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De Roy and Ramos vs. CA [G.R. No.

80718 January 29, 1988]

Facts: The firewall of a burned-out building owned by petitioners collapsed and destroyed the
tailoring shop occupied by the family of private respondents, resulting in injuries to private
respondents and the death of Marissa Bernal, a daughter. Private respondents had been warned
by petitioners to vacate their shop in view of its proximity to the weakened wall but the former
failed to do so. On the basis of the foregoing facts, the Regional Trial Court. First Judicial
Region, Branch XXXVIII, presided by the Hon. Antonio M. Belen, rendered judgment finding
petitioners guilty of gross negligence and awarding damages to private respondents. On appeal,
the decision of the trial court was affirmed in toto by the Court of Appeals in a decision
promulgated on August 17, 1987, a copy of which was received by petitioners on August 25,
1987. On September 9, 1987, the last day of the fifteen-day period to file an appeal, petitioners
filed a motion for extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration, which was eventually
denied by the appellate court in the Resolution of September 30, 1987. Petitioners filed their
motion for reconsideration on September 24, 1987 but this was denied in the Resolution because
the same was not filed within the grace period as enscribed in the present jurisprudence .
Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in denying the
denied the motion and let the petitioner be bound by the negligence of their counsel
Held: The Court finds that the Court of Appeals did not commit a grave abuse of discretion
when it denied petitioners' motion for extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration. In
the instant case, petitioners' motion for extension of time was more than a year after the
expiration of the grace period. Hence, it is no longer within the coverage of the grace period.
Considering the length of time from the expiration of the grace period to the promulgation of the
decision of the Court of Appeals on August 25, 1987, petitioners cannot seek refuge in the
ignorance of their counsel regarding said rule for their failure to file a motion for reconsideration
within the reglamentary period. It is the bounden duty of counsel as lawyer in active law practice
to keep abreast of decisions of the Supreme Court particularly where issues have been clarified,
consistently reiterated, and published in the advance reports of Supreme Court decisions (G. R.
s) and in such publications as the Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA) and law journals.

People vs. Jabinal [GR No. L-30061 February 27, 1974]

Jabinal was found guilty of the crime of Illegal Possession of Firearm and Ammunition. The
accused admitted that on September 5, 1964, he was in possession of the revolver and the
ammunition described in the complaint, without the requisite license or permit. He, however,
claimed to be entitled to exoneration because, although he had no license or permit, he had an
appointment as Secret Agent from the Provincial Governor of Batangas and an appointment as
Confidential Agent from the PC Provincial Commander, and the said appointments expressly
carried with them the authority to possess and carry the firearm in question.
The accused contended before the court a quo that in view of his above-mentioned appointments
as Secret Agent and Confidential Agent, with authority to possess the firearm subject matter of
the prosecution, he was entitled to acquittal on the basis of the Supreme Courts decision in
People vs. Macarandang(1959) and People vs. Lucero(1958) and not on the basis of the latest
reversal and abandonment in People vs. Mapa (1967).
Whether or not appellant should be acquitted on the basis of the courts rulings in Macarandang
and Lucero, or should his conviction stand in view of the complete reversal of the MAcarandang
and Lucero doctrine in Mapa.
Decisions of this Court, under Article 8 of the New Civil Code states that Judicial decisions
applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system .
The settled rule supported by numerous authorities is a restatement of legal maxim legis
interpretatio legis vim obtinet the interpretation placed upon the written law by a competent
court has the force of law.
Appellant was appointed as Secret Agent and Confidential Agent and authorized to possess a
firearm pursuant to the prevailing doctrine enunciated in Macarandang and Lucero under which
no criminal liability would attach to his possession of said firearm in spite of the absence of a

