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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

G.R. No. 157952 [2009]


On the other hand, it is not possible to take an appeal by
The petitioner now needs to be reminded that certiorari is certiorari to the Court of Appeals. Appeals to that Court
an extraordinary remedy to correct a grave abuse of from the Regional Trial Courts are perfected in two (2)
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when ways, both of which are entirely distinct from an appeal by
an appeal, or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the certiorari to the Supreme Court. They are:
ordinary course of law is not available. In this regard, grave
abuse of discretion implies a capricious and whimsical a) by ordinary appeal, or appeal by writ of error where
exercise of judgment that is equivalent to lack of judgment was rendered in a civil or criminal action by the
jurisdiction whenever the power is exercised in an arbitrary RTC in the exercise of original jurisdiction; and
or despotic manner by reason of passion, prejudice or
personal aversion amounting to an evasion of a positive b) by petition for review where judgment was rendered
duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined, or by the RTC in the exercise of appellate jurisdiction.
to act at all in contemplation of law.
The petition for review must be filed with the Court of
Appeals within 15 days from notice of the judgment, and as
G.R. No. 157952 [2009] already stated, shall point out the error of fact or law that
will warrant a reversal or modification of the decision or
The trial court's assailed order terminating the judgment sought to be reviewed. An ordinary appeal is
Prosecution's presentation of evidence was merely taken by merely filing a notice of appeal within 15 days
interlocutory. from notice of the judgment, except in special proceedings
or cases where multiple appeals are allowed in which event
This fact surely adds justification to the Court of Appeals' the period of appeal is 30 days and a record on appeal is
rejection of the petition for certiorari , because it is the necessary.
settled rule that certiorari does not lie to review an
interlocutory order, but only a final judgment or order that There is therefore no longer any common method of
end the proceedings. Certiorari will be refused where there appeal in civil cases to the Supreme Court and the Court of
has been no final judgment or order and the proceeding for Appeals. The present procedures for appealing to either
which the writ is sought is still pending and undetermined court and, it may be added, the process of ventilation of
in the lower court. Indeed, a writ of certiorari is not the appeal are now to be made by petition for review or
intended to correct every controversial interlocutory ruling by notice of appeals (and, in certain instances, by record on
unless the ruling is attended by grave abuse of discretion or appeal), but only by petition for review on certiorari under
tainted by whimsical exercise of judgment equivalent to Rule 45.
lack of jurisdiction, for the function of certiorari is limited to
keeping an inferior court within its jurisdiction and to
relieving persons from its arbitrary acts acts that courts G.R. No. 159116 [2009]
or judges have no power or authority in law to perform.
Rule 41, effective July 1, 1997, under which the various
Instead, the proper remedy for the petitioner was to modes of appeal are now specifically delineated, viz.:
proceed in the action until judgment, which, once
rendered, might then be reviewed on appeal, along with Sec. 2. Modes of appeal.
the assailed interlocutory order. As long as the trial court
acted within its jurisdiction, its alleged error committed in (a) Ordinary appeal. The appeal to the Court of Appeals
the exercise of its jurisdiction amounted to nothing more in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise
than an error of judgment that was reviewable by a timely of its original jurisdiction shall be taken by filing a notice of
appeal, not by a special civil action of certiorari. appeal with the court which rendered the judgment or final
order appealed from and serving a copy thereof upon the
adverse party. No record on appeal shall be required except
G.R. No. 159116 [2009] in special proceedings and other cases of multiple or
separate appeals where the law or these Rules so require.
In such cases, the record on appeal shall be filed and served
At present then, except in criminal cases where the penalty in like manner.
imposed is life imprisonment or reclusion perpetua, there is
no way by which judgments of regional trial courts may be (b) Petition for review. The appeal to the Court of
appealed to the Supreme Court except by petition for Appeals in cases the appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases
review on c ertiorari in accordance with Rule 45 of the decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its
Rules of Court, in relation to Section 17 of the Judiciary Act appellate decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise
of 1948 as amended. The proposition is clearly stated in the of its appellate jurisdiction shall be by petition for review in
Interim Rules: "Appeals to the Supreme Court shall be taken accordance with Rule 42. Jurisdiction shall be by petition for
by petition for c ertiorari which shall be governed by Rule review in accordance with Rule 42.
45 of the Rules of Court.

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR RESEARCHED BY J. MANINGDING


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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

(c) Appeal by certiorari. In all cases where only questions


of law are raised or involved, the appeal shall be to the
Supreme Court by petition for review on certiorari in G.R. No. 164195. December 4, 2009
accordance with Rule 45.
The taking of property under CARL is an exercise by the
State of the power of eminent domain. A basic limitation on
G.R. No. 159116 [2009] the State's power of eminent domain is the constitutional
directive that private property shall not be taken for public
The liberal construction of the rules authorized by Sec. 6, use without just compensation. Just compensation refers to
Rule 1, Rules of Court, in order to promote their objective the sum equivalent to the market value of the property,
of securing a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of broadly described to be the price fixed by the seller in open
every action and proceeding cannot be made the vehicle market in the usual and ordinary course of legal action and
by which to ignore the Rules of Court at will and at random competition, or the fair value of the property as between
to the prejudice of the orderly presentation and one who receives and one who desires to sell. It is fixed at
assessment of the issues and their just resolution. Indeed, the time of the actual taking by the State.
the policy of liberal construction mandated by the Rules of
Court may be invoked only in situations in which there is Thus, if property is taken for public use before
some excusable formal deficiency or error in a pleading, but compensation is deposited with the court having
not where its application subverts the essence of the jurisdiction over the case, the final compensation must
proceeding or results in the utter disregard of the Rules of include interests on its just value, to be computed from the
Court. Imperative justice requires the correct observance of time the property is taken up to the time when
indispensable technicalities precisely designed to ensure its compensation is actually paid or deposited with the court.
proper dispensation

G.R. No. 181571. December 16, 2009


G.R. No. 164195. December 4, 2009
A petition for review on certiorari raises only questions of
A judgment that has acquired finality becomes immutable law. Sec. 1, Rule 45, Rules of Court, explicitly so provides,
and unalterable, and may no longer be modified in any viz.:
respect even if the modification is meant to correct
erroneous conclusions of fact or law and whether it will be Section 1. Filing of petition with Supreme Court. A party
made by the court that rendered it or by the highest court desiring to appeal by certiorari from a judgment, final order
of the land. 4 4 The reason for the rule is that if, on the or resolution of the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan,
application of one party, the court could change its the Court of Tax Appeals, the Regional Trial Court or other
judgment to the prejudice of the other, it could thereafter, courts, whenever authorized by law, may file with the
on application of the latter, again change the judgment and Supreme Court a verified petition for review on certiorari.
continue this practice indefinitely. The equity of a particular The petition may include an application for a writ of
case must yield to the overmastering need of certainty and preliminary injunction or other provisional remedies and
unalterability of judicial pronouncements. shall raise only shall raise only questions of law, which must
be distinctly set forth. Questions of law, which must be
The doctrine of immutability and inalterability of a final distinctly set forth. The petitioner may seek the same
judgment has a two - fold purpose: (1) to avoid delay in the provisional remedies by verified motion filed in the same
administration of justice and thus, procedurally, to make action or proceeding at any time during its pendency.
orderly the discharge of judicial business and (2) to put an
end to judicial controversies, at the risk of occasional
errors, which is precisely why courts exist. Controversies G.R. No. 181571. December 16, 2009
cannot drag on indefinitely. The rights and obligations of
every litigant must not hang in suspense for an indefinite . . . [t]here exists a question of law when there is doubt on
period of time. The doctrine is not a mere technicality to be what the law applicable to a certain set of facts is.
easily brushed aside, but a matter of public policy as well as Questions of fact, on the other hand, arise when there is an
a time-honored principle of procedural law. issue regarding the truth or falsity of the statement of facts.
Questions on whether certain pieces of evidence should be
accorded probative value or whether the proofs presented
G.R. No. 164195. December 4, 2009 by one party are clear, convincing and adequate to
establish a proposition are issues of fact. Such questions are
Although the immutability doctrine admits several not subject to review by this Court. As a general rule, we
exceptions, like: (1) the correction of clerical errors; (2) the review cases decided by the CA only if they involve
so-called nunc pro tunc entries that cause no prejudice to questions of law raised and distinctly set forth in the
any party; (3) void judgments; and (4) whenever petition.
circumstances transpire after the finality of the decision
rendering its execution unjust and inequitable.

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR RESEARCHED BY J. MANINGDING


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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

G.R. No. 181571. December 16, 2009 h. Where the proceedings were ex parte or in which the
petitioner had no opportunity to object; and
The factual findings of the RTC, its calibration of the i. Where the issue raised is one purely of law or where
testimonies of the witnesses, and its assessment of their public interest is involved.
probative weight are given high respect, if not conclusive
effect, unless cogent facts and circumstances of substance,
which if considered, would alter the outcome of the case, G.R. No. 182380 [2009]
were ignored, misconstrued or misinterpreted.
The distinctions between a question of law and a question
To accord with the established doctrine of finality and of fact are well known. There is a question of law when the
bindingness of the trial court's findings of fact, we do not doubt or difference arises as to what the law is on a certain
disturb such findings of fact of the RTC, particularly after state of facts. Such a question does not involve an
their affirmance by the CA, for Batistis, as appellant, did not examination of the probative value of the evidence
sufficiently prove any extraordinary circumstance justifying presented by the litigants or any of them. But there is a
a departure from such doctrine. question of fact when the doubt arises as to the truth or
falsehood of the alleged facts or when the query
necessarily invites calibration of the whole evidence,
G.R. No. 182380. August 28, 2009 considering mainly the credibility of witnesses, existence
and relevancy of specific surrounding circumstances, their
The indispensable elements of a petition for certiorari are: relation to one another and to the whole, and the
(a) that it is directed against a tribunal, board or officer probabilities of the situation.
exercising judicial or quasi -judicial functions;
(b) that such tribunal, board or officer has acted without or
in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion; G.R. No. 183366. August 19, 2009
and
(c) that there is no appeal or any plain, speedy and A case is not deemed duly registered and docketed until full
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. payment of the filing fee.

Otherwise stated, the date of the payment of the filing fee


G.R. No. 182380. August 28, 2009 is deemed the actual date of the filing of the notice of
appeal. The subsequent full payment of the filing fee on 28
As a rule, it is necessary to file a motion for reconsideration January 2003 did not cure the jurisdictional defect. The
in the court of origin before invoking the certiorari date of payment on 28 January 2003 is the actual date of
jurisdiction of a superior court. Hence, a petition for filing the appeal which is almost two (2) months after
certiorari will not be entertained unless the public Zamoras received the MTCC Decision on 29 November
respondent has been given first the opportunity through a 2002, This is way beyond the 5-day reglementary period to
motion for reconsideration to correct the error being file an appeal.
imputed to him.
The payment of the filing fee is a jurisdictional requirement
The rule is not a rigid one, however, for a prior motion for and non-compliance is a valid basis for the dismissal of the
reconsideration is not necessary in some situations, case. The subsequent full payment of the filing fee after the
including the following: lapse of the reglementary period does not cure the
a. Where the order is a patent nullity, as where the court a jurisdictional defect. Such procedural lapse by Zamoras
quo has no jurisdiction; warrants the outright dismissal of his appeal. This left the
b. Where the questions raised in the certiorari proceedings COMELEC with no choice except to declare the Orders final
have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, and executory Orders final and executory.
or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the
lower court;
c. Where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of A.M. No. 08-19-SB-J. August 24, 2010
the question, and any further delay would prejudice the
interests of the Government or of the petitioner, or the Although a speedy determination of an action or
subject matter of the action is perishable; proceeding implies a speedy trial, it should be borne in
d. Where, under the circumstances, a motion for mind that speed is not the chief objective of a trial. Careful
reconsideration would be useless; and deliberate consideration for the administration of
e. Where the petitioner was deprived of due process and justice is more important than a race to end the trial.
there is extreme urgency for relief;
f. Where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is A genuine respect for the rights of all parties, thoughtful
urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is consideration before ruling on important questions, and a
improbable; zealous regard for the just administration of law are some
g. Where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity of the qualities of a good trial judge, which are more
for lack of due process; important than a reputation for hasty disposal of cases.

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR RESEARCHED BY J. MANINGDING


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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

when it appears from the pleadings or the evidence on


record that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject
A.M. No. MTJ-05-1580. October 6, 2010 matter, that there is another action pending between the
same parties for the same cause, or that the action is
Indeed, respondent Judge should have granted the barred by a prior judgment or by statute of limitations, the
plaintiff's motion for immediate execution considering that court shall dismiss the claim.
the defendant did not file the sufficient supersedeas bond
despite having appealed. Granting the plaintiff's motion for In every action, indeed, the parties and their counsel are
immediate execution became his ministerial duty upon the enjoined to present all available defenses and objections in
defendant's failure to file the sufficient supersedeas bond. order that the matter in issue can finally be laid to rest in an
Section 19, Rule 70, of the Rules of Court clearly imposes appropriate contest before the court. The rule is a wise and
such duty, viz.: tested one, borne by necessity. Without the rule, there will
be no end to a litigation, because the dissatisfied litigant
Sec. 19. Immediate execution of judgment; how to stay may simply raise "new" or additional issues in order to
same. If judgment is rendered against the defendant, prevent, defeat, or delay the implementation of an already
execution shall issue immediately upon motion, unless an final and executory judgment. The endlessness of litigation
appeal has been perfected and the defendant to stay can give rise to added costs for the parties, and can surely
execution files a sufficient supersedeas bond, approved by contribute to the unwarranted clogging of court dockets.
the Municipal Trial Court and executed in favor of the The prospect of a protracted litigation between the parties
plaintiff to pay the rents, damages, and costs accruing annuls the very rationale of every litigation to attain justice.
down to the time of the judgment appealed from, and Verily, there must be an end to litigation.
unless, during the pendency of the appeal, he deposits with
the appellate court the amount of rent due from time to
time under the contract, if any, as determined by the G.R. No. 153142. March 29, 2010
judgment of the Municipal Trial Court. In the absence of a
contract, he shall deposit with the Regional Trial Court the
reasonable value of the use and occupation of the premises A judgment involving the same parties, the same facts, and
for the preceding month or period at the rate determined the same issues binds the parties not only as to every
by the judgment of the lower court on or before the tenth matter offered and received to sustain or defeat their
day of each succeeding month or period. The supersedeas claims or demands, but also as to any other admissible
bond shall be transmitted by the Municipal Trial Court, with matter that might have been offered for that purpose and
the other papers, to the clerk of the Regional Trial Court to all other matters that could have been adjudged in that
which the action is appealed. case.

The petitioner cannot now insist that the RTC did not settle
Respondent Judge's excuse, that he had lost jurisdiction the question of the respondents' qualifications to own land
over the case by virtue of the defendant's appeal, was due to non-citizenship. It is fundamental that the judgment
unacceptable in light of the clear and explicit text of the or final order is, with respect to the matter directly
aforequoted rule. To begin with, the perfection of the adjudged or as to any other matter that could have been
appeal by the defendant did not forbid the favorable action raised in relation thereto, conclusive between the parties
on the plaintiff's motion for immediate execution. The and their successors in interest by title subsequent to the
execution of the decision could not be stayed by the mere commencement of the action or special proceeding,
taking of the appeal. Only the filing of the sufficient litigating for the same thing and under the same title and in
supersedeas bond and the deposit with the appellate court the same capacity.
of the amount of rent due from time to time, coupled with
the perfection of the appeal, could stay the execution.
G.R. No. 153142. March 29, 2010

G.R. No. 153142. March 29, 2010 For res judicata to bar the institution of a subsequent
action, the following requisites must concur: (a) the former
The petitioner did not raise any issue against Ramona's judgment must be final; (b) it must have been rendered by
qualifications to own land in the Philippines during the trial a court having jurisdiction of the subject matter and the
or, at the latest, before the finality of the RTC judgment. parties; (c) it must be a judgment on the merits; and (d)
The petitioner was thereby deemed to have waived the there must be between the first and second actions identity
objection, pursuant to Section 1, Rule 9 of the Rules of of parties, identity of the subject matter, and identity of
Court, to wit: cause of action.

Section 1. Defenses and objections not pleaded. The purpose of the doctrine is two-fold to prevent
unnecessary proceedings involving expenses to the parties
Defenses and objections not pleaded either in a motion to and wastage of the court's time which could be used by
dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived. However, others, and to avoid stale litigations as well as to enable the

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR RESEARCHED BY J. MANINGDING


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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

defendant to know the extent of the claims being made issues actually and directly resolved in a former suit cannot
arising out of the same single incident. again be raised in any future case between the same
parties involving a different cause of action and has the
Under the doctrine of res judicata, therefore, a final effect of preclusion of issues only.
judgment or decree on the merits rendered by a court of
competent jurisdiction is conclusive of the rights of the Based on the foregoing standards, this action is not barred
parties or their privies in all later suits and on all points and by the doctrine of res judicata.
matters determined in the previous suit. The foundation
principle upon which the doctrine rests is that the parties First of all, bar by prior judgment, the first aspect of the
ought not to be permitted to litigate the same issue more doctrine, is not applicable, because the causes of action in
than once; that when a right or fact has been judicially tried the civil and the criminal actions were different and distinct
and determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, so from each other. The civil action is for the recovery of
long as it remains unreversed, should be conclusive upon ownership of the land led by the petitioners, while the
the parties and those in privity with them in law or estate. criminal action was to determine whether the act of the
respondents of taking the coconut fruits from the trees
growing within the disputed land constituted the crime of
G.R. No. 153142. March 29, 2010 qualified theft. In the former, the main issue is the legal
ownership of the land, but in the latter, the legal ownership
of the land was not the main issue. The issue of guilt or
RULE 39 EXECUTION, SATISFACTION AND EFFECT OF innocence was not dependent on the ownership of the
JUDGMENTS land, inasmuch as a person could be guilty of theft of the
growing fruits even if he were the owner of the land.
Sec. 10. Execution of judgments for specific act. Conclusiveness of judgment is not also applicable. The
petitioners themselves commenced both actions, and fully
(a) Conveyance, delivery of deeds, or other specific acts; and directly participated in the trial of both actions. Any
vesting title. - If a judgment directs a party who execute a estoppel from assailing the authority of the CA to
conveyance of land or personal property, or to deliver determine the ownership of the land based on the evidence
deeds or other documents, or to perform any other specific presented in the civil action applied only to the petitioners,
act in connection therewith, and the party fails to comply who should not be allowed to assail the outcome of the civil
within the time specified, the court may direct the act to be action after the CA had ruled adversely against them.
done at the cost of the disobedient party by some other
person appointed by the court and the act when so done Moreover, the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment is
shall have like effect as if done by the party. If real or subject to exceptions, such as where there is a change in
personal property is situated within the Philippines, the the applicable legal context, or to avoid inequitable
court in lieu of directing a conveyance thereof may be an administration of justice. Applying the doctrine of
order divest the title of any party and vest it in others, conclusiveness of judgments to this case will surely be
which shall have the force and effect of a conveyance iniquitous to the respondents who have rightly relied on
executed in due form of law. the civil case, not on the criminal case, to settle the issue of
ownership of the land. This action for recovery of
ownership was brought precisely to settle the issue of
G.R. No. 153736. August 4, 2010 ownership of the property. In contrast, the pronouncement
on ownership of the land made in the criminal case was
For res judicata to bar the institution of a subsequent only the response to the respondents having raised the
action, the following requisites must concur: ownership as a matter of defense.
(1) the former judgment must be final;
(2) it must have been rendered by a court having
jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties; G.R. No. 154094. March 9, 2010
(3) it must be a judgment on the merits; and
(4) there must be between the first and second actions (a) The remedy of an aggrieved party from a resolution issued
identity of parties, (b) identity of the subject matter, and (c) by the CSC is to file a petition for review thereof under Rule
identity of cause of action. 43 of the Rules of Court within fifteen days from notice of
the resolution.

G.R. No. 153736. August 4, 2010 Recourse to a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 renders
the petition dismissible for being the wrong remedy.
The doctrine of res judicata has two aspects: the first, Nonetheless, there are exceptions to this rule, to wit: (a)
known as bar by prior judgment, or estoppel by verdict, is when public welfare and the advancement of public policy
the effect of a judgment as a bar to the prosecution of a dictates; (b) when the broader interest of justice so
second action upon the same claim, demand, or cause of requires; (c) (c) when the writs issued are null and void
action; the second, known as conclusiveness of judgment, when the writs issued are null and void; or (d) when the
also known as the rule of auter action pendant, ordains that questioned order amounts to an oppressive exercise of

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR RESEARCHED BY J. MANINGDING


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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

judicial authority. As will be shown forthwith, exception (c) the possibility that the real property may be co-owned with
applies to the present case. persons not named in the certificate, or that it may be held
in trust for another person by the registered owner.

G.R. No. 154270. March 9, 2010 G.R. No. 156797. July 6, 2010

The Court cannot anymore review the evaluation and Forum shopping is the act of a party litigant against whom
appreciation of the evidence, because the Court is not a an adverse judgment has been rendered in one forum
trier of facts. Although this rule admits of certain seeking and possibly getting a favorable opinion in another
exceptions, viz.: forum, other than by appeal or the special civil action of
(1) when the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on certiorari, or the institution of two or more actions or
speculation, surmises, or conjecture; proceedings grounded on the same cause or supposition
(2) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken; that one or the other court would make a favorable
(3) where there is a grave abuse of discretion; disposition. Forum shopping happens when, in the two or
(4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of more pending cases, there is identity of parties, identity of
facts; rights or causes of action, and identity of reliefs sought.
(5) when the findings of fact are conflicting; Where the elements of litis pendentia are present, and
(6) when the Court of Appeals, in making its findings, went where a final judgment in one case will amount to res
beyond the issues of the case, and the findings are contrary judicata in the other, there is forum shopping.
to the admissions of both appellant and appellee;
(7) when the findings of the Court of Appeals are contrary For forum shopping to exist, both actions must involve the
to those of the trial court; same transaction, same essential facts and circumstances
(8) when the findings of fact are conclusions without and must raise identical causes of action, subject matter
specific evidence on which they are based; and issues. Clearly, it does not exist where different orders
(9) when the facts set forth in the petition as well in the were questioned, two distinct causes of action and issues
petitioners' main and reply briefs are not disputed by the were raised, and two objectives were sought.
respondents; and,
(10) when the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are Lim was not guilty of forum shopping, because the factual
premised on the supposed absence of evidence and are bases of his application for the administrative
contradicted by the evidence on record, it does not appear reconstitution of the TCTs and of his petition for their
now that any of the exceptions is present herein. We thus judicial reconstitution, and the reliefs thereby sought were
apply the rule without hesitation, and reject the appeal for not identical.
that reason.

