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CIVIL PROCEDURE

Judge Wilhelmina J. Wagan


Case Digest

NAVALES vs ABAYA

The Oakwood Mutiny Case


441 SCRA 393
October 25, 2004
Jurisdiction
Once vested by law on a particular court or body, the jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of
the action cannot be dislodged by anybody other than by the legislature through the enactment of a law.
The power to change the jurisdiction of the courts is a matter of legislative enactment which none but
the legislature may do.
the RTC (Branch 148) cannot divest the General Court-Martial of its jurisdiction over those charged with
violations of Articles 63 (Disrespect Toward the President etc.), 64 (Disrespect Toward Superior Officer), 67
(Mutiny or Sedition), 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman) and 97 (General Article) of the
Articles of War, as these are specifically included as service-connected offenses or crimes under Section 1
thereof. Pursuant to the same provision of law, the military courts have jurisdiction over these crimes or offenses.

FACTS:
On July 27, 2003, 321 heavily armed junior officers and enlisted men from the AFP took
hold of Oakwood Apartments (now Ascott Makati) in Makati representing themselves as
"Bagong Katipuneros" led by Army Capt. Gerardo Gambala and LtSG. Antonio Trillanes IV
of the Philippine Navy. Such act was intended to enable them to air grievances against the
administration of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. They took hold of Oakwood
Apartments from 1:00am to 11:00pm of that day. Within the day, then Pres. GMA declared
the existence of a state of rebellion. Negotiations took place and the soldiers left the
Oakwood premises by 11:00pm.
CASES DULY ENSUED RIGHT AFTER.
FIRST CASE: RTC
Under the Information dated August 1, 2003 filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Makati City, the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged 321 of those soldiers who took
part in the Oakwood Incident with violation of Article 134-A (coup detat) of the Revised
Penal Code.
September 12, 2003 - 243 (in number) of the accused of the said case filed for an
Omnibus petition praying for the RTC to assume jurisdiction over all charges and
praying for the prosecution to present evidence to establish probable cause; should
there be failure to present they pray that they be dismissed
While pending, the DOJ issued the Resolution dated October 20, 2003 finding probable
cause for coup detat against only 31 of the original 321 accused and dismissing the
charges against the other 290 for insufficiency of evidence.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE
Judge Wilhelmina J. Wagan
Case Digest

Hence, upon admitting the amendment, the RTC only charged 31 of the original 321.
The RTC released Order expressly stated that the case against the other 290 accused,
including petitioners 1Lt. Navales, et al. and those who are subject of the petition
for habeas corpus, Capt. Reaso, et al., was dismissed. In another Order dated
November 18, 2003, the RTC (Branch 61) issued commitment orders against those 31
accused charged under the Amended Information and set their arraignment.
SECOND CASE: COURT-MARTIAL
Those who were earlier dropped as accused in Criminal Case No. 03-2784, were
charged before the General Court-Martial with violations of the Articles of War.
FIRST CASE CONSOLIDATED WITH RTC BRANCH 148
Thereafter, Criminal Case No. 03-2784 was consolidated with Criminal Case No. 032678, entitled People v. Ramon Cardenas, pending before Branch 148 of the RTC of
Makati City, presided by Judge Oscar B. Pimentel.
On On February 11, 2004, acting on the earlier Omnibus Motion filed by the 243 of the
original accused under the Information dated August 1, 2003, the RTC (Branch 148)
issued an Order rendering moot and academic the issue of jurisdiction and that of the
requiring of the prosecution to present evidence. It assumed jurisdiction over the
offense for the alleged acts were not service-related.
Meanwhile the General Court-Martial set on March 16, 2004 the arraignment/trial of
those charged with violations of the Articles of War
Hence, petitioner-soldiers filed for a TRO at the Supreme Court together with a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus for the remaining soldiers still in detention by the military.
ISSUE: 1. Jurisdiction belongs to which court?
2. Are petitioners entitled to the Writ of Habeas Corpus?
3. Are petitioners entitled to the Writ of Prohibition?

RULING: 1. Jurisdiction belongs to THE COURT-MARTIAL.

