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G.R.No.178607.December5,2012.

DANTE LA. JIMENEZ, in his capacity as President and


representative of UNLAD SHIPPING & MANAGEMENT
CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. HON. EDWIN SORONGON (in
hiscapacityasPresidingJudgeofBranch214oftheRegionalTrial
Court of Mandaluyong City), SOCRATES ANTZOULATOS,
CARMEN ALAMIL, MARCELI GAZA and MARKOS
AVGOUSTIS,respondents.

Remedial Law Parties Every action must be prosecuted or defended


in the name of the real party in interest, who stands to be benefited or
injured by the judgment in the suit, or by the party entitled to the avails of
thesuit.Itiswellsettledthateveryactionmustbeprosecutedordefended
in the name of the real party in interest[,] who stands to be benefited or
injured by the judgment in the suit, or by the party entitled to the avails of
the suit. Interest means material interest or an interest in issue to be
affected by the decree or judgment of the case, as distinguished from mere
interest in the question involved. By real interest is meant a present
substantial interest, as distinguished from a mere expectancy, or a future,
contingent, subordinate or consequential interest. When the plaintiff or the
defendantisnotarealpartyininterest,thesuitisdismissible.
Same Criminal Procedure Parties Prosecutors Office of the
Solicitor General All criminal actions commenced by complaint or by
information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of a public
prosecutor. In appeals of criminal cases before the Court of Appeals and
beforethisCourt,theOfficeoftheSolicitorGeneralistheappellatecounsel
ofthePeopleThePeopleistherealpartyininterestinacriminalcaseand
onlytheOfficeoftheSolicitorGeneralcanrepresentthePeopleincriminal
proceedings pending in the Court of Appeals or in the Supreme Court.
Procedurallawbasicallymandatesthat[a]llcriminalactionscommencedby
complaint or by information shall be prosecuted under the direction and
control of a public prosecutor. In appeals of criminal cases before the CA
and

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*SECONDDIVISION.

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152 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED

Jimenezvs.Sorongon

beforethisCourt,theOSGistheappellatecounselofthePeople,pursuantto
Section 35(1), Chapter 12, Title III, Book IV of the 1987 Administrative
Code. This section explicitly provides: SEC. 35. Powers and Functions.
The Office of the Solicitor General shall represent the Government of the
Philippines,itsagenciesandinstrumentalitiesanditsofficialsandagentsin
any litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of
lawyers. . . . It shall have the following specific powers and functions: (1)
Represent the Government in the Supreme Court and the Court of
Appeals in all criminal proceedings represent the Government and its
officersintheSupremeCourtandCourtofAppeals,andallothercourtsor
tribunals in all civil actions and special proceedings in which the
Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity is a party.
(emphasis added) The People is the real party in interest in a criminal case
andonlytheOSGcanrepresentthePeopleincriminalproceedingspending
in the CA or in this Court. This ruling has been repeatedly stressed in
severalcasesandcontinuestobethecontrollingdoctrine.
Same Courts Jurisdiction Filing pleadings seeking affirmative relief
constitutes voluntary appearance, and the consequent jurisdiction of ones
person to the jurisdiction of the court.As a rule, one who seeks an
affirmativereliefisdeemedtohavesubmittedtothejurisdictionofthecourt.
Filing pleadings seeking affirmative relief constitutes voluntary appearance,
and the consequent jurisdiction of ones person to the jurisdiction of the
court.Thus,byfilingseveralmotionsbeforetheRTCseekingthedismissal
of the criminal case, respondent Alamil voluntarily submitted to the
jurisdiction of the RTC. Custody of the law is not required for the
adjudicationofreliefsotherthananapplicationforbail.

PETITIONforreviewoncertiorarioftheresolutionsoftheCourtof
Appeals.
ThefactsarestatedintheopinionoftheCourt.
Zamora,Poblador,Vasquez&Bretanaforpetitioner.
AngelR.PurisimaIIIforrespondentsAntzoulatosandGaza.
Oben,Ventura&AssociatesforrespondentAlamil.