G.R. No. 156797. July 6, 2010


G.R. No. 154270. March 9, 2010

In civil cases, the party having the burden of proof must The submission of a false certification of non-forum
establish his case by a preponderance of evidence. shopping did not automatically warrant the dismissal of the
Preponderance of evidence is the weight, credit, and value proceeding, even if it might have constituted contempt of
of the aggregate evidence on either side, and is usually court, for Section 5, Rule 7, of the 1997 Rules of Civil
considered to be synonymous with the term greater weight Procedure, has been clear and forthright, to wit:
of the evidence or greater weight of the credible evidence.
Preponderance of evidence is a phrase that means, in the RULE 7 PARTS OF A PLEADING
last analysis, probability of the truth. It is evidence that is
more convincing to the court as worthy of belief than that Sec. 5. Certification against forum shopping. The plaintiff or
which is offered in opposition thereto. principal party shall certify under oath in the complaint or
other initiatory pleading asserting a claim for relief, or in a
Lim successfully discharged his burden of proof as the sworn certification annexed thereto and simultaneously
plaintiff. He established by preponderant evidence that he filed therewith: (a) that he has not theretofore commenced
had a superior right and title to the property. In contrast, any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in
the petitioners did not present any proof of their better any court, tribunal or quasi-judicial agency and, to the best
title other than their copy of the reconstituted certificate of of his knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending
title. Such proof was not enough, because the registration therein; (b) if there is such other pending action or claim, a
of a piece of land under the Torrens system did not create complete statement of the present status thereof; and (c) if
or vest title, such registration not being a mode of acquiring he should thereafter learn that the same or similar action
ownership. The petitioners need to be reminded that a or claim has been filed or is pending, he shall report that
certificate of title is merely an evidence of ownership or fact within five (5) days therefrom to the court wherein his
title over the particular property described therein. Its aforesaid complaint or initiatory pleading has been filed.
issuance in favor of a particular person does not foreclose

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR RESEARCHED BY J. MANINGDING


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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

Failure to comply with the foregoing requirements shall not by statute. Indeed, a right, to be protected by injunction,
be curable by mere amendment of the complaint or other means a right clearly founded on or granted by law or is
initiatory pleading but shall be cause for the dismissal of the enforceable as a matter of law.
case without prejudice, unless otherwise provided, upon
motion and after hearing. The submission of a false
certification or non-compliance with any of the G.R. No. 157315. December 1, 2010
undertakings therein shall constitute indirect contempt of
court, without prejudice to the corresponding Rule 58 of the Rules of Court clearly lays the burden on the
administrative and criminal actions. If the acts of the party shoulders of the petitioners, as the parties against whom
or his counsel clearly constitute willful and deliberate forum the TRO was issued, to show cause why the application for
shopping, the same shall be ground for summary dismissal the writ of preliminary injunction should not issue, thus:
with prejudice and shall constitute direct contempt, as well
as a cause for administrative sanctions. Sec. 5. Preliminary injunction not granted without notice;
exception. No preliminary injunction shall be granted
without hearing and prior notice to the party or person
G.R. No. 156797. July 6, 2010 sought to be enjoined. If it shall appear from facts shown by
affidavits or by the verified application that great or
For litis pendentia to be a ground for the dismissal of an irreparable injury would result to the applicant before the
action, there must be: (a) identity of the parties or at least matter can be heard on notice, the court to which the
such as to represent the same interest in both actions; (b) application for preliminary injunction was made, may issue
identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief ex parte a temporary restraining order to be effective only
being founded on the same acts; and (c) the identity in the for a period of twenty (20) days from service on the party
two cases should be such that the judgment which may be or person sought to be enjoined, except as herein provided.
rendered in one would, regardless of which party is Within the said twenty-day period, the court must order
successful, amount to res judicata in the other. said party or person to show cause, at a specified time and
place, why the injunction should not be granted, determine
within the same period whether or not the preliminary
G.R. No. 157315. December 1, 2010 injunction shall be granted, and accordingly issue the
corresponding order.
A preliminary injunction is an order granted at any stage of
an action or proceeding prior to the judgment or final order
requiring a party or a court, an agency, or a person to G.R. No. 157479. November 24, 2010
refrain from a particular a particular act or acts. It may also
require the performance of a particular act or acts, in which Section 1, Rule 2, of the Rules of Court requires that every
case it is known as a preliminary mandatory injunction. ordinary civil action must be based on a cause of action.
Thus, a prohibitory injunction is one that commands a party
to refrain from doing a particular act, while a mandatory A cause of action is the act or omission by which a party
injunction commands the performance of some positive act violates a right of another. The essential elements of a
to correct a wrong in the past. cause of action are: (a) the existence of a legal right in favor
of the plaintiff; (b) a correlative legal duty of the defendant
As with all equitable remedies, injunction must be issued to respect such right; and (c) an act or omission by such
only at the instance of a party who possesses sufficient defendant in violation of the right of the plaintiff with a
interest in or title to the right or the property sought to be resulting injury or damage to the plaintiff for which the
protected. It is proper only when the applicant appears to latter may maintain an action for the recovery of relief from
be entitled to the relief demanded in the complaint, which the defendant. Although the first two elements may exist, a
must aver the existence of the right and the violation of the cause of action arises only upon the occurrence of the last
right, or whose averments must in the minimum constitute element, giving the plaintiff the right to maintain an action
a prima facie showing of a right to the final relief sought. in court for recovery of damages or other appropriate
relief.
Accordingly, the conditions for the issuance of the
injunctive writ are:
(a) that the right to be protected exists prima facie; G.R. No. 157479. November 24, 2010
(b) that the act sought to be enjoined is violative of that
right; and Subject to certain qualification, and except as otherwise
(c) that there is an urgent and paramount necessity for the provided by law, an action commenced before the cause of
writ to prevent serious damage. action has accrued is prematurely brought and should be
dismissed. The fact that the cause of action accrues after
An injunction will not issue to protect a right not in esse, or the action is commenced and while the case is pending is of
a right which is merely contingent and may never arise; or no moment. It is a rule of law to which there is, perhaps no
to restrain an act which does not give rise to a cause of exception, either in law or in equity, that to recover at all
action; or to prevent the perpetration of an act prohibited there must be some cause of action at the commencement

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of the suit. There are reasons of public policy why there year from the date of the registration of the certificate of
should be no needless haste in bringing up litigation, and sale.
why people who are in no default and against whom there
is as yet no cause of action should not be summoned
before the public tribunals to answer complaints which are G.R. No. 157659. January 25, 2010
groundless. An action prematurely brought is a groundless
suit. Unless the plaintiff has a valid and subsisting cause of The court can neither halt nor hesitate to issue the writ of
action at the time his action is commenced, the defect possession. It cannot exercise any discretion to determine
cannot be cured or remedied by the acquisition or accrual whether or not to issue the writ, for the issuance of the writ
of one while the action is pending, and a supplemental to the purchaser in an extrajudicial foreclosure sale
complaint or an amendment setting up such after-accrued becomes a ministerial function. Verily, a marked distinction
cause of action is not permissible. exists between a discretionary act and a ministerial one. A
purely ministerial act or duty is one that an officer or
tribunal performs in a given state of facts, in a prescribed
G.R. No. 157659. January 25, 2010 manner, in obedience to the mandate of a legal authority,
without regard to or the exercise of his own judgment upon
A writ of possession, which commands the sheriff to place a the propriety or impropriety of the act done. If the law
person in possession of real property, may be issued in: (1) imposes a duty upon a public officer and gives him the right
land registration proceedings under Section 17 of Act No. to decide how or when the duty shall be performed, such
496; (2) judicial foreclosure, provided the debtor is in duty is discretionary, not ministerial. The duty is ministerial
possession of the mortgaged property, and no third person, only when its discharge requires neither the exercise of
not a party to the foreclosure suit, had intervened; (3) official discretion nor the exercise of judgment.
extrajudicial foreclosure of a real estate mortgage, pending
redemption under Section 7 of Act No. 3135, as amended
by Act No. 4118; and (4) execution sales, pursuant to the G.R. No. 157659. January 25, 2010
last paragraph of Section 33, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.
First of all, Section 4, Rule 71, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure,
Anent the redemption of property sold in an extrajudicial provides as follows:
foreclosure sale made pursuant to the special power
referred to in Section 1 of Act No. 3135, as amended, the Sec. 4. How proceedings commenced. Proceedings for
debtor, his successor-in-interest, or any judicial creditor or indirect contempt may be initiated motu proprio by the
judgment creditor of said debtor, or any person having a court against which the contempt was committed by an
lien on the property subsequent to the mortgage or deed of order or any other formal charge requiring the respondent
trust under which the property is sold has the right to to show cause why he should not be punished for
redeem the property at any time within the term of one contempt.
year from and after the date of the sale, such redemption
to be governed by the provisions of Section 464 to Section In all other cases, charges for indirect contempt shall be
466 of the Code of Civil Procedure, to the extent that said commenced by a verified petition with supporting
provisions were not inconsistent with the provisions of Act particulars and certified true copies of documents or papers
3135. In this regard, we clarify that the redemption period involved therein, and upon full compliance with the
envisioned under Act 3135 is reckoned from the date of the requirements for filing initiatory pleadings for civil actions
registration of the sale, not from and after the date of the in the court concerned. If the contempt charges arose out
sale, as the text of Act 3135 shows. of or are related to a principal action pending in the court,
the petition for contempt shall allege that fact but said
petition shall be docketed, heard and decided separately,
G.R. No. 157659. January 25, 2010 unless the court in its discretion orders the consolidation of
the contempt charge and the principal action for joint
Desiring to avoid any confusion arising from the conflict hearing and decision.
between the texts of the Rules of Court (1940 and 1964)
and Act No. 3135, on one hand, and the jurisprudence Indeed, a person may be charged with indirect contempt
clarifying the reckoning of the redemption period in judicial only by either of two alternative ways, namely: (1) by a
sales of real property, on the other hand, the Court has verified petition, if initiated by a party; or (2) by an order or
incorporated in Section 28 of Rule 39 of the current Rules any other formal charge requiring the respondent to show
of Court the foregoing judicial construction of reckoning the cause why he should not be punished for contempt, if
redemption period from the date of the registration of the made by a court against which the contempt is committed.
certificate of sale, to wit: In short, a charge of indirect contempt must be initiated
through a verified petition, unless the charge is directly
Sec. 28. Time and manner of, and amounts payable on, made by the court against which the contemptuous act is
successive redemptions; notice to be given and filed. The committed.
judgment obligor, or redemptioner, may redeem the
property from the purchaser, at any time within one (1)

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G.R. No. 158708. August 10, 2010 be allowed. Upon proper motion and the payment of the
full amount of the docket fee before the expiration of the
Indeed, Section 6, Rule 43 of the Rules of Court expressly reglementary period, the Court of Appeals may grant an
lists down the pleadings and other matters that a petition additional period of fifteen (15) days only within which to
for review should contain, thus: file the petition for review. No further extension shall be
granted except for the most compelling reason and in no
Sec. 6. Contents of the petition. The petition for review case to exceed fifteen (15) days.
shall (a) state the full names of the parties to the case,
without impleading the court or agencies either as
petitioners or respondents; (b) contain a concise statement RULE 52 MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
of the facts and issues involved and the grounds relied
upon for the review; (c) be accompanied by a clearly legible Sec. 2. Second motion for reconsideration. No second
duplicate original or a certified true copy of the award, motion for reconsideration of a judgment or final resolution
judgment, final order or resolution appealed from, together by the same party shall be entertained.
with certified true copies of such material portions of the
record referred to therein and other supporting papers; Nonetheless, we point out that even in her prohibited
and (d) contain a sworn certification against forum second motion for reconsideration, the petitioner did not
shopping as provided in the last paragraph of section 2, tender any explanation for her failure to make good her
Rule 42. The petition shall state the specific material dates undertaking to furnish to the CA the required certified or
showing that it was filed within the period fixed herein. legible copies of the material portions of the record.
Instead, she contented herself with merely reiterating the
The rule clearly requires the petition for review to be grounds previously used in her first motion for
accompanied by "a clearly legible duplicate original or a reconsideration, adding only that any further documents
certified true copy of the award, judgment, final order or needed by the CA could be made available once the records
resolution appealed from, together with certified true of the case were transmitted by the CSC to the CA, as
copies of such material portions of the record referred to provided in Section 11, Rule 43 of the Rules of Court.
therein and other supporting papers." The requirement is Contrary to the petitioner's position, the transmittal of the
intended to immediately enable the CA to determine records was not mandatory but only discretionary upon the
whether to give due course to the appeal or not by having CA.
all the material necessary to make such determination
before it. This is because an appeal under Rule 43 is a Evidently, the petitioner repeatedly disregarded the rules
discretionary mode of appeal, which the CA may either too many times to merit any tolerance by the Court,
dismiss if it finds the petition to be patently without merit, thereby exhibiting a deplorable tendency to trivialize the
or prosecuted manifestly for delay, or that the questions rules of procedure. Yet, such rules were not to be belittled
raised therein are too unsubstantial to require or dismissed simply because their non-observance might
consideration; or may process by requiring the respondent have resulted in prejudicing a party's substantive rights.
to le a comment on the petition, not a motion to dismiss,
within 10 days from notice. The bare invocation of substantial justice was not a magic
wand that would compel the suspension of the rules of
procedure. Of necessity, the reviewing court had also to
G.R. No. 158708. August 10, 2010 assess whether the appeal was substantially meritorious on
its face, or not, for only after such finding could the review
The petitioner next filed a second motion for court ease the often stringent rules of procedure.
reconsideration after the issuance of the resolution dated Otherwise, the rules of procedure would be reduced to
January 8, 2003. The CA regarded her doing so as a blatant mere trifles.
contravention of the Rules of Court. Indeed, her act directly
violated Section 4, Rule 43, and Section 2, Rule 52, both of
the Rules of Court, viz. : G.R. No. 173822. October 13, 2010

RULE 43 APPEALS FROM THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS AND It is a basic rule of appellate adjudication in this jurisdiction
QUASI-JUDICIAL AGENCIES TO THE COURT OF APPEALS that the trial judge's evaluation of the credibility of a
witness and of the witness' testimony is accorded the
Sec. 4. Period of appeal. highest respect because the trial judge's unique
opportunity to observe directly the demeanor of the
The appeal shall be taken within fifteen (15) days from witness enables him to determine whether the witness is
notice of the award, judgment, final order or resolution, or telling the truth or not. Such evaluation, when afrmed by
from the date of its last publication, if publication is the CA, is binding on the Court unless facts or
required by law for its effectivity, or of the denial of circumstances of weight have been overlooked,
petitio e s otio fo e t ial o e o side atio dul misapprehended, or misinterpreted that, if considered,
filed in accordance with the governing law of the court or would materially affect the disposition of the case. We thus
agency a quo. Only one (1) motion for reconsideration shall apply the rule, considering that the petitioners have not

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

called attention to and proved any overlooked, The petitioner shall also submit together with the petition a
misapprehended, or misinterpreted circumstance. certification under oath that he has not theretofore
Fortifying the application of the rule is that Mirandilla's commenced any other action involving the same issues in
positive declarations on the identities of the assailants the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or different
prevailed over the petitioners' denials and alibi. divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or agency; if there is
such other action or proceeding, he must state the status of
the same; and if he should thereafter learn that a similar
G.R. No. 179709. July 6, 2010 action or proceeding has been filed or is pending before the
Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or different divisions
It is fundamental that the determination by the trial court thereof, or any other tribunal or agency, he undertakes to
of the credibility of witnesses, when affirmed by the promptly inform the aforesaid courts and other tribunal or
appellate court, is accorded full weight and credit as well as agency thereof within five (5) days therefrom.
great respect, if not conclusive effect. Such determination
made by the trial court proceeds from its first-hand Only petitioner Tomas V. Alonso has executed and signed
opportunity to observe the demeanor of the witnesses, the sworn certification against forum shopping attached to
their conduct and attitude under grilling examination, the petition. Although neither of his co-petitioners
thereby placing the trial court in the unique position to Mercedes V. Alonso and Asuncion V. Alonso has joined
assess the witnesses' credibility and to appreciate their the certification, Tomas did not present any written express
truthfulness, honesty and candor. authorization in his favor authorizing him to sign the
certification in their behalf. The signing of the certification
by only one of the petitioners could not be presumed to
G.R. No. 179709. July 6, 2010 reflect the personal knowledge by his co-petitioners of the
ling or non-filing of any similar action or claim. Hence, the
Alibi is an inherently weak and unreliable defense, because failure of Mercedes and Asuncion to sign and execute the
it is easy to fabricate and difficult to disprove. To establish certification along with Tomas warranted the dismissal of
alibi, the accused must prove: (a) that he was actually in their petition.
another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime;
and (b) that it was physically impossible for him to be at the
scene of the crime when the crime was perpetrated. G.R. No. 188471. April 20, 2010
Physical impossibility refers to the distance between the
place where the accused was when the crime transpired Every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name
and the place where the crime was committed, as well as to of the real party in interest, unless otherwise authorized by
the facility of access between the two places. law or the rules. A real party in interest is one who stands
to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or
the party entitled to the avails of the suit. "Interest" within
G.R. No. 187231. June 22, 2010 the meaning of the rule means material interest, an interest
in issue and to be affected by the decree, as distinguished
The Rules of Court does not dene jurisdictional boundaries from mere interest in the question involved, or a mere
of the courts. In promulgating the Rules of Court, the incidental interest. The rule refers to a real or present
Supreme Court is circumscribed by the zone properly substantial interest, as distinguished from a mere
denominated as the promulgation of rules concerning expectancy; or from a future, contingent, subordinate, or
pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts; consequential interest. One having no right or interest to
consequently, the Rules of Court can only determine the protect cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court as a
means, ways or manner in which said jurisdiction, as fixed party-plaintiff in an action.
by the Constitution and acts of Congress, shall be exercised.
The Rues of Court yields to the substantive law in Thus, an appeal, like this one, is an action to be prosecuted
determining jurisdiction. by a party in interest before a higher court. In order for the
appeal to prosper, the litigant must of necessity continue to
hold a real or present substantial interest that entitles him
G.R. No. 188471. April 20, 2010 to the avails of the suit on appeal. If he does not, the
appeal, as to him, is an exercise in futility. So it is with the
Section 4, Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure petitioners.
requires that the petition for review should contain, among
others, the sworn certification on the undertakings In contrast, the Government, being the legal owner of Lot
provided in the last paragraph of Section 2, Rule 42 of the No. 727-D-2, is the only party adversely affected by the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, viz.: denial, and is the proper party entitled to assail the denial.
However, its manifest desistance from the execution of the
Sec. 2. Form and contents. decision effectively barred any challenge against the denial,
for its non-appeal rendered the denial final and immutable.
xxx xxx xxx

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G.R. No. 191002. March 17, 2010


The assertion of a public right as a predicate for challenging
Black defines locus standi as "a right of appearance in a a supposedly illegal or unconstitutional executive or
court of justice on a given question." In public or legislative action rests on the theory that the petitioner
constitutional litigations, the Court is often burdened with represents the public in general. Although such petitioner
the determination of the locus standi of the petitioners due may not be as adversely affected by the action complained
to the ever-present need to regulate the invocation of the against as are others, it is enough that he sufficiently
intervention of the Court to correct any official action or demonstrates in his petition that he is entitled to
policy in order to avoid obstructing the efficient functioning protection or relief from the Court in the vindication of a
of public officials and offices involved in public service. It is public right.
required, therefore, that the petitioner must have a
personal stake in the outcome of the controversy. Quite often, as here, the petitioner in a public action sues
as a citizen or taxpayer to gain locus standi. That is not
surprising, for even if the issue may appear to concern only
G.R. No. 191002. March 17, 2010 the public in general, such capacities nonetheless equip the
petitioner with adequate interest to sue.
Accordingly, it has been held that the interest of a person
assailing the constitutionality of a statute must be direct In matter of mere public right, however . . . the people are
and personal. He must be able to show, not only that the the real parties . . . It is at least the right, if not the duty, of
law or any government act is invalid, but also that he every citizen to interfere and see that a public offence be
sustained or is in imminent danger of sustaining some properly pursued and punished, and that a public grievance
direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not merely be remedied. With respect to taxpayer's suits, the right of a
that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way. It must citizen and a taxpayer to maintain an action in courts to
appear that the person complaining has been or is about to restrain the unlawful use of public funds to his injury
be denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully cannot be denied.
entitled or that he is about to be subjected to some
burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act
complained of. G.R. No. 191002. March 17, 2010

We hold that the petitions set forth an actual case or


G.R. No. 191002. March 17, 2010 controversy that is ripe for judicial determination. The
reality is that the JBC already commenced the proceedings
It is true that as early as in 1937, in People v. Vera, the for the selection of the nominees to be included in a short
Court adopted the direct injury test for determining list to be submitted to the President for consideration of
whether a petitioner in a public action had locus standi. which of them will succeed Chief Justice Puno as the next
There, the Court held that the person who would assail the Chief Justice. Although the position is not yet vacant, the
validity of a statute must have "a personal and substantial fact that the JBC began the process of nomination pursuant
interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will to its rules and practices, although it has yet to decide
sustain direct injury as a result." whether to submit the list of nominees to the incumbent
outgoing President or to the next President, makes the
Yet, the Court has also held that the requirement of locus situation ripe for judicial determination, because the next
standi, being a mere procedural technicality, can be waived steps are the public interview of the candidates, the
by the Court in the exercise of its discretion. For instance, in preparation of the short list of candidates, and the
1949, in Araneta v. Dinglasan, the Court liberalized the "interview of constitutional experts, as may be needed."
approach when the cases had "transcendental importance."
Some notable controversies whose petitioners did not pass
the direct injury test were allowed to be treated in the G.R. No. 191002. April 20, 2010
same way as in Araneta v. Dinglasan.
Stare decisis derives its name from the Latin maxim stare
In the 1975 decision in Aquino v. Commission on Elections, decisis et non quieta movere, i.e., to adhere to precedent
this Court decided to resolve the issues raised by the and not to unsettle things that are settled. It simply means
petition due to their "far-reaching implications," even if the that a principle underlying the decision in one case is
petitioner had no personality to file the suit. The liberal deemed of imperative authority, controlling the decisions
approach of Aquino v. Commission on Elections has been of like cases in the same court and in lower courts within
adopted in several notable cases, permitting ordinary the same jurisdiction, unless and until the decision in
citizens, legislators, and civic organizations to bring their question is reversed or overruled by a court of competent
suits involving the constitutionality or validity of laws, authority. The decisions relied upon as precedents are
regulations, and rulings. commonly those of appellate courts, because the decisions
of the trial courts may be appealed to higher courts and for
that reason are probably not the best evidence of the rules
G.R. No. 191002. March 17, 2010 of law laid down.

