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RULE 62

issue was involved in the interpleader case. To


avoid possible conflicting decisions of the Davao
trial court and the Makati trial court on the same
issue, Lui Enterprises argued that the subsequently
filed interpleader case be dismissed.

INTERPLEADER

ZuelligPharma filed its opposition22 to the motion to


dismiss. It argued that the motion to dismiss should
be denied for having been filed late.

#1

With respect to the nullification of deed of dation in


payment case, ZuelligPharma argued that its
pendency did not bar the filing of the interpleader
case. It was not a party to the nullification case. 29

G.R. No. 193494 March 07, 2014


LUI ENTERPRISES, INC., Petitioner,
Vs.
ZUELLIG PHARMA CORPORATION AND THE
PHILIPPINE BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS,
Respondents.

The Regional Trial Court of Makati found that Lui


Enterprises failed to file its motion to dismiss within
the reglementary period. Thus, in its order34 dated
October 6, 2003, the trial court denied Lui
Enterprises motion to dismiss and declared it in
default.35

LEONEN, J.:

Lui Enterprises did not move for the


reconsideration of the order dated October 6, 2003.
Thus, the Makati trial court heard the interpleader
case without Lui Enterprises participation.

FACTS:
On March 9, 1995, Lui Enterprises, Inc. and
ZuelligPharma Corporation entered into a 10year
contract of lease4 over a parcel of land located in
Barrio Tigatto, Buhangin, Davao City.

Despite having been declared in default, Lui


Enterprises filed the manifestation with prayerthat
the interpleader case be dismissed.

On January 10, 2003, ZuelligPharma received a


letter6 from the Philippine Bank of Communications.
Claiming to be the new owner of the leased
property, the bank asked ZuelligPharma to pay rent
directly to it.

ZuelligPharma filed its opposition44 to the motion to


set aside order of default. It argued that a
counsels failure to file a timely answer was
inexcusable negligence which bound his client and
that the pending case for nullification of deed of
dation in payment [did] not preclude
[ZuelligPharma] from seeking the relief prayed for
in the [interpleader case].45

ZuelligPharma promptly informed Lui Enterprises of


the Philippine Bank of Communications claim. On
January 28, 2003, Lui Enterprises wrote to
ZuelligPharma and insisted on its right to collect
the leased propertys rent.9

While the motion to set aside order of default was


still pending for resolution, Lui Enterprises filed the
manifestation and motion to dismiss46 dated April
21, 2005 in the Makati trial court. It manifested
that the Davao trial court issued another order47
dated April 18, 2005 in the nullification of deed of
dation in payment case. In this order, the Davao
trial court directed the Philippine Bank of
Communications to inform ZuelligPharma to pay
rent to Lui Enterprises while the Davao trial courts
order dated April 1, 2004 was subsisting.
In its manifestation and motion to dismiss, Lui
Enterprises reiterated its prayer for the dismissal of
the interpleader case to prevent the possibility of
[the Regional Trial Court, Branch 143, Makati City]
and [the Regional Trial Court, Branch 16, Davao
City] rendering conflicting rulings [on the same
issue of which corporation has the better right to
the rental payments].48

Due to the conflicting claims of Lui Enterprises and


the Philippine Bank of Communications over the
rental payments, ZuelligPharma filed a complaint10
for interpleader with the Regional Trial Court of
Makati. In its complaint, ZuelligPharma alleged that
it already consigned in court P604,024.35 as rental
payments. ZuelligPharma prayed that it be allowed
to consign in court its succeeding monthly rental
payments and that Lui Enterprises and the
Philippine Bank of Communications be ordered to
litigate their conflicting claims.11
The Philippine Bank of Communications filed its
answer12 to the complaint. On the other hand, Lui
Enterprises filed a motion to dismiss13 on the
ground that ZuelligPharmas alleged
representative, Atty. Ana L.A. Peralta did not have
authority to file the complaint for interpleader on
behalf of the corporation.

THE MAKATI TRIAL COURTS RULING:

According to Lui Enterprises, an earlier filed


nullification of deed of dation in payment case
pending with the Regional Trial Court of Davao
barred the filing of the interpleader case.16

Without resolving the motion to set aside order of


default, the Makati trial court denied the
manifestation with motion to dismiss dated April
21, 2005 on the ground that Lui Enterprises
already lost its standing in court.49

In the nullification of deed of dation in payment


case, Lui Enterprises raised the issue of which
corporation had the better right over the rental
payments.18Lui Enterprises argued that the same

In its decision50 dated July 4, 2006, the Regional


Trial Court of Makati ruled that Lui Enterprises
[was] barred from any claim in respect of the

[rental payments]51 since it was declared in


default. Thus, according to the trial court, there
was no issue as to which corporation had the
better right over the rental payments.52 The trial
court awarded the total consigned amount of
P6,681,327.30 to the Philippine Bank of
Communications and ordered Lui Enterprises to
pay ZuelligPharma P50,000.00 in attorneys fees.53

x xxx
(e) That there is another action pending between
the same parties for the same cause;
x xxx
Litispendentia is Latin for a pending suit.140 It
exists when another action is pending between
the same parties for the same cause of action x x
x.141 The subsequent action is unnecessary and
vexatious142 and is instituted to harass the
respondent [in the subsequent action].143

Lui Enterprises appealed to the Court of Appeals.54


THE RULING OF THE COURT OF APPEALS:
The Court of Appeals found Lui Enterprises
appellants brief insufficient.

The requisites of
litispendentiaare:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
(1 Identity of parties or at least such as represent
) the same interest in both actions;
(2 Identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed for,
) the reliefs being founded on the same facts;
and
(3 The identity in the two cases should be such
) that the judgment that may be rendered in one
would, regardless of which party is successful,
amount to res judicata in the other.144

As to the denial of Lui Enterprises motion to


dismiss, the Court of Appeals sustained the trial
court. The Court of Appeals found that Lui
Enterprises filed its motion to dismiss four days
late.56
With respect to Lui Enterprises motion to set aside
order of default, the Court of Appeals found that
Lui Enterprises failed to show the excusable
negligence that prevented it from filing its motion
to dismiss on time. On its allegedly meritorious
defense, the Court of Appeals ruled that the
nullification of deed of dation in payment case did
not bar the filing of the interpleader case, with
ZuelligPharma not being a party to the nullification
case.57

All of the requisites must be present.145Absent one


requisite, there is no litis pendentia.146
In this case, there is no litispendentia since there is
no identity of parties in the nullification of deed of
dation in payment case and the interpleader case.
ZuelligPharma is not a party to the nullification
case filed in the Davao trial court.

On the award of attorneys fees, the Court of


Appeals sustained the trial court since
ZuelligPharma x xx was constrained to file the
action for interpleader with consignation in order to
protect its interests x x x.58

There is also no identity of rights asserted and


reliefs prayed for. Lui Enterprises filed the first case
to nullify the deed of dation in payment it executed
in favor of the Philippine Bank of Communications.
ZuelligPharma subsequently filed the interpleader
case to consign in court the rental payments and
extinguish its obligation as lessee. The interpleader
case was necessary and was not instituted to
harass either Lui Enterprises or the Philippine Bank
of Communications.
Since two requisites of litispendentia are absent,
the nullification of deed of dation in payment case
did not bar the filing of the interpleader case.

Thus, in its decision59 promulgated on May 24,


2010, the Court of Appeals dismissed Lui
Enterprises appeal and affirmed in toto the
Regional Trial Court of Makatis decision.
Lui Enterprises filed a motion for reconsideration
but it was denied.
Hence, this petition for review on certiorari .
ISSUE:

At any rate, the Regional Trial Court of Davaos


order dated April 18, 2005 was not a writ of
preliminary injunction. It was a mere order
directing the Philippine Bank of Communications to
inform ZuelligPharma to pay rent to Lui Enterprises
while the status quo order between Lui Enterprises
and the Philippine Bank of Communications was
subsisting. The Regional Trial Court of Davao did
not enjoin the proceedings before the Regional Trial
Court of Makati. The order dated April 18, 2005
provides:
As such, [the Philippine Bank of Communications]
[is] hereby directed to forthwith inform
ZuelligPharma Corp., of the April 1, 2004 status
quo order and the succeeding September 14, 2004
Order, and consequently, for the said lessee to
remit all rentals due from February 23, 2003 and
onwards to plaintiff Lui Enterprises, Inc., in the
meanwhile that the status quo order is
subsisting.155

Whether the annulment of deed of dation in


payment pending in the Regional Trial Court of
Davao barred the subsequent filing of the
interpleader case in the Regional Trial Court of
Makati.

RULING:
The nullification of deed in dation in payment case
did not bar the filing of the interpleader case.
Litispendentiais not present in this case.
Under Rule 16, Section 1, paragraph (e) of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, a motion to dismiss
may be filed on the ground of litispendentia:
Section 1.Grounds. Within the time for but before
filing the answer to the complaint or pleading
asserting a claim, a motion to dismiss may be
made on any of the following
grounds:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

Thus, the Regional Trial Court of Davao did not


enjoin the Regional Trial Court of Makati from
hearing the interpleader case.

On March 31, 1961 PHHC announced in another


circular that all payments by tenants after Mach
31, 1961 would be considered as amortizations or
installment payments.

All told, the trial court did not err in proceeding


with the interpleader case. The nullification of deed
of dation in payment case pending with the
Regional Trial Court of Davao did not bar the filing
of the interpleader case with the Regional Trial
Court of Makati.

In September, 1961 PHHC-GSIS arrangement


collections from tenants were delivered to GSIS by
PHHC.
On December 27, 1961 , pursuant to the release of
mortgage and amicable settlement of the
extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings instituted by
GSIS against PHHC in May 1960 (PHHC executed an
agreement of turnover of administration and
ownership of its properties including Project 4 in
favor of GSIS.

#2

Subsequently, PHHC NewChairman General Mgr.


Esmerald Eco , refused to recognize all agreements
and undertaking previously entered into w/ GSIS.
GSIS insisted its legal rights to enforce said
agreements and was upheld by Govt Corporate
Counsel and the Sec. of Justice.
Plaintiffs claimed great inconvenience and
incalculable moral and material damage due to the
conflicting claims between defendants corporations
( PHHC-GSIS ).

#3a

En Banc

They Further alleged that as the majority of them


were GSIS policy holders they preferred to have
Implementation of the outright sale in their favor
effected by GSIS, since GSIS was legally entitled to
the mgt. , administration and ownership of the
PHHC properties in question.
On August 23, 1962, upon urgent ex parte motion
of plaintiffs , Trial Court issued its order designating
PeoplesFirst Savings Bank at Quezon City to
receive in trust the payts from the plaintiffs their
monthly amortizations on PHHC lots and to be
released only upon proper authority of the court.

GR. No. L- 25138 August 28 ,1969

JOSE A. BELTRAN, ET AL.,


vs.
Peoples Home site & Housing Corporation

Teehankee , J. :

On Aug. 29, 1962 defendant corporations filed a


motion to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state
a cause of action as well as to lift Courts order
designating Peoples First Savings Bank as trustee
to receive the tenants payts on the PHHC lots.

Facts :
An interpleader suit was filed on Aug. 21, 1962 , by
plaintiffs own behalf and in behalf of all residents
of Project 4 in Quezon City.
Praying the (2) defendant - govt corps be
compelled to litigate and interplead between
themselves their alleged conflicting claims
involving said Project 4.

On Sept. 1,1962 , Trial Court heard the motion with


the presence of all parties thus ruling that there is
no dispute as to whom the residents of Project 4
should make their monthly amortizations payments
and there is , therefore no cause of action for
interpleading two defendants corporations as GSIS
has expressed its conformity made their payments
directly to PHHC.

Principal allegations of the Plaintiffs : Since they


first occupied in 1953 their respective housing
units at Project 4 , under lease from the peoples
Home site and Housing CORP (PHHC) and paying
monthly rentals therefor , they were assured by
competent authority of after 5 years of occupancy ,
they would be entitled to purchase said units.

Issue :WON as to who between PHHC and GSIS that


plaintiffs made their amortization payments in that
interpleaded them between themselves and litigate
as to their conflicting claims involving project 4.

On Feb. 21, 1961PHHC transferred the


management, administration and ownership of
Project 4 to GSIS and asked tenants to signify their
conformity to buy the housing units at the selling
price , agreeing to credit the tenants , as down
payment on the selling price ( 30% ) of what had
been paid by them as rentals.

Rulling :
Court ruled that plaintiffs entirely miss the vital
element of an interpleader. Rule 63 , Sec.1 of the
Revised Rules of Court requires that Conflicting
claims upon the same subject matter are or maybe
made against the plaintiff in interpleader who
claims no interest whatever in the subject matter

Tenants accepted the offer.

or an interest w/c in whole or in part is not disputed


by the claimants.

the premises, despite receipt of said letter, Tirona


failed and refused and still fails and refuses to heed
Ocampos demands. This prompted the petitioner to
file an action for unlawful detainer and damages
against the respondent.

Two (2) defendants corporations may have


conflicting claims between themselves w/regard to
mgt , administration and ownership of Project 4 ,
such conflicting claims are not against the plaintiffs
nor do they have involve or affect the plaintiffs. No
allegation that any corp. other than the PHHC w/c
was the only entity privy to their lease purchase
agreement , ever made on them any claim or
demand for payment of the rentals or amortization
payments.

The MTC held that Tirona had no reason to suspend


the payment rents as this made her occupation of
the property illegal. Thus, the petitioner has the
right to recover possession. The RTC concurred with
this decision. However the Appellate Court set
aside the lower courts judgement.

#3b
ISSUE Whether or not an action for Interpleader is
proper in this case.
G.R. No.147812.

April 6, 2005
RULING
Yes. Tirona should have filed an interpleader and
need not wait for actual filing of a suit by petioner
against her. The action is proper when lessee does
not know who to pay the rentals due to conflicting
claims in the subjects property.

LEONARDO R. OCAMPO, petitioner,


vs.
LEONORA TIRONA, respondent.

Tirona need not have awaited actual institution of a


suit by Ocampo against her before filing a bill of
interpleader. An action for interpleader is proper
when the lessee does not know the person to
whom to pay rentals due to conflicting claims on
the property. The action of interpleader is a remedy
whereby a person who has property whether
personal or real, in his possession, or an obligation
to render wholly or partially, without claiming any
right in both, or claims an interest which in whole
or in part is not disputed by the conflicting
claimants, comes to court and asks that the
persons who claim the said property or who
consider
themselves
entitled
to
demand
compliance with the obligation, be required to
litigate among themselves, in order to determine
finally who is entitled to one or the other thing. The
remedy is afforded not to protect a person against
a double liability but to protect him against a
double vexation in respect of one liability. When the
court orders that the claimants litigate among
themselves, there arises in reality a new action and
the former are styled interpleaders, and in such a
case the pleading which initiates the action is
called a complaint of interpleader and not a crosscomplaint.

CARPIO, J.:

FACTS

Ocampo alleged that he is the owner of a parcel of


land. Ocampo bought the subject land from
Rosauro Breton, heir of the subject lands registered
owner Alipio Breton Cruz. Possession and
administration of the subject land are claimed to be
already in Ocampos management even though the
TCT is not yet in his name. Tirona, on the other
hand, is a lessee occupying a portion of the subject
land.

According to Ocampo, upon acquisition of


ownership of the subject premises, a formal written
notice was given to Tirona which was received by
the latter in recognition of Ocampos right of
ownership over the subject premises, Tirona paid
some monthly rentals due, however, when area
was declared a priority development, respondent
informed petitioner that she will suspend paying
the rentals. Ocampo wrote a letter to Tirona
demanding upon to pay the rentals and to vacate

Ocampo has the right to eject Tirona from the


subject land. All the elements required for an
unlawful detainer case to prosper are present.
Ocampo notified Tirona that he purchased the

subject land from Tironas lessor. Tironas continued


occupation of the subject land amounted to
acquiescence to Ocampos terms. However, Tirona
eventually refused to pay rent to Ocampo, thus
violating the lease.

#4

RULE 63
DECLARATORY RELIEF AND SIMILAR REMEDIES

#1

G.R. No. 211356, September 29, 2014


CRISOSTOMO B. AQUINO, Petitioner,
v.
MUNICIPALITY OF MALAY, AKLAN, Respondent.

exercise of executive functions, and not of judicial


or quasi-judicial functions, certiorari will not lie.
Instead, the proper remedy for the petitioner,
according to the CA, is to file a petition for
declaratory relief with the Regional Trial Court.

VELASCO JR., J.:


NATURE:
This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari
challenging the Decision1 and the Resolution of the
Court of Appeals. The assailed rulings denied
Crisostomo Aquinos Petition for Certiorari for not
being the proper remedy to question the issuance
and implementation of Executive Order No. 10,
Series of 2011 (EO 10), ordering the demolition of
his hotel establishment.

Issue: (For the purpose of our topic) Whether or not


declaratory relief is still available to petitioner;
HELD:
Certiorari, not declaratory relief, is the proper
remedy

FACTS:

a. Declaratory relief no longer viable

Boracay Island West Cove Management Philippines,


Inc. applied for a building permit covering the
construction of a three-storey hotel over a parcel of
land in Malay, Aklan, which is covered by a Forest
Land Use Agreement for Tourism Purposes (FLAgT)
issued by the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR). The Municipal Zoning
Administrator denied petitioners application on the
ground that the proposed construction site was
within the no build zone demarcated in Municipal
Ordinance 2000-131.

Resolving first the procedural aspect of the case,


We find merit in petitioners contention that the
special writ of certiorari , and not declaratory relief,
is the proper remedy for assailing EO 10. As
provided under Sec. 1, Rule 63 of the Rules of
Court:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
SECTION 1. Who may file petition. Any person
interested under a deed, will, contract or other
written instrument, whose rights are affected by a
statute, executive order or regulation, ordinance or
any other governmental regulation may, before
breach or violation thereof, bring an action in the
appropriate Regional Trial Court to determine any
question of construction or validity arising, and for
a declaration of his rights or duties, thereunder. x
xx (emphasis added)

Petitioner appealed the denial action to the Office


of the Mayor but despite follow up, no action was
ever taken by the respondent mayor. Construction
of the building continued.
A Cease and Desist Order was issued by the
municipal government, enjoining the expansion of
the resort, and on June 7, 2011, the Office of the
Mayor of Malay, Aklan issued the assailed EO 10,
ordering the closure and demolition of Boracay
West Coves hotel.

An action for declaratory relief presupposes that


there has been no actual breach of the instruments
involved or of the rights arising thereunder. Since
the purpose of an action for declaratory relief is to
secure an authoritative statement of the rights and
obligations of the parties under a statute, deed, or
contract for their guidance in the enforcement
thereof, or compliance therewith, and not to settle
issues arising from an alleged breach thereof, it
may be entertained before the breach or violation
of the statute, deed or contract to which it refers.
A petition for declaratory relief gives a practical
remedy for ending controversies that have not
reached the state where another relief is
immediately available; and supplies the need for a
form of action that will set controversies at rest
before they lead to a repudiation of obligations, an
invasion of rights, and a commission of
wrongs.4cralawlawlibrary

EO 10 was partially implemented on June 10, 2011.


