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[G.R. No. 88114 : December 20, 1990.

]
192 SCRA 492
PENTAGON SECURITY and INVESTIGATION AGENCY, Petitioner,
vs.VICENTE T. JIMENEZ, ET AL., and NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS
COMMISSION, SECOND DIVISION, Respondents.
PADILLA, J.:
FACTS:
Petitioner, a single proprietorship engaged in security services, was ordered to
pay the amount of ONE HUNDRED FIFTY SEVEN THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED
NINETEEN PESOS AND FOUR CENTAVOS (P157,119.04) representing wages and
COLA differentials due its employees, as computed in a Decision of the NLRC dated
21 February 1986. On 22 June 1988, a notice of garnishment was issued against
petitioner, addressed to the PC-SUSIA c/o Col. Norberto M. Lina, Camp Crame,
EDSA, Q.C. On 5 June 1988, Deputy Sheriff Silvino B. Santos issued a Notice of
Levy and Sale on Execution of Personal Properties against herein petitioner, which
personal properties are the licensed firearms in question.
Petitioner filed an urgent petition to quash Notice of Levy and Sale on Execution,
claiming exemption from execution under Sec. 12, par. (b), Rule 39 of the Rules of
Court.
Labor Arbiter Eduardo Magno denied the petition. The Motion for Reconsideration
was likewise denied. On 21 March 1989, the NLRC issued its resolution which is the
subject of this petition.
The NLRC held:
"Respondent is a security agency. It is admitted that the licensed firearm is an
important implement used in the business but this licensed firearm is not the
tools and implements exempted from execution. The question, therefore is
whether a person can run his trade or employment without such licensed
firearm. The answer is in the affirmative since the person can still run the
business or engage in his trade even without such firearm because there are
other alternatives open to him.
"Besides, there is no showing that the levied firearms are the only firearms
that the respondent-appellant has in its possession. We affirmatively believe
therefore that there are firearms still hidden in its armory sufficient enough to
answer the call of its security trade or business. In the remote assumption that
no firearms remains in respondent's custody, as practically flowing from the
view of Labor Arbiter Magno, respondent can lease or buy from legitimate
sources. There (sic) are some of the alternatives which even common layman
can expediently comprehend."
The Solicitor General's as well as private respondent's comments submit that firearms

of a security agency are not exempt from execution under Rule 39, Sec. 12, par. (b) of
the Rules of Court which provides:
"Sec. 12. Property exempt from execution. Except as otherwise expressly provided
by law, the following property, and no other, shall be exempt from execution:
'(b) Tools and implements necessarily used by him in his trade or employment;'"
Respondents contend that from the above provision, three (3) things can be deduced,
viz:
"(a) Except in paragraphs (j) and (m), Sec. 12, Rule 39, Rules of Court, the exemptions
are accorded to individual debtors.
(b) The exempt properties are used personally by the debtor or his family, or as tools or
implements of the debtor in his trade or employment.
(c) The properties are necessary for the livelihood of the debtor and his family."
The term "tools and implements" refers to instruments of husbandry or manual labor
needed by an artisan craftsman or laborer to obtain his living. Here petitioner is a
business enterprise. It does not use the firearms personally, but they are used by its
employees. Not being a natural person, petitioner cannot claim that the firearms are
necessary for its livelihood. Private respondent invites the Court to take judicial notice
of the fact that there are security guards rendering service without firearms.
Petitioner without filing any reply moves for the resolution of the petition.
ISSUE:
W/N there is grave abuse of discretion on the part of the NLRC in upholding
the sheriff's issuance of Notice of Levy and Sale on Execution against licensed
firearms owned and used by the petitioner, a security agency, in its operations?
HELD: NO!
There is no question, in our mind, that a security agency without firearms to equip its
guards is useless.
However, it would appear that the exemption contemplated by the provision
involved is personal, available only to a natural person, such as a dentist's dental
chair and electric fan (Belen v. de Leon, G.R. No. L-16412, 30 Nov. 1962). As
pointed out by the Solicitor General, if properties used in business are exempt
from execution, there can hardly be an instance when a judgment claim can be
enforced against the business entity.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is DISMISSED. However, for security reasons, and to
prevent the possibility that the firearms to be sold at the execution sale may fall into
the hands of lawless and subversive elements, the sale at public auction should be with
the prior clearance and under supervision of the PC-INP authorities.

G.R. No. 149053


CENTRAL SURETY AND INSURANCE COMPANY,
Petitioner, Present:
PLANTERS PRODUCTS, INC.,
Respondent.Promulgated:
March 7, 2007
CORONA, J.:
FACTS:
Sometime in 1977, Ernesto Olson entered into a dealership agreement with respondent
Planters Products, Inc. whereby he agreed to purchase, in cash or credit, fertilizers and
agricultural chemicals from respondent for resale. To secure Olsons faithful compliance of his
obligations, Vista Surety and Insurance, Co. (Vista Insurance) and petitioner executed a surety
undertaking in favor of respondent.
After several deliveries, Olson failed to pay respondent prompting the latter to claim the amount
due from petitioner and Vista Insurance. However, both refused to settle their liabilities to
respondent as Olsons sureties.
On June 25, 1979, respondent filed an action for collection of sum of money against
Olson, Vista Insurance and petitioner in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati, Branch 58.
Summons were accordingly served (except as to Olson whose address could not be located).
The trial court found petitioner and Vista Insurance liable to respondent. They
were ordered to pay the following: (1) P372,502 representing the unpaid principal amount plus
interest; (2) 25% of the total amount recoverable as attorneys fees and (3) cost of suit.
Petitioner alone appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA).
On December 7, 1992, the CA dismissed petitioners appeal for failure to pay the required
docket fees. On March 12, 1993, the dismissal of petitioners appeal became final and executory;
entry of judgment followed on May 27, 1993.
On October 12, 1993, respondent filed in the RTC a motion for execution of judgment following
the CAs dismissal of petitioners appeal. The RTC issued the writ on October 21, 1993. The writ,
however, was not implemented so respondent filed an ex parte motion for the issuance of an
alias writ of execution which the trial court granted on February 24, 1994.
In the CA, petitioner filed a Very Urgent Motion to Set Aside the CA Resolution of
December 7, 1992 and to Re-Open Appeal with Prayer for Preliminary Injunction/Temporary
Restraining Order. On March 3, 1994, the appellate court issued a resolution restraining the RTC
judge and the deputy sheriff from enforcing the writ but, on motion of respondent, the CA lifted
the TRO and dismissed petitioners urgent motion on March 24, 1994.
Through a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, petitioner elevated the CAs
dismissal of its urgent motion to this Court. In its petition, petitioner argued that it failed to pay
the docket fees only because the CAs judicial records division did not re-send the notice for it to
pay said fees. On July 11, 1994, we dismissed the petition and this dismissal became final on
September 14, 1994.
On June 18, 1999 or 6 years from the entry of judgment of the RTCs decision, respondent
filed another motion for issuance of alias writ of execution in the trial court. On August 20,
1999, the trial court issued an order granting the writ. Petitioner filed an MR of said order but
the RTC denied it.
Petitioner thereafter went to the CA via a special civil action for certiorari under Rule
65 of the Rules ascribing grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC judge for issuing the

writ despite the fact that more than five years had elapsed since the RTCs decision of November
6, 1991 became final and executory. Invoking Rule 39, Section 6 of the Rules, petitioner
insisted that the RTC decision could no longer be enforced by mere motion but only by
court action.
The CA dismissed the petition for patent lack of merit. It held that:
While it is true that the judgment sought to be executed became
final and executory on March 12, 1993, it bears stressing that the delay was
caused by petitioners dilatory maneuvers filed in this Court and all the way
to the Supreme Court, viz: the Very Urgent Motion to Set Aside Resolution
of December 7, 1992 and to Re-Open the Appeal with Prayer for
Preliminary Injunction/Temporary Restraining Order which resulted in the
issuance of the Court of Appeals Resolution dated March 3, 1994 enjoining
respondents from enforcing the subject decision; the Motion for
Reconsideration of [the] Court of Appeals Resolution dated March 24, 1994;
and Petition for Certiorari before the Supreme Court which was ultimately
dismissed by the High Court on July 11, 1994.
Petitioner filed an MR but this was likewise denied by the CA. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
W/N the execution of a final judgment may be made by mere motion despite the lapse
of five years?
HELD: YES! In this case, we answer in the affirmative.
Under Rule 39, Section 6, the rule is that a final judgment may be executed by
mere motion within five years from the date of entry of judgment. However, the rule is not
absolute and admits one notable exception and that is when the delay in enforcing the
judgment is caused by the party assailing the filing of the motion.
In Republic v. Court of Appeals, we declared that, on meritorious grounds, execution
of final judgment by mere motion may be allowed even after the lapse of five years when delay
in the execution is caused or occasioned by the actions of the judgment debtor and/or is incurred
for his benefit.
Similarly, in Camacho v. Court of Appeals, we ruled that the five-year period allowed
for enforcement of judgment by mere action is deemed effectively interrupted or suspended
when the delay in the execution is occasioned by the oppositors own initiatives in order to gain
an undue advantage.
Based on the attendant facts, the present case falls within the exception. Petitioner
triggered the series of delays in the execution of the RTCs final decision by filing numerous
motions and appeals in the appellate courts, even causing the CAs issuance of the TRO
enjoining the enforcement of said decision. It is obvious that petitioner is merely resorting to
dilatory maneuvers to skirt its legal obligation.
Lastly, in Republic and Camacho, we ruled that the purpose of the law in
prescribing time limitations for enforcing a judgment or action is to prevent a party from
sleeping on his rights. Far from sleeping on its rights, respondent pursued its claim by
persistently seeking the execution of the RTCs final judgment of November 6, 1991. It
would be unjust to frustrate respondents effort to collect payment from petitioner on sheer
technicality. While strict compliance to the rules of procedure is desired, liberal
interpretation is warranted in cases where a strict enforcement of the rules will not serve
the ends of justice.

G.R. No. 168913


March 14, 2007
ROLANDO TING,Petitioner,
vs.
HEIRS OF DIEGO LIRIO, namely: FLORA A. LIRIO, AMELIA L. ROSKA,
AURORA L. ABEJO, ALICIA L. DUNQUE, ADELAIDA L. DAVID, EFREN A.
LIRIO and JOCELYN ANABELLE L. ALCOVER, Respondents.
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
FACTS:
In a Decision of December 10, 1976 in Land Registration Case (LRC) No. N-983,
then Judge Alfredo Marigomen of the then Court of First Instance of Cebu, Branch 7,
granted the application filed by the Spouses Diego Lirio and Flora Atienza for registration
of title to Lot No. 18281 (the lot) of the Cebu Cadastral 12 Extension, Plan Rs-07-000787.
The decision in LRC No. N-983 became final and executory on January 29, 1977. Judge
Marigomen thereafter issued an order of November 10, 1982 directing the Land
Registration Commission to issue the corresponding decree of registration and the
certificate of title in favor of the spouses Lirio.
On February 12, 1997, Rolando Ting (petitioner) filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
of Cebu an application for registration of title to the same lot. The application was docketed
as LRC No. 1437-N.1
The herein respondents, heirs of Diego Lirio, namely: Flora A. Lirio, Amelia L. Roska,
Aurora L. Abejo, Alicia L. Dunque, Adelaida L. David, Efren A. Lirio and Jocelyn
Anabelle L. Alcover, who were afforded the opportunity to file an opposition to petitioners
application by Branch 21 of the Cebu RTC, filed their Answer calling attention to the
December 10, 1976 decision in LRC No. N-983 which had become final and executory on
January 29, 1977 and which, they argued, barred the filing of petitioners application on the
ground of res judicata.
After hearing the respective sides of the parties, Branch 21 of the Cebu RTC, on motion of
respondents, dismissed petitioners application on the ground of res judicata.
Hence, the present petition for review on certiorari
ISSUE:
W/N the decision in LRC No. N-983 constitutes res judicata in LRC No. 1437-N?
HELD: YES!
The petition fails.
Section 30 of Presidential Decree No. 1529 or the Property Registration Decree
provides:
SEC. 30. When judgment becomes final; duty to cause issuance of decree. The judgment
rendered in a land registration proceeding becomes final upon the expiration of thirty
days to be counted from the date of receipt of notice of the judgment. An appeal may be
taken from the judgment of the court as in ordinary civil cases.
The land registration proceedings being in rem, the land registration courts approval in
LRC No. N-983 of spouses Diego Lirio and Flora Atienzas application for registration of
the lot settled its ownership, and is binding on the whole world including petitioner.
Petitioners insist that the duty of the respondent land registration officials to issue the

decree is purely ministerial. It is ministerial in the sense that they act under the orders of the
court and the decree must be in conformity with the decision of the court and with the data
found in the record, and they have no discretion in the matter. However, if they are in doubt
upon any point in relation to the preparation and issuance of the decree, it is their duty to
refer the matter to the court. They act, in this respect, as officials of the court and not as
administrative officials, and their act is the act of the court. They are specifically called
upon to "extend assistance to courts in ordinary and cadastral land registration
proceedings."
As for petitioners claim that under Section 6, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court reading:
SEC. 6. Execution by motion or by independent action. A final and executory
judgment or order may be executed on motion within five (5) years from the date of
its entry. After the lapse of such time, and before it is barred by the statute of
limitations, a judgment may be enforced by action. The revived judgment may also be
enforced by motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry and thereafter by
action before it is barred by the statute of limitations, the December 10, 1976 decision
became "extinct" in light of the failure of respondents and/or of their predecessors-ininterest to execute the same within the prescriptive period, the same does not lie.
Sta. Ana v. Menla, et al.13 enunciates the raison detre why Section 6, Rule 39 does
not apply in land registration proceedings, viz:
THAT THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THAT THE DECISION
RENDERED IN THIS LAND REGISTRATION CASE ON NOVEMBER 28, 1931 OR
TWENTY SIX YEARS AGO, HAS NOT YET BECOME FINAL AND
UNENFORCEABLE.
Authority for this theory is the provision in the Rules of Court to the effect that judgment
may be enforced within 5 years by motion, and after five years but within 10 years, by an
action (Sec. 6, Rule 39.) This provision of the Rules refers to civil actions and is not
applicable to special proceedings, such as a land registration case. This is so because a
party in a civil action must immediately enforce a judgment that is secured as against
the adverse party, and his failure to act to enforce the same within a reasonable time
as provided in the Rules makes the decision unenforceable against the losing party. In
special proceedings the purpose is to establish a status, condition or fact; in land
registration proceedings, the ownership by a person of a parcel of land is sought to be
established. After the ownership has been proved and confirmed by judicial
declaration, no further proceeding to enforce said ownership is necessary, except
when the adverse or losing party had been in possession of the land and the winning
party desires to oust him therefrom.
Furthermore, there is no provision in the Land Registration Act similar to Sec. 6, Rule 39,
regarding the execution of a judgment in a civil action, except the proceedings to place the
winner in possession by virtue of a writ of possession. The decision in a land registration
case, unless the adverse or losing party is in possession, becomes final without any further
action, upon the expiration of the period for perfecting an appeal.