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

3. The right to a tribunal so constituted as to give him


Judicial decisions assume the same authority as a statute reasonable assurance of honesty and impartiality, and one
itself and, until authoritatively abandoned, necessarily of competent jurisdiction; and
become, to the extent that they are applicable, the criteria
that must control the actuations, not only of those called 4. The right to a finding or decision of that tribunal
upon to abide by them, but also of those duty-bound to supported by substantial evidence presented at the hearing
enforce obedience to them. In a hierarchical judicial system or at least ascertained in the records or disclosed to the
like ours, the decisions of the higher courts bind the lower parties.
courts, but the courts of co-ordinate authority do not bind
each other. The one highest court does not bind itself,
being invested with the innate authority to rule according G.R. Nos. 187958, 187961, and 187962. April 7, 2010
to its best lights.
The essence of due process is simply the opportunity to be
heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an
opportunity to explain one's side or an opportunity to seek
G.R. Nos. 179431-32. June 22, 2010 a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.

Lokin has correctly brought this special civil action for A formal or trial-type hearing is not at all times and in all
certiorari against the COMELEC to seek the review of the instances essential. The requirements are satisfied where
September 14, 2007 resolution of the COMELEC in the parties are afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to
accordance with Section 7 of Article IX-A of the 1987 explain their side of the controversy at hand. What is
Constitution, notwithstanding the oath and assumption of frowned upon is absolute lack of notice and hearing.
office by Cruz-Gonzales. The constitutional mandate is now
implemented by Rule 64 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, which provides for the review of the judgments, G.R. No. 165025
final orders or resolutions of the COMELEC and the The filing of the complaint or other initiatory pleading and
Commission on Audit. As Rule 64 states, the mode of the payment of the prescribed docket fee are the acts that
review is by a petition for certiorari in accordance with Rule vest a trial court with jurisdiction over the claim. In an
65 to be led in the Supreme Court within a limited period of action where the reliefs sought are purely for sums of
30 days. Undoubtedly, the Court has original and exclusive money and damages, the docket fees are assessed on the
jurisdiction over Lokin's petitions for certiorari and for basis of the aggregate amount being claimed. Ideally,
mandamus against the COMELEC. therefore, the complaint or similar pleading must specify
the sums of money to be recovered and the damages being
sought in order that the clerk of court may be put in a
G.R. Nos. 179431-32. June 22, 2010 position to compute the correct amount of docket fees.

What is truly important to consider in determining whether If the amount of docket fees paid is insufficient in relation
forum shopping exists or not is the vexation caused to the to the amounts being sought, the clerk of court or his duly
courts and the litigants by a party who accesses different authorized deputy has the responsibility of making a
courts and administrative agencies to rule on the same or deficiency assessment, and the plaintiff will be required to
related causes or to grant the same or substantially the pay the deficiency. The non-specification of the amounts of
same reliefs, in the process creating the possibility of damages does not immediately divest the trial court of its
conflicting decisions being rendered by the different fora jurisdiction over the case, provided there is no bad faith or
upon the same issue. intent to defraud the Government on the part of the
plaintiff.

G.R. Nos. 187958, 187961, and 187962. April 7, 2010 The prevailing rule is that if the correct amount of docket
fees is not paid at the time of filing, the trial court still
The Court enunciated the cardinal rules for procedural due acquires jurisdiction upon full payment of the fees within a
process in administrative or quasi-judicial tribunal, to wit: reasonable time as the court may grant, barring
prescription. The "prescriptive period" that bars the
1. The right to notice, be it actual or constructive, of the payment of the docket fees refers to the period in which a
institution of the proceedings that may affect a person's specific action must be filed, so that in every case the
legal right; docket fees must be paid before the lapse of the
prescriptive period, as provided in the applicable laws,
2. The right to a reasonable opportunity to appear and particularly Chapter 3, Title V, Book III, of the Civil Code, the
defend his rights and to introduce witnesses and relevant principal law on prescription of actions.
evidence in his favor;

G.R. No. 156185

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Section 4, Rule 2, Rules of Court.

If two or more suits are instituted on the basis of the same A.M. OCA IPI No. 04-1606-MTJ
cause of action, the filing of one or a judgment upon the
merits in any one is available as a ground for the dismissal A case is considered submitted for decision upon the
of the others. admission of the evidence of the parties at the termination
of the trial. The ninety (90) day period for deciding the case
shall commence to run from submission of the case for
A.M. No. RTJ-04-1845 decision without memoranda; in case the court requires or
allows its filing, the case shall be considered submitted for
It is axiomatic that bail cannot be allowed to a person decision upon the filing of the last memorandum or upon
charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable the expiration of the period to do so, whichever is earlier.
with reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, without a Lack of transcript of stenographic notes shall not be a valid
hearing upon notice to the Prosecution. Any judge who so reason to interrupt or suspend the period for deciding the
allows bail is guilty of gross ignorance of the law and the case unless the case was previously heard by another judge
rules, and is subject to appropriate administrative not the deciding judge in which case the latter shall have
sanctions. the full period of ninety (90) days for the completion of the
transcripts within which to decide the same.
The fact that the public prosecutor recommended bail for
Ancheta did not warrant dispensing with the hearing. The
public prosecutor's recommendation of bail was not A.M. OCA IPI No. 11-184-CA-J
material in deciding whether to conduct the mandatory
hearing or not. For one, the public prosecutor's
recommendation, albeit persuasive, did not necessarily Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution, which provides
bind the trial judge, in whom alone the discretion to as follows:
determine whether to grant bail or not was vested.
Whatever the public prosecutor recommended, including Section 14. No decision shall be rendered by any court
the amount of bail, was non-binding. Nor did such without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts
recommendation constitute a showing that the evidence of and the law on which it is based.
guilt was not strong. If it was otherwise, the trial judge
could become unavoidably controlled by the Prosecution. No petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a
decision of the court shall be refused due course or denied
without starting the legal basis therefor.
G.R. No. 155227-28
The essential purpose of the constitutional provision is to
The settled rule is that defenses not pleaded in the answer require that a judicial decision be clear on why a party has
may not be raised for the first time on appeal. A party prevailed under the law as applied to the facts as proved;
cannot, on appeal, change fundamentally the nature of the
issue in the case. When a party deliberately adopts a
certain theory and the case is decided upon that theory in A.M. OCA IPI No. 11-184-CA-J
the court below, he will not be permitted to change the
same on appeal, because to permit him to do so would be
unfair to the adverse party. It is well settled that in administrative proceedings, the
complainant has the burden of proving, by substantial
evidence, the allegations in his complaint. Section 27 of the
A.M. No. RTJ-09-2182 (Formerly A.M. No. 08-3007-RTJ) Ombudsman Act is unequivocal. Findings of fact by the
Office of the Ombudsman, when supported by substantial
We have always regarded as a fundamental precept that an evidence, are conclusive. Conversely, when the findings of
administrative complaint against a judge is inappropriate as fact by the Ombudsman are not adequately supported by
a remedy for the correction of an act or omission substantial evidence, they shall not be binding upon the
complained of where the remedy of appeal or certiorari is a courts.
recourse available to an aggrieved party. Two reasons
underlie this fundamental precept, namely: (a) to hold
otherwise is to render judicial office untenable, for no one A.M. OCA IPI No. 11-184-CA-J
called upon to try the facts or to interpret the law in the
process of administering justice can be infallible in his
judgment; and (b) to follow a different rule can mean a Time and again, it has been held, no less than by the
deluge of complaints, legitimate or otherwise, and our Supreme Court, that mere suspicions and speculations can
judges will then be immersed in and be ceaselessly never be the basis of conviction in a criminal case. Guided
occupied with answering charges brought against them by the same doctrinal rule, this Office is not duty-bound to
instead of performing their judicial functions. proceed with the indictment of the public respondents as

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charged. Indeed well entrenched is the rule that "(t)he injunction commands the performance of some positive act
purpose of a preliminary investigation is to secure the to correct a wrong in the past.
innocent against hasty, malicious and oppressive
prosecution and to protect him from an open and public
accusation of crime, from the trouble, expense and anxiety G.R. No. 153852
of a public trial, and also to protect the state from useless
and expensive trials. As with all equitable remedies, injunction must be issued
only at the instance of a party who possesses sufficient
Moreover, petitioners failed to rebut the presumption of interest in or title to the right or the property sought to be
regularity in the performance of the official duties of protected. It is proper only when the applicant appears to
respondents by affirmative evidence of irregularity or be entitled to the relief demanded in the complaint, which
failure to perform a duty. The presumption prevails and must aver the existence of the right and the violation of the
becomes conclusive until it is overcome by no less than right, or whose averments must in the minimum constitute
clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. Every a prima facie showing of a right to the final relief sought.
reasonable intendment will be made in support of the
presumption and in case of doubt as to a offi e s a t Accordingly, the conditions for the issuance of the
being lawful or unlawful, construction should be in favor of injunctive writ are: (a) that the right to be protected exists
its lawfulness. prima facie; (b) that the act sought to be enjoined is
violative of that right; and (c) that there is an urgent and
paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious
G.R. No. 153511 damage. An injunction will not issue to protect a right not in
esse, or a right which is merely contingent and may never
There is no longer any doubt that a petition for certiorari arise; or to restrain an act which does not give rise to a
brought to assail the decision of the NLRC may raise factual cause of action; or to prevent the perpetration of an act
issues, and the CA may then review the decision of the prohibited by statute. Indeed, a right, to be protected by
NLRC and pass upon such factual issues in the process. The injunction, means a right clearly founded on or granted by
power of the CA to review factual issues in the exercise of law or is enforceable as a matter of law.
its original jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari is based on
Section 9 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, which pertinently
provides that the CA "shall have the power to try cases and G.R. No. 155830
conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all
acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases The adjudication of the question of ownership in an action
falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including for the recovery of possession of realty would only be
the power to grant and conduct new trials or further provisional and would not even be a bar to an action
proceedings." between the same parties involving the ownership of the
same property.

G.R. No. 153511


G.R. No. 156296
Generally, the Court does not review factual questions,
primarily because the Court is not a trier of facts. However, Court litigation is primarily a search for truth, and a liberal
where, like here, there is a conflict between the factual interpretation of the rules that gives to both parties the
findings of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC, on the one fullest opportunity to adduce proof is the best way to ferret
hand, and those of the CA, on the other hand, it becomes out such truth. Thus, a court may suspend its own rules or
proper for the Court, in the exercise of its equity except a case from them in order to serve the ends of
jurisdiction, to review and re-evaluate the factual issues justice; or, it may altogether disregard the rules in a proper
and to look into the records of the case and re-examine the case.
questioned findings.

G.R. No. 157810


G.R. No. 153852

A preliminary injunction is an order granted at any stage of A decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable
an action or proceeding prior to the judgment or final order and unalterable and may no longer be modified in any
requiring a party or a court, an agency, or a person to respect even if the modification is intended to correct
refrain from a particular act or acts. It may also require the erroneous conclusions of fact or law and whether it will be
performance of a particular act or acts, in which case it is made by the court that rendered it or by the highest court
known as a preliminary mandatory injunction. Thus, a of the land. This doctrine of finality and immutability of
prohibitory injunction is one that commands a party to judgments is grounded on fundamental considerations of
refrain from doing a particular act, while a mandatory public policy and sound practice to the effect that, at the
risk of occasional error, the judgments of the courts must

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become final at some definite date set by law. The reason is


that litigations must end and terminate sometime and G.R. No. 158239
somewhere; and it is essential for the effective and efficient Whether an order is final or interlocutory determines
administration of justice that once a judgment has become whether appeal is the correct remedy or not. A final order
final the winning party should not be deprived of the fruits is appealable, to accord with the final judgment rule
of the verdict. enunciated in Section 1, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court to the
effect that "appeal may be taken from a judgment or final
Given this doctrine, courts must guard against any scheme order that completely disposes of the case, or of a
calculated to bring about that result, and must frown upon particular matter therein when declared by these Rules to
any attempt to prolong controversies. The only exceptions be appealable;" but the remedy from an interlocutory one
to the general rule are: is not an appeal but a special civil action for certiorari.
(a) the correction of clerical errors;
(b) the so-called nunc pro tunc entries that cause no xxx The reason for disallowing an appeal from an
prejudice to any party; interlocutory order is to avoid multiplicity of appeals in a
(c) void judgments; and single action, which necessarily suspends the hearing and
(d) whenever circumstances transpire after the finality of decision on the merits of the action during the pendency of
the judgments rendering execution unjust and the appeals. Permitting multiple appeals will necessarily
inequitable. None of the exceptions obtains here. delay the trial on the merits of the case for a considerable
length of time, and will compel the adverse party to incur
unnecessary expenses, for one of the parties may interpose
G.R. No. 157810 as many appeals as there are incidental questions raised by
him and as there are interlocutory orders rendered or
A judgment nunc pro tunc has been defined and issued by the lower court. An interlocutory order may be
characterized thuswise: the subject of an appeal, but only after a judgment has
been rendered, with the ground for appealing the order
The object of a judgment nunc pro tunc is not the rendering being included in the appeal of the judgment itself.
of a new judgment and the ascertainment and
determination of new rights, but is one placing in proper
form on the record, the judgment that had been previously G.R. No. 158239
rendered, to make it speak the truth, so as to make it show
what the judicial action really was, not to correct judicial The remedy against an interlocutory order not subject of an
errors, such as to render a judgment which the court ought appeal is an appropriate special civil action under Rule 65,
to have rendered, in place of the one it did erroneously provided that the interlocutory order is rendered without
render, nor to supply nonaction by the court, however or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion.
erroneous the judgment may have been. Then is certiorari under Rule 65 allowed to be resorted to.

Based on such definition and characterization, the Indeed, the Court has held that an appeal from an order
petitio e s situatio did ot fall ithi the s ope of a u denying a motion for reconsideration of a final order or
pro tunc amendment, considering that what they were judgment is effectively an appeal from the final order or
seeking was not mere clarification, but the complete judgment itself; and has expressly clarified that the
reversal in their favor of the final judgment and the prohibition against appealing an order denying a motion for
reinstatement of the DARAB decision. reconsideration referred only to a denial of a motion for
reconsideration of an interlocutory order.

G.R. No. 158239


G.R. No. 158239
The distinction between a final order and an interlocutory
order is well known. The first disposes of the subject matter That he had only three days from July 13, 2000, or until July
in its entirety or terminates a particular proceeding or 16, 2000, within which to perfect an appeal; and that
action, leaving nothing more to be done except to enforce having filed his notice of appeal on July 19, 2000, his appeal
by execution what the court has determined, but the latter should have been dismissed for being tardy by three days
does not completely dispose of the case but leaves beyond the expiration of the reglementary period.
something else to be decided upon. An interlocutory order
deals with preliminary matters and the trial on the merits is Section 3 of Rule 41 of the Rules of Court provides:
yet to be held and the judgment rendered. The test to
ascertain whether or not an order or a judgment is Section 3. Period of ordinary appeal. The appeal shall be
interlocutory or final is: does the order or judgment leave taken within fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment
something to be done in the trial court with respect to the or final order appealed from. Where a record on appeal is
merits of the case? If it does, the order or judgment is required, the appellant shall file a notice of appeal and a
interlocutory; otherwise, it is final. record on appeal within thirty (30) days from notice of the
judgment or final order.

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The period of appeal shall be interrupted by a timely Forum shopping is the act of a party litigant against whom
motion for new trial or reconsideration. No motion for an adverse judgment has been rendered in one forum
extension of time to file a motion for new trial or seeking and possibly getting a favorable opinion in another
reconsideration shall be allowed. forum, other than by appeal or the special civil action
of certiorari, or the institution of two or more actions or
proceedings grounded on the same cause or supposition
G.R. No. 158239 that one or the other court would make a favorable
disposition. Forum shopping happens when, in the two or
The Supreme Court may promulgate procedural rules in all more pending cases, there is identity of parties, identity of
courts. It has the sole prerogative to amend, repeal or even rights or causes of action, and identity of reliefs sought.
establish new rules for a more simplified and inexpensive Where the elements of litis pendentia are present, and
process, and the speedy disposition of cases. In the rules where a final judgment in one case will amount to res
governing appeals to it and to the Court of Appeals, judicata in the other, there is forum shopping.
particularly Rules 42, 43 and 45, the Court allows
extensions of time, based on justifiable and compelling For forum shopping to exist, both actions must involve the
reasons, for parties to file their appeals. These extensions same transaction, same essential facts and circumstances
may consist of 15 days or more. and must raise identical causes of action, subject matter
and issues. Clearly, it does not exist where different orders
To standardize the appeal periods provided in the Rules and were questioned, two distinct causes of action and issues
to afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their cases, the were raised, and two objectives were sought.
Court deems it practical to allow a fresh period of 15 days
within which to file the notice of appeal in the Regional
Trial Court, counted from receipt of the order dismissing a G.R. No. 158239
motion for a new trial or motion for reconsideration.
Henceforth, this "fresh period rule" shall also apply to Rule The remedies of appeal and certiorari under Rule 65 are
40 governing appeals from the Municipal Trial Courts to the mutually exclusive and not alternative or cumulative. This is
Regional Trial Courts; Rule 42 on petitions for review from a firm judicial policy. The petitioner cannot hedge her case
the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals; Rule 43 by wagering two or more appeals, and, in the event that
on appeals from quasi-judicial agencies to the Court of the ordinary appeal lags significantly behind the others, she
Appeals and Rule 45 governing appeals by certiorari to the cannot post facto validate this circumstance as a
Supreme Court. The new rule aims to regiment or make the demonstration that the ordinary appeal had not been
appeal period uniform, to be counted from receipt of the speedy or adequate enough, in order to justify the recourse
order denying the motion for new trial, motion for to Rule 65. This practice, if adopted, would sanction the
reconsideration (whether full or partial) or any final order filing of multiple suits in multiple fora, where each one, as
or resolution. the petitioner couches it, becomes a "precautionary
measure" for the rest, thereby increasing the chances of a
favorable decision. This is the very evil that the proscription
G.R. No. 158239 on forum shopping seeks to put right.

Procedural law refers to the adjective law which prescribes The grave evil sought to be avoided by the rule against
rules and forms of procedure in order that courts may be forum shopping is the rendition by two competent tribunals
able to administer justice. Procedural laws do not come of two separate and contradictory decisions. Unscrupulous
within the legal conception of a retroactive law, or the party litigants, taking advantage of a variety of competent
ge e al ule agai st the et oa ti e ope atio of statues tribunals, may repeatedly try their luck in several different
they may be given retroactive effect on actions pending fora until a favorable result is reached. To avoid the
and undetermined at the time of their passage and this will resultant confusion, the Court adheres strictly to the rules
not violate any right of a person who may feel that he is against forum shopping, and any violation of these rules
adversely affected, insomuch as there are no vested rights results in the dismissal of the case.
in rules of procedure.

The "fresh period rule" is a procedural law as it prescribes a G.R. No. 158597
fresh period of 15 days within which an appeal may be
made in the event that the motion for reconsideration is Doctrinally entrenched is that the right of appeal is a
denied by the lower court. Following the rule on statutory right and the one who seeks to avail that right
retroactivity of procedural laws, the "fresh period rule" must comply with the statute or rules. The Rules,
should be applied to pending actions, such as the present particularly the requirements for perfecting an appeal
case. within the reglementary period specified in the law, must
be strictly followed as they are considered indispensable
interdictions against needless delays and appeal in the
G.R. No. 158239 manner and within the period permitted by law is not only
mandatory but also jurisdictional and the failure to perfect

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an appeal renders the judgment of the court final and


executory. Just as a losing party has the right to file an G.R. No. 159746
appeal within the prescribed period, the winning party also
has the correlative right to enjoy the finality of the Based on the foregoing, an appeal should be taken within
resolution of his or her case. 15 days from the notice of judgment or final order
appealed from. A final judgment or order is one that finally
Consequently, failing to perfect an appeal within the time disposes of a case, leaving nothing more for the court to do
and manner specified by law, deprives the appellate court with respect to it. It is an adjudication on the merits which,
of jurisdiction to alter the final judgment much less considering the evidence presented at the trial, declares
entertain the appeal. Timeliness of an appeal is a categorically what the rights and obligations of the parties
jurisdictional caveat that not even the Supreme Court can are; or it may be an order or judgment that dismisses an
trifle with. action.

G.R. No. 159746


G.R. No. 159508
Enumeration of Section 1, Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
A petition for certiorari may be filed to assail an Procedure of what are not appealable. The amended rule
interlocutory order if it is issued without jurisdiction, or now reads:
with excess of jurisdiction, or in grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. This is because Section 1. Subject of appeal. An appeal may be taken
as to such order there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, from a judgment or final order that completely disposes of
and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Rule 65 the case, or of a particular matter therein when declared by
of the Rules of Court expressly recognizes the exception by these Rules to be appealable.
providing as follows:
No appeal may be taken from:
Section 1. Petition for certiorari. When any tribunal, (a) An order denying a petition for relief or any similar
board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial motion seeking relief from judgment;
functions has acted without or in excess of its or his (b) An interlocutory order;
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to (c) An order disallowing or dismissing an appeal;
lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, or any (d) An order denying a motion to set aside a judgment by
plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course consent, confession or compromise on the ground of fraud,
of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified mistake or duress, or any other ground vitiating consent;
petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty (e) An order of execution;
and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or (f) A judgment or final order for or against one or more of
modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or several parties or in separate claims, counterclaims, cross-
officer, and granting such incidental reliefs as law and claims and third-party complaints, while the main case is
justice may require. pending, unless the court allows an appeal therefrom; and
(g) An order dismissing an action without prejudice.
In any of the foregoing circumstances, the aggrieved party
G.R. No. 159508 may file an appropriate special civil action as provided in
Rule 65.
xxx. The Supreme Court is a court of last resort, and must
so remain if it is to satisfactorily perform the functions
assigned to it by the fundamental charter and immemorial G.R. No. 159746
tradition. It cannot and should not be burdened with the
task of dealing with causes in the first instance. Its original Rule 6 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure defines a
jurisdiction to issue the so-called extraordinary writs should compulsory counterclaim as follows:
be exercised only where absolutely necessary or where
serious and important reasons exist therefor. Hence, that Section 7. Compulsory counterclaim. A compulsory
jurisdiction should generally be exercised relative to actions counterclaim is one which, being cognizable by the regular
or proceedings before the Court of Appeals, or before courts of justice, arises out of or is connected with the
constitutional or other tribunals, bodies or agencies whose transaction or occurrence constituting the subject matter
acts for some reason or another are not controllable by the of the opposi g pa t s lai a d does ot e ui e fo its
Court of Appeals. Where the issuance of an extraordinary adjudication the presence of third parties of whom the
writ is also within the competence of the Court of Appeals court cannot acquire jurisdiction. Such a counterclaim must
or a Regional Trial Court, it is in either of these courts that be within the jurisdiction of the court both as to the
the spe ifi a tio fo the its p o u e e t ust e amount and the nature thereof, except that in an original
presented. This is and should continue to be the policy in action before the Regional Trial Court, the counterclaim
this regard, a policy that courts and lawyers must strictly may be considered compulsory regardless of the amount.
observe. (n)

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Accordingly, a counterclaim is compulsory if: (a) it arises out Section 1, Rule 9 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which
of or is necessarily connected with the transaction or provides:
occurrence which is the subject matter of the opposing
pa t s lai ; it does not require for its adjudication the Section 1. Defenses and objections not pleaded.
presence of third parties of whom the court cannot acquire Defenses and objections not pleaded either in a motion to
jurisdiction; and (c) the court has jurisdiction to entertain dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived. However,
the claim both as to its amount and nature, except that in when it appears from the pleadings or the evidence on
an original action before the RTC, the counterclaim may be record that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject
considered compulsory regardless of the amount. matter, that there is another action pending between the
same parties for the same cause, or that the action is
A compulsory counterclaim that a defending party has at barred by a prior judgment or by statute of limitations, the
the time he files his answer shall be contained therein. court shall dismiss the claim.
Pursuant to Section 2, Rule 9 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, a compulsory counterclaim not set up shall be
barred. G.R. No. 161122

A petition for annulment of judgment is a remedy in equity


G.R. No. 159746 so exceptional in nature that it may be availed of only when
other remedies are wanting, and only if the judgment, final
The four tests to determine whether a counterclaim is order or final resolution sought to be annulled was
compulsory or not are the following, to wit: rendered by a court lacking jurisdiction or through extrinsic
(a) Are the issues of fact or law raised by the claim and the fraud. Yet, the remedy, being exceptional in character, is
counterclaim largely the same? not allowed to be so easily and readily abused by parties
Would es judi ata a a su se ue t suit o defe da ts aggrieved by the final judgments, orders or resolutions. The
claims, absent the compulsory counterclaim rule? Court has thus instituted safeguards by limiting the grounds
(c) Will substantially the same evidence support or refute for the annulment to lack of jurisdiction and extrinsic fraud,
plai tiffs lai as ell as the defe da ts ou te lai ? and by prescribing in Section 1 of Rule 47 of the Rules of
and Court that the petitioner should show that the ordinary
(d) Is there any logical relation between the claim and the remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other
counterclaim, such that the conduct of separate trials of appropriate remedies are no longer available through no
the respective claims of the parties would entail a fault of the petitioner. A petition for annulment that
substantial duplication of effort and time by the parties and ignores or disregards any of the safeguards cannot prosper.
the court?

