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(J. Bersamin)


G.R. no. 171182, 23 August 2012
Procedural Rules and Technicalities

Facts: UP and private respondent entered into a General Construction Agreement for
the construction of an extension building. UP failed to pay the billing prompting private
respondent to sue UP and its officials. After trial, the RTC rendered its decision in favor
of the plaintiffs. The CA promulgated its assailed decision dismissing the UPs petition
for certiorari.

Held: The retroactive application of the fresh-period rule, a procedural law that aims
to regiment or make the appeal period uniform, to be counted from receipt of the order
denying the motion for new trial, motion for reconsideration (whether full or partial) or
any final order or resolution, is impervious to any serious challenge. This is because
there are no vested rights in rules of procedure. A law or regulation is procedural when
it prescribes rules and forms of procedure in order that courts may be able to administer
justice. It does not come within the legal conception of a retroactive law, or is not
subject of the general rule prohibiting the retroactive operation of statues, but is given
retroactive effect in actions pending and undetermined at the time of its passage
without violating any right of a person who may feel that he is adversely affected.



G.R. No. 156375, 30 May 2011
Civil Procedure; Cause of action

Facts: The respondents filed a complaint for unlawful detainer alleging that petitioner
failed or refused to vacate the premises sold to respondents. The MTCC declared
petitioner in default and proceeded to receive the respondents evidence. Thereafter, the
MTCC rendered judgement against petitioner. The RTC dismissed the complaint for
failure to state a cause of action.

Held: The complaint sufficiently stated a cause of action for unlawful detainer. In
resolving whether the complaint states a cause of action or not, only the facts alleged in
the complaint are considered. The test is whether the court can render a valid judgment
on the complaint based on the facts alleged and the prayer asked for. A complaint states
a cause of action if it avers the existence of the three essential elements of a cause of
action, namely: (a) The legal right of the plaintiff; (b) The correlative obligation of the
defendant; and (c) The act or omission of the defendant in violation of said legal right.
Evidently, it is not the lack or absence of a cause of action that is a ground for the
dismissal of the complaint but the fact that the complaint states no cause of action.

G.R. No. 164974, 5 August 2015
Parties; Search Warrant

Facts: Petitioner argued that impleading the People of the Philippines as respondents in
his petition for certiorari before the CA to annul and set aside the order of the RTC
denying the petitioner's motion to quash the search warrant issued against him was
premature because no criminal case had yet been filed against him with only the
application for the issuance of the search warrant having been made.

Held: Impleading the People of the Philippines in the petition for certiorari did not
depend on whether or not an actual criminal action had already been commenced in
court against the petitioner. It cannot be denied that the search warrant in question had
been issued in the name of the People of the Philippines, and that fact rendered the
People of the Philippines indispensable parties in the special civil action for certiorari
brought to nullify the questioned orders of respondent Presiding Judge. We also note
that the impleading is further expressly demanded in Section 3, Rule 46 of the Rules of

It may be true that the application for the search warrant was not a criminal action; and
that the application for the search warrant was not of the same form as that of a criminal
action. However, it is clear that the sworn application for the search warrant and the
search warrant itself were upon the behest of the People of the Philippines. It defies
logic and common sense for the petitioner to contend, therefore, that the application
against him was not made by the People of the Philippines but by the interested party
or parties. The immutable truth is that every search warrant is applied for and issued by
and under the authority of the State, regardless of who initiates its application or causes
its issuance.



G.R. No. 157163, 25 June 2014
Civil Procedure; Personal Action; Docket Fees

Facts: In their Complaint in Civil Case No. CEB-26468, respondents seek the
nullification of the promissory notes, continuing surety agreement, checks and
mortgage agreements for being executed against their will and vitiated by irregularities,
not the recovery of the possession or title to the properties burdened by the mortgages.
There was no allegation that the possession of the properties under the mortgages had
already been transferred to the petitioner in the meantime. The CA and the RTC held
that Civil Case No. CEB-26468, being for the declaration of the nullity of a contract of
loan and its accompanying continuing surety agreement, and the real estate and chattel
mortgages, was a personal action; hence, its filing in Cebu City, the place of business of
one of the plaintiffs, was correct under Section 2, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court.

The petitioner contends, however, that Civil Case No. CEB-26468 was a real action that
should be commenced and tried in the proper court having jurisdiction over the area
wherein the real property involved, or a portion thereof, was situated; and that
consequently the filing and docket fees for the complaint should be based on the value
of the property as stated in the certificate of sale attached thereto.

Meanwhile, in their application for the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction,
the respondents averred that the nullity of the loan and mortgage agreements entitled
them to the relief of enjoining the petitioner from: (a) foreclosing the real estate and
chattel mortgages; (b) taking possession, by replevin, of the Mitsubishi Pajero; and (c)
depositing the postdated checks; that respondents Spouses Facultad would suffer
injustice and irreparable injury should the petitioner foreclose the mortgages and file
criminal complaints for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg.22 against them; and that such
threatened acts, if done, would render ineffectual the judgment of the trial court. They
prayed that the petitioner be enjoined from doing acts that would disturb their material
possession of the mortgaged properties, manifesting their willingness to post a bond for
the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction.

Held: Civil Case No. CEB-26468 was unquestionably a personal action. Well-settled is
the rule that an action to annul a contract of loan and its accessory real estate mortgage
is a personal action. In a personal action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery of personal
property, the enforcement of a contractor the recovery of damages. In contrast, in a real
action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery of real property, or, as indicated in Section 2 (a),
Rule 4 of the then Rules of Court, a real action is an action affecting title to real property
or for the recovery of possession, or for partition or condemnation of, or foreclosure of
mortgage on, real property.

Meanwhile, respondents were not entitled to the writ of preliminary injunction. Under
the circumstances averred in the complaint in Civil Case No. CEB-26468, the issuance of
the writ of preliminary injunction upon the application of the respondents was
improper. They had admittedly constituted the real estate and chattel mortgages to
secure the performance of their loan obligation to the petitioner, and, as such, they were
fully aware of the consequences on their rights in the properties given as collaterals
should the loan secured be unpaid. The foreclosure of the mortgages would be the
remedy provided by law for the mortgagee to exact payment. In fact, they did not
dispute the petitioners allegations that they had not fully paid their obligation, and that
Civil Case No. CEB-26468 was precisely brought by them in order to stave off the
impending foreclosure of the mortgages based on their claim that they had been
compelled to sign pre-printed standard bank loan forms and mortgage agreements.



G.R. No. 198753, 25 March 2015
Civil Procedure; Docket fees

Facts: The petitioner and Marsito Batiquin were criminally charged for trespassing and
theft of minerals in the MCTC. Thereafter, they were convicted for violation of Section
103 of Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 but they were found
not guilty in the crime of trespassing. Petitioners counsel filed a notice of appeal and
the RTC subsequently ordered the petitioner to file his memorandum on appeal but he
did not comply hence, the dismissal of the appeal. Another lawyer for the petitioner
filed a motion for reconsideration stating the reasons why petitioner failed to comply
with the order of the RTC but the latter court denied such motion. Subsequently, the
counsel filed a petition for review in the CA but the CA denied the petitioner on the
grounds that the docket fees were not paid and there was no proof of service of a copy
of the petition for review on the adverse party.

Held: The failure to file the memorandum on appeal is a ground for the RTC to dismiss
the appeal only in civil cases. The same rule does not apply in criminal cases. Having
timely perfected his appeal by filing the notice of appeal in the MCTC, the petitioner
was entitled to expect that the RTC would resolve his appeal in due course, whether he
filed his memorandum on appeal or not.

The foremost noted defect was the non-payment of the docket fees, which would
have alone warranted the outright rejection of the petition for review due to the
mandatory and jurisdictional character of the payment of the full amount of docket fees
within the prescribed period. Such payment was the condition sine qua non for the
perfection of the appeal by petition for review, and only by such payment could the CA
have acquired jurisdiction over the appeal but the appeal of the conviction before the
RTC had not yet been completed, and, as such, the petition for review of the petitioner
was logically premature. In other words, it was plain to the CA that it could not validly
act on the petition for review.



647 SCRA 286, 6 April 2011
Res judicata

Facts: NHA filed a petition for the reconstitution of TCTs in the RTC and was presided
by Judge Roxas. NHA attached to its petition documents to prove its ownership and the
identity of the lands involved. NHA however failed to comply with the directive and to
appear at the initial hearing. The RTC issued a resolution denying the NHAs petition
for lack of merit. The motion for reconsiderations filed by NHA was denied.

Held: Considering that at the time the orders of dismissal were issued NHA had not yet
established the facts essential for the RTC to proceed on its petition for reconstitution,
the RTC's dismissal did not amount to an adjudication on the merits of the petition and
was thus not a viable basis for a bar by res judicata.



698 SCRA 294, 30 June 2013
Res judicata

Facts: Filemon had four children, namely: Marcelo Sotto, Pascuala Sotto-Pahang,
Miguel Barcelona, and Matilde. To satisfy a monetary judgement in favor of Pilar Teves
and other heirs of Carmen Rallos, the deceased wife of Filemon, six parcels of land and
two residential houses belonging to the Estate of Sotto were levied. Later on Matilde
redeemed four parcels in her own name, while Pascuala redeemed the remaining two.
The CFI denied Matildes mtion to transfer the title of the four properties to her name,
holding that Matilde did not qualify as a successor-in-interest with the right to redeem
the four properties. Matilde directly appealed the ruling to the SC, who reversed the
CFI decision and granted the other heirs to join Matilde as co-redemptioners. The heirs
of Marcelo and the heirs of Miguel instituted the present action for partition against
Matilde in the RTC of Cebu City to require Matilde to account for and turn over the
four properties allegedly belonging to the estate. The probate court granted the motion
but subsequently reversed itself upon Matildes motion for reconsideration.

