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PRISCILLA ALMA JOSE V.

RAMON JAVELLAN RULING:


G.R. No. 158239 January 25, 2012 I. YES. Denial of the motion for reconsideration of the order of
Margarita Jose sold to respondent Ramon Javellana by deed of dismissal was a final order and appealable
conditional sale two parcels of land located in Bulacan.
Priscilla submits that the order was not the proper subject of an
They agreed that Javellana would pay P80,000.00 upon the appeal considering that Section 1 of Rule 41 of the Rules of Court
execution of the deed and the balance of P80,000.00 upon the provides that no appeal may be taken from an order denying a
registration of the parcels of land under the Torrens System motion for reconsideration.

After Margarita died, the vendors undertaking fell on the shoulders Priscillas submission is erroneous and cannot be sustained.
of Priscilla, being Margaritas sole surviving heir.
First of all, the denial of Javellanas motion for reconsideration left
However, Priscilla did not comply with the undertaking to cause the nothing more to be done by the RTC because it confirmed the
registration of the properties under the Torrens System, and, dismissal. It was clearly a final order, not an interlocutory one. The
instead, began to improve the properties by dumping filling Court has distinguished between final and interlocutory orders in
materials therein with the intention of converting the parcels of land Pahila-Garrido v. Tortogo:
into a residential or industrial subdivision
The distinction between a final order and an interlocutory order is
Faced with Priscillas refusal to comply, Javellana commenced an well known. The first disposes of the subject matter in its entirety or
action for specific performance, injunction, and damages against her terminates a particular proceeding or action, leaving nothing more
to be done except to enforce by execution what the court has
Javellana prayed for the issuance of a TRO or writ of preliminary determined, but the latter does not completely dispose of the case
injunction to restrain Priscilla from dumping filling materials in the but leaves something else to be decided upon. An interlocutory
parcels of land; and that Priscilla be ordered to institute registration order deals with preliminary matters and the trial on the merits is
proceedings and then to execute a final deed of sale in his favor yet to be held and the judgment rendered.

Priscilla filed MTD on the grounds of (1) Prescription; and (2) No And, secondly, whether an order is final or interlocutory determines
cause of action whether appeal is the correct remedy or not. A final order is
appealable, to accord with the final judgment rule enunciated in
RTC denied MTD Section 1, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court to the effect that appeal may
MR: granted MTD be taken from a judgment or final order that completely disposes of
Opining that Javellana had no cause of action against her due to her the case, or of a particular matter therein when declared by these
not being bound to comply with the terms of the deed of conditional Rules to be appealable; but the remedy from an interlocutory one is
sale for not being a party thereto; not an appeal but a special civil action for certiorari.

Javellana’s MR denied The remedy against an interlocutory order not subject of an appeal
Javella: notice of appeal (decision of RTC denying MR)-> CA is an appropriate special civil action under Rule 65, provided that the
interlocutory order is rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction or
It appears that pending the appeal, Javellana also filed a petition for with grave abuse of discretion. Then is certiorari under Rule 65
certiorari in the CA to assail the June 24, 1999 and June 21, 2000 allowed to be resorted to.
orders dismissing his complaint
Indeed, the Court has held that an appeal from an order denying a
Petition for certiorari: denied by CA motion for reconsideration of a final order or judgment is effectively
an appeal from the final order or judgment itself; and has expressly
CA (IN NOTICE OF APPEAL) Remanded the records to the RTC for clarified that the prohibition against appealing an order denying a
further proceedings in accordance with law. motion for reconsideration referred only to a denial of a motion for
reconsideration of an interlocutory order
Decision of CA: There is a cause of action
II. YES. Appeal was made on time pursuant to Neypes v. CA
As to contention that it was filed out of time: Priscilla insists that Javellana filed his notice of appeal out of time.
CA gave due course to the appeal even if filed out of time because She points out that he received a copy of the June 24, 1999 order on
Javellana had no intention to delay the proceedings, as in fact he did July 9, 1999, and filed his motion for reconsideration on July 21,
not even seek an extension of time to file his appellants brief; that 1999 (or after the lapse of 12 days); that the RTC denied his motion
current jurisprudence afforded litigants the amplest opportunity to for reconsideration through the order of June 21, 2000, a copy of
present their cases free from the constraints of technicalities, such which he received on July 13, 2000; that he had only three days from
that even if an appeal was filed out of time, the appellate court was July 13, 2000, or until July 16, 2000, within which to perfect an
given the discretion to nonetheless allow the appeal for justifiable appeal; and that having filed his notice of appeal on July 19, 2000,
reasons. his appeal should have been dismissed for being tardy by three days
beyond the expiration of the reglementary period.
ISSUES:
Section 3 of Rule 41 of the Rules of Court provides:
I. WON the RTC order was appealable Section 3. Period of ordinary appeal. The appeal shall be taken
II. WON appeal was filed on time within fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment or final order
III. WON there is forum shopping appealed from. Where a record on appeal is required, the appellant

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shall file a notice of appeal and a record on appeal within thirty (30) The fresh period rule is a procedural law as it prescribes a fresh
days from notice of the judgment or final order. period of 15 days within which an appeal may be made in the event
The period of appeal shall be interrupted by a timely motion for new that the motion for reconsideration is denied by the lower court.
trial or reconsideration. No motion for extension of time to file a Following the rule on retroactivity of procedural laws, the "fresh
motion for new trial or reconsideration shall be allowed. (n) period rule" should be applied to pending actions, such as the
present case.
Under the rule, Javellana had only the balance of three days from
July 13, 2000, or until July 16, 2000, within which to perfect an Also, to deny herein petitioners the benefit of the fresh period rule
appeal due to the timely filing of his motion for reconsideration will amount to injustice, if not absurdity, since the subject notice of
interrupting the running of the period of appeal. As such, his filing of judgment and final order were issued two years later or in the year
the notice of appeal only on July 19, 2000 did not perfect his appeal 2000, as compared to the notice of judgment and final order in
on time, as Priscilla insists. Neypes which were issued in 1998. It will be incongruous and
illogical that parties receiving notices of judgment and final orders
The seemingly correct insistence of Priscilla cannot be upheld, issued in the year 1998 will enjoy the benefit of the fresh period rule
however, considering that the Court meanwhile adopted the fresh while those later rulings of the lower courts such as in the instant
period rule in Neypes v. Court of Appeals, by which an aggrieved case, will not.
party desirous of appealing an adverse judgment or final order is
allowed a fresh period of 15 days within which to file the notice of Consequently, we rule that Javellanas notice of appeal was timely
appeal in the RTC reckoned from receipt of the order denying a filed pursuant to the fresh period rule.
motion for a new trial or motion for reconsideration, to wit:
III. NO. No forum shopping was committed
The Supreme Court may promulgate procedural rules in all courts. It Priscilla claims that Javellana engaged in forum shopping by filing a
has the sole prerogative to amend, repeal or even establish new notice of appeal and a petition for certiorari against the same
rules for a more simplified and inexpensive process, and the speedy orders. As earlier noted, he denies that his doing so violated the
disposition of cases. In the rules governing appeals to it and to the policy against forum shopping.
Court of Appeals, particularly Rules 42, 43 and 45, the Court allows
extensions of time, based on justifiable and compelling reasons, for For forum shopping to exist, both actions must involve the same
parties to file their appeals. These extensions may consist of 15 days transaction, same essential facts and circumstances and must raise
or more. identical causes of action, subject matter and issues. Clearly, it does
not exist where different orders were questioned, two distinct
To standardize the appeal periods provided in the Rules and to causes of action and issues were raised, and two objectives were
afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their cases, the Court sought.
deems it practical to allow a fresh period of 15 days within which to
file the notice of appeal in the Regional Trial Court, counted from Should Javellanas present appeal now be held barred by his filing of
receipt of the order dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for the petition for certiorari in the CA when his appeal in that court was
reconsideration. yet pending?

Henceforth, this fresh period rule shall also apply to Rule 40 We are aware that in Young v. Sy, in which the petitioner filed a
governing appeals from the Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional notice of appeal to elevate the orders concerning the dismissal of
Trial Courts; Rule 42 on petitions for review from the Regional Trial her case due to non-suit to the CA and a petition for certiorari in the
Courts to the Court of Appeals; Rule 43 on appeals from quasi- CA assailing the same orders four months later, the Court ruled that
judicial agencies to the Court of Appeals and Rule 45 governing the successive filings of the notice of appeal and the petition for
appeals by certiorari to the Supreme Court. The new rule aims to certiorari to attain the same objective of nullifying the trial courts
regiment or make the appeal period uniform, to be counted from dismissal orders constituted forum shopping that warranted the
receipt of the order denying the motion for new trial, motion for dismissal of both cases. The Court said:
reconsideration (whether full or partial) or any final order or
resolution. Ineluctably, the petitioner, by filing an ordinary appeal and a
petition for certiorari with the CA, engaged in forum shopping.
The fresh period rule may be applied to this case, for the Court has When the petitioner commenced the appeal, only four months had
already retroactively extended the fresh period rule to actions elapsed prior to her filing with the CA the Petition for Certiorari
pending and undetermined at the time of their passage and this will under Rule 65 and which eventually came up to this Court by way of
not violate any right of a person who may feel that he is adversely the instant Petition (re: Non-Suit). The elements of litis pendentia
affected, inasmuch as there are no vested rights in rules of are present between the two suits. As the CA, through its Thirteenth
procedure. According to De los Santos v. Vda. de Mangubat:[28] Division, correctly noted, both suits are founded on exactly the same
facts and refer to the same subject matterthe RTC Orders which
Procedural law refers to the adjective law which prescribes rules and dismissed Civil Case No. SP-5703 (2000) for failure to prosecute. In
forms of procedure in order that courts may be able to administer both cases, the petitioner is seeking the reversal of the RTC orders.
justice. Procedural laws do not come within the legal conception of a The parties, the rights asserted, the issues professed, and the reliefs
retroactive law, or the general rule against the retroactive operation prayed for, are all the same. It is evident that the judgment of one
of statues ― they may be given retroactive effect on actions forum may amount to res judicata in the other.
pending and undetermined at the time of their passage and this will
not violate any right of a person who may feel that he is adversely The remedies of appeal and certiorari under Rule 65 are mutually
affected, insomuch as there are no vested rights in rules of exclusive and not alternative or cumulative. This is a firm judicial
procedure. policy. The petitioner cannot hedge her case by wagering two or
more appeals, and, in the event that the ordinary appeal lags

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significantly behind the others, she cannot post facto validate this that Javellana brought the petition for certiorari in violation of the
circumstance as a demonstration that the ordinary appeal had not policy against forum shopping.
been speedy or adequate enough, in order to justify the recourse to
Rule 65. This practice, if adopted, would sanction the filing of FREDESVINDO S. ALVERO vs. M.L. DE LA ROSA
multiple suits in multiple fora, where each one, as the petitioner G.R. No. L-286 March 29, 1946
couches it, becomes a precautionary measure for the rest, thereby Doctrine: WALA PAKE COURT KUNG NAMATAY ASAWA MO,
increasing the chances of a favorable decision. This is the very evil SUNDIN MO RULES
that the proscription on forum shopping seeks to put right. In respondent Jose R. Victoriano had filed a complaint against
Guaranteed Hotels, Inc. v. Baltao, the Court stated that the grave petitioner Fredesvindo S. Alvero and one Margarita Villarica, alleging
evil sought to be avoided by the rule against forum shopping is the two causes of action:
rendition by two competent tribunals of two separate and (1) to declare in force the contract of sale between said Victoriano
contradictory decisions. Unscrupulous party litigants, taking and Margarita Villarica, which land was subsequently sold by said
advantage of a variety of competent tribunals, may repeatedly try Villarica, in favor of petitioner Fredesvindo S. Alvero, on December
their luck in several different fora until a favorable result is reached. 31, 1944, for the sum of P100,000 in Japanese military notes; and
To avoid the resultant confusion, the Court adheres strictly to the (2) to declare said subsequent sale null and void.
rules against forum shopping, and any violation of these rules results
in the dismissal of the case.[32] Margarita Villarica filed an answer expressly admitting having sold
said land to Alvero, for P100,000, due to the imperative necessity of
The same result was reached in Zosa v. Estrella, which likewise raising funds with which to provide for herself and family, and that
involved the successive filing of a notice of appeal and a petition for she did not remember the previous sale; at the same time, offering
certiorari to challenge the same orders, with the Court upholding to repurchase said land from Fredesvindo S. Alvero in the sum of
the CAs dismissals of the appeal and the petition for certiorari P5,000, but that the latter refused to accept the offer.
through separate decisions.
Respondent judge rendered his decision:
Yet, the outcome in Young v. Sy and Zosa v. Estrella is unjust here considering that Jose R. Victoriano's document was older than that
even if the orders of the RTC being challenged through appeal and of Fredesvindo S. Alvero, and that he had taken possession of said
the petition for certiorari were the same. The unjustness exists property, since October 1, 1940, the respondent judge rendered his
because the appeal and the petition for certiorari actually sought decision in favor of Jose R. Victoriano, adjudging to him the title
different objectives. In his appeal in C.A.-G.R. CV No. 68259, over the property in question, including all the improvements
Javellana aimed to undo the RTCs erroneous dismissal of Civil Case existing thereon, and dismissed the counterclaim.
No. 79-M-97 to clear the way for his judicial demand for specific
performance to be tried and determined in due course by the RTC; Alvero filed a petition for reconsideration and new trial
but his petition for certiorari had the ostensible objective to prevent -was denied and of said order he was notified on January 7, 1946.
(Priscilla) from developing the subject property and from proceeding
with the ejectment case until his appeal is finally resolved, as the CA January 8, 1946: Alvero filed his notice of appeal and record on
explicitly determined in its decision in C.A.-G.R. SP No. 60455.[34] appeal simultaneously in the lower court, without filing the P60-
appeal bond.
Nor were the dangers that the adoption of the judicial policy against
forum shopping designed to prevent or to eliminate attendant. The Victoriano filed a petition to dismiss the appeal, and at the same
first danger, i.e., the multiplicity of suits upon one and the same time, asked for the execution of the judgment.
cause of action, would not materialize considering that the appeal
was a continuity of Civil Case No. 79-M-97, whereas C.A.-G.R. SP No. On January 15, 1946, Alvero filed an opposition to said motion to
60455 dealt with an independent ground of alleged grave abuse of dismiss, alleging that on the very same day, January 15, 1946, said
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of appeal bond for P60 had been actually filed, and allege as an excuse,
the RTC. The second danger, i.e., the unethical malpractice of for not filing the said appeal bond, in due time, the illness of his
shopping for a friendly court or judge to ensure a favorable ruling or lawyer's wife, who died on January 10, 1946, and buried the
judgment after not getting it in the appeal, would not arise because following day.
the CA had not yet decided C.A.-G.R. CV No. 68259 as of the filing of
the petition for certiorari. On January 17, 1946, the respondent judge, Hon. Mariano L. de la
Rosa, ordered the dismissal of the appeal, declaring that, although
Instead, we see the situation of resorting to two inconsistent the notice of appeal and record on appeal had been filed in due
remedial approaches to be the result of the tactical misjudgment by time, the P60-appeal bond was filed too late.
Javellanas counsel on the efficacy of the appeal to stave off his
caretakers eviction from the parcels of land and to prevent the Alvero filed a petition for the reconsideration of the said order dated
development of them into a residential or commercial subdivision January 17, 1946, dismissing his appeal; and said petition for
pending the appeal. In the petition for certiorari, Javellana explicitly reconsideration was denied on January 29, 1946. Hence, this
averred that his appeal was inadequate and not speedy to prevent petition for certiorari.
private respondent Alma Jose and her transferee/assignee xxx from
developing and disposing of the subject property to other parties to As already stated, the decision rendered by the respondent judge,
the total deprivation of petitioners rights of possession and Hon. Mariano L. de la Rosa, was dated November 16, 1945, of which
ownership over the subject property, and that the dismissal by the counsel for Alvero was notified on November 28, 1945; that his
RTC had emboldened private respondents to fully develop the motion for reconsideration and new trial was filed on December 27,
property and for respondent Alma Jose to file an ejectment case 1945, and denied on January 3, 1946, and that said counsel for
against petitioners overseer xxx.[35] Thereby, it became far-fetched Alvero was notified of said order on January 7, 1946; and that he
filed his notice of appeal and record on appeal the following day, to

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wit, January 8, 1946, and that the P60-appeal bond was filed only on reasoning powers are of little avail when sorrow or despair rages
January 15, 1946. within.