G.R. No. L-31077 March 17, 1978


ARABAY, INC.,petitioner,
vs.
Hon. SERAFIN SALVADOR, Presiding Judge of the Court of First
Instance of Rizal, Caloocan City Branch, and BENJAMIN M.
PASCUAL,respondents.
Araneta, Mendoza & Papa for petitioner.
AQUINO, J.:
FACTS:
In a decision dated October 7, 1968 in Civil Case No. 71710 of
the Court of First Instance of Manila, "Arabay, Inc. vs. Florencio A.
Soyangco", Judge Manuel P. Barcelona ordered Soyangco to pay
the plaintiff the sum of P36,874.49 plus six percent interest from
January 10, 1967 and P2,000 as attorney's fees.
Soyangco did not appeal. Pursuant to the writ of execution issued in that
case, a deputy sheriff of Rizal levied upon forty pieces of personal
property found in Soyangco's residence at Navotas, Rizal and served
notice that the same would be auctioned off to the highest bidder on
March 8, 1969.
On March 6, 1969 Benjamin M. Pascual filed a third-party
claim with the sheriff. He alleged that he owned the said pieces of
personal property because they were sold to him by the deputy
sheriff of Caloocan City for P8,106.16 to satisfy a judgment against
Soyangco in Civil Case No. 61193, "Esteban F. Ferrer vs. Florencio
Soyangco"of the Court of First Instance of Manila, as shown in the
certificate of sale dated June 30, 1967.
On March 13, 1969 Arabay, Inc. posted an indemnity bond for
P8,106.16 in favor of the sheriff. The auction sale was rescheduled on
March 28, 1969 but the sale did not take place because Pascual sued the
sheriff and Arabay, Inc. in Civil Case No. C-1545 of the Court of First
Instance of Rizal, Caloocan City Branch XIV. Pascual prayed in that
case that the auction sale be enjoined, that the levy be declared void and
that the defendants be ordered to pay moral damages and attorney's fees.
The Caloocan court in an ex parte order dated March 26, 1969 enjoined
the sheriff from proceeding with the auction sale.
Arabay, Inc. filed a motion to dismiss the injunction suit. It
invoked the rule that no court has the power to interfere by

injunction with the judgments or decrees of a court of concurrent or


coordinate jurisdiction.
Pascual opposed the motion to dismiss. He cited the rule that a sheriff
has no authority to attach the property of a person other than the
judgment debtor.
The Caloocan court in its order of may 19, 1969 denied the motion to
dismiss and reiterated its prior order that upon the filing or a bond in the
sum of P5,000 a writ of injunction should be issued to enjoin the auction
sale. The motion for the reconsideration of that order was denied in the
court's order of July 11, 1969.
On October 13, 1969 Arabay, Inc. filed in this court the instant petition
for certiorari and prohibition wherein it assailed the injunction order.
ISSUE:
W/N at the instance of a third-party claimant the Caloocan
court can enjoin the sheriff from selling the properties which he has
levied upon to satisfy the judgment of the Court of First Instance of
Manila?
HELD: YES!
We hold that the Caloocan court can stop the execution of the Manila
court's judgment against properties not belonging to the judgment
debtor. The injunction in that case would not constitute an interference
with the process of a court of coordinate and co-equal jurisdiction.
as a third-party claimant, Pascual has the right to vindicate his
claim to the properties levied upon by means of a proper action.
That right is recognized in Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, which
provides:
SEC. 17. Proceedings where property claimed by third person. If
property levied on be claimed by any other person than the
judgment debtor or his agent, and such person make an affidavit of
his title thereto or right to the possession thereof, stating the
grounds of such right or title, and serve the same upon the officer
making the levy, and a copy thereof upon the judgment creditor, the
officer shall not be bound to keep the property, unless such
judgment creditor or his agent, on demand of the officer, indemnify
the officer against such claim by a bond in a sum not greater such
than the value of the property levied on. In case of disagreement as
to such value, the same shall be determined by the court issuing the

writ of execution.
The third-party claimant is to obligated to file an action for damages
against the sheriff in case an indemnity bond was filed by the judgment
creditor. The third-party claimant may file a separate and
independent action to establish ownership to the property levied
upon by the sheriff. In that action, he may secure an injunction to
restrain the sale of the attached property.
When the sheriff, acting beyond the bound of his authority, seizes a
stranger's property, the writ of injunction, which is issued to stop the
auction sale of that property, is not an interference with the writ of
execution issued by another court because the writ of execution issued
by another court because the writ of execution was improperly
implemented by the sheriff. Under that writ, he could attach the property
of the judgment debtor. He is not authorized to levy upon the property of
the third-party claimant.
In the instant case, respondent Judge acted within his
jurisdiction and did not commit any grave abuse of discretion in
enjoining the auction sale because, as already stated, "a sheriff has
no authority to attach the property of any person under an
execution except that of the judgment debtor. If he does so, the writ
of execution affords him no justification for the action is not in
obedience to the mandate of the writ. So long as the officer confines
his acts which are not justified by the writ are without authority of
law. An injunction is a proper remedy to prevent a sheriff from selling
the property of one person for the purpose of paying the debts of
another.".
It is noteworthy that, generally, the rule, that no court has authority to
interfere by injunction with the judgments or decrees of a concurrent or
coordinate jurisdiction having equal power to grant the injunctive relief,
is applied in cases, where no third-party claimant is involved, in
order to prevent one court from nullifying the judgment or process of
another court of the same rank or category, a power which devolves
upon the proper appellate court.
The raison d'etre for that rule is that an effective ordering of legal
relationships in civil society is possible only when each court is granted
exclusive jurisdiction over the property brought to it. To allow
coordinate courts to interfere with each other's judgments or decrees by
injunctions would obviously lead to confusion and might seriously

hinder the proper administration of justice, especially if they are


branches of the same court.
That rule is not violated when the judge of another branch, who annuls
or modifies the order issued by another judge, acts in the same case and
belongs to the same court (Eleazar vs. Zandueta, 48 Phil. 193).
On the other hand, it should be noted that a Court of First Instance or a
branch thereof has the authority and jurisdiction to take cognizance of,
and to act in, a suit to annul a final and executory judgment or order
rendered by another Court of First Instance or by another branch of the
same court. In such a case, there is no interference by one branch of the
court with the judgment of another branch of the same court because
after a case had been finally terminated in one branch and an action to
annul the judgment is filed in another branch, the cause of action in the
second case would be different from that in the first case.

G.R. No. 84497 November 6, 1989


ALFONSO ESCOVILLA, JR., CECILIO M. MERIS and CUISON
ENGINEERING and MACHINERY CO., INC.,petitioners,
vs.
THE
HON.
COURT OF APPEALS,
SIBAGAT TIMBER
CORPORATION and CONCHITA DEL ROSARIO,respondents.
GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:
FACTS:
In Civil Case No. 13699, entitled Cuison Engineering and Machinery Co.,
Inc. v. del Rosario and Sons Logging Enterprises, Inc.", a decision dated
March 24, 1981 was rendered by the then Court of First Instance, Branch II,
Davao City awarding to Cuison Engineering and Machinery Co., Inc. a certain
sum of money and damages. The Court of Appeals eventually affirmed the
decision which became final and executory on June 29, 1984. Thereafter,
Cuison Engineering and Machinery Co. sought the execution of the subject
decision and a corresponding writ of execution was issued on December 27,
1984 by the RTC, Branch IX, Davao City.
On January 26, 1985, petitioner Deputy Sheriff Alfonso Escovilla, Jr. levied
and seized one (1) unit electric welding machine. A third party claim over said
item was filed by Mariano Rana office manager of Sibagat Timber
Corporation, one of the private respondents.
Because of such levy, Special Civil Case No. 454 which was an action for
prohibition with preliminary injunction and damages was filed on February 5,
1985 before the RTC, Branch IV of Butuan City entitled, "Sibagat Timber
Corp., Petitioner v. Alfonso Escovilla, Jr. and Cuison Engineering and
Machinery Corp., Inc., Respondents."
On February 7, 1985, petitioner Deputy Sheriff Cecilio M. Meris seized
and levied one (1) unit motor launch named "Pixie Boy No. 5" by virtue of the
writ of execution issued in Civil Case No. 13699.
On February 8, 1985, private respondent Conchita del Rosario, claiming
ownership over the motor launch filed a third party claim over the subject
property.
Consequently, a sheriff's indemnity bond filed for the third party claim of
Conchita del Rosario was approved by the Davao Court.
On the same date, February 8, 1985, petitioner Cecilio M. Meris prepared the
notice of sale setting the auction sale of the motor launch on February 14,
1985.
On February 11, 1985, Special Civil Case No. 454 was amended to include as
additional petitioner, Conchita del Rosario and as additional respondent,

Cecilio M. Meris. As prayed for in the petition, a temporary restraining order


was issued directing the respondents to refrain from proceeding with the public
auction sale scheduled on February 14, 1985.
However on March 6, 1985, after the temporary restraining order had lapsed
and upon motion of Cuison Engineering & Machinery Co., the RTC of Davao
City issued an order in Civil Case No. 13699 directing Deputy Sheriff
Escovilla to proceed with the auction sale of the subject motor launch "Pixie
Boy No. 5" with authority to lawfully retrieve the same wherever it may be
stored or berthed.
Pursuant to such order, Escovilla took custody of the motor launch and set the
auction sale on March 27, 1985.
Despite the orders of the court in Special Civil Case No. 454 directing the
Sheriff to return the motor launch and to desist from proceeding with the
auction sale, the auction sale was conducted upon motion of Cuison
Engineering and Machinery Co., Inc. and upon order of Judge Saludares in
Civil Case No. 13699.
On March 27, 1985, the subject motor launch was sold at public auction by
Deputy Sheriff Joseymour R. Robiza in lieu of Escovilla who was then in Gen.
Santos City, South Cotabato.
Trial on the merits was held in Special Civil Case No. 454, and on
June 5, 1986, the court rendered a decision Commanding respondent
Sheriff Alfonso Escovilla, Jr. to return the motor launch Pixie Boy No. 5 at
his own expense to its rightful owner Conchita C. del Rosario in Butuan
City in the same condition when it was taken in 1985; or, in the event of
loss or inability to recover said motor launch, to pay its value of
P500,000.00;
They are also ordered to pay Sibagat limber Corporation in the sum of
P22,500.00 as actual and compensatory damages for the deprivation of the use
of the electric welding machine;
Both respondents are also ordered to pay, jointly and severally, P15,000.00 as
and for attorney's fees, plus the cost of this suit.
From said decision, the petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals
which affirmed the decision of the RTC, Butuan City with some
modifications, to wit:
Hence this petition.
ISSUE:
W/N AN ACTION FOR PROHIBITION WILL STILL PROSPER AS
A REMEDY FOR ACTS ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED?
HELD: YES!
The petitioners' contention is untenable.

There is no dispute that the private respondents are indeed the actual
owners of the subject properties by virtue of a sale in their favor by Del
Rosario and Sons Logging Enterprises, Inc. Such finding is based on
evidence on record which this Court does not find any reason to disturb.
Moreover, there is nothing in the petition nor in the petitioners'
memorandum to suggest that the properties sold in execution of the
judgment in Civil Case No. 13699 belonged to the judgment-debtor in that
case. This petition merely attacks the procedure adopted by the
respondents.
In such a case, the point to be borne in mind is that the power of the court
in the execution of judgments extends only over properties unquestionably
belonging to the judgment debtor. As the Court stated in Bayer Philippines,
Inc. v. Agana, (63 SCRA 355 [1975] ):
We intimated that the levy by the sheriff of a property by virtue of a writ
of attachment may be considered as made under authority of the court only
when-the property levied upon unquestionably belongs to the defendant. If he
attaches properties other than those of the defendant, he acts beyond the limits
of his authority. Otherwise stated, the court issuing a writ of execution is
supposed to enforce its authority only over properties of the judgment debtor,
and should a third party appear to claim the property levied upon by the
sheriff, the procedure laid down by the Rules is that such claim should be the
subject of a separate and independent action.
This is precisely the very nature of the proceedings in the action for prohibition
with preliminary injunction filed by the private respondents with the Regional
Trial Court of Butuan City which is sanctioned by Section 17, Rule 39 of the
Rules of Court. As held in Rivera vs. Florendo (144 SCRA 643 [1986] ):
Another fundamental rule which appears to have been violated in the case
at bar is that no advantage may be given to one to the prejudice of the
other, a court should not by means of a preliminary injunction transfer
the property in litigation from the possession of one party to another
where the legal title is in dispute and the party having possession asserts
ownership thereto. (Rudolfo V. Alonso, 76 Phil. 225, February 28, 1946).
Similarly, the primary purpose of an injunction is to preserve the status quo,
that is the last actual peaceable uncontested status which preceded the
controversy.
In the instant case, the private respondents properly instituted Special Civil
Case No. 454 which is a separate and independent action to vindicate their
claims over the subject properties. If at all the petitioners had any doubts as to
the veracity of the third-party claims, then the separate action instituted was
the proper forum to ventilate such protestations. The action for prohibition was
filed on February 5, 1985. On February 18, 1985 the respondent Sheriffs
admitted having seized the disputed properties but assured the court that they

will not remove them from its jurisdiction nor sell or dispose of the same.
From the start, the petitioners were cognizant of the third-party claims filed
with the sheriff and the separate action instituted against them so they were
fully aware of their liabilities to these third-party claimants who were not even
parties to the case sought to be executed.
The rule is clear. If a third party claim is filed, the sheriff is not bound to
proceed with the levy of the property unless he is given by the judgment
creditor an indemnity bond against the claim. The judgment creditor, by
giving an indemnity bond, assumes the direction and control of the
sheriffs action; so far as it might constitute a trespass and thus he
becomes, to that extent, the principal and the sheriff, his agent. This
makes him responsible for the continuance of the wrongful possession and
for the sale and conversion of the goods and for all real damages which the
owner might sustain.
Thus, in this case, even if the auction sale has been conducted and the
sheriffs certificate of sale was issued in favor of the winning bidder, the
liability of the judgment creditor and consequently, the purchaser to the real
owners of the properties levied and executed is not extinguished. We also take
note of the trial court's finding that Sheriffs Escovilla and Meris misled the
Davao court as to the ownership of the properties they had seized knowing
quite well that the petitioners in Special Civil Case No. 454, the prohibition
case, were the actual owners of the property. This brings us to the other point
raised in this petition.
Corollary to the main issue raised is the argument that the Regional Trial Court
of Butuan City cannot restrain or interfere with the orders issued by the
Regional Trial Court of Davao City which is its coordinate and co-equal
authority on matters properly brought before it. This issue has been clearly
settled in the case of Traders Royal Bank v. Intermediate Appellate Court, (133
SCRA 141 [1984] ) where the Court held:
Generally, the rule that no court has the power to interfere by injunction
with the judgments or decrees of a concurrent or coordinate jurisdiction
having equal power to grant the injunctive relief sought by injunction, is
applied in cases where no third-party claimant is involved, in order to
prevent one court from nullifying the judgment or process of another
court of the same rank or category, a power which devolves upon the
proper appellate court (Arabay Inc. v. Salvadro, 82 SCRA 138). The
purpose of the rule is to avoid conflict of power between different courts of
coordinate jurisdiction and to bring about a harmonious and smooth
functioning of their proceedings.

A.M. No. P-92-766 March 27, 1995


LOURDES SUMALJAG EVANGELISTA,complainant,
vs.
LUISA PENSERGA,respondent.
BIDIN, J.:
FACTS:
Herein complainant was the plaintiff in Civil Case No. 2171 of the
MTCC of Ormoc City for unlawful detainer against defendant spouses
Jose and Zoila Aguirre. Judgment was rendered by the MTCC of Ormoc
City in favor of complainant, ordering the defendant spouses to vacate
the subject property (a parcel of land described as Lot 1326 with a house
thereon) and to pay complainant the sum of P8,120.00 in accrued
rentals. On appeal, the decision of the MTCC was affirmed by the RTC
of Ormoc City. Thereafter, the trial court issued a writ of execution on
April 28, 1992. The writ was implemented by herein respondent as
Clerk of Court IV and Ex-Oficio Sheriff of the MTCC of Ormoc City.
On April 30, 1992, the writ was returned by respondent, who stated in
her return that the writ was partially satisfied and that the defendants
had already vacated the subject house. In satisfaction of the money
judgment, respondent accepted the sum P100.00 and a promissory note
from the defendants/judgment debtors promising to pay P100.00
monthly until the entire amount of P8,120.00 is fully paid. Respondent
alleged that she accepted the sum of money and the promissory note
from the defendants because she found that none of the movables found
in the house where the defendants were staying belonged to them.
When respondent turned over the payment to the complainant, the latter
objected to the manner of implementation of the writ, alleging that the
same was contrary to the court's judgment, and maintaining that the
defendants were still occupying the subject property. Respondent
explained that the defendant showed her documents evidencing their
granddaughter's title to and ownership of the house they were
occupying, as well as their son-in-law's ownership of the movables in
the said house.
Complainant filed the instant administrative complaint against
respondent for unreasonably refusing to implement the writ of
execution in Civil Case No. 2171 alleging among others that the
documents referred to by respondent were already considered by

the court in the ejectment case.