Held: Res judicata was applicable to bar petitioners action for partition of the four
properties. Res judicata exists when as between the action sought to be dismissed and
the other action these elements are present, namely: (1) the former judgment must be
final; (2) the former judgment must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction
of the subject matter and the parties; (3) the former judgment must be a judgment on the
merits; and (4) there must be between the first and subsequent actions (i) identity of
parties or at least such as representing the same interest in both actions; (ii) identity of
subject matter, or of the rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded
on the same facts; and, (iii) identity of causes of action in both actions such that any
judgment that may be rendered in the other action will, regardless of which party is
successful, amount to res judicata in the action under consideration.



G.R. No. 156185, 12 September 2011
Res Judicata

Facts: Spouses Chu executed a deed of sale with assumption of mortgage involving
their five parcels of land in favor of Cunanan. Thereafter, the Chus executed a SPA
authorizing Cunanan to borrow from any banking institution and to mortgage the five
lots as security. Cunanan was able to transfer the title of the five lots to her name
without the knowledge of the Chus, and to borrow money with the lots as security
without paying the balance of the purchase price to the Chus. The Chus commenced a
civil case to recover the unpaid balance from Cunanan. Thereafter, the petitioners
brought another suit against the Cunanans, Carloses and Benelda estate. The Cunanans
moved to dismiss the amended complaints but was subsequently denied by the RTC.

Held: In order that res judicata may bar the institution of a subsequent action, the
following requisites must concur: (a) the former judgment must be final; (b) it must
have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction of the subject matter and the parties;
(c) it must be a judgment on the merits; and (d) there must be between the first and
second actions (i) identity of parties, (ii) identity of the subject matter, and (iii) identity
of cause of action. There is identity of parties when the parties in both actions are the
same, or there is privity between them, or they are successors in interest by title
subsequent to the commencement of the action litigating for the same thing and under
the same title and in the same capacity . The requirement of the identity of parties was
fully met, because the Chus, on the one hand, and the Cunanans were the parties in
both cases along with their respective privies.



716 SCRA 175, 17 February 2014
Forum Shopping

Facts: It seems that the disposition by the Court of the previous cases did not yet satisfy
herein petitioners despite their being the successorsininterest of two of the declared
heirs of Filemon who had been parties in the previous cases either directly or in privity.
They now pray that the Court undo the decision promulgated on 29 November 2002,
whereby the CA declared their action for the partition of the four properties as already
barred by the judgments previously rendered, and the resolution denying their motion
for reconsideration.

Held: This is a clear demonstration of unmitigated forum shopping on the part of

petitioners and their counsel. It should not be enough for us to just express our alarm at
petitioners disregard of the doctrine of res judicata.

The acts of a party or his counsel clearly constituting willful and deliberate forum
shopping shall be ground for the summary dismissal of the case with prejudice, and
shall constitute direct contempt, as well as be a cause for administrative sanctions
against the lawyer. If the forum shopping is not willful and deliberate, the subsequent
cases shall be dismissed without prejudice on one of the two grounds mentioned above.
But if the forum shopping is willful and deliberate, both (or all, if there are more than
two) actions shall be dismissed with prejudice. In view of the foregoing, Atty. Mahinay
was guilty of forum shopping



G.R. No. 157445, 3 April 2013

Facts: Eustacio sold the property to their daughter Jovita without the knowledge or
consent of Segundina Galvez. After the sale, Jovita constituted a mortgage on the
property to secure her loan from PNB. Jovita failed to pay her obligation. Hence, PNB
had the property extrajudicially foreclosed. Respondent spouses purchased the
property from PNB. The Montanos sued Segundina for recovery of ownership and
possession in the MTC. The MTC ruled in favor of the Montanos. The CA dismissed the
petition assailing that no copies of pleadings and other material portions of the record
as would support the allegations thereof were attached as annexes in violation of
Section 2, Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure

Held: The mere failure to attach copies of the pleadings and other material portions of
the record as would support the allegations of the petition for review is not necessarily
fatal as to warrant the outright denial of due course when the clearly legible duplicate
originals or true copies of the judgments or final orders of both lower courts, certified
correct by the clerk of court of the RTC, and other attachments of the petition
sufficiently substantiate the allegations.



G.R. NO. 207970, 20 January 2016
Civil Procedure; Judgment on the Pleadings

Facts: Petitioner delivered and installed medical equipment and supplies at

respondents hospital. Respondent paid only P67,357,683.23 of its total obligation of
P123,901,650.00, leaving unpaid the sum of P54,654,195.54. However, on February 11,
2009, the petitioner and the respondent, respectively represented by Rafael P. Fernando
and Guillermo T. Maglaya, Sr., entered into an agreement, whereby the former agreed
to reduce its claim to only P50,400,000.00, and allowed the latter to pay the on
installment basis within 36 months. Respondent notified the petitioner that its new
administration had reviewed their contracts and had found the contracts defective and
rescissible due to economic prejudice or lesion; and that it was consequently declining
to recognize the February 11, 2009 agreement because of the lack of approval by its
Board of Trustees. Due to the respondents failure to pay as demanded, the petitioner
filed its complaint for sum of money in the RTC. The respondent moved to dismiss the
complaint upon the following grounds, namely: (a) lack of jurisdiction over the person
of the defendant; (b) improper venue; (c) litis pendentia; and (d) forum shopping, which
was denied. Petitioner filed its Motion for Judgment Based on the Pleadings, stating
that the respondent had admitted the material allegations of its complaint and thus did
not tender any issue as to such allegations. The respondent opposed the Motion for
Judgment Based on the Pleadings, arguing that it had specifically denied the material
allegations in the complaint. RTC issued the order denying the Motion for Judgment
Based on the Pleadings of the petitioner. CA affirmed.

Held: The essential query in resolving a motion for judgment on the pleadings is
whether or not there are issues of fact generated by the pleadings. Whether issues of
fact exist in a case or not depends on how the defending partys answer has dealt with
the ultimate facts alleged in the complaint. The defending partys answer either admits
or denies the allegations of ultimate facts in the complaint or other initiatory pleading.
The allegations of ultimate facts the answer admit, being undisputed, will not require
evidence to establish the truth of such facts, but the allegations of ultimate facts the
answer properly denies, being disputed, will require evidence. The answer admits the
material allegations of ultimate facts of the adverse partys pleadings not only when it
expressly confesses the truth of such allegations but also when it omits to deal with
them at all.

The controversion of the ultimate facts must only be by specific denial. Section 10, Rule
8 of the Rules of Court recognizes only three modes by which the denial in the answer
raises an issue of fact. The first is by the defending party specifying each material
allegation of fact the truth of which he does not admit and, whenever practicable,
setting forth the substance of the matters upon which he relies to support his denial.
The second applies to the defending party who desires to deny only a part of an
averment, and the denial is done by the defending party specifying so much of the
material allegation of ultimate facts as is true and material and denying only the
remainder. The third is done by the defending party who is without knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of a material averment made in the
complaint by stating so in the answer. Any material averment in the complaint not so
specifically denied are deemed admitted except an averment of the amount of
unliquidated damages.

In the case of a written instrument or document upon which an action or defense is

based, which is also known as the actionable document, the pleader of such document
is required either to set forth the substance of such instrument or document in the
pleading, and to attach the original or a copy thereof to the pleading as an exhibit,
which shall then be deemed to be a part of the pleading, or to set forth a copy in the
pleading. The adverse party is deemed to admit the genuineness and due execution of
the actionable document unless he specifically denies them under oath, and sets forth
what he claims to be the facts, but the requirement of an oath does not apply when the
adverse party does not appear to be a party to the instrument or when compliance with
an order for an inspection of the original instrument is refused.

The respondent denied paragraphs no. 6, 7 and 8 of the complaint for lack of
knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth or falsity thereof,
inasmuch as the alleged transactions were undertaken during the term of office of the
past officers of defendant Wesleyan University Philippines. Was the manner of denial
effective as a specific denial? No. It is settled that denials based on lack of knowledge or
information of matters clearly known to the pleader, or ought to be known to it, or
could have easily been known by it are insufficient, and constitute ineffective or sham
denials. Lastly, we should emphasize that in order to resolve the petitioners Motion for
Judgment Based on the Pleadings, the trial court could rely only on the answer of the
respondent filed in Civil Case No. 09-122116. Under Section 1, Rule 34 of the Rules of
Court, the answer was the sole basis for ascertaining whether the complaints material
allegations were admitted or properly denied



G.R. No. 167057, 11 April 2012
Provisional Remedies

Facts: Petitioner filed a complaint for specific performance with prayer for the issuance
on an injunction which injunctive application was granted by RTC

Held: 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, agency or
person, to refrain from a particular act or acts. It is an ancillary or preventive remedy
resorted to by a litigant to protect or preserve his rights or interests during the
pendency of the case. As such, it is issued only when it is established that: (a) The
applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the whole or part of such relief consists
in restraining the commission or continuance of the act or acts complained of, or in
requiring the performance of an act or acts, either for a limited period or perpetually; or
(b) The commission, continuance or non-performance of the act or acts complained of
during the litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant; or (c) A party,
court, agency or a person is doing, threatening, or is attempting to do, or is procuring or
suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in violation of the rights of the applicant
respecting the subject of the action or proceeding, and tending to render the judgment



G.R. No. 168008, 17 August 2011
Provisional Remedies; Temporary Restraining Order

Facts: AUP, a non-stock and non-profit domestic educational institution. During the
3rd Quinquennial Session of the General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists the
NPUM Executive Committee elected the members of the Board of Trustees of AUP,
including petitioner who was chosen as Secretary. Almost two months following the
conclusion of the 3rd Quinquennial Session, the Board of Trustees appointed the
petitioner President of AUP. However, after the conduct of an external performance
audit it was revealed that he had committed serious violations of fundamental rules
and procedure in the disbursement and use of funds.