ISSUE: WON the appeal was filed on time But human laws are inflexible and no personal consideration should
stand in the way of performing a legal duty.
RULING: NO. The appeal was not filed on time
According to the computation erroneously made by the court, the The attorney for petitioner Fredesvindo S. Alvero could have asked
last day for filing and perfecting the appeal, in this case, was January for an extension of time, within which to file and perfect his appeal,
8, 1946, or which date, Fredesvindo S. Alvero should have filed his in the court below; but he had failed to do so, and he must bear the
(1) notice of appeal, (2) record on appeal, and (3) appeal bond. But consequences of his act. A strict observance of the rules of court,
the P60-appeal bond was filed only on January 15, 1946. which have been considered indispensable to the prevention of
needless delays and to the orderly and speedy dispatch of judicial
Failure to perfect the appeal, within the time prescribed by the rules business, is an imperative necessity.
of court, will cause the judgment to become final, and the
certification of the record on appeal thereafter, cannot restore the It may not be amiss to state in this connection that no irreparable
jurisdiction which has been lost. damage has been caused to the petitioner Fredesvindo S. Alvero, as
Margarita Villarica, the vendor to the two, of the land in question,
The period within which the record on appeal and appeal bond has shown readiness to repair the damage done.
should be perfected and filed may, however, be extended by order
of the court, upon application made, prior to the expiration of the No showing having been made that there had been merely
original period. excusable negligece, on the part of the attorney for petitioner
Fredesvindo S. Alvero, and that there had been gave abuse of sound
Rules of courts, promulgated by authority of law, have the force and judicial discretion, on the part of the respondent judge, the petition
effect of law; and rules of court prescribing the time within which for certiorari filed in this case, is, therefore, hereby dismissed,
certain acts must be done, or certain proceedings taken, are without costs. So ordered.
considered absolutely indispensable to the prevention of needless
delays and to the orderly and speedy discharge of judicial business. DOMINADOR B. BUSTOS vs. ANTONIO G. LUCERO
G.R. No. L-2068 October 20, 1948
Strict compliance with the rules of court has been held mandatory >Petitioner Bustos, the accused in a criminal case, assisted by
and imperative, so that failure to pay the docket fee in the Supreme counsel, appeared at the preliminary investigation.
Court, within the period fixed for that purpose, will cause the >In that investigation, his counsel moved that the complainant
dismissal of the appeal. (Salaveria vs. Albindo, 39Phil., 922.) In the present her evidence so that she and her witnesses could be
same manner, on failure of the appellant in a civil case to serve his examined and cross-examined in the manner and form provided by
brief, within the time prescribed by said rules, on motion of the law.
appellee and notice to the appellant, or on its own motion, the court >The fiscal and the private prosecutor objected, invoking section 11
may dismiss the appeal. (Shioji vs. Harvey, 43 Phil., 333.) of rule 108.
>Objection was sustained.
Counsel for the petitioner Alvero alleges as an excuse, for his failure >In view thereof, the accused's counsel announced his intention to
to perfect and file his appeal, in due time, the illness of his wife, renounce his right to present evidence
which ended in her death on January 10, 1946, and by which he was > justice of the peace forwarded the case to CFI.
greatly affected.
>The petitioner filed a motion with the CFI praying that the record of
It is not, therefore, difficult to understand the state of mind of the the case be remanded to the justice of the peace court of Masantol,
attorney, and his intense devotion and ardent affection towards his the court of origin, in order that the petitioner might cross-examine
dying wife. the complainant and her witnesses in connection with their
testimony, on the strength of which warrant was issued for the
Unfortunately, counsel for petitioner has created a difficult arrest of the accused.
situation. In his motion for reconsideration and new trial, dated >The motion was denied
December 27, 1945, he did not point out specifically the findings or > It is contended that Section 11 of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court
conclusions in the judgment, are not supported by the evidence or infringes Section 13, Article VIII, of the Constitution. It is said that
which are contrary to law, making express reference to the the rule in question deals with substantive matters and impairs
pertinent evidence or legal provisions, as expressly required by Rule substantive rights
37, section 2, paragraph (c) of the Rules of Court. Motions of that
kind have been considered as motions pro forma intended merely to ISSUE: WON Section 11 of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court impairs
delay the proceeding, and, as such, they cannot and will not substantive rights
interrupt or suspend the period of time for the perfection of the
appeal. Hence, the period for perfecting herein petitioner's appeal RULING: NO.
commenced from November 28, 1945, when he was notified of the We are of the opinion that Section 11 of Rule 108, like its
judgment rendered in the case, and expired on December 28, 1945; predecessors, is an adjective law and not a substantive law or
and, therefore, his notice of appeal and record on appeal filed on substantive right. Substantive law creates substantive rights and the
January 8, 1946, were filed out of time, and much more so his two terms in this respect may be said to be synonymous.
appeal bond, which was only filed on January 15, 1946. Substantive rightsis a term which includes those rights which one
enjoys under the legal system prior to the disturbance of normal
It is futile to speak of hospitals, doctors and nurses to minister alone relations. Substantive law is that part of the law which creates,
to the needs of the sick and the dying, who are dearest to us, for our defines and regulates rights, or which regulates the rights and duties

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which give rise to a cause of action; that part of the law which courts The distinction between "remedy" and "substantive right" is
are established to administer; as opposed to adjective or remedial incapable of exact definition. The difference is somewhat a question
law, which prescribes the method of enforcing rights or obtains of degree. It is difficult to draw a line in any particular case beyond
redress for their invasion. which legislative power over remedy and procedure can pass
As applied to criminal law, substantive law is that which declares without touching upon the substantive rights of parties affected, as
what acts are crimes and prescribes the punishment for committing it is impossible to fix that boundary by general condition.
them, as distinguished from the procedural law which provides or
regulates the steps by which one who commits a crime is to be This being so, it is inevitable that the Supreme Court in making rules
punished. Preliminary investigation is eminently and essentially should step on substantive rights, and the Constitution must be
remedial; it is the first step taken in a criminal prosecution As a rule presumed to tolerate if not to expect such incursion as does not
of evidence, Section 11 of Rule 108 is also procedural. Evidence – affect the accused in a harsh and arbitrary manner or deprive him of
which is "the mode and manner of proving the competent facts and a defense, but operates only in a limited and unsubstantial manner
circumstances on which a party relies to establish the fact in dispute to his disadvantage. For the Court's power is not merely to compile,
in judicial proceedings" – is identified with and forms part of the revise or codify the rules of procedure existing at the time of the
method by which, in private law, rights are enforced and redress Constitution's approval. This power is "to promulgate rules
obtained, and, in criminal law, a law transgressor is punished. concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts," which is
a power to adopt a general, complete and comprehensive system of
Criminal procedure refers to pleading, evidence and practice. The procedure, adding new and different rules without regard to their
entire rules of evidence have been incorporated into the Rules of source and discarding old ones.
Court. We cannot tear down Section 11 of Rule 108 on constitutional
grounds without throwing out the whole code of evidence PANAY RAILWAYS INC. vs. HEVA MANAGEMENT
embodied in these Rules. G. R. No. 154061 January 25, 2012
In Beazell vs.. Ohio, 269 U. S. 167, 70 L. ed. 216, the United States >petitioner Panay Railways Inc., executed a Real Estate Mortgage
Supreme Court said: Contract covering several parcels of lands in favor of Traders Royal
"Expressions are to be found in earlier judicial opinions to the effect Bank (TRB)
that the constitutional limitation may be transgressed by alterations >Petitioner excluded certain portions of Lot
in the rules of evidence or procedure. And there may be procedural >Petitioner failed to pay its obligations to TRB, prompting the bank
changes which operate to deny to the accused a defense available to extra-judicially foreclose the mortgaged properties
under the laws in force at the time of the commission of his offense, >It was only in 1994 that petitioner realized that the extrajudicial
or which otherwise affect him in such a harsh and arbitrary manner foreclosure included some excluded properties in the mortgage
as to fall within the constitutional prohibition. But it is now well contract.
settled that statutory changes in the mode of trial or the rules of
evidence, which do not deprive the accused of a defense and which >filed a Complaint for Partial Annulment of Contract to Sell and
operate only in a limited and unsubstantial manner to his Deed of Absolute Sale with Addendum; Cancellation of Title No. T-
disadvantage, are not prohibited. A statute which, after indictment, 89624; and Declaration of Ownership of Real Property with
enlarges the class of persons who may be witnesses at the trial, by Reconveyance plus Damages
removing the disqualification of persons convicted of felony, is not
an ex post facto law. Nor is a statute which changes the rules of >respondents filed their respective Motions to Dismiss –> GRANTED
evidence after the indictment so as to render admissible against the >petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal without paying the necessary
accused evidence previously held inadmissible or which changes the docket fees.
place of trial, Gut or which abolishes a court for hearing criminal >respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss Appeal on the ground of
appeals, creating a new one in its stead nonpayment of docket fees.
>In its Opposition, petitioner alleged that its counsel was not yet
Tested by this standard, we do not believe that the curtailment of familiar with the revisions of the Rules of Court that became
the right of an accused in a preliminary investigation to cross- effective only on 1 July 1997. Its representative was likewise not
examine the witnesses who had given evidence for his arrest is of informed by the court personnel that docket fees needed to be paid
such importance as to offend against the constitutional inhibition. As upon the filing of the Notice of Appeal. Furthermore, it contended
we have said in the beginning, preliminary investigation is not an that the requirement for the payment of docket fees was not
essential part of due process of law. It may be suppressed entirely, mandatory. It therefore asked the RTC for a liberal interpretation of
and if this may be done, mere restriction of the privilege formerly the procedural rules on appeals.
enjoyed thereunder can not be held to fall within the constitutional
prohibition. >the RTC issued an Order dismissing the appeal citing Sec. 4 of Rule
419 of the Revised Rules of Court.
While Section 11 of Rule 108 denies to the defendant the right to
cross-examine witnesses in a preliminary investigation, his right to >Petitioner: MR -> DENIED
present his witnesses remains unaffected, and his constitutional >petitioner filed with CA a Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus
right to be informed of the charges against him both at such under Rule 65 alleging that the RTC had no jurisdiction to dismiss the
investigation and at the trial is unchanged. In the latter stage of the Notice of Appeal, and that the trial court had acted with grave abuse
proceedings, the only stage where the guaranty of due process of discretion when it strictly applied procedural rules.
comes into play, he still enjoys to the full extent the right to be
confronted by and to cross-examine the witnesses against him. The >CA’s ruling: RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing
degree of importance of a preliminary investigation to an accused the appeal and set aside the latter’s assailed Order
may be gauged by the fact that this formality is frequently waived. >It held that while the failure of petitioner to pay the docket and
other lawful fees within the reglementary period was a ground for
the dismissal of the appeal pursuant to Sec. 1 of Rule 50 of the

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Revised Rules of Court, the jurisdiction to do so belonged to the CA Moreover, the right to appeal is not a natural right and is not part of
and not the trial court. due process. It is merely a statutory privilege, which may be
exercised only in accordance with the law.
>respondents filed MR: granted
>CA’s ruling: We have repeatedly stated that the term "substantial justice" is not
It appears that prior to the promulgation of the CA’s Decision, this a magic wand that would automatically compel this Court to
Court issued Administrative Matter (A.M.) No. 00-2-10-SC which suspend procedural rules. Procedural rules are not to be belittled or
took effect on 1 May 2000, amending Rule 4, Sec. 7 and Sec. 13 of dismissed simply because their non-observance may result in
Rule 41 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court. The circular expressly prejudice to a party’s substantive rights. Like all other rules, they are
provided that trial courts may, motu proprio or upon motion, required to be followed, except only for the most persuasive of
dismiss an appeal for being filed out of time or for nonpayment of reasons when they may be relaxed to relieve litigants of an injustice
docket and other lawful fees within the reglementary period. not commensurate with the degree of their thoughtlessness in not
Subsequently, Circular No. 48-200013 was issued on 29 August 2000 complying with the procedure prescribed.
and was addressed to all lower courts.
>By virtue of the amendment to Sec. 41, the CA upheld the We cannot consider counsel’s failure to familiarize himself with the
questioned Orders of the trial court by issuing the assailed Revised Rules of Court as a persuasive reason to relax the
Amended Decision in the present Petition granting respondents’ application of the Rules. It is well-settled that the negligence of
Motion for Reconsideration. counsel binds the client. This principle is based on the rule that any
>Contention of petitioner: act performed by lawyers within the scope of their general or
The CA’s action prompted petitioner to file a Motion for implied authority is regarded as an act of the client. Consequently,
Reconsideration alleging that SC Circular No. 48-2000 should not be the mistake or negligence of the counsel of petitioner may result in
given retroactive effect. It also alleged that the CA should consider the rendition of an unfavorable judgment against it.
the case as exceptionally meritorious. Petitioner’s counsel, Atty.
Rexes V. Alejano, explained that he was yet to familiarize himself FELIX MARTOS vs. NEW SAN JOSE BUILDERS, INC
with the Revised Rules of Court, which became effective a little over G.R. No. 192650 October 24, 2012
a month before he filed the Notice of Appeal. He was thus not aware >New San Jose Builders, Inc. (NSJB) hired Martos et al. for the the
that the nonpayment of docket fees might lead to the dismissal of San Jose Plains Project (hereafter SJPP). SJPP, which is also known as
the case. the "Erap City" calls for the construction of low cost housing, which
are being turned over to the National Housing Authority to be
ISSUE: WON SC Circular No. 48-2000 should be given a retroactive awarded to deserving poor families.
effect >NSJB was constrained to slow down and suspend most of the works
on the SJPP project due to lack of funds of the National Housing
RULING: YES. Authority. Thus, the workers were informed that many of them
Statutes and rules regulating the procedure of courts are considered [would] be laid off and the rest would be reassigned to other
applicable to actions pending and unresolved at the time of their projects.
passage. Procedural laws and rules are retroactive in that sense and >Juan Villaber, Terso Garay, Rowell Batta, Pastor Pantig, Rafael Villa,
to that extent. The effect of procedural statutes and rules on the and Melvin Garay were laid off.
rights of a litigant may not preclude their retroactive application to >While on the other hand, Felix Martos, Ariel Dominguez, Greg
pending actions. This retroactive application does not violate any Bisonia, Allan Caballera, Orlando Limos, Mandy Mamalateo, Eric
right of a person adversely affected. Neither is it constitutionally Castrence, Anthony Molina, and Roy Silva were among those who
objectionable. The reason is that, as a general rule, no vested right were retained and were issued new appointment papers to their
may attach to or arise from procedural laws and rules. It has been respective assignments, indicating therein that they are project
held that "a person has no vested right in any particular remedy, and employees.
a litigant cannot insist on the application to the trial of his case, >However, they refused to sign the appointment papers as project
whether civil or criminal, of any other than the existing rules of employees and subsequently refused to continue to work.
procedure."16 More so when, as in this case, petitioner admits that >Complaints for Illegal Dismissal and for money claims were filed
it was not able to pay the docket fees on time. Clearly, there were before the NLRC
no substantive rights to speak of when the RTC dismissed the Notice
of Appeal. >LA: Martos was illegally dismissed
The argument that the CA had the exclusive jurisdiction to dismiss - as to the claim of others: DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE (ratio:
the appeal has no merit not verified)
When this Court accordingly amended Sec. 13 of Rule 41 through
A.M. No. 00-2-10-SC, the RTC’s dismissal of the action may be >NLRC: ordered to reinstate all the complainants to their former
considered to have had the imprimatur of the Court. Thus, the CA positions, without loss of seniority rights and with full backwages,
committed no reversible error when it sustained the dismissal of the counted from the time their compensation was withheld from them
appeal, taking note of its directive on the matter prior to the until actual reinstatement.
promulgation of its Decision.
>CA’s ruling: CA ruled that NLRC committed grave abuse of
As early as 1932, in Lazaro v. Endencia, we have held that the discretion in reviving the complaints of petitioners despite their
payment of the full amount of the docket fees is an indispensable failure to verify the same
step for the perfection of an appeal. The Court acquires jurisdiction
over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fees. ISSUE: WON the CA was correct in dismissing the complaints filed
by those petitioners who failed to verify their position papers

RULING: YES. CA is correct

Page 6 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure was authorized by his co-petitioners to sign for them. There was no
provide: special power of attorney shown by the Formosos authorizing
Malcaba as their attorney-in-fact in filing a petition for review on
SEC. 4. Verification. – Except when otherwise specifically required by certiorari. Neither could the petitioners give at least a reasonable
law or rule, pleadings need not be under oath, verified or explanation as to why only he signed the verification and
accompanied by affidavit. certification of non-forum shopping.

A pleading is verified by an affidavit that the affiant has read the The liberal construction of the rules may be invoked in situations
pleadings and that the allegations therein are true and correct of his where there may be some excusable formal deficiency or error in a
personal knowledge or based on authentic records. pleading, provided that the same does not subvert the essence of
the proceeding and it at least connotes a reasonable attempt at
A pleading required to be verified which contains a verification compliance with the rules. Besides, fundamental is the precept that
based on "information and belief" or upon "knowledge, information rules of procedure are meant not to thwart but to facilitate the
and belief" or lacks a proper verification, shall be treated as an attainment of justice; hence, their rigid application may, for
unsigned pleading. deserving reasons, be subordinated by the need for an apt
dispensation of substantial justice in the normal course. They ought
SEC. 5. Certification against forum shopping. – The plaintiff or to be relaxed when there is subsequent or even substantial
principal party shall certify under oath in the complaint or other compliance, consistent with the policy of liberality espoused by Rule
initiatory pleading asserting a claim for relief, or in a sworn 1, Section 6.14 Not being inflexible, the rule on verification allows
certification annexed thereto and simultaneously filed therewith: for such liberality.15

