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INTRODUCTION: In an order dated May 16, 1997, the trial court, appeal.

y 16, 1997, the trial court, appeal. They argued that the 15-day THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
presided by public respondent Judge Antonio reglementary period to appeal started to run LIKEWISE ERRED IN RULING AND
N. Rosales, resolved the foregoing motions as only on July 22, 1998 since this was the day AFFIRMING THE DECISION OR ORDER OF
1. Neypes v. CA (469 SCRA 633) follows: (1) the petitioners motion to declare they received the final order of the trial court THE RESPONDENT HON. ANTONIO M.
respondents Bureau of Lands and Bureau of denying their motion for reconsideration. ROSALES THAT PETITIONERS APPEAL
Republic of the Philippines Forest Development in default was granted for When they filed their notice of appeal on July WAS FILED OUT OF TIME WHEN
SUPREME COURT their failure to file an answer, but denied as 27, 1998, only five days had elapsed and they PETITIONERS RECEIVED THE LAST OR
against the respondent heirs of del Mundo were well within the reglementary period for FINAL ORDER OF THE COURT ON JULY 22,
because the substituted service of summons appeal.7 1998 AND FILED THEIR NOTICE OF
EN BANC on them was improper; (2) the Land Banks APPEAL ON JULY 27, 1998 AND PAID THE
motion to dismiss for lack of cause of action APPEAL DOCKET FEE ON AUGUST 3, 1998.
On September 16, 1999, the Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 141524 September 14, 2005 was denied because there were hypothetical
(CA) dismissed the petition. It ruled that the
admissions and matters that could be
15-day period to appeal should have been III
determined only after trial, and (3) the motion
DOMINGO NEYPES, LUZ FAUSTINO, reckoned from March 3, 1998 or the day they
to dismiss filed by respondent heirs of del
ROGELIO FAUSTINO, LOLITO received the February 12, 1998 order
Mundo, based on prescription, was also THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
VICTORIANO, JACOB OBANIA AND dismissing their complaint. According to the
denied because there were factual matters FURTHER ERRED IN RULING THAT THE
DOMINGO CABACUNGAN, Petitioners, appellate court, the order was the "final order"
that could be determined only after trial.1 WORDS "FINAL ORDER" IN SECTION 3,
vs. appealable under the Rules. It held further:
RULE 41, OF THE 1997 RULES OF CIVIL
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HEIRS OF PROCEDURE WILL REFER TO THE [FIRST]
BERNARDO DEL MUNDO, namely: FE, The respondent heirs filed a motion for
Perforce the petitioners tardy appeal was ORDER OF RESPONDENT JUDGE HON.
CORAZON, JOSEFA, SALVADOR and reconsideration of the order denying their
correctly dismissed for the (P)erfection of an ANTONIO M. MORALES DATED FEBRUARY
CARMEN, all surnamed DEL MUNDO, motion to dismiss on the ground that the trial
appeal within the reglementary period and in 12, 1998 INSTEAD OF THE LAST AND FINAL
LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES AND court could very well resolve the issue of
the manner prescribed by law is jurisdictional ORDER DATED JULY 1, 1998 COPY OF
HON. ANTONIO N. ROSALES, Presiding prescription from the bare allegations of the
and non-compliance with such legal WHICH WAS RECEIVED BY PETITIONERS
Judge, Branch 43, Regional Trial Court, complaint itself without waiting for the trial
requirement is fatal and effectively renders the THROUGH COUNSEL ON JULY 22, 1998.
Roxas, Oriental Mindoro,Respondent. proper.
judgment final and executory.8
IV.
DECISION In an order2 dated February 12, 1998, the trial
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration
court dismissed petitioners complaint on the
of the aforementioned decision. This was
ground that the action had already prescribed. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
CORONA, J.: denied by the Court of Appeals on January 6,
Petitioners allegedly received a copy of the FINALLY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE
2000.
order of dismissal on March 3, 1998 and, on DECISION IN THE CASE OF DENSO, INC. V.
Petitioners Domingo Neypes, Luz Faustino, the 15th day thereafter or on March 18, 1998, IAC, 148 SCRA 280, IS APPLICABLE IN THE
Rogelio Faustino, Lolito Victoriano, Jacob filed a motion for reconsideration. On July 1, In this present petition for review under Rule INSTANT CASE THEREBY IGNORING THE
Obania and Domingo Cabacungan filed an 1998, the trial court issued another order 45 of the Rules, petitioners ascribe the PECULIAR FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES
action for annulment of judgment and titles of dismissing the motion for following errors allegedly committed by the OF THIS CASE AND THE FACT THAT THE
land and/or reconveyance and/or reversion reconsideration3 which petitioners received on appellate court: SAID DECISION WAS RENDERED PRIOR
with preliminary injunction before the Regional July 22, 1998. Five days later, on July 27, TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE 1997 RULES
Trial Court, Branch 43, of Roxas, Oriental 1998, petitioners filed a notice of appeal4 and OF CIVIL PROCEDURE.9
I
Mindoro, against the Bureau of Forest paid the appeal fees on August 3, 1998.
Development, Bureau of Lands, Land Bank of The foregoing issues essentially revolve
the Philippines and the heirs of Bernardo del THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
On August 4, 1998, the court a quo denied the around the period within which petitioners
Mundo, namely, Fe, Corazon, Josefa, ERRED IN DISMISSING THE PETITIONERS
notice of appeal, holding that it was filed eight should have filed their notice of appeal.
Salvador and Carmen. PETITION FOR CERTIORARI AND
days late.5 This was received by petitioners on
MANDAMUS AND IN AFFIRMING THE
July 31, 1998. Petitioners filed a motion for
ORDER OF THE HON. JUDGE ANTONIO N. First and foremost, the right to appeal is
In the course of the proceedings, the parties reconsideration but this too was denied in an
ROSALES WHICH DISMISSED THE neither a natural right nor a part of due
(both petitioners and respondents) filed order dated September 3, 1998.6
PETITIONERS APPEAL IN CIVIL CASE NO. process. It is merely a statutory privilege and
various motions with the trial court. Among C-36 OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, may be exercised only in the manner and in
these were: (1) the motion filed by petitioners Via a petition for certiorari and mandamus BRANCH 43, ROXAS, ORIENTAL MINDORO, accordance with the provisions of law. Thus,
to declare the respondent heirs, the Bureau of under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil EVEN AFTER THE PETITIONERS HAD PAID one who seeks to avail of the right to appeal
Lands and the Bureau of Forest Development Procedure, petitioners assailed the dismissal THE APPEAL DOCKET FEES. must comply with the requirements of the
in default and (2) the motions to dismiss filed of the notice of appeal before the Court of Rules. Failure to do so often leads to the loss
by the respondent heirs and the Land Bank of Appeals. of the right to appeal.10 The period to appeal is
the Philippines, respectively. II
fixed by both statute and procedural rules. BP
129,11as amended, provides:
In the appellate court, petitioners claimed that
they had seasonably filed their notice of
Sec. 39. Appeals. The period for appeal February 12, 1998 order dismissing the having filed their MR on the last day of the 15- appeal21 and enhance the efficiency and
from final orders, resolutions, awards, complaint or the July 1, 1998 order dismissing day reglementary period to appeal, had only dispensation of justice. We have since
judgments, or decisions of any court in all the MR? one (1) day left to file the notice of appeal required strict observance of this reglementary
these cases shall be fifteen (15) days counted upon receipt of the notice of denial of their period of appeal. Seldom have we condoned
from the notice of the final order, resolution, MR. Petitioners, however, argue that they late filing of notices of appeal,22 and only in
In the recent case of Quelnan v. VHF
award, judgment, or decision appealed from. were entitled under the Rules to a fresh period very exceptional instances to better serve the
Philippines, Inc.,13 the trial court declared
Provided, however, that in habeas corpus of 15 days from receipt of the "final order" or ends of justice.
petitioner Quelnan non-suited and accordingly
cases, the period for appeal shall be (48) the order dismissing their motion for
dismissed his complaint. Upon receipt of the
forty-eight hours from the notice of judgment reconsideration.
order of dismissal, he filed an omnibus motion In National Waterworks and Sewerage
appealed from. x x x
to set it aside. When the omnibus motion was Authority and Authority v. Municipality of
filed, 12 days of the 15-day period to appeal In Quelnan and Apuyan, both petitioners filed Libmanan,23 however, we declared that appeal
Rule 41, Section 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil the order had lapsed. He later on received a motion for reconsideration of the decision of is an essential part of our judicial system and
Procedure states: another order, this time dismissing his the trial court. We ruled there that they only the rules of procedure should not be applied
omnibus motion. He then filed his notice of had the remaining time of the 15-day appeal rigidly. This Court has on occasion advised the
appeal. But this was likewise dismissed for period to file the notice of appeal. We lower courts to be cautious about not
SEC. 3. Period of ordinary appeal. The
having been filed out of time. consistently applied this rule in similar depriving a party of the right to appeal and
appeal shall be taken within fifteen (15)
cases,16 premised on the long-settled doctrine that every party litigant should be afforded the
days from the notice of the judgment or
that the perfection of an appeal in the manner amplest opportunity for the proper and just
final order appealed from. Where a record The court a quo ruled that petitioner should
and within the period permitted by law is not disposition of his cause, free from the
on appeal is required, the appellant shall file a have appealed within 15 days after the
only mandatory but also jurisdictional.17 The constraint of technicalities.