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VOL.687,DECEMBER5,2012 153
Jimenezvs.Sorongon

BRION,J.:
Weresolvethepetitionforreviewoncertiorari1filedbyDante
La. Jimenez (petitioner) to challenge the twin resolutions of the
Court of Appeals (CA) dated November 23, 20062 and June 28,
20073 in CAG.R. SP No. 96584, which dismissed the petitioners
20073 in CAG.R. SP No. 96584, which dismissed the petitioners
petition for certiorari and denied his motion for reconsideration,
respectively.
TheFactualAntecedents
ThepetitioneristhepresidentofUnladShipping&Management
Corporation, a local manning agency, while Socrates Antzoulatos,
CarmenAlamil,MarceliGaza,andMarkosAvgoustis(respondents)
are some of the listed incorporators of Tsakos Maritime Services,
Inc.(TMSI),anotherlocalmanningagency.
On August 19, 2003, the petitioner filed a complaintaffidavit4
withtheOfficeoftheCityProsecutorofMandaluyongCityagainst
the respondents for syndicated and large scale illegal recruitment.5
Thepetitionerallegedthattherespondentsfalselyrepresentedtheir
stockholdings in TMSIs articles of incorporation6 to secure a
license to operate as a recruitment agency from the Philippine
OverseasEmploymentAdministration(POEA).

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1UnderRule45ofthe1997RulesofCivilProcedureRollo,pp.1043.
2 Penned by Associate Justice Elvi John S. Asuncion, and concurred in by
AssociateJusticesJoseCatralMendoza(nowamemberofthisCourt)andCelia C.
LibreaLeagogoid.,atpp.4850.
3PennedbyAssociateJusticeJoseCatralMendoza,andconcurredinbyAssociate
JusticesCeliaC.LibreaLeagogoandMariflorPunzalanCastilloid.,atp.52.
4Id.,atpp.7682.
5UnderSection6(c),inrelationtoSection7,ofRepublicActNo.8042(Migrant
WorkersandOverseasFilipinosActof1995),effectiveJuly15,1995.
6Rollo,pp.5763.

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154 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Jimenezvs.Sorongon

On October 9, 2003, respondents Antzoulatos and Gaza filed


their joint counteraffidavit denying the complaintaffidavits
allegations.7RespondentsAvgoustisandAlamildidnotsubmitany
counteraffidavit.
In a May 4,2004resolution,8 the 3rd Assistant City Prosecutor
recommended the filing of an information for syndicated and large
scale illegal recruitment against the respondents. The City
Prosecutor approved his recommendation and filed the
corresponding criminal information with the Regional Trial Court
(RTC)ofMandaluyongCity(docketedasCriminalCaseNo.MC04
8514 and raffled to Branch 212) presided by Judge Rizalina T.
CapcoUmali.
Subsequently, in a December 14, 2004 resolution, the City
Prosecutor reconsidered the May 4, 2004 resolution and filed a
motion with the RTC to withdraw the information.9 The petitioner
and respondents Antzoulatos and Gaza filed their opposition10 and
commenttotheopposition,respectively.
InanAugust1,2005resolution,11theRTCdeniedthemotionto
withdrawinformationasitfoundtheexistenceofprobablecauseto
holdtherespondentsfortrial.12Thus,theRTCorderedtheissuance
ofwarrantsofarrestagainsttherespondents.
OnAugust26,2005,respondentsAntzoulatosandGazafiledan
omnibusmotionforreconsiderationandfordeferredenforcementof
the warrants of arrest.13 In a September 2, 2005 order,14 the RTC
deniedtheomnibusmotion,reiteratingthatthetrialcourtisthesole
judgeonwhetheracriminalcaseshouldbedismissedornot.

_______________
7Id.,atpp.8392.
8Id.,atpp.104108.
9Id.,atpp.109110.
10Id.,atpp.111116.
11Id.,atpp.118119.
12Id.
13Id.,atpp.120124.
14Id.,atpp.125129.