Of the four, the one compelling test of compulsoriness is G.R. No. 161122
the logical relation between the claim alleged in the
complaint and that in the counterclaim. Such relationship It is elementary that a judgment of a court is conclusive and
exists when conducting separate trials of the respective binding only upon the parties and those who are their
claims of the parties would entail substantial duplication of successors in interest by title after the commencement of
time and effort by the parties and the court; when the the action in court. Section 47(b) of Rule 39 of the Rules of
multiple claims involve the same factual and legal issues; or Court explicitly so provides, to wit:
when the claims are offshoots of the same basic
controversy between the parties. If these tests result in Section 47. Effect of judgments or final orders .The effect
affirmative answers, the counterclaim is compulsory. of a judgment or final order rendered by a court of the
Philippines, having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment
or final order, may be as follows:
G.R. No. 159746 xxxx

Venue related only to the place of trial or the geographical (b) In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with
location in which an action or proceeding should be respect to the matter directly adjudged or as to any other
brought and does not equate to the jurisdiction of the matter that could have been raised in relation
court. It is intended to accord convenience to the parties, thereto, conclusive between the parties and their successors
as it relates to the place of trial, and does not restrict their in interest by title subsequent to the commencement of the
access to the courts. In contrast, jurisdiction refers to the action or special proceeding, litigating for the same thing
power to hear and determine a cause, and is conferred by and under the same title and in the same capacity; xxx.
law and not by the parties.

G.R. No. 161122


G.R. No. 159746
The principle that a person cannot be prejudiced by a ruling
rendered in an action or proceeding in which he has not

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

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been made a party conforms to the constitutional of a claim under section 12 of Rule 6, is that the original
guarantee of due process of law. The operation of this "defendant is attempting to transfer to the third-party
principle was illustrated where the Court declared that a defendant the liability asserted against him by the original
person not impleaded and given the opportunity to take plaintiff."
part in the proceedings was not bound by the decision
declaring as null and void the title from which his title to
the property had been derived. We said there that the G.R. No. 161909
effect of a judgment could not be extended to non-parties
by simply issuing an alias writ of execution against them, The requisites for a third-party action are, firstly, that the
for no man should be prejudiced by any proceeding to party to be impleaded must not yet be a party to the
which he was a stranger. In the same manner, a writ of action; secondly, that the claim against the third-party
execution could be issued only against a party, not against a defendant must belong to the original defendant; thirdly,
person who did not have his day in court. the claim of the original defendant against the third-party
defe da t ust e ased upo the plai tiffs lai agai st
the original defendant; and, fourthly, the defendant is
G.R. No. 161909 attempting to transfer to the third-party defendant the
liability asserted against him by the original plaintiff.
The device of the third-party action, also known as
impleader, was in accord with Section 12, Rule 6 of the
Revised Rules of Court, the rule then applicable, viz: G.R. No. 161909

Section 12. Third-party complaint. A third-party complaint Under this Rule, a person not a party to an action may be
is a claim that a defending party may, with leave of court, impleaded by the defendant either (a) on an allegation of
file against a person not a party to the action, called the liability to the latter; (b) on the ground of direct liability to
third-party defendant, for contribution, indemnity, the plaintiff-; or, (c) both (a) and (b). The situation in (a) is
su ogatio o a othe elief, i espe t of his oppo e ts covered by the phrase "for contribution, indemnity or
claim. subrogation;" while (b) and (c) are subsumed under the
at h all "o a othe elief, i espe t of his oppo e ts
Explaining the application of Section 12, Rule 6, supra, the claim."
Court said to wit:
Section 12 of Rule 6 of the Revised Rules of Court
authorizes a defendant to bring into a lawsuit any person G.R. No. 164457
"not a party to the action . . . for contribution, indemnity,
subrogation or any other relief in respect of his opponent's
claim." From its explicit language it does not compel the Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Court, the rule then in
defendant to bring the third-parties into the litigation, effect when the information was filed in the RTC, contained
rather it simply permits the inclusion of anyone who meets the following provisions on the proper manner of alleging
the standard set forth in the rule. The secondary or the nature and cause of the accusation in the information,
derivative liability of the third-party is central whether to wit:
the basis is indemnity, subrogation, contribution, express or
implied warranty or some other theory. The impleader of Section 8.Designation of the offense. Whenever possible,
new parties under this rule is proper only when a right to a complaint or information should state the designation
relief exists under the applicable substantive law. This rule given to the offense by the statute, besides the statement
is merely a procedural mechanism, and cannot be utilized of the acts or omissions constituting the same, and if there
unless there is some substantive basis under applicable law. is no such designation, reference should be made to the
section or subsection of the statute punishing it. (7)

G.R. No. 161909 Section 9.Cause of accusation. The acts or omissions


complained of as constituting the offense must be stated in
Apart from the requirement that the third-party ordinary and concise language without repetition, not
complainant should assert a derivative or secondary claim necessarily in the terms of the statute defining the offense,
for relief from the third-party defendant there are other but in such form as is sufficient to enable a person of
li itatio s o said pa t s a ilit to i plead. The ule common understanding to know what offense is intended
requires that the third-party defendant is "not a party to to be charged, and enable the court to pronounce proper
the action" for otherwise the proper procedure for judgment. (8)
asserting a claim against one who is already a party to the
suit is by means of counterclaim or cross-claim under The importance of the proper manner of alleging the
sections 6 and 7 of Rule 6. In addition to the aforecited nature and cause of the accusation in the information
requirement, the claim against the third-party defendant should never be taken for granted by the State. An accused
must be based upon plaintiff's claim against the original cannot be convicted of an offense that is not clearly
defendant (third-party claimant). The crucial characteristic charged in the complaint or information. To convict him of

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an offense other than that charged in the complaint or Section 6, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court ensures this
information would be violative of the Constitutional right to solution thusly:
be informed of the nature and cause of the Section 6. Cross-examination; its purpose and extent.
accusation. Indeed, the accused cannot be convicted of a Upon the termination of the direct examination, the
crime, even if duly proven, unless the crime is alleged or witness may be cross-examined by the adverse party as to
necessarily included in the information filed against him. any matters stated in the direct examination, or connected
therewith, with sufficient fullness and freedom to test his
accuracy and truthfulness and freedom from interest or
G.R. No. 164457 bias, or the reverse, and to elicit all important facts bearing
upon the issue. (8a)
Nonetheless, in all criminal prosecutions, the Prosecution
bears the burden to establish the guilt of the accused Although the second solution traces its existence to a
beyond reasonable doubt. In discharging this burden, the Constitutional precept relevant to criminal cases, i.e.,
Prose utio s dut is to p o e ea h a d e e ele e t of Section 14, (2), Article III, of the 1987 Constitution, which
the crime charged in the information to warrant a finding of guarantees that: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused
guilt for that crime or for any other crime necessarily shall xxx enjoy the right xxx to meet the witnesses face to
included therein. The Prosecution must further prove the face xxx," the rule requiring the cross-examination by the
participation of the accused in the commission of the adverse party equally applies to non-criminal proceedings.
offense.

In doing all these, the Prosecution must rely on the G.R. No. 164457
strength of its own evidence, and not anchor its success
upon the weakness of the evidence of the accused. The Section 19, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court distinguishes
burden of proof placed on the Prosecution arises from the between a public document and a private document for the
presumption of innocence in favor of the accused that no purpose of their presentation in evidence, viz:
less than the Constitution has guaranteed. Conversely, as to
his innocence, the accused has no burden of proof, that he Section 19. Classes of documents. For the purpose of their
must then be acquitted and set free should the Prosecution presentation in evidence, documents are either public or
not overcome the presumption of innocence in his favor. private.

Public documents are:


G.R. No. 164457 (a) The written official acts, or records of the official acts of
the sovereign authority, official bodies and tribunals, and
Thus, the rule against hearsay testimony rests mainly on public officers, whether of the Philippines, or of a foreign
the ground that there was no opportunity to cross-examine country;
the declarant. The testimony may have been given under (b) Documents acknowledged before a notary public except
oath and before a court of justice, but if it is offered against last wills and testaments, and
a party who is afforded no opportunity to cross-examine (c) Public records, kept in the Philippines, of private
the witness, it is hearsay just the same. documents required by law to be entered therein.

All other writings are private.


G.R. No. 164457
The nature of documents as either public or private
To address the problem of controlling inadmissible hearsay determines how the documents may be presented as
as evidence to establish the truth in a dispute while also evidence in court. A public document, by virtue of its official
safegua di g a pa t s ight to oss-examine her or sovereign character, or because it has been
ad e sa s it ess, the Rules of Cou t offe s t o solutio s. acknowledged before a notary public (except a notarial will)
The first solution is to require that all the witnesses in a or a competent public official with the formalities required
judicial trial or hearing be examined only in court under by law, or because it is a public record of a private writing
oath or affirmation. Section 1, Rule 132 of the Rules of authorized by law, is self-authenticating and requires no
Court formalizes this solution, viz: further authentication in order to be presented as evidence
in court.In contrast, a private document is any other
Section 1. Examination to be done in open court. - The writing, deed, or instrument executed by a private person
examination of witnesses presented in a trial or hearing without the intervention of a notary or other person legally
shall be done in open court, and under oath or affirmation. authorized by which some disposition or agreement is
Unless the witness is incapacitated to speak, or the proved or set forth. Lacking the official or sovereign
question calls for a different mode of answer, the answers character of a public document, or the solemnities
of the witness shall be given orally. (1a) prescribed by law, a private document requires
authentication in the manner allowed by law or the Rules of
The second solution is to require that all witnesses be Court before its acceptance as evidence in court.
subject to the cross-examination by the adverse party.

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done, some act or acts probably in violation of the rights of


G.R. No. 164457 the applicant respecting the subject of the action or
proceeding, and tending to render the judgment
The requirement of authentication of a private document is ineffectual.
excused only in four instances, specifically: The existence of a right to be protected by the injunctive
(a) when the document is an ancient one within the context relief is indispensable.
of Section 21, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court;
(b) when the genuineness and authenticity of an actionable
document have not been specifically denied under oath by G.R. No. 169084
the adverse party;
(c) when the genuineness and authenticity of the document We eite ate that the t ial judges e aluatio of the
have been admitted; or credibility of a witness and of his testimony is accorded the
(d) when the document is not being offered as genuine. highest espe t e ause of the t ial judges u i ue
opportunity to directly observe the demeanor of the
witness that enables him to determine whether the witness
G.R. No. 164457 is telling the truth or not. Such evaluation, when affirmed
by the CA, is binding on the Court unless the appellant
Rule 132 of the Rules of Court,viz: reveals facts or circumstances of weight that were
Section 20. Proof of private documents. Before any overlooked, misapprehended, or misinterpreted that, if
private document offered as authentic is received in considered, would materially affect the disposition of the
evidence, its due execution and authenticity must be case.
proved either:
(a) By anyone who saw the document executed or written;
or G.R. No. 169084
(b) By evidence of the genuineness of the signature or
handwriting of the maker. The rationale for the shifting of the burden of evidence is
that the accused, by his admission, is to be held criminally
liable unless he satisfactorily establishes the fact of self-
G.R. No. 164457 defense. But the burden to prove guilt beyond reasonable
doubt is not thereby lifted from the shoulders of the State,
The Court has to acquit petitioner for failure of the State to which carries it until the end of the proceedings.
establish her guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The Court
reiterates that in the trial of every criminal case, a judge In other words, only the onus probandi shifts to the
ust igidl test the States e ide e of guilt i o de to accused, for self-defense is an affirmative allegation that
ensure that such evidence adhered to the basic rules of must be established with certainty by sufficient and
admissibility before pronouncing an accused guilty of the satisfactory proof. He must now discharge the burden by
crime charged upon such evidence. The failure of the judge relying on the strength of his own evidence, not on the
to do so herein nullified the guarantee of due of process of weakness of that of the Prosecution, considering that the
law in favor of the accused, who had no obligation to prove P ose utio s e ide e, e e if eak, a ot e dis elie ed
her innocence. Her acquittal should follow. in view of his admission of the killing.

G.R. No. 167057 G.R. No. 171182

A preliminary injunction is an order granted at any stage of


an action or proceeding prior to the judgment or final Section 14 of Article VIII of the Constitution prescribes that
order, requiring a party or a court, agency or person, to express findings of fact and of law should be made in the
refrain from a particular act or acts. It is an ancillary or decision rendered by any court, to wit:
preventive remedy resorted to by a litigant to protect or
preserve his rights or interests during the pendency of the Section 14. No decision shall be rendered by any court
case. As such, it is issued only when it is established that: without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts
(a) The applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the and the law on which it is based.
whole or part of such relief consists in restraining the
commission or continuance of the act or acts complained No petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a
of, or in requiring the performance of an act or acts, either decision of the court shall be refused due course or denied
for a limited period or perpetually; or without stating the legal basis therefor.
(b) The commission, continuance or non-performance of
the act or acts complained of during the litigation would Implementing the constitutional provision in civil actions is
probably work injustice to the applicant; or Section 1 of Rule 36, Rules of Court, viz:
(c) A party, court, agency or a person is doing, threatening,
or is attempting to do, or is procuring or suffering to be

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Section 1. Rendition of judgments and final orders. A A declaration or an utterance is deemed as part of the res
judgment or final order determining the merits of the case gestae and thus admissible in evidence as an exception to
shall be in writing personally and directly prepared by the the hearsay rule when the following requisites concur, to
judge, stating clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on wit:
which it is based, signed by him, and filed with the clerk of (a) the principal act, the res gestae, is a startling
the court. occurrence;
(b) the statements are made before the declarant had time
The Constitution and the Rules of Court apparently to contrive or devise; and
delineate two main essential parts of a judgment, namely: (c) the statements must concern the occurrence in question
the body and the decretal portion. Although the latter is and its immediately attending circumstances.
the controlling part, the importance of the former is not to
be lightly regarded because it is there where the court
clearly and distinctly states its findings of fact and of law on G.R. No. 173476
which the decision is based. To state it differently, one
without the other is ineffectual and useless. The omission The term res gestae has been defined as "those
of either inevitably results in a judgment that violates the circumstances which are the undesigned incidents of a
letter and the spirit of the Constitution and the Rules of particular litigated act and which are admissible when
Court. illustrative of such act."

The test of admissibility of evidence as a part of the res


G.R. No. 173474 gestae is, therefore, whether the act, declaration, or
exclamation is so intimately interwoven or connected with
The Prosecution failed to establish the identity of the the principal fact or event that it characterizes as to be
prohibited drug that constituted the corpus delicti itself. regarded as a part of the transaction itself, and also
The omission naturally raises grave doubt about any search whether it clearly negatives any premeditation or purpose
being actually conducted and warrants the suspicion that to manufacture testimony.
the prohibited drugs were planted evidence.

In every criminal prosecution for possession of illegal drugs, G.R. No. 175602
the Prosecution must account for the custody of the
incriminating evidence from the moment of seizure and No information for a crime will be sufficient if it does not
confiscation until the moment it is offered in evidence. That accurately and clearly allege the elements of the crime
account goes to the weight of evidence. It is not enough charged. Every element of the offense must be stated in the
that the evidence offered has probative value on the issues, information. What facts and circumstances are necessary to
for the evidence must also be sufficiently connected to and be included therein must be determined by reference to the
tied with the facts in issue. The evidence is not relevant definitions and essentials of the specified crimes. The
merely because it is available but that it has an actual requirement of alleging the elements of a crime in the
connection with the transaction involved and with the information is to inform the accused of the nature of the
parties thereto. This is the reason why authentication and accusation against him so as to enable him to suitably
laying a foundation for the introduction of evidence are prepare his defense. The presumption is that the accused
important. has no independent knowledge of the facts that constitute
the offense.
G.R. No. 173476

G.R. No. 175602


A dying declaration, although generally inadmissible as
evidence due to its hearsay character, may nonetheless be Section 11(a), Rule 122 of the Rules of Court, which
admitted when the following requisites concur, namely: relevantly provides:
(a) that the declaration must concern the cause and
su ou di g i u sta es of the de la a ts death; Section 11. Effect of appeal by any of several accused.
(b) that at the time the declaration is made, the declarant is (a) An appeal taken by one or more of several accused
under a consciousness of an impending death; shall not affect those who did not appeal, except insofar as
(c) that the declarant is competent as a witness; and the judgment of the appellate court is favorable and
(d) that the declaration is offered in a criminal case for applicable to the latter.
homicide, murder, or parricide, in which the declarant is a
victim. Although it is only appellant who persisted with the present
appeal, the well-established rule is that an appeal in a
criminal proceeding throws the whole case open for review
G.R. No. 173476 of all its aspects, including those not raised by the parties.
The records show that Rodriguez had withdrawn his appeal
due to financial reasons. However, Section 11 (a) of Rule

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122 of the Rules of Court provides that "an appeal taken by G.R. No. 181042
one or more of several accused shall not affect those who
did not appeal, except insofar as the judgment of the It is basic under the Rules of Court, indeed, that evidence,
appellant court is favorable and applicable to the latter." As to be relevant, must throw light upon, or have a logical
we have elucidated, the evidence against and the relation to, the facts in issue to be established by one party
conviction of both appellant and Rodriguez are inextricably or disproved by the other.
li ked. He e, appella ts a uittal, hi h is fa o a le a d
applicable to Rodriguez, should benefit the latter. The test of relevancy is whether an item of evidence will
have any value, as determined by logic and experience, in
proving the proposition for which it is offered, or whether it
G.R. No. 177780 would reasonably and actually tend to prove or disprove
any matter of fact in issue, or corroborate other relevant
A preliminary investigation is designed to secure the evidence. The test is satisfied if there is some logical
respondent involved against hasty, malicious and connection either directly or by inference between the fact
oppressive prosecution. A preliminary investigation is an offered and the fact to be proved.
inquiry to determine whether (a) a crime has been
committed, and (b) whether there is probable cause to
believe that the accused is guilty thereof. It is a means of G.R. No. 182230
discovering the person or persons who may be reasonably
charged with a crime. Prescindingly, under Section 3 of Rule Circumstantial evidence would also be the reliable means
112 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, the respondent to do so, provided that
must be informed of the accusation against him and shall (a) there was more than one circumstance;
have the right to examine the evidence against him and (b) the facts from which the inferences were derived were
submit his counter-affidavit to disprove criminal liability. By proved; and
far, respondent in a criminal preliminary investigation is (c) the combination of all the circumstances was such as to
legally entitled to explain his side of the accusation. produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

What was essential was that the unbroken chain of the


established circumstances led to no other logical conclusion
G.R. No. 177780 e ept the appella ts guilt.

Probable cause refers to facts and circumstances that


engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been G.R. No. 182230
committed and that the respondent is probably guilty
thereof. Section 42, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court states:

There is no definitive standard by which probable cause is Section 42. Part of the res gestae. Statements made by a
determined except to consider the attendant conditions; person while a startling occurrence is taking place or
the existence of probable cause depends upon the finding immediately prior or subsequent thereto with respect to
of the public prosecutor conducting the examination, who the circumstances thereof, may be given in evidence as part
is called upon not to disregard the facts presented, and to of the res gestae. So, also, statements accompanying an
ensure that his finding should not run counter to the clear equivocal act material to the issue, and giving it a legal
dictates of reason. significance, may be received as part of the res gestae.

For the application of this rule, three requisites must be


G.R. No. 177780 shown to concur, namely:
(a) that the principal act, the res gestae, must be a startling
A presumption affects the burden of proof that is normally occurrence;
lodged in the State. The effect is to create the need of (b) the statements were made before the declarant had the
presenting evidence to overcome the prima facie case that time to contrive or devise a falsehood; and
shall prevail in the absence of proof to the contrary. As (c) the statements must concern the occurrence in question
such, a presumption of law is material during the actual and its immediate attending circumstances.
trial of the criminal case where in the establishment thereof
the party against whom the inference is made should
adduce evidence to rebut the presumption and demolish The e uisites e e et he ei . AAA e t to Titas house
the prima facie case. This is not so in a preliminary immediately after fleeing from LLL and spontaneously,
investigation, where the investigating prosecutor only unhesitatingly and immediately declared to Tita that LLL
determines the existence of a prima facie case that had sexually abused her. Such manner of denunciation of
warrants the prosecution of a criminal case in court. hi as he apist as o fi ed Tita TTTs testi o
a out AAAs pa i -stricken demeanor that rendered it

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difficult to quickly comprehend what the victim was then weight of the credible evidence. It is proof that is more
saying. convincing to the court as worthy of belief than that which
is offered in opposition thereto.