notice of appeal and a record on appeal within dismissal of his complaint since this was the
rule is also founded on deep-seated
thirty (30) days from the notice of judgment or final order that was appealable under the
considerations of public policy and sound
final order. Rules. We reversed the trial court and In de la Rosa v. Court of Appeals,24 we stated
practice that, at risk of occasional error, the
declared that it was the denial of the motion that, as a rule, periods which require litigants
judgments and awards of courts must become
for reconsideration of an order of dismissal of to do certain acts must be followed unless,
The period to appeal shall be interrupted by a final at some definite time fixed by law. 18

a complaint which constituted the final under exceptional circumstances, a delay in


timely motion for new trial or reconsideration.
order as it was what ended the issues raised the filing of an appeal may be excused on
No motion for extension of time to file a
there. Prior to the passage of BP 129, Rule 41, grounds of substantial justice. There, we
motion for new trial or reconsideration shall be
Section 3 of the 1964 Revised Rules of Court condoned the delay incurred by the appealing
allowed. (emphasis supplied)
read: party due to strong considerations of fairness
This pronouncement was reiterated in the
and justice.
more recent case of Apuyan v. Haldeman et
Based on the foregoing, an appeal should be
al.14 where we again considered the order Sec. 3. How appeal is taken. Appeal
taken within 15 days from the notice of
denying petitioner Apuyans motion for maybe taken by serving upon the adverse In setting aside technical infirmities and
judgment or final order appealed from. A final
reconsideration as the final order which finally party and filing with the trial court within thereby giving due course to tardy appeals,
judgment or order is one that finally disposes
disposed of the issues involved in the case. thirty (30) days from notice of order or we have not been oblivious to or unmindful of
of a case, leaving nothing more for the court
judgment, a notice of appeal, an appeal the extraordinary situations that merit liberal
to do with respect to it. It is an adjudication on
bond, and a record on appeal. The time application of the Rules. In those situations
the merits which, considering the evidence Based on the aforementioned cases, we
during which a motion to set aside the where technicalities were dispensed with, our
presented at the trial, declares categorically sustain petitioners view that the order dated
judgment or order or for new trial has been decisions were not meant to undermine the
what the rights and obligations of the parties July 1, 1998 denying their motion for
pending shall be deducted, unless such force and effectivity of the periods set by law.
are; or it may be an order or judgment that reconsideration was the final
motion fails to satisfy the requirements of Rule But we hasten to add that in those rare cases
dismisses an action.12 order contemplated in the Rules.
37. where procedural rules were not stringently
applied, there always existed a clear need to
As already mentioned, petitioners argue that We now come to the next question: if July 1, prevent the commission of a grave injustice.
But where such motion has been filed during
the order of July 1, 1998 denying their motion 1998 was the start of the 15-day reglementary Our judicial system and the courts have
office hours of the last day of the period herein
for reconsideration should be construed as the period to appeal, did petitioners in fact file always tried to maintain a healthy balance
provided, the appeal must be perfected within
"final order," not the February 12, 1998 order their notice of appeal on time? between the strict enforcement of procedural
the day following that in which the party
which dismissed their complaint. Since they laws and the guarantee that every litigant be
appealing received notice of the denial of said
received their copy of the denial of their given the full opportunity for the just and
Under Rule 41, Section 3, petitioners had 15 motion.19 (emphasis supplied)
motion for reconsideration only on July 22, proper disposition of his cause.25
days from notice of judgment or final order to
1998, the 15-day reglementary period to
appeal the decision of the trial court. On the
appeal had not yet lapsed when they filed According to the foregoing provision, the
15th day of the original appeal period (March The Supreme Court may promulgate
their notice of appeal on July 27, 1998. appeal period previously consisted of 30 days.
18, 1998), petitioners did not file a notice of procedural rules in all courts.26 It has the sole
BP 129, however, reduced this appeal period
appeal but instead opted to file a motion for prerogative to amend, repeal or even
to 15 days. In the deliberations of the
What therefore should be deemed as the "final reconsideration. According to the trial court, establish new rules for a more simplified and
Committee on Judicial Reorganization20 that
order," receipt of which triggers the start of the the MR only interrupted the running of the 15- inexpensive process, and the speedy
drafted BP 129, the raison d etre behind the
15-day reglementary period to appeal the day appeal period.15 It ruled that petitioners, disposition of cases. In the rules governing
amendment was to shorten the period of
appeals to it and to the Court of Appeals, period of appeal (in this case March 3-18, SO ORDERED. c) the Honorable Court ignored the
particularly Rules 42,27 4328 and 45,29 the Court 1998) remains and the requirement for strict deliberations of the 1986
allows extensions of time, based on justifiable compliance still applies. The fresh period of Constitutional Commission showing
and compelling reasons, for parties to file their 15 days becomes significant only when a 2. Apo Fruits Corp. v. Land Bank (632 that just compensation for
appeals. These extensions may consist of 15 party opts to file a motion for new trial or SCRA 727) expropriated agricultural property
days or more. motion for reconsideration. In this manner, the must be viewed in the context of
trial court which rendered the assailed social justice; and
decision is given another opportunity to review Republic of the Philippines
To standardize the appeal periods provided in SUPREME COURT
the case and, in the process, minimize and/or
the Rules and to afford litigants fair Baguio City d) granting arguendo that the
rectify any error of judgment. While we aim to
opportunity to appeal their cases, the Court interest payment has factual and
resolve cases with dispatch and to have
deems it practical to allow a fresh period of 15 legal bases, only six (6%) percent
judgments of courts become final at some EN BANC
days within which to file the notice of appeal in interest per annum may be validly
definite time, we likewise aspire to deliver
the Regional Trial Court, counted from receipt imposed.
justice fairly.
of the order dismissing a motion for a new trial G.R. No. 164195 April 5, 2011
or motion for reconsideration. 30

We have more than amply addressed


In this case, the new period of 15 days
APO FRUITS CORPORATION and HIJO argument (d) above in our October 12, 2010
eradicates the confusion as to when the 15-
Henceforth, this "fresh period rule" shall also PLANTATION, INC., Petitioners, Resolution, and we see no point in further
day appeal period should be counted from
apply to Rule 40 governing appeals from the vs. discussing it. Without in any way detracting
receipt of notice of judgment (March 3, 1998)
Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional Trial LAND BANK OF THE from the overriding effect of our main and
or from receipt of notice of "final order"
Courts; Rule 42 on petitions for review from PHILIPPINES, Respondent. primary ruling that the present 2nd motion for
appealed from (July 22, 1998).
the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of reconsideration is a prohibited motion that the
Appeals; Rule 43 on appeals from quasi- Court can no longer entertain, and if only to
judicial agencies31 to the Court of Appeals and To recapitulate, a party litigant may either file RESOLUTION emphatically signal an unequivocal finis to this
Rule 45 governing appeals by certiorari to the his notice of appeal within 15 days from case, we examine for the last and final time
Supreme Court.32 The new rule aims to receipt of the Regional Trial Courts decision BRION, J.: the LBPs other arguments.
regiment or make the appeal period uniform, or file it within 15 days from receipt of the
to be counted from receipt of the order order (the "final order") denying his motion for
We resolve Land Bank of the Philippines In the course of the Courts deliberations, Mr.
denying the motion for new trial, motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration.
(LBPs) 2nd Motion for Reconsideration of Justice Roberto A. Abad questioned the
reconsideration (whether full or partial) or any Obviously, the new 15-day period may be
December 14, 2010 that addresses our application of Section 3, Rule 15 of the
final order or resolution. availed of only if either motion is filed;
Resolutions of October 12, 2010 and Internal Rules of the Supreme Court to the
otherwise, the decision becomes final and
present 2nd motion for reconsideration. He
executory after the lapse of the original appeal November 23, 2010. This motion prays as well
We thus hold that petitioners seasonably filed for the holding of oral arguments. We likewise posited that instead of voting immediately on
period provided in Rule 41, Section 3.
their notice of appeal within the fresh period of resolve the Office of the Solicitor Generals the present 2nd motion for reconsideration,
15 days, counted from July 22, 1998 (the date (OSG) Motion for Leave to Intervene and to the Court should instead first consider the
of receipt of notice denying their motion for Petitioners here filed their notice of appeal on Admit Motion for Reconsideration-in- validity of our October 12, 2010 Resolution; he
reconsideration). This pronouncement is not July 27, 1998 or five days from receipt of the Intervention dated February 15, 2011 in behalf claimed that this Resolution is null and void
inconsistent with Rule 41, Section 3 of the order denying their motion for reconsideration of the Republic of the Philippines (Republic). because the Court violated the above-cited
Rules which states that the appeal shall be on July 22, 1998. Hence, the notice of appeal provision of the Internal Rules when it did not
taken within 15 days from notice of was well within the fresh appeal period of 15 first vote on whether the Resolutions
judgment or final order appealed from. The days, as already discussed.34 The Motion for Reconsideration underlying motion (itself a 3rd motion for
use of the disjunctive word "or" signifies reconsideration) should be entertained before
disassociation and independence of one thing voting on the motions merits. We shall lay to
We deem it unnecessary to discuss the The LBP submits the following arguments in
from another. It should, as a rule, be rest Mr. Justice Abads observation before
applicability of Denso (Philippines), Inc. v. support of its 2nd motion for reconsideration:
construed in the sense in which it ordinarily dwelling on the merits of the present 2nd
IAC35 since the Court of Appeals never even
implies.33 Hence, the use of "or" in the above motion for reconsideration.
referred to it in its assailed decision.
provision supposes that the notice of appeal a) the test of "transcendental
may be filed within 15 days from the notice of importance" does not apply to the
Our Ruling
judgment or within 15 days from notice of the WHEREFORE, the petition is present case;
"final order," which we already determined to hereby GRANTED and the assailed decision
refer to the July 1, 1998 order denying the of the Court of Appeals REVERSEDand SET We find no merit in the LBPs second
b) the standard of "transcendental
motion for a new trial or reconsideration. ASIDE. Accordingly, let the records of this motion for reconsideration, and reject as
importance" cannot justify the
case be remanded to the Court of Appeals for well the Mr. Justice Abads observation on
negation of the doctrine of
further proceedings. how to approach the consideration of the
Neither does this new rule run counter to the immutability of a final judgment and
present motion.