license and permit therefor, appellant must be absolved. Certainly, appellant may not be punished
for an act which at the time it was done was held not to be punishable.
The appellant was acquitted.
Limjoco vs. Estate of Fragrante [G.R. No. L-770 April 27, 1948]
On May 21, 1946, the Public Service Commission issued a certificate of public convenience to
the Intestate Estate of the deceased Pedro Fragante, authorizing the said intestate estate through
its Special or Judicial Administrator, appointed by the proper court of competent jurisdiction, to
maintain and operate an ice plant with a daily productive capacity of two and one-half (2-1/2)
tons in the Municipality of San Juan and to sell the ice produced from the said plant in the
Municipalities of San Juan, Mandaluyong, Rizal, and Quezon City; that Fragantes intestate
estate is financially capable of maintaining the proposed service.
Petioner argues that allowing the substitution of the legal representative of the estate of Fragante
for the latter as party applicant and afterwards granting the certificate applied for is a
contravention of the law.
Whether the estate of Fragante be extended an artificial judicial personality.
The estate of Fragrante must be extended an artificial judicial personality. If Fragrante had lived,
in view of the evidence of record, would have obtained from the commission the certificate for
which he was applying. The situation has not changed except for his death, and the economic
ability of his estate to appropriately and adequately operate and maintain the service of an ice
plant was the same that it received from the decedent himself.
It has been the constant doctrine that the estate or the mass of property, rights and assets left by
the decedent, directly becomes vested and charged with his rights and obligations which survive
after his demise. The reason for this legal fiction, that the estate of the deceased person is

considered a "person", as deemed to include artificial or juridical persons, is the avoidance of

injustice or prejudice resulting from the impossibility of exercising such legal rights and
fulfilling such legal obligations of the decedent as survived after his death unless the fiction is
The estate of Fragrante should be considered an artificial or juridical person for the purposes of
the settlement and distribution of his estate which, include the exercise during the judicial
administration of those rights and the fulfillment of those obligations of his estate which survived
after his death.
The decedent's rights which by their nature are not extinguished by death go to make up a part
and parcel of the assets of his estate for the benefit of the creditors, devisees or legatees, if any,
and the heirs of the decedent. It includes those rights and fulfillment of obligation of Fragante
which survived after his death like his pending application at the commission.

Taada vs. Tuvera 136 SCRA 27 (April 24, 1985)

Invoking the right of the people to be informed on matters of public concern
as well as the principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be
published in the Official Gazette, petitioners filed for writ of mandamus to
compel respondent public officials to publish and/or cause to publish various
presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations,
executive orders, letters of implementations and administrative orders.
The Solicitor General, representing the respondents, moved for the dismissal
of the case, contending that petitioners have no legal personality to bring
the instant petition.

Whether or not publication in the Official Gazette is required before any law
or statute becomes valid and enforceable.

Art. 2 of the Civil Code does not preclude the requirement of publication in
the Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the date of its
effectivity. The clear object of this provision is to give the general public
adequate notice of the various laws which are to regulate their actions and
conduct as citizens. Without such notice and publication, there would be no
basis for the application of the maxim ignoratia legis nominem excusat. It
would be the height of injustive to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for
the transgression of a law which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a
constructive one. The very first clause of Section 1 of CA 638 reads: there
shall be published in the Official Gazette. The word shall therein imposes
upon respondent officials an imperative duty. That duty must be enforced if
the constitutional right of the people to be informed on matter of public
concern is to be given substance and validity. The publication of presidential
issuances of public nature or of general applicability is a requirement of due

process. It is a rule of law that before a person may be bound by law, he

must first be officially and specifically informed of its contents. The Court
declared that presidential issuances of general application which have not
been published have no force and effect.

Taada vs. Tuvera G.R. No. L-63915 (146 SCRA 446) April 24, 1985
Petitioners sought a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to publish, and/or
cause the publication in the Official Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters of
instructions, general orders, proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and
administrative orders, invoking the right to be informed on matters of public concern as
recognized by the 1973 constitution.
Whether or not the publication of presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders,
proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders is necessary
before its enforcement.
Article 2 of the Civil Code provides that laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the
completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise
provided The Court has ruled that publication in the Official Gazette is necessary in those cases
where the legislation itself does not provide for its effectivity date-for then the date of
publication is material for determining its date of effectivity, which is the fifteenth day following
its publication-but not when the law itself provides for the date when it goes into effect. Article 2
does not preclude the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette, even if the law itself
provides for the date of its effectivity.
The publication of all presidential issuances of a public nature or of general applicability is
mandated by law. Obviously, presidential decrees that provide for fines, forfeitures or penalties
for their violation or otherwise impose a burden or. the people, such as tax and revenue

measures, fall within this category. Other presidential issuances which apply only to particular
persons or class of persons such as administrative and executive orders need not be published on
the assumption that they have been circularized to all concerned.
Publication is, therefore, mandatory.