In a resolution dated June 30, 1994, the Court referred the case for
investigation, report and recommendation to the Executive Judge
Francisco H. Escano, Jr. of the RTC of Ormoc City, Branch 12.
During the hearing and investigation of the case, a dispute arose as to
whether the property owned by complainant included that presently
occupied by the Aguirres, the judgment debtors. The parties consented
to an ocular inspection of the premises in dispute. Judge Escano
appointed the Clerk of Court of the RTC to act as Commissioner to
conduct the ocular inspection and submit a report thereon.
The ocular inspection revealed that complainant's lot, Lot No. 1326, is
alleged by her to be facing the Agua Dulce Street and from there
continues down to the edge of the Malbasag River. The house of the
Aguirres stands on an old abandoned river bed, which respondent claims
is public land. While not contesting complainant's claim that the
boundary of her property is the Malbasag River, respondent contends
that said boundary is only up to the Aguirres' house since the river
flowed through and over the land where the Aguirres' house now stands
before it changed its course. No one could say with certainty when the
river changed its course and whether complainant's lot covers the area
down to the present location of the Malbasag River.
The Commissioner refrained from making a pronouncement in his
report as to whether the Aguirres' house is inside or outside the property
of complainant. He recommended that a surveyor be appointed at the
expense of the parties to determine whether the house the Aguirres were
occupying at the time the writ was served is on the land of complainant.
This recommendation was not acted upon by Executive Judge Escano.
The latter in turn submitted a Report to this Court based on the
Commissioner's findings and the testimonies of the witnesses of both
parties.
In his Report, Judge Escano pointed out that respondent misled the court
in making it appear in her return that the defendants had already vacated
the house subject of the decision when in fact defendants were still
living in the same house standing on the same lot but already renovated
by defendant's daughter's common law husband, Raymundo Codilla.
ISSUE:
W/N should have continued to implement the writ of execution
despite the presence of an alleged claim of a third person on the

subject property?
HELD: NO!
After a careful examination of the record, We find that no valid reasons
exist to warrant respondent's inability to implement the writ insofar as
effecting the ejectment of the Aguirres from the disputed house is
concerned. Respondent should have continued to implement the writ of
execution despite the presence of an alleged claim of a third person on
the subject property pursuant to and as provided for in Sections 13, 15
and 17 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.
This Court had occasion to rule on the remedies of a third person
whose property was seized by a sheriff to answer for the obligation
of a judgment debtor. The third party owner may invoke the
supervisory power of the court which authorized such execution.
Upon due application by the third person and after summary
hearing, the court may command that the property be released from
the mistaken levy and restored to the rightful owner or possessor
(Sy v. Discaya, 181 SCRA 382 [1990]).
Another remedy which the third person may avail of is the remedy
known as terceria as provided in Section 17, Rule 39 of the Rules of
Court. This is done by serving on the officer making the levy an
affidavit of his title and a copy thereof upon the judgment creditor.
According to the said rule, the officer shall not be bound to keep the
property, unless such judgment creditor or his agent, on demand of the
officer, indemnifies the officer against such claim by a bond in a sum
not greater than the value of the property levied on. An action for
damages may be later on brought against the sheriff.
The above mentioned remedies are without prejudice to any proper
action that a third-party claimant may deem suitable, to vindicate
his claim to the property. This proper action is distinct and separate
from that in which the judgment is being enforced (Ong v. Tating, 149
SCRA 265 [1987]). Hence, a person other than the judgment debtor who
claims ownership or right over levied properties is not precluded from
taking other legal remedies to prosecute his claim (Consolidated Bank
and Trust Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 193 SCRA 158 [1991]).
Respondent acted without and in excess of her official duty in securing

such manner of payment from the judgment debtors.


Under the law, respondent was only authorized to do the following: oust
the Aguirres from the subject property; place complainant in possession
thereof; satisfy back rentals out of the personal properties of the
Aguirres, and if personal properties could not be found, satisfy the
money judgment out of the real property of the Aguirres, as required by
Sections 13 and 15 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.
Respondent failed to follow the procedure laid down by the Rules
of Court on execution of final judgment. She simply should have filed
a return stating why she could not execute the writ of execution
instead of entering into the "compromise" with the judgment debtors
(the Aguirres), which she is not authorized to do.
In the present case, respondent's duty was to implement the Writ of
Execution. His claim that third persons happen to claim the subject
property does not justify his partial enforcement of the writ.
From the foregoing, it is very clear that respondent failed to observe the
proper procedures laid down by the Rules on execution of final
judgments when the property to be levied upon is claimed by third
persons. Instead, she opted to settle issues raised by the alleged third
persons/owners of the subject property which is beyond her power to do.
As a sheriff, respondent is bound to discharge her duties with prudence,
caution and attention which careful men usually exercise in the
management of their affairs. The sheriff, an officer of the court upon
whom the execution of a final judgment depends must be circumspect
and proper in his behavior

G.R. No. L-37051 August 3l, 1977


ANITA U. LORENZANA,petitioner,
vs.
POLLY CAYETANO and COURT OF APPEALS,respondents.
GUERRERO, J.:
FACTS:
The records show that 'In 1958, petitioner filled n the Municipal Court of Manila
ejectment cases for non-payment of rentals against her tenants occupying different
stalls in that quonset hut situated in the San Lazaro Estate with a floor area of 360
square meters. leased by her from the Manila Railroad Company and later from the
Bureau of Lands together with the use of the land north and south of the Quonset hut
with an area of 340 square meters.
The private respondent, on the other hand, occupied the area north of the quonset
hut which area was also leased by her from the Manila Railroad Company and
subsequently from the Bureau of Lands, and on which her house stood.
Hence, the areas occupied by the two principal protagonists are adjacent to each
other.
The ejectment. cases having been decided by the Municipal Court in favor of the
petitioner, the same were appealed to the Court of First Instance of Manila,
Branch I. The Court affirmed the decision of the municipal court and ordered the
defendants-tenants to vacate the premises leased. Upon refusal of the tenants to
vacate the premises, the court granted a partial execution of the judgment and on July
20, 1959, a writ of demolition was issued, specifically commanding the Sheriff of
Manila "to demolish the premises subject of the above-name cases".
Thereupon on July 27, 1959, Petitioner together with her counsel, Atty. Nereo Paculdo
and Deputy Sheriff Jose L. Cruz proceeded and entered the premises of the respondent
and in spite of her protests that she was not a party to the ejectment cases in which the
demolition order was secured and that her premises was not subject of said ejectment
cases, they destroyed the latter's fence including flower pots trellises and electric
installations and carted away the materials thereof and built another fence 5 meters
into the premises of the respondent, boring holes into the cemented garden or patio of
her house.
On August 3, 1959, respondent presented to the court a motion to declare
petitioner, her counsel and the sheriff guilty of contempt; that they be punished
and held liable in damages to the petitioner. The presiding judge held the motion
in abeyance until the decision of the court in the ejectment cases shall have been
rendered.
Acting upon the petitioner's ex-parte motion and urgent motion for demolition in the
two appealed ejectment cases, Civil Case No. 29664 and Civil Case No. 29665, the
court on September 28, 1959 ordered that "a writ of demolition be issued ordering the
Sheriff of Manila or any of his deputies to demolish any or all improvements erected
and existing on the parcel of land subject of the above- entitled cases. which consists
of an area of about 700 square meters.". The writ of demolition was issued by the
Sheriff on September 30, 1959.

Upon procurement of this order or demolition, petitioner, together with her counsel
and the deputy sheriff proceeded once more to respondent's premises on October 1,
1959 and moved the fence where it was illegally placed by them on July 27, 1959. On
the same day, October 1, 1959, respondent filed an urgent motion for the suspension of
the execution of the writ of demolition, which motion was denied by the court the next
day, October 2, 1959.
The records further establish that on November 27, 1959, petitioner, her lawyer, Atty.
Paculdo, and Sheriff Cruz went back and moved the fence 1 Meter more into the
premises of the respondent; that on February 19, 1960, the respondent filed an exparte motion to withdraw the petition for contempt on the ground that "conferring with
Judge Bayona after this petition was heard, the petitioner was informed that not being
a party to the above-numbered cases, she is like an intruder to act on her petition.".
On October 1, 1959, the respondent Polly Cayetano filed in the Court of First Instance
of Manila, Civil Case No. 42001 against the petitioner Anita U. Lorenzana, Atty. Nereo
J. Paculdo and Deputy Sheriff Jose L. Cruz for damages with mandatory injunction.
The defendants therein filed a motion to dismiss, which was opposed by the plaintiff,
and the Court, Branch XVII, denied on December 19, 1959 the motion to dismiss and
the petition for issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction. The defendants filed
their answers.
Under date of March 9, 1962, the Court issued the Decision dismissing the complaint
of the plaintiff as well as the counterclaim of the defendants Anita U. Lorenzana and
Atty. Nereo J. Paculdo for lack of sufficient evidence. A motion for reconsideration
was filed by the plaintiff but denied by the Court. Not satisfied with the Decision of
the Court, Polly Cayetano appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals
reversed the decision appealed from, and ordered "defendant-appellee Lorenzana
to restore to appellant the possession of the property invaded and occupied by her
as shown in Exh. L-1 to L-4; to put back appellant's fence and other valuable
improvements in their place before the writ of demolition was served; ordering
defendants, Lorenzana and Cruz, to pay jointly and severally to the plaintiffappellant the sum of P5,500.00 as actual and moral damages, and pay the costs,
except defendant, Paculdo."
The above Decision is now sought to be reviewed in the instant petition for certiorari.
ISSUE:
W/N the issuance of the writ of demolition by Judge Bayona could legally
effected against the respondent?
HELD: NO!
There is no merit to this contention and We find no error in the ruling of the
Court of Appeals that the writ of demolition could not be legally effected against
the respondent.
It must be noted that respondent was not a party to any of the 12 ejectment cases
wherein the writs of demolition had been issued; she did not make her appearance in
and during the pendency of these ejectment cases. Respondent only went to court to
protect her property from demolition after the judgment in the ejectment cases had
become final and executory. Hence, with respect to the judgment in said ejectment

cases, respondent remains a third person to such judgement, which does not bind
her; 1 nor can its writ of execution be enforced against her since she was not
afforded her day in court in said ejectment cases. 2
We also find no merit in the contention of the petitioner that respondent having
been duly heard by the Court, she was not deprived of her day in court and was
accorded the due process of law.
It cannot be said that the constitutional requirements of due process were sufficiently
complied with because the respondent had been duly heard. Indeed, respondent was
heard but simply hearing her did not fulfill the basic conditions of procedural due
process in courts. When respondent appeared before the court to protect and preserve
her property, the Court had not lawfully acquired jurisdiction over the property of the
respondent because the premises of the respondent was not included in the ejectment
cases and the judgment in said cases could not affect her property, much less demolish
the same.
the requirements of due process is satisfied if the following conditions are present
namely:
(1) There must be a court or tribunal clothed with judicial power to hear and
determine the matter before it;
(2) jurisdiction must be lawfully acquired over the person of the defendant
or over the property which is the subject of the proceedings:
(3) the defendant must be given an opportunity to be heard; and
(4) judgment must be rendered upon lawful hearing.
Intervening as a prejudiced owner of improvements being wrongly
demolished merely to oppose such order of demolition upon learning that the said
order was directed against premises not her own, is not the same as being a party
to the suit to the extent of being bound by the judgment in the case where such
order of demolition was issued. 5 Furthermore, it must be noted that said petitions
were filed after the promulgation of the decision in the ejectment cases and while in
the process of execution. It is not proper to speak of an intention in a case already
terminated by final judgment .
Respondent, not being bound thereby, may avail herself of the proper action
afforded by Section 17, Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court which provides the
proceedings where property levied upon is claimed by a third person, stating as
follows:
...Tile officer is not liable for damages, for the taking or keeping of the property to
any third-party claimant unless a claim is made by the latter- and unless an
action for damages is brought by him against the officer within one hundred
twenty (120) days from the date of the filing of the bond. But nothing herein
contained shall prevent such claimant o any third person ffrom windicating his
claim to the property by any proper action...
Respondent acted within and exercised her right when she filed the proper action
to vindicate her claim afforded to her by Sec. 17, Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of
Court, against the instruders or trespassers before the Court of First Instance of
Manila, Branch XVII, in Civil Case No. 42001 for dam with mandatory injunction. If
she did not insist on her motion for contempt which the court held in abeyance and
was later withdrawn by her, if she did not appeal from the order of the court denying

her motion to suspend the writ of demolition, such failure did not amount to a waiver
of her right to pursue the proper action or remedy provided to her by the Rules of
Court. It is of no moment that the respondent did not file a motion to quash the writ of
execution or file a petition for relief under Rule 38 of the Revised Rules of Court or
file a petition for certiorari and prohibition with a higher court after her petition to
suspend the writ of demolition had been denied as suggested by petitioner. The law has
specifically given her the remedies to vindicate her claim to the property. When the
property of one person is unlawfully taken by another, the former has a right of action
against the latter for the recovery of the property or for damages for the taking or
retention, and he is entitled to his choice of these two remedies. 7
We find no legal compulsion for respondent to pursue the remedies suggested by the
petitioner, for the rights of a third party claimant should not be decided in the action
where the third-party claim has been presented, but in a separate action to be instituted
by the third person.
No court has power to interfere by injunction with the judgments or decrees of a
court of concurrent or coordinate jurisdiction having equal power to grant the relief
sought by injunction.
For this doctrine to apply, the injunction issued by one court must interfere with the
judgment or decree issued by another court of equal or coordinate jurisdiction and the
relief sought by such injunction must be one which could be granted by the court
which rendered the judgment or issued the decree.
Under Section 17 of Rule 39 a third person who claims property levied upon on
execution may vindicate such claim by action. A judgment rendered in his favor declaring him to be the owner of' the property would not constitute interference
with the powers or processes of the court which rendered the judgment to enforce
which the execution was levied. If that be so and it is so because the property, being
that of a stranger, is not subject to levy then an interlocutory order, such as
injunction, upon a claim and prima facie showing of ownership by the claimant,
cannot be considered as such interference either
The right of a person who claims to be the owner of property levied upon on execution
to file a third-party claim with the sheriff is not exclusive, and he may file an action to
vindicate his claim even if the judgment creditor files an indemnity bond in favor of
the sheriff to answer for any damages that may be suffered by the third-party claimant.
By "action," as stated in the Rule, what is meant is a separate and independent action.
With respect to the fourth assignment of error, petitioner's contention appears to
be quite tenable in that under See. 14, Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court
which the Court of Appeals applied, the notice required before demolition of the
improvements on the property subject of the execution, is notice to the judgment
debtor, and not to a stranger or third party to the case like the private respondent
herein. Nonetheless, the claim that the Court of Appeals misconstrued the
aforecited Rule is as immaterial and inconsequential as the application of this
legal provision is superflous and unnecessary for the affirmance of the Court's
decision.