Thereafter, two more instances followed wherein
respondents demolished the improvements
introduced by Boracay West Cove.
Petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari with prayer
for injunctive relief with the CA alleging that the
order was issued and executed with grave abuse of
discretion; that respondent has no jurisdiction but
the DENR since the area is a forest land; that DENR
bestowed the company the right to construct
permanent improvements on the area in question;
and that judicial proceedings should first be
conducted before the respondent mayor could
order the demolition of the building.

In the case at bar, the petition for declaratory relief


became unavailable by EO 10s enforcement and
implementation. The closure and demolition of the
hotel rendered futile any possible guidelines that
may be issued by the trial court for carrying out the
directives in the challenged EO 10. Indubitably, the
CA erred when it ruled that declaratory relief is the
proper remedy given such a situation.

In rebuttal, respondents contended that the FLAgT


does not excuse the company from complying with
the Ordinance and Presidential Decree No. 1096
(PD 1096), otherwise known as the National
Building Code of the Philippines. Respondents also
argued that the demolition needed no court order
because the municipal mayor has the express
power under the Local Government Code (LGC) to
order the removal of illegally constructed buildings.

b. Petitioner correctly resorted to certiorari

Ruling of the CA:

On the propriety of filing a petition for certiorari ,


Sec. 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court provides:

The CA dismissed the petition solely on procedural


ground, i.e., the special writ of certiorari can only
be directed against a tribunal, board, or officer
exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions and
since the issuance of EO 10 was done in the

Section 1. Petition for certiorari . When any


tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or
quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in
excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse

of discretion amounting to lack or excess of


jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, or any plain,
speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary
course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file
a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the
facts with certainty and praying that judgment be
rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of
such tribunal, board or officer, and granting such
incidental reliefs as law and justice may require. x
xx

The City of Naga alleged that, for a considerable


length of time, Camarines Sur possessed and
claimed ownership of Plaza Rizal because of a tax
declaration over the said property in the name of
the province. As a result, Camarines Sur had long
exercised administrative control and management
of Plaza Rizal, to the exclusion of the City
of Naga. The City of Naga could not introduce
improvements on Plaza Rizal, and its constituents
could not use the property without securing a
permit
from
the
proper
officials
of
Camarines Sur. The situation had created a conflict
of interest between the parties herein and had
generated animosities among their respective
officials.

For certiorari to prosper, the petitioner must


establish the concurrence of the following
requisites, namely:
1. The writ is directed against a tribunal,
board, or officer exercising judicial or quasijudicial functions;
2. Such tribunal, board, or officer has acted
without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction; and
3. There is no appeal or any plain speedy, and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
law.5

The City of Naga sought a declaration that the


administrative control and management of Plaza
Rizal should be vested in it, given that the said
property
is
situated
within
its
territorial
jurisdiction. The City of Naga invoked Section 2,
Article I of Republic Act No. 305, the Charter of the
City of Naga, which states:
SEC. 2. Territory of the City
of Naga. The city of Naga which is
hereby created, shall comprise the
present territorial jurisdiction of
themunicipality of Naga,
in
the Province of Camarines Sur.

#2

THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 175064

On 21 February 1997, Camarines Sur filed an


Answer with Motion to Dismiss. Allegedly, Section 2
of Republic Act No. 305 merely defined the
territorial jurisdiction of the City of Naga and did
not vest any color of right to the latter to manage
and
control
any
property
owned
by
Camarines Sur. Furthermore,
the
remedy
of
Declaratory Relief was inappropriate because there
was no justiciable controversy, given that the City
of Naga did not intend to acquire ownership of
Plaza Rizal; and Camarines Sur, being the owner of
Plaza Rizal, had the right to the management,
maintenance, control, and supervision thereof. The
remedy of Quieting of Title was inappropriate, as
the City of Naga had no legal or equitable title to or
interest
in
Plaza
Rizal
that
needed
protection. Lastly, Camarines Sur stated that Plaza
Rizal was not a property of public domain, but a
property owned by Camarines Sur which was
devoted to public use.

September 18, 2009

PROVINCE OF CAMARINES SUR, represented by


Governor Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte, Jr., Petitioner,
Vs
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS; and CITY OF
NAGA, represented by Mayor Jesse M. Robredo,
Respondents.
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
FACTS:
The property subject of the instant case is a parcel
of land, known as Plaza Rizal, situated within the
territory of herein respondent City of Naga and with
an aggregate area of 4,244 square meters, more or
less. Plaza Rizal is located in front of the old
provincial capitol building, where the Provincial
Government of Camarines Sur used to have its
seat, at the time when the then Municipality of
Naga was still the provincial capital.

RTC denied the Motion to Dismiss.


Camarines Sur received a copy of
foregoing Decision and filed a Motion
Reconsideration. The RTC denied the Motion
Reconsideration
of
Camarines
Sur
in
Order[15] dated 1 September 1999.

On 18 June 1948, Republic Act No. 305 took effect


and, by virtue thereof, the Municipality of Naga was
converted into the City of Naga. Subsequently,
on June 16, 1955, Republic Act No. 1336 was
approved, transferring the site of the provincial
capitol of Camarines Sur from the City of Naga to
the barrio of Palestina, Municipality of Pili. The
Municipality of Pili was also named as the new
provincial capital.

the
for
for
an

Camarines Sur filed with the RTC a Notice of


Appeal. RTC disapproved the Notice of Appeal for
non-compliance with the material data rule, which
requires the statement of such data as will show
that the appeal was perfected on time.
Camarines Sur filed a second Notice of Appeal,
[18]
which was again disapproved by the RTC in an
Order[19] dated 14 September 1999 for having been
filed outside of the reglementary period.

On 13 January 1997, the City of Naga filed a


Complaint for Declaratory Relief and/or Quieting of
Title against Camarines Sur before the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of the City of Naga, Branch 61,
which was docketed as Civil Case No. 97-3691.

On 18 October 1999, Camarines Sur filed before


the Court a Petition for Review on Certiorari,
[21]
which
was
docketed
as
G.R.
No.
139838. Camarines Sur questioned in its Petition
the act of the RTC of giving due course to the
Complaint for Declaratory Relief and/or Quieting of
Title and the interpretation of said trial court of
Section 2, Article 1 of Republic Act No. 305.

conversion of the Municipality of Naga into an


independent component city. The City of Naga
further asserted that as a result of the possession
by Camarines Sur, the City of Naga could not
introduce improvements on Plaza Rizal; its
constituents were denied adequate use of said
property, since Camarines Sur required that the
latters permission must first be sought for the use
of the same; and it was still Camarines Sur that
was able to continuously use Plaza Rizal for its own
programs
and
projects. The
City
of Naga undoubtedly has a legal interest in the
controversy, given that Plaza Rizal is undisputedly
within its territorial jurisdiction. Lastly, the issue is
ripe for judicial determination in that, in view of the
conflicting interests of the parties to this case,
litigation is inevitable, and there is no adequate
relief available in any other form or proceeding.[34]

The Court referred the Petition for Review filed by


Camarines Sur to the Court of Appeals for
appropriate action, holding that the latter had
jurisdiction concurrent with that of the former over
the case, and no special and important reason was
cited for the Court to take cognizance of the case
in the first instance.
CA denied the petition. Hence, this petition.

#3

ISSUE: Whether or not the filing of the Complaint


for Declaratory Relief and/or Quieting of Title was
proper as it was hinged on a pretended
controversy. .

#4

RULING:
#5a

Declaratory relief is defined as an action by any


person interested in a deed, will, contract or other
written instrument, executive order or resolution,
to determine any question of construction or
validity arising from the instrument, executive
order or regulation, or statute; and for a
declaration of his rights and duties thereunder.
[31]
The only issue that may be raised in such a
petition is the question of construction or validity of
provisions in an instrument or statute.[32]

G.R. No. L-29673 November 12, 1987


THE VISAYAN PACKING CORPORATION, petitioner,
vs.
THE REPARATIONS COMMISSION and THE COURT
OF APPEALS, respondents.
NARVASA, J.:

The requisites of an action for declaratory relief


are: (1) there must be a justiciable controversy
between persons whose interests are adverse; (2)
the party seeking the relief has a legal interest in
the controversy; and (3) the issue is ripe for judicial
determination.[33]

Facts:
The proceedings at bar had their origin in an
agreement
denominated
"Contract
of
Constitutional Purchase and Sale of Reparation
Goods" entered into between petitioner Visayan
baking Corporation (VISPAC) and the Reparations
Commission (REPACOM). Subject of the contract
were a cannery plant, a tin manufacturing plant,
and three (3) filing boats sold to VISPAC, for which
it bound itself to pay the total price of
P1,135,712.47 in ten (10) equal yearly installments
with interest.

The Court rules that the City of Naga properly


resorted to the filing of an action for declaratory
relief.
In the instant case, the controversy concerns the
construction of the provisions of Republic Act No.
305 or the Charter of the City of Naga. Specifically,
the City of Naga seeks an interpretation of Section
2, Article I of its Charter, as well as a declaration of
the rights of the parties to this case thereunder.

Prior to the due date of the first installment,


REPACOM sent VISPAC a written reminder thereof.
VISPAC's response was to file in the CFI of Manila
two (2) special civil actions for declaratory
relief,alleging ambiguity in the contract between it
and REPACOM consisting in the agreement's failure
to clearly state the precise time when the
obligation to pay the first installment of the price
would arise.

To recall, Section 2, Article I of Republic Act No. 305


defines the territory of the City of Naga, providing
that the City shall comprise the present territorial
jurisdiction of the Municipality of Naga. By virtue of
this provision, the City of Naga prays that it be
granted the right to administratively control and
supervise Plaza Rizal, which is undisputedly within
the territorial jurisdiction of the City.

When VISPAC subsequently failed, despite several


demands, to pay the first installment of the price
(P135,712.47) on due date, the latter instituted an
ordinary civil action for collection thereof.

Clearly, the interests of the City of Naga and


Camarines Sur in this case are adverse. The latter
asserted in its Complaint for Declaratory Relief
and/or Quieting of Title that it should maintain
administrative control and management of Plaza
Rizal having continuously possessed the same
under a claim of ownership, even after the

VISPAC moved to dismiss this collection suit on the


ground of the pendency of the declaratory relief
actions, arguing that until and unless the latter
were resolved, no cause of action could be deemed

to exist in favor of REPACOM for collection of said


first installment. The motion to dismiss was denied;
and after trial, the CFIordered VISPAC to pay
REPACOM the sum claimed, with interest at the
legal rate from date of filing of the complaint until
fully paid.

G.R. No. L-5101, November 28, 1953


ANGELES S. SANTOS, petitioner-appellant,
vs.
PATERIO AQUINO, as Municipal Mayor of Malabon,
THE MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF MALABON, A.A.
OLIVEROS, as Municipal Treasurer of Malabon,
Province of Rizal, respondents-appellees.

VISPAC appealed to the CA claiming error on the


part of the Trial Court in not holding that
thecollection suit was barred by the pendency of
the declaratory relief cases earlier instituted.But
the declaratory relief actions had been earlier
dismissed by Order of the CFI, holding that the
issues raised would be necessarily threshed out in
the collection suit.

PADILLA, J.:
This action purports to obtain a declaratory relief
but the prayer of the petition seeks to have
Ordinance No. 61, series of 1946, and Ordinance
No. 10, series of 1947, of the Municipality of
Malabon, Province of Rizal, declared null and void;
to prevent the collection of surcharges and
penalties for failure to pay the taxes imposed by
the ordinances referred to, except for such failure
from and after the taxpayer shall have been served
with the notice of the effectivity of the ordinances;
and to enjoin the respondents, their agents and all
other persons acting for and in their behalf from
enforcing the ordinances referred to and from
making any collection thereunder. Further,
petitioner prays for such other remedy and relief as
may be deemed just and equitable and asks that
costs be taxed against the respondents

VISPAC appealed, but was rebuffed. The CA


affirmed the dismissal of thedeclaratory relief suits,
holding that the clarity of the terms of the contract
eliminated all occasion for interpretation thereof.
Issue: WON the declaratory relief suits instituted
by VISPAC were valid?
Ruling:
NO. The Court held that there is nothing in the
nature of a special civil action for declaratory relief
that proscribes the filing of a counterclaim based
on the same transaction, deed or contract subject
of the complaint. A special civil action is after an
not essentially different from all ordinary civil
action, which is generally governed by Rules 1 to
56 of the Rules of Court, except that the former
deals with a special subject matter which makes
necessary some special regulation. But the Identity
between their fundamental nature is such that the
same rules governing ordinary civil suits may and
do apply to special civil actions if not inconsistent
with or if they may serve to supplement the
provisions of the peculiar rules governing special
civil actions.

Facts:
The petitioner is the manager of a theater known
as "Cine Concepcion," located and operated in the
Municipality of Malabon, Province of Rizal, and the
respondents are the Municipal Mayor, the Municipal
Council and the Municipal Treasurer, of Malabon.
The petitioner avers that:
>Ordinance No. 61, series of 1946, adopted by the
Municipal Council of Malabon on 8 December 1946,
imposes a license tax of P1,000 per annum on the
said theater in addition to a license tax on all
tickets sold in theaters and cinemas in Malabon,
pursuant to the Ordinance No. 58, series of 1946.
>the municipal license tax paid by the petitioner
on "Cine Concepcion" was P180, pursuant to the
Ordinance No. 9, series of 1945;
>the Respondent adopted Ordinance No. 10, series
of 1947, imposing a graduated municipal license
tax on theaters and cinematographs from P200 to
P9,000 per annum;
>the ordinance was submitted for approval to the
Department of Finance, which reduced the rate of
taxes provided therein, and the ordinance with the
reduced rate of taxes was approved on 3
November 1948;
> notice of reduction of the tax rate and approval
by the Department of Finance of said graduated
municipal license tax provided for in said
Ordinance No. 10, as reduced, was served on the
petitioner when the respondent Municipal Treasurer
presented a bill for collection thereof;
>Ordinance No. 61, is ultra vires and repugnant to
the provisions of the Constitution on taxation;
> its approval was not in accordance with law;
that Ordinance No. 10, series of 1947, is all null
and void, because the Department of Finance that
approved it acted in excess and against the powers

Ideally, in the case at bar, the separate action for


collection should have been dismissed and set up
as a compulsory counterclaim in the declaratory
relief suits, by way of an amended answer. This
was not done. The actions proceeded separately
and were decided on the merits.
The final verdict was that the declaratory relief
suits instituted by VISPAC were unmeritorious,
quite without foundation and, in the light of all the
relevant facts, appear to have been initiated by
VISPAC merely to obstruct and delay the payment
of the installments clearly due from it, payment of
which was decreed in the collection suit. Under the
circumstances, and taking account of the not
inconsiderable length of time that the case at bar
has been pending, it would be to do violence to
substantial justice to pronounce the proceedings
fatally defective for breach of the rule on
compulsory counterclaims. Rules of procedure are
after all laid down in order to attain justice. They
cannot be applied to prevent the achievement of
that goal. Form cannot prevail over substance.

#5b

granted it by law, and is unjust, oppressive and


confiscatory; and
> the adoption of both ordinances was the result of
prosecution of the petitioner by the respondents
because from 20 July 1946 to 8 December 1947, or
within a period of less than one and a half years,
the Municipal Council of Malabon adopted four
ordinances increasing the taxes on cinematographs
and theaters and imposing a penalty of 20 per cent
surcharges for late payment.

thereof by the Court. And granting that the validity


or legality of an ordinance may be drawn in
question in an action for declaratory relief, such
relief must be asked before a violation of the
ordinance be committed. When this action was
brought on 12 May 1949, payment of the municipal
license taxes imposed by both ordinances, the tax
rate of the last having been reduced by the
Department of Finance, was already due, and the
prayer of the petition shows that the petitioner had
not paid them. In those circumstances the
petitioner cannot bring an action for declaratory
relief.

In their answer the respondents allege that:


-- both ordinances adopted by the Municipal
Council of Malabon are notultra vires, the same not
being under any of the exceptions provided for in
section 3 of Commonwealth Act No. 472;
-- the ordinances were adopted pursuant to the
policy enunciated by the Secretary of the Interior in
a circular issued on 20 June 1946 which in
substance suggested and urged the municipal
councils to increase their revenues and not to rely
on the National Government which was not in a
position to render any help and to make such
increase dependent upon the taxpayer's ability to
pay;
-- both ordinances assailed by the petitioner had
been submitted to, and approved by, the
Department of Finance, respectively;
-- the petitioner had filed a protest with the
Secretary of Finance against such increase of
taxes, as fixed by the municipal ordinances in
question but the Department of Finance although
reducing the amount of taxes imposed in
Ordinance No. 10, series of 1947, and changing the
date of effectivity of both ordinances, upheld the
legality thereof; and that the petitioner brought this
action for declaratory relief with the evident
purpose of evading payment of the unpaid balance
of taxes due from the "Cine Concepcion." By way of
special defense the respondents allege that the
petition does not state facts sufficient to constitute
a cause of action;
-- the Court has no jurisdiction over the subject
matter of the petition for declaratory relief;
-- the petitioner should have paid under protests
the taxes imposed by the ordinances in question on
"Cine Concepcion" and after payment thereof
should bring an action under section 1579 of the
Revised Administrative Code;
-- being an action for declaratory relief, the
Provincial Fiscal of Rizal should have been notified
thereof but the petitioner failed to do so;
-- the petition does not join all the necessary
parties and, therefore, a judgment rendered in the
case will not terminate the uncertainty or the
controversy that is sought to be settled and
determined.

Angeles S. Santos, the petitioner, does not aver nor


does he testify that he is the owner or part-owner
of "Cine-Concepcion." He alleges that he is only the
manager thereof. For that reason he is not an
interested party. He has no interest in the theater
known as "Cine Concepcion" which may be
affected by the municipal ordinances in question
and for that reason he is not entitled to bring this
action either for declaratory relief or for prohibition,
which apparently is the purpose of the action as
may be gleaned from the prayer of the petition.
The rule that actions must be brought in the name
of the real party in interest2 applies to actions
brought under Rule 66 for declaratory relief. The
fact that he is the manager of the theater does not
make him a real party in interest.
#6

G.R. No. L-24835 July 31, 1970


REPARATIONS COMMISSION,
vs.
NORTHERN LINES INC., and FIELDMEN'S
INSURANCE COMPANY, INC.,
CONCEPCION, C.J.:
FACTS:

Pursuant to Rep. Act No. 1789, the


Reparations Commission hereinafter referred
to as the Commission had awarded two (2)
vessels to the Northern Lines Inc., referred to as
the Buyer for use in the interisland shipping.
According to the schedules of payment
agreed upon between the parties, complete
delivery of one of the vessels:
(a) the M/S Magsaysay, later named M/S Don
Salvador took place on April 25, 1960

(b) the M/S Estancia later named M/S Don Amando


on May 26, 1960.