spirit of Section 39 of BP 129 which shortened the abrogation of a vested right in
the appeal period from 30 days to 15 days to No costs. favor of the Government that
hasten the disposition of cases. The original respondent LBP represents; Mr. Justice Abads Observations/Objections;
The Rules on 2nd Motions for Court pursuant to Section 2, Rule 56) of the Thus, while the Constitution grants the motion for reconsideration. The vote was 9 to
Reconsideration. Rules of Court. This Rule expressly provides: Supreme Court the power to promulgate rules 2, with 9 Members voting not to entertain the
concerning the practice and procedure in all LBPs 2nd motion for reconsideration. By this
courts1 (and allows the Court to regulate the vote, the ruling sought to be reconsidered for
Mr. Justice Abads observation apparently Sec. 2. Second Motion for Reconsideration.
consideration of 2nd motions for the second time was unequivocally upheld; its
stemmed from the peculiar history of the No second motion for reconsideration of a
reconsideration, including the vote that the finality already declared by the Court in its
present case. judgment or final resolution by the same party
Court shall require), these procedural rules Resolution of November 23, 2010 was
shall be entertained.
must be consistent with the standards set by reiterated. To quote the dispositive portion of
a. A recap of the history of the case. the Constitution itself. Among these the reiterated November 23, 2010 Resolution:
The absolute terms of this Rule is tempered constitutional standards is the above quoted
by Section 3, Rule 15 of the Internal Rules of Section 4 which applies to "all other cases
This case was originally handled by the Third On these considerations, we hereby DENY
the Supreme Court that provides: which under the Rules of Court are required to
Division of this Court. In its original Decision of the Motion for Reconsideration with FINALITY.
be heard en banc," and does not make any
February 6, 2007, the Division affirmed the No further pleadings shall be entertained. Let
distinction as to the type of cases or rulings it
RTCs decision setting the just compensation Sec. 3. Second Motion for Reconsideration. entry of judgment be made in due course.
applies to, i.e, whether these cases are
to be paid and fixing the interest due on the The Court shall not entertain a second motion originally filed with the Supreme Court, or
balance of the compensation due at 12% per for reconsideration and any exception to this cases on appeal, or rulings on the merits of Thus, this Court mandated a clear,
annum. In its Resolution of December 19, rule can only be granted in the higher interest motions before the Court. Thus, rulings on the unequivocal, final and emphatic finis to the
2007, the Third Division resolved the parties of justice by the Court en banc upon a vote of merits by the Court en banc on 2nd motions present case.
motions for reconsideration by deleting the at least two-thirds of its actual membership. for reconsideration, if allowed by the Court to
12% interest due on the balance of the There is reconsideration "in the higher interest be entertained under its Internal Rules, must
awarded just compensation. The parties of justice" when the assailed decision is not Landowners right to just compensation:
be decided with the concurrence of a majority
subsequent motions to reconsider this only legally erroneous, but is likewise patently a matter of public interest
of the Members who actually took part in the
Resolution were denied on April 30, 2008; on unjust and potentially capable of causing deliberations.
May 16, 2008, entry of judgment followed. unwarranted and irremediable injury or
In assailing our October 12, 2010 resolution,
Despite the entry of judgment, the present damage to the parties. A second motion for
the LBP emphasizes the need to respect the
petitioners filed a second motion for reconsideration can only be entertained When the Court ruled on October 12, 2010 on
doctrine of immutability of final judgments. The
reconsideration that prayed as well that the before the ruling sought to be reconsidered the petitioners motion for reconsideration by a
LBP maintains that we should not have
case be referred to the Court en banc. Finding becomes final by operation of law or by the vote of 12 Members (8 for the grant of the
granted the petitioners motion for
merit in these motions, the Third Division Courts declaration. [Emphases supplied.] motion and 4 against), the Court ruled on the
reconsideration in our October 12, 2010
referred the case to the En Banc for its merits of the petitioners motion. This ruling
Resolution because the ruling deleting the
disposition. On December 4, 2009, the complied in all respects with the Constitution
Separately from these rules is Article VIII, 12% interest had already attained finality
Court en banc denied the petitioners second requirement for the votes that should support
Section 4 (2) of the 1987 Constitution which when an Entry of Judgment was issued. The
motion for reconsideration. Maintaining their a ruling of the Court.
governs the decision-making by the Court en LBP argues, too, that the present case does
belief in their demand to be granted 12%
banc of any matter before it, including a not involve a matter of transcendental
interest, the petitioners persisted in filing
motion for the reconsideration of a previous Admittedly, the Court did not make any importance, as it does not involve life or
another motion for reconsideration. In the
decision. This provision states: express prior ruling accepting or disallowing liberty. The LBP further contends that the
interim, the Court promulgated its Internal
the petitioners motion as required by Section Court mistakenly used the concept of
Rules that regulated, among others, 2nd
3, Rule 15 of the Internal Rules. The Court, transcendental importance to recall a final
motions for reconsideration. On October 12, Section 4. however, did not thereby contravene its own ruling; this standard should only apply to
2010, the Court en banc granted by a vote
rule on 2nd motions for reconsideration; since questions on the legal standing of parties.
of 8 for and 4 against the petitioners motion
xxxx 12 Members of the Court opted to entertain
and awarded the 12% interests the petitioners
the motion by voting for and against it, the
prayed for, thus affirming the interests the In his dissenting opinion, Mr. Justice Roberto
Court simply did not register an express vote,
RTC originally awarded. The Court (2) All cases involving the constitutionality of a but instead demonstrated its compliance with Abad agrees with the LBPs assertion, positing
subsequently denied the respondents motion treaty, international or executive agreement, or the rule through the participation by no less that this case does not fall under any of the
for reconsideration, giving rise to the present law, which shall be heard by the Supreme exceptions to the immutability doctrine since it
than 12 of its 15 Members. Viewed in this
2nd motion for reconsideration. It was at this Court en banc, and all other cases which only involves money and does not involve a
1avvphi1

light, the Court cannot even be claimed to


point that the OSG moved for leave to under the Rules of Court are required to be matter of overriding public interest.
have suspended the effectiveness of its rule
intervene. heard en banc, including those involving the on 2nd motions for reconsideration; it simply
constitutionality, application, or operation of complied with this rule in a form other than by We reject the basic premise of the LBP's and
presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, express and separate voting.
b. The governing rules on Mr. Justice Abads arguments for being
instructions, ordinances, and other
2nd motions for reconsideration flawed. The present case goes beyond the
regulations, shall be decided with the
private interests involved; it involves a matter
concurrence of a majority of the Members who Based on these considerations, arrived at
of public interest the proper application of a
The basic rule governing 2nd motions for actually took part in the deliberations on the after a lengthy deliberation, the Court thus
basic constitutionally-guaranteed right,
reconsideration is Section 2, Rule 52 (which issues in the case and voted thereon. rejected Mr. Justice Abads observations, and
namely, the right of a landowner to receive just
applies to original actions in the Supreme proceeded to vote on the question of whether
compensation when the government
to entertain the respondents present 2nd
exercises the power of eminent domain in its That the issues posed by this case are of First, Mr. Justice Abads allegation that the secured from any government financing
agrarian reform program. transcendental importance is not hard to LBP correctly valued the petitioners properties institution on the said land shall be considered
discern from these discussions. A is not at all accurate. Significantly, Mr. Justice as additional factors to determine its valuation.
constitutional limitation, guaranteed under no Abad does not cite any evidence on record to
Section 9, Article III of the 1987 Constitution
less than the all-important Bill of Rights, is at support his claim that "the Land Bank valued
expresses the constitutional rule on eminent On its face, the staggering difference between
stake in this case: how can compensation in the lands using the compensation formula that
domain "Private property shall not be taken the LBPs initial valuation of the petitioners
an eminent domain case be "just" when the Section 17 of Republic Act 6657 and the
for public use without just compensation." properties (totalingP251,379,104.02) and the
payment for the compensation for property DARs implementing rules provide."5
While confirming the States inherent power RTCs valuation (totaling P1,383,179,000.00)
already taken has been unreasonably
and right to take private property for public a difference of P1,131,799,895.98
delayed? To claim, as the assailed Resolution
use, this provision at the same time lays down More to the point, this Court has already amounting to 81% of the total price
does, that only private interest is involved in
the limitation in the exercise of this power. determined, in a final and executed judgment, betrays the lack of good faith on the part of
this case is to forget that an expropriation
When it takes property pursuant to its inherent that the RTCs valuation of the petitioners the government in dealing with the
involves the government as a necessary actor.
right and power, the State has the properties is the correct one. To recall, the landowners. The sheer enormity of the
It forgets, too, that under eminent domain, the
corresponding obligation to pay the owner just LBP initially fixed the value of Apo Fruits difference between the two amounts cannot
constitutional limits or standards apply to
compensation for the property taken. For Corporations (AFC) properties but lead us to conclude that the LBPs error
government who carries the burden of
compensation to be considered "just," it must at P165,484.47 per hectare or P16.00 per was grievous and amounted to nothing less
showing that these standards have been met.
not only be the full and fair equivalent of the square meter (sqm), while it valued Hijo than gross negligence in the exercise of its
Thus, to simply dismiss the case as a private
property taken; it must also be paid to the
2
Plantation Inc.s (HPI) properties duty in this case, to properly ascertain the
interest matter is an extremely shortsighted
landowner without delay. 3
at P201,929.97 per hectare, or just compensation due to the petitioners.
view that this Court should not leave
approximately P20.00/sqm. In contrast, the
uncorrected.