G.R. No. L-49576 November 21, 1991


JOSEFINA B. CENAS and THE PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF
RIZAL,petitioners,
vs.
SPS. ANTONIO P. SANTOS and DRA. ROSARIO M. SANTOS
and HON. PEDRO C. NAVARRO, Presiding Judge, CFI-Rizal, Br.
III,respondents.
W. Espiritu Taganas for petitioners.
Sta. Ana & Fonacier Law Office for private respondents.
FACTS:
On May 3, 1976, the spouses Jose Pulido and Iluminada M. Pulido
mortgaged to Pasay City Savings and Loan Association, Inc. their land
covered by TCT No. 471634, subject of this case, to secure a loan of
P10,000.00. The said mortgage was registered with the Registry of
Deeds on the same date and was duly annotated in the title of the
property.
On May 18, 1976, the said mortgaged land was levied upon by the
City Sheriff of Quezon City pursuant to a writ of execution issued by
the then Court of First Instance of Quezon City in Civil Case No. Q2029 entitled, "Milagros C. Punzalan vs. Iluminada Manuel-Pulido";
and eventually, on July 19, 1976, the same was sold to herein petitioner
Josefina B. Cenas who was the highest bidder in the execution sale.
On January 18, 1977, Pasay City Savings and Loan Association, Inc.
assigned to petitioner Cenas all its rights, interests, and participation to
the said mortgage, for the sum of P8,110.00, representing the unpaid
principal obligation of the Pulidos as of October 6, 1976, including
interest due and legal expenses. Thus, petitioner became the purchaser at
the public auction sale of the subject property as well as the assignee of
the mortgage constituted thereon.
On July 19, 1977, herein private respondent Dra. Rosario M. Santos
redeemed the said property, paying the total sum of P15,718.00, and was
accordingly issued by the City Sheriff of Quezon City a Certificate of
Redemption.
On April 17, 1977, petitioner Cenas, as the assignee of the mortgage
loan of the Pulidos which remained unpaid, filed with the Office of the
Provincial Sheriff of Rizal, a verified petition for extra-judicial
foreclosure of the mortgage constituted over the subject property.

Accordingly, the subject property was advertised for sale at public


auction on May 15, 1978.
On the other hand, private respondents, spouses Antonio P. Santos and
Dra. Rosario M. Santos, apprised of the impending auction sale of the
said property, filed an affidavit of adverse claim with the Provincial
Sheriff of Rizal, claiming that they had become the absolute owners of
the property by virtue of Certificate of Redemption, dated July 20, 1977,
issued by the City Sheriff of Quezon City; and on May 11, 1978, filed
with the respondent court a verified Petition for Prohibition with
Preliminary Injunction to enjoin the Provincial Sheriff of Rizal from
proceeding with the public auction sale of the property in question.
Private respondents filed a Motion to Amend Petition together with the
Amended Petition, which was opposed by the petitioners. The trial
court, in its Order of July 17, 1978, denied the motion and ordered the
parties to submit simultaneous memoranda.
The trial court rendered its judgment dated August 28, 1978 in
favor of private respondents,
The trial court held that the redemption of the subject property
effected by the herein private respondents, "wipe out and
extinguished the mortgage executed by the Pulido spouses favor of
the Pasay City Savings and Loan Association, Inc."
Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration but the trial court, in its
Order of December 4, 1978, denied the same.
Hence, the instant petition.
ISSUE:
W/Nthe redemption of the questioned property by herein private
respondents wiped out and extinguished the pre-existing mortgage
obligation of the judgment debtor, Iluminada M. Pulido for the security
of which (mortgage debt) the subject property had been encumbered.
HELD: NO!
The answer is in the negative.
Section 30, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, provides for the time,
manner and the amount to be paid to redeem a sold by virtue of a
writ of execution. Pertinent portion reads:
Sec. 30. Time and manner of, and amounts payable on, successive
redemptions. Notice to be given and filed. The judgment debtor, or
redemptioner, may redeem the property from the purchaser, at any

time within twelve (12) months after the sale, on paying the
purchaser the amount of his purchase, with one per centumper
month interest thereon in addition, up to the time of redemption,
together with the amount of any assessments or taxes which the
purchaser may have paid thereon after purchase, and interest on
such last-named amount at the same rate; and if the purchaser be
also a creditor having a prior lien to that of the redemptioner, other
than the judgment under which such purchase was made, the amount
of such other lien, with interest. . . . .
Under the above-quoted provision, if the purchaser is also a creditor
having a prior lien to that of the redemptioner, other than the judgment
under which such purchase was made, the redemptioner has to pay, in
addition to the prescribed amounts, such other prior lien of the creditorpurchaser with interest.
In the instant case, it will be recalled that on May 3,1976, the
Pulidos mortgaged the subject property to Pasay City Savings and Loan
Association, Inc. who, in turn, on January 8, 1977, assigned the same to
petitioner Cenas. Meanwhile, on July 19, 1976, pursuant to the writ of
execution issued in Civil Case No. Q-2029 (Petitioner Cenas is not a
party in this case No. Q-2029), the subject property was sold to
petitioner Cenas, being the highest bidder in the execution sale. On July
19, 1977, private respondent Dra. Rosario M. Santos redeemed the
subject property. Therefore, there is no question that petitioner Cenas as
assignee of the mortgage constituted over the subject property, is also a
creditor having a prior (mortgage) lien to that of Dra. Rosario M.
Santos. Accordingly, the acceptance of the redemption amount by
petitioner Cenas, without demanding payment of her prior lien the
mortgage obligation of the Pulidos cannot wipe out and extinguish
said mortgage obligation. The mortgage directly and immediately
subjects the property upon which it is imposed, whoever the possessor
may be, to the fulfillment of the obligation for whose security it was
constituted (Art. 2126, Civil Code).
Otherwise stated, a mortgage
creates a real right which is enforceable against the whole world. Hence,
even if the mortgaged property is sold (Art. 2128) or its possession
transferred to another (Art. 2129), the property remains subject to the
fulfillment of the obligation for whose security it was constituted.
It will be noted that Rule 39 of the Rules of Court is silent as to the
effect of the acceptance by the purchaser, who is also a creditor,
having a prior lien to that of the redemptioner, of the redemption

amount, without demanding payment of her prior lien. Neither does it


provide whether or not the redemption of the property sold in
execution sale freed the redeemed property from prior liens. However,
where the prior lien consists of a mortgage constituted on the property
redeemed, as in the case at bar, such redemption does not extinguish
the mortgage (Art. 2126). Furthermore, a mortgage previously
registered, like in the instant case, cannot be prejudiced by any
subsequent lien or encumbrance annotated at the back of the certificate
of title.
Moreover, it must be stressed that private respondents redeemed the
property in question as "successor in interest" of the judgment debtor,
and as such are deemed subrogated to the rights and obligations of the
judgment debtor and are bound by exactly the same condition relative to
the redemption of the subject property that bound the latter as debtor
and mortgagor (Sy vs. Court of Appeals, 172 SCRA 125 [1989]; citing
the case of Gorospe vs. Santos, G.R. No. L-30079, January 30, 1976, 69
SCRA 191). Private respondents, by stepping in the judgment
debtor's shoes, had the obligation to pay the mortgage debt,
otherwise, the debt would and could be enforced against the
property mortgaged (Tambunting vs. Rehabilitation Finance
Corporation, 176 SCRA 493 [1989]).

G.R. No. L-53798 November 8, 1988

ALBERTO C. ROXAS and NENITA DE GUIA,petitioners,


vs.
MARINA BUAN, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF ZAMBALES, BRANCH 1
AND THE PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF ZAMBALES THRU HIS DEPUTY,
ATILANO G. NANQUIL,respondents.
FACTS:
On August 19, 1975, Arcadio Valentin constituted a Deed of Real Estate Mortgage on
a two-storey residential house and lot in favor of private respondent, Marina Buan, to
secure the loan of P78,328.08 granted by the latter to the former.
Upon failure of Valentin to pay the loan on its maturity date, Buan applied for an
extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage which was duly published and advertised for public
auction by Olongapo City Sheriff Ramon Y. Pardo on September 29, 1977. Private
respondent was the winning bidder in the auction sale and the City Sheriff issued a
Certificate of Sale duly registered with the Office of the Register of Deeds on October 26,
1977. Valentin had a period of one (1) year from the date of registration within which to
redeem the mortgaged properties. The period for the redemption of the property in question
having expired without the property being redeemed by Valentin, a Final Bill of Sale was
thereafter issued by the City Sheriff or, November 3, 1978.
After Valentin failed to deliver possession of the properties, Buan filed before the Court of
First Instance of Zambales a "Petition for the Issuance of a Writ of Possession." As this was
not contested, a decision was rendered by respondent court on June 19, 1979
A writ of possession addressed to the Provincial Sheriff of Zambales was issued on August
22, 1979. The return on the writ as embodied in the Sheriff's Report dated August 28, 1979
showed that when Deputy Sheriff Atilano G. Nanquil tried to execute the writ of
possession, he found that petitioners were occupying the premises and refused to vacate the
same, on the alleged claim of Atty. Roxas that he bought the house and lot in question from
Valentin in the amount of P100,00.00. Atty. Roxas also told Sheriff Nanquil that he
introduced improvements consisting of one bungalow house and one store and that Valentin
is no longer residing in the premises.
In view of the petitioners' refusal to abide by the writ of possession, private respondent
filed on August 30, 1979 a "Motion for Contempt" against Alberto Roxas and Nenita de
Guia. On September 12, 1979, the petitioners through counsel filed with the respondent
court their answer thereto arguing that they cannot be held guilty of contempt of court
because they were not made parties to the main action.
On January 16, 1980, the respondent trial court, finding merit in petitioners' position that
they could not be declared in contempt.
The respondents Atty. Alberto Roxas and Mrs. Nenita de Guia are, however, ordered to
immediately vacate the disputed house and lot in question within a period of fifteen (15)
days from receipt of this Order under pain of contempt of Court.
Disagreeing with the portion of the order directing them to vacate the property, petitioners
filed a Motion for Reconsideration on January 28, 1980. However, the respondent court,
denied their motion on February 28, 1980.
Thus, petitioners filed the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition on April 12, 1979.
This Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order on May 19, 1980.
The petitioners maintain that the respondent court gravely abused its discretion amounting

to lack of jurisdiction in issuing the order complained of, upon the theory that it was
predicated upon a writ of possession which was ineffective as against them, being third
parties. Thus, the order is null and void. They also insist that the private respondent should
file an independent action to recover the property, otherwise, there will be a violation of
due process of law if they are not given their day in court to prove their adverse claim.
ISSUE:
W/N respondent court gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction in issuing the order complained of, upon the theory that it was predicated
upon a writ of possession which was ineffective as against the petitioners, being third
parties?
HELD: NO!
The Court finds petitioners' contention without any legal or factual basis.
Under Sec. 35, Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court, which was made applicable to
the extrajudicial foreclosure of real estate mortgages by Sec. 6 Act No. 3135, the
possession of the mortgaged property may be awarded to a purchaser in extrajudicial
foreclosures "unless a third party is actually holding the property adversely to the
judgment debtor."
As explained by the Court in IFC Service Leasing and Acceptance Corp. v. Nera,
... The applicable provision of Act No. 3135 is Section 6 which provides that, in cases in
which an extrajudicial sale is made, "redemption shall be governed by the provisions of
sections four hundred and sixty-four to four hundred and sixty-six, inclusive, of the Code of
Civil Procedure in so far as these are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act."
Sections 464-466 of the Code of Civil Procedure were superseded by Sections 25-27
and Section 31 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court which in turn were replaced by
Sections 29-31 and Section 35 of Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court. Section 35 of
the Revised Rules of Court expressly states that "If no redemption be made within twelve
(12) months after the sale, the purchaser, or his assignee, is entitled to a conveyance and
possession of the property ..." The possession of the property shall be given to the
purchaser or last redemptioner by the officer unless a party is actually holding the property
adversely to the judgment debtor.
Assuming this to be true, it is readily apparent that Roxas holds title to and
possesses the property as Valentin's transferee. Any right he has to the property is
necessarily derived from that of Valentin. As transferee, he steps into the latter's
shoes. Thus, in the instant case, considering that the property had already been sold at
public auction pursuant to an extrajudicial foreclosure, the only interest that may be
transferred by Valentin to Roxas is the right to redeem it within the period prescribed
by law. Roxas is therefore the successor-in-interest of Valentin, to whom the latter had
conveyed his interest in the property for the purpose of redemption. Consequently,
Roxas' occupancy of the property cannot be considered adverse to Valentin.
It does not matter that petitioner Roxas was not specifically named in the writ of
possession, as he merely stepped into the shoes of Valentin, being the latter's successor-ininterest. On the other hand, petitioner de Guia was occupying the house as Roxas' alleged
tenant. Moreover, respondent court's decision granting private respondent Buan's petition
for the issuance of a writ of possession ordered the Provincial Sheriff of Zambales or any of
his deputies to remove Valentin or any person claiming interest under him" from the
property. Undeniably, petitioners fell under this category.
As petitioners have failed to establish that grave abuse of discretion, as would warrant the

issuance of the writ of certiorari and prohibition prayed for, tainted the issuance of the
assailed order, the petition must fail.