These vessels were the object of separate


deeds of conditional purchase and sale of
reparations
goods,
executed
by
the
COMMISSION, as vendor, and NORTHERN LINES
(Buyer), as vendee, the first dated September
12, 1960, and the second October 20, 1960.

In conjunction with these contracts and in


line with the provisions thereof Surety Bonds
Nos. 3825 and 4123 were executed, on April 25,
1960 and May 30, 1960, respectively, by the
Buyer, as principal, and the Fieldmen's
Insurance Co., as surety, in favor of the

Court held that the ordinances in question are valid


and constitutional and dismissing the petition with
costs against the petitioner. Hence, the appeal.
Issue: WoN the action for declaratory relief is
proper?
Ruling:
No. The court held that it is not an action for
declaratory relief, because the terms of the
ordinances assailed are not ambiguous or of
doubtful meaning which require a construction

10

Commission,
to
guarantee
the
faithful
compliance by the Buyer of its obligations under
said contracts.
The Buyer undertook therein to pay for said
vessels the installments specified in a schedule
of payments, appended to each contract. The
schedule for the M/S Don Salvador (ex-M/S
Magsaysay) reads as follows:

M/S DON SALVADOR (former M/S


MAGSAYSAY) divested of the cannery
plant, delivered on April 25, 1960, with
TOTAL F.O.B. COST P1,747,614.22,
AMOUNT OF 1ST INSTALLMENT (10%
OF F.O.B. COST) P174,761.42, DUE
DATE OF 1ST INSTALLMENT April 25,
1962, TERM: TEN (10%) EQUAL YEARLY
INSTALLMENTS, RATE OF INTEREST:
THREE PERCENT (3%) PER ANNUM
M/S Don Amando (former M/S Estancia)
Divested of
the Cannery Plant,
delivered on May 26. 1960, TOTAL
F.O.B. COST P1,747,614.22, AMOUNT
OF 1ST INSTALLMENT (10% OF F.O.B.
COST) P174,761.42, DUE DATE OF 1ST
INSTALLMENT May 26, 1962, TERM: Ten
(10) EQUAL YEARLY INSTALLMENTS,
RATE OF INTEREST: THREE PERCENT
(3%) PER ANNUM
On April 24, 1962, and May 26, 1962 or
one day before the stated due date of the first
installment for M/S Don Salvador (ex-M/S
Magsaysay), and on the stated due date of the
first installment as to M/S Don Amando (ex-M/S
Estancia) the Buyer instituted Civil Cases
Nos. 50194 (regarding M/S Don Salvador,
formerly Magsaysay) and 50488 (regarding M/S
Don Amando, formerly Estancia) of the Court of
First Instance of Manila to secure, by way of
declaratory relief, a declaration to the effect
that
the
first
installments
under
the
aforementioned contracts would be due and
demandable on April 25, 1963 and May 26,
1963, respectively.
On September 10, 1962, the Commission
commenced Civil Case No. 51542 of the same
Court, against the Buyer and the Surety. The
Commission alleged in two separate causes of
action set forth in the complaint therein that,
despite repeated demands, the defendants
(Buyer and Surety) had refused to pay the first
installments of P174,761.42 each, that had
become due and demandable on April 25 and
May 26, 1962, respectively. Hence, it prayed
that the Buyer and the Surety be sentenced to
pay, jointly and severally, to the Commission
the aggregate sum of P349,522.84, with interest
thereon at the legal rate, in addition to
attorney's fees and the Costs.
In its answer to the complaint, the Buyer
admitted some allegations and denied other
allegations thereof, and, by way of special
defense, averred that the Commission has no
cause of action until Civil Cases Nos. 50488 and
50194 . shall have been decided.
The Surety's answer contained similar
admissions and denials, apart from adopting as
its own those made in the Buyer's answer, and
set up a crossclaim against the Buyer, for
reimbursement of whatever the Surety may
have to pay to the Commission by reason of its
complaint, including interests, and for the sum

P10,541.68 "representing unpaid premiums and


documentary stamps due on the two bonds"
above-mentioned, plus attorney's fees and
interests.
On October 29, 1962, the Court of First
Instance of Manila dismissed Case No. 50488.
Whereupon the Buyer appealed to this
Court, where the case was docketed as
L-20725.
The same was, however, dismissed July
2, 1963, for failure of the Buyer, as
appellant therein, to file its brief within
the reglementary period.
In due course thereafter, or on April 30,
1964, Court of First Instance rendered, in Cases
Nos. 50194 and 51542 the action filed by the
Commission which had been jointly tried, a
decision
dismissing
the
petition
for
a
declaratory relief in Case No. 50194, with costs
against the Buyer, as petitioner therein, and: (a)
sentencing the Buyer and the Surety, as
defendants in Case No. 51542, to pay jointly
and severally, to the Commission, the sum of
P174,761.42, under each of the two (2) causes
of action alleged in the complaint, with interest
thereon at the legal rate, from the date of the
filing of the complaint, until fully paid
although the liability of the Surety under each
cause of action was not to exceed P174,761.42
and the sum of P1,000 as attorney's fees,
apart from the costs; (b) ordering the Buyer to
reimburse the Surety "whatever amount it may
pay to the Reparations Commission, with
interest at the rate of 12% per annum"; and (c)
sentencing the Buyer to pay the Surety the sum
of P10,641.68, representing unpaid premiums
and documentary stamps, with interest thereon
at the legal rate and P300, by way of attorney's
fees. A reconsideration of this decision having
been denied, the Buyer and the Surety appealed
to the Court of Appeals, which later certified the
appeal to this Court.
The Buyer alleges that the trial court erred
in not holding that the action filed by the
Commission (Case No. 51542) is "barred" by the
actions for declaratory judgment filed by the
Buyer (Civil Cases Nos. 50194 and 50488).
ISSUE: Whether or not the Commission had no
cause of action against them until the cases (Nos.
50194 and 50488) for a declaratory relief shall
have been decided? No.

RULING:
The decision affirmed from was affirmed by
the SC

The pertinent part of Section 12 of Rep. Act


No. 1789, pursuant to which the vessels in
question were sold to the Buyer, reads:
... Capital goods ... disposed of to private
parties as provided for in subsection (a) of
Section two hereof shall be sold on a cash
or credit basis, under rules and
regulations as may be determined by the
Commission. Sales on a credit basis shall
be payable in installments: Provided, That
the first installment shall be paid within
twenty-four
months
after
complete
delivery of
the
capital
goods
and
thebalance within a period not exceeding
ten years, ..., plus the service provided for

11

in section ten hereof: Provided, further,


That the unpaid balance of the price
thereof shall bear interest at the rate of
not more than three percent per
annum. .... 2
It should be noted that, pursuant to the
schedules attached to the contracts with the
Buyer, the "complete delivery" of the vessels
took place on April 25, and May 26, 1960,
respectively, so that the 24 months fixed by law
for the payment of the "first" installment
expired on April 25, 1962 and May 26, 1962,
which are the very due dates stated in the
aforementioned schedules for the payment of
the respective "1st" installments. What is more,
in view of said legal provision, the Commission
had no authority to agree that the 1st
installment be paid on any later date, and the
Buyer must have been aware of this fact.
Hence, the parties could not have intended the
first installments to become due on April 25 and
May 26, 1963. It is, likewise, obvious
particularly when considered in relation to the
provision above quoted that the "ten (10)
equal yearly installments," mentioned in the
schedules, refer to the "balance" of the price to
be paid by the Buyer, after deducting the "first"
installment, so that, altogether there would be
"eleven" installments, namely, the "first," which
would be 10% of F.O.B. cost of the vessel as
agreed upon between the Governments of the
Philippines and Japan and "ten (10) equal
yearly installments," representing the balance
of the amount due to the Commission from the
Buyer, including the interest thereon.
As above pointed out, Case No. 50488 was
dismissed by Branch XIII of the Court of First
Instance of Manila, on October 29, 1962, and
the order of dismissal became final and
executory upon the dismissal of the appeal in L20725 of the Supreme Court, on July 2, 1963,
months before the rendition of the decision of
Branch VII of the trial court, which is the object
of the present appeal, on April 30, 1964. As
regards Case No. 50194, which was commenced
on April 24, 1962, the contract involved therein
(with reference to the M/S Don Salvador or
Magsaysay) was infringed by the Buyer when it
failed to pay the first installment due the next
day, April 25, 1962. The lower court was,
accordingly, justified in dismissing that case
inasmuch as an action for declaratory relief may
be entertained only "before breach or violation"
of the law or contract to which it refers. 3 The
purpose of the action is to secure an
authoritative statement of the rights and
obligations of the parties under said law or
contract, for their guidance in the enforcement
thereof or compliance therewith not to settle
issues arising
from
an
alleged
breach
thereof. 4 Accordingly, after such alleged breach
of the law or contract or once the
aforementioned issue has arisen, an ordinary
action is the proper remedy. Thus, in Salmon v.
Andal, 5 this Court said:
... If there has been a violation,
declaratory relief cannot be granted, for
the reason that Sec. 2, Rule 66 6 relative
to said remedy, provides that 'A contract
or statute may be construed before there
has been a breach thereof.' After breach,
the regular remedy obtains. 7

12

What is more, Rule 64, Section 61 of the


Rules of Court is clear and explicit about it. It
provides:
... If before the final termination of case. a
breach of violation of an instrument, or a
statute, executive order or regulation, or
ordinance, should take place, the action
may thereupon be converted into an
ordinary action and parties allowed to file
such pleadings as may be necessary or
proper.
The facts of record strongly suggest that
Cases Nos. 50194 and 50488 for declaratory
relief were commenced in anticipation of an
action for breach of contract, said cases having
been filed precisely on the eve of the due date
of the "first" installment, as to, M/S Don
Salvador or Magsaysay, and on the very due
date of the first installment, as to M/S Don
Amando or Estancia. The situation in the case at
bar is thus substantially identical to that
obtaining in Teodoro v. Mirasol 8 in which the
following language was used:
In the case at bar, We are led to the belief
that the present action in the Court of
First Instance was prompted by a desire
on plaintiff's part to anticipate the action
for unlawful detainer, the probability of
which was apparent .... plaintiff took
advantage of defendant's delayed ... suit
to file this case in the Court, of First
Instance in anticipation of the action for
unlawful detainer, in order perhaps that
he may claim that the action in the Court
of First Instance was prior to the unlawful
detainer case, and, therefore, should
enjoy preference over the action filed in
the Municipal court.
It is to be noted that the Rules do not
require as a ground for dismissal of a
complaint that there is a prior pending
action. They provide that there is a
pending
action,
not
a pending
prior action. The fact that the unlawful
detainer suit was of a later date is no bar
to the dismissal of the present action, ....
... plaintiff's action for declaratory relief is
improper; this action is meant only for
those cases where a contract is desired to
be construed prior to its breach because
of an impending controversy that the
parties thereto may be informed of the
rights thereunder. In the case at bar, ...
there has already been a breach ... hence
the action for a declaratory judgment
is no longer proper.
xxx xxx xxx
There is no longer any need for the
action, even if proper because the matter
could be threshed out in the unlawful
detainer suit that the defendant had
instituted in the municipal court. 9
Indeed, otherwise, an action for a
declaratory relief could be availed of to, in
effect, suspend, during its pendency, the force
and operation of the contracts in question, and
thereby achieve a compulsory deferment or
postponement of the maturity of the obligations
therein validly contracted and assumed.
Obviously, the Court cannot give the stamp of
its approval thereto.

The trial courts essay did not contain a statement


of facts and a dispositive portion, however. Due to
this aberration, Velarde and Soriano filed separate
Motions for Reconsideration before the trial court
owing to these facts.

#7

G.R. No. 159357

The lower court denied these Motions. Hence, this


petition for review.

April 28, 2004

On April 13, 2004, the Court en banc conducted an


Oral Argument.
In his Petition, Brother Mike Velarde submits the
following issues for this Courts resolution:
1. Whether or not the Decision dated 12 June
2003 rendered by the court a quo was
proper and valid;
2. Whether or not there exists justiciable
controversy in herein respondents Petition
for declaratory relief;
3. Whether or not herein respondent has legal
interest in filing the Petition for declaratory
relief;
4. Whether or not the constitutional question
sought to be resolved by herein respondent
is ripe for judicial determination;
5. Whether or not there is adequate remedy
other than the declaratory relief; and,
6. Whether or not the court a quo has
jurisdiction over the Petition for declaratory
relief of herein respondent.

Brother MARIANO "MIKE" Z. VELARDE, petitioner,


vs.
SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY, respondent.
PANGANIBAN, J.:

Doctrine: Decision, more specifically a decision not


conforming to the form and substance required by
the Constitution is void and deemed legally
inexistent
Facts:
On January 28, 2003, SJS filed a Petition for
Declaratory Relief before the RTC-Manila against
Velarde and his co-respondents Eminence, Jaime
Cardinal Sin, Executive Minister Erao Manalo,
Brother Eddie Villanueva and Brother Eliseo F.
Soriano.

Issues: In its oral argument, the Supreme Court


condensed Velardes issues and divided it into 2
groups:
A. Procedural Issues
1. Did the Petition for Declaratory Relief raise a
justiciable controversy?
2. Did it state a cause of action?
3.Did respondent have any legal standing to file
the Petition for Declaratory Relief?

SJS, a registered political party, sought the


interpretation of several constitutional provisions,
specifically on the separation of church and state;
and a declaratory judgment on the constitutionality
of the acts of religious leaders endorsing a
candidate for an elective office, or urging or
requiring the members of their flock to vote for a
specified candidate.

B. Substantive Issues
1. Did the RTC Decision conform to the form and
substance required by the Constitution, the law and
the Rules of Court?
2. May religious leaders like herein petitioner, Bro.
Mike Velarde, be prohibited from endorsing
candidates for public office? Corollarily, may they
be banned from campaigning against said
candidates? (Not answered in the affirmative)

The petitioner filed a Motion to dismiss before the


trial court owing to the fact that alleged that the
questioned SJS Petition did not state a cause of
action and that there was no justiciable
controversy.
The trial courts junked the Velarde petitions under
certain reasons:
1. It said that it had jurisdiction over the SJS
petition, because in praying for a
determination as to whether the actions
imputed to the respondents were violative
of Article II, Section 6 of the Fundamental
Law, the petition has raised only a question
of law.
2. It then proceeded to a lengthy discussion of
the issue raised in the Petition the
separation of church and state even
tracing, to some extent, the historical
background of the principle. Through its
discourse, the court quipped at some point
that
the
"endorsement
of
specific
candidates in an election to any public
office is a clear violation of the separation
clause."

Decision: Petition for Review GRANTED. The


assailed June 12, 2003 Decision and July 29, 2003
Order of the Regional Trial Court of Manila
DECLARED NULL AND VOID and thus SET ASIDE.
The SJS Petition for Declaratory Relief is DISMISSED
for failure to state a cause of action.
Procedural Issues:
(1) NO. A justiciable controversy to an existing
case or controversy that is appropriate or ripe
for judicial determination, not one that is
conjectural or merely anticipatory. A petition
filed with the trial court should contain a plain,
concise and direct statement of the ultimate
facts on which the party pleading relies for his
claim.
The SJS Petition fell short of the requirements
to constitutue a jusiciable controversy. Why? a.

13

It stated no ultimate facts. The petition simply


theorized that the people elected who were
endorsed by these religious leaders might
become beholden to the latter. b. It did not
sufficiently state a declaration of its rights and
duties, what specific legal right of the
petitioner was violated by the respondents
therein, and what particular act or acts of the
latter were in breach of its rights, the law or
the constitution, c. The petition did not pray
for a stoppage of violated rights (duh, wala
ngang rights na sinabi eh). It merely sought an
opinion of the trial court. However, courts are
proscribed from rendering an advisory opinion.
(tantamount to making laws, remember the
questionability
of
justice
panganibans
guidelines for article 36 of the family code)

this general averment did not constitute a


legal right or interest, the courts inferred
interest too vague and speculative in
character. Rules require that the interest must
be material to the issue and affected by the
questioned act or instrument.
To bolster its point, the SJS cited the Corpus
Juris Secundum and submitted that the
plaintiff in a declaratory judgment action does
not seek to enforce a claim against the
defendant, but sought a judicial declaration of
the rights of the parties for the purpose of
guiding their future conduct, and the essential
distinction between a declaratory judgment
action and the usual action is that no actual
wrong need have been committed or loss have
occurred in order to sustain the declaratory
judgment action, although there must be no
uncertainty that the loss will occur or that the
asserted rights will be invaded. (???)

It must also be considered that even the


religious leaders were puzzled as to the breach
of rights they were claimed to have
committed. As pointed out by Soriano, what
exactly has he done that merited the attention
of SJS? Jaime Cardinal Sin adds that the
election season had not even started at the
time SJS filed its Petition and that he has not
been actively involved in partisan politics. The
Petition does not even allege any indication or
manifest intent on the part of any of the
respondents below to champion an electoral
candidate, or to urge their so-called flock to
vote for, a particular candidate. It is a timehonored rule that sheer speculation does not
give rise to an actionable right.

During the Oral Argument, Velarde and corespondents strongly asserted that they had
not in any way engaged or intended to
participate in partisan politics. Not even the
alleged proximity of the elections to the time
the Petition was filed below would have
provided the certainty that it had a legal right
that would be jeopardized or violated by any
of those respondents.
Even if the SJS petition asserted a legal right,
there was nevertheless no certainty that such
right would be invaded by the said
respondents.

(2) NO. A cause of action is an act or an omission


of one party in violation of the legal right or
rights of another, causing injury to the latter.
(Rebollido v. Court of Appeals, 170 SCRA 800)
Its essential elements are the following: (1) a
right in favor of the plaintiff; (2) an obligation
on the part of the named defendant to respect
or not to violate such right; and (3) such
defendants act or omission that is violative of
the right of the plaintiff or constituting a
breach of the obligation of the former to the
latter.

(3) NO. Legal standing or locus standi has been


defined as a personal and substantial interest
in the case, such that the party has sustained
or will sustain direct injury as a result of the
challenged act.
Interest means a material interest in issue that
is affected by the questioned act or
instrument, as distinguished from a mere
incidental interest in the question involved.
SJS has no legal interest in the controversy
and has failed to establish how the resolution
of the proffered question would benefit or
injure it.

The court held that the complaints failure to


state a cause of action became a ground for
its outright dismissal. Why?
The Court found nothing in the SJS Petition to
suggest that an explicit allegation of fact that
SJS had a legal right to protect. (trigger for the
cause of action)

Parties
bringing
suits
challenging
the
constitutionality of a law, an act or a statute
must demonstrate that they have been, or are
about to be, denied some right or privilege to
which they are lawfully entitled, or that they
are about to be subjected to some burdens or
penalties by reason of the statute or act
complained of.