The sweeping declaration that these charges were not service-connected, but rather absorbed
and in furtherance of the crime of coup detat, the RTC (Branch 148) acted without or in excess of
jurisdiction. Such declaration is, in legal contemplation, necessarily null and void and does not
exist.
In enacting Rep. Act No. 7055, the lawmakers did not divest the military courts
jurisdiction over cases mandated by the Articles of War. Rep. Act No. 7055 did not
divest the military courts of jurisdiction to try cases involving violations of Articles 54 to
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CIVIL PROCEDURE
Judge Wilhelmina J. Wagan
Case Digest

70, Articles 72 to 92 and Articles 95 to 97 of the Articles of War as these are considered
service-connected crimes or offenses. In fact, it mandates that these shall be tried by
the court-martial.
2. NO. A Writ of Habeas Corpus cannot be granted.
As a general rule, the writ of habeas corpus will not issue where the person alleged to
be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under a process issued by the
court which has jurisdiction to do so. Further, the writ of habeas corpus should not be
allowed after the party sought to be released had been charged before any court or
quasi-judicial body. The term court necessarily includes the General Court-Martial.
These rules apply to Capt. Reaso, et al., as they are under detention pursuant to the
Commitment Order dated August 2, 2003 issued by respondent Chief of Staff of the
AFP pursuant to Article 70 of the Articles of War.
3. NO. A Writ of Prohibition cannot be granted.
The General Court-Martial has jurisdiction over the charges filed against petitioners
1Lt. Navales, et al. under Rep. Act No. 7055. A writ of prohibition cannot be issued to prevent it
from exercising its jurisdiction. The writ of prohibition is to prevent inferior courts, corporations,
boards or persons from usurping or exercising a jurisdiction or power with which they have not
been vested by law. In this case, the General Court-Martial is duly vested with jurisdiction.

CEROFERR vs CA and SANTIAGO

The Jeepney Terminal Case


GR No. 139539
February 5, 2002
Jurisdiction over subject matter
Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law and is determined by the allegations
of the complaint irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to all or some of the claims
asserted therein. The jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter is determined by the
allegations of the complaint and cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the
answer or pleadings filed by the defendant.
While the lack of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of an action, nevertheless, the
party raising such question may be estopped if he has actively taken part in the very proceedings
which he questions and he only objects to the courts jurisdiction because the judgment or the order
subsequently rendered is adverse to him.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE
Judge Wilhelmina J. Wagan
Case Digest

FACTS:
Ceroferr filed a complaint for damages and injunction with preliminary injunction against
Santiago before the RTC Quezon City.
The complaint alleged the following:
a. Santiago and his agents be enjoined from - claiming possession and ownership over
Lot No. 68 in Quezon City;
b. Santiago and his agents be prevented from making use of the vacant lot as a jeepney
terminal;
c. Santiago be ordered to pay Ceroferr P650.00 daily as lost income for the use of thelot until
possession is restored to Ceroferr and;
d. Santiago be directed to pay plaintiff Ceroferr moral, actual and exemplary damages and
attorneys fees, plus expenses of litigation.
Santiago filed an Answer. It alleged that:
a. that the vacant lot referred to in the complaint was within Lot No. 90 (which within the
coverage of his land);
b. he was not claiming any portion of Lot No. 68 claimed by Ceroferr;
c. that he had the legal right to fence Lot No. 90 since this belonged to him;
d. he had a permit for the purpose of putting fences;
e. that Ceroferr had no color of right over Lot No. 90 and, hence, was not entitled to an
injunction to prevent Santiago from exercising acts of ownership thereon and;
f. that the complaint did not state a cause of action.
A verification survey was instituted during the court proceedings and it showed that the lot
was within LOT 68.
Aggrieved by the survey, Santiago declared in his manifestation using a geodetic engineers
report that the disputed portion is inside the boundaries of Lot No. 90 of the Tala Estate
Subdivision which is separate and distinct from Lot No. 68, and that the two lots are separated
by a concrete fence.
With the intense claim of ownership over the vacant lot, there was a need to inquire as to the
regularity and validity of the respective titles of the parties.
Santiago asserted a superior claim as against that of Ceroferr. According to defendant, his
title has been confirmed through judicial reconstitution proceedings. Whereas Ceroferrs title
does not carry any technical description of the property except only as it is designated in the title
as Lot No. 68 of the Tala Estate Subdivision.
Santiago then filed a motion to dismiss. He basically alleged that:
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CIVIL PROCEDURE
Judge Wilhelmina J. Wagan
Case Digest

