taken by petition for certiorari which shall be governed by Rule 45 of the Rules of Court." Thus, the right of appeal provided in E.O. 226 within thirty (30) days from receipt of the order or decision is clearly not in consonance with the present procedure before this Court. Only decisions, orders or rulings of a Constitutional Commission (Civil Service Commission, Commission on Elections or Commission on Audit), may be brought to the Supreme Court on original petitions for certiorari under Rule 65 by the aggrieved party within thirty (30) days form receipt of a copy thereof. 7

Under this contextual backdrop, this Court, pursuant to its Constitutional power under Section 5(5), Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, and by way of implementation of B.P. 129, issued Circular 1-91 prescribing the rules governing appeals to the Court of Appeals from final orders or decisions of the Court of Tax Appeals and quasi-judicial agencies to eliminate unnecessary contradictions and confusing rules of procedure.

Contrary to petitioner's contention, although a circular is not strictly

a statute or law, it has, however, the force and effect of law

according to settled jurisprudence. 8 In Inciong v. de Guia, 9 a circular

of this Court was treated as law. In adopting the recommendation of

the Investigating Judge to impose a sanction on a judge who violated

Circular

September 23, 1974, as amended by Circular No. 3 dated April 24,

No.

7

of

this

Court

dated

1975 and Circular No. 20 dated October 4, 1979, requiring raffling of cases, this Court quoted the ratiocination of the Investigating Judge, brushing aside the contention of respondent judge that assigning cases instead of raffling is a common practice and holding that respondent could not go against the circular of this Court until it is repealed or otherwise modified, as "(L)aws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse, or customs or practice to the contrary." 10

The argument that Article 82 of E.O. 226 cannot be validly repealed by Circular 1-91 because the former grants a substantive right which, under the Constitution cannot be modified, diminished or increased by this Court in the exercise of its rule-making powers is not entirely defensible as it seems. Respondent correctly argued that Article 82 of E.O. 226 grants the right of appeal from decisions or final orders of the BOI and in granting such right, it also provided where and in what manner such appeal can be brought. These latter portions simply deal with procedural aspects which this Court has the power to regulate by virtue of its constitutional rule-making powers.

The case of Bustos v. Lucero 11 distinguished between rights created by a substantive law and those arising from procedural law:

Substantive law creates substantive rights

a term which includes those rights which one enjoys under the legal system prior to the disturbance of normal relations (60 C.J., 980). Substantive law is that part of the law which creates, defines and regulates rights, or which regulates rights and duties which give rise to a cause of action, as oppossed to adjective or remedial law, which prescribes the method of enforcing rights or obtains a redress for their invasion. 12

Substantive rights is

Indeed, the question of where and in what manner appeals from decisions of the BOI should be brought pertains only to procedure or the method of enforcing the substantive right to appeal granted by E.O. 226. In other words, the right to appeal from decisions or final orders of the BOI under E.O. 226 remains and continues to be respected. Circular 1-91 simply transferred the venue of appeals from decisions of this agency to respondent Court of Appeals and provided a different period of appeal, i.e., fifteen (15) days from notice. It did not make an incursion into the substantive right to appeal.

The fact that BOI is not expressly included in the list of quasi-judicial agencies found in the third sentence of Section 1 of Circular 1-91 does not mean that said circular does not apply to appeals from final orders or decision of the BOI. The second sentence of Section 1 thereof expressly states that "(T)hey shall also apply to appeals from final orders or decisions of any quasi-judicial agency from which an appeal is now allowed by statute to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court." E.O. 266 is one such statute. Besides, the enumeration is preceded by the words "(A)mong these agencies are ," strongly implying that there are other quasi-judicial agencies which are covered by the Circular but which have not been expressly listed therein. More importantly, BOI does not fall within the purview of the exclusions listed in Section 2 of the circular. Only the following final decisions and interlocutory orders are expressly excluded from the circular, namely, those of: (1) the National Labor Relations Commission; (2) the Secretary of Labor and Employment; (3) the Central Board of Assessment Appeals and (4) other quasi- judicial agencies from which no appeal to the courts is prescribed or allowed by statute. Since in DBP v. CA 13 we upheld the appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals over the Court of Tax Appeals

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despite the fact that the same is not among the agencies reorganized by B.P. 129, on the ground that B.P. 129 is broad and comprehensive, there is no reason why BOI should be excluded from Circular 1-91, which is but implementary of said law.

Clearly, Circular 1-91 effectively repealed or superseded Article 82 of E.O. 226 insofar as the manner and method of enforcing the right to appeal from decisions of the BOI are concerned. Appeals from decisions of the BOI, which by statute was previously allowed to be filed directly with the Supreme Court, should now be brought to the Court of Appeals.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing reasons, the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition with application for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. The Temporary Restraining Order issued on July 19, 1993 is hereby LIFTED.

SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. L-49705-09 February 8, 1979

TOMATIC ARATUC, SERGIO TOCAO, CISCOLARIO DIAZ, FRED TAMULA, MANGONTAWAR GURO and BONIFACIO LEGASPI, petitioners, vs. The COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, REGIONAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS for Region XII (Central Mindanao), ABDULLAH DIMAPORO, JESUS AMPARO, ANACLETO BADOY, et al., respondents.

Nos. L-49717-21 February 8,1979.

LINANG

 

MANDANGAN, petitioner,

vs.

THE

COMMISSION

ON

ELECTIONS,

THE

REGIONAL

BOARD

OF

CANVASSERS for Region XII, and ERNESTO ROLDAN, respondents.

L-49705-09 Lino M. Patajo for petitioners.

Estanislao A. Fernandez for private respondents.

L-49717-21 Estanislao A. Fernandez for petitioner.

Lino M. Patajo for private respondent.

Office of the Solicitor General, for Public respondents.

BARREDO, J.:

Petition in G. R. Nos. L-49705-09 for certiorari with restraining order and preliminary injunction filed by six (6) independent candidates for representatives to tile Interim Batasang Pambansa who had joined together under the banner of the Kunsensiya ng Bayan which, however, was not registered as a political party or group under the 1976 Election Code, P.D. No. 1296, namely Tomatic Aratuc, Sorgio Tocao, Ciscolario Diaz, Fred Tamula, Mangontawar Guro and Bonifacio Legaspi her referred to as petitioners, to review the decision of the respondent Commission on Election (Comelec) resolving their appeal from the Of the respondent Regional Board of Canvasses for Region XII regarding the canvass of the results of the election in said region for representatives to the I.B.P. held on April 7, 1978. Similar petition in G.R. Nos. L49717-21, for certiorari with restraining order and preliminary injunction filed by Linang Mandangan, abo a candidate for representative in the same election in that region, to review the decision of the Comelec declaring respondent Ernesto Roldan as entitled to be proclaimed as one of the eight winners in said election.

The instant proceedings are sequels of Our decision in G.R. No. L- 48097, wherein Tomatic Aratuc et al. sought the suspension of the canvass then being undertaken by respondent dent Board in Cotabato city and in which canvass, the returns in 1966 out of a total of 4,107 voting centers in the whole region had already been canvassed showing partial results as follows:

NAMES

OF

NO.

OF

CANDIDATES

VOTES

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1.

Roldan,

Ernesto

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