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VOL.687,DECEMBER5,2012 155
Jimenezvs.Sorongon

On September 26, 2005, respondent Alamil filed a motion for


judicial determination of probable cause with a request to defer
enforcementofthewarrantsofarrest.15
On September 29, 2005, the petitioner filed his opposition with
motion to expunge, contending that respondent Alamil, being a
fugitivefromjustice,hadnostandingtoseekanyreliefandthatthe
RTC,intheAugust1,2005resolution,alreadyfoundprobablecause
toholdtherespondentsfortrial.16
In a September 30, 2005 order,17 the RTC denied respondent
Alamils motion for being moot and academic it ruled that it had
alreadyfoundprobablecauseagainsttherespondentsintheAugust
1,2005resolution,whichitaffirmedintheSeptember2,2005order.
On October 10, 2005, respondent Alamil moved for
reconsideration and for the inhibition of Judge CapcoUmali, for
being biased or partial.18 On October 25, 2005, the petitioner filed
anoppositionwithamotiontoexpunge,reiteratingthatrespondent
AlamilhadnostandingtoseekrelieffromtheRTC.19

In a January 4, 2006 order,20 Judge CapcoUmali voluntarily


In a January 4, 2006 order,20 Judge CapcoUmali voluntarily
inhibited herself from the case and did not resolve respondent
Alamils motion for reconsideration and the petitioners motion to
expunge. The case was later reraffled to Branch 214, presided by
JudgeEdwinD.Sorongon.

_______________
15Id.,atpp.130142.
16Id.,atpp.143148.
17Id.,atpp.150151.
18Id.,atpp.152171.
19Id.,atpp.172187.
20Id.,atpp.189191.

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156 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Jimenezvs.Sorongon

TheRTCRulings
In its March 8, 2006 order,21 the RTC granted respondent
Alamils motion for reconsideration. It treated respondent Alamils
motionforjudicialdeterminationasamotiontodismissforlackof
probablecause.Itfound:(1)noevidenceonrecordtoindicatethat
the respondents gave any false information to secure a license to
operate as a recruitment agency from the POEA and (2) that
respondent Alamil voluntarily submitted to the RTCs jurisdiction
throughthefilingofpleadingsseekingaffirmativerelief.Thus,the
RTCdismissedthecase,andsetasidetheearlierissuedwarrantsof
arrest.
On April 3, 2006, the petitioner moved for reconsideration,
stressing the existence of probable cause to prosecute the
respondentsandthatrespondentAlamilhadnostandingtoseekany
relieffromtheRTC.22
On April 26, 2006, respondent Alamil moved to expunge the
motionforbeingaprohibitedpleadingsincethemotiondidnothave
thepublicprosecutorsconformity.23
In its May 10, 2006 order,24 the RTC denied the petitioners
motion for reconsideration, finding that the petitioner merely
reiterated arguments in issues that had been finally decided. The
RTCorderedthemotionexpungedfromtherecordssincethemotion
did not have the public prosecutors conformity.On May 19, 2006,
thepetitionerfiledanoticeofappeal.25
On May 30, 2006, respondent Alamil moved to expunge the
petitioners notice of appeal since the public prosecutor did not
authorize the appeal and the petitioner had no civil interest in the
case.26
_______________
21Id.,atpp.192196.
22Id.,atpp.197207.
23Id.,atpp.209212.
24Id.,atp.218.
25Id.,atpp.219220.
26Id.,atpp.221224.

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VOL.687,DECEMBER5,2012 157
Jimenezvs.Sorongon

OnJune27,2006,thepetitionerfiledhiscommenttothemotion
toexpunge,claimingthat,astheoffendedparty,hehastherightto
appeal the RTC order dismissing the case the respondents
fraudulentactsinformingTMSIgreatlyprejudicedhim.27
In its August 7, 2006 joint order,28 the RTC denied the
petitionersnoticeofappealsincethepetitionerfileditwithoutthe
conformity of the Solicitor General, who is mandated to represent
thePeopleofthePhilippinesincriminalactionsappealedtotheCA.
Thus, the RTC ordered the notice of appeal expunged from the
records.
OnOctober18,2006,thepetitionerelevatedhiscasetotheCA
via a Rule 65 petition for certiorari assailing the RTCs March 8,
2006,May10,2006,andAugust7,2006orders.

TheCARuling

InitsNovember23,2006resolution,29theCAdismissedoutright
thepetitionersRule65petitionforlackoflegalpersonalitytofile
thepetitiononbehalfofthePeopleofthePhilippines.Itnotedthat
only the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has the legal
personalitytorepresentthePeople,underSection35(1),Chapter12,
TitleIII,BookIVofthe1987AdministrativeCode.Italsoheldthat
thepetitionerwasnottherealpartyininteresttoinstitutethecase,
himnotbeingavictimofthecrimechargedtotherespondents,buta
merecompetitorintheirrecruitmentbusiness.TheCAdenied30the
motionforreconsideration31thatfollowed.