G.R. No. 184926 Under the rule on preponderance of evidence, the court is
Direct evidence proves a fact in issue directly without any instructed to find for and to dismiss the case against the
reasoning or inferences being drawn on the part of the fact defendant should the scales hang in equipoise and there is
finder; in contrast, circumstantial evidence indirectly proves nothing in the evidence that tilts the scales to one or the
a fact in issue, such that the fact finder must draw an other side. The plaintiff who had the burden of proof has
inference or reason from circumstantial evidence. To be failed to establish its case, and the parties are no better off
clear, then, circumstantial evidence may be resorted to than before they proceeded upon their litigation. In that
when to insist on direct testimony would ultimately lead to situation, the court should leave the parties as they are.
setting a felon free.
Moreover, although the evidence of the plaintiff may be
stronger than that of the defendant, there is no
G.R. No. 189330 preponderance of evidence on the plaintiff's side if its
evidence alone is insufficient to establish its cause of
The presumption of regularity in the performance of duty action. Similarly, when only one side is able to present its
could not prevail over the stronger presumption of evidence, and the other side demurs to the evidence, a
innocence favoring the accused. Otherwise, the preponderance of evidence can result only if the plaintiff's
constitutional guarantee of the accused being presumed evidence is sufficient to establish the cause of action. For
innocent would be held subordinate to a mere rule of this purpose, the sheer volume of the evidence presented
evidence allocating the burden of evidence. Where, like by one party cannot tip the scales in its favor. Quality, not
here, the proof adduced against the accused has not even quantity, is the primordial consideration in evaluating
overcome the presumption of innocence, the presumption evidence.
of regularity in the performance of duty could not be a
factor to adjudge the accused guilty of the crime charged.
G.R. No. 180418

G.R. No. 189998 Section 34, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court explicitly states:

The Revised Rules of Court provides that public documents Section 34. Offer of evidence. The court shall consider no
may be evidenced by a copy attested by the officer having evidence which has not been formally offered. The purpose
the legal custody of the record. The attestation must state, for which the evidence is offered must be specified.
in substance, that the copy is a correct copy of the original,
or a specific part thereof, as the case may be. The The need to formally offer evidence by specifying the
attestation must be under the official seal of the attesting purpose of the offer cannot be overemphasized. This need
officer, if there be any, or if he be the clerk of a court is designed to meet the demand for due process by
having a seal, under the seal of such court. apprising the adverse party as well as the trial court on
what evidence the court would soon be called upon to
If the record is not kept in the Philippines, the attested copy decide the litigation. The offer and purpose will also put the
must be accompanied with a certificate that such officer trial court in the position to determine which rules of
has the custody. If the office in which the record is kept is in evidence it shall apply in admitting or denying admission to
a foreign country, the certificate may be made by a the evidence being offered.
secretary of the embassy or legation, consul general,
consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer in A formal offer is necessary because judges are mandated to
the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the rest their findings of facts and their judgment only and
foreign country in which the record is kept, and strictly upon the evidence offered by the parties at the trial.
authenticated by the seal of his office. It has several functions:
(1) to enable the trial judge to know the purpose or
purposes for which the proponent is presenting the
G.R. No. 180418 evidence;
(2) to allow opposing parties to examine the evidence and
By preponderance of evidence is meant that the evidence object to its admissibility; and
adduced by one side is, as a whole, superior to that of the (3) to facilitate review by the appellate court, which will not
other side. Essentially, preponderance of evidence refers to be required to review documents not previously scrutinized
the comparative weight of the evidence presented by the by the trial court.
opposing parties. As such, it has been defined as "the
weight, credit, and value of the aggregate evidence on G.R. No. 154083
either side," and is usually considered to be synonymous
with the term greater weight of the evidence or greater

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Section 7, Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of


the Ombudsman (AO 07): A proceeding quasi in rem is one brought against persons
seeking to subject the property of such persons to the
Section 7. Finality and execution of decision. Where the discharge of the claims assailed. In an action quasi in rem,
respondent is absolved of the charge, and in case of an individual is named as defendant and the purpose of the
conviction where the penalty imposed is public censure or proceeding is to subject his interests therein to the
reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a obligation or loan burdening the property. Actions quasi in
fine equivalent to one month salary, the decision shall be rem deal with the status, ownership or liability of a
final, executory and unappealable. In all other cases, the particular property but which are intended to operate on
decision may be appealed to the Court of Appeals on a these questions only as between the particular parties to
verified petition for review under the requirements and the proceedings and not to ascertain or cut off the rights or
conditions set forth in Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, within interests of all possible claimants. The judgments therein
fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the written Notice of are binding only upon the parties who joined in the action.
the Decision or Order denying the Motion for
Reconsideration.
An appeal shall not stop the decision from being G.R. No. 156759
executory. In case the penalty is suspension or removal and
the respondent wins such appeal, he shall be considered as As a rule, Philippine courts cannot try any case against a
having been under preventive suspension and shall be paid defendant who does not reside and is not found in the
the salary and such other emoluments that he did not Philippines because of the impossibility of acquiring
receive by reason of the suspension or removal. jurisdiction over his person unless he voluntarily appears in
A decision of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative court; but when the case is an action in rem or quasi in rem
cases shall be executed as a matter of course. The Office of enumerated in Section 15, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court,
the Ombudsman shall ensure that the decision shall be Philippine courts have jurisdiction to hear and decide the
strictly enforced and properly implemented. The refusal or case because they have jurisdiction over the res, and
failure by any officer without just cause to comply with an jurisdiction over the person of the non-resident defendant
order of the Office of the Ombudsman to remove, suspend, is not essential. In the latter instance, extraterritorial
demote, fine, or censure shall be ground for disciplinary service of summons can be made upon the defendant, and
action against said officer. such extraterritorial service of summons is not for the
purpose of vesting the court with jurisdiction, but for the
G.R. No. 156759 purpose of complying with the requirements of fair play or
due process, so that the defendant will be informed of the
Jurisdiction over the person, or jurisdiction in personam pendency of the action against him and the possibility that
the power of the court to render a personal judgment or to property in the Philippines belonging to him or in which he
subject the parties in a particular action to the judgment has an interest may be subjected to a judgment in favor of
and other rulings rendered in the action is an element of the plaintiff, and he can thereby take steps to protect his
due process that is essential in all actions, civil as well as interest if he is so minded. On the other hand, when the
criminal, except in actions in rem or quasi in rem. defendant in an action in personam does not reside and is
Jurisdiction over the defendantin an action in rem or quasi not found in the Philippines, our courts cannot try the case
in rem is not required, and the court acquires jurisdiction against him because of the impossibility of acquiring
over an actionas long as it acquires jurisdiction over the jurisdiction over his person unless he voluntarily appears in
resthat is thesubject matter of the action. The purpose of court.
summons in such action is not the acquisition of jurisdiction
over the defendant but mainly to satisfy the constitutional
requirement of due process. G.R. No. 156759

The summons is directed to the defendant and signed by


G.R. No. 156759 the clerk of court under seal. It contains the name of the
court and the names of the parties to the action; a direction
A proceeding in personam is a proceeding to enforce that the defendant answers within the time fixed by the
personal rights and obligations brought against the person Rules of Court; and a notice that unless the defendant so
and is based on the jurisdiction of the person, although it answers, the plaintiff will take judgment by default and may
may involve his right to, or the exercise of ownership of, be granted the relief applied for.
specific property, or seek to compel him to control or
dispose of it in accordance with the mandate of the court.
The purpose of a proceeding in personam is to impose, G.R. No. 156759
through the judgment of a court, some responsibility or
liability directly upon the person of the defendant.
The significance of the proper service of the summons on
the defendant in an action in personam cannot be
G.R. No. 156759 overemphasized. The service of the summons fulfills two

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fundamental objectives, namely: (a) to vest in the court for any other purpose. Fairness to the adverse party
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant; and (b) to demands such exclusivity.
afford to the defendant the opportunity to be heard on the
claim brought against him.
G.R. No. 157943
As to the former, when jurisdiction in personam is not
acquired in a civil action through the proper service of the It is a fundamental rule in criminal procedure that the State
summons or upon a valid waiver of such proper service, the carries the onus probandi in establishing the guilt of the
ensuing trial and judgment are void. accused beyond a reasonable doubt, as a consequence of
the tenet ei incumbit probation, qui dicit, non qui negat,
which means that he who asserts, not he who denies, must
G.R. No. 156759 prove, and as a means of respecting the presumption of
innocence in favor of the man or woman on the dock for a
crime.
If, for justifiable reasons, the defendant cannot be served in
person within a reasonable time, the service of the Accordingly, the State has the burden of proof to show: (1)
summons may then be effected either (a) by leaving a copy the correct identification of the author of a crime, and (2)
of the summons at his residence with some person of the actuality of the commission of the offense with the
suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or (b) by participation of the accused. All these facts must be proved
leaving the copy at his office or regular place of business by the State beyond reasonable doubt on the strength of its
with some competent person in charge thereof. The latter evidence and without solace from the weakness of the
mode of service is known as substituted service because defense.
the service of the summons on the defendant is made
through his substitute.
G.R. No. 158649

G.R. No. 156759 The person who had prepared the document was
competent to testify on the due execution and authenticity
Only when the defendant cannot be served personally of Exhibit V. Such authentication was done in accordance
within a reasonable time may substituted service be with Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, whose Section 20
resorted to. Hence, the impossibility of prompt personal states:
service should be shown by stating the efforts made to find
the defendant himself and the fact that such efforts failed, Section 20. Proof of private document. Before any private
which statement should be found in the proof of service or document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its
she iffs etu . Nonetheless, the requisite showing of the due execution and authenticity must be proved either:
impossibility of prompt personal service as basis for (a)By anyone who saw the document executed or written;
resorting to substituted service may be waived by the or
defendant either expressly or impliedly. (b)By evidence of the genuineness of the signature or
handwriting of the maker.
Any other private document need only be identified as that
G.R. No. 157445 which it is claimed to be.

Section 3, Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, to


wit: G.R. No. 158649

Section 3. Effect of failure to comply with requirements. Section 43, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, to wit:
The failure of the petitioner to comply with any of the Section 43. Entries in the course of business. Entries made
foregoing requirements regarding the payment of the at, or near the time of the transactions to which they refer,
docket and other lawful fees, the deposit for costs, proof of by a person deceased, or unable to testify, who was in a
service of the petition, and the contents of and the position to know the facts therein stated, may be received
documents which should accompany the petition shall be as prima facie evidence, if such person made the entries in
sufficient ground for the dismissal thereof. his professional capacity or in the performance of duty and
in the ordinary or regular course of business.

G.R. No. 157943 The invocation of the rule is misplaced, however, because
the rule speaks of a situation where the person who made
the entries is dead or unable to testify, which was not the
situation here. Regardless, we have to point out that entries
Under the law of evidence, the court shall consider made in the course of business enjoy the presumption of
evidence solely for the purpose for which it is offered, not regularity. If properly authenticated, the entries serve as
evidence of the status of the account of the petitioners.

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

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is made, but into the right of liberty, notwithstanding the


act and the immediate purpose to be served is relief from
G.R. No. 159691 illegal restraint. The rule applies even when instituted to
arrest a criminal prosecution and secure freedom. When a
An absolute identity of the parties is not necessary, because prisoner petitions for a writ of habeas corpus, he thereby
a shared identity of interest sufficed for res judicata to commences a suit and prosecutes a case in that court.
apply. Moreover, mere substantial identity of parties, or
even community of interests between parties in the prior
and subsequent cases, even if the latter were not G.R. No. 160739
impleaded in the first case, would be sufficient.
Habeas corpus is not in the nature of a writ of error; nor
i te ded as su stitute fo the t ial ou ts fu tio . It
G.R. No. 159691 cannot take the place of appeal, certiorari or writ of error.
The writ cannot be used to investigate and consider
Section 47 (b) Rule 39 of the Rules of Court institutionalizes questions of error that might be raised relating to
the doctrine of res judicata in the concept of bar by prior procedure or on the merits. The inquiry in a habeas corpus
judgment, viz: proceeding is addressed to the question of whether the
proceedings and the assailed order are, for any reason, null
Section 47. Effect of judgments and final orders.The and void. The writ is not ordinarily granted where the law
effect of a judgment or final order rendered by a court of provides for other remedies in the regular course, and in
the Philippines, having jurisdiction to pronounce the the absence of exceptional circumstances. Moreover,
judgment or final order, may be as follows: habeas corpus should not be granted in advance of trial.
xxxx The orderly course of trial must be pursued and the usual
(b) In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with remedies exhausted before resorting to the writ where
respect to the matter directly adjudged or as to any other exceptional circumstances are extant.
matter that could have been raised in relation thereto,
conclusive between the parties and their successors in
interest by title subsequent to the commencement of the G.R. No. 160739
action or special proceeding, litigating for the same thing
and under the same title and in the same capacity; and Section 2, Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
xxxx Procedure, to wit:

Section 2.Officers authorized to conduct preliminary


G.R. No. 159823 investigations.
The following may conduct preliminary investigations:
Two elements that must concur in order for a civil case to (a) Provincial or City Prosecutors and their assistants;
be considered a prejudicial question are expressly stated in (b) Judges of the Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal
Section 7, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure, Circuit Trial Courts;
to wit: (c) National and Regional State Prosecutors; and
(d) Other officers as may be authorized by law.
Section 7. Elements of prejudicial question. The elements
of a prejudicial question are: (a) the previously instituted Their authority to conduct preliminary investigations shall
civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to include all crimes cognizable by the proper court in their
the issue raised in the subsequent criminal action, and (b) respective territorial jurisdictions.
the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the
criminal action may proceed.
G.R. No. 160739
G.R. No. 160739
Under Section 6(b) of Rule 112of the Revised Rules of
The high prerogative writ of habeas corpus has been Criminal Procedure, the investigating judge could issue a
devised as a speedy and effective remedy to relieve warrant of arrest during the preliminary investigation even
persons from unlawful restraint. The Court discoursed on without awaiting its conclusion should he find after an
the nature of the special proceeding of habeas corpus in examination in writing and under oath of the complainant
the following manner: and the witnesses in the form of searching questions and
answers that a probable cause existed, and that there was a
A petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus is a necessity of placing the respondent under immediate
special proceeding governed by Rule 102 of the Rules of custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice.
Court, as amended. In Ex Parte Billings, it was held that
habeas corpus is that of a civil proceeding in character. It
seeks the enforcement of civil rights. Resorting to the writ G.R. No. 160739
is not to inquire into the criminal act of which the complaint

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

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Section 4, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court explicitly states: G.R. No. 160932

Section 4.When writ not allowed or discharge authorized. A key principle to be observed in dealing with petitions for
If it appears that the person alleged to be restrained of mandamus is that such extraordinary remedy lies to compel
his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process the performance of duties that are purely ministerial in
issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or nature, not those that are discretionary.
order of a court of record, and that the court or judge had
jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or A purely ministerial act or duty is one that an officer or
make the order, the writ shall not be allowed; or if the tribunal performs in a given state of facts, in a prescribed
jurisdiction appears after the writ is allowed, the person manner, in obedience to the mandate of a legal authority,
shall not be discharged by reason of any informality or without regard to or the exercise of its own judgment upon
defect in the process, judgment, or order. Nor shall the propriety or impropriety of the act done. The duty is
anything in this rule be held to authorize the discharge of a ministerial only when its discharge requires neither the
person charged with or convicted of an offense in the exercise of official discretion or judgment.
Philippines, or of a person suffering imprisonment under
lawful judgment.
G.R. No. 161075

G.R. No. 160786 Article 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical
injuries a civil action for damages, entirely separate and
A supervening event consists of facts that transpire after distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the
the judgment became final and executory, or of new injured party. Such civil action shall proceed independently
circumstances that develop after the judgment attained of the criminal prosecution, and shall require only a
finality, including matters that the parties were not aware preponderance of evidence.
of prior to or during the trial because such matters were
not yet in existence at that time. In that event, the It is well settled that a civil action based on defamation,
interested party may properly seek the stay of execution or fraud and physical injuries may be independently instituted
the quashal of the writ of execution, or he may move the pursuant to Article 33 of the Civil Code, and does not
court to modify or alter the judgment in order to harmonize operate as a prejudicial question that will justify the
it with justice and the supervening event. The party who suspension of a criminal case.
alleges a supervening event to stay the execution should
necessarily establish the facts by competent evidence; Moreover, neither is there a prejudicial question if the civil
otherwise, it would become all too easy to frustrate the and the criminal action can, according to law, proceed
conclusive effects of a final and immutable judgment. independently of each other. Under Rule 111, Section 3 of
the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, in the cases
provided in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code,
G.R. No. 160786 the independent civil action may be brought by the
offended party. It shall proceed independently of the
criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of
According to Section 10( d) of Rule 39, Rules of Court, when evidence. In no case, however, may the offended party
the property subject of the execution contains recover damages twice for the same act or omission
improvements constructed or planted by the judgment charged in the criminal action.
obligor or his agent, the officer shall not destroy, demolish
or remove said improvements except upon special order of
the court issued upon motion of the judgment obligee after G.R. No. 161211
due hearing and after the judgment obligor or his agent has
failed to remove the improvements within a reasonable Section l, Rule 9 of the Rules of Court, which provides as
time fixed by the court. follows:
Section 1. Defenses and objections not pleaded.- Defenses
and objections not pleaded either in a motion to dismiss or
G.R. No. 160932 in the answer are deemed waived. However, when it
appears from the pleadings or the evidence on record that
Mandamus will issue only when the petitioner has a clear the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter, that
legal right to the performance of the act sought to be there is another action pending between the same parties
compelled and the respondent has an imperative duty to for the same cause, or that the action is barred by a prior
perform the same. The petitioner bears the burden to show judgment or by statute of limitations, the court shall dismiss
that there is such a clear legal right to the performance of the claim. (2a)
the act, and a corresponding compelling duty on the part of
the respondent to perform the act. Under the rule, the defenses of lack of jurisdiction over the
subject matter, litis pendentia, res judicata, and
prescription of action may be raised at any stage of the

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

proceedings, even for the first time on appeal, except that


the objection to the lack of jurisdiction over the subject A writ of possession commands the sheriff to place a
matter may be barred by laches. person in possession of real property. It may be issued
inthe following instances, namely: (1) land registration
proceedings under Section 17 of Act No. 496; (2) judicial
G.R. No. 161596 foreclosure, provided the debtor is in possession of the
mortgaged property, and no third person, not a party to the
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court requires the petition foreclosure suit, had intervened; (3) extrajudicial
for certiorari to comply with the following requisites, foreclosure of a real estate mortgage, pending redemption
namely: under Section 7 of Act No. 3135, as amended by Act No.
(1) the writ of certiorari is directed against a tribunal, a 4118; and (4) execution sales, pursuant to the last
board, or an officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial paragraph of Section 33, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.
functions;
(2) such tribunal, board, or officer has acted without or in
excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion G.R. No. 162757
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; and
(3) there is no appeal or any plain, speedy, and adequate The reckoning of the period of redemption by the
remedy in the ordinary course of law. mortgagor or his successor-in-interest starts from the
registration of the sale in the Register of Deeds. Although
Section 620 of Act No. 3135, as amended, specifies that the
G.R. No. 161596 period of redemption starts from and after the date of the
sale, jurisprudence has since settled that such period is
Jurisprudence recognizes certain situations when the more appropriately reckoned from the date of registration.
extraordinary remedy of certiorari may be deemed proper,
such as: This construction was due to the fact that the she iffs sale
(a) when it is necessary to prevent irreparable damages and of registered (and unregistered) lands did not take effect as
injury to a party; a conveyance, or did not bind the land, until the sale was
(b) where the trial judge capriciously and whimsically registered in the Register of Deeds.
exercised his judgment;
(c) where there may be danger of a failure of justice;
(d) where an appeal would be slow, inadequate, and G.R. No. 163431
insufficient;
(e) where the issue raised is one purely of law; On several occasions, however, the Court has treated a
(f) where public interest is involved; and petition for certiorari as a petition for review on certiorari
(g) in case of urgency. when:
(a) the petition has been filed within the 15-day
reglementary period;
G.R. No. 161878 (b) public welfare and the advancement of public policy
dictate such treatment;
A party and its counsel who deliberately or neglectfully (c) the broader interests of justice require such treatment;
delay the prompt termination of their court case are (d) the writs issued were null and void; or
further guilty of abuse of court processes and of impeding (e) the questioned decision or order amounts to an
the smooth administration of justice, rendering them oppressive exercise of judicial authority.
amenable to being cited for indirect contempt of court
under Section 3, (c) and (d), Rule 71 of the Rules of Court.
Petitioners and their counsel should then show cause why G.R. No. 166836
they should not be adjudged guilty of contempt of court.
The trial judge's tolerance of the delays or liberality did not The doctrine of primary jurisdiction has been increasingly
exonerate them and their counsel from their impeding the called into play on matters demanding the special
smooth administration of justice. competence of administrative agencies even if such
matters are at the same time within the jurisdiction of the
courts. A case that requires for its determination the
G.R. No. 162385 expertise, specialized skills, and knowledge of some
administrative board or commission because it involves
Only questions of law may be raised in and resolved in this technical matters or intricate questions of fact, relief must
appeal under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The Court is not first be obtained in an appropriate administrative
a trier of facts and does not routinely re-examine the proceeding before a remedy will be supplied by the courts
evidence presented by the contending parties. although the matter comes within the jurisdiction of the
courts. The application of the doctrine does not call for the
dismissal of the case in the court but only for its suspension
G.R. No. 162757

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

until after the matters within the competence of the The amended complaint filed by the Republic to implead
administrative body are threshed out and determined. Asian Bank prays for reversion, reconveyance,
reconstitution, accounting and damages. In other words,
the Republic would recover ill-gotten wealth, by virtue of
G.R. No. 169677 which the properties in question came under sequestration
and are now, for that reason, in custodia legis.
The rule on separate trials in civil actions is found in Section
2, Rule 31 of the Rules of Court, which reads: Although the Republic has not imputed any responsibility to
Asian Bank for the illegal accumulation of wealth by the
Section 2. Separate trials. The court, in furtherance of original defendants, or has not averred that Asian Bank was
convenience or to avoid prejudice, may order a separate a business associate, dummy, nominee, or agent of the
trial of any claim, cross-claim, counterclaim, or third-party Marcoses, the allegation in its amended complaint in Civil
complaint, or of any separate issue or of any number of Case No. 0004 that Asian Bank acted with bad faith for
claims, cross-claims, counterclaims, third-party complaints ignoring the sequestration of the properties as ill-gotten
or issues. wealth has made the cause of action against Asian Bank
The text of the rule grants to the trial court the discretion incidental or necessarily connected to the cause of action
to determine if a separate trial of any claim, cross-claim, against the original defendants.
counterclaim, or third-party complaint, or of any separate
issue or of any number of claims, cross-claims,
counterclaims, third-party complaints or issues should be G.R. No. 170598
held, provided that the exercise of such discretion is in
furtherance of convenience or to avoid prejudice to any Burden of proof is a term that refers to two separate and
party. quite different concepts, namely:
(a) the risk of non-persuasion, or the burden of persuasion,
or simply persuasion burden; and
G.R. No. 169677 (b) the duty of producing evidence, or the burden of going
forward with the evidence, or simply the production
burden or the burden of evidence.
Exceptions to the general rule are permitted only when
there are extraordinary grounds for conducting separate In its first concept, it is the duty to establish the truth of a
trials on different issues raised in the same case, or when given proposition or issue by such a quantum of evidence
separate trials of the issues will avoid prejudice, or when as the law demands in the case at which the issue arises. In
separate trials of the issues will further convenience, or its other concept, it is the duty of producing evidence at the
when separate trials of the issues will promote justice, or beginning or at any subsequent stage of trial in order to
when separate trials of the issues will give a fair trial to all make or meet a prima facie case. Generally speaking,
parties. Otherwise, the general rule must apply. burden of proof in its second concept passes from party to
party as the case progresses, while in its first concept it
rests throughout upon the party asserting the affirmative of
G.R. No. 169677 the issue.