In special civil actions for declaratory relief,


the concept of cause of action under ordinary
civil actions does not strictly apply. The reason
for this exception is that an action for
declaratory relief presupposes that there has
been no actual breach of the instruments
involved or of rights arising thereunder.
Nevertheless, a breach or violation should be
impending, imminent or at least threatened.

If the petition were to be valid, it should


satisfy:
First, parties suing as taxpayers must
specifically prove that they have sufficient
interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of
money raised by taxation, particularly that of
Congress' taxing power. Second, there was no
showing in the Petition for Declaratory Relief
that SJS as a political party or its members as
registered voters would be adversely affected

The justices could only infer that the interest


from its allegation was its mention of its (SJS)
thousands of members who are citizenstaxpayers-registered voters and who are
keenly interested. Aside from the fact that

14

by the alleged acts of the respondents below,


such as the deprivation of votes or barring of
suffrage to its constituents. Finally, the
allegedly keen interest of its "thousands of
members
who
are
citizens-taxpayersregistered voters" is too general and beyond
the contemplation of the standards set by our
jurisprudence. Not only is the presumed
interest impersonal in character; it is likewise
too vague, highly speculative and uncertain to
satisfy the requirement of standing. In not a
few cases, the Court has liberalized the locus
standi requirement when a petition raises an
issue of transcendental significance or
importance to the people (IBP v Zamora). The
Court deemed the constitutional issue raised
to be both transcendental in importance and
novel in nature. Nevertheless, the barren
allegations in the SJS Petition as well as the
abbreviated proceedings in the court would
prevent the resolution of the transcendental
issue.

to a full-length opinion on the nature and the


extent of the separation of church and state.
Without expressly stating the final conclusion she
has reached or specifying the relief granted or
denied, the trial judge ends her Decision with the
A decision that does not clearly and distinctly state
the facts and the law on which it is based leaves
the parties in the dark as to how it was reached
and is precisely prejudicial to the losing party, who
is unable to pinpoint the possible errors of the
court for review by a higher tribunal. More than
that, the requirement is an assurance to the parties
that, in reaching judgment, the judge did so
through the processes of legal
It was truly obvious that the RTCs Decision did not
adhere to the Bugarin precedent because of its
failure to express clearly and distinctly the facts on
which it was based. The significance of factual
findings lies in the value of the decision as a
precedent (how will the ruling be applied in

Substantive Issues

Respondent SJS insisted that the dispositive portion


can be found in the body (p. 10) of the assailed
Decision. Stating Endorsement of specific
candidates in an election to any public office is a
clear violation of the separation clause.

NO. The Constitution commands that no decision


shall be rendered by any court without expressing
therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law
on which it is based. No petition for review or
motion for reconsideration of a decision of the
court shall be refused due course or

The Court held that the statement is merely an


answer to a hypothetical legal question and just a
part of the opinion of the trial court. It does not
conclusively declare the rights (or obligations) of
the parties to the Petition. Neither does it grant any
-- much less, the proper -- relief under the

Consistent with this are Section 1 of Rule 36 of the


Rules on Civil Procedure, Rule 120 of the Rules of
Court on Criminal Procedure, Administrative
A judgment or final order determining the merits
of the case shall be rendered. The decision shall be
in writing, personally and directly prepared by the
judge, stating clearly and distinctly the facts and
law on which it is based, signed by the issuing
magistrate, and filed with the clerk of

The standard for a dispositive was set in Manalang


v. Tuason de Rickards where the resolution of the
Court on a given issue as embodied in the
dispositive part of the decision or order is the
investitive or controlling factor that determines and
settles the rights of the parties and the questions
presented therein, notwithstanding the existence of
statements or declaration in the body of said order
that may be confusing.

The SC has reminded magistrates to heed the


demand of Section `4, Art VIII of the contsitution.
This was evinced in Yao v. Court of Appeals where
Davide, CJ said that faithful adherence to the
requirements of Section 14, Article VIII of the
Constitution is indisputably a paramount

In Magdalena Estate, Inc. v. Caluag: The rule is


settled that where there is a conflict between the
dispositive part and the opinion, the former must
prevail over the latter on the theory that the
dispositive portion is the final order while the
opinion is merely a statement ordering nothing.

In People v. Bugarin, the court held that the


requirement that the decisions of courts must be in
writing and that they must set forth clearly and
distinctly the facts and the law on which they are
based is intended, among other things, to inform
the parties of the reason or reasons for the decision
so that if any of them appeals, he can point out to
the appellate court the finding of facts or the
rulings on points of law with which he

The statement quoted by SJS does not conclusively


declare the rights (or obligations) of the parties to
the Petition. Neither does it grant proper relief
under the circumstances, as required of a
dispositive portion.
Failure to comply with the constitutional injunction
is a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction.

The assailed Decision contains no statement of


facts (much less an assessment or analysis thereof)
or of the courts findings as to the probable

orders issued in careless disregard of the


constitutional mandate are a patent nullity and
must be struck down as void.

The assailed Decision begins with a statement of


the nature of the action and the question or issue
presented.

It is not legally possible to take up, on the merits,


the paramount question involving a constitutional
principle. It is a time-honored rule that the
constitutionality of a statute or act will be passed
upon only if, and to the extent that, it is directly

explanation of the constitutional provisions


involved, and what the Petition sought to achieve.
Thereafter, the ensuing procedural incidents before
the trial court are tracked. The Decision proceeds

15

and
necessarily
involved
in
a
justiciable
controversy and is essential to the protection of the
rights of the parties concerned.

(1) there must be a justiciable controversy; (2) the


controversy must be between persons whose
interests are adverse; (3) that the party seeking
the relief has a legal interest in the controversy;
and (4) that the issue is ripe for judicial
determination. This case satisfies all the requisites
for the grant of a petition for declaratory relief.
Article 26 does not appear to govern the situation
presented by the case at hand. It seems to apply
only to cases where at the time of the celebration
of the marriage, the parties are a Filipino citizen
and a foreigner. The instant case is one where at
the time the marriage was solemnized, the parties
were two Filipino citizens, but later on, the wife was
naturalized
as
an
American
citizen
and
subsequently obtained a divorce granting her
capacity to remarry, and indeed she remarried an
American citizen while residing in the USA.

#8
First Division
GR. No. 154380 October 5, 2005
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
v.
CIPRIANO ORBECIDO III
Quisumbing, J.
Given a valid marriage between two Filipino
citizens, where one party is later naturalized as a
foreign citizen and obtains a valid divorce decree
capacitating him or her to remarry, can the Filipino
spouse likewise remarry under Philippine law?

In view of the foregoing, the twin elements for the


application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 are as
follows: (1) There is a valid marriage that has been
celebrated between a Filipino citizen and a
foreigner; and (2) A valid divorce is obtained
abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her
to remarry. The reckoning point is not the
citizenship of the parties at the time of the
celebration of the marriage, but their citizenship at
the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the
alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.

FACTS:
On 24 May 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III married
Lady Myros M. Villanueva and their marriage was
blessed with a son and a daughter, Kristoffer
Simbortriz V. Orbecido and Lady Kimberly V.
Orbecido.
In 1986, his wife left for the United States bringing
along their son Kristoffer. A few years later,
Cipriano discovered that his wife had been
naturalized as an American citizen and sometime
in 2000, learned from his son that his wife had
obtained a divorce decree. His wife then married
Innocent Stanley and is now currently living in San
Gabriel, California with her child by him.

In this case, when Ciprianos wife was naturalized


as an American citizen, there was still a valid
marriage that had been celebrated between her
and Cipriano. Then the naturalized alien wife
subsequently obtained a valid divorce capacitating
her to remarry. Clearly, the twin requisites for the
application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 are both
satisfied. Thus Cipriano, the divorced Filipino
spouse, should be allowed to remarry.

Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial court a


petition for authority to remarry invoking Paragraph
2 of Article 26 of the Family Code (FC). No
opposition was filed. Finding merit in the petition,
the court granted the same. The Republic, herein
petitioner, through the Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG), sought reconsideration but it was
denied. Hence, this petition.

However, the Court notes that the records are


bereft of competent evidence duly submitted by
respondent concerning the divorce decree and the
naturalization of respondents wife. It is settled rule
that one who alleges a fact has the burden of
proving it and mere allegation is not evidence. For
his plea to prosper, the respondent must prove his
allegation that his wife was naturalized as an
American citizen, must prove the divorce as a fact
and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law
allowing it, and that such foreign law must also be
proved as our courts cannot take judicial notice of
foreign laws. Furthermore, the respondent must
also show that the divorce decree allows his former
wife to remarry as specifically required in Article
26. Otherwise, there would be no evidence
sufficient to declare that he is capacitated to enter
into another marriage.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent can remarry


under Art. 26 of the Family Code
HELD: The petition is granted.
The OSG contends that par. 2 Art. 26 of FC is not
applicable to the instant case because it only
applies to a valid mixed marriage; that is, a
marriage celebrated between a Filipino citizen and
an alien. Furthermore, the OSG argues there is no
law that governs the respondents situation. The
OSG posits that this is a matter of legislation and
not of judicial determination. The respondent
admits that Art. 26 is not directly applicable to his
case, but insists that since his naturalized alien
wife obtained a divorce decree which capacitated
her to remarry, he is likewise capacitated by
operation of law pursuant to Section 12, Article II of
the Constitution.

Nevertheless, the Court is unanimous in holding


that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the FC should be
interpreted to allow a Filipino citizen, who has been
divorced by a spouse who had acquired foreign
citizenship and remarried, also to remarry.
However, due to lack of sufficient evidence
submitted and on record, the Court is unable to
declare, based on the respondents bare
allegations that his wife, who was naturalized as an
American citizen, had obtained a divorce decree
and had remarried an American, that the
respondent is now capacitated to remarry. Such

The Court noted that the petition for authority to


remarry filed before the trial court actually
constituted a petition for declaratory relief. The
requisites of a petition for declaratory relief are:

16

declaration could only be made properly upon the


respondents submission of the aforecited evidence
in his favor.

petition, he does not claim that any official has


ever contested his claim to Philippine citizenship or
threatened to contest the same. The Solicitor
General's opposition was not presented to deny the
allegations of his complaint, but to show that he
has no cause of action because nobody has ever
contested petitioner's pretensions. The claim of the
appellant that a controversy has arisen because
the Solicitor General has opposed his petition is
clearly unfounded.

#9

G.R. No. L-5204

SECTION. 1. Construction. Any person interested


under a deed, will, contract or other written
instrument, or whose rights are affected by a
statute or ordinance, may bring an action to
determine any question of construction or validity
arising under the instrument or statute and for a
declaration of his rights or duties thereunder.

March 27, 1953

In re: The petition for declaratory relief of Hospicio


Obiles
and
for
cancellation
of
erroneous
registration as alien. HOSPICIO OBILES, petitionerappellant,
vs.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, oppositor-appellee.

The deed or written instrument, which he


claims is his supposed registration as an
alien. This instrument is not a contract in
which another party or person is involved.
It is a unilateral act of the petitioner
himself not affecting nor binding anyone
else but himself, not creating any right or
obligation on the part of any other party or
on that of the state, and, therefore, no one
has interest therein except himself.

By such declaration alone no rights and


obligations are created, no status fixed or
determined. The registration, however,
may be used as evidence against the
petitioner himself.
There is no allegation in the petition,
however,
that by reason of
such
registration any official of the Government
has taken steps, or is intending to take
steps or threatening to take steps, to hold
the
petitioner
to
any
obligation,
responsibility, or liability.

LABRADOR, J.:
FACTS:

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court


of First Instance of Albay dismissing petitionerappellant's petition for declaratory relief.

In his petition, Petitioner Obiles alleges that he


is a Filipino citizen by birth and parentage,
residing in Bacacay, Albay; In the year 1941,
because "of erroneous belief and fear of
criminal prosecution," he registered himself
with the municipal treasurer of Bacacay as
Chinese alien, but he never intended to give
up his Filipino citizenship, and that he
continued to hold himself out as a Filipino
citizen.

Solicitor General filed an opposition, alleging


petition contains no cause of action and no
actual controversy has arisen against anyone,
and that if the petitioner desires to establish
his Filipino citizenship, he should do so in
another separate proceeding.

Petitioner is only afraid that the registration


might involve the loss of his Filipino
citizenship. This supposed fear in the mind
of the petitioner is not what the law
considers as an actual controversy, or a
justiciable controversy, which requires the
intervention of the courts of justice in order
that the rights, obligations, or liabilities
arising therefrom may be predetermined. In
effect, petitioner's allegations of fact in his
petition are entitled to no more than an
advisory opinion, because a ruling on the
effect of the registration by petitioner
involves
no
actual,
genuine,
live
controversy affecting a definite legal
relation.

Therefore,
petitioner's
action
for
declaratory relief is not the proper remedy,
because his desire is to be declared a
Filipino citizen, and because the facts
alleged in his petition constitute no cause
for a declaratory judgment, the judgment
appealed from is affirmed.

The CFI sustained the opposition, holding that


there was no actual controversy because
petitioner is merely in doubt as to his right and
no one disputes his claim; that any declaration
that the court might render in the premises
will not terminate the controversy. Thus, it
dismissed the petition.

ISSUE: W/N the court erred in holding that no


justiciable controversy existed? W/N an action for
declaratory relief is proper?
HELD: Both NO.
On the first claim, petitioner-appellant argues that
inasmuch
as
the
Solicitor
General,
in
representation of the Government, has joined by
filing an opposition, an actual controversy has
arisen which is concrete and real, which justifies
every specific relief in the form of a
pronouncement by the court as to whether the
petitioner is a Filipino citizen or not. It is to be
noted that before the petitioner filed his petition,
nobody appears to have ever contested any of the
allegations of the petitioner's complaint. In his

#10

17

petitioners in G.R. No. 137794 seek to declare null


and void the proceedings in Civil Case No. 23477,
an ejectment case, before the Metropolitan Trial
Court (MeTC), Caloocan City, Branch 49, and Civil
Case No. C-17725, a complaint for Recovery of
Possession and Ownership, filed with the Regional
Trial Court (RTC), Caloocan City, Branch 124;[2]
while the petitioners in G.R. No. 149664 pray for
the nullity of the following ejectment proceedings
before the different branches of the Caloocan City
MeTC: (1) Civil Case No. 99-25011, Branch 52; (2)
Civil Case No. 22559 and Civil Case No. 18575,
Branch 49 and its appeal to the RTC, Branch 131;
(3) Civil Case No. 00-25892, Branch 51; and (4)
Civil Case No. 00-25889, Branch 51.[3] G.R. No.
149664 was considered closed and terminated by
the Courts Resolution dated August 30, 2006.[4]
The parcels of land which are the subject matter of
these cases are part of the Tala Estate, situated
between the boundaries of Caloocan City and
Quezon City and encompassing an area of
7,007.9515 hectares more or less.[5]
The first case was commenced on December 11,
1996, by respondent Segundo Bautista, a
registered owner of the parcel of land occupied by
spouses Rene and Rosemarie Matienzo. The case
was a complaint for Recovery of Possession and/or
Ownership of Real Property (Recovery case) against
the latter spouses with the RTC Caloocan City,
Branch 124.
The second case, an ejectment complaint, was
commenced by spouses Bernard and Florencia Perl
on June 25, 1997, against Erlinda Reyes before the
Caloocan City MeTC, Branch 49.It was docketed as
Civil Case No. 23477. Shortly thereafter, on July 8,
1997, spouses Perl filed the third case, an
ejectment action against Sergio Abejero. The case,
which was raffled off to Branch 49 of the Caloocan
City MeTC, was docketed as Civil Case No. 23519.
[17] Subsequently, these two ejectment cases were
consolidated (Ejectment cases).[18] In her Answer
and during the preliminary conference, Erlinda
Reyes moved for the suspension of the proceedings
and/or for the dismissal of these cases citing the
Injunction issued in Civil Case No. Q-96-29810.[19]
In its Order[20] dated January 22, 1999, the MeTC
did not entertain Reyess motion, instead, it
required her to submit a position paper. Erlinda
Reyes received the order on March 11, 1999.[21]
On April 16, 1999, the trial court issued a Decision
ordering Erlinda to vacate the contested property.
[22]

#11

FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 137794

August 11, 2010

ERLINDA REYES and ROSEMARIE MATIENZO,


Petitioners,
Vs
HON. JUDGE BELEN B. ORTIZ, Presiding, Branch 49,
Metropolitan Trial Court, Caloocan City; SPOUSES
BERNARD and FLORENCIA PERL, represented by
Attorney-in-Fact BENJAMIN MUCIO; HON. JUDGE
VICTORIA ISABEL A. PAREDES, Presiding, Branch
124, Regional Trial Court, Caloocan City and
SEGUNDO BAUTISTA, Respondents.

FACTS:

The Recovery case and the Ejectment cases


converged when petitioners Rosemarie Matienzo
and Erlinda Reyes, joined on March 25, 1999 in
filing directly with this Court the instant petition
denominated as Declaratory Relief, Certiorari, and
Prohibition, mainly assailing the denial of their
respective motions for suspension.[23] Petitioners
Matienzo and Reyes asked that the proceedings in
the Ejectment cases and the Recovery case be
declared null and void for violating the Injunction
order of the Quezon City RTC.

The instant cases are consolidated Petitions[1] for


Declaratory Relief, Certiorari, and Prohibition. The

What remains to be resolved, therefore, are the


issues raised in G.R. No. 137794.

X --------------------------------------------------------x
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:

18

In their bid to declare null and void the proceedings


in the Recovery case and the Ejectment cases,
petitioners argued that the Caloocan City MeTC,
where the Ejectment cases were filed, and the
Caloocan City RTC where the Recovery case was
pending, were divested of jurisdiction since the
Quezon City RTC acquired jurisdiction over the
subject matter.[33]

without need of resorting to the expedient


prescribed by Rule 66 [now Rule 64].[47]
(Emphasis supplied.)

In the instant case, petitioners Erlinda Reyes and


Rosemarie Matienzo assailed via Declaratory Relief
under Rule 63 of the Rules of Court, the orders of
the trial courts denying their motions to suspend
proceedings. This recourse by petitioners,
unfortunately, cannot be countenanced since a
court order is not one of those subjects to be
examined under Rule 63.
The proper remedy that petitioner Erlinda Reyes
could have utilized from the denial of her motion to
suspend proceedings in the Caloocan City MeTC
was to file a motion for reconsideration and, if it is
denied, to file a petition for certiorari before the
RTC pursuant to Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

Respondent Segundo Bautista contends that


petitioners resorted to a wrong remedy. He argues
that the action for declaratory relief can only
prosper if the statute, deed, or contract has not
been violated.[39] Hence, where the law or
contract has already been breached prior to the
filing of the declaratory relief, courts can no longer
assume jurisdiction since this action is not geared
towards the settling of issues arising from breach
or violation of the rights and obligations of the
parties under a statute, deed, and contract, but
rather it is intended to secure an authoritative
statement for guidance in their enforcement or
compliance of the same.[40]

#12

Petitioners insist that this is mainly a petition for


declaratory relief. Section 1, Rule 63 of the 1997

G.R. No. 177056

ISSUE: WON a court order can be a subject of a


petition for declaratory relief.