G.R. No. 87140 September 7, 1989


NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION,petitioner,
vs.
HON. ARSENIO M. GONONG, Judge, RTC, Manila, Br. 8,
DOMINADOR B. ADRIANO, Deputy Sheriff, ALLIED CONTROL &
ELECTRIC CORPORATION, and PHILIPPINE NATIONAL
BANK,respondents.
NARVASA, J.:
FACTS:
The case had been instituted by Allied Control and Electric Corporation
(hereafter, simply ACEC) to recover a sum of money from Batong Buhay Gold
Mines, Inc. (hereafter, BBGMI). The judgment ordered BBGMI to pay ACEC
its indebtedness of P 264,401.00 interest thereon at the rate of 16% per annum
and "penalty charge" at 3% per month beginning May 15, 1985, and the further
sum of P 66,100.00 equivalent to 25% of the overdue obligation as attorney's
fees. The judgment having become final, execution was ordered by the Court
at ACEC's instance on December 18, 1987.
Evidently the attempt at execution failed. Hence, ACEC filed on August 19,
1988 an "Ex-Parte Motion for Examination of Debtor of Judgment Debtor,"
alleging that the National Power Corporation (NPC) was a debtor of BBGMI
and praying that certain officials of the NPC be required to appear before the
Court and examined regarding its debt to BBGMI. This was granted by
respondent Judge, who scheduled the examination 49 on September 28, 1988
and on posterior dates." The Manager of NPCs General Accounts Division,
Ariel Vinoya, appeared in response to subpoena and was duly examined on
oath. The gist of his testimony is set out in respondent Judge's Order of
November 15,1988 2 viz:
... Witness testified that sometime in 1980, National Power Corporation and
defendant Batong Buhay Gold Mines Inc. entered into an agreement, whereby
at that time Batong Buhay Gold Mines Inc. needed the supply of electricity
from NPC, however, at that time there was no transmission lines connecting
the mining site to the lines of NPC and it was not yet within the program of
activities of NPC to construct those lines. Thus, Batong Buhay ... offered to
finance the construction of the line which they did . Under that arrangement,
NPC is going to reimburse Batong Buhay Gold Mines Inc. the amount that
they have spent for the construction of the line by crediting 25% of defendant's
monthly electric power bills until the actual cost shall have been fully paid and
without interest.
(T)he transmission lines were in fact erected and installed by defendant

and NPC supplied electric power to the mining site and as agreed upon NPC
deducted from the monthly power bills of defendant the sums equivalent to
25% thereof, as shown graphically in Exh. 'A-2- Motion' from October 15,
1983 to October 11, 1985. As reflected in Exh. 'A-Motion' an amount of P
51,745,319.15 was due to defendant as of December 31, 1982 and after
deducting the 25%, a balance of P37,532,763.17 was left due to defendant.
However, ... when defendant ceased operation in 1985 it left unpaid electric
power bills in the amount of P15,941,625.35 plus interest of P2,643,514.76 as
of August, 1986 or in the total amount of P18,585,140.11; deduct this from the
P37,532,763.17 and a balance of P18,947.623.06 was left due to defendant but
Mr. Vinoya further testified that it is not due to Batong Buhay Gold Mines, Inc.
but a balance of the advances made by Batong Buhay Gold Mines Inc. in the
construction of the power lines.
On the strength of this testimony -- which included, it must be stressed, a
denial by the witness that the amount of P18,947,623.06 was due to BBGMI,
this being "but a balance of the advances made by ... (the latter) in the
construction of the power lines respondent Judge resolved to direct the NPC to
pay ACEC "its judgment rendered in October 8,1987 out of the remaining
credit NPC holds in favor of defendant," and ordered his deputy sheriff
(respondent Adriano) "to garnish and attach the said credit due Batong Buhay
Gold Mines, Inc." In justification His Honor invoked Section 15, Rule 39 of
the Rules of Court, authorizing the sheriff charged with execution of a
money judgment to levy on "debts" and "credits" 3 in addition to "real
property, stocks, shares, .. and other personal property, or any interest in
either real or personal property," pointing out, too, that the NPC official,
Vinoya, had later admitted that "this amount of P18,947,623.06 is due to
defendant Batong Buhay Gold Mines Inc." Sheriff Adriano accordingly
garnished such of the funds of the NPC on deposit at the Philippine National
Bank, Escolta, Manila, as were "sufficient to cover the sum" required to be
paid by respondent Judge's Decision of October 8, 1987.
Hence, the present action of certiorari instituted by NPC praying for "the
setting aside of respondent Judge's Order dated November 15, 1988 ..and
commanding respondent to desist from executing the writ of garnishment
issued by respondent Sheriff in Civil Case No. 87-39301."
ISSUE:
W/N respondent Judge correctly ordered the respondent to desist
from executing the writ of garnishment issued by respondent Sheriff?
HELD: NO!
For the reasons shortly to be explained, the Court decreed on March 15,

1989 the issuance of a temporary restraining order "enjoining the respondents


from enforcing and/or implementing the (challenged) Order," and a
preliminary mandatory injunction "commanding respondent Deputy Sheriff
Dominador B. Adriano and/or Allied Control and Electric Corporation to
RETURN to respondent Philippine National Bank the amount of
P828,806.20 ... debited from petitioner's ... Account SA No. 010-572194-3."
The Court subsequently gave due course to the petition and required the
parties to submit memoranda. Said memoranda have since been received.
The Court rules that in authorizing the execution of the judgment in Civil Case
No. 87-39301 against l stranger to the action, on the theory that the latter was a
"debtor of the judgment debtor," respondent Judge was guilty of grave abuse of
discretion tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
It is true that Rule 39 empowers a Court to order the examination of a
judgment debtor. This is clear from Section 39 of the rule:
SEC. 39. Examination of debtor of judgment debtor.- After an execution
against the property of a judgment debtor has been returned unsatisfied
in whole or in part, and upon proof, by affidavit of a party or otherwise, to
the satisfaction of the judge, that a person, corporation, or other legal
entity has property of such judgment debtor, or is indebted to him, the
judge may, by an order, require such person, corporation or other legal
entity, or any officer or member thereof, to appear before the judge, or a
commissioner appointed by him, at a time a place within the province in
which the order is served, to answer concerning the same. The service of
an order shall bind all credits due the judgment debtor and all money and
property of the judgment debtor in the possession or in the control of such
person, corporation, or legal entity from the time of service; and the
judgment may also require notice of such proceedings to be given to any
party to the action in such manner as he may deem proper.
It was thus clearly within respondent Judge's prerogative to require the
appearance, by subpoena, of officials of the NPC to appear and be questioned
regarding the latter's claimed indebtedness to the judgment debtor, BBGMI.
But just as clearly, it was not within His Honor's power to order the payment
by the alleged debtor of the judgment debtor to pay the claimed debt without
indubitable admission or conclusive proof that the debt existed and was
demandable. The applicable provision is not, as was respondent Judge's
erroneous notion, Section 15 of Rule 39, which merely states the procedure
that the sheriff should follow in the enforcement of a money judgment
against the judgment debtor himself, i.e., to levy on property of the
judgment debtor, including "debts" or "credits," and sell the same, etc.,
but which obviously does not at all treat of the propriety and requisites for
collecting such "debts" or "credits" from third persons. The relevant
provisions are those embodied in Sections 42 and 45 of the same Rule 39.

Section 42 reads as follows:


SEC. 42. Order for application of property and income in satisfaction of
judgement.- The judge may order any property of the judgment debtor, or
money due him, not exempt from execution, in the hands of either himself
or other person, or of a corporation or other legal entity, to be applied to
the satisfaction of the judgment, subject to any prior rights over such
property, ....
Section 45, on the other hand, states the following:
SEC. 45. Proceedings when in debtedness denied or another person claims
the property. - If it appears that a person or corporation, alleged to have
property of the judgment debtor or to be indebted to him claims an
interest in the property adverse to him or denies the debt, the court or
judge may authorize, by an order made to that effect, the judgment
creditor to institute an action against such person or cor poration for the
recovery of such interest or debt, forbid a transfer or other disposition of
such interest or debt until an action can be commenced and prosecuted to
judgment, and may punish disobedience of such order as for contempt.
Such order may be modified or vacated by the judge granting the same, or
by the court in which the action is brought at anytime, upon such terms as
may be just.
.. the only power of the court in proceedings supplemental to execution is
to make an order authorizing the creditor to sue in the proper court to recover
an indebtedness due to the judgment debtor. The court has no jurisdiction to try
summarily the question whether the third party served with notice of execution
and levy is indebted to defendant when such indebtedness is denied. To make
an order in relation to property which the garnishee claimed to own in his own
right, requiring its application in satisfaction of judgment of another, would be
to deprive the garnishee of property upon summary proceeding and without
due process of law.
The only disposition that said Court could legitimately have made in
the premises, was that indicated in Section 46 of Rule 39, above quoted,
i.e., authorize ACEC, as judgment creditor, to bring a separate action
against NPC, as alleged debtor of BBGMI, the judgment debtor, for
establishment by satisfactory proof of the postulated indebtedness of NPC
to BBGMI, and consequent payment to it ACEC of so much of that
indebtedness as corresponds to the amount of its judgment.

SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. No. 132497. November 16, 1999]
LUIS MIGUEL YSMAEL and JOHANN C.F. KASTEN V, petitioners vs. COURT
OF APPEALS and Spouses PACIFICO LEJANO and ANASTACIA LEJANO,
respondents.
D EC I S I O N
MENDOZA, J.:
FACTS:
Petitioners brought suit for sum of money against private respondents in the then
Court of First Instance of Rizal, Branch 29, and obtained judgment in their favor on
October 2, 1980.
The decision remained unexecuted for a long time as petitioners were unable to
locate property belonging to private respondents. However, in 1989, before the right of
action upon the judgment could prescribe, petitioners filed a case for the revival of the
judgment in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 70, Pasig City, which on March 14,
1990, rendered a decision reviving the judgment in Civil Case No. 3039.
Private respondents appealed to the Court of Appeals, but their appeal was dismissed
in a resolution dated October 8, 1992 of the appellate court. Private respondents
brought the matter to this Court which likewise dismissed private respondents petition
on January 11, 1993.
Accordingly, on September 9, 1993, the trial court issued a writ of execution, as a
result of which the rights, interests, and participation of private respondents in several
parcels of lands, covered by TCT Nos. T-47699, T-50009, T-54010, T-50011, T-50391,
T-50392, T-50393, T-50394, and 16274 of the Register of Deeds of Batangas, were
levied on execution.On March 15, 1995, private respondents rights, interests, and
participation in said lands were sold at public auction to petitioners,represented by
their counsel of record Atty. Fernando R. Arguelles, Jr., who offered the highest bid for
P700,000.00. The sale to petitioners was registered in the Office of the Register of
Deeds of Nasugbu, Batangas on July 25, 1995. The certificate of sale stated in
pertinent parts:
The periodof redemptionof the real properties described above will expire one (1)
year from and after the date of registration of this Certificate of Sale.
It is hereby required of said highest bidder, that a statement of any amount of
assessment or taxes which may have been paid on account of this purchase and such
other liens chargeable to the redemptioners, with PROOF hereof, be submitted within
thirty (30) days immediately preceding the expiration of the period of redemption,
furnishing the defendants a copy thereof, as required by law, for purposes of
computing the actual amount payable by the defendants in case of redemption.
On July 16, 1996, private respondents counsel wrote to petitioners counsel
Atty. Fernando R. Arguelles, Jr. and Deputy Sheriff Sofronio M. Villarin,
informing them that private respondents were exercising their right of
redemption. Private respondents asked petitioners for a computation of the
redemption price.

The twelve-month period of redemption expired on July 19, 1996. Although the
certificate of sale was registered on July 25, 1995, the twelve-month period ended on
July 19, 1996, considering that the latter year was a leap year.However, thinking that
the last day of the period of redemption was on July 25, 1996, private respondent
Pacifico Lejano went to the office of Atty. Arguelles on said date and tendered to him
two cashiers checks drawn on Far East Bank and Trust Company in the total amount of
P784,000.00.One check was for P700,000.00, representing the purchase price at the
execution sale, and another was for P84,000.00, representing 1% interest per month on
the purchase price from July 25, 1995 to July 25, 1996.The checks came with a letter,
dated July 25, 1996, giving notice of private respondents intention to exercise their
right of redemption.Atty. Arguelles, however, refused to accept the payment. In a
note to private respondent Pacifico Lejano, Atty. Arguelles claimed he had no authority
to receive payment for petitioner Luis Ysmael.
Accordingly, private respondent called up petitioner Ysmaels office, but he was
informed that petitioner Ysmael was not in, and it was not known when he would
return.Unable to make a tender of payment, private respondent filed the next day, July
26, 1996, a motion for consignation in the trial court.Petitioners opposed the motion,
arguing that the period of redemption had already expired and that there was no valid
tender of payment because the cashiers checks were insufficient to cover the total
redemption price.
In the order dated October 21, 1996, the trial court granted private
respondents motion for consignation,
This was well within the redemption period which expired on July 19, 1996 per
computation of the period made by the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs or the Sheriff never
bothered to answer the letter.In this regard, plaintiffs further argue that they cannot be
faulted for their failure to give defendants a statement of the total amount of the
redemption price since that is so provided in Sec. 30, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court
(Rejoinder, par. C).Be that as it may, since the aforecited section in providing for the
amount payable to the purchaser (herein plaintiffs) by way of redemption speaks of the
amount of his (their) purchase, with one per centum per month interest thereon in
addition,
up
to
the
time
of
the
redemption,
togetherwiththeamountofanyassessmentsortaxeswhichthepurchasermayhavepaidthereo
nafterpurchase,andinterestonsuchlast-namedamountatthesamerate; x x x (underlining
supplied), there would appear to be a need for the judgment debtor or redemptioner to
inquire as to the total amount of redemption money to be paid and, therefore, it would
not be proper to argue that the plaintiffs or the Sheriff to whom the aforestated letter
was addressed could not be faulted for not answering the query.Thus the delay in
paying the correct amount of the redemption price could not be solely attributed to the
defendants since the plaintiffs or the Sheriff are partly to blame.At least the defendants
have shown their good faith in trying to settle the redemption price within the period
provided by law which was simply ignored by the plaintiffs who appeared to profit
more if the properties are not redeemed by reason of the higher value of said
properties.
As to the other argument that there was no valid tender of payment of the redemption
price because the cashiers checks are not considered legal tender, suffice it to state that
in Ramon Tan v. Court of Appeals, et al., (G.R. No. 100555, December 20, 1944), the

Supreme Court ruled:


Now, what was presented for deposit in the instant case was not just an ordinary
check but a cashiers check payable to the depositor himself. A cashiers check is a
primary obligation of the issuing bank and accepted in advance by its mere
issuance.By its very nature, a cashiers check is a banks order to pay drawn upon itself,
committing in effect its total resources, integrity and honor behind the check.A
cashiers check by its peculiar character and general use in the commercial world is
regarded substantially to be as good as the money which it represents. . . .
Anent the objection that the total amount covered by the two cashiers checks falls
short of the correct amount of the redemption price tendered by the defendants, the
same should be rectified by requiring them to pay the right amount.
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration.As their motion was denied,
they filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus in the Court of
Appeals.However, the appellate court dismissed their petition on January 26,
1998.
Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE:
W/N the petitioner is still entitled for redemption?
HELD: YES!
First.Rule 39, 30 of the 1964 Rules of Court provided that within twelve months
after the sale, the judgment debtor may redeem the property sold at public auction,
thus:
Sec.
30.Timeandmannerof,andamountspayableon,successiveredemptions.Noticetobegivena
ndfiled. - The judgment debtor, or redemptioner, may redeem the property from the
purchaser, at any time within twelve (12) months after the sale, on paying the
purchaser the amount of his purchase, with one per centum per month interest thereof
in addition, up to the time of redemption, together with the amount of any assessments
or taxes which the purchaser may have paid thereon after purchase, and interest on
such last named amount at the same rate. . .
Written notice of any redemption must be given to the officer who made the sale
and a duplicate filed with the registrar of deeds of the province, and if any assessments
or taxes are paid by the redemptioner or if he has or acquires any lien other than that
upon which the redemption was made, notice thereof must in like manner be given to
the officer and filed with the registrar of deeds; if such notice be not filed, the property
may be redeemed without paying such assessments, taxes, or liens.
Under Art. 13 of the Civil Code, a month, unless designated by name, is understood to
be equivalent to 30 days, while a year is understood to be of 365 days.Thus, the rulings
of this Court under the 1964 Rules stated that the 12-month period of redemption
under Rule 39, 30 is equivalent to 360 days counted from the registration of the
certificate of sale. Within the said period, the redemptioner must pay the purchaser the
full amount of the redemption price, otherwise the redemption is ineffectual.
In the instant case, there is no question that the certificate of sale was
registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Nasugbu, Batangas on July 25,

1995.Consequently, the right of redemption should have been exercised on or


before July 19, 1996, the 360th day after July 25, 1995 considering that 1996 was
a leap year.
However, apparently equating the phrase twelve (12) months in Rule 39, 30 with
one year of 365 days, private respondents reckoned the period of redemption as
ending on July 25, 1996 since the sale was registered on July 25, 1995.Indeed, the
certificate of sale stated that the period of redemption . . . will expire one (1) year from
and after the date of registration. . .There was thus an honest mistake on a question of
law. Rule 39, 28 of the 1997 Rule of Civil Procedure now provides that the period
of redemption shall be at any time within one (1) year from the date of
registration of the certificate of sale, so that the period is now to be understood as
composed of 365 days.Neither petitioners nor the sheriff corrected private respondents
mistaken impression, leading the latter to believe that July 25, 1996 was indeed the last
day of the period of redemption.
Moreover, private respondents on July 16, 1996 and July 17, 1996, i.e.,within 12month period as provided in Rule 39, 30 of the former Rules of Court, gave notice to
Deputy Sheriff Sofronio and petitioners counsel of their intention to redeem the lands
sold. In the same letter, private respondents requested a statement of the redemption
price which petitioners and the deputy sheriff chose to ignore.When private respondent
Lejanos tender of payment was refused by Atty. Arguelles, Jr., private respondents
consigned payment in the trial court on July 26, 1996. The combination of these
circumstances makes it inequitable to rule that private respondents lost the right of
redemption by his delay of six days to redeem the property. Both the trial court and
the Court of Appeals correctly held that private respondents had tried in good
faith to exercise their right of redemption.As the appellate court stated:
. . .such special circumstances exist, namely: (1) the highest bidders (petitioners) did
not submit a statement of any amount of assessment or taxes which may have been
paid on account of their purchase to be submitted within 30 days immediately
preceding the expiration of the period of redemption, furnishing the defendants
(private respondents) a copy thereof, as directed in the certificate of sale; (2) despite
receipt of the letters from private respondents, petitioners and deputy sheriff Villarin
never made a reply; (3) notwithstanding that petitioners counsel was their agent in the
auction sale in which the properties in question were sold to petitioners, said counsel,
Atty. Fernando R. Arguelles, Jr., when private respondents wanted to exercise their
right of redemption went into technicalities by saying his authority was limited to just
the bidding.