(a) that he has not theretofore commenced any action or filed any Considering that the dismissal of the other complaints by the LA was
claim involving the same issues in any court, tribunal or quasi- without prejudice, the other complainants should have taken the
judicial agency and, to the best of his knowledge, no such other necessary steps to rectify their procedural mistake after the decision
action or claim is pending therein; (b) if there is such other pending of the LA was rendered. They should have corrected this procedural
action or claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof; flaw by immediately filing another complaint with the correct
and (c) if he should thereafter learn that the same or similar action verification this time. Surprisingly, they did not even attempt to
or claim has been filed or is pending, he shall report that fact within correct this technical blunder. Worse, they committed the same
five (5) days therefrom to the court wherein his aforesaid complaint procedural error when they filed their appeal16 with the NLRC.
or initiatory pleading has been filed.
Failure to comply with the foregoing requirements shall not be Under the circumstances, the Court agrees with the CA that the
curable by mere amendment of the complaint or other initiatory dismissal of the other complaints were brought about by the own
pleading but shall be cause for the dismissal of the case without negligence and passive attitude of the complainants themselves. In
prejudice, unless otherwise provided, upon motion and after Formoso, the Court further wrote:
hearing. The submission of a false certification or non-compliance
with any of the undertakings therein shall constitute indirect The petitioners were given a chance by the CA to comply with the
contempt of court, without prejudice to the corresponding Rules when they filed their motion for reconsideration, but they
administrative and criminal actions. If the acts of the party or his refused to do so. Despite the opportunity given to them to make all
counsel clearly constitute willful and deliberate forum shopping, the of them sign the verification and certification of non-forum
same shall be ground for summary dismissal with prejudice and shall shopping, they still failed to comply. Thus, the CA was constrained to
constitute direct contempt, as well as a cause for administrative deny their motion and affirm the earlier resolution.
sanctions. x x x. [Emphases supplied]
The Court can only do so much for them.
The verification requirement is significant, as it is intended to secure
an assurance that the allegations in the pleading are true and Most probably, as the list submitted is not complete with the
correct and not the product of the imagination or a matter of information as to when each started and when each was dismissed
speculation, and that the pleading is filed in good faith. Verification there must be some truth in the claim of respondent that those
is deemed substantially complied with when, as in this case, one complainants who failed to affix their signatures in the verification
who has ample knowledge to swear to the truth of the allegations in were either not employees of respondent at all or they simply
the complaint or petition signs the verification, and when matters refused to prosecute their complaints. In its position paper,18
alleged in the petition have been made in good faith or are true and respondent alleged that, aside from the four (4) complainants who
correct. withdrew their complaints, only 17 out of the more or less 104
complainants appeared on its records as its former project
The absence of a proper verification is cause to treat the pleading as employees or at least known by it to have worked in one of its
unsigned and dismissible. construction projects. From the sworn statements executed by Felix
Yortas, Marvin Batta,
The lone signature of Martos would have been sufficient if he was
authorized by his co-petitioners to sign for them. Unfortunately, Lito Bantillo, Gavino Felix Nicolas, and Romeo Pangacian Martos,
petitioners failed to adduce proof that he was so authorized. The they already withdrew their complaints against respondent. Their
complaints of the other parties in the case of Nellie Vda. De Formoso status and cause of action not being clear and proven, it is just not
v. v. PNB13 suffered a similar fate. Thus: right that these complaints be considered as similarly situated as
Martos and entitled to the same benefits.
Admittedly, among the seven (7) petitioners mentioned, only
Malcaba signed the verification and certification of non-forum
shopping in the subject petition. There was no proof that Malcaba

Page 7 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


MARIA CONSOLACION RIVERA-PASCUAL vs. SPS MARILYN LIM The Court is aware of the exceptional cases where technicalities
G.R. No. 191837 September 19, 2012 were liberally construed. However, in these cases, outright dismissal
>Maria Consolacion Rivera-Pascual (Consolacion) filed for a petition is rendered unjust by the presence of a satisfactory and persuasive
to be recognized as a tenant of a property against Danilo Deato explanation. The parties therein who prayed for liberal
(Deato). The property covered is by TCT under Deato’s name. interpretation were able to hurdle that heavy burden of proving that
>During the pendency of the petition, Deato sold the property to they deserve an exceptional treatment. It was never the Court’s
Spouses Lim. The sale was registered leading to the issuance of TCT intent "to forge a bastion for erring litigants to violate the rules with
in favor of Spouses Lim. impunity."
>The petition to be recognized as tenant was granted
This Court will not condone a cavalier attitude towards procedural
> Consolacion filed a petition against Spouses Lim praying for the rules. It is the duty of every member of the bar to comply with these
issuance of an order directing Spouses Lim to accept the amount of rules. They are not at liberty to seek exceptions should they fail to
₱ 10,000,000.00 which she undertook to tender during the initial observe these rules and rationalize their omission by harking on
hearing, declaring the property redeemed liberal construction.

>Regional Adjudicator’s ruling: it was lawfully redeemed While it IS the negligence of Consolacion's counsel that led to this
>DARAB reversed: not lawfully redeemed unfortunate result, she is bound by such. (sorry u tanga counsel mo)
>MR denied for being filed out of time
> petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court with the CA ESTIPONA v. HON. LOBRIGO
GR NO. 226679 AUGUST 15 2017
> CA resolved to require Consolacion’s counsel to submit within five >Petitioner Estipona is accused for violation of Section 11, Article II
(5) days from notice his Mandatory Continuing Legal Education of R.A. No. 9165
(MCLE) Certificate of Compliance or Exemption and an amended > Estipona filed a Motion to Allow the Accused to Enter into a Plea
Verification and Certification Against Non-Forum-Shopping. Bargaining Agreement, praying to withdraw his not guilty plea and,
Apparently, Consolacion’s counsel failed to indicate in the petition instead, to enter a plea of guilty for violation of Section 12, Article II
his MCLE Certificate of Compliance or Exemption Number as of R.A. No. 9165 (Possession of Equipment, Instrument, Apparatus
required under Bar Matter No. 1922. Also, the jurat of Consolacion’s and Other Paraphernalia for Dangerous Drugs) with a penalty of
verification and certification against non-forum-shopping failed to rehabilitation
indicate any competent evidence of Consolacion’s identity apart
from her community tax certificate. >He argued that Section 23 of R.A. No. 9165 which states that
“Any person charged under any provision of this Act regardless of
> Considering the failure of Consolacion and her counsel to comply, the imposable penalty shall not be allowed to avail of the provision
the CA dismissed the petition on plea-bargaining” violates the rule-making authority of the
Supreme Court and
Contention of Consolacion:
CA’s summary dismissal of her petition on technical grounds is ISSUE: WON Sec 23 of RA 9165 is unconstitutional as it encroached
unwarranted. Consolacion invoked substantial justice against the upon the power of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules of
CA’s strict application of the rule requiring her counsel to note his procedure.
MCLE Compliance or Exemption Certificate Number and the rule
rendering the jurat of her verification and certification on non- RULING: YES. It is unconstitutional for being contrary to the rule-
forum-shopping defective in the absence of the details of any one of making authority of the Supreme Court under Section 5(5), Article
her current identification document issued by an official agency VIII of the 1987 Constitution.
bearing her photograph and signature.
The power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and procedure
ISSUE: WON the dismissal was proper is now SC’s exclusive domain and no longer shared with the
Executive and Legislative departments.
RULING: YES
The Court sees no reversible error committed by the CA in The rule making power of this Court was expanded. This Court for
dismissing Consolacion’s petition before it on the ground of the first time was given the power to promulgate rules concerning
petitioner’s unexplained failure to comply with basic procedural the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights. The Court
requirements attendant to the filing of a petition for review under was also granted for the first time the power to disapprove rules of
Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. Notably, Consolacion and her counsel procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies. But most
remained obstinate despite the opportunity afforded to them by the importontly, the Constitution took away the power of Congress to
CA to rectify their lapses. While there was compliance, this took repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice and
place, however, after the CA had ordered the dismissal of procedure. In fine, the power to promulgate rules of pleading,
Consolacion’s petition and without reasonable cause proffered to practice and procedure is no longer shared by this Court with
justify its belatedness. Consolacion and her counsel claimed Congress, more so with the Executive.
inadvertence and negligence but they did not explain the
circumstances thereof. Absent valid and compelling reasons, the this Court asserted its discretion to amend, repeal or even establish
requested leniency and liberality in the observance of procedural new rules of procedure, to the exclusion of the legislative and
rules appears to be an afterthought, hence, cannot be granted. The executive branches of government. To reiterate, the Court's
CA saw no compelling need meriting the relaxation of the rules. authority to promulgate rules on pleading, practice, and procedure
Neither does this Court see any. is exclusive and one of the safeguards of our institutional
independence

Page 8 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


Plea bargaining is a rule of procedure petitioners separately filed before the RTC a Petition for the
The Supreme Court's sole prerogative to issue, amend, or repeal Issuance of a Writ of Amparo with Application for a Production
procedural rules is limited to the preservation of substantive rights, Order
i.e., the former should not diminish, increase or modify the latter.
in their Returns, Respondents denied authorship of the document
Fabian v. Hon. Desierto laid down the test for determining whether being adverted to and distributed by Representative Ocampo to the
a rule is substantive or procedural in nature. media.
>They claimed that petitioners miserably failed to show, by
In determining whether a rule prescribed by the Supreme Court, for substantial evidence, that they were responsible for the alleged
the practice and procedure of the lower courts, abridges, enlarges, threats perceived by petitioners. Instead, they asserted that
or modifies any substantive right, the test is whether the rule really petitioners' allegations are based solely on hearsay, speculation,
regulates procedure, that is, the judicial process for enforcing rights beliefs, impression and feelings, which are insufficient to warrant
and duties recognized by substantive law and for justly the issuance of the writ and, ultimately, the grant of the privilege of
administering remedy and redress for a disregard or infraction of the writ of amparo.
them. If the rule takes away a vested right, it is not procedural. If the
rule creates a right such as the right to appeal, it may be classified as After submission of the parties' respective Position Papers, RTC
a substantive matter; but if it operates as a means of implementing denied the petitions for writ of amparo
an existing right then the rule deals merely with procedure.
RULING: SC AFFIRMED RTC. PETITION DENIED
it is towards the provision of a simplified and inexpensive procedure The writ of amparo was promulgated by the Court pursuant to its
for the speedy disposition of cases in all courts that the rules on plea rulemaking powers in response to the alarming rise in the number of
bargaining was introduced. As a way of disposing criminal charges by cases of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. It plays
agreement of the parties, plea bargaining is considered to be an the preventive role of breaking the expectation of impunity in the
"important," "essential," "highly desirable," and "legitimate" commission of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances, as
component of the administration of justice. well as the curative role of facilitating the subsequent punishment of
the perpetrators.
In this jurisdiction, plea bargaining has been defined as "a process In Tapuz v. Del Rosario, the Court has previously held that the writ of
whereby the accused and the prosecution work out a mutually amparo is an extraordinary remedy intended to address violations
satisfactory disposition of the case subject to court approval." There of, or threats to, the rights to life, liberty or security and that, being
is give-and-take negotiation common in plea bargaining. The a remedy of extraordinary character, it is not one to issue on
essence of the agreement is that both the prosecution and the amorphous or uncertain grounds but only upon reasonable
defense make concessions to avoid potential losses. certainty. Hence, every petition for the issuance of the writ is
required to be supported by justifying allegations of fact on the
Considering the presence of mutuality of advantage, the rules on following matters:
plea bargaining neither create a right nor take away a vested right. (a) The personal circumstances of the petitioner;
Instead, it operates as a means to implement an existing right by (b) The name and personal circumstances of the respondent
regulating the judicial process for enforcing rights and duties responsible for the threat, act or omission, or, if the name is
recognized by substantive law and for justly administering remedy unknown or uncertain, the respondent may be described by an
and redress for a disregard or infraction of them. assumed appellation;
Yet a defendant has no constitutional right to plea bargain. No basic (c) The right to life, liberty and security of the aggrieved party
rights are infringed by trying him rather than accepting a plea of violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission
guilty; the prosecutor need not do so if he prefers to go to trial. of the respondent, and how such threat or violation is committed
with the attendant circumstances detailed in supporting affidavits;
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A WRIT OF (d) The investigation conducted, if any, specifying the names,
AMPARO IN FAVOR OF LILIBETH O. LADAGA personal circumstances, and addresses of the investigating authority
G.R. Nos. 189689, 189690 and 189691 November 13 2012 or individuals, as well as the manner and conduct of the
Petitioners share the common circumstance of having their names investigation, together with any report;
included in what is alleged to be a JCICC "AGILA" 3rd Quarter 2007 (e) The actions and recourses taken by the petitioner to determine
Order of Battle Validation Result of the Philippine Army's 1Oth the fate or whereabouts of the aggrieved party and the identity of
Infantry Division:(10th ID), which is a list containing the names of the person responsible for the threat, act or omission; and
organizations and personalities in Southern Mindanao, particularly (f) The relief prayed for. The petition may include a general prayer
Davao City, supposedly connected to the Communist Party of the for other just and equitable reliefs.
Philippines (CPP) and its military arm, the New People's Army (NPA).
The sole and common issue presented in these petitions is whether
They perceive that by the inclusion of their names in the said Order the totality of evidence satisfies the degree of proof required under
of Battle (OB List), they become easy targets of unexplained the Amparo Rule. Sections 17 and 18 of the Rule on the Writ of
disappearances or extralegal killings – a real threat to their Amparo provide as
life, liberty and security. follows:
SEC. 17. Burden of Proof and Standard of Diligence Required. – The
In fine, petitioners were one in asserting that the OB List is really a parties shall establish their claims by substantial evidence.
military hit-list as allegedly shown by the fact that there have xxxx
already been three victims of extrajudicial killing whose violent SEC. 18. Judgment. – The court shall render judgment within ten (10)
deaths can be linked directly to the OB List days from the time the petition is submitted for decision. If the
allegations in the petition are proven by substantial evidence, the

Page 9 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


court shall grant the privilege of the writ and such reliefs as may be circumstances of the case, can qualify as a violation that may be
proper and appropriate; otherwise, the privilege shall be denied. addressed under the Rule on the Writ of Amparo.

Thus, in Razon, Jr. v. Tagitis, the Court laid down a new standard of No substantial evidence of an actual threat to petitioners' life,
relaxed admissibility of evidence to enable amparo petitioners to liberty and security has been shown to exist in this case. For, even if
meet the required amount of proof showing the State's direct or the existence of the OB List or, indeed, the inclusion of petitioners'
indirect involvement in the purported violations and found it a fair names therein, can be properly inferred from the totality of the
and proper rule in amparo cases “to consider all the pieces of evidence presented, still, no link has been sufficiently established to
evidence adduced in their totality” and “to consider any evidence relate the subject OB List either to the threatening visits received by
otherwise inadmissible under our usual rules to be admissible if it is petitioners from unknown men or to the violent deaths of the three
consistent with the admissible evidence adduced.” (3) mentioned personalities and other known activists, which could
strongly suggest that, by some identifiable pattern of military
Put simply, evidence is not to be rejected outright because it is involvement, the inclusion of one's name in an Order of Battle would
inadmissible under the rules for as long as it satisfies “the most basic eventually result to enforced disappearance and murder of those
test of reason – i.e., relevance of the evidence to the issue at hand persons tagged therein as militants.
and its consistency with all other pieces of adduced evidence.”
UNITED CLAIMANTS ASSOCIATION OF NEA (UNICAN) vs NATIONAL
This measure of flexibility in the admissibility of evidence, however, ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION (NEA)
does not do away with the requirement of substantial evidence in G.R. No. 187107 January 31, 2012
showing the State's involvement in the enforced disappearance, >IRR to implement RA 9136 were issued on February 27, 2002.
extrajudicial killing or threats thereof. It merely permits, in the Under Sec. 3(b)(ii), Rule 33 of the Rules and Regulations, all the NEA
absence of hard-to-produce direct evidence, a closer look at the employees and officers are considered terminated otherwise known
relevance and significance of every available evidence, including as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA Law)
those that are, strictly speaking, hearsay where the circumstances of > Petitioners are former employees of NEA who were terminated
the case so require, and allows the consideration of the evidence from their employment with the implementation of the assailed
adduced in terms of their consistency with the totality of the resolutions.
evidence. >Petitioners raise the following issues:
The statement of Representative Ocampo that the respondents are
the real source of the OB List is unquestionably hearsay evidence 1. The NEA Board has no power to terminate all the NEA employees;
because, except for the fact that he himself received the OB List 2. Executive Order No. 119 did not grant the NEA Board the power
from an unnamed source merely described as “a conscientious to terminate all NEA employees; and
soldier,” he had no persona knowledge concerning its preparation. 3. Resolution Nos. 46 and 59 were carried out in bad faith.
But even if the Court were to apply the appropriate measure of
flexibility in the instant cases by admitting the hearsay testimony of >On the other hand, respondents argue in their Comment that:
Representative Ocampo, a consideration of this piece of evidence to 1. The Court has no jurisdiction over the petition
the totality of those adduced, namely, the Press Releases issued by Respondents essentially argue that petitioners violated the principle
the 10th ID admitting the existence of a military-prepared Order of of hierarchy of courts, pursuant to which the instant petition should
Battle, the affidavits of petitioners attesting to the threatening visits have been filed with the Regional Trial Court first rather than with
and tailing of their vehicles by menacing strangers, as well as the this Court directly.
violent deaths of alleged militant personalities, leads to the 2 Injunction is improper in this case given that the assailed
conclusion that the threat to petitioners' security has not be resolutions of the NEA Board have long been implemented; and
adequately proven. 3. The assailed NEA Board resolutions were issued in good faith

In the case of Secretary of National Defense v. Manalo,48 the Court Issues:


ruled that a person's right to security is, in one sense, “freedom I. WON the Court has jurisdiction over the petition
from fear” and that any threat to the rights to life, liberty or security II. WON injunction is proper
is an actionable wrong. The term “any threat,” however, cannot be
taken to mean every conceivable threat in the mind that may cause RULING:
one to fear for his life, liberty or security. The Court explicated i. YES. THE COURT HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE PETITION
therein that “[f]ear is a state of mind, a reaction; threat is a stimulus, We explained the principle of hierarchy of courts in Mendoza v.
a cause of action. Fear caused by the same stimulus can range from Villas, stating:
being baseless to well-founded as people react differently. The
degree of fear can vary from one person to another with the In Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Associations, Inc. (CREBA) v.
variation of the prolificacy of their imagination, strength of character Secretary of Agrarian Reform, a petition for certiorari filed under
or past experience with the stimulus.” Certainly, given the Rule 65 was dismissed for having been filed directly with the Court,
uniqueness of individual psychological mindsets, perceptions of violating the principle of hierarchy of courts, to wit:
what is fearful will necessarily vary from one person to another.
The alleged threat to herein petitioners' rights to life, liberty and Primarily, although this Court, the Court of Appeals and the Regional
security must be actual, and not merely one of supposition or with Trial Courts have concurrent jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari,
the likelihood of happening. And, when the evidence adduced prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus and
establishes the threat to be existent, as opposed to a potential one, injunction, such concurrence does not give the petitioner
then, it goes without saying that the threshold requirement of unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum. In Heirs of Bertuldo
substantial evidence in amparo proceedings has also been met. Hinog v. Melicor, citing People v. Cuaresma, this Court made the
Thus, in the words of Justice Brion, in the context of the Amparo following pronouncements:
rule, only actual threats, as may be established from all the facts and