_______________
27Id.,atpp.225229.
28Id.,atpp.240241.
29Supranote2.
30Supranote3.
31Rollo,pp.242247.

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158 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Jimenezvs.Sorongon

ThePetition
The petitioner argues that he has a legal standing to assail the
dismissal of the criminal case since he is the private complainant
and a real party in interest who had been directly damaged and
prejudiced by the respondents illegal acts respondent Alamil has
no legal standing to seek any relief from the RTC since she is a
fugitivefromjustice.
TheCasefortheRespondents
The respondents32 submit that the petitioner lacks a legal
standingtoassailthedismissalofthecriminalcasesincethepower
to prosecute lies solely with the State, acting through a public
prosecutor the petitioner acted independently and without the
authorityofapublicprosecutorintheprosecutionandappealofthe
case.
TheIssue
ThecasepresentstoustheissueofwhethertheCAcommitteda
reversible error in dismissing outright the petitioners Rule 65
petitionforcertiorariforlackoflegalpersonalitytofilethepetition
onbehalfofthePeopleofthePhilippines.

OurRuling

Thepetitionlacksmerit.
Thepetitionerhasnolegalpersonalityto
assailthedismissalofthecriminalcase
It is wellsettled that every action must be prosecuted or
defendedinthenameoftherealpartyininterest[,]who

_______________
32 Per the October 12, 2009 Resolution, the Court dispensed with respondent
Avgoustiscommenttothepetitionsince,asperthepetitionersreport,hecouldnot
belocatedid.,atpp.322323.

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VOL.687,DECEMBER5,2012 159
Jimenezvs.Sorongon

standstobebenefitedorinjuredbythejudgmentinthesuit,orby
thepartyentitledtotheavailsofthesuit.33Interestmeansmaterial
interest or an interest in issue to be affected by the decree or
judgment of the case, as distinguished from mere interest in the
question involved.34 By real interest is meant a present substantial
interest, as distinguished from a mere expectancy, or a future,

contingent, subordinate or consequential interest.35 When the


contingent, subordinate or consequential interest.35 When the
plaintiff or the defendant is not a real party in interest, the suit is
dismissible.36
Procedural law basically mandates that [a]ll criminal actions
commenced by complaint or by information shall be prosecuted
underthedirectionandcontrolofapublicprosecutor.37Inappeals
of criminal cases before the CA and before this Court, the OSG is
the appellate counsel of the People, pursuant to Section 35(1),
Chapter 12, Title III, Book IV of the 1987 Administrative Code.
Thissectionexplicitlyprovides:

SEC.35.PowersandFunctions.TheOfficeoftheSolicitorGeneral
shall represent the Government of the Philippines, its agencies and
instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation, proceeding,
investigation or matter requiring the services of lawyers. . . . It shall have
thefollowingspecificpowersandfunctions:

_______________
331997RCP,Rule3,Section2.
34TheodoreandNancyAng,representedbyEldrigeMarvinB.Aceronv.SpousesAlanand
EmAng,G.R.No.186993,August22,2012,678SCRA699,707708andGocov.Courtof
Appeals,G.R.No.157449,April6,2010,617SCRA397,405.
35United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Inc. v. Bradford United Church of Christ,
Inc.,etal., G.R. No. 171905, June 20, 2012, 674 SCRA 92 and Jelbert B. Galicto v. H.E.
President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, etc., et al., G.R. No. 193978, February 28, 2012,
667SCRA150.
36United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Inc. v. Bradford United Church of Christ,
Inc.,etal.,supraandShipsideInc.v.CourtofAppeals,404Phil.981,1000352SCRA334,
350(2001).
37RRCP,Rule110,Section5.