[G.R. No. 156829. June 8, 2004]


RAMON D. MONTENEGRO, petitioner, vs.MA. TERESA L. MONTENEGRO, for
herself and as the mother and natural guardian of the minors, ANTONIO AMELO
and ANA MARIA PIA ISABEL, both surnamed MONTENEGRO, respondents.
DECISION
DAVIDE, JR., C.J.:
FACTS:
On 14 June 1994, respondent Ma. Teresa V. Lizares-Montenegro, for herself and as
mother and guardian of her two minor children Antonio Amelo and Ana Maria Pia Isabel,
filed with the trial court below a complaint for support against her husband, herein
petitioner Ramon D. Montenegro. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. 94-8467. Four
years after the filing of the complaint, petitioner and respondent Teresa executed a
compromise agreement which was submitted to the trial court for approval on 13 October
1998.
On the same date, the trial court rendered a Decision approving the compromise
agreement and ordering the parties to comply with it. The parties did not appeal from the
Decision; hence, it became final and executory.
Under the terms of the compromise agreement, petitioner obligated himself to:
(1) Pay the respondent the amount of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000) representing her
entire share in their conjugal partnership of gains, Five Hundred Thousand (P500,000) of
which is payable upon signing of the compromise agreement while the remaining balance
of Five Hundred Thousand (P500,000) must be paid within one (1) year from the execution
of the compromise agreement.
(2) Establish a trust fund in the amount of Three Million Pesos (P3,000,000) in favor of his
children Antonio Amelo and Ana Maria Pia Isabel within sixty (60) days from the approval
of the compromise agreement.
(3) Obtain an educational plan or an investment plan to cover tuition and other
matriculation fees for the college education of Ana Maria Pia Isabel within one (1) year
from the approval of the compromise agreement.
Since petitioner failed to comply with his obligations under the compromise
agreement despite the lapse of the periods provided therein, respondent Teresa filed a
motion for the execution of the judgment. The trial court granted the motion and issued a
writ of execution on 15 February 1999.
A second writ of execution and a notice of garnishment, issued by the trial court on 21 May
2001 and on 28 May 2001, respectively, were returned unsatisfied.
In several conferences called by the trial court, petitioner admitted his failure to comply
with his obligations under the compromise agreement but alleged that he was no longer in a
position to do so as he was already insolvent. In the conference held on 6 March 2002,
respondent Teresa manifested that she would file a motion for examination of petitioner as
judgment obligor. The trial court gave her 30 days within which to file the appropriate
motion and informed petitioner that he would have 30 days to file a comment or reply to
the motion.
On 14 March 2002, respondent Teresa filed a motion to examine petitioner as
judgment obligor under Sections 36 and 38 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. In her
motion, she alleged that there is an urgency for the examination to be conducted at the
earliest time since petitioner was about to migrate to Canada. Acting on the said motion, the

trial court issued on 19 March 2002 an Order granting the motion for examination of
petitioner as judgment obligor and setting his examination on 22 March 2002. On the same
day the motion for examination was granted, petitioner filed with the court a Manifestation
alleging that the grant of the motion for examination was premature because he still would
have 30 days from receipt of the motion, or until April 14, 2002, within which to file a
comment or opposition thereto as agreed upon during the conference on 6 March 2002.
On 22 March 2002, neither petitioner nor his counsel appeared for the scheduled hearing.
On that date, the trial court issued an order re-scheduling the hearing to 10 April 2002 and
requiring the petitioner to explain why he should not be held in contempt of court for
disobeying the 19 March 2002 Order.
On 26 March 2002, petitioner filed a Compliance with Motion to Re-schedule Proceedings.
He explained that he did not attend the 22 March 2002 hearing because he was under the
impression that he still had 30 days from the filing of the motion to examine him as
judgment obligor within which to respond to the motion; besides, his counsel was not
available on 22 March 2002 due to previously scheduled hearings.
At the hearing on 4 April 2002 of the Compliance with Motion to Re-schedule Proceedings,
counsel for petitioner manifested that his client already left for Canada on 26 March 2002
and will be unable to attend the 10 April 2002 hearing, and that petitioner would be
available for examination on the last week of July or first week of August 2002. Counsel
prayed that the hearing be thus reset accordingly. The trial court denied the motion and
informed the parties that the hearing scheduled on 10 April 2002 will proceed as scheduled.
On 5 April 2002, petitioner filed a manifestation reiterating that he would be unable to
attend the 10 April 2002 hearing because he was already in Canada. Counsel for petitioner
likewise manifested that he would also be unavailable on the said date because he would be
in Manila to attend to his other cases.
On 17 June 2002, the trial court issued an Order directing the petitioner to show cause why
he should not held in contempt of court for failure to appear on the 10 April 2002 hearing
for his examination as judgment obligor. In his Compliance and Explanation filed on 28
June 2002, petitioner alleged that he was unable to attend the 10 April 2002 hearing
because he was in Canada and had no intention to abscond from his obligation.
On 13 June 2002, the trial court issued an Order setting the case for the examination of the
petitioner on 3 July 2002. A subpoena was issued against the petitioner and served at his
address of record.Respondent Teresa also caused the service of the subpoena at
8051 Estrella Avenue, San Antonio
Village, MakatiCity where petitioner is allegedly residing.
The 3 July 2002 hearing did not push through as the petitioner filed a Motion to Quash
Subpoena Ad Testificandum on 28 June 2002. In the motion, petitioner admitted that 8051
Estrella Avenue, San Antonio Village, MakatiCity, is his present address but alleged that
Makati City is more than 100 kilometers away from Bacolod City; thus, he may not be
compelled by subpoena to attend the 3 July 2002 hearing in Bacolod City. In this motion,
petitioner did not allege that he was still in Canada.
In its Order of 2 September 2002, the trial court denied the Motion to Quash Subpoena Ad
Testificandum, but re-scheduled the hearing to 23 October 2002. On 22 October 2002, the
day before the scheduled hearing, petitioner filed a manifestation informing the trial court
that he was still in Canada and would not be able to attend the 23 October 2002 hearing;
however, he would be in Manila on the first week of December 2002. He moved that the
hearing be re-scheduled on 9 December 2002. The manifestation, however, did not contain
a notice of hearing.
On 23 October 2002, petitioner did not appear at the scheduled hearing, prompting the trial

court to issue an order citing him in contempt of court.


In its Order of 8 November 2002, the trial court declared petitioner in contempt
of court under Section 38 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court and imposed on him the
penalty of imprisonment for three months and ordered him to pay a fine of P20,000.
His motion for reconsideration of the Order having been denied by the trial court in
its Order of 3 January 2003, petitioner filed the petition in the case at bar.
ISSUE:
W/N the trial court erred in holding the petitioner guilty of indirect contempt?
HELD: NO!
We rule in the negative.
The totality of petitioners acts clearly indicated a deliberate and unjustified refusal to
be examined as a judgment obligor at the time the examination was scheduled for hearing
by the trial court. His acts tended to degrade the authority and respect for court processes
and impaired the judiciary's duty to deliver and administer justice. Petitioner tried to
impose his will on the trial court.
Contempt of court involves the doing of an act, or the failure to do an act, in such a manner
as to create an affront to the court and the sovereign dignity with which it is clothed. It is
defined as disobedience to the court by acting in opposition to its authority, justice and
dignity. The power to punish contempt is inherent in all courts, because it is essential to the
preservation of order in judicial proceedings, and to the enforcement of judgments, orders
and mandates of the courts; and, consequently, to the due administration of justice.
The Rules of Court penalizes two types of contempt, namely, direct contempt and
indirect contempt. Direct contempt is committed in the presence of or so near a court as to
obstruct or interrupt the proceedings before the same, and includes disrespect toward the
court, offensive personalities toward others, or refusal to be sworn or to answer as a
witness, or to subscribe an affidavit or deposition when lawfully required to do so.
On the other hand, Section 3 of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court enumerates particular
acts which constitute indirect contempt, thus:
(a) Misbehavior of an officer of a court in the performance of his official duties or in
his official transactions;
(b) Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, or judgment of a
court, including the act of a person who, after being dispossessed or ejected from any
real property by the judgment or process of any court of competent jurisdiction,
enters or attempts or induces another to enter into or upon such real property, for the
purpose of executing acts of ownership or possession, or in any manner disturbs the
possession given to the person adjudged to be entitled thereto;
(c) Any abuse of or any unlawful interference with the processes or proceedings of a
court not constituting direct contempt under section 1 of this Rule;
(d) Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or
degrade the administration of justice;
(e) Assuming to be an attorney or an officer of a court, and acting as such without
authority;
(f) Failure to obey a subpoena duly served;
(g) The rescue, or attempted rescue, of a person or property in the custody of an
officer by virtue of an order or process of a court held by him.
In relation to the foregoing, Section 38 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court also provides
that a party or other person may be compelled, by an order or subpoena, to attend before

the court or commissioner to testify as provided in the two preceding sections, and upon
failure to obey such order or subpoena or to be sworn, or to answer as a witness or to
subscribe his deposition, may be punished for contempt as in other cases. This provision
relates specifically to Section 3(b) of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court.
Indirect contempt may either be initiated (1) motu proprio by the court by issuing an order
or any other formal charge requiring the respondent to show cause why he should not be
punished for contempt or (2) by the filing of a verified petition, complying with the
requirements for filing initiatory pleadings. In the present case, the trial court initiated the
proceedings for indirect contempt by issuing two orders directing the petitioner to show
cause why he should not be punished for indirect contempt.
In the present case, the contemptuous act was the petitioners refusal to attend a
hearing for his examination as judgment obligor, upon motion by the respondent Teresa. It
must be pointed out that the purpose of Section 36 of Rule 39 is to provide the judgment
obligee a remedy in case where the judgment obligor continues to fail to comply with its
obligation under the judgment. Petitioners refusal to be examined, without justifiable
reason, constituted indirect contempt which is civil in nature.
Petitioners deliberate willfulness and even malice in disobeying the orders of the trial
court are clearly shown in the pleadings he himself had filed before the trial court.
Section 36 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court allows, as a matter of right, the plaintiff
who is a judgment obligee to examine the defendant as judgment obligor, at any time after
the return of the writ of execution is made. Section 36 reads as follows:
Sec. 36. Examination of judgment obligor when judgment unsatisfied. When the return of a
writ of execution issued against property of a judgment obligor, or any one of several
obligors in the same judgment, shows that the judgment remains unsatisfied, in whole or in
part, the judgment obligee, at any time after such return is made, shall be entitled to an
order from the court which rendered the said judgment, requiring such judgment obligor
to appear and be examined concerning his property and income before such court or
before a commissioner appointed by it, at a specified time and place; and proceedings may
thereupon be had for the application of the property and income of the judgment obligor
towards the satisfaction of the judgment. But no judgment obligor shall be so required to
appear before a court or commissioner outside the province or city in which such obligor
resides or is found.
Thus, the trial court committed no abuse of discretion in scheduling the examination
of petitioner on 22 March 2002. On the contrary, it acted with utmost judiciousness to
avoid a miscarriage of justice because petitioner was reported to be about to leave for
Canada, a fact which petitioner did not refute in his Manifestation of 19 March 2002.
In the present case, however, the act which the trial court ordered the petitioner to do
has already been performed, albeit belatedly and not without delay for an unreasonable
length of time. As such, the penalty of imprisonment may no longer be imposed despite the
fact that its non-implementation was due to petitioners absence in the Philippines.
We are not unmindful of the nature of the judgment from which the present controversy
arose. Six years have elapsed from the time the compromise agreement for the support of
the children of petitioner and respondent was executed. We take judicial notice of the
amount of expenses which a travel outside the country, particularly to Canada, entails,
much more so when the person traveling to Canada is trying to establish himself in the said
country as an immigrant. Petitioners claim for insolvency is negated by his frequent travels
to Canada. We thus exhort the parties, specifically the petitioner, to resort to all reasonable
means to fully satisfy the judgment for support based on the compromise agreement, for the

paramount interests of their minor children.


G.R. No. L-65935 September 30, 1988
FILINVEST CREDIT CORPORATION,petitioner,
vs.
THE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and NESTOR B. SUGA JR.,respondents.
SARMIENTO, J.:
FACTS:
This is a case for damages filed by Nestor B. Sunga Jr., businessman and owner of the
NBS Machineries Marketing and the NAP-NAP Transit. Plaintiff alleged that he purchased a
passenger minibus Mazda from the Motor center, Inc. at Calasiao, Pangasinan on March 21,
1978 and for which he executed a promissory note to cover the amount of P62,592.00 payable
monthly in the amount of P2,608.00 for 24 months due and payable the 1st day of each month
starting May 1, 1978 thru and inclusive of May 1, 1980.
On the same date, however, a chattel mortgage was executed by him in favor of the Motor
center, Inc. The Chattel Mortgage and Assignment was assigned to the Filinvest Credit
Corporation with the conformity of the plaintiff.
Nestor Sunga claimed that on October 21, 1978, the minibus was seized by two (2)
employees of the defendant Filinvest Credit Corporation upon orders of the branch manager Mr.
Gaspar de los Santos, without any receipt, who claimed that he was delinquent in the payments
of his vehicle.
The plaintiff reported the loss to the PC and after proper verification from the office of the
Filinvest, the said vehicle was recovered from the Crisologo Compound which was later
released by Rosario Fronda Assistant Manager of the Filinvest, and Arturo Balatbat as caretaker
of the compound. The police blotter of the Integrated National Police of Dagupan City shows
that Nestor Sunga and T/Sgt. Isidro Pascual of the 153rd PC Company sought the assistance of
the Dagupan police and one Florence Onia of the Filinvest explained that the minibus was
confiscated because the balance was already past due. After verification that his accounts are all
in order, Florence Onia admitted it was their fault. The motor vehicle was returned to the
plaintiff upon proper receipt.
After trial, the court a quo rendered its decision:
(1) ORDERING the defendant Filinvest Credit Corporation to pay the plaintiff Nestor Sunga Jr.
the following damages, to wit:
(a) Moral Damages P30,000.00
(b) Loss on Income of the minibus for three days 600.00
(c) Actual damages 500.00
(d) Litigation expenses 5,000.00
(e) Attorney's Fees 10,000.00
(2) And to pay the costs.
Dissatisfied with the aforecited decision, the defendant (petitioner herein), interposed a timely
appeal with the respondent court.
On September 30, 1983, the latter promulgated its decision affirming in toto the decision of the
trial court dated July 17, 1981, "except with regard to the moral damages which, under the
circumstances of the accounting error incurred by Filinvest, is hereby increased from P30,000.00
to P50,000.00." 7 As the reconsideration of said decision proved futile in view of its denial by
the respondent court in its resolution of December 16, 1983, the petitioners come to us thru this
instant petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