***The trial court cannot adjudicate the issue of damages without passing over the conflicting
claims of ownership of the parties over the disputed portion.
RTC dismissed the complaint of Ceroferr for lack of cause of action and lack of jurisdiction.
***The court held that plaintiff was in effect impugning the title of defendant which could not be
done in the case for damages and injunction before it. The court cited the hoary rule that a
Torens certificate of title cannot be the subject of collateral attack but can only be challenged
through a direct proceeding. It concluded that it could not proceed to decide plaintiffs claim for
damages and injunction for lack of jurisdiction because its judgment would depend upon a
determination of the validity of defendants title and the identity of the land covered by it.
Ceroferr went to the CA. CA dismissed the appeal as well as the Motion for reconsideration.
Hence, Ceroferr invoked the Supreme Court via a Petition for Review on Certiorari of
the CA.
ISSUES:

1. Did Ceroferrs complaint state a sufficient cause of action?

2. Is the RTC with jurisdiction to determine the identity and location of the
vacant lot involved in the case?
HELD:
1 . YES.

The complaint alleged that petitioner Ceroferr owned Lot 68 covered by TCT No. RT-90200
(334555). Petitioner Ceroferr used a portion of Lot 68 as a jeepney terminal.
The complaint further alleged that respondent Santiago claimed the portion of Lot 68 used as a jeepney terminal
since he claimed that the jeepney terminal was within Lot 90 owned by him and covered by TCT No. RT-781 10
(3538) issued in his name.
Despite clarification from petitioner Ceroferr that the jeepney terminal was within Lot 68 and not within Lot 90,
respondent Santiago persisted in his plans to have the area fenced. He applied for and was issued a fencing permit
by the Building Official, Quezon City. It was even alleged in the complaint that respondent- Santiago was preventing
petitioner Ceroferr and its agents from entering the property under threats of bodily harm and destroying existing
structures thereon. In this case, petitioner Ceroferrs cause of action has been sufficiently averred in the complaint.
The rules of procedure require that the complaint must state a concise statement of the ultimate facts or the essential
facts constituting the plaintiffs cause of action. A fact is essential if it cannot be stricken out without leaving the
statement of the cause of action inadequate.

2. YES.
On the issue of jurisdiction, we hold that the trial court has jurisdiction to
determine the identity and location of the vacant lot in question.
Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law and is determined by the
allegations of the complaint irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to all or some
of the claims asserted therein. The jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter is
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CIVIL PROCEDURE
Judge Wilhelmina J. Wagan
Case Digest

determined by the allegations of the complaint and cannot be made to depend upon the
defenses set up in the answer or pleadings filed by the defendant.
While the lack of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of an action,
nevertheless, the party raising such question may be estopped if he has actively taken
part in the very proceedings which he questions and he only objects to the courts
jurisdiction because the judgment or the order subsequently rendered is adverse to him.
In this case, respondent Santiago may be considered estopped to question the
jurisdiction of the trial court for he took an active part in the case. In his answer,
respondent Santiago did not question the jurisdiction of the trial court to grant the reliefs
prayed for in the complaint. His geodetic engineers were present in the first and second
surveys that the LRA conducted. It was only when the second survey report showed
results adverse to his case that he submitted a motion to dismiss.
Both parties in this case claim that the vacant lot is within their property. This is an
issue that can be best resolved by the trial court in the exercise of its general
jurisdiction.
After the land has been originally registered, the Court of Land Registration ceases
to have jurisdiction over contests concerning the location of boundary lines. In such
case, the action in personam has to be instituted before an ordinary court of general
jurisdiction.
The regional trial court has jurisdiction to determine the precise identity and location
of the vacant lot used as a jeepney terminal.

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