Regional Trial Court fixed the valuation of the
To fully and properly appreciate the Mr. Justice Abad further argues that interest
petitioners properties at P103.33/sqm., or
significance of this case, we have to consider on just compensation is due only where there
xxxx more than five times the initial valuation
it in its proper context. Contrary to the LBPs is delay in payment. In the present case, the
fixed by the LBP.
and Mr. Justice Abads assertions, the petitioners allegedly did not suffer any delay in
outcome of this case is not confined to the More than the stability of our jurisprudence, payment since the LBP made partial
fate of the two petitioners alone. This case the matter before us is of transcendental After reviewing the records, this Court affirmed payments prior to the taking of their lands.
involves the governments agrarian reform importance to the nation because of the the RTCs valuation in its February 6, 2007
program whose success largely depends on subject matter involved agrarian reform, a decision, noting that it was based on the
This argument completely overlooks the
the willingness of the participants, both the societal objective of that the government has following evidence: (a) the Commissioners
definition of just compensation already
farmers-beneficiaries and the landowners, to unceasingly sought to achieve in the past half reports, (b) the Cuervo appraisers report, (c)
established in jurisprudence. Apart from the
cooperate with the government. Inevitably, if century.4 the schedule of market values of the City of
requirement that compensation for
the government falters or is seen to be Tagum per its 1993 and 1994 Revision of
expropriated land must be fair and
faltering through lack of good faith in Assessment and Property Classification, (d)
From this perspective, our Resolution of reasonable,compensation, to be "just,"
implementing the needed reforms, including the value of the permanent improvements
October 12, 2010 only had to demonstrate, as must also be made without delay.6 In
any hesitation in paying the landowners just found on the expropriated properties, and (e)
it did, that the higher interests of justice are simpler terms, for the governments payment
compensation, this reform program and its the comparative sales of adjacent lands from
duly served. All these, amply discussed in the to be considered just compensation, the
objectives would suffer major setbacks. That early 1995 to early 1997. The Court observed
Resolution of October 12, 2010, are briefly landowner must receive it in full without delay.
the governments agrarian reform program that the RTC valuation also took into
summarized and reiterated below.
and its success are matters of public interest, consideration the lands nature as irrigated
to our mind, cannot be disputed as the land, its location along the highway, market In the present case, it is undisputed that the
program seeks to remedy long existing and LBP at fault for twelve- value, assessors value, and the volume and government took the petitioners lands
widespread social justice and economic year delay in payment value of its produce. This valuation is fully in on December 9, 1996; the petitioners only
problems. accordance with Section 17 of RA 6657, which received full payment of the just compensation
states: due on May 9, 2008. This circumstance, by
In his dissenting opinion, Mr. Justice Abad
itself, already confirms the unconscionable
In a last ditch attempt to muddle the issues, insists that the LBPs initial valuation of the
delay in the payment of just compensation.
the LBP focuses on our use of the phrase petitioners properties was fully in accord with Section 17. Determination of Just
"transcendental importance," and asserts that Section 17 of the CARL. He posits that when Compensation. - In determining just
we erred in applying this doctrine, applicable the RTC gave a significantly higher value to compensation, the cost of acquisition of the Admittedly, a grain of truth exists in Justice
only to legal standing questions, to negate the these lands, the LBP acted well within its land, the current value of like Abads observation that the petitioners
doctrine of immutability of judgment. This is a rights when it appealed the valuation. Thus, to properties, its nature, actual use and received partial payments from the LBP before
very myopic reading of our ruling as the him, it was wrong for this Court to characterize income, the sworn valuation by the owner, the titles to their landholdings were transferred
context clearly shows that the phrase the LBPs appeal as malicious or in bad faith. the tax declarations, and the assessment to the government. The full and exact truth,
"transcendental importance" was used only to made by government assessors, shall be however, is that the partial payments at the
emphasize the overriding public considered. The social and economic benefits time of the taking only amounted to a
A simple look at the attendant facts disproves contributed by the farmers and the farm
interestinvolved in this case. Thus, we said: trifling five percent (5%) of the actual
the accuracy of this claim. workers and by government to the property as value of the expropriated properties, as
well as the non-payment of taxes or loans determined with finality by this Court. Even
taking into consideration the subsequent for the proper determination of just considerations, and subject to the payment Interest payments borne by government,
partial payments made compensation. Instead of dismissing these of just compensation. not by farmers-beneficiaries
totaling P411,769,168.32 (inclusive of the petitions outright for lack of jurisdiction, the
amounts deposited prior to the taking), these DARAB sat on these cases for three years. It
This provision expressly provides that the Nor do we find any merit in the LBPs
payments only constituted a mere one-third was only after the petitioners resorted to
taking of land for use in the governments assertion that the large amount of just
(1/3) of the actual value of the petitioners judicial intervention, filing their petitions for the
agrarian reform program isconditioned on compensation that we awarded the
properties. determination of just compensation with the
the payment of just compensation. Nothing petitioners, together with the amount of
RTC, that the petitioners case advanced.
in the wording of this provision even remotely interest due, would necessarily result in
It should be considered as highlighted in our suggests that the just compensation required making the farmers- beneficiaries endure
October 12, 2010 Resolution that the The RTC interpreted the DARABs inaction as from the taking of land for the agrarian reform another form of bondage the payment of an
properties the government took were fully reluctance of the government to pay the program should be treated any differently from exorbitant amount for the rest of their lives.
operating and earning plantations at the time petitioners just compensation, a view this the just compensation required in any other
of the taking. Thus, the landowners lost not Court affirmed in its October 12, 2010 case of expropriation. As explained by
As the petitioners correctly pointed out, the
only their properties, but the fruits of these Resolution. Commissioner Roberto R. Concepcion during
governments liability for the payment of
properties. These were all lost in 1996, leaving the deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional
interest to the landowner for any delay
the landowners without any replacement Commission:
Expropriation for agrarian reform attributable to it in paying just compensation
income from their properties, except for the
requires the payment of just compensation for the expropriated property is entirely
possible interest for the trifling payment made
[T]he term "just compensation" is used in separate and distinct from the farmers-
at the time of the taking that, together with the
several parts of the Constitution, and, beneficiaries obligations to pay regular
subsequent payment, only amounted to a third The LBP claims that the just compensation in
therefore, it must have a uniform meaning. It amortizations for the properties transferred to
of the total amount due. Thus, for twelve long this case should be determined within the
cannot have in one part a meaning different them.
years, the amount of P971,409,831.68 was context of the article on social justice found in
from that which appears in the other portion.
withheld from the landowners. the 1987 Constitution. In the LBPs opinion,
If, after all, the party whose property is taken
when we awarded the petitioners 12% interest Republic Act No. 6657 (The Comprehensive
will receive the real value of the property on
by way of potential income, we removed from Agrarian Reform Law, or CARL) provides for
An added dimension to this delayed payment just compensation, that is good enough.7
the taking of agricultural properties for the specific source of funding to be used by
is the impact of the delay. One impact as
agrarian reform its main public purpose of the government in implementing the agrarian
pointed out above is the loss of income the
righting the wrong inflicted on landless In fact, while a proposal was made during the reform program; this funding does not come
landowners suffered. Another impact that the
farmers. deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional directly from the payments made by the
LBP now glosses over is the income that the
Commission to give a lower market price per farmers-beneficiaries.10
LBP earned from the sizeable sum it withheld
1avvphi1

square meter for larger tracts of land, the


for twelve long years. From this perspective, By this argument, the LBP effectively attempts
Commission never intended to give
the unaccounted-for LBP income is unjust to make a distinction between the just More to the point, under the CARL, the
agricultural landowners less than just
enrichment in its favor and an inequitable compensation given to landowners whose amount the farmers-beneficiaries must pay
compensation in the expropriation of property
loss to the landowners. This situation was properties are taken for the governments the LBP for their land is, for the most part,
for agrarian reform purposes.8
what the Court essentially addressed when it agrarian reform program and properties taken subsidized by the State and is not equivalent
awarded the petitioners 12% interest. for other public purposes. This perceived to the actual cost of the land that the
distinction, however, is misplaced and is more To our mind, nothing is inherently Department of Agrarian Reform paid to the
apparent than real. contradictory in the public purpose of land original landowners. Section 26, Chapter VII
Mr. Justice Abad goes on to argue that the
reform and the right of landowners to receive of the CARL provides:
delay should not be attributed to the LBP as it
just compensation for the expropriation by the
could not have foreseen that it would take The constitutional basis for our agrarian
State of their properties. That the petitioners
twelve years for the case to be resolved. reform program is Section 4, Article XIII of the SEC. 26. Payment by Beneficiaries. - Lands
are corporations that used to own large tracts
Justice Abads stance could have been correct 1987 Constitution, which mandates: awarded pursuant to this Act shall be paid for
of land should not be taken against them. As
were it not for the fact that the delay in this by the beneficiaries to the LBP in thirty (30)
Mr. Justice Isagani Cruz eloquently put it:
case is ultimately attributable to the annual amortizations at six percent (6%)
Section 4. The State shall, by law, undertake
government. Two significant factors justify the interest per annum. The payments for the first
an agrarian reform program founded on the
attribution of the delay to the government. [S]ocial justice - or any justice for that matter - three (3) years after the award may be at
right of farmers and regular farm workers, who
is for the deserving, whether he be a reduced amounts as established by the
are landless, to own directly or collectively the
millionaire in his mansion or a pauper in his PARC: Provided, That the first five (5)
The first is the DARs gross undervaluation of lands they till or, in the case of other farm
hovel. It is true that, in case of reasonable annual payments may not be more than
the petitioners properties the government workers, to receive a just share of the fruits
doubt, we are called upon to tilt the balance in five percent (5%) of the value of the annual
move that started the cycle of court actions. thereof. To this end, the State shall encourage
favor of the poor, to whom the Constitution gross productions paid as established by
and undertake the just distribution of all
fittingly extends its sympathy and compassion. the DAR. Should the scheduled annual
agricultural lands, subject to such priorities
The second factor to consider is government But never is it justified to prefer the poor payments after the fifth year exceed ten
and reasonable retention limits as the
inaction. Records show that after the simply because they are poor, or to reject the percent (10) of the annual gross production
Congress may prescribe, taking into account
petitioners received the LBPs initial valuation rich simply because they are rich, for justice and the failure to produce accordingly is not
ecological, developmental, or equity
of their lands, they filed petitions with the must always be served, for poor and rich due to the beneficiary's fault, the LBP may
DARAB, the responsible agency of the DAR, alike, according to the mandate of the law.9
reduce the interest rate or reduce the principal would be superfluous and would serve no DECISION On March 6, 1998, respondent filed an
obligation to make the payment affordable. useful purpose. opposition to the motion to quash,11 explaining
that BP 129 had already transferred the
CORONA, J.:
exclusive jurisdiction to try and decide
Interpreting this provision of the law, DAR The OSGs Intervention
violations of intellectual property rights from
Administrative Order No. 6, Series of 1993
Assailed in this petition for review1 are the the MTC and MTCC to the RTC and that the
provides:
The interest of the Republic, for whom the decision2 and resolution3 of the Court of Supreme Court had also issued Administrative
OSG speaks, has been amply protected Appeals which set aside the December 22, Order No. 104-96 (A.O. No. 104-96)12 deleting
A. As a general rule, land awarded through the direct action of petitioner LBP 1998 order4 of Judge Genis Balbuena of and withdrawing the designation of several
pursuant to E.O. 229 and R.A. 6657 the government instrumentality created by law Branch 21, Regional Trial Court (RTC), Cebu branches of the MTC and MTCC as special
shall be repaid by the Agrarian to provide timely and adequate financial City and ordered the transfer of Criminal Case intellectual property courts.