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160 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Jimenezvs.Sorongon

(1)RepresenttheGovernmentintheSupremeCourtandtheCourt
of Appeals in all criminal proceedings represent the Government and its
officersintheSupremeCourtandCourtofAppeals,andallothercourtsor
tribunals in all civil actions and special proceedings in which the
Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity is a party.
(emphasisadded)

ThePeopleistherealpartyininterestinacriminalcaseandonly
the OSG can represent the People in criminal proceedings pending
intheCAorinthisCourt.Thisrulinghasbeenrepeatedlystressed
inseveralcases38andcontinuestobethecontrollingdoctrine.
Whiletheremayberareoccasionswhentheoffendedpartymay
be allowed to pursue the criminal action on his own behalf39 (as
whenthereisadenialofdueprocess),thisexceptionalcircumstance
doesnotapplyinthepresentcase.
In this case, the petitioner has no legal personality to assail the
dismissal of the criminal case since the main issue raised by the
petitionerinvolvedthecriminalaspectofthecase,i.e.,theexistence
of probable cause. The petitioner did not appeal to protect his
allegedpecuniaryinterestasanoffendedpartyofthecrime,butto
causethereinstatementofthecriminal

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38BureauofCustomsv.Sherman,G.R.No.190487,April13,2011,648SCRA809
Ong v. Genio, G.R. No. 182336, December 23, 2009, 609 SCRA 188 People of the
Philippines v. Arturo F. Duca, G.R. No. 171175, October 30, 2009, 603 SCRA 159
Heirs of Federico C. Delgado v. Gonzalez, G.R. No. 184337, August 7, 2009, 595
SCRA 501 Cario v. De Castro, G.R. No. 176084, April 30, 2008, 553 SCRA 688
Mobilia Products, Inc. v. Umezawa, 493 Phil. 85 452 SCRA 736 (2005) Narcisov.
Sta.RomanaCruz,385Phil.208328SCRA505(2000)Perezv.HagonoyRuralBank,
Inc.,384Phil.322327SCRA588(2000)Labarov.Hon.Panay, 360 Phil. 102 299
SCRA714(1998)Peoplev.JudgeSantiago,255Phil.851174SCRA143(1989)and
CityFiscalofTaclobanv.JudgeEspina,248Phil.843166SCRA614(1988).
39Mercialesv.CourtofAppeals,429Phil.70379SCRA345(2002).

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Jimenezvs.Sorongon

action against the respondents. This involves the right to prosecute


which pertains exclusively to the People, as represented by the
OSG.40
RespondentAlamilvoluntarilysubmitted
totheRTCsjurisdiction
Contrary to the petitioners submission, the RTC acquired
jurisdictionoverthepersonofrespondentAlamil.
Asarule,onewhoseeksanaffirmativereliefisdeemedtohave
submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. Filing pleadings seeking
affirmative relief constitutes voluntary appearance, and the
consequent jurisdiction of ones person to the jurisdiction of the
court.41
Thus, by filing several motions before the RTC seeking the
dismissal of the criminal case, respondent Alamil voluntarily
submittedtothejurisdictionoftheRTC.Custodyofthelawisnot
requiredfortheadjudicationofreliefsotherthananapplicationfor
bail.42
WHEREFORE, we hereby DENY the appeal. The twin
resolutions of the Court of Appeals dated November 23, 2006 and
June 28, 2007 in CAG.R. SP No. 96584 are AFFIRMED. Costs
againstthepetitioner.
SOORDERED.

Carpio** (Acting C.J., Chairperson), Del Castillo, Perez and


PerlasBernabe,JJ.,concur.

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40SeeMinuteResolution,CarinaL.Dacer,SabinaDacerReyes,etal.v.Panfilo
M.Lacson,G.R.No.196209,June8,2011.
41Mirandav.Tuliao,G.R.No.158763,March31,2006,486SCRA377,388,390
andSapugayv.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.86792,March21,1990,183SCRA464,471.
42Alawiyav.Datumanong,G.R.No.164170,April16,2009,585SCRA267,280
andMirandav.Tuliao,supraatp.391.
**DesignatedasActingChiefJusticeinlieuofChiefJusticeMariaLourdesP.A.
SerenoperSpecialOrderNo.1384datedDecember4,2012.

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162 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Jimenezvs.Sorongon

Appealdenied,twinresolutionsaffirmed.

Notes.Every action must be prosecuted or defended in the


nameoftherealpartyininterest,unlessotherwiseauthorizedbylaw
or the rules. (Alonso vs. Cebu Country Club, Inc., 618 SCRA 619
[2010])
A real party in interest is one who stands to be benefited or
injuredbythejudgmentinthesuit,orthepartyentitledtotheavails
ofthesuit.(Id.)

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