September 18, 2009

THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, Petitioner


Vs.
AYALA LAND INCORPORATED, ROBINSONS LAND
CORPORATION, SHANGRI-LA PLAZA CORPORATION
and SM PRIME HOLDINGS, INC., Respondents.

RULING:
The first paragraph of Section 1 of Rule 63
enumerates the subject matter to be inquired upon
in a declaratory relief namely, deed, will, contract
or other written instrument, a statute, executive
order or regulation, or any government regulation.
This Court, in Lerum v. Cruz,[44] declared that the
subject matters to be tested in a petition for
declaratory relief are exclusive,viz:

CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
Before this Court is a Petition for Review on
Certiorari, [1] under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of
Court, filed by petitioner Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG), seeking the reversal and setting
aside of the Decision [2] dated 25 January 2007 of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 76298,
which affirmed in toto the Joint Decision [3] dated
29 May 2002 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Makati City, Branch 138, in Civil Cases No. 00-1208
and No. 00-1210; and (2) the Resolution [4] dated
14 March 2007 of the appellate court in the same
case which denied the Motion for Reconsideration
of the OSG. The RTC adjudged that respondents
Ayala Land Incorporated (Ayala Land), Robinsons
Land Corporation (Robinsons), Shangri-la Plaza
Corporation (Shangri-la), and SM Prime Holdings,
Inc. (SM Prime) could not be obliged to provide free
parking spaces in their malls to their patrons and
the general public.

Under this rule, only a person who is interested


under a deed, will, contract or other written
instrument, and whose rights are affected by a
statute or ordinance, may bring an action to
determine any question of construction or validity
arising under the instrument or statute and for a
declaration of his rights or duties thereunder. This
means that the subject matter must refer to a
deed, will, contract or other written instrument, or
to a statute or ordinance, to warrant declaratory
relief. Any other matter not mentioned therein is
deemed excluded. This is under the principle of
expressiouniusestexclussioalterius. (Emphasis
supplied.)

The shopping malls operated or leased out by


respondents have parking facilities for all kinds of
motor vehicles, either by way of parking spaces
inside the mall buildings or in separate buildings
and/or adjacent lots that are solely devoted for use
as parking spaces. Respondents Ayala Land,
Robinsons, and SM Prime spent for the construction
of their own parking facilities. Respondent Shangrila is renting its parking facilities, consisting of land
and building specifically used as parking spaces,
which were constructed for the lessors account.

Then again in a recent ruling of this Court, it was


emphasized:

A petition for declaratory relief cannot properly


have a court decision as its subject matter. In
Tanda v. Aldaya [98 Phil. 244 (1956)], we ruled
that:
[A] court decision cannot be interpreted as
included within the purview of the words other
written instrument, as contended by appellant, for
the simple reason that the Rules of Court already
provide for the ways by which an ambiguous or
doubtful decision may be corrected or clarified

In 1999, the Senate Committees on Trade and


Commerce and on Justice and Human Rights
conducted a joint investigation for the following
purposes: (1) to inquire into the legality of the

19

prevalent practice of shopping malls of charging


parking fees; (2) assuming arguendo that the
collection of parking fees was legally authorized, to
find out the basis and reasonableness of the
parking rates charged by shopping malls; and (3)
to determine the legality of the policy of shopping
malls of denying liability in cases of theft, robbery,
or carnapping, by invoking the waiver clause at the
back of the parking tickets.

2.Whether declaratory relief is proper.


3. Whether respondent Ayala Land, Robinsons,
Shangri-La and SM Prime are obligated to provide
parking spaces in their malls for the use of their
patrons or the public in general, free of charge.
4. Entitlement of the parties of [sic] award of
damages.

After three public hearings held on 30 September,


3 November, and 1 December 1999, the aforementioned Senate Committees jointly issued
Senate Committee Report No. 225 [5] on 2 May
2000, in which they concluded:

The RTC resolved the first two issues affirmatively.


It ruled that the OSG can initiate Civil Case No. 001210 under Presidential Decree No. 478 and the
Administrative Code of 1987. [14] It also found that
all the requisites for an action for declaratory relief
were present, to wit:

In view of the foregoing, the Committees find that


the collection of parking fees by shopping malls is
contrary to the National Building Code and is
therefor [sic] illegal. While it is true that the Code
merely requires malls to provide parking spaces,
without specifying whether it is free or not, both
Committees believe that the reasonable and logical
interpretation of the Code is that the parking
spaces are for free. This interpretation is not only
reasonable and logical but finds support in the
actual practice in other countries like the United
States of America where parking spaces owned and
operated by mall owners are free of charge.

The requisites for an action for declaratory relief


are: (a) there is a justiciable controversy; (b) the
controversy is between persons whose interests
are adverse; (c) the party seeking the relief has a
legal interest in the controversy; and (d) the issue
involved is ripe for judicial determination.
SM, the petitioner in Civil Case No. 001-1208 [sic]
is a mall operator who stands to be affected
directly by the position taken by the government
officials sued namely the Secretary of Public
Highways and the Building Officials of the local
government units where it operates shopping
malls. The OSG on the other hand acts on a matter
of public interest and has taken a position adverse
to that of the mall owners whom it sued. The
construction of new and bigger malls has been
announced, a matter which the Court can take
judicial notice and the unsettled issue of whether
mall operators should provide parking facilities,
free of charge needs to be resolved. [15]
(everything that follows, not related to PROVREM)

Respondent SM Prime thereafter received


information that, pursuant to Senate Committee
Report No. 225, the DPWH Secretary and the local
building officials of Manila, Quezon City, and Las
Pias intended to institute, through the OSG, an
action to enjoin respondent SM Prime and similar
establishments from collecting parking fees, and to
impose upon said establishments penal sanctions
under Presidential Decree No. 1096, otherwise
known as the National Building Code of the
Philippines (National Building Code), and its
Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). With the
threatened action against it, respondent SM Prime
filed, on 3 October 2000, a Petition for Declaratory
Relief [8] under Rule 63 of the Revised Rules of
Court, against the DPWH Secretary and local
building officials of Manila, Quezon City, and Las
Pias.

The sole assignment of error of the OSG in its


Appellants Brief was: THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN
HOLDING THAT THE NATIONAL BUILDING CODE DID
NOT INTEND MALL PARKING SPACES TO BE FREE OF
CHARGE.
While the four errors assigned by respondent SM
Prime in its Appellants Brief were:

The very next day, 4 October 2000, the OSG filed a


Petition for Declaratory Relief and Injunction (with
Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and Writ of
Preliminary Injunction) [10] against respondents.

I
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO DECLARE
RULE XIX OF THE IMPLEMENTING RULES AS HAVING
BEEN ENACTED ULTRA VIRES, HENCE,
UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND VOID.

On 23 October 2000, Judge Ibay of the RTC of


Makati City, Branch 135, issued an Order
consolidating Civil Case No. 00-1210 with Civil Case
No. 00-1208 pending before Judge Marella of RTC of
Makati, Branch 138.

II
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO DECLARE
THE IMPLEMENTING RULES INEFFECTIVE FOR NOT
HAVING BEEN PUBLISHED AS REQUIRED BY LAW.

As a result of the pre-trial conference held on the


morning of 8 August 2001, the RTC issued a PreTrial Order [12] of even date which limited the
issues to be resolved in Civil Cases No. 00-1208
and No. 00-1210 to the following:

III
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO DISMISS
THE OSGS PETITION FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF
AND INJUNCTION FOR FAILURE TO EXHAUST
ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES.

1.Capacity of the plaintiff [OSG] in Civil Case No.


00-1210 to institute the present proceedings and
relative thereto whether the controversy in the
collection of parking fees by mall owners is a
matter of public welfare.

IV

20

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO DECLARE


THAT THE OSG HAS NO LEGAL CAPACITY TO SUE
AND/OR THAT IT IS NOT A REAL PARTY-IN-INTEREST
IN THE INSTANT CASE.

basis in the National Building Code or its IRR. The


State also cannot impose the same prohibition by
generally invoking police power, since said
prohibition amounts to a taking of respondents
property without payment of just compensation.

Respondent Robinsons filed a Motion to Dismiss


Appeal of the OSG on the ground that the lone
issue raised therein involved a pure question of
law, not reviewable by the Court of Appeals.

Given the foregoing, the Court finds no more need


to address the issue persistently raised by
respondent SM Prime concerning the
unconstitutionality of Rule XIX of the IRR. In
addition, the said issue was not among those that
the parties, during the pre-trial conference for Civil
Cases No. 12-08 and No. 00-1210, agreed to
submit for resolution of the RTC. It is likewise
axiomatic that the constitutionality of a law, a
regulation, an ordinance or an act will not be
resolved by courts if the controversy can be, as in
this case it has been, settled on other grounds. [39]

The Court of Appeals promulgated its Decision in


CA-G.R. CV No. 76298 on 25 January 2007. The
appellate court agreed with respondent Robinsons
that the appeal of the OSG should suffer the fate of
dismissal, since the issue on whether or not the
National Building Code and its implementing rules
require shopping mall operators to provide parking
facilities to the public for free was evidently a
question of law. Even so, since CA-G.R. CV No.
76298 also included the appeal of respondent SM
Prime, which raised issues worthy of consideration,
and in order to satisfy the demands of substantial
justice, the Court of Appeals proceeded to rule on
the merits of the case.

WHEREFORE, the instant Petition for Review on


Certiorari is hereby DENIED. The Decision dated 25
January 2007 and Resolution dated 14 March 2007
of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 76298,
affirming in toto the Joint Decision dated 29 May
2002 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City,
Branch 138, in Civil Cases No. 00-1208 and No. 001210 are hereby AFFIRMED. No costs.

In its Decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the


capacity of the OSG to initiate Civil Case No. 001210 before the RTC as the legal representative of
the government, [22] and as the one deputized by
the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines
through Senate Committee Report No. 225.
The Court of Appeals rejected the contention of
respondent SM Prime that the OSG failed to
exhaust administrative remedies. The appellate
court explained that an administrative review is not
a condition precedent to judicial relief where the
question in dispute is purely a legal one, and
nothing of an administrative nature is to be or can
be done.

RULE 64
REVIEW OF JUDGMENTS AND FINAL ORDERS OR
RESOLUTIONS OF COMELEC AND COA

The Court of Appeals likewise refused to rule on the


validity of the IRR of the National Building Code, as
such issue was not among those the parties had
agreed to be resolved by the RTC during the pretrial conference for Civil Cases No. 00-1208 and No.
00-1210. Issues cannot be raised for the first time
on appeal. Furthermore, the appellate court found
that the controversy could be settled on other
grounds, without touching on the issue of the
validity of the IRR. It referred to the settled rule
that courts should refrain from passing upon the
constitutionality of a law or implementing rules,
because of the principle that bars judicial inquiry
into a constitutional question, unless the resolution
thereof is indispensable to the determination of the
case.

#1

EN BANC

G.R. Nos. 179431-32

June 22, 2010

LUIS K. LOKIN, JR., as the second nominee of


CITIZENS BATTLE AGAINST CORRUPTION
(CIBAC),Petitioner,
vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and the HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, Respondent

Lastly, the Court of Appeals declared that Section


803 of the National Building Code and Rule XIX of
the IRR were clear and needed no further
construction. Said provisions were only intended to
control the occupancy or congestion of areas and
structures. In the absence of any express and clear
provision of law, respondents could not be obliged
and expected to provide parking slots free of
charge.
In conclusion, the total prohibition against the
collection by respondents of parking fees from
persons who use the mall parking facilities has no

BERSAMIN, J.:
FACTS:

21

The Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) was


one of the organized groups duly registered under
the party-list system

parties, organizations and coalitions with pending


disputes until final resolution of their respective
cases.

manifested their intent to participate in the May


14, 2007 synchronized national and local elections.
Together with its manifestation of intent to
participate,2 CIBAC, through its president,
Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, submitted a list of five
nominees from which its representatives would be
chosen should CIBAC obtain the required number of
qualifying votes. The nominees, in the order that
their names appeared in the certificate of
nomination dated March 29, 2007,3 were: (1)
Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva; (2) herein petitioner
Luis K. Lokin, Jr.; (3) Cinchona C. Cruz-Gonzales; (4)
Sherwin Tugna; and (5) Emil L. Galang.

The COMELEC en banc issued another resolution,


NBC Resolution No. 07-72 dated July 18,
2007,12 proclaiming Buhay Hayaan Yumabong as
entitled to 2 additional seats and Bayan Muna,
CIBAC, Gabriela Women's Party, and Association of
Philippine Electric Cooperatives to an additional
seat each; and holding in abeyance the
proclamation of the nominees of said parties,
organizations and coalitions with pending disputes
until the final resolution of their respective cases.

Prior to the elections, however, CIBAC, still through


Villanueva, filed a certificate of nomination,
substitution and amendment of the list of
nominees dated May 7, 2007,6 whereby it withdrew
the nominations of Lokin, Tugna and Galang and
substituted Armi Jane R. Borje as one of the
nominees.

With the formal declaration that CIBAC was entitled


to an additional seat, Ricardo de los Santos,
purportedly as secretary general of CIBAC,
informed Roberto P. Nazareno, Secretary General of
the House of Representatives, of the promulgation
of NBC Resolution No. 07-72 and requested that
Lokin be formally sworn in by Speaker Jose de
Venecia, Jr. to enable him to assume office.
Nazareno replied, however, that the request of
Delos Santos could not be granted because
COMELEC Law Director Alioden D. Dalaig had
notified him of the pendency of E.M. 07-054.

On June 26, 2007, CIBAC, supposedly through its


counsel, filed with the COMELEC en banc sitting as
the National Board of Canvassers a motion seeking
the proclamation of Lokin as its second
nominee.8 The right of CIBAC to a second seat as
well as the right of Lokin to be thus proclaimed
were purportedly based on Party-List Canvass
Report No. 26, which showed CIBAC to have
garnered a grand total of 744,674 votes. Using all
relevant formulas, the motion asserted that CIBAC
was clearly entitled to a second seat and Lokin to a
proclamation.

On September 14, 2007, the COMELEC en


banc resolved E.M. No. 07-05413 thus wise:
-

The motion was opposed by Villanueva and CruzGonzales.

WHEREFORE, considering the above


discussion, the Commission hereby
approves the withdrawal of the nomination
of Atty. Luis K. Lokin,

As a result, the COMELEC en banc proclaimed CruzGonzales as the official second nominee of
CIBAC.14 Cruz-Gonzales took her oath of office as a
Party-List Representative of CIBAC on September
17, 2007.

the COMELEC failed to act on the matter,


prompting Villanueva to file a petition to confirm
the certificate of nomination, substitution and
amendment of the list of nominees of CIBAC on
June 28, 2007
On July 6, 2007, the COMELEC issued Resolution
No. 8219,10 whereby it resolved to set the matter
pertaining to the validity of the withdrawal of the
nominations of Lokin, Tugna and Galang and the
substitution of Borje for proper disposition and
hearing.

Precs of the Consolidated Cases

In the meantime, the COMELEC en banc, sitting as


the National Board of Canvassers, issued National
Board of Canvassers (NBC) Resolution No. 07-60
dated July 9, 200711 to partially proclaim the
following parties, organizations and coalitions
participating under the Party-List System as having
won in the May 14, 2007 elections, namely: Buhay
Hayaan Yumabong, Bayan Muna, CIBAC,and to
defer the proclamation of the nominees of the

In G.R. No. 179431 and G.R. No. 179432, Lokin


seeks through mandamus to compel respondent
COMELEC to proclaim him as the official second
nominee of CIBAC.

22

In G.R. No. 180443, Lokin assails Section 13 of


Resolution No. 7804 promulgated on January 12,
2007;16 and the resolution dated September 14,
2007 issued in E.M. No. 07-054 (approving CIBACs
withdrawal of the nominations of Lokin, Tugna and
Galang as CIBACs second, third and fourth
nominees, respectively, and the substitution by
Cruz-Gonzales and Borje in their stead, based on
the right of CIBAC to change its nominees under
Section 13 of Resolution No. 7804).17 He alleges
that Section 13 of Resolution No. 7804 expanded
Section 8 of R.A. No. 7941.18 the law that the
COMELEC seeks to thereby implement.

We do not agree.

An election protest proposes to oust the winning


candidate from office. It is strictly a contest
between the defeated and the winning candidates,
based on the grounds of electoral frauds and
irregularities, to determine who between them has
actually obtained the majority of the legal votes
cast and is entitled to hold the office. It can only be
filed by a candidate who has duly filed a certificate
of candidacy and has been voted for in the
preceding elections.

In its comment, the COMELEC asserts that a


petition for certiorari is an inappropriate recourse
in law due to the proclamation of Cruz-Gonzales as
Representative and her assumption of that office;
that Lokins proper recourse was an electoral
protest filed in the House of Representatives
Electoral Tribunal (HRET); and that, therefore, the
Court has no jurisdiction over the matter being
raised by Lokin.

A special civil action for quo warranto refers to


questions of disloyalty to the State, or of
ineligibility of the winning candidate. The objective
of the action is to unseat the ineligible person from
the office, but not to install the petitioner in his
place. Any voter may initiate the action, which is,
strictly speaking, not a contest where the parties
strive for supremacy because the petitioner will not
be seated even if the respondent may be unseated.

For its prt, CIBAC posits that Lokin is guilty of forum


shopping for filing a petition for mandamus and a
petition for certiorari, considering that both
petitions ultimately seek to have him proclaimed as
the second nominee of CIBAC.

The controversy involving Lokin is neither an


election protest nor an action for quo warranto, for
it concerns a very peculiar situation in which Lokin
is seeking to be seated as the second nominee of
CIBAC. Although an election protest may properly
be available to one party-list organization seeking
to unseat another party-list organization to
determine which between the defeated and the
winning party-list organizations actually obtained
the majority of the legal votes, Lokins case is not
one in which a nominee of a particular party-list
organization thereby wants to unseat another
nominee of the same party-list organization.
Neither does an action for quo warranto lie,
considering that the case does not involve the
ineligibility and disloyalty of Cruz-Gonzales to the
Republic of the Philippines, or some other cause of
disqualification for her.

Issue: WON the Court has jurisdiction over the


controversy;

Ruling:

The petitions are granted. The Court has


jurisdiction over the case.

The COMELEC posits that once the proclamation of


the winning party-list organization has been done
and its nominee has assumed office, any question
relating to the election, returns and qualifications
of the candidates to the House of Representatives
falls under the jurisdiction of the HRET pursuant to
Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.
Thus, Lokin should raise the question he poses
herein either in an election protest or in a special
civil action for quo warranto in the HRET, not in a
special civil action for certiorari in this Court.