After further verification, the members, by secret ballot, voted to remove him as
President because of his serious violations of fundamental rules and procedures in the
disbursement and use of funds as revealed by the special audit; to appoint an interim
committee consisting of three members to assume the powers and functions of the
President; and to recommend him to the NPUM for consideration as Associate Director
for Secondary Education. Petitioner was later handed inside the NPUM office a letter,
together with a copy of the minutes of the special meeting held the previous day. In
turn, he handed to a letter requesting two weeks within which to seek reconsideration.
The Board of Trustees denied the petitioners request for reconsideration because his
reasons were not meritorious. The petitioner later obtained a copy of the inter-school
memorandum informing AUP students, staff, and faculty members about his relief as
President and the appointment of an interim committee to assume the powers and
duties of the President. The petitioner thereafter brought his suit for injunction and
damages in the RTC, with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order
(TRO), impleading AUP and its Board of Trustees, and the interim committee. His
complaint alleged that the Board of Trustees had relieved him as President without
valid grounds despite his five-year term; that the Board of Trustees had thereby acted in
bad faith; and that his being denied ample and reasonable time to present his evidence
deprived him of his right to due process.

Held: The injunctive writ issued by the RTC was meant to protect the petitioners right
to stay in office as President. Given that the lifetime of the writ of preliminary
injunction was co-extensive with the duration of the act sought to be prohibited this
injunctive relief already became moot in the face of the admission by the petitioner
himself, through his affidavit, that his term of office premised on his alleged five-year
tenure as President had lasted only until December 2005. In short, the injunctive writ
granted by the RTC had expired upon the end of the term of office (as posited by
him).The mootness of the petition warranted its denial. When the resolution of the issue
submitted in a case has become moot and academic, and the prayer of the complaint or
petition, even if granted, has become impossible of enforcement for there is nothing
more to enjoin the case should be dismissed. No useful purpose would then be served
by passing on the merits of the petition, because any ruling could hardly be of any
practical or useful purpose in the premises. It is a settled rule that a court will not
determine a moot question or an abstract proposition, nor express an opinion in a case
in which no practical relief can be granted. Indeed, moot and academic cases cease to
present any justiciable controversies by virtue of supervening events, and the courts of
law will not determine moot questions, for the courts should not engage in academic
declarations and determine a moot question.



G.R. No. 153829, 17 August 2011
Preliminary Injunction

Facts: Petitioner filed an ejectment case against respondent. The MCTC rendered a
decision in favor of the petitioner. Respondents appealed to the RTC. However, the
appeal was dismissed because of their failure to file the appeal memorandum.
Respondents elevated the case to the CA, their petition for certiorari was not given due
course. Seeking to enjoin the implementation of the writ of execution and the notice to
vacate, Guinto filed the instant Petition for Injunction. The petitioner moved to dismiss
the case which the RTC denied.

Held: The defendants in the ejectment case possess no such legal rights that merit the
protection of the courts through the writ of preliminary injunction. To be entitled to the
injunctive writ, the applicant must show that there exists a right to be protected which
is directly threatened by an act sought to be enjoined. Furthermore, there must be a
showing that the invasion of the right is material and substantial and that there is an
urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage. The applicant's
right must be clear and unmistakable.



G.R. No. 156358, 17 August 2011
Preliminary Injunction

Facts: Petitioners commenced in the MTCC an action for ejectment against respondents
and rendered a decision in favor of the petitioners. The RTC and CA affirmed the
decision of the MTCC. Thereafter, the MTCC issued the writ of execution upon the
petitioners motion. The Respondent filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition in the
RTC. The RTC issued the assailed writ of preliminary injunction.

Held: The respondents did not establish the existence of an actual right to be protected
by injunction. A writ of preliminary injunction is an extraordinary event and is the
strong arm of equity or a transcendent remedy. It is granted only to protect actual and
existing substantial rights. Without actual and existing rights on the part of the
applicant, and in the absence of facts bringing the matter within the conditions for its
issuance, the ancillary writ must be struck down for being issued in grave abuse of
discretion. Furthermore, The RTC judge disregarded Sec 5, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court
which expressly stated that the life span of a TRO was only 20 days from service of the
TRO on the party or person sought to be enjoined when he expressly made the TRO
effective until further orders from him.



G.R. No. 159508, 29 August 2012

Facts: Petitioner as counsel of Ramos entered into a compromise agreement with

Gomez to terminate the case involving the rescission of their contract to sell. One of the
stipulations of the compromise agreement was for Ramos to execute a deed of absolute
sale in favor of Gomez respecting the parcel of land. However, Ramos failed to cause
the registration of the deed of absolute sale. Accordingly, the Estate of Gomez brought a
complaint for specific performance against Ramos and the petitioner in the RTC which
the latter dismissed. However, the estate of Gomez commenced a civil case to revive the
judgement by compromise. Petitioner moved for the dismissal of the case which the
latter affirmed. However, the RTC reversed itself upon the motion of the Estate of

Held: It has been held that there is no substantial difference between an action
expressly called one for revival of judgment and an action for recovery of property
under a right adjudged under and evidenced by a final judgment. In addition, the
parties themselves have treated the complaint as one for revival. Accordingly, the
parties should be fully heard on their respective claims like in any other independent
action. At any rate, the mere lapse of the period per se did not render the judgment stale
within the context of the law on prescription, for events that effectively suspended the
running of the period of limitation might have intervened.



G.R. No. 176951, 12 April 2011
Second Motion for Reconsideration

Facts: The petitioners anchor their Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration upon the
primordial ground that the Court could no longer modify, alter, or amend its judgment
declaring the Cityhood Laws unconstitutional due to such judgment having long
become final and executory. They submit that the Cityhood Laws violated Section 6 and
Section 10 of Article X of the Constitution, as well as the Equal Protection Clause.

Held: The Court denies the Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration for its lack of
merit. A second motion for reconsideration is not considered a prohibited pleading
when the court votes and acts on it, the same having the effect of allowing the second
Motion for Reconsideration.



G.R. No. 176951, 28 June 2011
Second Motion for Reconsideration

Facts: The motion for reconsideration seeks the reconsideration, reversal or setting aside
of the resolution of April 12, 2011.

Held: The court has firmly held that a second motion for reconsideration is a prohibited
pleading, and only for extraordinarily persuasive reasons and only after an express
leave has been first obtained may a second motion for reconsideration be entertained.



G.R. No. 158239, 25 January 2012

Facts: Respondent commenced an action for specific performance, injunction and

damages against petitioner after the latter refused to comply with the undertaking to
cause the registration of the properties under the Torrens system. Petitioner filed a
motion to dismiss which the RTC dismissed. However, upon her motion for
reconsideration, the RTC reversed itself. Accordingly, Javellana filed a notice of appeal
after the RTC denied his Motion for Reconsideration.

Held: The Court has held that an appeal from an order denying a motion for
reconsideration of a final order or judgment is effectively an appeal from the final order
or judgment itself; and has expressly clarified that the prohibition against appealing an
order denying a motion for reconsideration referred only to a denial of a motion for
reconsideration of an interlocutory order.



G.R. No. 154213 August 23, 2012
Facts: The petitioners filed against respondents a complaint for disciplinary action
based on breach of discipline and for the reimbursement of the wage increases in the
POEA. During the pendency of the administrative complaint in the POEA, Republic Act
No. 8042 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995) took effect. On May 23,
1996, the POEA dismissed the complaint for disciplinary action. Not satisfied,
petitioners moved for reconsideration, but the NLRC denied their motion.

Held: It is clear to us, therefore, that the NLRC had no appellate jurisdiction to review
the decision of the POEA in disciplinary cases involving overseas contract workers.
Petitioners position that Republic Act No. 8042 should not be applied retroactively to
the review of the POEAs decision dismissing their complaint against respondents has
no support in jurisprudence. Although, as a rule, all laws are prospective in application
unless the contrary is expressly provided, or unless the law is procedural or curative in
nature, there is no serious question about the retroactive applicability of Republic Act
No. 8042 to the appeal of the POEAs decision on petitioners disciplinary action against
respondents. In a way, Republic Act No. 8042 was a procedural law due to its providing
or omitting guidelines on appeal.



G.R. No. 164255, 7 September 2011

Facts: The RTC in a Special proceeding issued an order ruling that a property of the
estate sold to the petitioners be divided in two equal portions between the petitioners
and respondents. RTC affirmed the order. The petitioners filed a notice of appeal and,
later on, a record on appeal, but the respondents moved to dismiss their appeal. The
RTC granted the motion to dismiss and the petitioners moved for reconsideration of the
dismissal, but the RTC denied the motion for reconsideration.

Held: The party who intends to appeal must always comply with the procedures and
rules governing appeals, or else the right of appeal may be lost or squandered. The right
to appeal is a mere statutory privilege and should be exercised only in the manner
prescribed by law. The perfection of an appeal within the period laid down by law is
mandatory and jurisdictional, because the failure to perfect the appeal within the time
prescribed by the rules of court causes the judgment or final order to become final as to
preclude the appellate court from acquiring the jurisdiction to review the judgement or
final order.