ISSUE:
W/N the respondent court a) in allegedly ignoring the various assigned errors in
petitioners brief; b) in resolving issues not raised at the trial and on appeal; c) in increasing
the amount of moral damages; and (d) in adhering to its decision in Edilberto Rebosura et
al. vs. Rogaciano Oropeza, CA-G.R. No. 63048-R, as well as to Batasan Bill No. 3075,
which is yet to be enacted into law, acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
of jurisdiction?
HELD: YES!
WE hold that the respondent court committed a grave abuse of discretion in
increasing extravagantly the award of moral damages and in granting litigation expenses.
In those respects, the petition is granted and to that extent the questioned decision is modified.
"Well settled is the rule in this jurisdiction that whenever an appeal is taken in a civil case
an appellee who has not himself appealed cannot obtain from the appellate court any affirmative
relief other than the ones granted in the decision of the court below."
Verily the respondent court disregarded such a well settled rule when it increased the
award for moral damages from P30,000.00 to P50,000.00, notwithstanding the fact that the
private respondent did not appeal from the judgment of the trial court, an act indicative of grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
Certiorari lies when a court has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of
discretion. 'without jurisdiction' means that the court acted with absolute want of jurisdiction.
There is "excess of jurisdiction" where the court has jurisdiction but has transcended the same or
acted without any statutory authority. "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 or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal
hostility, and it must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a
virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law.
(F)or certiorari to lie, there must be capricious, arbitrary, and whimsical exercise of power,
the very antithesis of the judicial prerogative in accordance with centuries of civil law and
common law tradition."
We had occasion to state that "there is no hard and fast rule in the determination of what would
be a fair amount of moral damages, since each case must be governed by its own peculiar
circumstances." 25 Be that as it may and in amplification of this generalization, we set the
criterion that "in the case of moral damages, the yardstick should be that the "amount awarded
should not be palpably and scandalously excessive" so as to indicate that it was the result of
passion, prejudice or corruption on the part of the trial court. Moreover, the actual losses
sustained by the aggrieved parties and the gravity of the injuries must be considered in arriving
at reasonable levels ... ." 26
There is no dispute that the private respondent, a businessman and owner of the NBS
Machineries Marketing and NAP-NAP Transit, is entitled to moral damages due to the
unwarranted seizure of the minibus Mazda, allegedly because he was delinquent in the payment
of its monthly amortizations, which as stated above, turned out to be incorrect. 27 No doubt such
intent tainted private respondent Sunga's reputation in the business community, thus causing him
mental anguish, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, and
social humiliation. "damages are not intended to enrich the complainant at the expense of a
defendant. They are awarded only to enable the injured parties to obtain means, diversions or
amusements that will serve to alleviate the moral sufferings the injured parties have undergone
by reason of defendant's culpable action.
We do not agree with private respondent's argument that the increase in the award of moral
damages is justified by the prayer in its brief, to wit: FURTHER REMEDIES AND RELIEFS
DEEMED JUST AND EQUITABLE UNDER AND WITHIN THE PREMISES ARE PRAYED

FOR. Such statement is usually extant in practically all pleadings as a final statement; it is
rhetorical flourish as it were and could not be a substitute for appeal as required by the rules for
"the appellee cannot seek modification or reversal of the judgment or affirmative relief, unless
he has also appealed therefrom."

G.R. No. 48766 February 9, 1993


GODELIVA S. DULAY,Petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE MINISTER OF
NATURAL RESOURCES, as a formal party and in his Official Capacity, THE
DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF FISHERIES & AQUATIC RESOURCES, in his
Official Capacity, and ANGELES DICO, in her Private Capacity,Respondents.
NOCON, J.:
FACTS:
Petitioner Godeliva S. Dulay comes to this Court and asks Us to confine public
respondent Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources within his
jurisdiction and to uphold the principle of res judicata in administrative proceedings by
nullifying (1) his February 24, 1978 order giving due course to the letter-petition of private
respondent Angeles D. Dico requesting for the reopening of Fishpond Conflict case of Mrs.
Angeles Dico against Juan Quibete, Petronilo Retirado and petitioner Mrs. Godeliva S.
Dulay and the "Cancellation of Fishpond Lease Agreement No. 2165 of Mrs. Godeliva S.
Dulay" and (2) his telegrams dated August 14, 1978 stating that petitioner's motion for
reconsideration of said February 24, 1978 interlocutory order "cannot be entertained" and
advising petitioner of the continuation of the formal investigation of the private
respondent's letter-petition scheduled for September 4 to 9, 1978.
This present conflict stems from two earlier cases decided by the Office of the President,
both of which have attained finality. As condensed by the Office of the Solicitor General,
these are as follows:
1. Re: DANR Case No. 2898
entitled "Angeles Dico v. Juan Quibete"
The salient antecedent facts stated in the decision of the Office of the President dated
November 14, 1969, are as follows:
That by a barter agreement entered into between Juan Quibete and Jose Padios
sometime in 1932, the former exchanged his parcel of land situated at Sitio Palaypay,
municipality of San Dionisio, province of Iloilo, for the latter's fishpond area of about 24
hectares located at sitio Talaba-an, municipality of Cadiz, province of Negros Occidental
That Juan Quibete, also in 1932, applied for a Fish and Game Special Permit over the
area (F.P.L.A. No. 1709). The application was disapproved because the area covered
thereby was not yet declared available for fishpond purposes. The records of that
application were lost during World War II so much so that Juan Quibete had to renew his
application in 1945 (Fp. A. No. 716). His application was approved on February 10, 1949
and Fishpond Permit No. F-738-E was issued
That on February 6, 1958, private respondent (Angeles Dico) filed her fishpond
application (Fp. A. No. 18206) to occupy the area covered by petitioner's fishpond lease
agreement
That her application was disapproved on the ground that the area she applied had
already been awarded to Juan Quibete, predecessor-in-interest of the petitioner, under
Fishpond Permit No. F-738-E, and that a motion for reconsideration thereon was denied
That on February 29, 1964, Juan Quibete meanwhile sold and/or transferred his rights

and interests over the area under Fishpond Permit No. F-738-E to one Petronilo Retirado
That on April 28, 1964, private respondent Angeles Dico filed a protest with the
Philippine Fisheries Commission alleging that Juan Quibete was occupying and improving
lot (Lot No. 489-C) which was not the area covered by his fishpond permit and that he
transferred his rights and interests over the said area without the approval of the Secretary
of Agriculture and Natural Resources
That the Philippine Fisheries Commissioner dismissed the protest on October 16,
1964 and declared that Lot No. 489-C was the same area granted to Juan Quibete under his
fishpond permit and not any other lot
That from the decision private respondent Angeles Dico brought her case to the
Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources who dismissed her appeal on December 7,
1965
That after denial of a motion for reconsideration, she appealed to the Office of the
President. Her appeal was in turn dismissed in the decision of November 14, 1969
2. Re: DANR Case No. 3447
entitled "F.P.A. No.V-3-3852, Angeles Dico,
Applicant-Appellant v. Juan Quibete, Claimant-Appellee"
The facts of the case are as follows:
That on November 13, 1965, while DANR Case No. 2898, supra, was still pending
decision by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, private respondent Angeles
Dico filed with the Director of Lands a free patent application for a 4-hectare dry portion of
Lot 489-C covered by Fishpond Permit No. F-738-E of Juan Quibete
That Juan Quibete, claiming preferential right over the area applied for, protested to
the application
That the Director of Lands, in a decision dated May 30, 1967, rejected the application
of private respondent Dico and directed Juan Quibete to file the appropriate public land
application, if qualified, for the 4-hectare dry portion
That a motion for reconsideration having been denied, private respondent Dico
appealed to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources
That under the same set of facts found in DANR Case No. 2898 aforesaid, the
Secretary affirmed on July 9, 1970 the decision of the Director of Lands, stating that the 4hectare area subject of the appeal covered a portion of the same tract of land which was the
subject matter of DANR Case No. 2898
That private respondent Dico moved to reconsider the Secretary's decision, Annex
"F", but her motion was denied on January 26, 1971. A second motion for reconsideration
was likewise denied per Order dated May 5, 1971.
3. As already stated, Petronilo Retirado became the successor-in-interest of Juan Quibete by
virtue of a deed of transfer of rights and improvements executed by Juan Quibete in favor
of Petronilo Retirado on February 29, 1964 over the area covered by Fishpond Permit No.
F-738-E of Juan Quibete
4. Ultimately, petitioner (Godeliva S. Dulay) succeeded to the rights and interests over the
area in question. On May 21, 1973, the heirs of Petronilo Retirado executed a "Deed of
Sale of Fishpond Improvements and Transfer of Rights" transferring their rights and
interests in favor of the petitioner over a portion of Lot No. 489-C consisting of 19.15
hectares, more or less, and covered by their Fishpond Permit No. 158-2.
5. On October 22, 1974, after application with the Department of Agriculture and Natural
Resources, petitioner was issued a fishpond lease agreement (No. 2169) over a portion of
Lot 489-C consisting of 18.3675 hectares, expiring on December 31, 1998.

6. On October 28, 1977, private respondent (Angeles Dico) submitted a letter-petition to


the respondent officials requesting for a "reopening of fishpond conflict of Angeles Dico
vs. Juan Quibete, Petronilo Retirado and Mrs. Godeliva S. Dulay based on newly
discovered evidence". It was there alleged that Fishpond Permit No. F-738-E of Juan
Quibete did not cover the area in question (Lot No. 489-C) located in Sitio Talaba-an,
Municipality of Cadiz (now Cadiz City) but Lot No. 487 located in Barrio Luna, Cadiz
City. She prayed that petitioner's Fishpond Lease Agreement No. 2169 be cancelled and, in
lieu thereof, a new one be issued in her name.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual
law library
7. Petitioner moved to dismiss the letter-petition on the ground of res judicata(Annex "M").
She argued that the two administrative decisions in DANR Case No. 2898 and DANR Case
No. 3447 (Annexes "A" and "F"), involving the same parties, subject matter and cause of
action, have already become final and settled the matter once and for all
8. Claiming that res judicata is not applicable, private respondent opposed the motion to
dismiss. This was the subject of a rejoinder which was again excepted to by private
respondent on the argument that res judicata does not apply in cases where the government
has to exercise its inherent power to regulate.
Respondent Director held resolution of the motion to dismiss in abeyance. In an
"Interlocutory Order" dated February 24, 1978, he reserved to resolve the motion "until
after termination of the investigation" brought about by private respondent's letter-petition.
By reason of the denial not only of her Motion to Dismiss the letter-petition of
respondent Angeles Dico dated October 28, 1977 but also the denial of her motion for
reconsideration5and the insistence of respondent Director in conducting his investigation on
September 4 to 9, 1978 at the Bacolod City Fisheries Office, 6the situation had become
urgent for petitioner.
Thus, she filed the instant petition praying for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction or restraining order claiming that unless one is immediately issued, respondent
will proceed with the investigation as scheduled, and if petitioner refuses or fails to appear
in said investigation by reason of this petition, the respondents will proceed with the
investigation and reception of evidence ex-parte as clearly threatened by the respondent
Director in his telegrams to the petitioner and his counsel, marked as Annexes "I", "U",
"W" and "W-1" herein.
Private respondent Angeles Dico's request for the reopening of the case of "Dico vs.
Quibete, et al." and the cancellation of the Fishpond Lease Agreement of petitioner
Godeliva S. Dulay on the ground of fraud committed by Juan Quibete and Petronila
Retirado is anchored, allegedly, on the following pieces of newly-discovered evidence, to
wit:
(1) Order of then Philippine Fisheries Commissioner Arsenio N. Rolden, dated May 12,
1964, recognizing the fishpond application (No. 18206) of private respondent, dated Feb. 6,
1958, over the area in question located at Barrio Daga, Talaba-an, Diotay, Cadiz City
(2) The Plan of the Bureau of Lands for the entire area of Lot 489 of which the subject area
is a portion
(3) The Fishpond Application (No. 18950) of Juan Quibete (herein petitioner's successorin-interest) for 5 hectares covered by Lot 489-B (25 hectares), situated at Barrio Daga,
Talaba-an, Diotay, Cadiz City, was denied by Hon. Jose R. Montilla Assistant Director of
Fisheries on May 19, 1960 because Juan Quibete was already a holder of a previously
approved fishpond application under Permit No. 738-E under Lot 487 covering a 20hectare area situated at Barrio Luna, Cadiz City
(4) The Plan of the aforesaid Lot 487

(5) Affidavits of three (3) persons who attest to the fact that Juan Quibete's fishpond area
(Lot 487) is located at Barrio Luna, Cadiz City. The witnesses are Mansueto D. Alarcon,
then Municipal Secretary of the Municipality of Cadiz, Negros Occidental dated January 6,
1965; Patrolman Eligio O. Javier, member of the police force of Cadiz, Negros Occidental,
dated October 22, 1963 and Melecio Quibete, son of Juan, executed in May 1964.
ISSUE:
W/N the Res Judicata will set in the case at bar?
HELD: YES!
We grant the petition and make permanent the temporary restraining order
issued earlier on September 7, 1978.
Private respondent's letter-petition, filed October 28, 1977, states clearly that it is a
"Request for Reopening of Fishpond Conflict of Mrs. Angeles Dico vs. Juan Quibete,
Petronilo Retirado and Mrs. Godeliva S. Dulay based on New Discovered Evidence . . . ."
It is already well-settled in our jurisprudence that the decisions and orders of
administrative agencies rendered pursuant to their quasi-judicial authority, have,
upon their finality, the force and binding effect of a final judgment within the purview
of the doctrine of res judicata. The rule of res judicata which forbids the reopening of a
matter once judicially determined by competent authority applies as well to the
judicial and quasi-judicial acts of public, executive or administrative officers and
boards acting within their jurisdiction.
DANR Case No. 2898, entitled "Angeles Dico vs. Juan Quibete" was decided by the Office
of the President on November 14, 1969. Since the same was not brought to the courts for
judicial review, the same has long become final and executory.
DANR Case No. 3447, entitled "Angeles Dico vs. Juan Quibete" involved Free Patent
Application No. V-3-385 of private respondent Dico. The Director of Lands in a decision
dated May 30, 1967 rejected her application. The Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources affirmed the same on July 9, 1970. 12The findings of fact in said DANR case,
which were found by the Secretary to be the same facts in DANR Case No. 2898, are
deemed conclusive by operation of law. 13Said DANR case, not having been brought
likewise to the courts for judicial review has also become final and executory.
To sum up, the matter of which lot Juan Quibete improved as a fishpond and which rights
he sold to Retirado was investigated TWICE after the Philippine Fisheries Commission
reinstated private respondent's Fishpond Application No. 18206 in its Order of May 12,
1964. Both investigations - more than three years apart with investigators from different
offices - showed that Juan Quibete occupied and improved Lot 489-C although in the
different documents, including maps, which make up this case, it was designated as Lot
487. Thus, no merit can be given to private respondent's alleged pieces of evidence, number
2 and 5(page 7-8, supra) as all these HAD already been studied thoroughly by both
Investigator
Alelis
and
Atty.
Bautista
in
these
separate
investigations.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
The matter having become final as of August or September 1970, 27it was grave abuse
of discretion on the part of public respondent Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and
Aquatic Resources to give due course to private-respondent's letter-petition of

October 28, 1977 requesting for a re-opening of the fishpond conflict involved herein.