Page 10 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


This Court’s original jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari is not decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on ground of
exclusive. It is shared by this Court with Regional Trial Courts and mootness. However, as we held in Public Interest Center, Inc. v.
with the Court of Appeals. This concurrence of jurisdiction is not, Elma, supervening events, whether intended or accidental, cannot
however, to be taken as according to parties seeking any of the writs prevent the Court from rendering a decision if there is a grave
an absolute, unrestrained freedom of choice of the court to which violation of the Constitution. Even in cases where supervening
application therefor will be directed. There is after all a hierarchy of events had made the cases moot, this Court did not hesitate to
courts. That hierarchy is determinative of the venue of appeals, and resolve the legal or constitutional issues raised to formulate
also serves as a general determinant of the appropriate forum for controlling principles to guide the bench, bar, and public.
petitions for the extraordinary writs. A becoming regard for that
judicial hierarchy most certainly indicates that petitions for the As a rule, the writ of prohibition will not lie to enjoin acts already
issuance of extraordinary writs against first level ("inferior") courts done. However, as an exception to the rule on mootness, courts will
should be filed with the Regional Trial Court, and those against the decide a question otherwise moot if it is capable of repetition yet
latter, with the Court of Appeals. A direct invocation of the Supreme evading review. (Emphasis supplied.)
Court’s original jurisdiction to issue these writs should be allowed
only when there are special and important reasons therefor, clearly Similarly, in the instant case, while the assailed resolutions of the
and specifically set out in the petition. This is [an] established policy. NEA Board may have long been implemented, such acts of the NEA
It is a policy necessary to prevent inordinate demands upon the Board may well be repeated by other government agencies in the
Court’s time and attention which are better devoted to those reorganization of their offices. Petitioners have not lost their remedy
matters within its exclusive jurisdiction, and to prevent further over- of injunction.
crowding of the Court’s docket. (Emphasis supplied.)
EMMANUEL A. DE CASTRO vs. EMERSON S. CARLOS
Evidently, the instant petition should have been filed with the RTC. G.R. No. 194994 April 16, 2013
However, as an exception to this general rule, the principle of >Before us is a Petition for the issuance of a writ of quo warranto
hierarchy of courts may be set aside for special and important under Rule 66 filed by Emmanuel A. de Castro (petitioner) seeking to
reasons. Such reason exists in the instant case involving as it does oust respondent Emerson S. Carlos (respondent) from the position
the employment of the entire plantilla of NEA, more than 700 of assistant general manager for operations (AGMO) of the
employees all told, who were effectively dismissed from Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
employment in one swift stroke. This to the mind of the Court > Filed directly with SC:
entails its attention. > Contention of petitioner (why he filed it directly):
petitioner submits that a direct recourse to this Court is warranted
Moreover, the Court has made a similar ruling in National Power by the urgent demands of public interest, particularly the veritable
Corporation Drivers and Mechanics Association (NPC-DAMA) v. need for stability in the civil service and the protection of the rights
National Power Corporation (NPC).2 In that case, the NPC-DAMA of civil servants. Moreover, considering that no other than the
also filed a petition for injunction directly with this Court assailing President of the Philippines is the appointing authority, petitioner
NPC Board Resolution Nos. 2002-124 and 2002-125, both dated doubts if a trial court judge or an appellate court justice, with a
November 18, 2002, directing the termination of all employees of prospect of promotion in the judiciary would be willing to go against
the NPC on January 31, 2003. Despite such apparent disregard of the a presidential appointment.
principle of hierarchy of courts, the petition was given due course.
We perceive no compelling reason to treat the instant case ISSUE: WON doctrine of hierarchy of courts is violated
differently.
RULING: YES.
II. YES. The Remedy of Injunction Is still Available Although Section 5(1) of Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution
(TRANSCENDENTAL IMPORTANCE TOPIC) explicitly provides that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction
Respondents allege that the remedy of injunction is no longer over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto,
available to petitioners inasmuch as the assailed NEA Board and habeas corpus, the jurisdiction of this Court is not exclusive but
resolutions have long been implemented. is concurrent with that of the Court of Appeals and regional trial
court and does not give petitioner unrestricted freedom of choice of
Taking respondents’ above posture as an argument on the court forum.16 The hierarchy of courts must be strictly observed.
untenability of the petition on the ground of mootness, petitioners
contend that the principle of mootness is subject to exceptions, such Settled is the rule that "the Supreme Court is a court of last resort
as when the case is of transcendental importance. and must so remain if it is to satisfactorily perform the functions
assigned to it by the fundamental charter and immemorial
In Funa v. Executive Secretary,3 the Court passed upon the seeming tradition." A disregard of the doctrine of hierarchy of courts
moot issue of the appointment of Maria Elena H. Bautista (Bautista) warrants, as a rule, the outright dismissal of a petition.
as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Maritime Industry Authority
(MARINA) while concurrently serving as Undersecretary of the A direct invocation of this Court’s jurisdiction is allowed only when
Department of Transportation and Communications. There, even there are special and important reasons that are clearly and
though Bautista later on was appointed as Administrator of specifically set forth in a petition. The rationale behind this policy
MARINA, the Court ruled that the case was an exception to the arises from the necessity of preventing (1) inordinate demands upon
principle of mootness and that the remedy of injunction was still the time and attention of the Court, which is better devoted to
available, explaining thus: those matters within its exclusive jurisdiction; and (2) further
overcrowding of the Court’s docket.
A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable
controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that a declaration In this case, petitioner justified his act of directly filing with this
thereon would be of no practical use or value. Generally, courts Court only when he filed his Reply and after respondent had already

Page 11 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


raised the procedural infirmity that may cause the outright dismissal already been terminated should not be disturbed. A disregard of this
of the present Petition. Petitioner likewise cites stability in the civil principle does not commend itself to sound public policy."
service and protection of the rights of civil servants as rationale for
disregarding the hierarchy of courts. Corollarily, Section 10 of Executive Order No. 172 (the law creating
the ERB) provides that a review of its decisions or orders is lodged in
Petitioner’s excuses are not special and important circumstances the Supreme Court. Settled is the rule that where the law provides
that would allow a direct recourse to this Court. More so, mere for an appeal from the decisions of administrative bodies to the
speculation and doubt to the exercise of judicial discretion of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals, it means that such bodies
lower courts are not and cannot be valid justifications to hurdle the are co-equal with the Regional Trial Courts in terms of rank and
hierarchy of courts. Thus, the Petition must be dismissed stature, and logically, beyond the control of the latter.
Hence, the trial court, being co-equal with the ERB, cannot interfere
PHILIPPINE SINTER CORPORATION and PHIVIDEC INDUSTRIAL with the decision of the latter. It bears stressing that this doctrine of
AUTHORITY vs. CAGAYAN ELECTRIC POWER and LIGHT CO., INC. non-interference of trial courts with co-equal administrative
G.R. No. 127371 April 25, 2002 bodies is intended to ensure judicial stability in the administration
>Pursuant to such Cabinet Memorandum by Corazon Aquino, of justice whereby the judgment of a court of competent
respondent Cagayan Electric Power and Light, Co. (CEPALCO), jurisdiction may not be opened, modified or vacated by any court
grantee of a legislative franchise to distribute electric power to the of concurrent jurisdiction.
municipalities of Villanueva, Jasaan and Tagoloan, and the city of
Cagayan de Oro, all of the province of Misamis Oriental, filed with Granting that the ERB decision has not attained finality, or that the
the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) a petition entitled "In Re: Petition ERB is not co-equal with the RTC, still injunction will not lie. As a
for Implementation of Cabinet Policy Reforms in the Power Sector," rule, to justify the injunctive relief prayed for, the movant must
docketed as ERB Case No. 89-430. The petition sought the show: (1) the existence of a right in esse or the existence of a right to
"discontinuation of all existing direct supply of power by the be protected; and (2) the act against which injunction is to be
National Power Corporation (NPC, now NAPOCOR) within CEPALCO's directed is a violation of such right. In the case at bar, petitioners
franchise area. failed to show any clear legal right which would be violated if the
> ERB granted the petition power supply of PSC from the NAPOCOR is disconnected and
> To implement the decision in ERB, CEPALCO wrote Philippine transferred to CEPALCO.
Sinter Corporation (PSC), petitioner, and advised the latter of its
desire "to have the power supply of PSC, directly taken from NPC VINCENT E. OMICTIN vs. CA
(NAPOCOR), disconnected, cut and transferred" to CEPALCO G.R. No.148004 January 22, 2007
> To restrain the execution of the ERB Decision, PSC and PIA filed a >Petitioner Vincent E. Omictin, Operations Manager Ad Interim of
complaint for injunction against CEPALCO with the RTC Saag Phils., Inc., filed a complaint for two counts of estafa against
> RTC granted the petition for injunction private respondent George I. Lagos.
>He alleged that private respondent, despite repeated demands,
Issue: WON injunction lies against the final and executory refused to return the two company vehicles entrusted to him when
judgment of the ERB. he was still the president of Saag Phils., Inc.
> charged with the crime of estafa under Article 315, par. 1(b) of RPC
Ruling: NO. before RTC
In Bachrach Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, this Court, through Mr. > private respondent filed a motion to suspend proceedings on the
Justice Jose C. Vitug, pertinently held: basis of a prejudicial question because of a pending petition with the
"The rule indeed is, and has almost invariably been, that after a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) involving the same
judgment has gained finality, it becomes the ministerial duty of the parties:
court to order its execution. No court, perforce, should interfere by >It appears that private respondent filed with SEC for the
injunction or otherwise to restrain such execution. The rule, declaration of nullity of the respective appointments of Alex Y. Tan
however, concededly admits of exceptions; hence, when facts and and petitioner as President Ad Interim and Operations Manager Ad
circumstances later transpire that would render execution Interim of Saag Phils., Inc.
inequitable or unjust, the interested party may ask a competent > RTC denied motion to suspend
court to stay its execution or prevent its enforcement. So, also, a > CA reversed: there is a prejudicial question
change in the situation of the parties can warrant an injunctive
relief." Issue: WON there is a prejudicial question

Clearly, an injunction to stay a final and executory decision is RULING: YES


unavailing except only after a showing that facts and circumstances >the resolution of the issues raised in the intra-corporate dispute
exist which would render execution unjust or inequitable, or that a will determine the guilt or innocence of private respondent in the
change in the situation of the parties occurred. Here, no such crime of estafa filed against him by petitioner.
exception exists as shown by the facts earlier narrated. To disturb
the final and executory decision of the ERB in an injunction suit is to >4TH ELEMENT OF ESTAFA: That there is a demand made by the
brazenly disregard the rule on finality of judgments. In Camarines offended party to the offender
Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. vs. Torres, we underscored the > Logically, under the circumstances, since the alleged offended
importance of this principle, thus: party is Saag Phils., Inc., the validity of the demand for the delivery
"We have stated before, and reiterate it now, that administrative of the subject vehicles rests upon the authority of the person
decisions must end sometime, as fully as public policy demands that making such a demand on the company’s behalf. Private
finality be written on judicial controversies. Public interest requires respondent is challenging petitioner’s authority to act for Saag Phils.,
that proceedings already terminated should not be altered at every Inc. in the corporate case pending before the RTC of Mandaluyong,
step, for the rule of non quieta movere prescribes that what had Branch 214. Taken in this light, if the supposed authority of

Page 12 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


petitioner is found to be defective, it is as if no demand was ever >respondent filed the complaint for Specific Performance and
made, hence, the prosecution for estafa cannot prosper. Damages against petitioner before the RTC.
> petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint on the grounds
Doctrine of primary jurisdiction that the complaint states no cause of action and that the RTC had no
Likewise, by analogy, the doctrine of primary jurisdiction may be jurisdiction over the nature of the action since respondent did not
applied in this case. The issues raised by petitioner particularly the appeal to the COA the decision of the District Auditor to disapprove
status of Saag Phils., Inc. vis-à-vis Saag (S) Pte. Ltd., as well as the the claim
question regarding the supposed authority of the latter to make a
demand on behalf of the company, are proper subjects for the ISSUE: WON doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies
determination of the tribunal hearing the intra-corporate case which should be applied
in this case is the RTC of Mandaluyong, Branch 214. These issues
would have been referred to the expertise of the SEC in accordance RULING: NO
with the doctrine of primary jurisdiction had the case not been The general rule is that before a party may seek the intervention of
transferred to the RTC of Mandaluyong. the court, he should first avail of all the means afforded him by
administrative processes. The issues which administrative agencies
Strictly speaking, the objective of the doctrine of primary jurisdiction are authorized to decide should not be summarily taken from them
is to guide a court in determining whether it should refrain from and submitted to a court without first giving such administrative
exercising its jurisdiction until after an administrative agency has agency the opportunity to dispose of the same after due
determined some question or some aspect of some question arising deliberation.
in the proceeding before the court. The court cannot or will not
determine a controversy involving a question which is within the Corollary to the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies
jurisdiction of the administrative tribunal prior to resolving the is the doctrine of primary jurisdiction; that is, courts cannot or will
same, where the question demands the exercise of sound not determine a controversy involving a question which is within the
administrative discretion requiring special knowledge, experience jurisdiction of the administrative tribunal prior to the resolution of
and services in determining technical and intricate matters of fact. that question by the administrative tribunal, where the question
demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring
While the above doctrine refers specifically to an administrative the special knowledge, experience and services of the administrative
tribunal, the Court believes that the circumstances in the instant tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact.31
case do not proscribe the application of the doctrine, as the role of
an administrative tribunal such as the SEC in determining technical Nonetheless, the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies
and intricate matters of special competence has been taken on by and the corollary doctrine of primary jurisdiction, which are based
specially designated RTCs by virtue of Republic Act No. 8799. Hence, on sound public policy and practical considerations, are not
the RTC of Mandaluyong where the intra-corporate case is pending inflexible rules. There are many accepted exceptions, such as: (a)
has the primary jurisdiction to determine the issues under where there is estoppel on the part of the party invoking the
contention relating to the status of the domestic corporation, Saag doctrine; (b) where the challenged administrative act is patently
Phils., Inc., vis-à-vis Saag Pte. Ltd.; and the authority of petitioner to illegal, amounting to lack of jurisdiction; (c) where there is
act on behalf of the domestic corporation, the determination of unreasonable delay or official inaction that will irretrievably
which will have a direct bearing on the criminal case. The law prejudice the complainant; (d) where the amount involved is
recognizes that, in place of the SEC, the regular courts now have the relatively small so as to make the rule impractical and oppressive;
legal competence to decide intra-corporate disputes (e) where the question involved is purely legal and will ultimately
have to be decided by the courts of justice; (f) where judicial
REPUBLIC V CARLITO LACAP intervention is urgent; (g) when its application may cause great and
G.R. No. 158253 March 2, 2007 irreparable damage; (h) where the controverted acts violate due
>The District Engineer of Pampanga issued and duly published an process; (i) when the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative
"Invitation To Bid". remedies has been rendered moot; (j) when there is no other plain,
>Respondent, doing business under the name and style Carwin speedy and adequate remedy; (k) when strong public interest is
Construction and Construction Supply (Carwin Construction), involved; and, (l) in quo warranto proceedings.34 Exceptions (c) and
submitted the lowest bid (e) are applicable to the present case.
> he was awarded the contract for the concreting of Sitio 5 Bahay
Pare. Notwithstanding the legal opinions of the DPWH Legal Department
>respondent undertook the works, made advances for the purchase rendered in 1993 and 1994 that payment to a contractor with an
of the materials and payment for labor costs expired contractor’s license is proper, respondent remained unpaid
> Thereafter, respondent sought to collect payment for the for the completed work despite repeated demands. Clearly, there
completed project was unreasonable delay and official inaction to the great prejudice
> DPWH withheld payment from respondent after the District of respondent.
Auditor of the Commission on Audit (COA) disapproved the final
release of funds on the ground that the contractor’s license of Furthermore, whether a contractor with an expired license at the
respondent had expired at the time of the execution of the contract. time of the execution of its contract is entitled to be paid for
> In a First Indorsement, Cesar D. Mejia, Director III of the Legal completed projects, clearly is a pure question of law. It does not
Department, recommended that payment should be made to involve an examination of the probative value of the evidence
Carwin Construction, reiterating his earlier legal opinion. Despite presented by the parties. There is a question of law when the doubt
such recommendation for payment, no payment was made to or difference arises as to what the law is on a certain state of facts,
respondent. and not as to the truth or the falsehood of alleged facts. Said
question at best could be resolved only tentatively by the
administrative authorities. The final decision on the matter rests not