ANTONIO GELUZ vs. COURT OF APPEALS [G.R. No. L-16439, July 20, 1961]
Her present husband impregnated Nita Villanueva before they were legally married. Desiring to
conceal her pregnancy from the parent, she had herself aborted by petitioner Antonio Geluz.
After her marriage, she again became pregnant. As she was then employed in the COMELEC
and her pregnancy proved to be inconvenient, she had herself aborted again by Geluz. Less than
2 years later, Nita incurred a third abortion of a two-month old fetus, in consideration of the sum
of P50.00. Her husband did not know of, nor consented to the abortion. Hence Oscar Lazo,
private respondent, sued petitioner for damages based on the third and last abortion.
The trial court rendered judgment ordering Antonio Geluz to pay P3,000.00 as damages, P700.00
as attorneys fee and the cost of the suit. Court of Appeals affirmed the decision.
Is an unborn child covered with personality so that if the unborn child incurs injury, his parents
may recover damages from the ones who caused the damage to the unborn child?
Personality begins at conception. This personality is called presumptive personality. It is, of
course, essential that birth should occur later, otherwise the fetus will be considered as never
having possessed legal personality. Since an action for pecuniary damages on account of injury
or death pertains primarily to the one injured, it is easy to see that if no action for damages could
be instituted on behalf of the unborn child on account of injuries it received, no such right of
action could derivatively accrue to its parents or heirs. In fact, even if a cause of action did
accrue on behalf of the unborn child, the same was extinguished by its pre-natal death, since no
transmission to anyone can take place from one that lacked juridical personality.
It is no answer to invoke the presumptive personality of a conceived child under Article 40 of the
Civil Code because that same article expressly limits such provisional personality by imposing

the condition that the child should be subsequently born alive. In the present case, the child was
dead when separated from its mothers womb. This is not to say that the parents are not entitled
to damages. However, such damages must be those inflicted directly upon them, as distinguished
from injury or violation of the rights of the deceased child.

Aznar vs. Garcia [G.R. No. L-16749 January 3, 1963]

Edward S. Christensen, though born in New York, migrated to California where he
resided and consequently was considered a California Citizen for a period of nine years to 1913.
He came to the Philippines where he became a domiciliary until the time of his death. However,
during the entire period of his residence in this country, he had always considered himself as a
citizen of California.
In his will, executed on March 5, 1951, he instituted an acknowledged natural
daughter, Maria Lucy Christensen as his only heir but left a legacy of some money in favor of
Helen Christensen Garcia who, in a decision rendered by the Supreme Court had been declared
as an acknowledged natural daughter of his. Counsel of Helen claims that under Art. 16 (2) of the
civil code, California law should be applied, the matter is returned back to the law of domicile,
that Philippine law is ultimately applicable, that the share of Helen must be increased in view of
successional rights of illegitimate children under Philippine laws. On the other hand, counsel for
daughter Maria , in as much that it is clear under Art, 16 (2) of the Mew Civil Code, the national
of the deceased must apply, our courts must apply internal law of California on the matter. Under
California law, there are no compulsory heirs and consequently a testator should dispose any
property possessed by him in absolute dominion.

Whether Philippine Law or California Law should apply.

The Supreme Court deciding to grant more successional rights to Helen Christensen
Garcia said in effect that there be two rules in California on the matter.

The conflict rule which should apply to Californians outside the California, and


The internal Law which should apply to California domiciles in califronia.

The California conflict rule, found on Art. 946 of the California Civil code States that if
there is no law to the contrary in the place where personal property is situated, it is deemed to
follow the decree of its owner and is governed by the law of the domicile.
Christensen being domiciled outside california, the law of his domicile, the Philippines is
ought to be followed.
Wherefore, the decision appealed is reversed and case is remanded to the lower court
with instructions that partition be made as that of the Philippine law provides.