G.R. No. 100156 June 27, 1994


ISIDORA SALUD,petitioner,
vs.
THE COURT OF APPEALS and MELANIA GUERRERO,respondents.
PUNO, J.:
FACTS:
Petitioner Isidora Guerrero Salud and her late husband, Eusebio B. Salud, are the
registered owners of an undivided one-half () share in certain parcels of land situated in
Bacoor, Cavite. They are referred to as the Poblacion and Habay properties and the San
Nicolas property, respectively covered by TCT No. RT-9269 and TCT No. RT-9268 of the
Cavite City Register of Deeds. 1 To be exact, these properties are registered in the name of
"Isidora Guerrero . . . married to Eusebio Salud, and Clemente Guerrero . . . married to
Melania Andico." Petitioner Isidora Guerrero Salud and Clemente Guerrero are sister and
brother. The latter is the deceased husband of private respondent.
On October 20, 1967, petitioner and her late husband, executed a deed wherein they sold
their one-half (1/2) share in the Poblacion property to their daughter Maripol Guerrero for
TWO THOUSAND PESOS (P2,000.00), while the Habay property was sold to their
children Norma Salud Vianzon and Eusebio G. Salud, Jr., for FIVE THOUSAND PESOS
(P5,000.00). 2
On November 3, 1967, petitioner and her late husband, also sold their one-half () share in
the San Nicolas property in favor of their children Eusebio Salud, Jr., and Teodoro G. Salud
for THREE THOUSAND PESOS (P3,000.00). 3
After the execution of the deeds, it is alleged that petitioner and her late husband changed
their minds. They did not register the deeds of sale. Instead, they continued in possession of
the properties, and exercised other acts of ownership, including the mortgaging of the lots
subject of the deeds.
The relationship between the Salud and Guerrero families soured.
On June 4, 1980, the late Clemente Guerrero, husband of private respondent, filed
with the Court of First Instance (CFI), now Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cavite, two
(2) complaints docketed as Civil Cases No. 3022 and 3023. In Civil Case No. 3022, he
sued Eusebio Salud, Jr., the spouses Norma Salud and Artemio Vianzon and Maripol
Guerrero. In Civil Case No. 3023, he sued Eusebio Salud, Jr., and Teodoro G. Salud.
He sought to exercise his right of redemption as a co-owner of the controverted
properties.
In Civil Case No. 3022, defendants were declared in default. Petitioner claims that said
defendants were then in the United States and were unable to answer the Complaint. On
February 19, 1982, the then CFI of Cavite rendered a decision granting the late
Guerrero the right to redeem the properties in question. The Court of Appeals
affirmed the decision which became final and executory on July 31, 1986. Efforts of
petitioner to intervene in the appellate court were in vain.

On the other hand, the Complaint in Civil Case No. 3023 was tried on its merit.
Teodoro G. Salud was able to answer Guerrero's Complaint. After trial, the trial court
dismissed the Complaint on January 10, 1982. It held that the late Guerrero had no
right to redeem the litigated property as its sale "is not in esse." The Court of Appeals,
in G.R. No. CV-2529, also affirmed this Decision.
The controversy between the parties did not die down. To frustrate the right of redemption
granted to the deceased Clemente Guerrero in Civil Case No. 3022, petitioner Isidora Salud
initiated Civil Case No. BCV-86-60, dubbed an Action to Quiet Title/Remove Cloud from
Title, Declaratory Relief plus Damages before the RTC of Imus, Cavite. Sued was
Clemente's widow, private respondent Melania Guerrero. The latter moved to dismiss the
complaint on ground, among others, of res judicata.
In an Order 4 dated March 19, 1987, the trial court granted the motion to dismiss. Petitioner
appealed to the respondent Court of Appeals which, however, rendered an affirmance.
Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
W/N Res Judicata will set in the case?
HELD: NO!
The rules of res judicata are of common law origin and they initially evolved from court
decisions. It is now considered a principle of universal jurisprudence forming a part of the
legal system of all civilized nations. 5 In our jurisdiction, the principle of res judicata was
incorporated as part of our statutory law.
The principle was enacted as sections 306 and 307 of Act No. 190. 6 Later, it became
sections 44 and 45 of former Rules 39. 7 Under the present Rules of Court, it appears in
section 49 of Rule 39, viz:
Sec. 49. Effect of judgments. The effect of a judgment or final order rendered by a court
or judge of the Philippines, having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment or order, may be
as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
(b) In other cases the judgment or order is, with respect to the matter directly adjudged or
as to any other mater that could have been raised in relation thereto, conclusive between the
parties and their successors-in-interest by title subsequent to the commencement of the
action or special proceeding, litigating for the same thing and under the same title and in
the same capacity;
(c) In any other litigation between the same parties or their successors-in-interest, that only
is deemed to have been adjudged in a former judgment which appears upon its face to have
been so adjudged, or which was actually and necessarily included therein or necessary
thereto.
The above rule expresses the two (2) aspects of res judicata. As pointed out by Moran, the
first aspect is the effect of a judgment as a bar to the prosecution of a second action upon
the same claim, demand or cause of action. The second aspect precludes the relitigation of a
particular fact of issue in another action between the same parties on a different claim or
cause of action. 8 The first aspect is known in traditional terminology as merger or bar; in

modern terminology, it is called claim preclusion. The second aspect is traditionally known
as collateral estoppel; in modern terminology, it is called issue preclusion. 9
There is universal agreement on the principles underlying res judicata, 10 viz:
. . . . Two maxims of the English common law best summarize the general policies
underlying this doctrine.
They are: first, that no person should be twice vexed by the same claim; and second, that it
is in the interest of the state that there be an end to litigation.
Thus, principles of res judicata serve both private and public interests.
The interest of the judicial system in preventing relitigation of the same dispute recognizes
that judicial resources are finite and the number of cases that can be heard by the court is
limited. Every dispute that is reheard means that another will be delayed. In modern times
when court dockets are filled to overflowing, this concern is of critical importance.
Res judicata thus conserves scarce judicial resources and promotes efficiency in the interest
of the public at large.
Once a final judgment has been rendered, the prevailing party also has an interest in the
stability of that judgment. Parties come to the courts in order to resolve controversies; a
judgment would be of little use in resolving disputes if the parties were free to ignore it and
to litigate the same claims again and again. Although judicial determinations are not
infallible, judicial error should be corrected through appeals procedures, not through
repeated suits on the same claim. Further, to allow relitigation creates the risk of
inconsistent results and presents the embarrassing problem of determining which of two
conflicting decisions is to be preferred. Since there is no reason to suppose that the second
or third determination of a claim necessarily is more accurate than the first, the first should
be left undisturbed.
In some cases the public at large also has an interest in seeing that rights and liabilities once
established remain fixed. If a court quiets title to land, for example, everyone should be
able to rely on the finality of that determination. Otherwise, many business transactions
would be clouded by uncertainty. Thus, the most important purpose of res judicata is to
provide repose for both the party litigants and the public. As the Supreme Court has
observed, "res judicata thus encourages reliance on judicial decision, bars vexatious
litigation, and frees the courts to resolve other disputes."
In our age, where courts are harassed by crowded dockets and complaints against slow foot
justice, frequent technical reliance on the preclusive breadth of res judicata is
understandable. The importance of judicial economy and avoidance of repetitive suits are
strong norms in a society in need of swift justice. Be that as it may, there should not be a
mechanical and uncaring reliance on res judicata where more important societal values
deserve protection. So we held in Suarez vs. Court of Appeals, et al., 11
The case at bench presents an exceptional instance where an inflexible application of
the doctrine of res judicata will not serve our constitutional policy favoring fairness,
the heart of due process. Petitioner was not a party in Civil Case No. 3022 and was not
given any chance to contest the claim of Guerrero. Her children, then in the United States,
were the ones sued. They failed to answer, and were declared in default. Thus, the late
Clemente Guerrero, husband of private respondent, obtained a favorable judgment by
default from the trial court pursuant to which he was given the right of preemption over the
contested lots. Petitioner attempted to intervene in the case but unfortunately, her motion
for intervention was denied. The late Guerrero, therefore, prevailed primarily because his

claim was not disputed. In contrast was the result in Civil Case No. 3023 where Guerrero
claimed the same right of preemption against the other children of petitioner. In this case,
however, one of the children of petitioner sued by Guerrero, was in the Philippines and he
answered the Complaint. The case was tried on its merit and the trial court dismissed the
Complaint of Guerrero. It found that the right of preemption of Guerrero was not yet in
esse.
The difference in the results of Civil Cases No. 3022 and 3023 accentuates the necessity
not to give res judicata effect to the default judgment in Civil Case No. 3022 where
petitioner was a non-party. The demands of due process present a weightier consideration
than the need to bring an end to the parties' litigation. For more important than the need to
write finis to litigation is to finish it justly, and there can be no justice that satisfies unless
the litigants are given the opportunity to be heard. The constitutional right to due process of
petitioner cannot be defeated by the argument that petitioner is a privy of her children in
Civil Case No. 3022, and hence is bound by its judgment. Case law, both here and in the
United States, recognizes privity of interest under the following situation: 12
The historic and most common situation in which privity is upheld exists when a person
acquires an interest in the subject matter of the suit after it was filed or decided.
Successors-in-interest, whether they obtain their interests by virtue of an assignment, by
inheritance or by law are bound along with their predecessors by the rules of res judicata
and collateral estoppel. This is necessary in order to preserve the finality of judgments;
otherwise a person confronted with an adverse decision might subject the winning party to
the prospect of continual litigation simply by transferring his interest in the subject matter
of the suit to another who could begin the suit anew.
A second well-defined privity relationship arises when legal appointed representative
parties, such as trustees and executors, are involved; those individuals are deemed in privity
with those whom they represent. Since parties litigating in representative capacity have no
interests of their own, but either sued or are sued on behalf of the beneficiaries whom they
serve.
Privity also has been universally recognized when it is determined that the newly named
party in the second suit actually controlled or participated in litigating the first action.
Although the non-party will not be bound by res judicata because different claims are
involved, identical issues that were necessarily and actually litigated will be precluded.
Having received one opportunity to defend or prosecute those issues, he may not be
allowed another.
Petitioner does not fall in any of the above categories. She is not a successor-in-interest of
her children in Civil Case No. 3022. Petitioner's children were not sued in Civil Case No.
3022 in a representative capacity. It is also clear that petitioner did not control or participate
in Civil Case No. 3022 for her motion to intervene was denied. Petitioner's interest,
therefore, was not at all represented in Civil Case No. 3022 where judgment was obtained
by default. The doctrine of res judicata is a rule of justice and cannot be rigidly applied
where it will result in injustice.

ANCHETA vs. ANCHETA


Facts:Marietta and Rodolfo were married in 1959. They had 8 children. In 1992, Rodolfo left
the conjugal home and abandoned Marietta and their children. Two years after, Marietta filed a
complaint for the dissolution of the conjugal partnership and judicial separation of property with
a plea for support and support pendente lite. At that time, Marietta lived in Las Pinas. The parties
entered into a compromise agreement wherein their property located in Carmona, Cavite was
adjudicated to Marietta and her children. The court rendered judgment based on the compromise
agreement. Conformably thereto, Marietta and her children moved and began residence at the
said Carmona property.
In 1995, Rodolfo, wanting to marry again, filed a case for the declaration of nullity of his
marriage with the Marietta on the ground of psychological incapacity. Although the Rodolfo
knew that the Marietta was already residing in Carmona, Cavite, he, nevertheless, alleged in his
petition that the Marietta was residing at No. 72 CRM Avenue corner CRM Corazon, BF Homes,
Almanza, Las Pias, Metro Manila. The sheriff served the summons and a copy of the petition
by substituted service on the the parties son, Venancio Mariano B. Ancheta III, at his residence
in Bancal, Carmona, Cavite.
Marietta failed to file an answer and was declared in default. Rodolfo was allowed adduce
evidence ex-parte. On July 7, 1995, the trial court issued an Order granting the petition and
declaring the marriage of the parties void ab initio. The clerk of court issued a Certificate of
Finality of the Order of the court on July 16, 1996.
On July 7, 2000, the Marietta filed a verified petition against the Rodolfo with the Court of
Appeals under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court, as amended, for the annulment of the order of the
RTC.
Marietta, alleged, among others, that the order of the trial court nullifying her and the Rodolfos
marriage was null and void for the court a quos failure to order the public prosecutor to conduct
an investigation on whether there was collusion between the parties, and to order the Solicitor
General to appear for the State.
Held: The records show that for the petitioners failure to file an answer to the complaint, the
trial court granted the motion of the respondent herein to declare her in default. The public
prosecutor condoned the acts of the trial court when he interposed no objection to the motion of
the respondent. The trial court forthwith received the evidence of the respondent ex-parte and
rendered judgment against the petitioner without a whimper of protest from the public
prosecutor. The actuations of the trial court and the public prosecutor are in defiance of Article
48 of the Family Code, which reads:
Article 48. In all cases of annulment or declaration of absolute nullity of marriage, the Court
shall order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal assigned to it to appear on behalf of the State to
take steps to prevent collusion between the parties and to take care that evidence is not
fabricated or suppressed.
In the cases referred to in the preceding paragraph, no judgment shall be based upon a
stipulation of facts or confession of judgment.
The trial court and the public prosecutor also ignored Rule 18, Section 6 of the 1985 Rules of
Court (now Rule 9, Section 3[e] of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure) which provides:
Sec. 6. No defaults in actions for annulment of marriage or for legal separation. If the

defendant in an action for annulment of marriage or for legal separation fails to answer, the court
shall order the prosecuting attorney to investigate whether or not a collusion between the parties
exits, and if there is no collusion, to intervene for the State in order to see to it that the evidence
submitted is not fabricated.
In the case of Republic v. Court of Appeals, this Court laid down the guidelines in the
interpretation and application of Art. 48 of the Family Code, one of which concerns the role of
the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the State:
(8) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the Solicitor General to
appear as counsel for the state. No decision shall be handed down unless the Solicitor General
issues a certification, which will be quoted in the decision, briefly stating therein his reasons for
his agreement or opposition, as the case may be, to the petition. The Solicitor General, along
with the prosecuting attorney, shall submit to the court such certification within fifteen (15) days
from the date the case is deemed submitted for resolution of the court. The Solicitor General
shall discharge the equivalent function of the defensor vinculi contemplated under Canon 1095.
The task of protecting marriage as an inviolable social institution requires vigilant and zealous
participation and not mere pro-forma compliance. The protection of marriage as a sacred
institution requires not just the defense of a true and genuine union but the exposure of an
invalid one as well.
A grant of annulment of marriage or legal separation by default is fraught with the danger of
collusion. Hence, in all cases for annulment, declaration of nullity of marriage and legal
separation, the prosecuting attorney or fiscal is ordered to appear on behalf of the State for the
purpose of preventing any collusion between the parties and to take care that their evidence is
not fabricated or suppressed. If the defendant-spouse fails to answer the complaint, the court
cannot declare him or her in default but instead, should order the prosecuting attorney to
determine if collusion exists between the parties. The prosecuting attorney or fiscal may oppose
the application for legal separation or annulment through the presentation of his own evidence, if
in his opinion, the proof adduced is dubious and fabricated.
Our constitution is committed to the policy of strengthening the family as a basic social
institution. Our family law is based on the policy that marriage is not a mere contract, but a
social institution in which the State is vitally interested. The State can find no stronger anchor
than on good, solid and happy families. The break-up of families weakens our social and moral
fabric; hence, their preservation is not the concern of the family members alone. Whether or not
a marriage should continue to exist or a family should stay together must not depend on the
whims and caprices of only one party, who claims that the other suffers psychological
imbalance, incapacitating such party to fulfill his or her marital duties and obligations (Ancheta
vs. Ancheta, G.R. No. 145370, March 4, 2004)