Lokin has correctly brought this special civil action


for certiorari against the COMELEC to seek the
review of the September 14, 2007 resolution of the
COMELEC in accordance with Section 7 of Article IXA of the 1987 Constitution, notwithstanding the
oath and assumption of office by Cruz-Gonzales.
The constitutional mandate is now implemented by
Rule 64 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which
provides for the review of the judgments, final

23

orders or resolutions of the COMELEC and the


Commission on Audit. As Rule 64 states, the mode
of review is by a petition for certiorari in
accordance with Rule 65 to be filed in the Supreme
Court within a limited period of 30 days.
Undoubtedly, the Court has original and exclusive
jurisdiction over Lokins petitions for certiorari and
for mandamus against the COMELEC.

(Local Government Code). Respondent


appealed but its appeal was denied.

LGU

Consequently, the petitioner filed its petition for


money claim in the COA.

November 15, 2012 - the COA issued its decision


denying the petition,holding that under Section 447
and Section 458 of the LGC, only municipal or city
governments are expressly vested with the power
to
secure
group
insurance
coverage
for
barangayworkers; and noting the LGUs failure to
comply with the requirement of publication under
Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9184 (Government
Procurement Reform Act).

The petitioner received a copy of the COA decision


on December 14, 2012,and filed its motion for
reconsideration on January 14, 2013. However, the
COA denied the motion,the denial being received
by the petitioner on July 14, 2014.

#2

G.R. No. 213525

January 27, 2015


Hence, the petitioner filed the petition for certiorari
on August 12, 2014, but the petition for certiorari
was dismissed for (a) the late filing of the petition;
(b) the non-submission of the proof of service and
verified declaration; and (c) the failure to show
grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
respondents.

FORTUNE LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY,


INC., Petitioner,
vs.
COMMISSION ON AUDIT (COA) PROPER; COA
REGIONAL OFFICE NO. VI-WESTERN VISAYAS; AUDIT
GROUP LGS-B, PROVINCE OF ANTIQUE; AND
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF
ANTIQUE, Respondents.

ISSUES:

BERSAMIN, J.

(1) WON the petition for certiorari included an


affidavit of service in compliance with
Section 13, Rule 13 of the Rules of Court.

FACTS:

Respondent Provincial Government of Antique


(LGU) and the petitioner executed a memorandum
of agreement concerning the life insurance
coverage
of
qualified
barangaysecretaries,
treasurers
and
tanod,
the
former
obligating P4,393,593.60for the premium payment,
and subsequently submitting the corresponding
disbursement voucher to COA Antique for preaudit. The latter office disallowed the payment for
lack of legal basis under Republic Act No. 7160

(2) WON it was filed within the reglementary


period following the fresh period rule
enunciated in Neypes v. Court of Appeals.
[FOCUS ON THIS ISSUE]

24

HELD:

The petitioners position cannot be sustained.

Petitioner did not comply with


the rule on proof of service.

There is no parity between the petition for review


under Rule 42 and the petition for certiorari under
Rule 64.
As to the nature of the procedures, Rule 42 governs
an appeal from the judgment or final order
rendered by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise
of its appellate jurisdiction. Such appeal is on a
question of fact, or of law, or of mixed question of
fact and law, and is given due course only upon a
prima facie showing that the Regional Trial Court
committed an error of fact or law warranting the
reversal or modification of the challenged
judgment or final order.In contrast, the petition for
certiorari under Rule 64 is similar to the petition for
certiorari under Rule 65, and assails a judgment or
final order of the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC), or the Commission on Audit (COA). The
petition is not designed to correct only errors of
jurisdiction, not errors of judgment.Questions of
fact cannot be raised except to determine whether
the COMELEC or the COA were guilty of grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction.

The petitioner obviously ignores that Section 13,


Rule 13 of the Rules of Court concerns two types of
proof of service, namely: the affidavit and the
registry receipt, viz: Section 13. Proof of Service. x
xx. If service is made by registered mail, proof shall
be made by such affidavit and the registry receipt
issued by the mailing office. The registry return
card shall be filed immediately upon its receipt by
the sender, or in lieu thereof the unclaimed letter
together with the certified or sworn copy of the
notice given by the postmaster to the addressee.
Section 13 thus requires that if the service is done
by registered mail, proof of service shall consist of
the affidavit of the person effecting the mailing and
the registry receipt, both of which must be
appended to the paper being served. A compliance
withthe rule is mandatory, such thatthere is no
proof of service if either or both are not submitted.

Here, the petition for certiorari only carried the


affidavit of service executed by one Marcelino T.
Pascua, Jr., who declared that he had served copies
of the petition by registered mail "under Registry
Receipt Nos. 70449, 70453, 70458,70498 and
70524 attached tothe appropriate spaces found on
pages 64-65 of the petition."The petition only bore,
however, the cut print-outs of what appeared to be
the registry receipt numbers of the registered
matters, not the registry receipts themselves. The
rule requires to be appended the registry receipts,
nottheir reproductions.

The reglementary periods under Rule42 and Rule


64 are different. In the former, the aggrieved party
is allowed 15 days to file the petition for review
from receipt of the assailed decision or final order,
or from receipt of the denial of a motion for new
trial or reconsideration. In the latter, the petition is
filed within 30 days from notice of the judgment or
final order or resolution sought to be reviewed. The
filing of a motion for new trial or reconsideration, if
allowed under the procedural rules of the
Commission concerned, interrupts the period;
hence, should the motion be denied, the aggrieved
party may file the petition within the remaining
period, which shall not be less than five days in any
event, reckoned from the notice of denial.

Fresh Period Rule under Neypes


did not apply to the petition for certiorari
under Rule 64 of the Rules of Court

The petitioner filed its motion for reconsideration


on January 14, 2013, which was 31 days after
receiving the assailed decision of the COA on
December 14, 2012.Pursuant to Section 3 of Rule
64, it had only five days from receipt of the denial
of its motion for reconsideration to file the petition.
Considering that it received the notice of the denial
on July 14, 2014, it had only until July19, 2014 to
file the petition. However, it filed the petition on
August 13, 2014, which was 25 days too late.

The petitioner posits that the fresh period rule


applies because its Rule 64 petition is akin to a
petition for review brought under Rule 42 of the
Rules of Court; hence, conformably with the fresh
period rule, the period to file a Rule 64 petition
should also be reckoned from the receipt of the
order denying the motion for reconsideration or the
motion for new trial.

25

We ruled in Pates v. Commission on Electionsthat


the belated filing of the petition for certiorari under
Rule 64 on the belief that the fresh period
ruleshould apply was fatal to the recourse. As such,
the petitioner herein should suffer the same fate
for having wrongly assumed that the fresh period
rule under Neypes applied. Rules of procedure may
be relaxed only to relieve a litigant of an injustice
that is not commensurate with the degree of his
thoughtlessness in not complying with the
prescribed procedure.Absent this reason for
liberality, the petition cannot be allowed to prosper.

RULE 65
CERTIORARI

#1

G.R. No. 162575 December 15, 2010

Petition for certiorari further lacked merit

BEATRIZ SIOK PING TANG, Petitioner,


vs.
SUBIC BAY DISTRIBUTION, INC.,Respondent
The bases cited by the petitioner did not
approximate grave abuse of discretion. To start
with, the supposed delays taken by the COA in
deciding the appeal were neither arbitrary nor
whimsical on its part. Secondly, the mere terseness
of the denial of the motion for reconsideration was
not a factor in demonstrating an abuse of
discretion. And, lastly, the fact that Senator
Pimentel, even if he had been the main proponent
of the Local Government Codein the Legislature,
expressed an opinion on the issues different from
the COA Commissioners own did not matter, for it
was the latters adjudication that had any value
and decisiveness on the issues by virtue of their
being the Constitutionally officials entrusted with
the authority for that purpose.

PERALTA, J.:
FACTS:
Respondent Subic Bay Distribution, Inc. (SBDI)
entered in two Distributorship Agreements with
petitioner and Able Transport
By virtue of the provisions of the distribution
agreement, petitioner applied for and was granted
a credit line by the United Coconut Planters Bank
(UCPB), International Exchange Bank (IEBank),
Security Bank Corporation (SBC) and Asia United
Bank (AUB) in favor of respondent
All these banks separately executed several
undertakings setting the terms and conditions
governing the drawing of money by respondent
Petitioner allegedly failed to pay her obligations to
respondent despite demand, thus, respondent tried
to withdraw from these bank undertakings

It is equally relevant to note that the COA denied


the money claim of the petitioner for the further
reason of lack of sufficient publication as required
by the Government Procurement Act. In that light,
the COA acted well within its authority in denying
the petitioners claim.

Petitioner then filed with the RTC separate petitions


against the banks (UCPB, IEBank, SBC and AUB) for
declaration of nullity of the several bank
undertakings and domestic letter of credit which
they issued with the application for the issuance of
a temporary restraining order (TRO) and writ of
preliminary injunction
Petitioner alleged that said contracts are
oppressive, unreasonable and unconscionable on
the ground, among others, that the prevailing
market rate with which petitioner will be charged of
as interests and penalties is exorbitant rendering it
against public morals and policy
The court then issued an Order granting the TRO
and requiring petitioner to implead respondent
Subic Bay as an indispensable party
RTC: ordered issuance of Writ of Prelim Injunc
restraining all the Banks from releasing any funds
to Respondent Subic Bay.
Without filing a Motion for Reconsideration to the
judgment of the RTC, Respondent filed with the CA

26

a petition for certiorari with prayer for the issuance


of a TRO and writ of preliminary injunction against
respondent Judge Pizarro and petitioner.

joined as party defendant with the judge and who


should defend the judge's issuance of injunction.
(2)NO

CA: granted petition for certiorari and lifted the


TRO issued by the RTC; Hence this appeal.

The settled rule is that a Motion for reconsideration


is a condition sine qua non for the filing of a
petition for certiorari. Its purpose is to grant an
opportunity for the court to correct any actual or
perceived error attributed to it by the reexamination of the legal and factual circumstances
of the case.

Petitioner claims that:


--- CA decision is void for want of authority of the
CA to act on the petition as the banks should have
been impleaded for being indispensable parties,
since they are the original party respondents in the
RTC

The rule is, however, circumscribed by well-defined


exceptions, such as (a) where the order is a patent
nullity, as where the court a quo had no
jurisdiction; (b) where the questions raised in the
certiorari proceeding have been duly raised and
passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as
those raised and passed upon in the lower court;
(c) where there is an urgent necessity for the
resolution of the question and any further delay
would prejudice the interests of the Government or
of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action
is perishable; (d) where, under the circumstances,
a motion for reconsideration would be useless; (e)
where petitioner was deprived of due process and
there is extreme urgency for relief; (f) where, in a
criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is
urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial
court is improbable; (g) where the proceedings in
the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process;
(h) where the proceedings were ex parte, or in
which the petitioner had no opportunity to object;
and (i) where the issue raised is one purely of law
or where public interest is involved.

---CA committed serious and reversible error in


giving due course and granting Respondents
petition even if it failed to file a Motion for
Reconsideration before the Trial Court
ISSUES:
(1) WON the banks in this case are necessary
parties in the petition for certiorari filed by
respondent in the Court of Appeals?
(2) WON the failure to file a Motion for
Reconsideration before the lower court was
a fatal infirmity to a Certiorari Petition?
RULING:
(1)NO.
In the instant case, the banks have no interest in
the issuance of the injunction, it is only the
petitioner who is the person interested in
sustaining the proceedings in court since she was
the one who sought for the issuance of the writ of
preliminary injunction to enjoin the banks from
releasing funds to respondent. The banks' interests
as defendants in the petition for declaration of
nullity of their bank undertakings filed against
them by petitioner in the RTC are separable from
the interests of petitioner for the issuance of the
injunctive relief

In the instant case, the filing of the Motion for


Reconsideration can be brushed aside based on the
ground that the questions raised in the certiorari
proceedings have been duly raised and passed
upon by the lower court, or are the same as those
raised and passed upon in the lower court.la

#2

Moreover, certiorari, as a special civil action, is an


original action invoking the original jurisdiction of a
court to annul or modify the proceedings of a
tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or
quasi-judicial functions. It is an original and
independent action that is not part of the trial or
the proceedings on the complaint filed before the
trial court.

G.R. No. 175792

November 21, 2012

SPS. MAGTOTO, Petitioners,


vs.
CA, and LEONILA DELA CRUZ, Respondents.

Clearly, in filing the petition for certiorari,


respondent should join as party defendant with the
court or judge, the person interested in sustaining
the proceedings in the court, and it shall be the
duty of such person to appear and defend, both in
his own behalf and in behalf of the court or judge
affected by the proceedings. In this case, there is
no doubt that it is only the petitioner who is the
person interested in sustaining the proceedings in
court since she was the one who sought for the
issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction to
enjoin the banks from releasing funds to
respondent. As earlier discussed, the banks are not
parties interested in the subject matter of the
petition. Thus, it is only petitioner who should be

DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS:

27

May 15, 2003: Leonila filed before the RTC a


Complaint5 for Specific Performance with
Damages and prayer for a writ of preliminary
injunction against the spouses Magtoto

Leonila alleged that she sold three parcels of


land to Sps. Magtoto and the latter issued
several postdated checks which however were
dishonored

On June 25, 2004 or almost three months after


they were declared in default, the spouses
Magtoto, through their new counsel, filed an
Omnibus Motion to Lift Order of Default and to
Admit Attached Answer,23 and their Answer.24

The RTC, however, denied the said motion

Rationale: the Omnibus Motion to Lift


Order of Default is fatally flawed not only
that it was filed more than two (2) months
from their receipt of the Order declaring
them in default (April 1, 2004) but for the
reason that the Omnibus Motion was not
accompanied by an Affidavit of Merit

Defendants period to file a responsive


pleading had long expired on August 2,
2003 and it took them more than ten (10)
months before filing their responsive
pleading which has long been overtaken
by plaintiffs Motion to Declare them in
Default as early as March 23, 2004

The said spouses, however, thrice moved for


extensions of time within which to file the
same.10

In an Order11 dated July 25, 2003, the RTC


granted the spouses Magtoto a final extension
until August 2, 2003 within which to file their
Answer.

August 4, 2003 or two days after the last day


for filing the Answer, the spouses Magtoto
instead filed a Motion to Dismiss.12

In an Order13 dated September 11, 2003, the


RTC denied the Motion to Dismiss for lack of
merit

September 25, 2003, Atty. Noel T. Canlas (Atty.


Canlas) filed an Ex-Parte Motion to Withdraw
Appearance as counsel for petitioners alleging
that he has lost his communication with Sps.
Magtoto

January 23, 2004: Leonila filed a Motion to


Declare Defendants in Default and to Render
Judgment Based on the Complaint

RTC rendered a judgment


Magtoto to pay Leonila

Plaintiffs elevated their case before the CA

CA dismissed their appeal

Sps.

Rationale: the plaintiffs are guilty of delay.


Instead of filing an answer, spouses
Magtotos counsel, on September 25,
2003, lodged a motion to withdraw
appearance because he has lost contact
with his clients despite reasonable efforts
to communicate with them. Thus, the
principal cause of the delay is no other
than the spouses Magtoto

while the withdrawal of appearance was


communicated to the trial court on 25
September 2003; it was only on 12
December 2003, or after more than three
(3) months, that the court dismissed the
Complaint.The period of three (3) months
is more than sufficient for the spouses
Magtoto to be able to hire a lawyer.

despite of [sic] the reinstatement of the


Complaint on 19 February 2004, it was

March 23, 2004: RTC declared the spouses


Magtoto in default

28

ordering

only on 25 June 2004, or after the lapse of


another four (4) months, that spouses
Magtotofiled their answer.

Pampanga Omnibus Development Corporation and


Dominic G. Aquino,
G.R. No. 168088, April 3, 2007
Callejo, Sr, J.:

Facts:

Hence, plaintiffs filed a petition for certiorari


under Rule 65 before the SC assailing the CAs
ruling

Pampanga Omnibus Development Corporation


(respondent PODC) was the registered owner of a
parcel of land
PODC secured loans from San Fernando Rural Bank
(petitioner SFRB).

ISSUE: WON the plaintiffs availed of the correct


remedy?

Eliza M. Garbes (PODC President and daughter of


Federico Mendoza), also secured a loan from the
petitioner. PODC failed to pay the loan. SFRB, filed
a petition for extra-judicial foreclosure. SFRB
emerged as the winning bidder.

RULING:

The Ex-Officio Sheriff executed a Certificate of Sale


and stated that "the period of redemption of the
property shall expire one (1) year after registration
in the Register of Deeds.

No, they availed of the wrong remedy.

On May 11, 2002, PODC executed a notarized deed


of assignment in favor of respondent Dominic G.
Aquino over its right to redeem the property.
Petitioners remedy from the adverse Decision of
the CA lies in Rule 45 which is a Petition for Review
on Certiorari. As such, this petition should have
been dismissed outright for being a wrong mode of
appeal. Even if the petition is to be treated as filed
under Rule 45, the same must still be denied for
late filing and there being no reversible error on
the part of the CA. Records show that petitioners
received a copy of the CA Resolution denying their
Motion for Reconsideration on October 30,
2006.42 They therefore had 15 days or until
November 14, 2006 within which to file their
Petition for Review on Certiorari before this Court.
However, they filed their Petition for Certiorari on
December 29, 2006,43 after the period to file a
Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 had
expired. Hence, this Petition for Certiorari under
Rule 65 was resorted to as a substitute for a lost
appeal which is not allowed.

Respondent Aquino redeemed the property but


petitioner rejected the offer due to lack of the
redemption price
Ex-Officio Sheriff made another computation and
allowed Aquino to redeem the property
consequently issuing Certificate of Redemption.
However ex-officio sheriff failed to file the
Certificate in the ROD.
On June 10, 2002, SFRB, executed an Affidavit of
Consolidationover the property.
It was alleged therein that PODC or any other
person/entity with the right of redemption did not
exercise their right to repurchase within one year
from June 7, 2001. The affidavit was filed with the
Office of the Register of Deeds on the same day.
On June 14, 2002, Aquino sent a letter to ROD
informing them that he has redeem the subject
property and requested not to register the Affidavit
of Consolidation requested by SFRB.
On June 18, 2002, ROD requested the
Administrator of the Land Registration Authority
(LRA), by way of consulta, to issue an opinion on
whether a new title should be issued to SFRB, or
the Certificate of Redemption in favor of
respondent Aquino.
On October 15, 2002, SFRB filed a Petition for a
Writ of Possession over the property to be issued in
its favor upon the filing of the requisite bond in an
amount equivalent to the market value of the
property or in an amount as the court may direct.

#3

By way of rejoinder, respondent PODC averred that


the Certificate of Redemption executed by the ExOfficio Sheriff is presumed valid and legal; the RTC,
acting as a Land Registration Court, had no

San Fernando Rural Bank, Inc.


v.

29

jurisdiction to pass upon the validity of the


Certificate of Redemption

the property, the court had lost jurisdiction over


the case.