Reform Beneficiary (ARB) to support in all phases involved in the execution No. CBU-45890 to Branch 9, RTC, Cebu City.
LANDBANK in thirty (30) annual of needed agrarian reform. The OSG had
On December 22, 1998, the court a
amortizations at six (6%) percent every opportunity to intervene through the
The antecedents follow. quo denied respondents motion to transfer
interest per annum. The annual long years that this case had been pending
the case and granted petitioners motion to
amortization shall start one year but it chose to show its hand only at this very
quash. It ruled:
from date of Certificate of late stage when its presence can only serve to On April 8, 1997, an information5 for violation
Landownership Award (CLOA) delay the final disposition of this case. The of paragraph 1, Article 189 6 of the Revised
registration. arguments the OSG presents, furthermore, Penal Code (RPC) was filed before Branch Accused [wa]s charged for violation of Art. 189
are issues that this Court has considered in 21, RTC, Cebu City against petitioners Andrea of Revised Penal Code the penalty for which
the course of resolving this case. Thus, every Tan, Clarita Llamas, Victor Espina and Luisa is prision correccionalin its minimum period or
B. The payments by the ARBs for
reason exists to deny the intervention prayed Espina of Best Buy Mart, Inc. The information a fine ranging from P500.00 to P2,000.00, or
the first three (3) years shall be two
for. read: both. Hence, within the jurisdiction of the
and a half percent (2.5%) of AGP
metropolitan and municipal trial courts (Sec.
[Annual Gross Production] and five
32(2), B.P. Blg. 129, as amended).
percent (5.0%) of AGP for the fourth WHEREFORE, premises considered, the That on or about June 27, 1996 and sometime
and fifth years. To further make the respondents second motion for prior or subsequent thereto, in the City of
payments affordable, the ARBs shall reconsideration and the motion to set the case Cebu, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of Administrative Orders Nos. 113-95 and 104-
pay ten percent (10%) of AGP or the for oral arguments are hereby DENIED WITH this Honorable Court, abovementioned 96, cited by plaintiff, cannot prevail over the
regular amortization, whichever is ABSOLUTE FINALITY. The motion for accused, conspiring and mutually helping express provisions of Batas Pambansa Blg.
lower, from the sixth (6th) to the intervention filed by the Office of the Solicitor each other, did then and there willfully, 129, as amended, jurisdiction of courts being
thirtieth (30th) year. General is, likewise, denied. We reiterate, unlawfully and feloniously distribute and sell a matter of substantive law.
under pain of contempt if our directive is counterfeit RAY BAN sunglasses bearing the
disregarded or disobeyed, that no further appearance and trademark of RAY BAN in the
Clearly, the payments made by the farmers- If this Court has no jurisdiction over the case,
pleadings shall be entertained. Let judgment aforesaid store wherein they have direct
beneficiaries to the LBP are primarily the same is true with Branch 9 of the same
be entered in due course. control, supervision and management thereby
based on a fixed percentage of their annual court, Therefore, the motion to transfer the
inducing the public to believe that these goods
gross production, or the value of the annual case to the latter should fail.
offered by them are those of RAY BAN to the
yield/produce of the land awarded to SO ORDERED.
damage and prejudice of BAUSCH AND
them.11 The cost of the land will only be
LOMB, INC., the exclusive owner and user of WHEREFORE, premises considered, the
considered as the basis for the payments
trademark RAY BAN on sunglasses.7 motion to transfer is denied, while the motion
made by the farmers-beneficiaries when this 3. Tan v. Bausch & Lomb, Inc. to quash is granted. The case is
amount is lower than the amount based on the (December 15, 2005)
thus dismissed.
annual gross production. Thus, there is no On January 21, 1998, respondent filed a
basis for the LBP to claim that our ruling has motion to transfer the case to Branch 9, RTC,
violated the letter and spirit of the social Republic of the Philippines Cebu City. Administrative Order No. 113- SO ORDERED.13
justice provision of the 1987 Constitution. On SUPREME COURT 958 (A.O. No. 113-95) designated the said
the contrary, our ruling is made in accordance branch as the special court in Region VII to
Respondent received the order on January
with the intent of the 1987 Constitution. THIRD DIVISION handle violations of intellectual property rights.
21, 1999 but filed neither an appeal nor a
motion for reconsideration. Rather, it filed a
Motion for Oral Arguments G.R. No.148420 December 15, 2005 On March 2, 1998, petitioners filed a motion to petition for certiorari14 in the Court of Appeals
quash9 the information on the ground that the on March 23, 1999 or one (1) day beyond the
RTC had no jurisdiction over the offense period allowed in Section 4, Rule 6515 of the
We deny as well the LBPs motion to set the ANDREA TAN, CLARITA LLAMAS, VICTOR charged against them. The penalty10 provided Rules of Court.
case for oral arguments. The submissions of ESPINA and LUISA ESPINA, Petitioners, by the RPC for the crime was within the
the parties, as well as the records of the case, vs. jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court in
have already provided this Court with enough BAUSCH & LOMB, INC., Respondent. Respondents procedural lapses
Cities (MTCC).
arguments and particulars to rule on the notwithstanding, the appellate court gave due
issues involved. Oral arguments at this point
course to the petition and set aside the trial a substitute for appeal will result in a manifest A.O. No. 113-95 designated special A.M. No. 03-03-03-SC27consolidated the
court order: failure or miscarriage of justice, it is within our intellectual property courts to promote the intellectual property courts and commercial
power to suspend the rules or exempt a efficient administration of justice and to ensure SEC courts in one RTC branch in a particular
particular case from its operation.20 the speedy disposition of intellectual property locality to streamline the court structure and to
WHEREFORE, the petition is GIVEN DUE
cases. promote expediency. The RTC branch so
COURSE and GRANTED. The assailed Order
designated will try and decide cases involving
of December 22, 1998 isVACATED and Under certain special circumstances,21 a
violations of intellectual property rights, and
another is entered ordering the transfer of petition for certiorari may be given due course A.O. No. 104-96,24 on the other hand, was
cases formerly cognizable by the Securities
Crim. Case No. CBU-45890 to Branch 9 of the notwithstanding that no motion for issued pursuant to Section 23 of BP
and Exchange Commission. It is now called a
Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, and reconsideration was filed in the lower court. 12925 which transferred the jurisdiction over
special commercial court. In Region VII, the
directing the public respondent to accordingly The exception applies in this case since the such crimes from the MTC and MTCC to the
designated special commercial court is Branch
transmit the records thereof. order of the trial court was, as will be RTC and which furthermore gave the
11, RTC, Cebu City. The transfer of this case
discussed later, a patent nullity. Supreme Court the authority to designate
to that court is therefore warranted.
certain branches of the RTC to exclusively
SO ORDERED.16
handle special cases in the interest of the
Likewise, the one-day delay in the filing of the
speedy and efficient administration of justice. WHEREFORE, the Court of Appeals decision
petition may be excused on the basis of equity
Hence, the present petition for review, Accordingly, the RTC was vested with the dated October 20, 2000 is
to afford respondent the chance to prove the
centered on the following issues: exclusive and original jurisdiction to try and hereby AFFIRMED with
merits of the complaint.
decide intellectual property cases. theMODIFICATION that Criminal Case No.
CBU-45890 shall be transferred to Branch 11,
I. THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY
In Yao v. Court of Appeals,22 we held: RTC, Cebu City. Let the records of the case
ERRED IN NOT DISMISSING THE PETITION The transfer of jurisdiction from the MTC and
be transmitted thereto and the case tried and
OF RESPONDENT THAT IS FRAUGHT WITH MTCC to the RTC did not in any way affect
decided with dispatch.