Page 13 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


with them but with the courts of justice. Exhaustion of Arbiters or the National Labor Relations Commission a specialized
administrative remedies does not apply, because nothing of an body or bodies on labor related provisions and are not restricted by
administrative nature is to be or can be done. The issue does not the technical rules of pleading and evidence.
require technical knowledge and experience but one that would
involve the interpretation and application of law. The Regional Trial Courts of today are actually the same courts that
functioned as Courts of First Instance before the Judiciary
Thus, while it is undisputed that the District Auditor of the COA Reorganization Act (Batas Pambansa Bilang 129). There might have
disapproved respondent’s claim against the Government, and, under been a change in the name and in some incidental features but
Section 4837 of P.D. No. 1445, the administrative remedy available essentially, they are the same.
to respondent is an appeal of the denial of his claim by the District
Auditor to the COA itself, the Court holds that, in view of exceptions However, whereas before jurisdiction over money claims of laborers
(c) and (e) narrated above, the complaint for specific performance and employees appertained to Courts of First Instance, the same are
and damages was not prematurely filed and within the jurisdiction now to be taken cognizance of by proper entities in the
of the RTC to resolve, despite the failure to exhaust administrative Department of Labor and Employment.
remedies. As the Court aptly stated in Rocamora v. RTC-Cebu
(Branch VIII): OPTIMA REALTY CORPORATION V. HERTZ PHIL. EXCLUSIVE CARS,
G.R. No. 183035 January 9, 2013
The plaintiffs were not supposed to hold their breath and wait until >Optima entered into a Contract of Lease with respondent over an
the Commission on Audit and the Ministry of Public Highways had office unit and a parking slot in the Optima Building for a period of
acted on the claims for compensation for the lands appropriated by three years
the government. The road had been completed; the Pope had come > Optima, through counsel, wrote Hertz a letter requiring the latter
and gone; but the plaintiffs had yet to be paid for the properties to surrender and vacate the leased premises in view of the
taken from them. Given this official indifference, which apparently expiration of the Contract of Lease. It likewise demanded payment
would continue indefinitely, the private respondents had to act to of rental arrearages, unpaid utility bills and other charges. Hertz,
assert and protect their interests however, refused to vacate the leased premises.
>As a result, Optima was constrained to file before the MeTC a
GABRIEL ABAD ET AL. V. RTC Complaint for Unlawful Detainer and Damages with Prayer for the
G.R. No. L-65505 October 12, 1987 Issuance of a TRO and/or Preliminary Mandatory Injunction
> petitioners filed against respondent Philippine American General (Unlawful Detainer Complaint) against Hertz.
Insurance Company, Inc. (PHILAMGEN, for brevity) for the
enforcement of contract and recovery of loss of money basically >Summons for the Unlawful Detainer Complaint was served on
praying for, among other things, payment of the money value of the Henry Bobiles, quality control supervisor of Hertz, who complied
respective accumulated sick leave with pay of the separated with the telephone instruction of manager Rudy Tirador to receive
employees of respondent company either thru retirement, the Summons.
retrenchment or resignation
> On January, 1983, judicial reorganization took place by the passage >14 days after service of the Summons, Hertz filed a Motion for
of Executive Order No. 864 and the case at bar was re-raffled to Leave of Court to file Answer with Counterclaim and to Admit
respondent RTC of Manila Answer with Counterclaim (Motion for Leave to File Answer). In that
> Respondent court motu proprio, dismissed the complaint declaring Motion, Hertz stated that, "in spite of the defective service of
that it lacked jurisdiction over the subject made being money claims summons, it opted to file the instant Answer with Counterclaim with
arising from employer-employee relations. Leave of Court."23 In the same Motion, it likewise prayed that, in
the interest of substantial justice, the Answer with Counterclaim
Issue: WON dismissal was proper attached to the Motion for Leave to File Answer should be admitted
regardless of its belated filing, since the service of summons was
RULING: YES defective
The rule of adherence of jurisdiction until a cause is finally resolved
or adjudicated does not apply when the change in jurisdiction is ISSUE: WON MeTC properly acquired jurisdiction over the person of
curative in character. Thus in the instant case, there is nothing respondent Hertz
wrong in holding that Courts of First Instance /Regional Trial Courts
no longer have jurisdiction over aforesaid monetary claims of labor. RULING: YES. The MeTC acquired jurisdiction over the person of
respondent Hertz.
One of the important features in the Judiciary Reorganization In civil cases, jurisdiction over the person of the defendant may be
effected through B.P. 129 is the addition of paragraph (6), acquired either by service of summons or by the defendant’s
(P155,828.60). Sec. 19, in defining the jurisdiction of Regional Trial voluntary appearance in court and submission to its authority.35
Courts (which took the place of the abolished Courts of First
Instance), which reading as follows: In this case, the MeTC acquired jurisdiction over the person of
respondent Hertz by reason of the latter’s voluntary appearance in
In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, court.
tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial
functions. (emphasis supplied). In Philippine Commercial International Bank v. Spouses Dy, we had
occasion to state:
A provision not found in Sec. 44 of the Judiciary Act of 1948. It was
the intention of the legislative body to uncluttered the courts of Preliminarily, jurisdiction over the defendant in a civil case is
cases which may be adjudicated, in the first instance, by officials or acquired either by the coercive power of legal processes exerted
bodies exercising quasi-judicial adjudicatory powers like the Labor over his person, or his voluntary appearance in court. As a general

Page 14 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


proposition, one who seeks an affirmative relief is deemed to have ISSUE: WON jurisdiction over the petitioners were acquired
submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. It is by reason of this rule
that we have had occasion to declare that the filing of motions to RULING: NO
admit answer, for additional time to file answer, for reconsideration Clearly, a petition for relief from judgment in forcible entry and
of a default judgment, and to lift order of default with motion for unlawful detainer cases, as in the present case, is a prohibited
reconsideration, is considered voluntary submission to the court's pleading.
jurisdiction. This, however, is tempered by the concept of
conditional appearance, such that a party who makes a special The remedy of petitioners in such a situation is to file a petition for
appearance to challenge, among others, the court's jurisdiction over certiorari with the RTC under Rule 6518 of the Rules of Court on the
his person cannot be considered to have submitted to its authority. ground of lack of jurisdiction of the MTC over the person of
petitioners in view of the absence of summons to petitioners. Here,
Prescinding from the foregoing, it is thus clear that: we shall treat petitioners’ petition for relief from judgment as a
petition for certiorari before the RTC.
(1) Special appearance operates as an exception to the general rule
on voluntary appearance; An action for unlawful detainer or forcible entry is a real action and
in personam because the plaintiff seeks to enforce a personal
(2) Accordingly, objections to the jurisdiction of the court over the obligation on the defendant for the latter to vacate the property
person of the defendant must be explicitly made, i.e., set forth in an subject of the action, restore physical possession thereof to the
unequivocal manner; and plaintiff, and pay actual damages by way of reasonable
compensation for his use or occupation of the property. In an action
(3) Failure to do so constitutes voluntary submission to the in personam, jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is
jurisdiction of the court, especially in instances where a pleading or necessary for the court to validly try and decide the case.
motion seeking affirmative relief is filed and submitted to the court Jurisdiction over the defendant is acquired either upon a valid
for resolution. (Emphases supplied) service of summons or the defendant’s voluntary appearance in
court. If the defendant does not voluntarily appear in court,
In this case, the records show that the following statement jurisdiction can be acquired by personal or substituted service of
appeared in respondent’s Motion for Leave to File Answer: summons as laid out under Sections 6 and 7 of Rule 14 of the Rules
of Court
In spite of the defective service of summons, the defendant opted
to file the instant Answer with Counterclaim with Leave of Court, Any judgment of the court which has no jurisdiction over the
upon inquiring from the office of the clerk of court of this Honorable person of the defendant is null and void.
Court and due to its notice of hearing on March 29, 2005 application
for TRO/Preliminary Mandatory Injunction was received on March The 23 August 2004 Decision of the MTC states:
26, 2006.
Record shows that there were three attempts to serve the summons
Furthermore, the Answer with Counterclaim filed by Hertz never to the defendants. The first was on January 14, 2004 where the
raised the defense of improper service of summons. The defenses same was unserved. The second was on February 3, 2004 where the
that it pleaded were limited to litis pendentia, pari delicto, same was served to one Gary Akob and the last was on February 18,
performance of its obligations and lack of cause of action. Finally, it 2004 where the return was duly served but refused to sign.
even asserted its own counterclaim against Optima.
A closer look at the records of the case also reveals that the first
Measured against the standards in Philippine Commercial indorsement carried the annotation that it was "unsatisfied/given
International Bank, these actions lead to no other conclusion than address cannot be located." The second indorsement stated that the
that Hertz voluntarily appeared before the court a quo. We summons was "duly served as evidenced by his signature of one
therefore rule that, by virtue of the voluntary appearance of Gary Acob25 (relative)." While the last indorsement carried the
respondent Hertz before the MeTC, the trial court acquired annotation that it was "duly served but refused to sign" without
jurisdiction over respondent’s. specifying to whom it was served.

ABUBAKAR A. AFDAL and FATIMA A. AFDAL v. ROMEO CARLOS Service of summons upon the defendant shall be by personal service
G.R. No. 173379 December 1, 2010 first and only when the defendant cannot be promptly served in
> Romeo Carlos (respondent) filed a complaint for unlawful detainer person will substituted service be availed of. In Samartino v. Raon,
and damages against petitioners before MTC we said:
> According to the records, there were three attempts to serve the
summons and complaint on petitioners. We have long held that the impossibility of personal service
> However, petitioners failed to file an answer. justifying availment of substituted service should be explained in the
> respondent filed an ex-parte motion and compliance with position proof of service; why efforts exerted towards personal service failed.
paper submitting the case for decision based on the pleadings on The pertinent facts and circumstances attendant to the service of
record. (Judgment by default) summons must be stated in the proof of service or Officer’s Return;
> MTC ruled in favor of respondent. otherwise, the substituted service cannot be upheld.

>petitioners filed the petition for relief before the RTC. Petitioners In this case, the indorsements failed to state that prompt and
pointed out that they never received respondent’s demand letter personal service on petitioners was rendered impossible. It failed
nor were they informed of, much less participated in, the to show the reason why personal service could not be made. It was
proceedings before the Lupon. Moreover, petitioners said they were also not shown that efforts were made to find petitioners personally
not served a copy of the summons and the complaint. and that said efforts failed. These requirements are indispensable

Page 15 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


because substituted service is in derogation of the usual method of > Acting on the information, they coordinated with the Philippine
service. It is an extraordinary method since it seeks to bind the National Police and proceeded to the place. Thereat, they
defendant to the consequences of a suit even though notice of such encountered armed elements which resulted in an intense firefight.
action is served not upon him but upon another whom the law could > When the battle ceased, seven (7) persons were found sprawled
only presume would notify him of the pending proceedings. Failure on the ground lifeless. The post-incident report of the Philippine
to faithfully, strictly, and fully comply with the statutory Army states that a legitimate military operation was conducted and
requirements of substituted service renders such service ineffective. in the course of which, the victims, armed with high-powered
firearms, engaged in a shoot-out with the military.
Likewise, nowhere in the return of summons or in the records of the
case was it shown that Gary Acob, the person on whom substituted >Petitioners, on the other hand, are the widows of those who were
service of summons was effected, was a person of suitable age and allegedly killed in cold blood by the respondents.
discretion residing in petitioners’ residence. In Manotoc v. Court of >petitioners complained that there was no encounter that ensued
Appeals, we said: and that the victims were summarily executed in cold blood by
respondents. Hence, they requested NBI to investigate the case.
If the substituted service will be effected at defendant’s house or After investigation, the NBI recommended that a preliminary
residence, it should be left with a person of "suitable age and investigation be conducted against respondents for the crime of
discretion then residing therein." A person of suitable age and multiple murder.
discretion is one who has attained the age of full legal capacity (18
years old) and is considered to have enough discernment to >respondents were charged with multiple murder
understand the importance of a summons. "Discretion" is defined as
"the ability to make decisions which represent a responsible choice >Judge Advocate General's Office (JAGO) of the Armed Forces of the
and for which an understanding of what is lawful, right or wise may Philippines (AFP) filed an Omnibus Motion with the trial court
be presupposed." Thus, to be of sufficient discretion, such person seeking the cases against respondents be transferred to the
must know how to read and understand English to comprehend the jurisdiction of the military tribunal
import of the summons, and fully realize the need to deliver the
summons and complaint to the defendant at the earliest possible >Trial court granted the Omnibus Motion and the entire records of
time for the person to take appropriate action. Thus, the person the case were turned over to the Commanding General of the 9th
must have the "relation of confidence" to the defendant, ensuring Infantry Division, Philippine Army, for appropriate action.
that the latter would receive or at least be notified of the receipt of Petitioners alleged that the trial court gravely abused its discretion
the summons. The sheriff must therefore determine if the person amounting to excess of jurisdiction when it transferred the criminal
found in the alleged dwelling or residence of defendant is of legal case filed against the respondents to the jurisdiction of the military
age, what the recipient’s relationship with the defendant is, and tribunal, as jurisdiction over the same is conferred upon the civil
whether said person comprehends the significance of the receipt of courts by Republic Act No. 7055 (RA 7055).
the summons and his duty to immediately deliver it to the
defendant or at least notify the defendant of said receipt of Respondents, however, contend that the military tribunal has
summons. These matters must be clearly and specifically described jurisdiction over the case at bar because the crime charged was a
in the Return of Summons. service-connected offense allegedly committed by members of the
AFP.
In this case, the process server failed to specify Gary Acob’s age, his
relationship to petitioners and to ascertain whether he Issue: WON RTC has jurisdiction over the case
comprehends the significance of the receipt of the summons and his
duty to deliver it to petitioners or at least notify them of said receipt RULING: YES. The trial court gravely abused its discretion in not
of summons. taking cognizance of the case, which actually falls within its
jurisdiction.
In sum, petitioners were not validly served with summons and the
complaint by substituted service. Hence, the MTC failed to acquire It is an elementary rule of procedural law that jurisdiction over the
jurisdiction over the person of the petitioners and, thus, the MTC’s subject matter of the case is conferred by law and is determined by
23 August 2004 Decision is void.34 Since the MTC’s 23 August 2004 the allegations of the complaint irrespective of whether the plaintiff
Decision is void, it also never became final. is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted
therein. As a necessary consequence, the jurisdiction of the court
We REMAND the case to the MTC, for consolidation with the cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the answer
unlawful detainer case in Civil Case No. 3719 and for the MTC to or upon the motion to dismiss, for otherwise, the question of
continue proceedings thereon by affording petitioners Abubakar A. jurisdiction would almost entirely depend upon the defendant. What
Afdal and Fatima A. Afdal a chance to file their answer and present determines the jurisdiction of the court is the nature of the action
evidence in their defense, and thereafter to hear and decide the pleaded as appearing from the allegations in the complaint. The
case. averments in the complaint and the character of the relief sought
are the matters to be consulted.
FE V. RAPSING et al V. HON. JUDGE MAXIMINO R. ABLES
G.R. No. 171855 October 15, 2012 In the case at bar, the information states that respondents,
>Respondents alleged that they received information about the "conspiring together and mutually helping with one another, taking
presence of armed elements reputed to be New People’s Army advantage of their superior strength, as elements of the Philippine
(NPA) partisans in Sitio Gaway-gaway, Barangay Lagta, Baleno, Army, armed with their government-issued firearms with intent to
Masbate. kill, by means of treachery and evident premeditation, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot
the [victims], hitting them on different parts of their bodies, thereby

Page 16 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


inflicting upon them multiple gunshot wounds which caused their RULING: MTC has jurisdiction
deaths." Murder is a crime punishable under Article 248 of the Jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint
Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended, and is within the jurisdiction It is a basic rule that jurisdiction over the subject matter is
of the RTC. Hence, irrespective of whether the killing was actually determined by the allegations in the complaint. It is determined
justified or not, jurisdiction to try the crime charged against the exclusively by the Constitution and the law. It cannot be conferred
respondents has been vested upon the RTC by law. by the voluntary act or agreement of the parties, or acquired
through or waived, enlarged or diminished by their act or omission,
In view of the provisions of R.A. 7055, the military tribunals cannot nor conferred by the acquiescence of the court. Well to emphasize,
exercise jurisdiction over respondents' case since the offense for it is neither for the court nor the parties to violate or disregard the
which they were charged is not included in the enumeration of rule, this matter being legislative in character.23
"service-connected offenses or crimes" as provided for under
Section 1 thereof. The said law is very clear that the jurisdiction to Under Batas Pambansa Blg. 129,24 as amended by R.A. No. 7691,25
try members of the AFP who commit crimes or offenses covered by the MTC shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of
the RPC, and which are not service-connected, lies with the civil forcible entry and unlawful detainer. The RRSP26 governs the
courts. Where the law is clear and unambiguous, it must be taken to remedial aspects of these suits.27
mean exactly what it says and the court has no choice but to see to
it that its mandate is obeyed. There is no room for interpretation, Under Section 5028 of R.A. No. 6657, as well as Section 3429 of
but only application. Hence, the RTC cannot divest itself of its Executive Order No. 129-A,30 the DARAB has primary and exclusive
jurisdiction over the alleged crime of multiple murder. jurisdiction, both original and appellate, to determine and
adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving the implementation of the
JOSE MENDOZA V. ARCISO GERMINO and BENIGNO GERMINO Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, and other agrarian laws
G.R. No. 165676 November 22, 2010 and their implementing rules and regulations.
The plaintiffs claimed that they were the registered owners of a
parcel of land. Sometime in 1988, respondent Narciso unlawfully An agrarian dispute refers to any controversy relating to, among
entered the subject property by means of strategy and stealth, and others, tenancy over lands devoted to agriculture.31 For a case to
without their knowledge or consent. Despite the plaintiffs’ repeated involve an agrarian dispute, the following essential requisites of an
demands, respondent Narciso refused to vacate the subject agricultural tenancy relationship must be present: (1) the parties are
property the landowner and the tenant; (2) the subject is agricultural land; (3)
there is consent; (4) the purpose is agricultural production; (5) there
plaintiffs filed a complaint with MTC for forcible entry is personal cultivation; and (6) there is sharing of harvest or payment
of rental.
Respondent Narciso filed his answer, claiming, among others, that
his brother, respondent Benigno Germino, was the plaintiffs’ Based on these allegations and reliefs prayed, it is clear that the
agricultural lessee and he merely helped the latter in the cultivation action in the MTC was for forcible entry.
as a member of the immediate farm household
Allegation of tenancy does not divest the MTC of jurisdiction
the plaintiffs filed a motion to remand the case to the Department Although respondent Narciso averred tenancy as an affirmative
of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), in view of the and/or special defense in his answer, this did not automatically
tenancy issue raised by respondent Narciso. divest the MTC of jurisdiction over the complaint. It continued to
have the authority to hear the case precisely to determine whether
>Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint with the Provincial Agrarian it had jurisdiction to dispose of the ejectment suit on its merits.34
Reform Adjudicator (PARAD), impleading respondent Benigno as After all, jurisdiction is not affected by the pleas or the theories set
additional defendant. up by the defendant in an answer or a motion to dismiss. Otherwise,
>plaintiffs alleged that Efren Bernardo was the agricultural lessee of jurisdiction would become dependent almost entirely upon the
the subject property. Respondent Benigno unlawfully entered the whims of the defendant.35
subject property through strategy and stealth, and without their
knowledge or consent. Under the RRSP, the MTC is duty-bound to conduct a preliminary
conference and, if necessary, to receive evidence to determine if
PARAD: ordered the respondents to vacate the subject property, such tenancy relationship had, in fact, been shown to be the real
and pay the plaintiffs 500 cavans of palay as actual damages. issue. The MTC may even opt to conduct a hearing on the special
>Respondents filed a notice of appeal with the DARAB, arguing that and affirmative defense of the defendant, although under the RRSP,
the case should have been dismissed because the MTC’s referral to such a hearing is not a matter of right. If it is shown during the
the DARAB was void hearing or conference that, indeed, tenancy is the issue, the MTC
should dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.
DARAB It held that it acquired jurisdiction because of the amended
complaint that sufficiently alleged an agrarian dispute, not the In the present case, instead of conducting a preliminary conference,
MTC’s referral of the case the MTC immediately referred the case to the DARAB. This was
contrary to the rules. Besides, Section 240 of P.D. No. 316, which
CA found that the MTC erred in transferring the case to the DARAB required the referral of a land dispute case to the Department of
since the material allegations of the complaint and the relief sought Agrarian Reform for the preliminary determination of the existence
show a case for forcible entry, not an agrarian dispute. of an agricultural tenancy relationship, has indeed been repealed by
Section 7641 of R.A. No. 6657 in 1988.
Issue: whether the MTC or the DARAB has jurisdiction over the
case. Amended complaint did confer jurisdiction on the DARAB