On December 12, 2002, the LRA resolved the


consulta of the Register of DeedsConsidering
that the document first presented and entered in
the Primary Entry Book of the registry is the
Affidavit of Consolidation in favor of the creditors,
the mortgagee bank and not the Certificate of
Redemption in favor of the assignee of the debtormortgagor, although admittedly, the latter
instrument was executed on the last day of the
redemption period but not, in fact, registered
within the same period, under the premises, the
consolidating mortgagee is possessed with a
superior right than the redemptioner. Under the
law, the first in registration is the first in law.

On November 27, 2003, PODC filed before the CA


their Joint Notice of Appeal from the November 10,
2003 Order of the RTC.
On December 18, 2003, the CA rendered judgment
in the joint appeal granting the petition of PODC
and setting aside the assailed orders of the trial
court.
The appellate court ruled that the December 20,
2002 Order of the RTC granting the petition for a
writ of possession was interlocutory and not final;
hence, it may be questionedonly via petition for
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, not
by appeal.

On December 20, 2002, the court in LRC No. 890


issued an Order granting the petition and ordered
the issuance of a writ of possession.

SFRB moved for the reconsideration of the CAs


decision however, the CA denied the petition. SFRB
then filed a petition for review on Certiorari for the
reversal of the decision and resolution of CA.

PODC, filed a motion for reconsideration of the


order, but the court denied the motion.

SFRB avers that the December 20, 2002 Order of


the RTC granting the writ of possession in its favor
was final; hence, the remedy of respondents
herein, as oppositors below, was to appeal to the
CA and not to file a special civil action for certiorari.
In fact, petitioner asserts, the writ of possession
issued by the RTC had already been implemented
when respondents filed their petition in the CA on
December 10, 2003.

On March 6, 2003, PODC,filed a Petition for


Certiorari with the CA averting error that the RTC
should have dismissed the petition for a writ of
possession pending determination of the
substantial issues by the LRA.
SFRB in its comment asserted that that the RTC,
sitting as a land registration court, had jurisdiction
over the petition for a writ of possession; thus, the
remedy of respondents should have to appeal the
assailed order and not to file a petition for
certiorari in the CA.

SFRB further insisted that the RTC, acting as a Land


Registration Court, had limited jurisdiction; it had
no jurisdiction to resolve the issues on the validity
of the deed of assignment and the legality of
respondent Aquinos redemption of the property, as
well as its ownership. Only the RTC in the exercise
of its general jurisdiction in Civil Case No. 12765
(where petitioner assailed the deed of assignment
and the Certificate of Redemption executed by the
Ex-Officio Sheriff) was vested with jurisdiction to
resolve these issues. In resolving these issues, the
CA thereby preempted the RTC in Civil Case No.
12765 and deprived it of due process. In any event,
according to petitioner, the pronouncement of the
CA on the validity of the Deed of Assignment and
Certificate of Redemption was merely an obiter
dictum.

On May 14, 2003 The RTC granted the motion and


issued a writ of possession and the Sheriff
implemented the writ and placed petitioner in
possession of the property.
On September 4, 2003, SFRB filed a
Complaintagainst PODC and the Ex-Officio Sheriff
in the RTC of Pampanga, for the nullification of the
Deed of Assignment executed by PODC in favor of
Aquino and of the Certificate of Redemption
executed by the Ex-Officio Sheriff and for damages.
Meanwhile, the LRA Administrator issued a
Resolution recalling the Resolution dated December
12, 2002 and declared that the Certificate of
Redemption executed by the Ex-Officio Sheriff was
superior to the Affidavit of Consolidation filed by
petitioner.

ISSUE: WON the CA seriously erred when it


sanctioned the PODC resort to Certiorari under Rule
65 of the Revised Rules of Court, questioning a final
order and not an interlocutory order of the RTC.

On September 10, 2003, PODCfiled a Joint Motion


to quash the writ of possession issued by the trial
court and for the issuance of a new TCT. They
averred that the LRA Administrator finally resolved
that the Certificate of Redemption issued by the
Ex-Officio Sheriff was superior to the Affidavit of
Consolidation of petitioner

RULING:
The petition is meritorious.

The CA erred in holding that the Order of the RTC


granting the petition for a writ of possession was
merely interlocutory.

On November 10, 2003, the court denied the


motion holding that respondent Aquino, as the
registered owner of the subject property, should
initiate the appropriate action in the proper court in
order to exclude petitioner or any other person
from the physical possession of his property.The
court ruled that after placing SFRB in possession of

Interlocutory orders are those that determine


incidental matters and which do not touch on the
merits of the case or put an end to the
proceedings. A petition for certiorari under Rule 65

30

of the Rules of Court is the proper remedy to


question an improvident interlocutory order. On the
other hand, a final order is one that disposes of the
whole matter or terminates the particular
proceedings or action leaving nothing to be done
but to enforce by execution what has been
determined. It is one that finally disposes of the
pending action so that nothing more can be done
with it in the lower court.The remedy to question a
final order is appeal under Rule 41 of the Rules of
Court.

IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is


GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is
SET ASIDE AND REVERSED.

#4

G.R. No. 165851

Even if the trial court erred in granting a petition


for a writ of possession, such an error is merely an
error of judgment correctible by ordinary appeal
and not by a petition for a writ of certiorari. Such
writ cannot be legally used for any other purpose.

February 2, 2011

MANUEL CATINDIG, represented by his legal


representative EMILIANO CATINDIGRODRIGO, Petitioner,
vs.
AURORA IRENE VDA. DE MENESES, Respondent.

Certiorari is a remedy narrow in its scope and


inflexible in character. It is not a general utility tool
in the legal workshop. Certiorari will issue only to
correct errors of jurisdiction and not to correct
errors of judgment. An error of judgment is one
which the court may commit in the exercise of its
jurisdiction, and which error is reviewable only by
an appeal. Error of jurisdiction is one where the act
complained of was issued by the court without or in
excess of jurisdiction and which error is correctible
only by the extraordinary writ of certiorari. As long
as the court acts within its jurisdiction, any alleged
errors committed in the exercise of its discretion
will amount to nothing more than mere errors of
judgment, correctible by an appeal if the aggrieved
party raised factual and legal issues; or a petition
for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court if
only questions of law are involved.

x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
G.R. No. 168875
SILVINO ROXAS, SR., represented by FELICISIMA
VILLAFUERTE ROXAS, Petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and AURORA IRENE VDA. DE
MENESES Respondents.

PERALTA, J.:

A certiorari writ may be issued if the court or quasijudicial body issues an order with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to excess or lack of
jurisdiction. Grave abuse of discretion implies such
capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is
equivalent to lack of jurisdiction or, in other words,
where the power is exercised in an arbitrary
manner by reason of passion, prejudice, or
personal hostility, and it must be so patent or gross
as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to
a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to
act at all in contemplation of law. Mere abuse of
discretion is not enough. Moreover, a party is
entitled to a writ of certiorari only if there is no
appeal nor any plain, speedy or adequate relief in
the ordinary course of law.

FACTS:

The raison detre for the rule is that when a court


exercises its jurisdiction, an error committed while
so engaged does not deprive it of the jurisdiction
being exercised when the error was committed. If it
did, every error committed by a court would
deprive it of its jurisdiction and every erroneous
judgment would be a void judgment. In such a
situation, the administration of justice would not
survive. Hence, where the issue or question
involved affects the wisdom or legal soundness of
the decision not the jurisdiction of the court to
render said decision the same is beyond the
province of a special civil action for certiorari.

31

Rosendo Meneses, Sr. owns a parcel of land


situated in Malolos, Bulacan, with anarea of
49,139 square meters. Aurora Irene C. Vda.
De Meneses, respondent, is thesurviving
spouse of the registered owner. She was
issued Letters of Administration overthe
state of her late husband.

On May 17, 1995, respondent filed a


complaint for recovery of Possesion, Sum
ofMoney and Damages against petitioners
Manuel Catindig and Silvino Roxas Sr.
before the Regional Trial Court of Malolos,
Bulacan to recover possession of a land
situated in Malolos, Bulacan with an area of
49,139 square meters, also referred as the
MasusuwiFishpond. Respondent alleged
that in September 1975, petitioner Catindig
the first cousin of her husband, deprived
her of the possession over the Masusawi
Fishpond, through fraud, undue influence
and intimidation. Since then, petitioner
Catindig unlawfullyleased the property to
petitioner Roxas. Respondent verbally
demanded that petitioners vacate the said
property, but all were futile, thus, forcing
respondent to send demandletters to

petitioner Roxas and Catindig. Petitioners


ignored the demands so respondent filed a
suit against the petitioners to recover the
property and demanded payment of
unearned income, damages, attorneys
fees and costs of suit.

Petitioner Caitindig stated that on January


1978, he bought the Masasuwi Fishpond
from respondent and her children, as
evidenced by a Deed of Absolute Sale.
Catindig further argued that even assuming
that respondent was indeed divestated
ofher possession of the Masasuwi Fishpond
by fraud, her cause of action had already
prescribed considering the lapse of about
20 years from 1975, which was allegedly
the year when she was fraudulently
deprived of her possesion over the
property. On the other hand, petitioner
Roxas asserted in his own answer that
respondent has no cause of action against
him, since Catindig is the lawful owner of
the Masasuwi Fishpond, to whom he had
paid his rentals in advance until the year
2001.

After trial, the trial court ruled in favor of


respondent.
Aggrieved,
petitioners
separately challenged the trial court's
Decision before the CA. The CA dismissed
both the petitioners' appeals and affirmed
the RTC.

Hence, petitioner Catindig filed this Petition


for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45. On
the other hand, petitioner Silvino Roxas, Sr.
filed a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65.

issue or question involved affects the


wisdom or legal soundness of the decision,
and not the jurisdiction of the court to
render said decision, the same is beyond
the province of a special civil action for
certiorari.

ISSUE: WON Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65


filed by petitioner Roxas was the correct/proper
remedy? NO.

Settled is the rule that where appeal is


available to the aggrieved party, the
special civil action for certiorari will not be
entertained remedies of appeal and
certiorari are mutually exclusive, not
alternative or successive. Under Rule 45,
decisions, final orders or resolutions of the
Court of Appeals in any case, i.e.,
regardless of the nature of the action or
proceedings involved, may be appealed to
us by filing a petition for review, which
would be but a continuation of the
appellate process over the original case.
On the other hand, a special civil action
under Rule 65 is an independent action
based on the specific ground therein
provided and, as a general rule, cannot be
availed of as a substitute for the lost
remedy of an ordinary appeal, including
that to be taken under Rule 45. One of the
requisites of certiorari is that there be no
available appeal or any plain, speedy and
adequate remedy. Where an appeal is
available, certiorari will not prosper, even if
the ground therefor is grave abuse of
discretion. Accordingly, when a party
adopts an improper remedy, his petition
may be dismissed outright.

In the present case, the CA issued its


Decision and Resolution dated October 22,
2004 and May 20, 2005, respectively,
dismissing the appeal filed by petitioner
Roxas.

HELD:

Petitioner Roxas assailed the Decision and


the Resolution of the CA via Petition
for Certiorari under Rule 65, when the
proper remedy should have been the filing
of a Petition for Review on Certiorari under
Rule 45.

#5

While petitioner Roxas claims that the CA


committed grave abuse of discretion, this
Court finds that the assailed findings of the
CA, that Roxas is jointly and severally liable
with petitioner Catindig and in not
considering him as a lessee in good faith of
the subject property, amount to nothing
more than errors of judgment, correctible
by appeal. When a court, tribunal, or officer
has jurisdiction over the person and the
subject matter of the dispute, the decision
on all other questions arising in the case is
an
exercise
of
that
jurisdiction.
Consequently, all errors committed in the
exercise of said jurisdiction are merely
errors of judgment. Under prevailing
procedural rules and jurisprudence, errors
of judgment are not proper subjects of a
special civil action for certiorari. Where the

#6

SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 121438 October 23, 2000
FELIX UY CHUA, ROBERT IPING CHUA, RICHARD UY
CHUA and Atty. FEDERICO C. CABILAO, JR.,
petitioners,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, SOFIA O. SANCHEZ, assisted
by husband FORTUNATO SANCHEZ, respondents.
QUISUMBING, J.:

32

jurisdiction when they issued the questioned orders


dated November 15, 1991, January 13, 1992 and
February 25, 1992.

Facts:

The appellate court granted the petition in favor of


private respondent Sanchez and the Deed of
Absolute Sale in her favor was affirmed and
reinstated. Reconsideration was denied. Hence, the
instant petition.

Fernando B. Morada owned Lot 832-B-1-C-2 located


in Cebu City. His only heirs were his wife, Aida N.
Morada, and two minor children. After his death,
the probate court presided by Judge Leoncio P.
Abarquez appointed Aida as administratrix of her
husband's estate.
On April 15, 1991, a Deed of Absolute Sale thereof
was executed in favor of Sofia Sanchez, herein
private respondent, for one million pesos
(P1,000,000.00) payable with a down payment of
P500,000.00 and the balance to be paid after the
lot was cleared of squatters.

Issue: Was it or was it not an error to bring the case


before the Court of Appeals on certiorari under Rule
65?

On July 16, 1991, after more than two months from


the date of approval of the sale, Intervenor
Sagrario Morelos, filed a motion for reconsideration
opposing the sale alleging that the sale was
prejudicial to the minor heirs of Fernando. Judge
Abarquez held a conference in chambers attended
by Aida and her counsel Atty. Recto de Dios, Atty.
Rodolfo M. Morelos, counsel of Sagrario Morelos,
and Atty. Federico Cabilao, another intervenor who
represented undisclosed clients interested to
purchase the land.

Held: No, it was not an error.


Petitioners allege that the proper remedy for
respondent was to appeal under Rule 45 under
which private respondent was already time-barred
and the Court of Appeals should not have taken
cognizance of the petition. Petitioners misread the
applicable law, Rules and precedents. A
A special civil action for certiorari challenging the
RTC with grave abuse of discretion may be
instituted either in the Court of Appeals or the
Supreme Court. Both have original concurrent
jurisdiction.19 Certiorari is an extraordinary
remedy available only when there is no appeal, nor
any plain, speedy or adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law.20 While ordinarily, certiorari
is unavailing where the appeal period has lapsed,
there are exceptions. Among them are (a) when
public welfare and the advancement of public
policy dictates; (b) when the broader interest of
justice so requires;21 (c) when the writs issued are
null and void; (d) or when the questioned order
amounts to an oppressive exercise of judicial
authority.22 As early as Crisostomo vs. Endencia,23
we held:

On August 6, 1991 Atty. Cabilao, on instructions of


Judge Abarquez, filed his Proposal to Purchase the
Property. In her comment and opposition to the
proposal of Atty. Cabilao, Aida Morada said that the
court's order approving the sale to Sofia Sanchez
had already become final and executory, and that
she had bought the land from the administratrix in
good faith and for value.
On November 15, 1991, Judge Abarquez issued an
order revoking his approval of the sale and
declared void and without effect the deed of
absolute sale he had earlier approved.
Almost immediately after his order, Judge Abarquez
also approved the proposal of Atty. Cabilao to
purchase the property for P1.5 million. Atty. Cabilao
then filed a motion for execution.

". . . The remedy by certiorari may be successfully


invoked both in cases wherein an appeal does not
lie and in those wherein the right to appeal having
been lost with or without the appellant's
negligence, the court has no jurisdiction to issue
the order or decision which is the subject matter of
the remedy."

On January 29, 1992, Sanchez filed a motion for


reconsideration and made a counter-offer of P1.6
million. The motion was denied in an order dated
February 25, 1992. The court said that the Order
approving the sale to Atty. Cabilao had become
final and executory and that the counter offer was
not a compelling reason for the court to vacate its
order.

The questioned orders of the probate court


nullifying the sale to Sanchez after it approved the
sale and after its order of approval had become
final and executory amount to oppressive exercise
of judicial authority, a grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Further orders

Sanchez filed a petition for certiorari before the


Court of Appeals alleging that respondent Judges
abused their discretion amounting to lack of

33

stemming therefrom are also null and without


effect.
Petitioners filed their Notice of Appeal before the
MTC.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition for certiorari is


DENIED. The assailed Decision and Resolution of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 28171, are
both AFFIRMED. -->rkdilangalen/

Private respondent filed for a Motion for Immediate


Execution and the MTC grantedthe same.

#7

The petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration


but was denied by the MTC.It directed the issuance
of a writ of execution. Pursuant to the same,
Deputy Sheriff Justinianodela Cruz of the MTC
(Branch 27)restored the possession of Unit No.
1505 to the private respondent and simultaneously
levied upon the personal properties of the
petitioners found in the premises to satisfy the
money judgment decreed in the decision.

G.R. No. 85466 October 16, 1992

HUALAM CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT


CORP. and TAN BEE GIOK, petitioners,
vs.
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and STATE
INVESTMENT HOUSE, INC., respondents.

Petitioners filed with the RTC of Manila a petition for


certiorari with injunction against the Hon. Jose R.
Bueno, the Sheriff and the private respondent.
They sought the issuance of an order enjoining the
respondents from enforcing the writ of execution.

DAVIDE, JR., J.:

The RTCgranted the petitioners petition and


declared null and void the Orders issued by the
Respondent Judge of the MTC as well as the levy on
Petitioners' personal properties.

Facts:

ThePrivate respondent (State Investment House,


Inc.)entered into a Contract to Sell with Petitioner
(Hualam Construction and Development
Corporation)relative to a condominium unit
occupied by the latter in the respondents property.
The said unit was payable in installments.

The Respondents were ordered to return to the


Petitioners the personal properties sold at public
auction and to restore to Hualam the possession of
the aforementioned condominium unit.

However, despite repeated demands, petitioners


failed and refused to pay the accumulated
downpayment, installments, utility charges and
other assessments mentioned in the Contract to
Sell.As such, the private respondent filed a
complaint for ejectment against the petitioners
with the MTC of Manila.

The respondent filed a motion for RTC to reconsider


said decision, but the same was denied.Private
respondent then filed with the Court of Appeals a
petition for certiorari.

The Court of Appeals found the respondents


petition meritorious and granted the same,
reversing and setting aside the RTCs decision. It
reinstated the decision of the Metropolitan Trial
Court of Manilatogether with all subsequent orders
issued thereunder.

The MTC rendered a decision in favor of the private


respondent, ordering the petitioners to vacate the
premises of the unit they were occupying in the
respondents property.

34

In ruling for the herein private respondent, the


Court of Appeals declared that the petitioners
remedy is not a petition for certiorari but an
ordinary appeal.Since they had already filed a
notice of appeal, they should have prosecuted it.
Also, a petition for certiorari may not be availed of
as substitute for appeal.

#8

GR No. 173815 November 24, 2010


Milwaukee Industries Corporation
vs
Court of Tax Appeals and Commissioner of Internal
Revenue

Issue: W/N a certiorari may be availed as a


substitute for appeal in the case at bar?