FATAL INFIRMITIES. In the interest of substantial justice, the substantive rights of petitioners. The
procedural rules of the most mandatory administrative orders did not change the
character in terms of compliance may be definition or scope of the crime of unfair Costs against petitioners.
II. THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY
relaxed. In other words, if strict adherence to competition with which petitioners were
ERRED IN REVERSING THE CORRECT
the letter of the law would result in absurdity charged.
RULING OF THE TRIAL COURT THAT THE SO ORDERED.
and manifest injustice or where the merit of a
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT HAS NO
partys cause is apparent and outweighs
JURISDICTION OVER THE OFFENSE OF Both administrative orders therefore have the
consideration of non-compliance with certain
UNFAIR COMPETITION UNDER ARTICLE
formal requirements, procedural rules should
force and effect of law, having been validly 4. Cabili v. Balindong, AM No. RTJ-
189 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE. 17
issued by the Supreme Court in the exercise 10-2225, September 6, 2011
definitely be liberally construed. A party-litigant
of its constitutional rule-making power. The
is to be given the fullest opportunity to
trial court, being a subordinate court, should
There is no merit in the petition. establish the merits of his complaint or Republic of the Philippines
have followed the mandate of the later A.O.
defense rather than for him to lose life, liberty, SUPREME COURT
104-96 which vested jurisdiction over the
honor or property on mere technicalities. Manila
As to the first assigned error, petitioners instant case on the RTC. Thus, the appellate
contend that the Court of Appeals erred in court correctly found that the court a quo
giving due course to the petition for certiorari Hence, the only relevant issue left for our committed grave abuse of discretion. EN BANC
because respondent failed to appeal or file a resolution is whether or not the jurisdiction
motion for reconsideration of the trial courts over the crime allegedly committed by
Furthermore, the order of the trial court was a A.M. No. RTJ-10-2225 September
order granting the motion to quash. Worse, petitioners is vested on the RTC.
patent nullity. In resolving the pending 6, 2011
respondent filed the petition in the appellate incidents of the motion to transfer and motion (formerly A.M. OCA I.P.I. No. 09-3182-RTJ)
court one day after the reglementary period
Section 5 (5) of the 1987 Constitution to quash, the trial court should not have
expired.
empowers the Supreme Court to promulgate allowed petitioners to collaterally attack the
rules concerning pleading, practice and validity of A.O. Nos. 113-95 and 104-96. We ATTY. TOMAS ONG CABILI, Complainant,
Needless to state, the acceptance of a petition procedure in all courts. The limitations to this have ruled time and again that the vs.
for certiorari as well as the grant of due course rule-making power are the following: the rules constitutionality or validity of laws, orders, or JUDGE RASAD G. BALINDONG, Acting
thereto is, in must (a) provide a simplified and inexpensive such other rules with the force of law cannot Presiding Judge, RTC, Branch 8, Marawi
procedure for the speedy disposition of cases; be attacked collaterally. There is a legal City, Respondent.
(b) be uniform for all courts of the same grade presumption of validity of these laws and
general, addressed to the sound discretion of and (c) not diminish, increase or modify rules. Unless a law or rule is annulled in a
the court.18 DECISION
substantive rights.23 As long as these limits are direct proceeding, the legal presumption of its
met, the argument used by petitioners that the validity stands.26 The trial courts order was
Besides, the provisions of the Rules of Court, Supreme Court, through A.O. Nos. 113-95 and consequently null and void. PER CURIAM:
which are technical rules, may be relaxed in 104-96, transgressed on Congress sole
certain exceptional situations.19 Where a rigid power to legislate, cannot be sustained. We resolve the administrative complaint
The transfer of this case to Branch 9, RTC,
application of the rule that certiorari cannot be Cebu City, however, is no longer possible. against respondent Acting Presiding Judge
Rasad G. Balindong of the Regional Trial On April 17, 2009, the respondent Judge Judge filed his manifestation on September In Coronado v. Rojas,30 the judge was found
Court (RTC) of Marawi City, Branch 8, for conducted a hearing on the application for the 28, 2010.21 liable for gross ignorance of the law when he
Gross Ignorance of the Law, Grave Abuse of issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction. proceeded to enjoin the final and executory
Authority, Abuse of Discretion, and/or Grave Thereafter, he required MSU to file a decision of the Housing and Land Use
The Courts Ruling
Misconduct Prejudicial to the Interest of the memorandum in support of its application for Regulatory Board (HLURB) on the pretext that
Judicial Service.1 the issuance of a writ of preliminary the temporary injunction and the writ of
injunction.10 On April 21, 2009, Sheriff Gaje The Court finds the OCAs injunction he issued were not directed against
moved to dismiss the case on the ground of recommendation well-taken. the HLURBs writ of execution, but only
The Factual Antecedents
lack of jurisdiction.11 The respondent Judge against the manner of its execution. The Court
thereafter granted the motion and dismissed noted that the judge "cannot feign ignorance
The doctrine of judicial stability or non-
The antecedent facts, gathered from the the case.12 that the effect of the injunctive writ was to
interference in the regular orders or judgments freeze the enforcement of the writ of
records, are summarized below.
of a co-equal court is an elementary principle execution, thus frustrating the lawful order of
On May 8, 2009, complainant Atty. Tomas Ong in the administration of justice:22 no court can
the HLURB, a co-equal body."31
Civil Case No. 06-2954 is an action for
2
Cabili, counsel of the private plaintiffs in Civil interfere by injunction with the judgments or
damages in Branch 6 of the Iligan City RTC Case No. 06-2954, filed the complaint orders of another court of concurrent
against the Mindanao State University (MSU), charging the respondent Judge with Gross jurisdiction having the power to grant the relief In Heirs of Simeon Piedad v. Estrera,32 the
et al., arising from a vehicular accident that Ignorance of the Law, Grave Abuse of sought by the injunction.23The rationale for the Court penalized two judges for issuing a TRO
caused the death of Jesus Ledesma and Authority, Abuse of Discretion, and/or Grave rule is founded on the concept of jurisdiction: against the execution of a demolition order
physical injuries to several others. Misconduct Prejudicial to the Interest of the a court that acquires jurisdiction over the case issued by another co-equal court. The Court
Judicial Service for interfering with the order of and renders judgment therein has jurisdiction stressed that "when the respondents-judges
a co-equal court, Branch 6 of the Iligan City over its judgment, to the exclusion of all other acted on the application for the issuance of a
On November 29, 1997, the Iligan City RTC RTC, by issuing the TRO to enjoin Sheriff coordinate courts, for its execution and over TRO, they were aware that they were acting
rendered a Decision, holding the MSU liable Gaje from garnishing P2,726,189.90 from all its incidents, and to control, in furtherance on matters pertaining to a co-equal court,
for damages amounting to P2,726,189.90. MSUs LBP-Marawi City Branch account.13 of justice, the conduct of ministerial officers namely, Branch 9 of the Cebu City RTC, which
The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the Iligan
acting in connection with this judgment.24 was already exercising jurisdiction over the
City RTC decision and the CA decision subject matter in Civil Case No. 435-T.
subsequently lapsed to finality. On January The respondent Judge denied that he
Nonetheless, respondent-judges still opted to
19, 2009, Entry of Judgment was made. 3
interfered with the order of Branch 6 of the Thus, we have repeatedly held that a case interfere with the order of a co-equal and
Iligan City RTC. He explained that he merely where an execution order has been issued is
14
coordinate court of concurrent jurisdiction, in
gave the parties the opportunity to be heard considered as still pending, so that all the
On March 10, 2009, the Iligan City RTC blatant disregard of the doctrine of judicial
and eventually dismissed the petition for lack proceedings on the execution are still
issued a writ of execution.4 The MSU, stability, a well-established axiom in adjective
of jurisdiction. 15
proceedings in the suit. A court which issued law." 33
25

however, failed to comply with the writ; thus,


a writ of execution has the inherent power, for
on March 24, 2009, Sheriff Gerard Peter Gaje
the advancement of justice, to correct errors
served a Notice of Garnishment on the MSUs In its December 3, 2009 Report, the Office of
of its ministerial officers and to control its own To be sure, the law and the rules are not
depository bank, the Land Bank of the the Court Administrator (OCA) found the
processes.26 To hold otherwise would be to unaware that an issuing court may violate the
Philippines (LBP), Marawi City Branch.5 respondent Judge guilty of gross ignorance of
divide the jurisdiction of the appropriate forum law in issuing a writ of execution and have
the law for violating the elementary rule of
in the resolution of incidents arising in recognized that there should be a remedy
non-interference with the proceedings of a
The Office of the Solicitor General opposed execution proceedings. Splitting of jurisdiction against this violation. The remedy, however, is
court of co-equal jurisdiction.16 It
the motion for execution, albeit belatedly, in is obnoxious to the orderly administration of not the resort to another co-equal body but to
recommended a fine of P40,000.00, noting
behalf of MSU.6 TheIligan City RTC denied the that this is the respondent Judges second justice.27 a higher court with authority to nullify the
opposition in its March 31, 2009 Order. The action of the issuing court. This is precisely
offense. 17

MSU responded to the denial by filing on April the judicial power that the 1987 Constitution,
Jurisprudence shows that a violation of this
1, 2009 a petition with the Marawi City under Article VIII, Section 1, paragraph
rule warrants the imposition of administrative
RTC, for prohibition and mandamus with an The Court resolved to re-docket the complaint 2,34 speaks of and which this Court has
sanctions.
application for the issuance of a temporary as a regular administrative matter and to operationalized through a petition for
restraining order (TRO) and/or preliminary require the parties to manifest whether they certiorari, under Rule 65 of the Rules of
injunction against the LBP and Sheriff were willing to submit the case for resolution In Aquino, Sr. v. Valenciano,28 the judge Court.35
Gaje.7The petition of MSU was raffled to the on the basis of the pleadings/records on file.18 committed grave abuse of discretion for
RTC, Marawi City, Branch 8, presided by issuing a TRO that interfered with or frustrated In the present case, the respondent Judge
respondent Judge. the implementation of an order of another
Atty. Tomas Ong Cabili complied through his clearly ignored the principle of judicial stability
court of co-equal jurisdiction. In Yau v. The
manifestation of April 19, 2010,19 stating that by issuing a TRO to temporarily
Manila Banking Corporation,29 the Court held
The respondent Judge set the hearing for the he learned from reliable sources that the restrain36 Sheriff Gaje from enforcing the writ
that undue interference by one in the
application for the issuance of a TRO on April respondent Judge is "basically a good Judge," of execution issued by a co-equal court,
proceedings and processes of another is
8, 2009.8 After this hearing, the respondent and "an admonition will probably suffice as Branch 6 of the Iligan City RTC, and from
prohibited by law.