G.R. No. 156995, 12 January 2015
Appeal in Unlawful Detainer and Forcible Entry cases

Facts: The petitioners contend that the RTC had authority to receive additional evidence
on appeal in an ejectment case because it was not absolutely confined to the records of
the trial in resolving the appeal; that the respondents were estopped from assailing the
relocation and verification survey ordered by the RTC because they had actively
participated in the survey and had even cross-examined Engr. Limpin, the surveyor
tasked to conduct the survey; that Engr. Limpins testimony must be given credence,
honoring the well-entrenched principle of regularity in the performance of official
functions; that the RTC did not conduct a trial de novo by ordering the relocation and
verification survey and hearing the testimony of the surveyor; that the desirability of
the relocation and verification survey had always been part of the proceedings even
before the case was appealed to the RTC; that, in any case, the peculiar events that
transpired justified the RTCs order to conduct a relocation and verification survey; that
the case, because it involved encroachment into anothers property, qualified as an
ejectment case that was within the jurisdiction of the MTC; and that the respondents
were barred by laches for never questioning the RTCs 11 February 1999 ruling on the
issue of jurisdiction.

In contrast, the respondents assail the relocation and verification survey ordered by the
RTC as immaterial, because (a) it could not vest a right of possession or ownership; (b)
the petitioners were mere claimants, not the owners of the property; (c) the petitioner
had never been in possession of the area in question; and (d) cadastral surveys were not
reliable. Hence, they maintain that whether or not the relocation and verification survey
was considered would not alter the outcome of the case.

Held: The RTC, in an appeal of the judgment in an ejectment case, shall not conduct a
rehearing or trial de novo. In the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, the RTC shall
decide the appeal of the judgment of the MTC in unlawful detainer or forcible entry
cases on the basis of the entire record of the proceedings had in the court of origin and
such memoranda and/or briefs as may be required by the RTC. The RTC violated the
foregoing rule by ordering the conduct of the relocation and verification survey in aid
of its appellate jurisdiction and by hearing the testimony of the surveyor, for its doing
so was tantamount to its holding of a trial de novo. The violation was accented by the
fact that the RTC ultimately decided the appeal based on the survey and the surveyors
testimony instead of the record of the proceedings had in the court of origin.



G.R. No. 197291, 3 April 2013
Special Civil Actions; Mandamus

Facts: In the joint resolution issued on 5 February 2010, the Panel of Prosecutors
charged 196 individuals with multiple murder in relation to the Maguindanao
massacre. One Kenny Dalandag, was admitted into the Witness Protection Program of
the Department of Justice (DOJ) and was later on listed as one of the prosecution
witness. On 14 October 2010, petitioner, through counsel, request the inclusion of
Dalandag in the information for murder considering that Dalandag had already
confessed his participation in the massacre through his two sworn declarations.
Petitioner reiterated the request twice on 22 October 2010 and 2 November 2010, but
DOJ Secretary De Lima denied petitioners request. Accordingly, on 7 December 2010,
petitioner brought a petition for mandamus in the RTC Manila seeking to compel
respondents to charge Dalandag as another accused in the various murder cases
undergoing trial in the QC RTC. The RTC Manila set a pre-trial conference and issued a
pre-trial order. The respondents questioned the propriety of the conduct of a trial in a
proceeding for mandamus. Petitioner opposed. On 27 June 2011, the RTC Manila issued
the assailed order in Civil Case No. 10-124777 dismissing the petition for mandamus.

Held: The prosecution of crimes pertains to the Executive Department of the

Government whose principal power and responsibility are to see to it that our laws are
faithfully executed. A necessary component of the power to execute our laws is the
right to prosecute their violators. The right to prosecute vests the public prosecutors
with a wide range of discretion the discretion of what and whom to charge, the
exercise of which depends on a smorgasbord of factors that are best appreciated by the
public prosecutors. In matters involving the exercise of judgment and discretion,
mandamus may only be resorted to in order to compel respondent tribunal,
corporation, board, officer or person to take action, but it cannot be used to direct the
manner or the particular way discretion is to be exercised, or to compel the retraction
or reversal of an action already taken in the exercise of judgment or discretion. As such,
respondent Secretary of Justice may be compelled to act on the letter-request of
petitioner, but may not be compelled to act in a certain way such as to grant or deny
such letter-request.



734 SCRA 495, 9 September 2014
Special Civil Actions; Certiorari; Motion for Reconsideration as an indispensable

Facts: Elsie Causing assumed office as the Municipal Civil Registrar of Barotac Nuevo,
Iloilo. Mayor Biron issued Memorandum No. 12, Series of 2010 (Office Order No. 12),
commanding for the detailing of Causing at the Office of the Municipal Mayor. Causing
filed the complaint and claimed that the issuance made by Mayor Biron, ordering her
detail to the Office of the Municipal Mayor, being made within the election period and
without prior authority from the COMELEC, was illegal and violative of Section 1,
Paragraph A, No. 1, in connection with Section 6 (B) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8737.
Mayor Biron countered that the purpose of transferring the office of Causing was to
closely supervise the performance of her functions after complaints regarding her
negative behavior in dealing with her co-employees and with the public transacting
business in her office. The Provincial Election Supervisor recommended the dismissal of
the complaint-affidavit for lack of probable cause. COMELEC En Banc affirmed the
findings and recommendation of the Provincial Election Supervisor. Thereafter,
Causing filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court.

Held: The well-established rule is that the motion for reconsideration is an

indispensable condition before an aggrieved party can resort to the special civil action
for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. The filing of the motion for
reconsideration before the resort to certiorari will lie is intended to afford to the public
respondent the opportunity to correct any actual or fancied error attributed to it by way
of re- examination of the legal and factual aspects of the case.

Causing should have filed the motion for reconsideration, especially because there was
nothing in the COMELEC Rules of Procedure that precluded the filing of the motion for
reconsideration in election offense cases. Accordingly, the petition must be dismissed.



G.R. No. 165223, 11 January 2016
Special Civil Actions; Certiorari; Exceptional circumstances that excused the non-
filing of the motion for reconsideration

Facts: Petitioner Garcia, in his capacity as the president and general manager of GSIS,
issued a memorandum formally charging respondent Molina with grave misconduct,
and suspending him for 60 days. Respondent instituted in the Court of Appeals a
special civil action for certiorari to challenge the legality of the memorandum. The CA
granted respondents petition and nullified the memorandum. Petitioner, in his petition
for review on certiorari, contended that the CA erred in failing to appreciate and apply
the principle of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies in giving due course to the
petition of the petitioner.

Ruling: Respondent was not strictly bound by the rule on exhaustion of administrative
remedies. His failure to file the motion for reconsideration did not justify the immediate
dismissal of the petition for certiorari, for the Supreme Court has recognized certain
exceptional circumstances that excused his non-filing of the motion for reconsideration.
Among the exceptional circumstances are the following, namely:

(1) when there is a violation of due process;

(2) when the issue involved is purely a legal question;
(3) when the administrative action is patently iilegal and amounts to lack or
excess of jurisdiction;
(4) when there is estoppel on the part of the administrative agency concerned;
(5) when there is irreparable injury;
(6) when the respondent is a Department Secretary whose acts, as an alter ego of
the President, bears the implied and assumed approval of the latter;
(7) when to require exhaustion of administrative remedies would be
(8) when it would amount to a nullification of a claim;
(9) when the subject matter is a private land in land case proceedings;
(10) when the rule does not provide a plain, speedy and adequate remedy;
(11) when there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention,
and unreasonable delay would greatly prejudice the complainant;
(12) when no administrative review is provided by law;
(13) where the rule of qualified political agency applies; and
(14) when the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies has been
rendered moot.
Considering that the matter brought to the CA whether the act complained against
justified the filing of the formal charge for grave misconduct and the imposition of
preventive suspension pending investigation was a purely legal question due to the
factual antecedents of the case not being in dispute. Hence, the respondent had no need
to exhaust the available administrative remedy of filing the motion for reconsideration.



G.R. No. 213525, 27 January 2015
Special Civil Actions; Certiorari under Rule 64; Inapplicability of the Fresh Period

Facts: Respondent Provincial Government of Antique and petitioner executed a

memorandum of agreement concerning the life insurance coverage of qualified
barangay secretaries, treasurers and tanod. The COA-Antique disallowed the payment
for lack of legal basis under the Local Government Code. The petitioner filed its petition
for money claim, but the COA denied the petition stating that in accordance with the
Local Government Code, only the municipal or city governments are expressly vested
with the power to secure group insurance coverage. Having denied the motion for
reconsideration, the petitioner filed a petition for certiorari, but the same as later denied
due to (a) the late filing of the petition; (b) the non-submission of the proof of service
and verified declaration; and (c) the failure to show grave abuse of discretion on the
part of the respondents.

It must be stressed that petitioner filed its motion for reconsideration on 14 January
2013, which was 31 days after receiving the assailed decision of the COA on December
14, 2012. Petitioner received the notice of the denial on 14 July 2014.


On late filing of the petition: The petitioner posits that the fresh period rule applies
because its Rule 64 petition is akin to a petition for review brought under Rule 42 of the
Rules of Court. Hence, conformably with the fresh period rule, the period to file a Rule
64 petition should also be reckoned from the receipt of the order denying the motion for
reconsideration or the motion for new trial.