Page 17 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


Neither did the amendment of the complaint confer jurisdiction on Annulment of judgment is a recourse equitable in character, allowed
the DARAB. The plaintiffs alleged in the amended complaint that the only in exceptional cases as where there is no available or other
subject property was previously tilled by Efren Bernardo, and the adequate remedy. Rule 47 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as
respondents took possession by strategy and stealth, without their amended, governs actions for annulment of judgments or final
knowledge and consent. In the absence of any allegation of a orders and resolutions, and Section 2 thereof explicitly provides only
tenancy relationship between the parties, the action was for two grounds for annulment of judgment, i.e., extrinsic fraud and lack
recovery of possession of real property that was within the of jurisdiction. The underlying reason is traceable to the notion that
jurisdiction of the regular courts. annulling final judgments goes against the grain of finality of
judgment. Litigation must end and terminate sometime and
The CA, therefore, committed no reversible error in setting aside the somewhere, and it is essential to an effective administration of
DARAB decision. While we lament the lapse of time this forcible justice that once a judgment has become final, the issue or cause
entry case has been pending resolution, we are not in a position to involved therein should be laid to rest. The basic rule of finality of
resolve the dispute between the parties since the evidence required judgment is grounded on the fundamental principle of public policy
in courts is different from that of administrative agencies. and sound practice that at the risk of occasional error, the judgment
of courts and the award of quasi-judicial agencies must become final
REMEDIOS ANTONINO v. THE REGISTER OF DEEDS at some definite date fixed by law.
G.R. No. 185663 June 20, 2012
>petitioner Remedios Antonino had been leasing a residential In Barco v. Court of Appeals, this Court emphasized that only void
property at MAKATI owned by private respondent Tan Tian Su (Su). judgments, by reason of "extrinsic fraud" or the court’s lack of
Under the governing lease contract, Antonino was accorded with the jurisdiction, are susceptible to being annulled.
right of first refusal in the event Su would decide to sell the subject
property The law sanctions the annulment of certain judgments which,
>the parties executed a document denominated as Undertaking though final, are ultimately void. Annulment of judgment is an
Agreement where Su agreed to sell to Antonino the subject equitable principle not because it allows a party-litigant another
property. However, in view of a disagreement as to who between opportunity to reopen a judgment that has long lapsed into finality
them would shoulder the payment of the capital gains tax, the sale but because it enables him to be discharged from the burden of
did not proceed being bound to a judgment that is an absolute nullity to begin with.
>Antonino filed a complaint against Su with RTC of MAKATI for the
reimbursement of the cost of repairs on the subject property and Apart from the requirement that the existence of "extrinsic fraud" or
payment of damages. "lack of jurisdiction" should be amply demonstrated, one who
>amended complaint to enforce the Undertaking Agreement and desires to avail this remedy must convince that the ordinary and
compel Su to sell to her the subject property other appropriate remedies, such as an appeal, are no longer
available for causes not attributable to him. This is clearly provided
>RTC dismissed Antonino’s complaint on the grounds of improper under Section 1, Rule 47 of the Rules of Court.
venue and non-payment of the appropriate docket fees. According
to the RTC, Antonino’s complaint is one for specific performance, Antonino’s recourse to annulment of judgment is seriously flawed
damages and sum of money, which are personal actions that should and the reasons are patent. There is therefore no reason to disturb
have been filed in the court of the place where any of the parties the questioned issuances of the RTC that are already final and
resides. Antonino and Su reside in Muntinlupa and Manila, executory.
respectively, thus Makati City is not the proper venue.
A petition for annulment of judgment cannot serve as a substitute
>Antonino filed with the CA a petition for annulment of judgment. for the lost remedy of an appeal.
Antonino prayed for the nullification of the RTC’s Order dated
December 8, 2004 dismissing her complaint, Order dated January 6, First, Antonino cannot pursue the annulment of the various
2005 denying her motion for reconsideration and Joint Resolution issuances of the RTC, primary of which is the Order dated December
dated February 24, 2005 denying her motion for reconsideration of 8, 2004, in order to avoid the adverse consequences of their
the January 6, 2005 Order. According to Antonino, the RTC becoming final and executory because of her neglect in utilizing the
committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of ordinary remedies available. Antonino did not proffer any
jurisdiction when it ruled that her action for the enforcement of the explanation for her failure to appeal the RTC’s Order dated
Undertaking Agreement is personal and when it deprived her of an December 8, 2004 and, thereafter, the Order dated January 6, 2005,
opportunity to pay the correct amount of docket fees. The RTC’s denying her Motion for Reconsideration dated January 3, 2005.
grave abuse of discretion, Antonino posited, was likewise exhibited Knowledge of rudimentary remedial rules immediately indicates that
by its strict application of the rules on motions and summary denial an appeal was already available from the Order dated December 8,
of her motion for reconsideration. 2004, as this is a final order as contemplated under Sections 2, 3 and
5 of Rule 41 of the Rules of Court, and there was no legal
Issue: WON Antonino’s use of the remedy of a petition for compulsion for Antonino to move for reconsideration. Nonetheless,
annulment of judgment as against the final and executory orders since there is no bar for her to file a motion for reconsideration so as
of the RTC was proper to give the RTC opportunity to reverse itself before elevating the
matter for the appellate courts’ review, appeal is the prescribed
RULING: NO. remedy from the denial of such motion and not another motion for
In Ramos v. Judge Combong, Jr., this Court expounded that the reconsideration. While Section 1 of Rule 41 of the Rules of Court
remedy of annulment of judgment is only available under certain includes "an order denying a motion for new trial or
exceptional circumstances as this is adverse to the concept of reconsideration" in the enumeration of unappealable matters, this
immutability of final judgments: Court clarified in Quelnan v. VHF Philippines, Inc. that such refers to
a motion for reconsideration of an interlocutory order and the

Page 18 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


denial of a motion for reconsideration of an order of dismissal is a exercise of the jurisdiction. And the errors which the court may
final order, therefore, appealable. Moreover, a second motion for commit in the exercise of jurisdiction are merely errors of judgment
reconsideration from a final judgment or order is prohibited, hence, which are the proper subject of an appeal.33
can never interrupt the period to perfect an appeal.
In fact, the RTC did not gravely abuse its discretion or err in
The RTC may have been overly strict in the observance of the three- dismissing Antonino’s complaint. The RTC was correct in classifying
day notice rule under Section 4, Rule 15 of the Rules of Court Antonino’s cause of action as personal and in holding that it was
contrary to liberal stance taken by this Court in cases when the instituted in the wrong venue. Personal action is one that is founded
purpose of such rule can be achieved by giving the opposing party on privity of contracts between the parties; and in which the plaintiff
sufficient time to study and controvert the motion.27 Justice and usually seeks the recovery of personal property, the enforcement of
equity would thus suggest that the fifteen-day period within which a contract, or recovery of damages. Real action, on the other hand,
Antonino can appeal should be counted from her receipt on January is one anchored on the privity of real estate, where the plaintiff
7, 200528 of the Order dated January 6, 2005 denying her Motion seeks the recovery of ownership or possession of real property or
for Reconsideration dated January 3, 2005. Unfortunately, even interest in it. Antonino’s following allegations in her amended
liberality proved to be inadequate to neutralize the adverse complaint show that one of her causes of action is one for the
consequences of Antonino’s negligence as she allowed such period enforcement or consummation of a contract, hence, a personal
to lapse without filing an appeal, erroneously believing that a second action
motion for reconsideration is the proper remedy. While a second
motion for reconsideration is not prohibited insofar as interlocutory Antonino’s cause of action is premised on her claim that there has
orders are concerned, the Orders dated December 8, 2004 and already been a perfected contract of sale by virtue of their execution
January 6, 2005 are final orders. of the Undertaking Agreement and Su had refused to comply with
his obligations as seller. However, by claiming the existence of a
In fact, even if the period to appeal would be counted from perfected contract of sale, it does not mean that Antonino acquired
Antonino’s receipt of the Order dated February 24, 2005 denying her title to the subject property. She does not allege otherwise and
second motion for reconsideration, she interposed no appeal and tacitly acknowledges Su’s title to the subject property by asking for
filed a petition for annulment of judgment on April 1, 2005 instead. the consummation of the sale.
This, for sure, constitutes a categorical admission that the assailed
issuances of the RTC had already become final and executory in view That there is a private document supposedly evidencing the alleged
of her omission to perfect an appeal within the mandated period. By sale does not confer to Antonino title to the subject property.
no means can her petition for annulment of judgment prosper as Ownership is transferred when there is actual or constructive
that would, in effect, sanction her blatant negligence or sheer delivery and the thing is considered delivered when it is placed in
obliviousness to proper procedure. the control or possession of the buyer or when the sale is made
through a public instrument and the contrary does not appear or
Let it be stressed at the outset that before a party can avail of the cannot be clearly inferred.36 In other words, Antonino’s complaint is
reliefs provided for by Rule 47, i.e., annulment of judgments, final not in the nature of a real action as ownership of the subject
orders, and resolutions, it is a condition sine qua non that one must property is not at issue.
have failed to move for new trial in, or appeal from, or file a petition
for relief against said issuances or take other appropriate remedies Moreover, that the object of the alleged sale is a real property does
thereon, through no fault attributable to him. If he failed to avail of not make Antonino’s complaint real in nature in the absence of a
those cited remedies without sufficient justification, he cannot contrary claim of title. After a contract of sale is perfected, the right
resort to the action for annulment provided in Rule 47, for otherwise of the parties to reciprocally demand performance, thus
he would benefit from his own inaction or negligence. consummation, arises – the vendee may require the vendor to
compel the transfer the title to the object of the sale and the vendor
"Grave abuse of discretion" is not a ground to annul a final and may require the payment of the purchase price. The action to cause
executory judgment. the consummation of a sale does not involve an adverse claim of
ownership as the vendor’s title is recognized and the vendor is
Second, a petition for annulment of judgment can only be based on simply being asked to perform an act, specifically, the transfer of
"extrinsic fraud" and "lack of jurisdiction" and cannot prosper on the such title by any of the recognized modes of delivery.
basis of "grave abuse of discretion". By anchoring her petition on the
alleged grave abuse of discretion that attended the dismissal of her Considering that the filing of the complaint in a wrong venue
complaint and the denial of her two (2) motions for reconsideration, sufficed for the dismissal thereof, it would be superfluous to discuss
Antonino, is, in effect, enlarging the concept of "lack of jurisdiction". if Antonino’s non-payment of the correct docket fees likewise
As this Court previously clarified in Republic of the Philippines v. "G" warranted it.
Holdings, Inc., "lack of jurisdiction" as a ground for the annulment of
judgments pertains to lack of jurisdiction over the person of the At any rate, even if the RTC erred in ordering the dismissal of her
defending party or over the subject matter of the claim. It does not complaint, such had already become final and executory and will not
contemplate "grave abuse of discretion" considering that be disturbed as it had jurisdiction and it was not alleged, much less,
"jurisdiction" is different from the exercise thereof. As ruled in proved that there was extrinsic fraud. Moreover, annulment of the
Tolentino v. Judge Leviste: assailed orders of the RTC will not issue if ordinary remedies, such as
an appeal, were lost and were not availed of because of Antonino’s
Jurisdiction is not the same as the exercise of jurisdiction. As fault. Litigation should end and terminate sometime and
distinguished from the exercise of jurisdiction, jurisdiction is the somewhere. It is essential to an effective and efficient
authority to decide a cause, and not the decision rendered therein. administration of justice that, once a judgment has become final,
Where there is jurisdiction over the person and the subject matter, the winning party should not be deprived of the fruits of the verdict
the decision on all other questions arising in the case is but an

Page 19 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


DELFIN LAMSIS v. MARGARITA SEMON DONG-E first time in the CA, what more for petitioners in the instant case
G.R. No. 173021 October 20, 2010 who raised the issue for the first time in their petition before this
>This case involves a conflict of ownership and possession over an Court.
untitled parcel of land. s. While petitioners are the actual occupants
of Lot No. 1, respondent is claiming ownership thereof and is At the time that the complaint was first filed in 1998, the IPRA was
seeking to recover its possession from petitioners. already in effect but the petitioners never raised the same as a
> The land subject of the instant application is the ancestral land of ground for dismissal; instead they filed a motion to dismiss on the
the herein applicants. ground that the value of the property did not meet the jurisdictional
It has been sufficiently substantiated by the applicants that prior to value for the RTC. They obviously neglected to take the IPRA into
and at the time of the pendency of the land registration case and consideration.
henceforth up to and including the present, the herein applicants by
themselves and through their predecessor-in-interest have been in When the amended complaint was filed in 1998, the petitioners no
exclusive, continuous, and material possession and occupation of longer raised the issue of the trial court’s lack of jurisdiction.
the said parcel of land mentioned above under claim of ownership, Instead, they proceeded to trial, all the time aware of the existence
devoting the same for residential and agricultural purposes. of the IPRA as evidenced by the cross-examination conducted by
> On the matter of the applicant[s’] indiguinity [sic] and petitioners’ lawyer on the CSTFAL Chairman Guillermo Fianza. In the
qualifications, there is no doubt that they are members of the cross-examination, it was revealed that the petitioners were aware
National Cultural Communities, particularly the Ibaloi tribe. They are that the DENR, through the CSTFAL, had lost its jurisdiction over
the legitimate grandchildren of Ap-Ap (one name) who lived along ancestral land claims by virtue of the enactment of the IPRA. They
the Asin Road area assailed the validity of the CSTFAL resolution favoring respondent on
the ground that the CSTFAL had been rendered functus officio under
For the first time in the entire proceedings of this case, petitioners the IPRA. Inexplicably, petitioners still did not question the trial
raise the trial court’s alleged lack of jurisdiction over the subject- court’s jurisdiction
matter in light of the effectivity of the IPRA at the time that the
complaint was filed. They maintain that, under the IPRA, it is the When petitioners recoursed to the appellate court, they only raised
NCIP which has jurisdiction over land disputes involving indigenous as errors the trial court’s appreciation of the evidence and the
cultural communities and indigenous peoples. conclusions that it derived therefrom. In their brief, they once again
assailed the CSTFAL’s resolution as having been rendered functus
Issue: WON Trial court has jurisdiction to decide the case in light of officio by the enactment of IPRA. But nowhere did petitioners assail
the effectivity of RA 8371 or the Indigenous People’s Rights Act of the trial court’s ruling for having been rendered without jurisdiction.
1997 at the time that the complaint was instituted
It is only before this Court, eight years after the filing of the
RULING: YES. They are already barred by prescription complaint, after the trial court had already conducted a full-blown
As a rule, an objection over subject-matter jurisdiction may be trial and rendered a decision on the merits, after the appellate court
raised at any time of the proceedings. This is because jurisdiction had made a thorough review of the records, and after petitioners
cannot be waived by the parties or vested by the agreement of the have twice encountered adverse decisions from the trial and the
parties. Jurisdiction is vested by law, which prevails at the time of appellate courts — that petitioners now want to expunge all the
the filing of the complaint. efforts that have gone into the litigation and resolution of their case
and start all over again. This practice cannot be allowed.
An exception to this rule has been carved by jurisprudence. In the
seminal case of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, the Court ruled that the Thus, even assuming arguendo that petitioners’ theory about the
existence of laches will prevent a party from raising the court’s lack effect of IPRA is correct (a matter which need not be decided here),
of jurisdiction. Laches is defined as the "failure or neglect, for an they are already barred by laches from raising their jurisdictional
unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by objection under the circumstances.
exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier; it is
negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, There is laches when a party is aware, even in the early stages of the
warranting the presumption that the party entitled to assert it either proceedings, of a possible jurisdictional objection, and has every
has abandoned or declined to assert it."80 Wisely, some cases81 opportunity to raise said objection, but fails to do so, even on
have cautioned against applying Tijam, except for the most appeal.
exceptional cases where the factual milieu is similar to Tijam.
CORAZON JALBUENA DE LEON v. CA
In Tijam, the surety could have raised the issue of lack of jurisdiction G.R. No. 96107 June 19, 1995
in the trial court but failed to do so. Instead, the surety participated >Jalbuena, the owner of the land, entered into a verbal lease
in the proceedings and filed pleadings, other than a motion to contract with Uldarico Inayan, for one year renewable for the same
dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. When the case reached the appellate period.
court, the surety again participated in the case and filed their >Inayan, private respondent herein, bound himself to deliver cavans
pleadings therein. It was only after receiving the appellate court’s of palay each year as rental to be paid during the first ten days of
adverse decision that the surety awoke from its slumber and filed a January.
motion to dismiss, in lieu of a motion for reconsideration. The CA > Although private respondent cultivated the subject property
certified the matter to this Court, which then ruled that the surety through hired men, the cavans of palay were paid annually until
was already barred by laches from raising the jurisdiction issue. 1983 when Inayan ceased paying the agreed rental and instead,
asserted dominion over the land.
In case at bar, the application of the Tijam doctrine is called for >When asked by the petitioner to vacate the land, he refused to do
because the presence of laches cannot be ignored. If the surety in so, prompting the latter to bring an action in court
Tijam was barred by laches for raising the issue of jurisdiction for the