Mendoza J.
Facts:
Public Respondent Commissioner of Internal
Revenue notified Milwaukee of its intent to
examine their books of account and other
accounting records for all internal revenue taxes for
1997 and other unverified prior years. Milwaukee
complied and submitted its documents to CIR.
Subsequently,
CIR
issued
three
undated
assessment notices together with a demand letter
and explanation of the deficiency tax assessments
which Milwaukee allegedly owed totalling to
P173,063,711.58 which include deficiencies on
income tax, expanded withholding and valueadded taxes for the 1997 taxable year.

Ruling:

The Courtdisagreed with the opinion and


conclusion of the Court of Appeals that the proper
remedy to assail the orders of the MTC is an
ordinary appeal and not a petition for certiorari.

Milwaukee protested the assessments. Due to CIRs


inaction, Milwaukee filed a petition for review
before the CTA. At the CTA, CIR offered the
testimony of the Ms. Silario, the group supervisor of
the BIR examiners who conducted the examination
of Milwaukee's books. Thereafter, Milwaukee
manifested its intention to present documentary
rebuttal evidence. The CTA, in its Order dated July
11, 2005, permitted Milwaukee to present rebuttal
evidence starting September 5, 2005. However,
Milwaukee moved for the resetting of the hearings.
On January 16, 2006, Milwaukee was able to
partially present its rebuttal evidence. The CTA
scheduled another hearing on February 27, 2006.

According to the Court, under the circumstances


obtaining in the case, the special civil action for
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court could
be availed of by the petitioners.

Since the MTC granted the motion for execution,the


petitioners' ouster from the premises was
imminent. The appeal earlier interposed cannot
then be said to constitute an adequate remedy to
prevent their ouster from the premises. They
cannot be confined or restricted to the sole remedy
of an appeal andsimply wait for the judgment
thereon by the RTC.

During the scheduled hearing, Milwaukee again


moved for the postponement of the pre-marking
and presentation of its rebuttal evidence relative to
the deductibility of some interests and bank
charges from its corporate income tax for the year
1997. The CTA issued a verbal order denying
Milwaukee's motion to be allowed additional
commissioners hearing. The CTA gave Milwaukee
10 days to submit its Formal Offer of Rebuttal
Evidence.
Milwaukee
filed
a
Motion
for
Reconsideration and moved to toll the running of
the period for filing its formal offer of rebuttal
evidence. In its June 1, 2006 Resolution, the CTA
denied the Motion for Reconsideration but allowed
its motion to suspend the period for filing of formal
rebuttal
evidence.
On June
21,
2006, Milwaukee filed its Formal Offer of Rebuttal
Evidence before the CTA. Aggrieved by the denial
of its motion for reconsideration of the verbal
order, Milwaukee filed a Petition for Certiorari under
Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

Under such circumstances, the appellate process


would be too slow and the wait too long; it is also
evident that such mode of review would be
inadequate and insufficient.

It is settled that although the extraordinary writ of


certiorari is not proper when an ordinary appeal is
available,it may be granted where it is shown that
the appeal would be inadequate, slow, insufficient
and will not promptly relieve a party from the
injurious effects of the order complained of, or
where appeal is inadequate and ineffectual.

35

Milwaukee's contention: They claimed that the


motion was not intended to delay the proceedings
but because the evidence it intended to present,
while already available, was yet to be collated and
sorted out for a more orderly presentation. The
denial of its motions deprived it of its right to have
the case be decided on the merits.

#9

G.R. No. 178552

October 5, 2010

Issues:
1. W/N RESPONDENT CTA COMMITTED GRAVE
ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN DENYING PETITIONER'S
MOTION TO BE ALLOWED TO PRESENT REBUTTAL
EVIDENCE

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE ENGAGEMENT NETWORK,


INC., on behalf of the South-South Network (SSN)
for Non-State Armed Group Engagement, and ATTY.
SOLIMAN M. SANTOS, JR., Petitioners,

2. W/N PETITIONER WAS DENIED DUE PROCESS BY


NOT BEING ALLOWED TO PRESENT ITS REBUTTAL
EVIDENCE

vs.

Held: No. The respondent did not commit grave


abuse of discretion in denying petitioner's motion.

ANTI-TERRORISM COUNCIL, THE EXECUTIVE


SECRETARY, THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, THE
SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, THE SECRETARY
OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, THE SECRETARY OF THE
INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, THE
SECRETARY OF FINANCE, THE NATIONAL SECURITY
ADVISER, THE CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE ARMED
FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES, AND THE CHIEF OF
THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE, Respondents.

In order for a petition for certiorari to succeed, the


following requisites must concur, namely: (a) that
the writ is directed against a tribunal, a board, or
any officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial
functions; (b) such tribunal, board, or officer has
acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction; and (c) there is no appeal, or
any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law.
As a rule, the grant or denial of a motion for
postponement is addressed to the sound discretion
of the court which should always be predicated on
the consideration that more than the mere
convenience of the courts or of the parties, the
ends of justice and fairness should be served
thereby. Furthermore, this discretion must be
exercised intelligently.

CARPIO MORALES, J.:

FACTS:

In this case, the Court is of the view that the CTA


gave enough opportunity for Milwaukee to present
its
rebuttal
evidence. Records
reveal
that
when Milwaukee requested
for
resetting
on September 5, 2005 and October 26, 2005, its
motions were granted by the CTA. As a matter of
fact, by January 16, 2006, Milwaukee was already
able to partially present its rebuttal evidence. Thus,
when the CTA called on Milwaukee to continue its
presentation of rebuttal evidence on February 27,
2006, it should have been prepared to do so. It
cannot be said that the CTA arbitrarily
denied Milwaukee's supposed simple request of
resetting because it had already given the latter
several months to prepare and gather its rebuttal
evidence.

Before the Court are six petitions challenging the


constitutionality of Republic Act No. 9372 (RA
9372), "An Act to Secure the State and Protect our
People from Terrorism," otherwise known as the
Human Security Act of 2007,1signed into law on
March 6, 2007.

Following the effectivity of RA 9372 on July 15,


2007,2 petitioner
Southern
Hemisphere
Engagement Network, Inc., a non-government
organization, and Atty. Soliman Santos, Jr., a
concerned citizen, taxpayer and lawyer, filed a
petition for certiorari and prohibition on July 16,
2007 docketed as G.R. No. 178552. On even date,
petitioners Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), National
Federation of Labor Unions-Kilusang Mayo Uno
(NAFLU-KMU), and Center for Trade Union and
Human Rights (CTUHR), represented by their
respective officers3 who are also bringing the action
in their capacity as citizens, filed a petition for
certiorari and prohibition docketed as G.R. No.
178554.

2. No. Milwaukee's right to due process was not


transgressed. The Court has consistently reminded
litigants that due process is simply an opportunity
to be heard. The requirement of due process is
satisfactorily met as long as the parties are given
the opportunity to present their side. In the case at
bar, Milwaukee was precisely given the right and
the opportunity to present its side. It was able to
present its
evidence-in-chief
and had its
opportunity to present rebuttal evidence. The
petition is DENIED.

36

The following day, July 17, 2007, organizations


Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), General
Alliance Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity,
Equality, Leadership and Action (GABRIELA),
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Movement
of Concerned Citizens for Civil Liberties (MCCCL),
Confederation
for
Unity,
Recognition
and
Advancement
of
Government
Employees
(COURAGE), Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap
(KADAMAY), Solidarity of Cavite Workers (SCW),
League of Filipino Students (LFS), Anakbayan,
Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya
(PAMALAKAYA), Alliance of Concerned Teachers
(ACT), Migrante, Health Alliance for Democracy
(HEAD), and Agham, represented by their
respective officers,4 and joined by concerned
citizens and taxpayers Teofisto Guingona, Jr., Dr.
Bienvenido Lumbera, Renato Constantino, Jr., Sister
Mary John Manansan, OSB, Dean Consuelo Paz,
Atty. Josefina Lichauco, Retired Col. Gerry Cunanan,
Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Dr. Carolina PagaduanAraullo, Renato Reyes, Danilo Ramos, Emerenciana
de Jesus, Rita Baua and Rey Claro Casambre filed a
petition for certiorari and prohibition docketed as
G.R. No. 178581.

Impleaded as respondents in the various petitions


are the Anti-Terrorism Council9 composed of, at the
time of the filing of the petitions, Executive
Secretary Eduardo Ermita as Chairperson, Justice
Secretary Raul Gonzales as Vice Chairperson, and
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, Acting
Defense Secretary and National Security Adviser
Norberto Gonzales, Interior and Local Government
Secretary Ronaldo Puno, and Finance Secretary
Margarito Teves as members. All the petitions,
except that of the IBP, also impleaded Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen.
Hermogenes Esperon and Philippine National Police
(PNP) Chief Gen. Oscar Calderon.

The Karapatan, BAYAN and BAYAN-ST petitions


likewise impleaded President Gloria MacapagalArroyo and the support agencies for the AntiTerrorism Council like the National Intelligence
Coordinating
Agency,
National
Bureau
of
Investigation, Bureau of Immigration, Office of Civil
Defense, Intelligence Service of the AFP, AntiMoney Laundering Center, Philippine Center on
Transnational Crime, and the PNP intelligence and
investigative elements.

On August 6, 2007, Karapatan and its alliance


member organizations Hustisya, Desaparecidos,
Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa
Detensyon at para sa Amnestiya (SELDA),
Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace (EMJP),
and Promotion of Church Peoples Response
(PCPR), which were represented by their respective
officers5 who are also bringing action on their own
behalf, filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition
docketed as G.R. No. 178890.

ISSUE: w/n Petition for Certiorari was proper

RULING:

The petitions fail. Petitioners resort to certiorari is


improper.
On August 29, 2007, the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP), Counsels for the Defense of
Liberty (CODAL),6Senator Ma. Ana Consuelo A.S.
Madrigal, Sergio Osmea III, and Wigberto E.
Taada filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition
docketed as G.R. No. 179157.

Preliminarily, certiorari does not lie against


respondents who do not exercise judicial or quasijudicial functions. Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of
Court is clear:

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog


(BAYAN-ST),
other
regional
chapters
and
organizations mostly based in the Southern Tagalog
Region,7 and individuals8 followed suit by filing on
September 19, 2007 a petition for certiorari and
prohibition docketed as G.R. No. 179461 that
replicates the allegations raised in the BAYAN
petition in G.R. No. 178581.

Section 1. Petition for certiorari.When any


tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or
quasi-judicial functionshas acted without or in
excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, nor any plain,
speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary
course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file
a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the

37

facts with certainty and praying that judgment be


rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of
such tribunal, board or officer, and granting such
incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.
(Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

#12

#13

Parenthetically, petitioners do not even allege with


any modicum of particularity how respondents
acted without or in excess of their respective
jurisdictions, or with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

G.R. No. 193494 March 07, 2014


LUI ENTERPRISES, INC., Petitioner,
Vs.
ZUELLIG PHARMA CORPORATION AND THE
PHILIPPINE BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS,
Respondents.
LEONEN, J.:

The impropriety of certiorari as a remedy aside, the


petitions fail just the same.

Facts:

On March 9, 1995, Lui Enterprises, Inc. and


Zuellig Pharma Corp., entered into a 10-year
contract of lease over a parcel of land located in
Barrio Tigatto, Buhangin, Davao City with TCT
NO. T-166476 and registered under Eli L. Lui.

On January 10, 2003, Zuellig Pharma received a


letter from the Phil Bank of Communications
claiming to be the new owner of the leased
property and asked Zuellig to pay rent directly
to it. Attached the copy of TCT NO. T-336962
was derived from TCT NO. T-166476.

Zuellig Pharma promptly informed LuiEnts of


the Phil Bank of Comms claim. On January 28,
2003, LuiEnts wrote to Zuellig Pharma and
insisted on its right to collect the leased
propertys rent.

An interpleader complaint was filed by Zuellig


Pharma with RTC of Makati due to the conflicting
claims between LuiEnts and Phil Bank of
Comms over rental payments.

Zuellig alleged that it already consigned in court


P604,024.35 as payments and prayed the
allowance to consign in court the succeeding
monthly rental payments and Lui Ents and Phil
Bank be ordered to litigate their conflicting
claims.

Phil Bank filed its answer and Lui Ent filed


motion to dismiss on the ground that Zuellig
representative did not have authority to file
interpleader on behalf of the corp.,

A nullification of deed of dation in payment case


pending was earlier filed with the RTC of Davao
by Lui Ents and alleged that it barred the filing
of the interpleader case. LuiEnts filed this
nullification case against the Phil Bank with
respect to several properties it dationed to the
bank in payment of its obligations. The
property leased by Zuellig was one of those
allegedly dationed to Phil Bank.

LuiEnts raised the issue of which corporation


had better right over the payments and they
argued that the same issue was involved in

#10

#11

GR NO. 140189 February 28, 2005

GREAT
SOUTHERN
MARITIME
SERVICES
CORPORATION, FERRY CASINOS LIMITED and
PIONEER INSURANCE AND SURETY CORPORATION,
Petitioner
Vs
JENNIFER ANNE B. ACUNA, HAYDEE ANNE B.
ACUNA, MARITES T. CLARION, MARISSA C.
ENRIQUEZ, GRACIELA M. TORRALBA and MARY
PAMELA A. SANTIAGO, respondents

AUSTRIA-Martinez, J. :

Facts/Issue/Ruling :

c/o Ms. Barretto - hard copy available kay Kuya


RD

38

interpleader case and prayed that it be


dismissed cited a writ of Preliminary Injunction
dated July 2, 2003 issued by RTC Davao,
ordering LuiEnts and Phil Bank to maintain
status quo with respect to rent. It argued that
they should continue collecting the rental
payments from its lessees until the nullification
of deed of dation in payment case was resolved.

Zuellig Pharma filed its opposition to the motion


to dismiss for having it filed late. (Rule 16,
Section 1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure requires
that a motion to dismiss should be filed within
the required time to file answer to the complaint
which is 15days from service of summons on
the defendant.
On July 4, 2003 summons was served to LuiEnts
and had until July 19, 2003 to file a motion to
dismiss but LuiEnts filed only on July 23, 2004
(4days after or beyond 15day). Considering
that LuiEnts filed its motion to dismiss beyond
the 15day requirement,Zuellig moved that
LuiEnts be declared in default.

LuiEnts did file any motion for reconsideration of


the denial.

ON APPEAL, CA found LuiEnts appellants brief


insufficient. Under RULE 44 Sec 13 of the Rules
of Civil Procedure, an appellants brief must
contain a subject index , page references to the
record , table of cases , textbooks and statutes
cited and the statement of issues among others.
LuiEnts failed to comply these requirements.

CA DISMISSED THE APPEAL and affirmed in toto


RTC of Makatis decision.

LuiEnts filed motion for recon and CA denied,


HENCE this PETITION.

ISSUE/S:
Whether the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing
Lui Enterprises appeal for lack of subject index,
page references to the record, table of cases ,
textbooks and statutes cited and the statement of
issues in its brief.

Phil Bank in its compliance dated September 15,


2003 joined with Zuellig Pharma in moving to
declare LuiEnts in default and as well as the
denial its motion to dismiss.

Whether the RTC of Makati erred in denying


LuiEnts motion to set aside order of default.

Lui Enterprises did not move for


reconsideration of the order dated October 6,
2003 thus Makati Trial Court heard the
interpleader case without LuiEnts participation.

Whether the annulment of deed of dation in


payment pending in the RTC of Davao barred the
subsequent filing of the interpleader case in the
RTC of Makati; and

On April 15, 2004 LuiEnts filed a manifestation


with prayer despite having been declared in
default that the RTC Davao allegedly issued the
order (April 1, 2004) ordering all of LuiEnts
lessees to observe status quo with regards to
rental payments and continue remitting it to
LuiEnts. while the nullification of deed of dation
payment was being resolved.

Whether Zuellig Pharma was entitled to attorneys


fees.

RTC Makati only noted the manifestation with


prayer dated April 15, 2004.

On October 21, 2004 or a year after the


issuance of the order of default , LuiEnts filed a
motion to set aside said order in Makati on the
ground of excusable negligence. It argued that
it was the fault of its counsel why it did not filed
on time.

Zuellig opposed and argued that counsels


failure to timely answer was inexcusable
negligence which bound his client and further
argued that the pending case for nullification of
deed of dation in payment did not preclude
them from seeking the relief prayed for in the
interpleader case.

RULINGS:
Lui Enterprises did not comply with the rules on the
contents of the appellants brief. (RULE 50,
SECTION 1 PAR.(F) OF 1997 RULES OF CIVIL
PROCEDURE)
. Grounds for dismissal of appeal an appeal
maybe dismissed by the CA on its own motion or
on that of the appellee,on the ff grounds:
x xxxxx
(f) Absence of specific assignment of errors in the
appellants brief, or of page references to the
record as required in sec. 13, pars. a, c, d, and f of
Rule 44.
These requirements are the subject index of the
matter in brief, page references to the record, and
a table of case alphabetically arranged and with
textbooks and statutes.
LuiEnts failed to show that its failure to answer the
complaint within the required period was due to
excusable negligence. (within 15day requirement
from the day summons was served to the
defendant)

LuiEnts reiterated its prayer for the dismissal of


the interpleader case to prevent the possibility
of the RTC of Makati Branch 143 and the RTC of
Davao Branch 16 rendering conflicting rulings
on same issue of which has the better right to
rental payments.

When a defendant is served with summons and a


copy of the complaint, he or she is required to
answer within 15days from the day he or she was
served with summons. He may also move to

RTC Makati denied the manifestation on the


ground that LuiEnts lost its standing in court.

39

dismiss the complaint within the time for but


before filing the answer.

successful amount to res judicata in the


other.

The nullification of deed in dation in payment case


did not bar the filing of the interpleader case.
LitisPendentia is not present in this case.

In this case, there is no litispendentia since there


is no identity of parties in the nullification of deed
of dation in payment case and interpleader case ,
Zuellig Pharma is not a party to the nullification
case filed in RTC Dvo. THUS, pending nullification
case did not bar the filing of interpleader case.

Under Rule 16, section 1, par. (e) of the 1997 Rules


of Civil Procedure, a motion to dismiss may be filed
on the ground of litispendentia:
x xxx
(e) That there is another action pending between
the same parties for the same cause;
x xxx

The court of appeals erred in awarding attorneys


fees.
Under Article 2208 of the Civil Code , attorneys
fees cannot be recovered in the absence of
stipulations, except under specific circumstances
mentioned in the same article.
Court must have factual, legal and equitable
justification and in this case the Court failed to
state the awards basis in its decision and must be
deleted.

Requisites of LitisPendentia: (absent one requisite ,


there is NO LitisPendentia)
Identity of parties or at least such as
represent the same interest in both actions;
Identity of rights asserted and reliefs
prayed for, the reliefs being founded on the
same facts; and
The identity in the 2 cases should be such
that the judgment that may be rendered in
one would regardless of which party is

40