Presidential Decree No. 1606, as amended by Republic Act


No. 7975 and Republic Act No. 8249,32 vests the G.R. No. 170598
Sandiganbayan with original exclusive jurisdiction over civil
and criminal cases instituted pursuant to and in connection Section 1, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court sets the quantum
with Executive Orders No. 1, No. 2, No. 14 and No. 14-A, of evidence for civil actions, and delineates how
issued in 1986 by then President Corazon C. Aquino. preponderance of evidence is determined, viz :

Executive Order No. 1 refers to cases of recovery and Section 1. In civil cases, the party having the burden of
sequestration of ill-gotten wealth amassed by the Marcoses proof must establish his case by a preponderance of
their relatives, subordinates, and close associates, directly evidence. In determining where the preponderance or
or through nominees, by taking undue advantage of their superior weight of evidence on the issues involved lies, the
public office and/or by using their powers, authority, court may consider all the facts and circumstances of the
influence, connections or relationships. Executive Order No. case, the it esses a e of testif i g, thei i tellige e,
2 states that the ill-gotten wealth includes assets and their means and opportunity of knowing the facts to which
properties in the form of estates and real properties in the they are testifying, the nature of the facts to which they
Philippines and abroad. Executive Orders No. 14 and No. testify, the probability or improbability of their testimony,
14-A pe tai to the Sa diga a a s ju isdi tio o e their interest or want of interest, and also their personal
criminal and civil cases relative to the ill-gotten wealth of credibility so far as the same may legitimately appear upon
the Marcoses and their cronies. the trial. The court may also consider the number of
witnesses, though the preponderance is not necessarily
with the greater number. (Emphasis supplied)

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

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(a) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable


As the rule indicates, preponderant evidence refers to title to or interest in the real property subject of the action;
evidence that is of greater weight, or more convincing, than and
the evidence offered in opposition to it. It is proof that (b) the deed, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding claimed to
leads the trier of facts to find that the existence of the be casting cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact
contested fact is more probable than its nonexistence. invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of
validity or legal efficacy.

G.R. No. 170604


G.R. No. 173297
Section 3, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court embodies the Best
Evidence Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court requires that unless
Rule, to wit: otherwise authorized by law or the Rules of Court every
action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the
Section 3. Original document must be produced; real party in interest. Under the same rule, a real party in
exceptions. When the subject of inquiry is the contents interest is one who stands to be benefited or injured by the
of a document, no evidence shall be admissible other than judgment in the suit, or one who is entitled to the avails of
the original document itself, except in the following cases: the suit. Accordingly, a person , to be a real party in interest
(a) When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot in whose name an action must be prosecuted, should
be produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the appear to be the present real owner of the right sought to
offeror; be enforced, that is, his interest must be a present
(b) When the original is in the custody or under control of substantial interest, not a mere expectancy, or a future,
the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the contingent, subordinate, or consequential interest.
latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice;
(c) When the original consists of numerous accounts or
other documents which cannot be examined in court G.R. No. 188056
without great loss of time and the fact sought to be
established from them is only the general result of the The Court must enjoin the observance of the policy on the
whole; and hierarchy of courts, and now affirms that the policy is not to
(d) When the original is a public record in the custody of a be ignored without serious consequences. The strictness of
public officer or is recorded in a public office. the policy is designed to shield the Court from having to
deal with causes that are also well within the competence
of the lower courts, and thus leave time to the Court to
G.R. No. 170604 deal with the more fundamental and more essential tasks
that the Constitution has assigned to it. The Court may act
The Best Evidence Rule stipulates that in proving the terms on petitions for the extraordinary writs of certiorari,
of a written document the original of the document must prohibition and mandamus only when absolutely necessary
be produced in court. The rule excludes any evidence other or when serious and important reasons exist to justify an
than the original writing to prove the contents thereof, exception to the policy.
unless the offeror proves:
(a) the existence or due execution of the original;
(b) the loss and destruction of the original, or the reason for G.R. No. 188056
its non-production in court; and
(c) the absence of bad faith on the part of the offeror to This Cou ts o igi al ju isdi tio to issue its of e tio a i
which the unavailability of the original can be attributed. (as well as prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas
corpus and injunction) is not exclusive. It is shared by this
Court with Regional Trial Courts x x x, which may issue the
G.R. No. 170604 writ, enforceable in any part of their respective regions. It is
also shared by this Court, and by the Regional Trial Court,
When the evidence sought to be introduced concerns with the Court of Appeals x x x, although prior to the
external facts, such as the existence, execution or delivery effectivity of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129 on August 14,
of the writing, without reference to its terms, the Best 1981, the latter's competence to issue the extraordinary
Evidence Rule cannot be invoked. In such a case, secondary writs was restricted to those "in aid of its appellate
evidence may be admitted even without accounting for the jurisdiction." This concurrence of jurisdiction is not,
original. however, to be taken as according to parties seeking any of
the writs an absolute, unrestrained freedom of choice of
the court to which application therefor will be directed.
G.R. No. 170604 There is after all a hierarchy of courts.

For an action to quiet title to prosper, two indispensable


requisites must concur, namely: G.R. No. 188165

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

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Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the courts


The guarantee of speedy disposition under Section 16 of have no right to directly decide matters over which full
Article III of the Constitution applies to all cases pending discretionary authority has been delegated to the Executive
before all judicial, quasi judicial or administrative bodies. Branch of the Government, or to substitute their own
The guarantee would be defeated or rendered inutile if the judgments for that of the Executive Branch, represented in
hair-splitting distinction by the State is accepted. Whether this case by the Department of Justice. The settled policy is
or not the fact-finding investigation was separate from the that the courts will not interfere with the executive
preliminary investigation conducted by the Office of the determination of probable cause for the purpose of filing
Ombudsman should not matter for purposes of an information, in the absence of grave abuse of discretion.
dete i i g if the espo de ts ight to the speed That abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to
disposition of their cases had been violated. amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal
to perform a duty enjoined by law or to act at all in
contemplation of law, such as where the power is exercised
G.R. No. 188260 in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or
hostility.
In order that newly discovered evidence may be a ground
for allowing a new trial, it must be fairly shown that:
(a) the evidence is discovered after the trial; G.R. No. 191567
(b) such evidence could not have been discovered and
produced at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable A preliminary investigation, according to Section 1, Rule
diligence; 112 of the Rules of Court, is "an inquiry or proceeding to
(c) such evidence is material, not merely cumulative, determine whether there is sufficient ground to engender a
corroborative, or impeaching; and well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and
(d) such evidence is of such weight that it would probably the respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be
change the judgment if admitted. held for trial." The investigation is advisedly called
preliminary, because it is yet to be followed by the trial
proper in a court of law. The role and object of preliminary
G.R. No. 191567 investigation were "to secure the innocent against hasty,
malicious, and oppressive prosecutions, and to protect him
A petition for review under Rule 43 is a mode of appeal to from open and public accusation of crime, from the
be taken only to review the decisions, resolutions or awards trouble, expenses and anxiety of a public trial, and also to
by the quasi-judicial officers, agencies or bodies, protect the State from useless and expensive
particularly those specified in Section 1 of Rule 43. In the prosecutions."
matter before us, however, the Secretary of Justice was not
an officer performing a quasi-judicial function. In reviewing
the findings of the OCP of Quezon City on the matter of G.R. No. 191567
probable cause, the Secretary of Justice performed an
essentially executive function to determine whether the The three purposes of a preliminary investigation, to wit:
crime alleged against the respondents was committed, and (1) to inquire concerning the commission of a crime and the
whether there was probable cause to believe that the connection of the accused with it, in order that he may be
respondents were guilty thereof. informed of the nature and character of the crime charged
against him, and, if there is probable cause for believing
him guilty, that the State may take the necessary steps to
G.R. No. 191567 bring him to trial;
(2) to preserve the evidence and keep the witnesses within
On the other hand, the courts could intervene in the the control of the State; and
Se eta of Justi es dete i atio of p o a le ause o l (3) to determine the amount of bail, if the offense is
through a special civil action for certiorari. That happens bailable. The officer conducting the examination
when the Secretary of Justice acts in a limited sense like a investigates or inquires into facts concerning the
quasi-judicial officer of the executive department exercising commission of a crime with the end in view of determining
powers akin to those of a court of law. But the requirement whether an information may be prepared against the
for such intervention was still for the petitioner to accused.
demonstrate clearly that the Secretary of Justice
committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction. Unless such a clear demonstration is G.R. No. 191567
made, the intervention is disallowed in deference to the
doctrine of separation of powers. Probable cause for purposes of filing a criminal information
is defined as such facts as are sufficient to engender a well-
founded belief that a crime has been committed and that
G.R. No. 191567 the respondent is probably guilty thereof. A finding of
probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

more likely than not a crime has been committed, and that subsequently be included in the criminal information
it was committed by the accused. Probable cause, although except when he fails or refuses to testify. The immunity for
it requires less than evidence justifying a conviction, the state witness is granted by the DOJ, not by the trial
demands more than bare suspicion. court. Should such witness be meanwhile charged in court
as an accused, the public prosecutor, upon presentation to
him of the certification of admission into the Witness
G.R. No. 191567 Protection Program, shall petition the trial court for the
discharge of the witness. The Court shall then order the
Courts do not reverse the Secretary of Justices fi di gs a d discharge and exclusion of said accused from the
conclusions on the matter of probable cause except in clear information.
cases of grave abuse of discretion.

G.R. No. 206236


G.R. No. 197291
The lack or absence of direct evidence does not necessarily
Under Section 17, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court, the mean that the guilt of the accused cannot be proved by
discharge by the trial court of one or more of several evidence other than direct evidence. Direct evidence is not
accused with their consent so that they can be witnesses the sole means of establishing guilt beyond reasonable
for the State is made upon motion by the Prosecution doubt, because circumstantial evidence, if sufficient, can
before resting its case. The trial court shall require the supplant the absence of direct evidence. The crime charged
Prosecution to present evidence and the sworn statements may also be proved by circumstantial evidence, sometimes
of the proposed witnesses at a hearing in support of the referred to as indirect or presumptive evidence.
discharge. Circumstantial evidence has been defined as that which
"goes to prove a fact or series of facts other than the facts
The trial court must ascertain if the following conditions in issue, which, if proved, may tend by inference to
fixed by Section 17 of Rule 119 are complied with, namely: establish a fact in issue."
(a) there is absolute necessity for the testimony of the
accused whose discharge is requested;
(b) there is no other direct evidence available for the G.R. Nos. 169823-24
proper prosecution of the offense committed, except the
testimony of said accused; It is axiomatic that a complaint or information must state
(c) the testimony of said accused can be substantially every single fact necessary to constitute the offense
corroborated in its material points; charged; otherwise, a motion to dismiss or to quash on the
(d) said accused does not appear to be most guilty; and ground that the complaint or information charges no
(e) said accused has not at any time been convicted of any offense may be properly sustained. The fundamental test in
offense involving moral turpitude. determining whether a motion to quash may be sustained
based on this ground is whether the facts alleged, if
hypothetically admitted, will establish the essential
G.R. No. 197291 elements of the offense as defined in the law. Extrinsic
matters or evidence aliunde are not considered. The test
A participant in the commission of the crime, to be does not require absolute certainty as to the presence of
discharged to become a state witness pursuant to Rule 119, the elements of the offense; otherwise, there would no
must be one charged as an accused in the criminal case. longer be any need for the Prosecution to proceed to trial.
The discharge operates as an acquittal of the discharged
accused and shall be a bar to his future prosecution for the
same offense, unless he fails or refuses to testify against his G.R. No. 161589
co-accused in accordance with his sworn statement
constituting the basis for his discharge. The discharge is There are three kinds of real actions affecting title to or
expressly left to the sound discretion of the trial court, possession of real property, or interest therein, namely:
which has the exclusive responsibility to see to it that the accion de reivindicacion, accion publiciana and accion
conditions prescribed by the rules for that purpose exist. interdictal. The first seeks the recovery of ownership as well
as possession of realty. The second proposes to recover the
right to possess and is a plenary action in an ordinary civil
G.R. No. 197291 proceeding. The third refers to the recovery of physical or
actual possession only (through a special civil action either
On the other hand, there is no requirement under Republic for forcible entry or unlawful detainer).
Act No. 6981 for the Prosecution to first charge a person in
court as one of the accused in order for him to qualify for If the dispossession is not alleged to take place by any of
admission into the Witness Protection Program. The the means provided by Section 1, Rule 70, Rules of Court,
admission as a state witness under Republic Act No. 6981 or, if the dispossession allegedly took place by any of such
also operates as an acquittal, and said witness cannot means but the action is not brought within one year from

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deprivation of possession, the action is properly a plenary


action of accion publiciana or accion de reivindicacion. The As can be seen, the amendments have made the assessed
explanation is simply that the disturbance of the peace and value of the property whose possession or ownership is in
quiet of the local community due to the dispossession did issue, or the assessed value of the adjacent lots if the
not materialize; hence, the possessor thus deprived has no disputed land is not declared for taxation purposes
need for the summary proceeding of accion interdictal determinative of jurisdiction. The allegation of the assessed
under Rule 70. value of the realty must be found in the complaint, if the
action (other than forcible entry or unlawful detainer)
involves title to or possession of the realty, including
G.R. No. 161589 quieting of title of the realty. If the assessed value is not
found in the complaint, the action should be dismissed for
The Municipal Trial Court (MTC) has exclusive original lack of jurisdiction because the trial court is not thereby
jurisdiction over accion interdictal. afforded the means of determining from the allegations of
the basic pleading whether jurisdiction over the subject
The expansion of jurisdiction was by virtue of the matter of the action pertains to it or to another court.
amendment by Section 1 of Republic Act No. 7691 to make Courts cannot take judicial notice of the assessed or market
Section 19 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 pertinently provide value of the realty.
thusly:

Section 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial G.R. No. 161589
Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:
The settled rule is that the nature of the action as
xxx xxx xxx appearing from the averments in the complaint or other
initiatory pleading determines the jurisdiction of a court;
(2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or hence, such averments and the character of the relief
possession of, real property, or any interest therein, where sought are to be consulted. The court must interpret and
the assessed value of the property involved exceeds Twenty apply the law on jurisdiction in relation to the averments of
thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or, for civil actions in Metro ultimate facts in the complaint or other initiatory pleading
Manila, where such value exceeds Fifty thousand pesos regardless of whether or not the plaintiff or petitioner is
(P50,000.00) except actions for forcible entry into and entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted
unlawful detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction therein. The reliefs to which the plaintiff or petitioner is
over which is conferred upon the Metropolitan Trial Courts, entitled based on the facts averred, although not the reliefs
Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts; demanded, determine the nature of the action. The
defense contained in the answer of the defendant is
xxx xxx xxx generally not determinant.

Section 3 of Republic Act No. 7691 similarly revised Section


33 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 (the provision defining the G.R. No. 161589
exclusive original jurisdiction of the MTC over civil actions)
to make the latter provision state, pertinently, thus: Section A suit for unlawful detainer is premised on Section 1, Rule
33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial 70, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, of which there are two
Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases. kinds, namely: (1) that filed against a tenant, and (2) that
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and brought against a vendee or vendor, or other person
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: unlawfully withholding possession of any land or building
after the expiration or termination of the right to hold
xxx xxx xxx possession by virtue of any contract, express or implied. "In
an action for forcible entry or unlawful detainer, the main
(3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which issue is possession de facto, independently of any claim of
involve title to, or possession of, real property, or any ownership or possession de jure that either party may set
interest therein where the assessed value of the property forth in his pleading." The plaintiff must prove that it was in
or interest therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos prior physical possession of the premises until it was
(P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such deprived thereof by the defendant. The principal issue must
assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos be possession de facto, or actual possession, and ownership
(P50,000.00) exclusive of interest, damages of whatever is merely ancillary to such issue.
kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs:
Provided, That in cases of land not declared for taxation The summary character of the proceedings is designed to
purposes, the value of such property shall be determined quicken the determination of possession de facto in the
by the interest of preserving the peace of the community, but the
assessed value of the adjacent lots. summary proceedings may not be proper to resolve
ownership of the property. Consequently, any issue on
xxx xxx xxx ownership arising in forcible entry or unlawful detainer is

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resolved only provisionally for the purpose of determining year from the unlawful deprivation or withholding of
the principal issue of possession. On the other hand, possession.
regardless of the actual condition of the title to the
property and whatever may be the character of the
plaintiff's prior possession, if it has in its favor priority in G.R. No. 161589
time, it has the security that entitles it to remain on the
property until it is lawfully ejected through an accion A defendant's claim of possession de jure or his averment of
publiciana or accion reivindicatoria by another having a ownership does not render the ejectment suit either accion
better right. publiciana or accion reivindicatoria. The suit remains an
accion interdictal, a summary proceeding that can proceed
independently of any claim of ownership. Even when the
G.R. No. 161589 question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding
the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership is to be
In unlawful detainer, the complaint must allege the cause resolved only to determine the issue of possession.
of action according to the manner set forth in Section 1,
Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, to wit:
G.R. No. 166944
Section 1. Who may institute proceedings, and when.
Subject to the provisions of the next succeeding section, a The right to appeal is not a natural right and is not part of
person deprived of the possession of any land or building due process, but merely a statutory privilege to be
by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth, or a exercised only in accordance with the law. Being the party
lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person against whom the who sought to appeal, he must comply with the
possession of any land or building is unlawfully withheld requirements of the relevant rules; otherwise, he would
after the expiration or termination of the right to hold lose the statutory right to appeal. It cannot be over-
possession, by virtue of any contract, express or implied, or emphasized, indeed, that the procedures regulating
the legal representatives or assigns of any such lessor, appeals as laid down in the Rules of Court must be followed
vendor, vendee, or other person, may, at any time within because strict compliance with them was indispensable for
one (1) year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding the orderly and speedy disposition of justice.
of possession, bring an action in the proper Municipal Trial
Court against the person or persons unlawfully withholding
or depriving of possession, or any person or persons Section 2 (d), Rule 42 of the Rules of Court requires the
claiming under them, for the restitution of such possession, petition for review to be accompanied by clearly legible
together with damages and costs. (Emphasis supplied) duplicate originals or true copies of the judgments or final
orders of both lower courts, certified correct by the clerk of
The complaint must further allege the plaintiff's compliance court of the Regional Trial Court, and the requisite number
with the jurisdictional requirement of demand as of plain copies thereof and of the pleadings and other
prescribed by Section 2, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, viz.: material portions of the record as would support the
allegations of the petition. The failure of the petitioner to
Section 2. Lessor to proceed against lessee only after comply with the requirement shall be a sufficient ground
demand . Unless otherwise stipulated, such action by the for the dismissal of the petition for review.
lessor shall be commenced only after demand to pay or
comply with the conditions of the lease and to vacate is
made upon the lessee, or by serving written notice of such G.R. No. 161380
demand upon the person found on the premises, or by
posting such notice on the premises if no person be found Laches is the failure or neglect for as unreasonable and
thereon, and the lessee fails to comply therewith after unexplained length of time to do that which by exerting due
fifteen (15) days in the case of land or five (5) days in the diligence a party could and should have done earlier. A suit
case of buildings. that is barred on the ground of laches is also called a stale
demand. Laches is based on grounds of public policy that
For the action to come under the exclusive original requires, for the peace of society, the discouragement of
jurisdiction of the MTC, therefore, the complaint must stale claims and, unlike the statute of limitations, is not a
allege that: (a) the defendant originally had lawful mere question of time but is principally a question of the
possession of the property, either by virtue of a contract or inequity or unfairness of permitting a right or claim to be
by tolerance of the plaintiff; (b) the defendant's possession enforced or asserted. Tempus enim modus tollendi
of the property eventually became illegal or unlawful upon obligationes et actiones, quia tempus currit contra desides
notice by the plaintiff to the defendant of the expiration or et sui juris contemptores (For time is a means of dissipating
the termination of the defendant's right of possession; (c) obligations and actions, because time runs against the
the defendant thereafter remained in possession of the slothful and careless of their own rights). Truly, the law
property and thereby deprived the plaintiff the enjoyment serves those who are vigilant and diligent, not those who
thereof; and (d) the plaintiff instituted the action within one sleep when the law requires them to act.

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For laches to bar a claim, four elements must be shown,


namely: OCA IPI No. 12-204-CA-J
(1) conduct on the part of the defendant, or one under
whom he claims, giving rise to a situation of which a Contempt of court has been defined as a willful disregard or
complaint is made and for which the complainant seeks a disobedience of a public authority. In its broad sense,
remedy; contempt is a disregard of, or disobedience to, the rules or
(2) delay in asserting the complainant's right, the orders of a legislative or judicial body or an interruption of
complainant having had knowledge or notice of defendant's its proceedings by disorderly behavior or insolent language
conduct and having been afforded an opportunity to in its presence or so near thereto as to disturb its
institute a suit; proceedings or to impair the respect due to such a body. In
(3) lack of knowledge or notice on the part of the defendant its restricted and more usual sense, contempt
that the complainant would assert the right on which he comprehends a despising of the authority, justice, or dignity
bases his suit; and of a court. The phrase contempt of court is generic,
(4) injury or prejudice to the defendant in the event that embracing within its legal signification a variety of different
the relief is accorded to the complainant, or the suit is not acts.
held to be barred.
The power to punish for contempt is inherent in all courts,
and need not be specifically granted by statute. It lies at the
OCA IPI No. 12-204-CA-J core of the administration of a judicial system.