The petitioners position cannot be sustained. There is no parity between the petition for
review under Rule 42 and the petition for certiorari under Rule 64. The reglementary
periods under Rule 42 and Rule 64 are different. In the former, the aggrieved party is
allowed 15 days to file the petition for review from receipt of the assailed decision or
final order, or from receipt of the denial of a motion for new trial or reconsideration. In
the latter, the petition is filed within 30 days from notice of the judgment or final order
or resolution sought to be reviewed. The filing of a motion for new trial or
reconsideration, if allowed under the procedural rules of the Commission concerned,
interrupts the period; hence, should the motion be denied, the aggrieved party may file
the petition within the remaining period, which shall not be less than five days in any
event, reckoned from the notice of denial.

The belated filing of the petition for certiorari under Rule 64 on the belief that the fresh
period rule should apply was fatal to the recourse. Petitioner filed its motion for
reconsideration on 14 January 2013, which was 31 days after receiving the assailed
decision of the COA on 14 December 2012. Pursuant to Section 3 of Rule 64, it had only
five days from receipt of the denial of its motion for reconsideration to file the petition.
Considering that it received the notice of the denial on 14 July 2014, it had only until 19
July 2014 to file the petition. However, it filed the petition on 13 August 2014, which
was 25 days too late.

On non-submission of proof of service: Section 13 thus requires that if the service is

done by registered mail, proof of service shall consist of the affidavit of the person
effecting the mailing and the registry receipt, both of which must be appended to the
paper being served. Here, the petition for certiorari only carried the affidavit of service
executed by one Marcelino T. Pascua, Jr., who declared that he had served copies of the
petition by registered mail. However, the petition only bore the cut print-outs of what
appeared to be the registry receipt numbers of the registered matters, not the registry
receipts themselves. The rule requires to be appended the registry receipts, not their
reproductions. Hence, the cut print-outs did not substantially comply with the rule.

On failure to show grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondents: The
petition for certiorari did not sufficiently disclose how the COA committed grave abuse
of its discretion. Grave abuse of discretion implies such capricious and whimsical
exercise of judgment as to be equivalent to lack or excess of jurisdiction. In the case at
bar, the supposed delays taken by the COA in deciding the appeal were neither
arbitrary nor whimsical on its part. Secondly, the mere terseness of the denial of the
motion for reconsideration was not a factor in demonstrating an abuse of discretion.
And, lastly, it was the COA Commissioners adjudication that had any value and
decisiveness on the issues by virtue of their being the Constitutional officials entrusted
with the authority for that purpose.


G.R. No. 164974, 5 August 2015
Special Civil Actions; Impleading a Party in a Petition for Certiorari

Facts: Respondent Judge issued a search warrant against the petitioner upon the
application of respondent Special Investigator on the basis of finding of probable cause
for violation of Section 2 (b) of B.P. Blg. 33 for hoarding large quantities of liquefied
petroleum gas (LPG) in steel cylinders belonging to respondent Pryce Gases, Inc.
Petitioner presented his Omnibus Motion to Quash Warrant and /or Suppress Evidence
and to Order Return of Seized Items, raising therein the lack of probable cause. The
respondent Judge denied the petitioners Omnibus Motion to Quash Warrant and /or
Suppress Evidence and to Order Return of Seized Items contending that he issued such
warrant due to finding of probable cause. CA dismissed the petition for certiorari for
failure to implead the People of the Philippines as respondents.

Held: The SC held that impleading the People of the Philippines in the petition
for certiorari did not depend on whether or not an actual criminal action had already
been commenced in court against the petitioner. It cannot be denied that the search
warrant in question had been issued in the name of the People of the Philippines, and
that fact rendered the People of the Philippines indispensable parties in the special civil
action for certiorari brought to nullify the questioned orders of respondent Presiding
Judge. Impleading is further expressly demanded in Section 3, Rule 46 of the Rules of
Court. The failure of the petitioner to comply with any of the foregoing requirements
shall be sufficient ground for the dismissal of the petition.



G.R. No. 160399, 9 December 2015
Special Civil Actions; Certiorari

Facts: The DOTC issued Department Order No. 2002-31 which authorizes Private
Emission Testing Centers (PETC) taking into consideration the vehicle population
expected to be serviced in the area. JPV Motor Emission Testing Center, a partnership
authorized to operate a PETC in Iloilo City was granted a capacity of four lanes that
could cater to 15, 000 motor vehicles per lane for the capacity of 60, 000 motor vehicles.
At the time JPV filed the complaint in Civil Case No. 03-27648 to prevent the petitioner
from acting on the pending application for the operation of another PETC in Iloilo City,
JPV averred that there was no need for another PETC because it already had the
capability to serve all the registered motor vehicles in Iloilo City. The petitioner
contested the injunctive relief being sought by JPV, insisting that such relief is issued,
would result into a monopoly on the part of JPV in the operation of a PETC.

RTC granted the application of JPV for the writ of preliminary injunction. Petitioner
moved for reconsideration but the RTC issued an order denying petitioners Motion for
Reconsideration. The petitioner has come directly to the Court on certiorari to challenge
the orders of the RTC.

Held: The Court granted the petition for certiorari. 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 refrain from a particular act or
acts. Its essential role is preservative of the rights of the parties in order to protect the
ability of the court to render a meaningful decision. Another essential role is preventive
of the threats to cause irreparable harm or injury to a party before the litigation could be
resolved. Generally, injunction, being a preservative remedy for the protection of
substantive rights or interests, is not a cause of action in itself but merely a provisional
remedy, an adjunct to a main suit. It is resorted to only when there is a pressing
necessity to avoid injurious consequences that cannot be redressed under any standard
of compensation.
Section 3, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court set the guidelines for when the issuance of a writ
of preliminary injunction is justified, namely: (a) when the applicant is entitled to the
relief demanded, and the whole or part of such relief consists in restraining the
commission or continuance of the act or acts complained of, or in requiring the
performance of an act or acts, either for a limited period or perpetually; or (b) when the
commission, continuance or non-performance of the act or acts complained of during
the litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant; or (c) when a party, court,
agency or a person is doing, threatening, or is attempting to do, or is procuring or
suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in violation of the rights of the applicant
respecting the subject of the action or proceeding, and tending to render the judgment

Such granting of JPV's application already amounted to the virtual acceptance of JPV's
alleged entitlement to preventing the petitioner from considering and passing upon the
applications of other parties like Grahar to operate their own PETC in Iloilo City. The
granting amounted to the prejudgment of the merits of the case, something the RTC
could not validly do. It apparently forgot that the function of the writ of preliminary
injunction was not to determine the merits of the case, or to decide controverted facts,
because an interlocutory injunction was but a preliminary and preparatory order that still
looked to a future final hearing, and, although contemplating what the result of that
hearing would be, it should not settle what the result should be. Under the
circumstances, the challenged orders of the RTC were undeniably tainted with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.



765 SCRA 18, 5 August 2015
Special Civil Actions

Facts: Before RTC of La Union was an action for partition and damages involving
twelve parcels of land. Eight was in the name of Toribio Oribello, two in the names of
Toribio and Rosenda Oribello, one in the names of Toribio and and Berlinda Padilla
Oribello, and one in the names of Toribio and Ma. Emilia Oribello. Toribio was twice
married. His first wife was Emilia. Toribio's marriage to Emilia was dissolved pursuant
to the decision of the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, U.S.A.
Toribio married appellee before the municipal mayor of Agoo, La Union. He died
intestate on August 18, 1993. Instituted on May 27, 1997 by Remedios Oribello,
represented by her natural father Alfredo Selga, against appellee, the action was
anchored on the theory that appellant is an adopted daughter of Toribio. Denying that
appellant is an adopted daughter of Toribio, appellee averred in her answer that the
decree of adoption was fraudulently secured by Alfredo. RTC rendered its Judgment
after trial. CA vacated and remanded the case to the lower court.

Held: The proceeding under Rule 69 of the Rules of Court is a judicial controversy
between persons who, being co-owners or coparceners of common property, seek to
secure a division or partition thereof among themselves, giving to each one of them the
part corresponding to him. The object of partition is to enable those who own property
as joint tenants, or co-owners, or tenants in common to put an end to the joint tenancy
so as to vest in each a sole estate in specific property or an allotment in the lands or
tenements. To accord with the nature of the remedy of judicial partition, there are two
stages defined under Rule 69 of the Rules of Court. The first relates to the determination
of the rights of the parties to the property held in common. The second concerns the
physical segregation of each party's just share in the property held in common. The
second stage need not be gone into should the parties agree on the physical partition



G.R. No. 159941, 17 August 2011

Facts: The petitioners filed an action for quieting of title and reconveyance in the RTC.
The respondents filed a motion to dismiss, which the RTC granted. The petitioners then
timely filed a Motion for Reconsideration, but the RTC denied their motion. The
petitioners assailed the dismissal via petition for certiorari but the CA dismissed the

Held: The availability of appeal as a remedy does not constitute sufficient ground to
prevent or preclude a party from making use of certiorari if appeal is not an adequate
remedy, or an equally beneficial, or speedy remedy. Verily, the instances in which
certiorari will issue cannot be defined, because to do so is to destroy the
comprehensiveness and usefulness of the extraordinary writ.