Judge issued a TRO restraining Sheriff Gaje reminder to respondent not to repeat the pursuing the garnishment of the amount
from garnishing P2,726,189.90 from MSUs same mistake in the future."20 The respondent of P2,726,189.90 from MSUs account with the
LBP-Marawi City Branch account.9 LBP, Marawi City Branch. The respondent
Judge was aware that he was acting on interfering with the acts of a co-equal court 5. Spouses Bergonio v. Court of filing of the Appellants Brief within 45 days
matters pertaining to the execution phase of a undermines public confidence in the judiciary from receipt.
Appeals (January 25, 2012)
final decision of a co-equal and coordinate through his demonstrated incompetence. In
court since he even quoted MSUs allegations this case, he impressed upon the Iligan public
On April 8, 2009, respondent Amado Bravo,
in his April 8, 2009 Order.37 that the kind of interference he exhibited can
Jr. (the defendant-appellee therein), filed a
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be done, even if only temporarily, i.e., that an Republic of the Philippines Motion to Dismiss Appeal5 dated April 2, 2009
official act of the Iligan City RTC can be SUPREME COURT
The respondent Judge should have refrained stating that the petitioners failed to file their
thwarted by going to the Marawi City RTC Manila
from acting on the petition because Branch 6 Appellants Brief within the 45-day period
although they are co-equal courts. That the
of the Iligan City RTC retains jurisdiction to granted to them by the CA in the Resolution
complaining lawyer, Atty. Tomas Ong Cabili,
rule on any question on the enforcement of SECOND DIVISION dated January 30, 2009. Citing Section 1 (e),
subsequently reversed course and manifested
the writ of execution. Section 16, Rule 39 of Rule 50 of the Rules of Court, respondent
that the respondent Judge is "basically a good
the Rules of Court (terceria), cited in the prayed for the dismissal of the petitioners
Judge,"44and should only be reprimanded, G.R. No. 189151 January 25, 2012
course of the Courts deliberations, finds no appeal.
cannot affect the respondent Judges liability.
application to this case since this provision
This liability and the commensurate penalty do
applies to claims made by a third person, SPOUSES DAVID BERGONIA and
not depend on the complainants personal In an Opposition/Comment promptly filed on
other than the judgment obligor or his LUZVIMINDA CASTILLO, Petitioners,
opinion but on the facts he alleged and April 8, 2009,6 the petitioners alleged that the
agent;38 a third-party claimant of a property vs.
proved, and on the applicable law and Motion to Dismiss filed by the respondent had
under execution may file a claim with another COURT OF APPEALS (4th DIVISION) and
jurisprudence. no basis considering that they or their counsel
court39 which, in the exercise of its own
1avvphil

AMADO BRAVO, JR., Respondents. did not receive any resolution from the CA
jurisdiction, may issue a temporary restraining
requiring them to file their Appellants Brief
order. In this case, the petition for injunction When the law is sufficiently basic, a judge
RESOLUTION within 45 days.7
before the respondent Judge was filed by owes it to his office to know and to simply
MSU itself, the judgment obligor. If Sheriff apply it. Anything less would be constitutive of
Gaje committed any irregularity or exceeded gross ignorance of the law.45 REYES, J.: On May 18, 2009, the CA issued the assailed
his authority in the enforcement of the writ, the resolution8 which reads:
proper recourse for MSU was to file a motion
Under A.M. No. 01-8-10-SC or the This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of
with, or an application for relief from, the same
Amendment to Rule 140 of the Rules of Court the Rules of Court filed by the spouses David For failure of the plaintiffs-appellants to file the
court which issued the decision, not from any
Re: Discipline of Justices and Judges, gross Bergonia and Luzviminda Castillo (petitioners) required appellants brief within the
other court,40 or to elevate the matter to the CA
ignorance of the law is a serious charge, assailing the Resolutions issued by the Court reglementary period which expired on 22
on a petition for certiorari.41 In this case, MSU
punishable by a fine of more than P20,000.00, of Appeals (CA) on May 18, 20091and June March 2009, as per Judicial Records Division
filed the proper motion with the Iligan City
but not exceeding P40,000.00, suspension 29, 20092 in CA-G.R. CV No. 91665. Report dated 05 May 2009, the appeal is
RTC (the issuing court), but, upon denial,
from office without salary and other benefits hereby considered ABANDONED and is
proceeded to seek recourse through another
for more than three (3) but not exceeding six hereby DISMISSED pursuant to Section 1 (e),
co-equal court presided over by the The petitioners were the plaintiffs in Civil Case Rule 50, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
(6) months, or dismissal from the service.
respondent Judge. No. Br. 23-749-03 entitled "Spouses David
Considering the attendant circumstances of
this case, the Court after prolonged Bergonia and Luzviminda Castillo v. Amado
Bravo, Jr." in the Regional Trial Court (RTC), SO ORDERED. (citation omitted)
It is not a viable legal position to claim that a deliberations holds that a fine
TRO against a writ of execution is issued of P30,000.00 is the appropriate penalty. This Branch 23, Roxas, Isabela. On January 21,
against an erring sheriff, not against the imposition is an act of leniency as we can, if 2008, the RTC rendered a decision adverse to On May 25, 2009, the CA issued a
issuing Judge. A TRO enjoining the we so hold, rule for the maximum fine the petitioners. The petitioners consequently Resolution9 which stated, among others, that
enforceability of a writ addresses the writ of P40,000.00 or for suspension since this is sought a reconsideration of the said decision the January 30, 2009 notice to file brief
itself, not merely the executing sheriff. The the respondent Judges second offense. but the same was denied by the RTC in an addressed to petitioners counsel was
duty of a sheriff in enforcing writs is ministerial Order dated April 25, 2008 which was received by a certain Ruel de Tomas on
and not discretionary.42 As already mentioned received on May 6, 2008. On May 7, 2008, the February 5, 2009.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, petitioners filed a Notice of Appeal.3
above, the appropriate action is to assail the
respondent Judge Rasad G. Balindong, Acting
implementation of the writ before the issuing
Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch On June 5, 2009, the petitioners filed a
court in whose behalf the sheriff acts, and, In January 2009, the Law Firm of Lapea &
8, Marawi City, is hereby FOUND GUILTY of Compliance and Motion for
upon failure, to seek redress through a higher Associates filed with the CA its formal entry of
Gross Ignorance of the Law and FINED in the Reconsideration10 praying that the dismissal of
judicial body. Significantly, MSU did file its appearance as counsel for the petitioners, in
amount of P30,000.00, with a stern WARNING their appeal be set aside in the interest of
opposition before the issuing court Iligan view of the withdrawal of the former counsel,
that a repetition of the same will be dealt with justice and equity. The petitioners claimed that
City RTC which denied this opposition. Atty. Panfilo Soriano. The substitution of
more severely. their failure to file their brief was due to the
lawyers was noted in the Resolution4 dated fact that they were never furnished a copy of
That the respondent Judge subsequently January 20, 2009. In the same resolution, the the said January 30, 2009 Resolution of the
SO ORDERED. CA further directed the appellants therein to
rectified his error by eventually dismissing the CA directing them to file their brief.
petition before him for lack of jurisdiction is not remit the deficient amount of P20.00 within 5
a defense that the respondent Judge can days from notice. Thereafter, the CA issued a
use.43 His lack of familiarity with the rules in Resolution on January 30, 2009 requiring the
Subsequently, in a Manifestation11 filed on and adequate remedy in the ordinary course On the other hand, a court order is merely In a long line of cases, this Court has held that
June 16, 2009, the petitioners asserted that of law.14 On the other hand, Section 1, Rule 41 interlocutory in character if it leaves the CAs authority to dismiss an appeal for
their counsel the Law Firm of Lapea and of the Rules of Court states that an appeal substantial proceedings yet to be had in failure to file the appellants brief is a matter of
Associates has no employee in the name of may be taken from a judgment or final order connection with the controversy. It does not judicial discretion. Thus, a dismissal based on
Ruel de Tomas. However, they explained that that completely disposes of the case or a end the task of the court in adjudicating the this ground is neither mandatory nor
Atty. Torenio C. Cabacungan, Jr., an associate particular matter therein. parties contentions and determining their ministerial; the fundamentals of justice and
of the law firm personally knows a person rights and liabilities as against each other. In fairness must be observed, bearing in mind
named "Ruel" who sometimes visits their this sense, it is basicallyprovisional in its the background and web of circumstances
Concomitant to the foregoing, the remedy of a
office and who may have accidentally received application. (citations omitted) surrounding the case.18
party against an adverse disposition of the CA
the said January 30, 2009 Resolution of the
would depend on whether the same is a final
CA. In such a case, the same should not be
order or merely an interlocutory order. If the Here, the assailed May 18, 2009 and June 29, Having in mind the peculiar circumstances of
considered officially served upon them as the
Order or Resolution issued by the CA is in the 2009 Resolutions issued by the CA had the instant case, we find that the petitioners
latter was not connected with nor authorized
nature of a final order, the remedy of the considered the petitioners appeal below as excuse for their failure to file their brief was
to perform any act for and in behalf of
aggrieved party would be to file a petition for having been abandoned and, accordingly, flimsy and discreditable and, thus, the
counsel.
review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the dismissed. Thus, the assailed Resolutions are propriety of the dismissal of their appeal.