The filing of unfounded and baseless administrative charges


against sitting judicial officers may constitute indirect G.R. No. 154390
contempt under Section 3 (d), Rule 71 of the Rules of Court,
to wit: As a notarized document, the deed carried the evidentiary
weight conferred upon it with respect to its due execution,
Section 3. Indirect contempt to be punished after charge and had in its favor the presumption of regularity. Hence, it
and hearing. After a charge in writing has been filed, and was admissible in evidence without further proof of its
an opportunity given to the respondent to comment authenticity, and was entitled to full faith and credit upon
thereon within such period as may be fixed by the court its face. To rebut its authenticity and genuineness, the
and to be heard by himself or counsel, a person guilty of contrary evidence must be clear, convincing and more than
any of the following acts may be punished for indirect merely preponderant; otherwise, the deed should be
contempt: upheld.

(a) Misbehavior of an officer of a court in the performance


of his official duties or in his official transactions; G.R. No. 156407
(b) Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process,
order, or judgment of a court, including the act of a person The final judgment rule e odied i the fi st pa ag aph
who, after being dispossessed or ejected from any real of Section 1, Rule 41, Rules of Court, which also governs
property by the judgment or process of any court of appeals in special proceedings, stipulates that only the
competent jurisdiction, enters or attempts or induces judgments, final orders (and resolutions) of a court of law
another to enter into or upon such real property, for the that o pletel disposes of the ase, o of a pa ti ula
purpose of executing acts of ownership or possession, or in matter therein when declared by these Rules to be
any manner disturbs the possession given to the person appeala le a e the su je t of a appeal i due ou se.
adjudged to be entitled thereto; The same rule states that an interlocutory order or
(c) Any abuse of or any unlawful interference with the resolution (interlocutory because it deals with preliminary
processes or proceedings of a court not constituting direct matters, or that the trial on the merits is yet to be held and
contempt under section 1 of this Rule; the judgment rendered) is expressly made nonappealable.
(d) Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to
impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice;
(e) Assuming to be an attorney or an officer of a court, and G.R. No. 156407
acting as such without authority;
(f) Failure to obey a subpoena duly served; Section 1, Rule 109 of the Rules of Court enumerates the
(g) The rescue, or attempted rescue, of a person or specific instances in which multiple appeals may be
property in the custody of an officer by virtue of an order or resorted to in special proceedings, viz:
process of a court held by him.
Section 1. Orders or judgments from which appeals may be
But nothing in this section shall be so construed as to taken. An interested person may appeal in special
prevent the court from issuing process to bring the proceedings from an order or judgment rendered by a
respondent into court, or from holding him in custody Court of First Instance or a Juvenile and Domestic Relations
pending such proceedings. Court, where such order or judgment:

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

(a) Allows or disallows a will; liabilities of the executor or the administrator, and in
making a final and equitable distribution (partition) of the
(b) Determines who are the lawful heirs of a deceased estate and otherwise to facilitate the administration of the
person, or the distributive share of the estate to which such estate. Hence, the RTC that presides over the
person is entitled; administration of an estate is vested with wide discretion
on the question of what properties should be included in
(c) Allows or disallows, in whole or in part, any claim against the inventory.
the estate of a deceased person, or any claim presented on
behalf of the estate in offset to a claim against it;
G.R. No. 156407
(d) Settles the account of an executor, administrator,
trustee or guardian; The jurisdiction of the trial court as an intestate court is
special and limited. The trial court cannot adjudicate title to
(e) Constitutes, in proceedings relating to the settlement of properties claimed to be a part of the estate but are
the estate of a deceased person, or the administration of a claimed to belong to third parties by title adverse to that of
trustee or guardian, a final determination in the lower court the decedent and the estate, not by virtue of any right of
of the rights of the party appealing, except that no appeal inheritance from the decedent. All that the trial court can
shall be allowed from the appointment of a special do regarding said properties is to determine whether or not
administrator; and they should be included in the inventory of properties to be
administered by the administrator. Such determination is
(f) Is the final order or judgment rendered in the case, and provisional and may be still revised.
affects the substantial rights of the person appealing,
unless it be an order granting or denying a motion for a
new trial or for reconsideration. G.R. No. 156407

Clearly, the assailed orders of the RTC, being interlocutory, The general rule is that the jurisdiction of the trial court,
did not come under any of the instances in which multiple either as a probate court or an intestate court, relates only
appeals are permitted. to matters having to do with the probate of the will and/or
settlement of the estate of deceased persons, but does not
extend to the determination of questions of ownership that
G.R. No. 156407 arise during the proceedings.

Under Section 6(a), Rule 78 of the Rules of Court, the letters However, this general rule is subject to exceptions as
of administration may be granted at the discretion of the justified by expediency and convenience.
court to the surviving spouse, who is competent and willing
to serve when the person dies intestate. First, the probate court may provisionally pass upon in an
intestate or a testate proceeding the question of inclusion in,
Upon issuing the letters of administration to the surviving or exclusion from, the inventory of a piece of property
spouse, the RTC becomes dutybound to direct the without prejudice to final determination of ownership in a
preparation and submission of the inventory of the separate action.
properties of the estate, and the surviving spouse, as the
administrator, has the duty and responsibility to submit the Second, if the interested parties are all heirs to the estate,
inventory within three months from the issuance of letters or the question is one of collation or advancement, or
of administration pursuant to Rule 83 of the Rules of Court, the parties consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the
viz: probate court and the rights of third parties are not
impaired, then the probate court is competent to resolve
Section 1. Inventory and appraisal to be returned within issues on ownership.
three months. Within three (3) months after his
appointment every executor or administrator shall return Verily, its jurisdiction extends to matters incidental or
to the court a true inventory and appraisal of all the real and collateral to the settlement and distribution of the estate,
personal estate of the deceased which has come into his such as the determination of the status of each heir
possession or knowledge. In the appraisement of such and whether the property in the inventory is conjugal or
estate, the court may order one or more of the inheritance exclusive property of the deceased spouse.
tax appraisers to give his or their assistance.

G.R. No. 156407


G.R. No. 156407
Section 2, Rule 90 of the Rules of Court also provided that
The objective of the Rules of Court in requiring the any advancement by the decedent on the legitime of an
i e to a d app aisal of the estate of the de ede t is to hei a e hea d a d dete ined by the court having
aid the court in revising the accounts and determining the jurisdiction of the estate proceedings, and the final order of

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

the court thereon shall be binding on the person raising the


questions and on the heir. G.R. No. 157163

Rule 90 thereby expanded the special and limited The requirements for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
jurisdiction of the RTC as an intestate court about the injunction or TRO are enumerated in Section 3, Rule 58 of
matters relating to the inventory of the estate of the the Rules of Court, to wit:
decedent by authorizing it to direct the inclusion of
properties donated or bestowed by gratuitous title to any Section 3. Grounds for issuance of preliminary injunction. -
compulsory heir by the decedent. A preliminary injunction may be granted when it is
established:

G.R. No. 157163 (a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded,
and the whole or part of such relief consists in restraining
According to Section 1, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, a real the commission or continuance of the act or acts
action is one that affects title to or possession of real complained of, or in requiring the performance of an act or
property, or an interest therein. Such action is to be acts, eitherfor a limited period or perpetually;
commenced and tried in the proper court having (b) That the commission, continuance or non-performance
jurisdiction over the area wherein the real property of the act or acts complained of during the litigation would
involved, or a portion thereof, is situated, which explains probably work injustice to the applicant; or
why the action is also referred to as a localaction. In (c) That a party, court, agency or a person is doing,
contrast, the Rules of Court declares all other actions as threatening, or is attempting to do, or is procuring or
personal actions. suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in violation
of the rights of the applicant respecting the subject of the
Such actions may include those brought for the recovery of action or proceeding, and tending to render the judgment
personal property, or for the enforcement of some contract ineffectual.
or recovery of damages for its breach, or for the recovery of
damages for the commission of an injury to the person or
property. The venue of a personal action is the place where G.R. No. 157163
the plaintiff or any of the principal plaintiffs resides, or
where the defendant or any of the principal defendants The conditions for the issuance of the injunctive writ are:
resides, or in the case of a non-resident defendant where (a) that the right to be protected exists prima facie;
he may be found, at the election of the plaintiff, for which (b) that the act sought to be enjoined is violative of that
reason the action is considered a transitory one. right; and
(c) that there is an urgent and paramount necessity for the
writ to prevent serious damage.
G.R. No. 157163

Well-settled is the rule that an action to annul a contract of G.R. No. 157163
loan and its accessory real estate mortgage is a personal
action. In a personal action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery As a general rule, the courts will not issue writs of
of personal property, the enforcement of a contractor the prohibition or injunction whether preliminary or final in
recovery of damages. order to enjoin or restrain any criminal prosecution.

In contrast, in a real action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery But there are extreme cases in which exceptions to the
of real property, or, as indicated in Section 2 (a), Rule 4 of general rule have been recognized, including:
the then Rules of Court, a real action is an action affecting
title to real property or for the recovery of possession, or (1) when the injunction is necessary to afford adequate
for partition or condemnation of, or foreclosure of protection to the constitutional rights of the accused;
mortgage on, real property. (2) when it is necessary for the orderly administration of
justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of actions;
(3) when there is a prejudicial question that is sub judice;
G.R. No. 157163 (4) when the acts of the officer are without or in excess of
authority;
Section 2 of Rule 4, to wit: (5) when the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance
SEC. 2. Venue of personal actions. All other actions may or regulation;
be commenced and tried where the plaintiff or any of the (6) when double jeopardy is clearly apparent;
principal plaintiffs resides, orwhere the defendant or any of (7) when the court has no jurisdiction over the offense;
the principal defendants resides, or in the case of a (8) when it is a case of persecution rather than prosecution;
nonresident defendant where he may be found, at the (9) when the charges are manifestly false and motivated by
election of the plaintiff. the lust for vengeance; and

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(10) when there is clearly no prima faciecase against the G.R. No. 161308
accused and a motion to quash on that ground has been
denied. The non-identification and non-presentation of the weapon
actually used in the killing did not diminish the merit of the
conviction primarily because other competent evidence
G.R. No. 159926 and the testimonies of witnesses had directly and positively
identified and incriminated RRR as the assailant.
PPP must be mindful of and should closely comply with the
following statutory requirements for the remedy as set
forth in Rule 47 of the Rules of Court. G.R. No. 161380

The first requirement prescribes that the remedy is Section 5, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court, viz:
available only when the petitioner can no longer resort to
the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for Section 5. Amendment to conform to or authorize
relief or other appropriate remedies through no fault of the presentation of evidence. When issues not raised by the
petitioner. This means that the remedy, although seen as "a pleadings are tried with the express or implied consent of
last remedy," is not an alternative to the ordinary remedies the parties, they shall be treated in all respects as if they
of new trial, appeal and petition for relief. The petition had been raised in the pleadings. Such amendment of the
must aver, therefore, that the petitioner failed to move for pleadings as may be necessary to cause them to conform to
a new trial, or to appeal, or to file a petition for relief the evidence and to raise these issues may be made upon
without fault on his part. motion of any party at any time, even after judgment; but
failure to amend does not affect the result of the trial of
The second requirement limits the ground for the action of these issues. If evidence is objected to at the trial on the
annulment of judgment to either extrinsic fraud or lack of ground that it is not within the issues made by the
jurisdiction. Not every kind of fraud justifies the action of pleadings, the court may allow the pleadings to be
annulment of judgment. Only extrinsic fraud does. amended and shall do so with liberality if the presentation
of the merits of the action and the ends of substantial
justice will be subserved thereby. The court may grant a
G.R. No. 159926 continuance to enable the amendment to be made.

The overriding consideration when extrinsic fraud is alleged


is that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant G.R. No. 162230 August 13, 2014
prevented the petitioner from having his day in court.
Nonetheless, extrinsic fraud shall not be a valid ground if it There are three essential dates that must be stated in a
was availed of, or could have been availed of, in a motion petition for certiorari brought under Rule 65. First, the date
for new trial or petition for relief. when notice of the judgment or final order or resolution
was received; second, when a motion for new trial or
reconsideration was filed; and third, when notice of the
G.R. No. 159926 denial thereof was received. Failure of petitioner to comply
with this requirement shall be sufficient ground for the
The true office of the verification is merely to secure an dismissal of the petition. Substantial compliance will not
assurance that the allegations of a pleading are true and suffice in a matter involving strict observance with the
correct and not the product of the imagination or a matter Rules. The requirement of setting forth the three (3) dates
of speculation, and that the pleading is filed in good faith. in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 is for the purpose
of determining its timeliness.

G.R. No. 161308


G.R. No. 163109
Positive identification where categorical and consistent and
without any showing of ill-motive on the part of the The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is a
eyewitnesses testifying on the matter prevails over a denial. cornerstone of our judicial system. The thrust of the rule is
Denial being negative evidence which is self-serving in that courts must allow administrative agencies to carry out
nature, cannot prevail over the positive identification of their functions and discharge their responsibilities within
prosecution witnesses. More so in this case where the the specialized areas of their respective competence. The
defense of denial is not corroborated by disinterested and rationale for this doctrine is obvious. It entails lesser
credible witnesses: the mother of the accused whose expenses and provides for the speedier resolution of
presence in the crime scene was not sufficiently established controversies. Comity and convenience also impel courts of
and EEE whose testimony is found to be doubtful and not justice to shy away from a dispute until the system of
without bias. administrative redress has been completed.

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G.R. No. 163109 accused or merely failed to prove his guilt beyond
reasonable doubt. In either case, the judgment shall
It is true that the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative determine if the act or omission from which the civil liability
remedies is not an ironclad rule, but recognizes exceptions, might arise did not exist."
specifically: (a) where there is estoppel on the part of the
party invoking the doctrine; (b) where the challenged
administrative act is patently illegal, amounting to lack of G.R. No. 164246
jurisdiction; (c) where there is unreasonable delay or official
inaction that will irretrievably prejudice the complainant; Section 19, Rule 70 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
(d) where the amount involved is relatively so small as to reads:
make the rule impractical and oppressive; (e) where the Section 19. Immediate execution of judgment; how to stay
question involved is purely legal and will ultimately have to same. If judgment is rendered against the defendant,
be decided by the courts of justice; (f) where judicial execution shall issue immediately upon motion unless an
intervention is urgent; (g) where the application of the appeal has been perfected and the defendant to stay
doctrines may cause great and irreparable damage; (h) execution files a sufficient supersedeas bond, approved by
where the controversial acts violate due process; (i) where the Municipal Trial Court and executed in favor of the
the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies has plaintiff to pay the rents, damages, and costs accruing
been rendered moot; (j) where strong public interest is down to the time of the judgment appealed from, and
involved; and (l) in quo warranto proceedings. unless, during the pendency of the appeal, he deposits with
the appellate court the amount of rent due from time to
time under the contract, if any, as determined by the
G.R. No. 163109 judgment of the Municipal Trial Court.
xxx
Section 3, Rule 9 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, to wit:

Section 3. Default; declaration of. If the defending party G.R. No. 164246
fails to answer within the time allowed therefore, the court
shall, upon motion of the claiming party with notice to the A judgment in favor of the plaintiff in an ejectment suit is
defending party, and proof of such failure, declare the immediately executory, but the defendant, to stay its
defending party in default. Thereupon, the court shall immediate execution, must: (1) perfect an appeal; (2) file a
proceed to render judgment granting the claimant such supersede s bond; and (3) periodically deposit the rentals
relief as his pleading may warrant, unless the court in its becoming due during the pendency of the appeal.
discretion requires the claimant to submit evidence. Such
reception of evidence may be delegated to the clerk of
court.cralawred G.R. No. 164277

x x x x. An ejectment case can be eitherfor forcible entry or


unlawful detainer. It is a summary proceeding designed to
(c) Effect of partial default. When a pleading asserting a provide expeditious means to protect the actual possession
claim states a common cause of action against several or the right to possession of the property involved. The sole
defending parties, some of whom answer and the others question for resolution in the case is the physical or
fail to do so, the court shall try the case against all upon the material possession (possession de facto)of the property in
answers thus filed and render judgment upon the evidence question, and neither a claim of juridical possession
presented.cralawred (possession de jure)nor an averment of ownership by the
defendant can outrightly deprive the trial court from taking
xxxx due cognizance of the case. Hence, even if the question of
ownership is raised in the pleadings, like here, the court
may pass upon the issue but only to determine the
G.R. No. 163753 question of possession especially if the question of
ownership is inseparably linked with the question of
It is axiomatic that every person criminally liable for a possession. The adjudication of ownership in that instance
felony is also civilly liable. Nevertheless, the acquittal of an is merely provisional, and will not bar or prejudice an action
accused of the crime charged does not necessarily between the same parties involving the title to the
extinguish his civil liability. property.

G.R. No. 163753 G.R. No. 166414

The Rules of Court requires that in case of an acquittal, the Section 3, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court enumerates the
judgment shall state "whether the evidence of the grounds for the quashal of the complaint or information, as
prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the follows:

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(a) the facts charged do not constitute an offense; pleadings, the court may allow the pleadings to be
(b) the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the amended and shall do so with liberality if the presentation
offense charged; of the merits of the action and the ends of substantial
(c) the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the justice will be subserved thereby. The court may grant a
person of the accused; continuance to enable the amendment to be made.
(d) the officer who filed the information had no authority to
do so;
(e) the complaint or information does not conform G.R. No. 176317
substantially to the prescribed form;
(f) more than one offense is charged except when a single Section 2, Rule 120 of the Rules of Court, the judgment, if it
punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law; was of conviction, must state:
(g) the criminal action or liability has been extinguished; (1) the legal qualification of the offense constituted by the
(h) the complaint or information contains averments which, acts committed by the accused and the aggravating or
if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification; and mitigating circumstances which attended its commission;
(i) the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted (2) the participation of the accused in the offense, whether
of the offense charged, or the case against him was as principal, accomplice, or accessory after the fact;
dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express (3) the penalty imposed upon the accused; and
consent. (4) the civil liability or damages caused by his wrongful act
or omission to be recovered from the accused by the
offended party, if there is any, unless the enforcement of
G.R. No. 166414 the civil liability by a separate civil action has been reserved
or waived.
According to Section 6, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, the
complaint or information is sufficient if it states the names
of the accused; the designation of the offense given by the G.R. No. 199139
statute; the acts or omissions complained of as constituting
the offense; the name of the offended party; the Section 7, Article IX-A of the Constitution states that unless
approximate date of the commission of the offense; and otherwise provided by the Constitution or by law, any
the place where the offense was committed. The decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be
fundamental test in determining the sufficiency of the brought to the Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party
averments in a complaint or information is, therefore, within 30 days from receipt of a copy thereof. For this
whether the facts alleged therein, if hypothetically reason, the Rules of Court (1997) contains a separate rule
admitted, constitute the elements of the offense. (Rule 64) on the review of the decisions of the COMELEC
and the Commission on Audit. Rule 64 is generally identical
with certiorari under Rule 65, except as to the period of the
G.R. No. 173988 filing of the petition for certiorari, that is, in the former, the
period is 30 days from notice of the judgment or final order
Under Section 6, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, the or resolution sought to be reviewed but, in the latter, not
information is sufficient if it states the name of the accused; later than 60 days from notice of the judgment, order or
the designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts resolution assailed.
or omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the
name of the offended party; the proximate date of the
commission of the offense; and the place where the G.R. No. 199139
offense was committed.
The well-established rule is that the motion for
reconsideration is an indispensable condition before an
G.R. No. 174433 aggrieved party can resort to the special civil action for
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. The filing of
Section 5, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court, which states: the motion for reconsideration before the resort to
certiorari will lie is intended to afford to the public
Section 5. Amendment to conform to or authorize respondent the opportunity to correct any actual or fancied
presentation of evidence. When issues not raised by the error attributed to it by way of re-examination of the legal
pleadings are tried with the express or implied consent of and factual aspects of the case.
the parties, they shall be treated in all respects as if they
had been raised in the pleadings. Such amendment of the The rule is not absolute, however, considering that
pleadings as may be necessary to cause them to conform to jurisprudence has laid down exceptions to the requirement
the evidence and to raise these issues may be made upon for the filing of a petition for certiorari without first filing a
motion of any party at any time, even after judgment; but motion for reconsideration.
failure to amend does not affect the result of the trial of .
these issues. If evidence is objected to at the trial on the
ground that it is not within the issues made by the G.R. No. 200454

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judicial or ministerial functions, but not against legislative


The verification of a petition is intended to secure an or quasi-legislative functions. Generally, the purpose of a
assurance that the allegations contained in the petition writ of prohibition is to keep a lower court within the limits
have been made in good faith, are true and correct and not of its jurisdiction in order to maintain the administration of
merely speculative. This requirement affects the form of justice in orderly channels.
the pleading, and its non-compliance will not render the
pleading defective. It is a formal, not a jurisdictional
requisite. The courts may order the correction of the OCA IPI No. 12-204-CA-J
pleading if the verification is lacking, and may even act on
an unverified pleading if doing so will serve the ends of Section 3(d), Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, to wit:
justice.
Section 3. Indirect contempt to be punished after charge
and hearing. After a charge in writing has been filed, and
G.R. No. 209287 July 1, 2014 an opportunity given to the respondent to comment
thereon within such period as may be fixed by the court
Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution expressly and to be heard by himself or counsel, a person guilty of
provides: any of the following acts may be punished for indirect
Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one contempt:
Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be (a)Misbehavior of an officer of a court in the performance
established by law. of his official duties or in his official transactions;
(b)Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process,
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to order, or judgment of a court, including the act of a person
settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally who, after being dispossessed or ejected from any real
demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or property by the judgment or process of any court of
not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting competent jurisdiction, enters or attempts or induces
to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or another to enter into or upon such real property, for the
instrumentality of the Government. purpose of executing acts of ownership or possession, or in
any manner disturbs the possession given to the person
Thus, the Constitution vests judicial power in the Court and adjudged to be entitled thereto;
in such lower courts as may be established by law. In (c)Any abuse of or any unlawful interference with the
creating a lower court, Congress concomitantly determines processes or proceedings of a court not constituting direct
the jurisdiction of that court, and that court, upon its contempt under section 1 of this Rule;
creation, becomes by operation of the Constitution one of (d)Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to
the repositories of judicial power. However, only the Court impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice;
is a constitutionally created court, the rest being created by (e)Assuming to be an attorney or an officer of a court, and
Congress in its exercise of the legislative power. acting as such without authority;
(f)Failure to obey a subpoena duly served;
The Constitution states that judicial power includes the (g)The rescue, or attempted rescue, of a person or property
duty of the courts of justice not only "to settle actual in the custody of an officer by virtue of an order or process
controversies involving rights which are legally demandable of a court held by him.
and enforceable" but also "to determine whether or not
there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or OCA IPI No. 12-204-CA-J
instrumentality of the Government." It has thereby
expanded the concept of judicial power, which up to then Contempt of court has been defined as a willful disregard or
was confined to its traditional ambit of settling actual disobedience of a public authority. In its broad sense,
controversies involving rights that were legally demandable contempt is a disregard of, or disobedience to, the rules or
and enforceable. orders of a legislative or judicial body or an interruption of
its proceedings by disorderly behavior or insolent language
in its presence or so near thereto as to disturb its
G.R. No. 209287 July 1, 2014 proceedings or to impair the respect due to such a body. In
its restricted and more usual sense, contempt
Prohibition is an extraordinary writ directed against any comprehends a despising of the authority, justice, or dignity
tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person, whether of a court. The phrase contempt of court is generic,
exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions, embracing within its legal signification a variety of different
ordering said entity or person to desist from further acts.
proceedings when said proceedings are without or in
e ess of said e tit s o pe so s ju isdi tio , o a e
accompanied with grave abuse of discretion, and there is G.R. No. 156995
no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy
in the ordinary course of law. Prohibition lies against