G.R. No. 177780, 25 January 2012
Criminal Procedure; Determination of Probable Cause

Facts: Tobias opened a savings/current account for and in the name of Adam
Merchandising, his frozen meat business in the METROBANK Branch in Valero,
Makati. Six months later, Tobias applied for a loan from METROBANK, which in due
course conducted trade and credit verification of Tobias that resulted in negative
findings. METROBANK next proceeded to appraise the property Tobias offered as
collateral by asking him for a photocopy of the title and other related documents. The
property consisted of four parcels of land located in Malabon City, Metro Manila.
Thereafter, the Lead Internal Affairs Investigator of METROBANK proceeded to the
Registry of Deeds of Malabon to cause the annotation of the deed of real estate
mortgage on TCT No. M-16751. Tobias later defaulted and thus, the mortgage was
foreclosed, and the property was sold to METROBANK as the lone bidder and a
certificate of sale was issued in favor of METROBANK. However when the certificate of
sale was presented for registration to the Registry of Deeds of Malabon, no
corresponding original copy of TCT No. M-16751 was found in the registry vault. Given
such findings, METROBANK requested the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task
Force (PAOCTF) to investigate. In its report, PAOCTF concluded that TCT No. M-16751
and the tax declarations submitted by Tobias were fictitious. PAOCTF recommended
the filing against Tobias of a criminal complaint for estafa through falsification of public
documents under paragraph 2 (a) of Article 315, in relation to Articles 172(1) and 171(7)
of the Revised Penal Code. After the finding of probable cause, Tobias appealed to the
Department of Justice (DOJ) which was granted thus this petition for review.

Held: Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the courts have no right to directly
decide matters over which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the
Executive Branch of the Government, or to substitute their own judgments for that of
the Executive Branch, represented in this case by the Department of Justice. The settled
policy is that the courts will not interfere with the executive determination of probable
cause for the purpose of filing information, in the absence of grave abuse of
discretion. Moreover, METROBANK urges the application of the presumption of
authorship against Tobias based on his having offered the duplicate copy of the
spurious title to secure the loan; and posits that there is no requirement that the
presumption shall apply only when there is absence of a valid explanation from the
person found to have possessed, used and benefited from the forged document.
However, the presumption that whoever possesses or uses a spurious document is its
forger applies only in the absence of a satisfactory explanation. Accordingly, we cannot
hold that the Secretary of Justice erred in dismissing the information in the face of the
controverting explanation by Tobias showing how he came to possess the spurious
document. Much less can we consider the dismissal as done with abuse of discretion,
least of all grave.



G.R. No. 205972 & G.R. NO. 164352, 9 November 2016
Criminal Procedure; Determination of Probable Cause; Prejudicial question

Facts: In G.R. No. 164352, Caterpillar posits, among others, that the suspension of
proceedings in Criminal Cases Nos. 02-238 to 02-243 was contrary to Rule 111 of the
Rules of Court, Article 33 of the Civil Code on independent civil actions, and Section
170 of the IP Code, which specifically provides that the criminal penalties for unfair
competition were independent of the civil and administrative sanctions imposed by
law; and that the determination of the lawful owner of the "CATERPILLAR" trademark
in Civil Case No. Q-00-41446 would not be decisive of the guilt of Samson for unfair
competition in Criminal Cases Nos. 02-238 to 02-243 because registration was not an
element of the crime of unfair competition.

Meanwhile, in G.R. No. 205972, Caterpillar insists that it presented substantial evidence
to warrant a finding of probable cause for unfair competition against Samson.


G.R. No. 164352: Civil Case No. Q-00-41446, the civil case filed by Caterpillar in the RTC
in Quezon City, was for unfair competition, damages and cancellation of trademark,
while Criminal Cases Nos. Q-02-108043-44 were the criminal prosecution of Samson for
unfair competition. A common element of all such cases for unfair competition civil
and criminal was fraud. Under Article 33 of the Civil Code, a civil action entirely
separate and distinct from the criminal action may be brought by the injured party in
cases of fraud, and such civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal
prosecution. In view of its being an independent civil action, Civil Case No. Q-00-41446
did not operate as a prejudicial question that justified the suspension of the proceedings
in Criminal Cases Nos. Q-02-108043-44.

An action for the cancellation of trademark like Civil Case No. Q-00-41446 is a remedy
available to a person who believes that he is or will be damaged by the registration of a
mark. On the other hand, the criminal actions for unfair competition (Criminal Cases
Nos. Q-02-108043-44) involved the determination of whether or not Samson had given
his goods the general appearance of the goods of Caterpillar, with the intent to deceive
the public or defraud Caterpillar as his competitor. In the suit for the cancellation of
trademark, the issue of lawful registration should necessarily be determined, but
registration was not a consideration necessary in unfair competition. Indeed, unfair
competition is committed if the effect of the act is "to pass off to the public the goods of
one man as the goods of another;" it is independent of registration. Clearly, the
determination of the lawful ownership of the trademark in the civil action was not
determinative of whether or not the criminal actions for unfair competition shall
proceed against Samson.

G.R. No. 205972: The courts could intervene in the determination of probable cause only
through the special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, not by
appeal through the petition for review under Rule 43. Thus, the CA could not reverse or
undo the findings and conclusions on probable cause by the Secretary of Justice except
upon clear demonstration of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction committed by the Secretary of Justice.

Even discounting the technicalities as to consider Caterpillar's petition for review as one
brought under Rule 65, the recourse must still fail. The determination of probable cause
to charge a person in court for a criminal offense is exclusively lodged in the Executive
Branch of the Government, through the Department of Justice. Initially, the
determination is done by the investigating public prosecutor, and on review by the
Secretary of Justice or his duly authorized subordinate. The courts will respect the
determination, unless the same shall be shown to have been made in grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.



G.R. No. 168157, 19 August 2015
Criminal Procedure; Determination of Probable Cause

Facts: By petition for certiorari, the complainant assails the resolution issued on 30
August 2004 dismissing for lack of probable cause the criminal complaint he had filed
on 27 February 2003 in the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon charging
respondent Adonis C. Cleofe, Acting Registrar of Deeds of Batangas City, with violation
of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act),
docketed as OMB-L-C-04-0292-C. The dismissal of the charge had been recommended
by Floriza A. Briones, Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer II of the Office of the
Ombudsman; endorsed by Director Emilio A. Gonzales, III, CESO III; and approved by
respondent Victor C. Fernandez, as Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon

Held: The public respondents, in dismissing the charge against Atty. Cleofe, did not
gravely abuse their discretion. The Office of the Ombudsman found the evidence
against him to be insufficient to support a finding of probable cause to charge him.
Undoubtedly, he was a public officer discharging official functions, an essential element
of the crime of violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019. However, the other
elements of the crime, specifically: that the accused must have acted with manifest
partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence; and that his acts
complained of caused any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or
gave any private party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge
of his functions were not shown to be present.

The discretion of the Office of the Ombudsman in the determination of probable cause
to charge a respondent public official or employee cannot be interfered with in the
absence of a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of



G.R. No. 166414, 22 October 2014
Criminal Procedure; Motion to Quash

Facts: Petitioners Godofredo Enrile and Dr. Frederick Enrile come to the Court on
appeal, seeking to reverse and undo the adverse resolutions whereby the CA dismissed
their petition for certiorari and prohibition (questioning the dismissal of their petition
for certiorari by the RTC to assail the denial of their motions to quash the two
informations charging them with less serious physical injuries), and denied their
motion for reconsideration anent such dismissal.

Held: The remedy against the denial of a motion to quash is for the movant accused to
enter a plea, go to trial, and should the decision be adverse, reiterate on appeal from the
final judgment and assign as error the denial of the motion to quash. The denial, being
an interlocutory order, is not appealable, and may not be the subject of a petition for
certiorari because of the availability of other remedies in the ordinary course of law.



646 SCRA 599, 30 March 2011
Criminal Procedure; Evidence; Admissions
Facts: Sometime in 1996, a spot-audit was conducted in the branch by manually
counting the money in each of the tellers cash boxes. Asked about the shortage of
$10,000, appellant explained that there was a withdrawal of $10,000 in December 1995
after the cut-off time. The accused subsequently wrote a letter to the President of the
bank and confessed that she gave the $10,000 to a person because her family was being
threatened. The accused, a teller of complainant was charged with qualified theft. The
RTC and CA convicted the accused.

Held: The letter was not an extrajudicial confession but a voluntary party admission
under Section 26, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court that was admissible against her. An
admission, if voluntary, is admissible against the admitter for the reason that it is fair to
presume that the admission corresponds with the truth, and it is the admitter's fault if
the admission does not. By virtue of its being made by the party himself, an admission
is competent primary evidence against the admitter. Worth pointing out is that the
letter was not a confession due to its not expressly acknowledging the guilt of the
accused for qualified theft. Under Section 30, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, a
confession is a declaration of an accused acknowledging guilt for the offense charged,
or for any offense necessarily included therein.



G.R. No. 213847, 18 August 2015
Criminal Procedure; Bail

Facts: Enrile assailed the Sandiganbayans Resolutions, denying his Motion to Fix Bail.
He claimed that before judgment of conviction, an accused is entitled to bail as matter
of right; that it is the duty and burden of the Prosecution to show clearly and
conclusively that he comes under the exception and cannot be excluded from enjoying
the right to bail; that the Prosecution has failed to establish that he, if convicted of
plunder, is punishable by reclusion perpetua considering the presence of two mitigating
circumstances his age and his voluntary surrender; that the Prosecution has not come
forward with proof showing that his guilt for the crime of plunder is strong; and that he
should not be considered a flight risk taking into account that he is already over the age
of 90, his medical condition, and his social standing.

Held: Enriles poor health justifies his admission to bail. Enrile has averred in his
Motion to Fix Bail the presence of two mitigating circumstances that should be
appreciated in his favor, namely: that he was already over 70 years at the time of the
alleged commission of the offense, and that he voluntarily surrendered.