Page 20 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


> herein petitioner filed a complaint against private respondent Participation in judicial proceedings where the court was devoid of
before RTC for "Termination of Civil Law Lease; Recovery of jurisdiction is not normally considered as estoppel because the
Possession, Recovery of Unpaid Rentals and Damages." jurisdiction of a court is mandated by law. Estoppel is likewise not
> RTC in favor of petitioner appreciated where a mistaken belief in the court's jurisdiction is
> On appeal to the Court of Appeals, private respondent raised the maintained.
sole issue of jurisdiction and alleged that the lower court, acting as
Court of Agrarian Relations, had no jurisdiction over the action. But private respondent's case is different for it does not involve an
> CA held that jurisdiction must exist as a matter of law, private honest mistake. He is directly responsible for the trial court's use of
respondent's attack on the jurisdiction of the lower court must fail the special rules of agrarian procedure. His insistence brought
for he is guilty of estoppel. about the want of jurisdiction he conveniently asserted before the
appellate court, and only after an adverse decision was leveled
ISSUE: WON he is guilty of estoppel against him. Private respondent cannot be allowed to seek refuge
under the protective mantle of the law after he has abused and
RULING: YES made a mockery of it. He is, therefore, considered estopped from
Jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter is conferred only by asserting the court's want of jurisdiction to try the case.
the Constitution or by law. It is determinable on the basis of
allegations in the complaint. 12 Moreover, the case was ostensibly one that involved agrarian
matters, as alleged by private respondent. Hence the trial court
An error in jurisdiction can be raised at any time and even for the cannot be faulted for its use of agrarian procedure.
first time on appeal. Barring highly meritorious and exceptional
circumstances, neither estoppel nor waiver may be raised as In sum, we have concluded that the case filed by petitioner below,
defenses to such an error. not being one of unlawful detainer, the regional trial court had
jurisdiction to hear and try the case.
In order to determine whether the court below had jurisdiction, it is
necessary to first ascertain the nature of the complaint filed before Moreover, as shown in the foregoing paragraphs, private
it. respondent is estopped from asserting the lower court's lack of
jurisdiction.
A study of the complaint instituted by petitioner in the lower court
reveals that the case is, contrary to the findings of the respondent SERAFIN TIJAM, ET AL v. MAGDALENO SIBONGHANOY
appellate court, not one of unlawful detainer. G.R. No. L-21450 April 15, 1968
> On July 19, 1948 – barely one month after the effectivity of
Where the issues of the case extend beyond those commonly Republic Act No. 296 known as the Judiciary Act of 1948 — the
involved in unlawful detainer suits, such as for instance, the spouses Serafin Tijam and Felicitas Tagalog commenced Civil Case in
respective rights of parties under various contractual arrangements CFI against the spouses Magdaleno Sibonghanoy and Lucia Baguio to
and the validity thereof, the case is converted from a mere detainer recover from them the sum of P1,908.00, with legal interest thereon
suit to one "incapable of pecuniary estimation," thereby placing it from the date of the filing of the complaint until the whole
under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the regional trial courts obligation is paid, plus costs.
(formerly the courts of first instance). 26 > a writ of attachment was issued by the court against defendants'
properties, but the same was soon dissolved upon the filing of a
PRINCIPLE OF ESTOPPEL counter-bond by defendants and the Manila Surety and Fidelity Co.,
Still on the question of jurisdiction, private respondent Inayan, as Inc. hereinafter referred to as the Surety, on the 31st of the same
appellant before the respondent court, claimed that the trial court, month
acting as a court of agrarian relations, did not have jurisdiction over > Court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs
the complaint filed by petitioner because the latter did not concern > after the same had become final and executory, the Court issued a
itself with tenancy or agrarian matters. The Court of Appeals, in its writ of execution against the defendants
original decision, ruled that private respondent was guilty of > Subsequently, the Surety moved to quash the writ on the ground
estoppel. Accordingly, he can not successfully raise the issue. that the same was issued without the required summary hearing
provided for in Section 17 of Rule 59 of the Rules of Court.
In the past, the principle of estoppel has been used by the courts to > Surety appealed to the CA. Not one of the assignment of errors
avoid a clear case of injustice. Its use as a defense to a jurisdictional raises the question of lack of jurisdiction, neither directly nor
error is more of an exception rather than the rule. The indirectly.
circumstances outlining estoppel must be unequivocal and > Although the appellees failed to file their brief, CA affirmed the
intentional, for it is an exception to standard legal norms and is orders appealed from.
generally applied only in highly exceptional and justifiable cases. > On January 8, 1963 — five days after the Surety received notice of
the decision, it filed a motion asking for extension of time within
We find that the situation in the case at bench falls within the ambit which to file a motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals
of justifiable cases where estoppel may be applied. The trial court's granted the motion.
recourse to agrarian procedure was undoubtedly provoked by > Two days later the Surety filed a pleading entitled MOTION TO
private respondent Inayan's insistence on the existence of a tenancy DISMISS, alleging substantially that appellees action was filed in CFI
relationship with petitioner. Private respondent cannot now use of Cebu on July 19, 1948 for the recovery of the sum of P1,908.00
these same misrepresentations to assert the court's lack of only; that a month before that date Republic Act No. 296, otherwise
jurisdiction. He cannot invoke the court's jurisdiction to secure known as the Judiciary Act of 1948, had already become effective,
affirmative relief against petitioner and, after failing to obtain such Section 88 of which placed within the original exclusive jurisdiction
relief, repudiate or question that same jurisdiction. of inferior courts all civil actions where the value of the subject-
matter or the amount of the demand does not exceed P2,000.00,

Page 21 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


exclusive of interest and costs; that the Court of First Instance inequity or unfairness of permitting a right or claim to be enforced
therefore had no jurisdiction to try and decide the case. or asserted.

Issue: WON CFI has jurisdiction It has been held that a party can not invoke the jurisdiction of a
court to sure affirmative relief against his opponent and, after
RULING: YES. GUILTY OF ESTOPPEL obtaining or failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or question that
It is an undisputed fact that the action commenced by appellees in same jurisdiction (Dean vs. Dean, 136 Or. 694, 86 A.L.R. 79). In the
the Court of First Instance of Cebu against the Sibonghanoy spouses case just cited, by way of explaining the rule, it was further said that
was for the recovery of the sum of P1,908.00 only — an amount the question whether the court had jurisdiction either of the
within the original exclusive jurisdiction of inferior courts in subject-matter of the action or of the parties was not important in
accordance with the provisions of the Judiciary Act of 1948 which such cases because the party is barred from such conduct not
had taken effect about a month prior to the date when the action because the judgment or order of the court is valid and conclusive as
was commenced. True also is the rule that jurisdiction over the an adjudication, but for the reason that such a practice can not be
subject matter is conferred upon the courts exclusively by law, and tolerated — obviously for reasons of public policy.
as the lack of it affects the very authority of the court to take
cognizance of the case, the objection may be raised at any stage of Furthermore, it has also been held that after voluntarily submitting a
the proceedings. However, considering the facts and circumstances cause and encountering an adverse decision on the merits, it is too
of the present case — which shall forthwith be set forth — We are late for the loser to question the jurisdiction or power of the court
of the opinion that the Surety is now barred by laches from invoking (Pease vs. Rathbun-Jones etc., 243 U.S. 273, 61 L. Ed. 715, 37 S. Ct.
this plea at this late hour for the purpose of annuling everything 283; St. Louis etc. vs. McBride, 141 U.S. 127, 35 L. Ed. 659). And in
done heretofore in the case with its active participation. Littleton vs. Burgess, 16 Wyo. 58, the Court said that it is not right
for a party who has affirmed and invoked the jurisdiction of a court
As already stated, the action was commenced in the Court of First in a particular matter to secure an affirmative relief, to afterwards
Instance of Cebu on July 19, 1948, that is, almost fifteen years deny that same jurisdiction to escape a penalty.
before the Surety filed its motion to dismiss on January 12, 1963
raising the question of lack of jurisdiction for the first time. Upon this same principle is what We said in the three cases
mentioned in the resolution of the Court of Appeals of May 20, 1963
It must be remembered that although the action, originally, was (supra) — to the effect that we frown upon the "undesirable
exclusively against the Sibonghanoy spouses the Surety became a practice" of a party submitting his case for decision and then
quasi-party therein since July 31, 1948 when it filed a counter-bond accepting the judgment, only if favorable, and attacking it for lack of
for the dissolution of the writ of attachment issued by the court of jurisdiction, when adverse — as well as in Pindañgan etc. vs. Dans, et
origin (Record on Appeal, pp. 15-19). Since then, it acquired certain al., G.R. L-14591, September 26, 1962; Montelibano, et al., vs.
rights and assumed specific obligations in connection with the Bacolod-Murcia Milling Co., Inc., G.R. L-15092; Young Men Labor
pending case, in accordance with sections 12 and 17, Rule 57, Rules Union etc. vs. The Court of Industrial Relation et al., G.R. L-20307,
of Court (Bautista vs. Joaquin, 46 Phil. 885; Kimpang & Co. vs. Javier, Feb. 26, 1965, and Mejia vs. Lucas, 100 Phil. p. 277.
65 Phil. 170).
The facts of this case show that from the time the Surety became a
Upon the filing of the first motion for execution against the counter- quasi-party on July 31, 1948, it could have raised the question of the
bond the Surety not only filed a written opposition thereto praying lack of jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Cebu to take
for its denial but also asked for an additional affirmative relief — cognizance of the present action by reason of the sum of money
that it be relieved of its liability under the counter-bond upon the involved which, according to the law then in force, was within the
grounds relied upon in support of its opposition — lack of original exclusive jurisdiction of inferior courts. It failed to do so.
jurisdiction of the court a quo not being one of them. Instead, at several stages of the proceedings in the court a quo as
well as in the Court of Appeals, it invoked the jurisdiction of said
Then, at the hearing on the second motion for execution against the courts to obtain affirmative relief and submitted its case for a final
counter-bond, the Surety appeared, through counsel, to ask for time adjudication on the merits. It was only after an adverse decision was
within which to file an answer or opposition thereto. This motion rendered by the Court of Appeals that it finally woke up to raise the
was granted, but instead of such answer or opposition, the Surety question of jurisdiction. Were we to sanction such conduct on its
filed the motion to dismiss mentioned heretofore. part, We would in effect be declaring as useless all the proceedings
had in the present case since it was commenced on July 19, 1948
A party may be estopped or barred from raising a question in and compel the judgment creditors to go up their Calvary once
different ways and for different reasons. Thus we speak of estoppel more. The inequity and unfairness of this is not only patent but
in pais, or estoppel by deed or by record, and of estoppel by laches. revolting.

Laches, in a general sense is failure or neglect, for an unreasonable ATTY. RESTITUTO G. CUDIAMAT v. BATANGAS SAVINGS AND LOAN
and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due BANK, INC
diligence, could or should have been done earlier; it is negligence or G.R. No. 182403 March 9, 2010
omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a >Petitioner Atty. Restituto Cudiamat and his brother Perfecto were
presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has the registered co-owners of a parcel of land.
abandoned it or declined to assert it. > entrusted the custody of the title to who was residing in Balayan
> Perfecto, without the knowledge and consent of Restituto,
The doctrine of laches or of "stale demands" is based upon grounds obtained a loan from respondent Batangas Savings and Loan Bank,
of public policy which requires, for the peace of society, the Inc. (the bank). To secure the payment of the loan, Perfecto
discouragement of stale claims and, unlike the statute of limitations, mortgaged the property for the purpose of which he presented a
is not a mere question of time but is principally a question of the Special Power of Attorney (SPA) purportedly executed by Restituto,

Page 22 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


with the marital consent of his wife-herein co-petitioner Erlinda fact, decided petitioners’ complaint (about two years before the
Cudiamat. appellate court rendered the assailed decision) would be an exercise
> property was foreclosed in futility and would unjustly burden petitioners.
> Restituto informed the bank that he had no participation in the
execution of the mortgage and that he never authorized Perfecto for The Court, in Valenzuela v. Court of Appeals, held that as a general
the purpose. rule, if there is a judicial liquidation of an insolvent bank, all claims
> Perfecto died in 1990. as Perfecto’s widow petitioner Corazon was against the bank should be filed in the liquidation proceeding. The
being evicted from the property, she and her co-petitioner-spouses Court in Valenzuela, however, after considering the circumstances
Restituto and Erlinda filed RTC of Balayan a complaint "for quieting attendant to the case, held that the general rule should not be
of title with damages" against the bank and the Register of Deeds applied if to order the aggrieved party to refile or relitigate its case
assailing the mortgage as being null and void as they did not before the litigation court would be "an exercise in futility."
authorize the encumbrance of the property.
> In its Answer to the complaint, the bank, maintaining the validity In the present case, the Court finds that analogous considerations
of the mortgage, alleged that it had in fact secured a title in its exist to warrant the application of Valenzuela. Petitioner Restituto
name, after Perfecto failed to redeem the mortgage; that the was 78 years old at the time the petition was filed in this Court, and
Balayan RTC had no jurisdiction over the case as the bank had been his co-petitioner-wife Erlinda died during the pendency of the case.
placed under receivership and under liquidation by the Philippine And, except for co-petitioner Corazon, Restituto is a resident of
Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC); that PDIC filed before the RTC Ozamis City. To compel him to appear and relitigate the case in the
of Nasugbu a petition for assistance in the liquidation of the bank liquidation court-Nasugbu RTC when the issues to be raised before it
which was docketed as SP No. 576; and that jurisdiction to are the same as those already exhaustively passed upon and decided
adjudicate disputed claims against it is lodged with the liquidation by the Balayan RTC would be superfluous.
court-RTC Nasugbu.
> Balayan RTC rendered judgment, in the complaint for quieting of FIRST CORPORATION v. FORMER SIXTH DIVISION OF CA
title, in favor of the plaintiffs-herein petitioners. G.R. No. 171989 July 4, 2007
> Respondent Eduardo M. Sacris (Sacris) is the alleged creditor of
> The bank appealed to the Court of Appeals, contending, inter alia, the petitioner corporation, while private respondent Cesar A. Abillar
that the Balayan RTC had no jurisdiction over petitioners’ complaint (Abillar) had served as the President and Chairman of the Board of
for quieting of title. the petitioner corporation
> private respondent Sacris filed a Complaint for Sum of Money with
ISSUE: WON RTC has jurisdiction Damages before the RTC of Quezon City against the petitioner
corporation, docketed as Civil Case No. Q01-44599, to recover his
RULING: YES. alleged collectible amount of P1.8 million due from the petitioner
Estoppel bars the bank from raising the issue of lack of jurisdiction of corporation. Petitioner corporation filed its Answer denying the
the Balayan RTC. material allegations stated in the Complaint. Petitioner corporation
denied having liability to private respondent Sacris, as it had no
In Lozon v. NLRC, the Court came up with a clear rule on when knowledge of or consent to the purported transactions or dealings
jurisdiction by estoppel applies and when it does not: that private respondent Sacris may have had with private
respondent Abillar. Subsequently, petitioner corporation filed a
The operation of estoppel on the question of jurisdiction seemingly Third-Party Complaint against private respondent Abillar alleging
depends on whether the lower court actually had jurisdiction or not. that the investment/loan transactions of private respondent Sacris,
If it had no jurisdiction, but the case was tried and decided upon the the basis of his cause of action against the petitioner corporation,
theory that it had jurisdiction, the parties are not barred, on appeal, were all entered into by private respondent Abillar without the
from assailing such jurisdiction, for the same "must exist as a matter knowledge, consent, authority and/or approval of the petitioner
of law, and may not be conferred by the consent of the parties or by corporation or of the latter’s Board of Directors. The aforesaid
estoppel." However, if the lower court had jurisdiction, and the case transactions were not even ratified by the petitioner corporation or
was heard and decided upon a given theory, such, for instance, as by its Board of Directors. Private respondent Abillar filed his Answer
that the court had no jurisdiction, the party who induced it to adopt to the said Third-Party Complaint raising therein the same
such theory will not be permitted, on appeal, to assume an allegations found in the Complaint filed by private respondent
inconsistent position – that the lower court had jurisdiction Sacris.