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The RTC, in an appeal of the judgment in an ejectment case, attorney, and that if he cannot afford an attorney one will
shall not conduct a rehearing or trial de novo. In this be appointed for him prior to any questioning.
connection, Section 18, Rule 70 of the Rules of Courtclearly
provides:
G.R. No. 175796
Sec. 18. Judgment conclusive only on possession; not
conclusive in actions involving title or ownership. x x x. According to Section 1, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, a real
action is one that affects title to or possession of real
xxxx property, or an interest therein. Thus, an action for
partition or condemnation of, or foreclosure of mortgage
The judgment or final order shall be appealable to the on, real property is a real action. The real action is to be
appropriate Regional Trial Court which shall decide the commenced and tried in the proper court having
same on the basis of the entire record of the proceedings jurisdiction over the area wherein the real property
had in the court of origin and such memoranda and/or involved, or a portion thereof, is situated, which explains
briefs as may be submitted by the parties or required by why the action is also referred to as a local action.
the Regional Trial Court. (7a)
In contrast, the Rules of Court declares all other actions as
Hence, the RTC violated the foregoing rule by ordering the personal actions. Such actions may include those brought
conduct of the relocation and verification survey "in aid of for the recovery of personal property, or for the
its appellate jurisdiction" and by hearing the testimony of enforcement of some contract or recovery of damages for
the surveyor, for its doing so was tantamount to its holding its breach, or for the recovery of damages for the
of a trial de novo. commission of an injury to the person or property. The
venue of a personal action is the place where the plaintiff
or any of the principal plaintiffs resides, or where the
G.R. No. 156995 defendant or any of the principal defendants resides, or in
the case of a non-resident defendant where he may be
Unlawful detainer is an action filed by a lessor, vendor, found, at the election of the plaintiff, for which reason the
vendee, or other person against whom the possession of action is considered a transitory one.
any land or building is unlawfully withheld after the
expiration or termination of the right to hold possession by
virtue of any contract, express or implied. To vest in the G.R. No. 212865
MTC the jurisdiction to effect the ejectment from the land
of the respondents as the occupants in unlawful detainer, The Court has stressed that the People of the Philippines,
therefore, the complaint should embody such a statement being the real party in interest in every criminal
of facts clearly showing the attributes of unlawful detainer. proceedings, can be represented only by the OSG in
However, the allegations of the petitioners' complaint did criminal proceedings in the CA or in this Court. Yet, this rule
not show that they had permitted or tolerated the admits of exceptions:
occupation of the portion of their property by the
respondents; or how the respondents' entry had been A special civil action for certiorari may be filed by an
effected, or how and when the dispossession by the aggrieved party alleging grave abuse of discretion
respondents had started. All that the petitioners alleged amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction on the part of
was the respondents' "illegal use and occupation" of the the trial court. In a long line of cases, this Court construed
property. As such, the action was not unlawful detainer. the term aggrieved parties to include the State and the
private offended party or complainant.

G.R. No. 163362


G.R. No. 212865
An "accion reivindicatoria seeks the recovery of ownership
and includes the jus utendi and the jus fruendi brought in Section 6, Rule 120 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
the proper regional trial court. Accion reivindicatoria is an pertinently states:
action whereby plaintiff alleges ownership over a parcel of
land and seeks recovery of its full possession." Section 6. Promulgation of judgment. - The judgment is
promulgated by reading it in the presence of the accused
and any judge of the court in which it was rendered.
G.R. No. 171672 However, if the conviction is for a light offense, the
judgment may be pronounced in the presence of his
It is when custodial investigation is underway that the counsel or representative. When the judge is absent or
certain procedural safeguards takes over - the person must outside the province or city, the judgment may be
be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to promulgated by the clerk of court. x x x x
remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him
in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an

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In case the accused fails to appear at the scheduled date of


promulgation of judgment despite notice, the promulgation
shall be made by recording the judgment in the criminal G.R. No. 213847
docket and serving him a copy thereof at his last known
address or thru his counsel. It is worthy to note that bail is not granted to prevent the
accused from committing additional crimes. The purpose of
If the judgment is for conviction and the failure of the bail is to guarantee the appearance of the accused at the
accused to appear was without justifiable cause, he shall trial, or whenever so required by the trial court. The
lose the remedies available in these rules against the amount of bail should be high enough to assure the
judgment and the court shall order his arrest. Within fifteen presence of the accused when so required, but it should be
(15) days from promulgation of judgment, however, the no higher than is reasonably calculated to fulfill this
accused may surrender and file a motion for leave of court purpose. Thus, bail acts as a reconciling mechanism to
to avail of these remedies. He shall state the reasons for his a o odate oth the a useds interest in his provisional
absence at the scheduled promulgation and if he proves li e t efo e o du i g the t ial, a d the so iet s i te est
that his absence was for a justifiable cause, he shall be i assu i g the a useds p ese e at t ial.
allowed to avail of said remedies within fifteen (15) days
from notice.
G.R. No. 213847

G.R. No. 212865 The right to bail is expressly afforded by Section 13, Article
III (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution, viz.:
The accused who fails to appear at the promulgation of the
judgment of conviction loses the remedies available under x x x All persons, except those charged with offenses
the Rules of Court against the judgment, specifically: punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is
(a) the filing of a motion for new trial or for reconsideration strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient
(Rule 121), and sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be
(b) an appeal from the judgment of conviction (Rule 122). provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even
when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is
However, the Rules of Court permits him to regain his suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.
standing in court in order to avail himself of these remedies This constitutional provision is repeated in Section 7, Rule
within 15 days from the date of promulgation of the 114 of the Rules of Court , as follows:
judgment conditioned upon: Section 7. Capital offense or an offense punishable by
(a) his surrender; and reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, not bailable. No
(b) his filing of a motion for leave of court to avail himself of person charged with a capital offense, or an offense
the remedies, stating therein the reason for his absence. punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, shall
be admitted to bail when evidence of guilt is strong,
Should the trial court find that his absence was for a regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution.
justifiable cause, he should .be allowed to avail himself of
the remedies within 15 days from notice of the order A capital offense in the context of the rule refers to an
finding his absence justified and allowing him the available offense that, under the law existing at the time of its
remedies from the judgment of conviction. commission and the application for admission to bail, may
be punished with death.

G.R. No. 213525


G.R. No. 213847
The petitioner obviously ignores that Section 13, Rule 13 of
the Rules of Court concerns two types of proof of service, The Court thus balances the scales of justice by protecting
namely: the affidavit and the registry receipt, viz: Section the interest of the People through ensuring his personal
13. Proof of Service. x x x. If service is made by registered appearance at the trial, and at the same time realizing for
mail, proof shall be made by such affidavit and the registry him the guarantees of due process as well as to be
receipt issued by the mailing office. The registry return card presumed innocent until proven guilty.
shall be filed immediately upon its receipt by the sender, or
in lieu thereof the unclaimed letter together with the Accordingly, we conclude that the Sandiganbayan arbitrarily
certified or sworn copy of the notice given by the ignored the objective of bail to ensure the appearance of
postmaster to the addressee. Section 13 thus requires that the accused during the trial; and unwarrantedly
if the service is done by registered mail, proof of service disregarded the clear showing of the fragile health and
shall consist of the affidavit of the person effecting the advanced age of EEE.
mailing and the registry receipt, both of which must be
appended to the paper being served. A compliance with the
rule is mandatory, such that there is no proof of service if A.M. No. P-10-2793
either or both are not submitted.

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The writ of execution should mirror the judgment that it judgment obligee or his authorized representative if present
enforces. The form and contents of the writ of execution at the time of payment. The lawful fees shall be handed
are specified in Section 8, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, viz.: under proper receipt to the executing sheriff who shall turn
chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary over the said amount within the same day to the clerk of
court of the court that issued the writ.
Section 8. Issuance, form and contents of a writ of
execution. The writ of execution shall: (1) issue in the xxx xxx xxx
name of the Republic of the Philippines from the court
which granted the motion; (2) state the name of the court,
the case number and title, the dispositive part of the (b) Satisfaction by levy. If the judgment obligor cannot
subject judgment or order; and (3) require the sheriff or pay all or part of the obligation in cash, certified bank check
other proper officer to whom it is directed to enforce the or other mode of payment acceptable to the judgment
writ according to its terms, in the manner herein after obligee, the officer shall levy upon the properties of the
provided: judgment obligor of every kind and nature whatsoever which
may be disposed of for value and not otherwise exempt
(a) If the execution be against the property of the judgment from execution giving the latter the option to immediately
obligor, to satisfy the judgment, with interest, out of the choose which property or part thereof may be levied upon,
real or personal property of such judgment obligor; sufficient to satisfy the judgment. If the judgment obligor
does not exercise the option, the officer shall first levy on
(b) If it be against real or personal property in the hands of the personal properties, if any, and then on the real
personal representatives, heirs, devisees, legatees, tenants, properties if the personal properties are insufficient to
or trustees of the judgment obligor, to satisfy the answer for the judgment.
judgment, with interest, out of such properties;
xxx xxx xxx
(c) If it be for the sale of real or personal property, to sell
such property, describing it, and apply the proceeds in (c) Garnishment of debts and credits. The officer may levy
conformity with the judgment, the material parts of which on debts due the judgment obligor and other credits,
shall be recited in the writ of execution; including bank deposits, financial interests, royalties,
commissions and other personal property not capable of
(d) If it be for the delivery of the possession of real or manual delivery in the possession or control of third parties.
personal property, to deliver the possession of the same, Levy shall be made by serving notice upon the person owing
describing it, to the party entitled thereto, and to satisfy such debts or having in his possession or control such credits
any costs, damages, rents, or profits covered by the to which the judgment obligor is entitled. The garnishment
judgment out of the personal property of the person shall cover only such amount as will satisfy the judgment and
against whom it was rendered, and if sufficient personal all lawful fees.
property cannot be found, then out of the real property; xxx xxx xxx
and

(e) In all cases, the writ of execution shall specifically state G.R. No. 158464
the amount of the interest, costs, damages, rents, or profits
due as of the date of the issuance of the writ, aside from The determination of just compensation is essentially a
the principal obligation under the judgment. For this judicial function, consistent with the Court's roles as the
purpose, the motion for execution shall specify the guardian of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the due
amounts of the foregoing reliefs sought by the movant. process and equal protection clauses, and as the final
arbiter over transgressions committed against
constitutional rights.
A.M. No. P-10-2793

The duty to exhaust all efforts to recover the balance was G.R. No. 159350
laid down in Section 9, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, with
special attention to the highlighted portions, to wit: The doctrine of stare decisis enjoins adherence to judicial
precedents. When a court has laid down a principle of law
Section 9. Execution of judgments for money, how as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will adhere to that
enforced. (a) Immediate payment on demand. The principle and apply it to all future cases in which the facts
officer shall enforce an execution of a judgment for money are substantially the same; but when the facts are
by demanding from the judgment obligor the immediate essentially different, stare decisis does not apply because a
payment of the full amount stated in the writ of execution perfectly sound principle as applied to one set of facts
and all lawful fees. The judgment obligor shall pay in cash, might be entirely inappropriate when a factual variance is
certified bank check payable to the judgment obligee, or any introduced.
other form of payment acceptable to the latter, the amount
of the judgment debt under proper receipt directly to the

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G.R. No. 160071 Recantation by a witness is nothing new, for it is a frequent


occurrence in criminal proceedings. As a general rule, it is
We also uphold the efficacy of the certification on non- not well regarded by the courts due to its nature as the
forum shopping executed by Atty. CK on the basis of the mere afterthought of the witness. To be given any value or
authorization bestowed under the SPAs by the petitioners. weight, it should still be subjected to the same tests for
The lawyer of the party, in order to validly execute the credibility in addition to its being subject of the rule that it
certification, must be "specifically authorized" by the client be received with caution.
for that purpose. With the petitioners being non-residents
of the Philippines, the sworn certification on non-forum
shopping by Atty. CK sufficiently complied with the G.R. No. 170192
objective of ensuring that no similar action had been
brought by them or the respondent against each other. In Double jeopardy could not result from prosecuting and
this regard, we ought not to exact a literal compliance with convicting the accused for both crimes considering that
Section 4, Rule 45, in relation to Section 2, Rule 42 of they were entirely distinct from each other not only from
the Rules of Court, that only the party himself should their being punished under different statutes but also from
execute the certification. After all, we have not been shown their elements being different.
by the respondent any intention on the part of the
petitioners and their counsel to circumvent the
requirement for the verification and certification on non- G.R. No. 171420
forum shopping.
Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding to
determine whether or not there is sufficient ground to
G.R. No. 167333 engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been
committed; and that the respondent, who is probably guilty
The first guideline is to restrict the concept of newly- thereof, should be held for trial.
discovered evidence to only such evidence that can satisfy
the following requisites, namely:
(1) the evidence was discovered after trial; G.R. No. 171420
(2) such evidence could not have been discovered and
produced at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable It is a sound judicial policy for the courts to refrain from
diligence; interfering in the conduct of the preliminary investigation,
(3) the evidence is material, not merely cumulative, and to just leave to the DOJ the ample latitude of discretion
corroborative, or impeaching; and in the determination of what constitutes sufficient evidence
(4) the evidence is of such weight that it would probably to establish probable cause for the prosecution of
change the judgment if admitted. offenders. Consistent with this policy, the courts do not
review and reverse the Secretary of Justice's findings and
conclusions on probable cause except in clear cases of
G.R. No. 169694 grave abuse of discretion.

Apart from the provisional remedies expressly recognized


and made available under Rule 56 to Rule 61 of the Rules of G.R. No. 171420
Court, the Court has sanctioned only the issuance of
the status quo ante order but only to maintain the last, Section 4, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, which pertinently
actual, peaceable and uncontested state of things that provides as follows:
preceded the controversy.
Section 4. Resolution of investigating prosecutor and its
This was resorted to when the projected proceedings in the review. - If the investigating prosecutor finds cause to hold
case made the conservation of the status quo desirable or the respondent for trial, he shall prepare the resolution and
essential, but the affected party neither sought such relief information. He shall certify under oath in the information
or the allegations in his pleading did not sufficiently make that he, or as shown by the record, an authorized officer, has
out a case for a temporary restraining order. The status quo personally examined the complainant and his witnesses; that
order was thus issued motu proprio on equitable there is reasonable ground to believe that a crime has been
considerations. Also, unlike a temporary restraining order committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof;
or a preliminary injunction, a status quo order is more in that the accused was informed of the complaint and of the
the nature of a cease and desist order, since it neither evidence submitted against him; and that he was given an
directs the doing or undoing of acts as in the case of opportunity to submit controverting evidence. Otherwise,
prohibitory or mandatory injunctive relief. he shall recommend the dismissal of the complaint.

xxxx
G.R. No. 170192
G.R. No. 172682

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR RESEARCHED BY J. MANINGDING


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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

question of construction or validity arising, and for a


Section 16, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court lays down the declaration of his rights or duties, thereunder."
proper procedure in the event of the death of a litigant,
viz.:
Section 16. Death of party; duty of counsel. - Whenever a G.R. No. 189185
party to a pending action dies, and the claim is not thereby
extinguished, it shall be the duty of his counsel to inform In this jurisdiction, the principle of precaution appearing in
the court within thirty (30) days after such death of the fact the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases (A.M. No.
thereof, and to give the name and address of his legal 09-6-8-SC) involves matters of evidence in cases where
representative or representatives. Failure of counsel to there is lack of full scientific certainty in establishing a
comply with his duty shall be a ground for disciplinary causal link between human activity and environmental
action. effect. In such an event, the courts may construe a set of
facts as warranting either judicial action or inaction with
The heirs of the deceased may be allowed to be substituted the goal of preserving and protecting the environment.
for the deceased, without requiring the appointment of an
executor or administrator and the court may appoint a It is notable, therefore, that the precautionary principle
guardian ad litem for the minor heirs. shall only be relevant if there is concurrence of three
elements, namely: uncertainty, threat of environmental
xxxx damage and serious or irreversible harm. In situations
where the threat is relatively certain, or that the causal link
between an action and environmental damage can be
G.R. No. 172682 established, or the probability of occurrence can be
calculated, only preventive, not precautionary measures,
Section 1, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court enumerates the may be taken. Neither will the precautionary principle apply
following actions that survive the death of a party, namely: if there is no indication of a threat of environmental harm;
(1) recovery of real or personal property, or an interest or if the threatened harm is trivial or easily reversible.
from the estate;
(2) enforcement of liens on the estate; and
(3) recovery of damages for an injury to person or property. G.R. No. 213847

On the one hand, Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Admission to bail always involves the risk that the accused
Court lists the actions abated by death as including: will take flight. This is the reason precisely why the
(1) claims for funeral expenses and those for the last probability or the improbability of flight is an important
sickness of the decedent; factor to be taken into consideration in granting or denying
(2) judgments for money; and bail, even in capital cases. The exception to the
(3) all claims for money against the deceased, arising from fundamental right to bail should be applied in direct ratio to
contract, express or implied. the extent of the probability of evasion of prosecution.
Apparently, an accused's official and social standing and his
other personal circumstances arc considered and
G.R. No. 175592 appreciated as tending to render his flight improbable.
The petitioner has proven with more than sufficient
A child may be a competent witness, unless the trial court evidence that he would not be a flight risk. For one, his
determines upon proper showing that the child's mental advanced age and fragile state of health have minimized
maturity is such as to render him incapable of perceiving the likelihood that he would make himself scarce and
the facts respecting which he is to be examined and of escape from the jurisdiction of our courts.
relating the facts truthfully. The testimony of the child of
sound mind with the capacity to perceive and make known
the perception can be believed in the absence of any G.R. No. 192536
showing of an improper motive to testify. Once it is
established that the child fully understands the character Section 2, Rule 50 of the Rules of Court expressly states: "An
and nature of an oath, the testimony is given full credence. appeal erroneously taken to the Court of Appeals shall not
be transferred to the appropriate court but shall be
dismissed outright."
G.R. No. 183173

Section 1, Rule 63 of the Rules of Court expressly states that G.R. No. 194226
any person "whose rights are affected by a statute,
executive order or regulation, ordinance, or any other An indispensable party is one who has such an interest in
governmental regulation" may bring an action in the the controversy or subject matter that a final adjudication
appropriate Regional Trial Court "to determine any cannot be made in its absence without injuring or affecting
that interest.

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR RESEARCHED BY J. MANINGDING


48

Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

Consistent with the policy of encouraging alternative


dispute resolution methods, therefore, any doubt should be
G.R. No. 194226 resolved in favor of arbitration.

There is no question that as a provisional remedy to


prevent irreparable injury pending the final determination G.R. No. 211937
of the action, injunction can bind only the parties in the
action, or their privies or successors-in-interest. No person We emphasize that an appeal by petition for review
who has not been impleaded and duly served with the on certiorari under Rule 45 is available only as a remedy
summons should be adversely affected by the outcome of from a decision or final order of a lower court.1wphi1 This
the action. The principle that a person cannot be prejudiced limitation is imposed by Section 5 of Article VIII of the
by a ruling rendered in an action or proceeding in which it Constitution, which pertinently provides:
has not been made a party conforms to the constitutional
guarantee of due process of law. Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following
powers:

G.R. No. 201607 xxxx

Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred only by the 2. Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal
Constitution or the law; it cannot be acquired through a or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide,
waiver; it cannot be enlarged by the omission of the final judgments and orders of lower courts in:
parties; it cannot be conferred by the acquiescence of the
court. Specifically, Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended, xxxx
did not vest jurisdiction in the RTC over matters relating to
the Civil Service. Consequently, the RTC could not arrogate Implementing the limitation is Section 1 of Rule 45, to wit:
unto itself the hearing and decision of a subject matter
outside of its jurisdiction. Section 1. Filing of petition with Supreme Court.-A party
desiring to appeal by certiorari from a judgment, final order
or resolution of the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan,
G.R. No. 202597 the Court of Tax Appeals, the Regional Trial Court or other
courts, whenever authorized by law, may file with the
Section 2(g), Rule 18 of the Rules of Court, to wit: Supreme Court a verified petition for review
Section 2. Nature and purpose. - The pre-trial is mandatory. on certiorari. The petition may include an application for a
The court shall consider: writ of preliminary injunction or other provisional remedies
and shall raise only questions of law, which must be
x x xx distinctly set forth. The petitioner may seek the same
provisional remedies by verified motion filed in the same
(g) The propriety of rendering judgment on the pleadings, action or proceeding at any time during its pendency.
or summary judgment, or of dismissing the action should a
valid ground therefor be found to exist; On the other hand, the review of the decisions, awards and
final orders or resolutions of quasi-judicial offices or bodies
x x xx is through the petition for review under Rule 43.

To be clear, the rule only spells out that unless the motion
for such judgment has earlier been filed the pre-trial may G.R. No. 211937
be the occasion in which the court considers the propriety
of rendering judgment on the pleadings or summary Section 7, Article IX of the 1987 Constitution governs the
judgment. If no such motion was earlier filed, the pre-trial review of the COA, in that the COA 's decisions, final orders
judge may then indicate to the proper party to initiate the or rulings may be brought to the Supreme Court
rendition of such judgment by filing the necessary on certiorari by the aggrieved pai1y within 30 days from
motion. Indeed, such motion is required by either Rule 34 receipt of a copy thereof. To differentiate this review from
(Judgment on the Pleadings) or Rule 35 (Summary the special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65, the
Judgment) of the Rules of Court. The pre-trial judge Court incorporated a new rule (Rule 64) in the 1997
cannot motu proprio render the judgment on the pleadings revision of the Rules of Court under the title Review of'
or summary judgment. In the case of the motion for Judgments and Final Orders or Resolutions of the
summary judgment, the adverse party is entitled to counter Commission on Elections and the Commission on
the motion. Audit. Except for the period for bringing the petition for
review, Rule 64 is a replication of the provisions of Rule 65
on the special civil action for certiorari.
G.R. No. 211504

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR RESEARCHED BY J. MANINGDING


49

Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR RESEARCHED BY J. MANINGDING