Bail for the provisional liberty of the accused, regardless of the crime charged, should
be allowed independently of the merits of the charge, provided his continued
incarceration is clearly shown to be injurious to his health or to endanger his life.
Indeed, denying Enrile bail despite imperiling his health and life would not serve the
true objective of preventive incarceration during the trial. It is relevant to observe that
granting provisional liberty to Enrile will then enable him to have his medical condition
be properly addressed and better attended to by competent physicians in the hospitals
of his choice. This will not only aid in his adequate preparation of his defense but, more
importantly, will guarantee his appearance in court for the trial. On the other hand, to
mark time in order to wait for the trial to finish before a meaningful consideration of the
application for bail can be had is to defeat the objective of bail, which is to entitle the
accused to provisional liberty pending the trial.



A.M. No. RTJ-04-1845, 5 October 2011
Criminal Procedure; Bail

Facts: Judge Infante issued twin orders granting, one granting bail to Ancheta, and
another releasing Ancheta from custody. Atty. Gacal, upon learning of the twin orders
issued by Judge Infante, filed a so-called Very Urgent Motion For Reconsideration
And/Or To Cancel Bailbond With Prayer To Enforce Warrant Of Arrest Or Issue
Warrant Of Arrest Anew Or In The Alternative Very Urgent Motion For This Court To
Motu Prop[r]io Correct An Apparent And Patent Error. Judge Infante denied Atty.
Gacal's very urgent motion on the ground that the motion was pro forma.

Held: Judge Infante apparently acted as if the requirement for the bail hearing was a
merely minor rule to be dispensed with. Although, in theory, the only function of bail is
to ensure the appearance of the accused at the time set for the arraignment and trial;
and, in practice, bail serves the further purpose of preventing the release of an accused
who may be dangerous to society or whom the judge may not want to release, a hearing
upon notice is mandatory before the grant of bail, whether bail is a matter of right or
discretion. With more reason is this true in criminal prosecutions of a capital offense, or
of an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.



G. R. No. 220598, 19 July 2016
Demurrer to Evidence; Certiorari

Facts: On 10 July 2012, the Ombudsman charged in the Sandiganbayan former

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) and PCSO Budget and Accounts Manager
Aguas and some other officials of PCSO and Commission on Audit whose charges were
later dismissed by the Sandiganbayan after their respective demurrers to evidence were
granted, except for Uriarte and Valdes who were at large, for conspiracy to commit
plunder, as defined by, and penalized under Section 2 (b) of Republic Act (R.A.) No.
7080, as amended by R.A. No. 7659. After the Prosecution rested its case, accused GMA
and Aguas then separately filed their demurrers to evidence asserting that the
Prosecution did not establish a case for plunder against them. The same were denied by
the Sandiganbayan, holding that there was sufficient evidence to show that they had
conspired to commit plunder. After the respective motions for reconsideration filed by
GMA and Aguas were likewise denied by the Sandiganbayan, they filed their
respective petitions for certiorari.
Held: The special civil action for certiorari is generally not proper to assail such an
interlocutory order issued by the trial court because of the availability of another
remedy in the ordinary course of law. Moreover, Section 23, Rule 119 of the Rules of
Court expressly provides that the order denying the motion for leave of court to file
demurrer to evidence or the demurrer itself shall not be reviewable by appeal or by
certiorari before judgment.

It is not an insuperable obstacle to this action, however, that the denial of the demurrers
to evidence of the petitioners was an interlocutory order that did not terminate the
proceedings, and the proper recourse of the demurring accused was to go to trial, and
that in case of their conviction, they may then appeal the conviction, and assign the
denial as among the errors to be reviewed. Indeed, it is doctrinal that the situations in
which the writ of certiorari may issue should not be limited, because to do so x x x
would be to destroy its comprehensiveness and usefulness. So wide is the discretion of
the court that authority is not wanting to show that certiorari is more discretionary than
either prohibition or mandamus. In the exercise of the Supreme Courts superintending
control over other courts, it is to be guided by all the circumstances of each particular
case as the ends of justice may require. So it is that the writ will be granted where
necessary to prevent a substantial wrong or to do substantial justice.

The exercise of this power to correct grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government
cannot be thwarted by rules of procedure to the contrary or for the sake of the
convenience of one side. This is because the Court has the bounden constitutional duty
to strike down grave abuse of discretion whenever and wherever it is committed. Thus,
notwithstanding the interlocutory character and effect of the denial of the demurrers to
evidence, the petitioners as the accused could avail themselves of the remedy of
certiorari when the denial was tainted with grave abuse of discretion.



G.R. No. 170839, 18 January 2012
Criminal procedure; Illegal Possession of Dangerous Drugs

Facts: Accused was charged with a violation of Section 16 of RA 6425. An NBI agent
testified that he received a call from an informant telling him that the security guard of
the condominium apprehended the accused for transporting a suspected shabu. The
accused denied the accusation telling that a non-tenant requested him to bring the box
to someone near Jollibee. The RTC convicted the accused as charged.

Held: It cannot be disputed that Delos Santos had animus possidendi. In a prosecution
for possession of illegal substances, proof of animus possidendi on the part of the
accused is indispensable. But animus possidendi is a state of mind, and is thus to be
determined on a case-to-case basis by taking into consideration the prior and
contemporaneous acts of the accused, as well as the surrounding circumstances. Upon
the States presenting to the trial court of the facts and circumstances from which to
infer the existence of animus possidendi, it becomes incumbent upon the Defense to
rebut the inference with evidence that the accused did not exercise power and control of
the illicit thing in question, and did not intend to do so.



G.R. No. 183700, 13 October 2014
Criminal Procedure; Dangerous Drugs; Confidential Informant

Facts: Bagsit, an asset of the police, reported that he had arranged to buy shabu from
Pablito Andaya. A team was formed to conduct a buy-bust operation. Two pieces of
P100.00 were marked and were given to Bagsit who will act as poseur buyer. Upon
reaching the designated place, the team members occupied different positions where
they could see and observe the asset. After exchange of talks, Bagsit gave Andaya the
marked money and the former received something in return. The pre-arranged signal
signifying the consummation of the transaction was given. The team members then
arrested Andaya. The merchandise was sent to the Regional Crime Laboratory in Camp
Vicente Lim, Laguna and specimen was positive for methampethamine Hydrochloride
(shabu), a dangerous drug.

The Regional Trial Court convicted Andaya for violating Comprehensive Dangerous
Drugs Act of 2002 based on the testimonies of the police officers who conducted the
operation. The decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. On appeal before the
Supreme Court, Andaya insisted that the non-presentation of confidential informant
was adverse to the Prosecution, indicating that his guilt was not proved beyond
reasonable doubt.

Held: The confidential informant was not a police officer. He was designated to be the
poseur buyer himself. It is notable that the members of the buy bust team arrested
Andaya on the basis of the pre-arranged signal from the poseur buyer. The pre-
arranged signal signified to the members of the buy-bust team that the transaction had
been consummated between the poseur buyer and Andaya. However, the State did not
present the confidential informant/poseur buyer during the trial to describe how exactly
the transaction between him and Andaya had taken place. There would have been no
issue against that, except that none of the members of the buy-bust team had directly
witnessed the transaction, if any, between Andaya and the poseur buyer due to their
being positioned at a distance from the poseur buyer and Andaya at the moment of the
supposed transaction.

The non-presentation of the confidential informant as a witness does not ordinarily

weaken the State's case against the accused. However, if the arresting lawmen arrested
the accused based on the pre-arranged signal from the confidential informant who
acted as the poseur buyer, his nonpresentation must be credibly explained and the
transaction established by other ways in order to satisfy the quantum of proof beyond
reasonable doubt because the arresting lawmen did not themselves participate in the
buy-bust transaction with the accused.


705 SCRA 38, 4 September 2013
Criminal Procedure; Prejudicial Questions

Facts: San Miguel, a domestic corporation engaged in the real estate business,
purchased 130 residential lots from B.F. Homes, Inc, then represented by Atty.
Orendain. The transactions were embodied in three separate deeds of sale. The TCTs
covering the lots bought under the first and second deeds were fully delivered to San
Miguel Properties, but 20 TCTs covering 20 of the 41 parcels of land with a total area of
15,565 square meters purchased under the third deed of sale, executed in April 1993 and
for which San Miguel Properties paid the full price of P39,122,627.00, were not
delivered to San Miguel Properties. BF Homes claimed that it withheld the delivery of
the 20 TCTs for parcels of land purchased under the third deed of sale because Atty.
Orendain had ceased to be its rehabilitation receiver. BF Homes refused to deliver the
20 TCTs despite demands. Thus, San Miguel Properties filed a complaint-affidavit in
the Office of the City Prosecutor of Las Pias City charging respondent directors and
officers of BF Homes with non-delivery of titles in violation of Section 25, in relation to
Section 39, both of Presidential Decree No. 957. At the same time, San Miguel Properties
sued BF Homes for specific performance in the HLURB (HLURB Case No. REM-082400-
11183), praying to compel BF Homes to release the 20 TCTs in its favor.

Held: Action for specific performance, even if pending in the HLURB, an administrative
agency, raises a prejudicial question. A prejudicial question is understood in law to be
that which arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue
involved in the criminal case, and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal.
It is determinative of the criminal case, but the jurisdiction to try and resolve it is lodged
in another court or tribunal. It is based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but
is so intimately connected with the crime that it determines the guilt or innocence of the

A prejudicial question need not conclusively resolve the guilt or innocence of the
accused. It is enough for the prejudicial question to simply test the sufficiency of the
allegations in the information in order to sustain the further prosecution of the criminal
case. A party who raises a prejudicial question is deemed to have hypothetically
admitted that all the essential elements of the crime have been adequately alleged in the
information, considering that the Prosecution has not yet presented a single piece of
evidence on the indictment or may not have rested its case. A challenge to the
allegations in the information on the ground of prejudicial question is in effect a
question on the merits of the criminal charge through a non-criminal suit.