Rules of Court. Otherwise, the appropriate in the nature of a final order as the same Indeed, as aptly ruled by the CA, the records
On June 29, 2009, the CA denied the motion remedy would be to file a petition for certiorari completely disposed of the petitioners appeal of the case clearly showed that the petitioners,
for reconsideration.12 under Rule 65. with the CA. Thus, the remedy available to the through their counsel, received the January
petitioners is to file a petition for review on 30, 2009 Resolution which required them to
certiorari under Rule 45 with this court and not file their appellants brief. Thus:
Undaunted, the petitioners instituted the In Republic v. Sandiganbayan (Fourth
a petition for certiorari under Rule 65.
instant petition for certiorari before this Court Division),15 this Court laid down the following
asserting the following arguments: (1) their rules to determine whether a courts The records of this case are clear that the
failure to file their appellants brief was merely disposition is already a final order or merely Even if we are to assume arguendo that the Resolution of 30 January 2009 requiring the
due to the fact that they were never properly an interlocutory order and the respective petitioners resort to the extraordinary remedy [petitioners] to file the required brief was
served with a copy of the January 30, 2009 remedies that may be availed in each case, of certiorari is proper, the instant petition received by a certain Ruel de Tomas for
Resolution of the CA; (2) Ruel de Tomas, the thus: would still be denied. A petition [petitioners] counsel on 05 February 2009.
person who apparently received the copy of for certiorari will prosper only if grave abuse of Hence, mere denial by [petitioners] counsel of
the January 30, 2009 Resolution of the CA, discretion is alleged and proved to exist.16 The the receipt of his copy of the Resolution
Case law has conveniently demarcated the
was not their employee; and (3) the CA, in the abuse of discretion must be so patent and cannot be given weight in the absence of any
line between a final judgment or order and an
interest of justice and equity, should have gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive proof that the said person is neither an
interlocutory one on the basis of the
decided their appeal on the merits instead of duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty employee at his law office nor someone
disposition made. A judgment or order is
dismissing the same purely on technical enjoined by law or to act at all in unknown to him. Likewise, it is highly
considered final if the order disposes of the
grounds. contemplation of law, as where the power is implausible that any person in the building
action or proceeding completely, or terminates
exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner where [petitioners] counsel holds office would
a particular stage of the same action; in such
by reason of passion or hostility.17 Here, there simply receive a correspondence delivered by
The sole issue for resolution is the propriety of case, the remedy available to an aggrieved
was no hint of whimsicality or gross and a postman.19
the dismissal of the petitioners appeal for their party is appeal. If the order or resolution,
patent abuse of discretion on the part of the
failure to file the appellants brief within the however, merely resolves incidental matters
CA when it dismissed the appeal of the
reglementary period. and leaves something more to be done to Verily, the petitioners were only able to offer
petitioners for the failure of the latter to file
resolve the merits of the case, the order is their bare assertion that they and their counsel
their appellants brief.
interlocutory and the aggrieved partys remedy did not actually receive a copy of the January
The petition is denied.
is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. 30, 2009 Resolution and that the person who
Jurisprudence pointedly holds that: Section 1 (e), Rule 50 of the Rules of Court apparently received the same was not in any
At the outset, this Court notes that the succinctly provides that: way connected with their counsel. There was
petitioners resort to a petition for certiorari no other credible evidence adduced by the
As distinguished from a final order which
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is not the petitioners which would persuade us to
disposes of the subject matter in its entirety or Section 1. Grounds for dismissal of appeal.
proper remedy to assail the May 18, 2009 and exculpate them from the effects of their failure
terminates a particular proceeding or action, An appeal may be dismissed by the Court of
June 29, 2009 Resolutions issued by the CA. to file their brief.
leaving nothing else to be done but to enforce Appeals, on its own motion or on that of the
In determining the appropriate remedy or
by execution what has been determined by appellee, on the following grounds:
remedies available, a party aggrieved by a
the court, an interlocutory order does not The Court notes that, in concluding that the
court order, resolution or decision must first
dispose of a case completely, but leaves petitioners indeed received a copy of the
correctly identify the nature of the order, xxxx
something more to be adjudicated upon. The January 30, 2009 Resolution, the CA was
resolution or decision he intends to assail.13
term "final" judgment or order signifies a guided by the Report of the Judicial Records
judgment or an order which disposes of the (e) Failure of the appellant to serve and file Division of the CA and by the certification
It bears stressing that the extraordinary case as to all the parties, reserving no further the required number of copies of his brief or issued by the Postmaster of Quezon City.
remedy of certiorari can be availed of only if questions or directions for future memorandum within the time provided by Indubitably, the petitioners bare assertions
there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy, determination. these Rules; x x x could not overcome the presumption of
regularity in the preparation of the records of Procedural rules are not to be belittled or would be better served. For, indeed, the
the Post Office and that of the CA.20 dismissed simply because their non- general objective of procedure is to facilitate
observance may have resulted in prejudice to the application of justice to the rival claims of
a partys substantive rights. Like all rules, they contending parties, bearing always in mind
Nonetheless, the petitioners cite a cacophony
are required to be followed except only for the that procedure is not to hinder but to promote
of cases decided by this Court which, in
most persuasive of reasons when they may the administration of justice. In this case,
essence, declared that dismissal of an appeal
be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice however, such liberality in the application of
on purely technical ground is frowned upon
not commensurate with the degree of his rules of procedure may not be invoked if it will
and that, as much as possible, appeals ought
thoughtlessness in not complying with the result in the wanton disregard of the rules or
to be decided on the merits in the interest of
procedure prescribed. cause needless delay in the administration of
justice and equity.
justice. It is equally settled that, save for the
most persuasive of reasons, strict compliance
In an avuncular case, we emphasized that:
The petitioners' plea for the application of the is enjoined to facilitate the orderly
principles of substantial justice in their favor administration of justice.24 (citations omitted)
deserves scant consideration. The petitioners Procedural rules are tools designed to
should be reminded that technical rules may facilitate the adjudication of cases. Courts
Reiterating the foregoing in Dimarucot v.
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be relaxed only for the furtherance of justice and litigants alike are, thus, enjoined to abide
People of the Philippines,25 this Court stated
and to benefit the deserving.21 While the strictly by the rules. And while the Court, in
that:
petitioners adverted to several jurisprudential some instances, allows a relaxation in the
rulings of this Court which set aside application of the rules, this, we stress, was
procedural rules, it is noted that there were never intended to forge a bastion for erring The right to appeal is not a natural right and is
underlying considerations in those cases litigants to violate the rules with impunity. The not part of due process. It is merely a statutory
which warranted a disregard of procedural liberality in the interpretation and application privilege, and may be exercised only in
technicalities to favor substantial justice. Here, of the rules applies only in proper cases and accordance with the law. The party who seeks
there exists no such consideration. under justifiable causes and circumstances. to avail of the same must comply with the
While it is true that litigation is not a game of requirements of the Rules. Failing to do so,
technicalities, it is equally true that every case the right to appeal is lost.
The petitioners ought to be reminded that the
must be prosecuted in accordance with the
bare invocation of "the interest of substantial
prescribed procedure to insure an orderly and
justice" is not a magic wand that will Strict compliance with the Rules of Court is
speedy administration of justice. The instant
automatically compel this Court to suspend indispensable for the orderly and speedy
case is no exception to this rule.
procedural rules. Procedural rules are not to disposition of justice. The Rules must be
be belittled or dismissed simply because their followed, otherwise, they will become
non-observance may have resulted in In the present case, we find no cogent reason meaningless and useless.26 (citations omitted)
prejudice to a party's substantive rights. Like to exempt the petitioner from the effects of its
all rules, they are required to be followed failure to comply with the Rules of Court.
WHEREFORE, in consideration of the
except only for the most persuasive of
foregoing disquisitions, the petition
reasons when they may be relaxed to relieve
The right to appeal is a statutory right and the is DISMISSED. The assailed Resolutions
a litigant of an injustice not commensurate
party who seeks to avail of the same must dated May 18, 2009 and June 29, 2009 issued
with the degree of his thoughtlessness in not
comply with the requirements of the Rules. by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No.
complying with the procedure prescribed.22
Failing to do so, the right to appeal is lost. 91665 dismissing the petitioners appeal are
More so, as in this case, where petitioner not AFFIRMED.
In Asian Spirit Airlines v. Spouses only neglected to file its brief within the
Bautista,23 this Court clarified that procedural stipulated time but also failed to seek an
SO ORDERED.
rules are required to be followed except only extension of time for a cogent ground before
for the most persuasive of reasons when they the expiration of the time sought to be
may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an extended.
injustice not commensurate with the degree of
his thoughtlessness in not complying with the
In not a few instances, the Court relaxed the
procedure prescribed:
rigid application of the rules of procedure to
afford the parties the opportunity to fully
We agree with the petitioners contention that ventilate their cases on the merits. This is in
the rules of procedure may be relaxed for the line with the time-honored principle that cases
most persuasive reasons. But as this Court should be decided only after giving all parties
held in Galang v. Court of Appeals: the chance to argue their causes and
defenses. Technicality and procedural
imperfection should, thus, not serve as basis
of decisions. In that way, the ends of justice