San Miguel Properties (petitioner) further submits that respondents could not validly
raise the prejudicial question as a reason to suspend the criminal proceedings because
respondents had not themselves initiated either the action for specific performance or
the criminal action. xxx The submission is unfounded. The rule on prejudicial question
makes no distinction as to who is allowed to raise the defense. Ubi lex non distinguit nec
nos distinguere debemos. When the law makes no distinction, we ought not to distinguish


G.R. No. L-6972, 29 April 1955

Facts: The accused were tried for and convicted of three counts of murder by the RTC.
On appeal, the CA upheld the RTC subject to modification.

Held: Considering that the CA thereby affirmed the trial courts findings of fact, its
calibration of the testimonies of witnesses and its assessment of their probative weight,
as well as its conclusions, the Court accords high respect, if not conclusive effect, to the
CAs findings. The justification for this is that trial court was in the best position to
assess the credibility of witnesses by virtue of its firsthand observation of the demeanor,
conduct and attitude of the witnesses under grilling examination. It is fundamental that
the question as to who between the accused and the victim was the unlawful aggressor
is a question of fact addressed to the trial court for determination based on the evidence
on record.



G.R. No. 189998, 29 August 2012

Facts: Christian harper was murdered inside his hotel room by unidentified
malefactors. Respondents commenced a suit in the RTC to recover various damages
from petitioner. The RTC ruled in favor of the respondent. The CA affirmed the
judgment of the RTC with modification.

Held: The Court sustained the Cabais petitioners stance that the RTC had apparently
erred in relying on the baptismal certificate to establish filiation, stressing the baptismal
certificates limited evidentiary value as proof of filiation inferior to that of a birth
certificate; and declaring that the baptismal certificate did not attest to the veracity of
the statements regarding the kinsfolk of the one baptized. Nevertheless, the Court
ultimately ruled that it was respondents failure to present the birth certificate, more
than anything else that lost them their case stating that: The unjustified failure to
present the birth certificate instead of the baptismal certificate now under consideration
or to otherwise prove filiation by any other means recognized by law weigh heavily
against respondents.



G.R. No. 167454, 24 September 2014
Evidence; Formal Offer of Evidence

Facts: Petitioner Emeritu C. Barut, a guard of the Philippine National Construction

Corporation (PNCC), was tried for and found guilty of homicide by the RTC. On
appeal, the CA affirmed the conviction of Barut. Barut adverts to the extra-judicial
sworn statement that Villas gave at about 1:00 oclock in the afternoon of September 25,
1995 barely a day following the fatal shooting of Vincent in which he declared not
having seen Barut fire a gun.

Held: Pursuant to Section 34, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, the court could consider
only the evidence that had been formally offered. Towards that end, the offering party
must specify the purpose for which the evidence was being offered. The rule would
ensure the right of the adverse party to due process of law, for, otherwise, the adverse
party would not be put in the position to timely object to the evidence, as well as to
properly counter the impact of evidence not formally offered. Thus, the Villas extra-
judicial sworn statement, which was never offered in evidence, was properly



G.R. No. 184789, 23 February 2015
Evidence; Dangerous Drugs Act; Chain of Custody Rule

Facts: Alagarme was charged with the violation of Sections 5 and 11, Art. II of RA 9165.
She was apprehended during a buy-bust operation conducted by the police and the
Makati Anti-Drug Abuse Council. Alagarme denied selling and possessing shabu,
stating that she was a victim of a frame-up. The RTC convicted her of the two offenses
charged. CA affirmed. SC aquitted Alagarme because of the States failure to prove her
guilt beyond reasonable doubt, since the requirement of marking under the law was not
complied with.

Held: The accused cannot be pronounced guilty of the offense if all the links of the
chain of custody of the drug subject of the illegal sale the corpus delicti itself - are not
shown. The reason is that the drug presented as evidence at the trial is not shown
beyond reasonable doubt that it was the drug subject of the illegal sale. Chain of
Custody means the duly recorded authorized movements and custody of seized drugs
or controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or laboratory equipment of
each stage, from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to
safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. The marking upon seizure serves a
two-fold function, the first being to give to succeeding handlers of the specimens a
reference, and the second being to separate the marked evidence from the corpus of all
other similar or related evidence from the time of seizure from the accused until their
disposition at the end of criminal proceedings, thereby obviating switching, planting,
or contamination of evidence



G.R. No. 173474, 29 Aug 2012
Evidence; Chain of Custody
Facts: Police officers approached the jeep of Belocura and recovered a red plastic bag
under the drivers seat. The Police officers inspect the contents of the red plastic bag
which turned out to be two bricks of marijuana. The RTC convicted Belocura of the
crime charged. The CA affirmed the conviction.

Held: In every criminal prosecution for possession of illegal drugs, the Prosecution
must account for the custody of the incriminating evidence from the moment of seizure
and confiscation until the moment it is offered in evidence. The chain of custody rule
requires that the admission of an exhibit be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a
finding that the matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be The
Prosecution did not establish the links in the chain of custody. This meant that the
corpus delicti was not credibly proved. This further meant that the seizure and
confiscation of the marijuana bricks might easily be open to doubt and suspicion, and
thus the incriminatory evidence would not stand judicial scrutiny.



G.R. No. 164457, 11 April 2012
Evidence; Hearsay

Facts: Petitioner was charged with estafa and pled not guilty to the offense charged. The
RTC, stating that inasmuch as petitioner had opted not to present evidence for her
defense the Prosecutions evidence remained unrefuted and uncontroverted,
rendered its decision finding petitioner guilty of estafa.

Held: Section 36 of Rule 130, Rules of Court, states that a witness can testify only to
those facts that she knows of her personal knowledge; that is, which are derived from
her own perception, except as otherwise provided in the Rules of Court. The personal
knowledge of a witness is a substantive prerequisite for accepting testimonial evidence
that establishes the truth of a disputed fact. A witness bereft of personal knowledge of
the disputed fact cannot be called upon for that purpose because her testimony derives
its value not from the credit accorded to her as a witness presently testifying but from
the veracity and competency of the extrajudicial source of her information. To address
the problem of controlling inadmissible hearsay as evidence to establish the truth in a
dispute while also safeguarding a partys right to cross-examine her adversarys
witness, the Rules of Court offers two solutions. The first solution is to require that all
the witnesses in a judicial trial or hearing be examined only in court under oath or
affirmation. The second solution is to require that all witnesses be subject to the cross-
examination by the adverse party.



G.R. No. 173476 February 22, 2012
Evidence; Res Gestae
Facts: In 1993, Bolanon was stabbed near the sports complex and while on their way to
the hospital Bolanon told Estano that it was Salafranca who had stabbed him. The RTC
convicted Salafranca of the crime charged. The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC.

Held: A declaration or an utterance is deemed as part of the res gestae and thus
admissible in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule when the following requisites
concur, to wit: (a) the principal act, the res gestae, is a startling occurrence; (b) the
statements are made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise; and (c) the
statements must concern the occurrence in question and its immediately attending
circumstances. The test of admissibility of evidence as a part of the res gestae is,
therefore, whether the act, declaration, or exclamation is so intimately interwoven or
connected with the principal fact or event that it characterizes as to be regarded as a
part of the transaction itself, and also whether it clearly negatives any premeditation or
purpose to manufacture testimony.



G.R. No. 159051, 21 September 2011
Cost of suit

Facts: A vehicular accident involving petitioner and respondent occurred in Davao City.
Both vehicles sustained damage. The respondents demanded reimbursement of their
expenses for the repair of their car, but the petitioners, denying liability, refused the
demand. Consequently, the respondents filed a complaint in the MTCC. The MTCC
ruled in favor of the respondents. The RTC and CA affirmed the decision of the MTCC.

Held: In their origin, costs were given rather as a punishment of the defeated party for
causing the litigation than as a recompense to the successful party for the expenses to
which he had been subjected. The right to costs, although ancillary to the judgment, is a
substantive right and not a mere matter of procedure; although it has been held that
costs alone cannot furnish the basis for substantive judgment. The imposition of treble
costs of suit on the petitioners is meant to remind them and their attorney that the
extent that an attorney's exercise of his professional responsibility for their benefit as his
clients submits to reasonable limits beyond which he ought to go no further, and that
his failure to recognize such limits will not be allowed to go unsanctioned by the Court.


A.M. No. 08-19-SB-J, 12 April, 2011

Facts: The complainant filed a complaint charging Justice Ong, Hernandez and
Ponferrada with grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming a justice, and conduct grossly
prejudicial to the interest of service grounded on their failing to hear cases as a collegial
body during the scheduled sessions of the Fourth Division.
Held: The ability of the Fourth Division to function as a collegial body became
impossible when not all of the members sat together during the trial proceedings. The
internal rules of the Sandiganbayan spotlight an instance of such impossibility. Section
2, Rule VII of the Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan expressly requires that
rulings on oral motions made or objections raised in the course of the trial proceedings
or hearings are be made by the Chairman of the Division. Obviously, the rule cannot be
complied with because Justice Ong, the Chairman, did not sit in the hearing of the cases
heard by the other respondents. Neither could the other respondents properly and
promptly contribute to the rulings of Justice Ong in the hearings before him. Moreover,
the respondents' non-observance of collegiality contravened the very purpose of trying
criminal cases cognizable by Sandiganbayan before a Division of all three Justices.