The ruling was echoed in Metromedia Times Corporation v. Pastorin. > RTC of Quezon City ruled in favor of the private respondents
> CA affirmed
In the present case, the Balayan RTC, sitting as a court of general
jurisdiction, had jurisdiction over the complaint for quieting of title > In the Memorandum filed by the petitioner corporation, it avers
filed by petitioners. The Nasugbu RTC, as a liquidation court, that the RTC of Quezon City and the appellate court erred in holding
assumed jurisdiction over the claims against the bank only on May that private respondents’ claim of the existence of the purported
25, 2000, when PDIC’s petition for assistance in the liquidation was loans was supported by a preponderance of evidence, despite the
raffled thereat and given due course. fact that the pieces of documentary evidence presented by the
private respondents were tainted with irregularities. Thus, the RTC
While it is well-settled that lack of jurisdiction on the subject matter and the appellate court committed grave abuse of discretion
can be raised at any time and is not lost by estoppel by laches, the amounting to excess of their jurisdiction in giving credence to these
present case is an exception. To compel petitioners to re-file and pieces of documentary evidence presented by the private
relitigate their claims before the Nasugbu RTC when the parties had respondents.
already been given the opportunity to present their respective > Petitioner corporation further argues that the conclusion made by
evidence in a full-blown trial before the Balayan RTC which had, in the RTC of Quezon City and the appellate court that it benefited

Page 23 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


from the loans obtained from private respondent Sacris had no basis correctness of the evaluation of evidence. Any error committed in
in fact and in law. Also, petitioner corporation alleges that it was the evaluation of evidence is merely an error of judgment that
grave abuse of discretion for the RTC and the appellate court to hold cannot be remedied by certiorari. An error of judgment is one
that private respondent Abillar was authorized by the petitioner which the court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction. An
corporation to borrow money from private respondent Sacris, error of jurisdiction is one where the act complained of was issued
deliberately ignoring the provisions of the by-laws of petitioner by the court without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave
>Lastly, petitioner corporation contends that the RTC and the Court abuse of discretion, which is tantamount to lack or in excess of
of Appeals likewise acted with grave abuse of discretion in not jurisdiction and which error is correctible only by the extraordinary
awarding damages in its favor and in dismissing its Third-Party writ of certiorari. Certiorari will not be issued to cure errors of the
Complaint against private respondent Abillar trial court in its appreciation of the evidence of the parties, or its
conclusions anchored on the said findings and its conclusions of law.
>filed a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65. It is not for this Court to re-examine conflicting evidence, re-
evaluate the credibility of the witnesses or substitute the findings of
RULING: fact of the court a quo.
Petitioner corporation evidently availed itself of the wrong mode
of appeal. Although petitioner corporation ascribes grave abuse of Since the issues raised by the petitioner corporation in its Petition
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of for Certiorari are mainly factual, as it would necessitate an
both the RTC of Quezon City and the appellate court in rendering examination and re-evaluation of the evidence on which the RTC of
their respective Decisions, a closer look on the grounds relied upon Quezon City and the appellate court based their Decisions, the
by the petitioner corporation in its present Petition for Certiorari will Petition should not be given due course.
clearly reveal that the petitioner corporation seeks a review of the
factual findings and evidence of the instant case. Settled is the rule that the proper remedy from an adverse decision
of the Court of Appeals is an appeal under Rule 45 and not a
It is a well-entrenched rule that this Court is not a trier of facts. This Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65. It should be emphasized that
Court will not pass upon the findings of fact of the trial court, the extraordinary remedy of certiorari will not lie when there are
especially if they have been affirmed on appeal by the appellate other remedies available to the petitioner. Therefore, in availing
court.13 Unless the case falls under the recognized exceptions, the itself of the extraordinary remedy of certiorari, the petitioner
rule should not be disturbed. corporation resorted to a wrong mode of appeal.

In the case at bar, the findings of the RTC of Quezon City as well as While it is true that this Court, in accordance with the liberal spirit
the appellate court are properly supported by evidence on record. which pervades the Rules of Court and in the interest of justice, may
Both courts found that the alleged loans extended to the petitioner treat a Petition for Certiorari as having been filed under Rule 45,
corporation by private respondent Sacris were reflected in the more so if the same was filed within the reglementary period for
petitioner corporation’s financial statements, particularly in the filing a Petition for Review, however, in the present case, this Court
years 1992-1993, were contrary to the claim of petitioner finds no compelling reason to justify a liberal application of the
corporation. The said financial statements of the petitioner rules, as this Court did in the case of Delsan Transport Lines, Inc. v.
corporation were not the sole bases used by the RTC of Quezon City Court of Appeals. In the said case, this Court treated the Petition for
and by the appellate court in its findings of liability against the Certiorari filed by the petitioner therein as having been filed under
petitioner corporation. The RTC of Quezon City also took into Rule 45, because said Petition was filed within the 15-day
consideration the pieces of documentary evidence15 which likewise reglementary period for filing a Petition for Review on Certiorari.
became the grounds for its findings that indeed, private respondent Petitioner’s counsel therein received the Court of Appeals
Sacris had extended a loan to petitioner corporation, and that the Resolution denying their Motion for Reconsideration on 26 October
same was given to private respondent Abillar, and received by the 1993 and filed the Petition for Certiorari on 8 November 1993, which
petitioner corporation. Those pieces of documentary evidence very was within the 15-day reglementary period for filing a Petition for
well supported the claim of private respondent Sacris that the Review on Certiorari. It cannot therefore be claimed that the
petitioner corporation received money from him through its former Petition was used as a substitute for appeal after that remedy had
President, private respondent Abillar. Thus, petitioner corporation been lost through the fault of the petitioner. Conversely, such was
cannot claim that it never consented to the act of private not the situation in the present case.
respondent Abillar of entering into a loan/investment transaction
with private respondent Sacris, for there are documents that would In the instant case, petitioner corporation received on 23 February
prove that the money was received by the petitioner corporation, 2006 the Resolution of the appellate court dated 14 February 2006
and the latter acknowledged receipt of said money. The same pieces denying its Motion for Reconsideration. Upon receipt of the said
of evidence likewise confirm the findings of the RTC of Quezon City Resolution, the petitioner corporation had 15-days or until 10 March
that the petitioner corporation benefited from the said transaction; 2006 within which to file an appeal by way of Petition for Review
therefore, it should be held liable for the same amount of its unpaid under Rule 45. Instead of doing so, they inexplicably allowed the
obligation to private respondent Sacris. As the findings of the RTC of 15-day period to lapse, and then on 6 April 2006 or on the 42nd day
Quezon City and the appellate court are supported by evidence, this from receipt of the Resolution denying their Motion for
Court finds no reason to deviate from the heretofore cited rule. Reconsideration, they filed this Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65
alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of both the RTC of
It is a fundamental aphorism in law that a review of facts and Quezon City and the appellate court. Hence, this case cannot be
evidence is not the province of the extraordinary remedy of treated as an appeal under Rule 45, primarily because it was filed
certiorari, which is extra ordinem - beyond the ambit of appeal. In way beyond the 15-day reglementary period within which to file the
certiorari proceedings, judicial review does not go as far as to Petition for Review. Petitioner corporation will not be allowed to use
examine and assess the evidence of the parties and to weigh the the remedy of certiorari as a substitute for the lapsed or lost remedy
probative value thereof. It does not include an inquiry as to the of appeal.26

Page 24 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


In two cases, the court acquires jurisdiction to try the case, even if it
Finally, even if this case will be treated as having been filed under has not acquired jurisdiction over the person of a nonresident
Rule 45, still it will be dismissed for utter lack of merit because this defendant, as long as it has jurisdiction over the res, as when the
case does not fall under the recognized exceptions wherein this action involves the personal status of the plaintiff or property in the
Court is authorized to resolve factual issues. Philippines in which the defendant claims an interest. In such cases,
the service of summons by publication and notice to the defendant
CHESTER DE JOYA v. JUDGE PLACIDO C. MARQUEZ is merely to comply with due process requirements. Under Sec. 133
G.R. No. 162416 January 31, 2006 of the Corporation Code, while a foreign corporation doing business
The report shows that Hao induced Dy to invest more than a in the Philippines without a license cannot sue or intervene in any
hundred million pesos in State Resources Development action here, it may be sued or proceeded against before our courts
Management Corporation, but when the latter’s investments fell or administrative tribunals.
due, the checks issued by Hao in favor of Dy as payment for his
investments were dishonored for being drawn against insufficient Again, there is no exceptional reason in this case to allow petitioner
funds or that the account was closed to obtain relief from the courts without submitting to its jurisdiction.
On the contrary, his continued refusal to submit to the court’s
This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition that seeks the Court jurisdiction should give this Court more reason to uphold the action
to nullify and set aside the warrant of arrest issued by respondent of the respondent judge. The purpose of a warrant of arrest is to
judge against petitioner in for violation of Article 315, par. 2(a) of place the accused under the custody of the law to hold him for trial
the RPC in relation to P.D. No. 1689 (Syndicated estafa) Petitioner of the charges against him. His evasive stance shows an intent to
asserts that respondent judge erred in finding the existence of circumvent and frustrate the object of this legal process. It should be
probable cause that justifies the issuance of a warrant of arrest remembered that he who invokes the court’s jurisdiction must first
against him and his co-accused. submit to its jurisdiction.

RULING: FERDINAND R. MARCOS, JR. v. REPUBLIC


petitioner is not entitled to seek relief from this Court nor from the G.R. No. 189505 March 12, 2014
trial court as he continuously refuses to surrender and submit to Court rendered a Decision affirming the 2 April 2009 Decision of the
the court’s jurisdiction. Justice Florenz D. Regalado explains the Sandiganbayan and declaring all the assets of Arelma, S.A., an entity
requisites for the exercise of jurisdiction and how the court acquires created by the late Ferdinand E. Marcos, forfeited in favor of the
such jurisdiction, thus: Republic of the Philippines. The anti-graft court found that the
totality of assets and properties acquired by the Marcos spouses
x x x Requisites for the exercise of jurisdiction and how the court was manifestly and grossly disproportionate to their aggregate
acquires such jurisdiction: salaries as public officials, and that petitioners were unable to
overturn the prima facie presumption of ill-gotten wealth, pursuant
a. Jurisdiction over the plaintiff or petitioner: This is acquired by the to Section 2 of Republic Act No. (RA) 1379.
filing of the complaint, petition or initiatory pleading before the
court by the plaintiff or petitioner. Contention of petitioner:
> Petitioner Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. acknowledges that "the subject
b. Jurisdiction over the defendant or respondent: This is acquired by matter of the case (i.e. the power/authority to determine whether
the voluntary appearance or submission by the defendant or an asset may be forfeited under R.A. 1379) is within the
respondent to the court or by coercive process issued by the court (Sandiganbayan’s) jurisdiction." However, he objects to the graft
to him, generally by the service of summons. court’s purported lack of territorial jurisdiction on the theory that
forfeiture is an action in rem. He argues that the Sandiganbayan
c. Jurisdiction over the subject matter: This is conferred by law and, must first acquire territorial jurisdiction over the Arelma proceeds
unlike jurisdiction over the parties, cannot be conferred on the court before the judgment may be enforced.
by the voluntary act or agreement of the parties. > That the Sandiganbayan does not possess territorial jurisdiction
over the res or the Arelma proceeds, which are held by Merrill Lynch
d. Jurisdiction over the issues of the case: This is determined and in the United States.
conferred by the pleadings filed in the case by the parties, or by
their agreement in a pre-trial order or stipulation, or, at times by ISSUE: WON SB acquired jurisdiction over the res
their implied consent as by the failure of a party to object to
evidence on an issue not covered by the pleadings, as provided in RULING: YES
Sec. 5, Rule 10. In any case, we find that the Sandiganbayan did not err in granting
the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, despite the fact that the
e. Jurisdiction over the res (or the property or thing which is the Arelma account and proceeds are held abroad. To rule otherwise
subject of the litigation). This is acquired by the actual or contravenes the intent of the forfeiture law, and indirectly privileges
constructive seizure by the court of the thing in question, thus violators who are able to hide public assets abroad: beyond the
placing it in custodia legis, as in attachment or garnishment; or by reach of the courts and their recovery by the State. Forfeiture
provision of law which recognizes in the court the power to deal proceedings, as we have already discussed exhaustively in our
with the property or subject matter within its territorial jurisdiction, Decision, are actions considered to be in the nature of proceedings
as in land registration proceedings or suits involving civil status or in rem or quasi in rem, such that:
real property in the Philippines of a non-resident defendant.
Jurisdiction over the res is acquired either (a) by the seizure of the
Justice Regalado continues to explain: property under legal process, whereby it is brought into actual
custody of the law; or (b) as a result of the institution of legal
proceedings, in which the power of the court is recognized and

Page 25 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


made effective. In the latter condition, the property, though at all original jurisdiction to hear actions where the assessed value of the
times within the potential power of the court, may not be in the property does not exceed Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00), or
actual custody of said court. Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00), if the property is located in
Metro Manila.
The concept of potential jurisdiction over the res, advanced by
respondent, is not at all new. As early as Perkins v. Dizon, deciding a Section 1 of RA No. 7691 states:
suit against a non-resident, the Court held: "In order that the court Section 1. Section 19 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, otherwise known
may exercise power over the res, it is not necessary that the court as the "Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980," is hereby amended to
should take actual custody of the property, potential custody read as follows:
thereof being sufficient. There is potential custody when, from the Section. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. - Regional Trial Courts shall
nature of the action brought, the power of the court over the exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:
property is impliedly recognized by law."
(2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real
ESPERANZA SUPAPO v. SPOUSES ROBERTO AND SUSAN DE JESUS property, or any interest therein, where the assessed value of the
G.R. No. 198356, April 20, 2015 property involved exceeds Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or,
The Spouses Supapo filed a complaint for accion publiciana against for civil actions in Metro Manila, where such value exceeds Fifty
Roberto and Susan de Jesus (Spouses de Jesus), Macario Bernardo thousand pesos (P50,000.00) x x x. (Emphasis supplied.)
(Macario), and persons claiming rights under them (the
respondents), with the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Caloocan Section 3 of the same law provides:
City. Section. 3. Section 33 of the same law is hereby amended to read as
follows:
Respondents argue that the complaint for accion publiciana was Section. 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial
filed in the wrong court Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases. -
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal
Issue: WON MeTC properly acquired jurisdiction; Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:
RULING: YES. MeTC properly acquired jurisdiction
Accion Publiciana and the Jurisdiction of the MeTC xxxx
Accion publiciana is an ordinary civil proceeding to determine the
better right of possession of realty independent of title. It refers to (3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve title
an ejectment suit filed after the expiration of one year from the to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein where the
accrual of the cause of action or from the unlawful withholding of assessed value of the property or interest therein does not exceed
possession of the realty. Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro
Manila, where such assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand
In the present case, the Spouses Supapo filed an action for the pesos (P50,000.00) exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind,
recovery of possession of the subject lot but they based their better attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs x x x. (Emphasis
right of possession on a claim of ownership. supplied.)

This Court has held that the objective of the plaintiffs in accion In view of these amendments, jurisdiction over actions involving
publiciana is to recover possession only, not ownership. However, title to or possession of real property is now determined by its
where the parties raise the issue of ownership, the courts may pass assessed value. The assessed value of real property is its fair
upon the issue to determine who between the parties has the right market value multiplied by the assessment level. It is synonymous
to possess the property. to taxable value.

This adjudication is not a final determination of the issue of In Quinagoran v. Court of Appeals we explained:
ownership; it is only for the purpose of resolving the issue of
possession, where the issue of ownership is inseparably linked to the Does the RTC have jurisdiction over all cases of recovery of
issue of possession. The adjudication of the issue of ownership, possession regardless of the value of the property involved?
being provisional, is not a bar to an action between the same parties
involving title to the property. The adjudication, in short, is not The answer is no. The doctrine on which the RTC anchored its denial
conclusive on the issue of ownership.36 of petitioner's Motion to Dismiss, as affirmed by the CA — that all
cases of recovery of possession or accion publiciana lies with the
Thus, while we will dissect the Spouses Supapo's claim of ownership regional trial courts regardless of the value of the property — no
over the subject property, we will only do so to determine if they or longer holds true. As tilings now stand, a distinction must be made
the respondents should have the right of possession. between those properties the assessed value of which is below
P20,000.00, if outside Metro Manila; and P50,000.00, if within.
Having thus determined that the dispute involves possession over a
real property, we now resolve which court has the jurisdiction to In this regard, the complaint must allege the assessed value of the
hear the case. real property subject of the complaint or the interest thereon to
determine which court has jurisdiction over the action. This is
Under Batas Pambansa Bilang 129,37 the jurisdiction of the RTC over required because the nature of the action and the court with original
actions involving title to or possession of real property is plenary. and exclusive jurisdiction over the same is determined by the
material allegations of the complaint, the type of relief prayed for by
RA No. 7691,39 however, divested the RTC of a portion of its the plaintiff, and the law in effect when the action is filed,
jurisdiction and granted the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal irrespective of whether the plaintiffs are entitled to some or all of
Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts the exclusive and the claims asserted therein.

Page 26 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


certiorari where appeal is not an adequate remedy or equally
In the present case, the Spouses Supapo alleged that the assessed beneficial, speedy and sufficient. It is the inadequacy – not the mere
value of the subject lot, located in Metro Manila, is P39,980.00. absence – of all other legal remedies and the danger of failure of
This is proven by the tax declaration issued by the Office of the City justice without the writ that usually determines the propriety of
Assessor of Caloocan. The respondents do not deny the genuineness certiorari.
and authenticity of this tax declaration.
This ruling was reiterated in Conti v. Court of Appeals:
Given that the Spouses Supapo duly complied with the jurisdictional
requirements, we hold that the MeTC of Caloocan properly acquired Truly, an essential requisite for the availability of the extraordinary
jurisdiction over the complaint for accion publiciana. remedies under the Rules is an absence of an appeal nor any "plain,
speedy and adequate remedy" in the ordinary course of law, one
A.L. ANG NETWORK, INC v. EMMA MONDEJAR which has been so defined as a "remedy which (would) equally (be)
G.R. No. 200804 January 22, 2014 beneficial, speedy and sufficient not merely a remedy which at some
>petitioner filed a complaint for sum of money under the Rule of time in the future will bring about a revival of the judgment x x x
Procedure for Small Claims Cases before the MTCC, seeking to complained of in the certiorari proceeding, but a remedy which will
collect from respondent the amount of ₱23,111.71 which promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effects of that
represented her unpaid water bills judgment and the acts of the inferior court or tribunal" concerned. x
> MTCC: ruled in favor of respondent x x (Emphasis supplied)
>petitioner filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court before the RTC In this relation, it may not be amiss to placate the RTC’s
> RTC dismissed the petition finding that the said petition was only apprehension that respondent’s recourse before it (was only filed to
filed to circumvent the non-appealable nature of small claims cases circumvent the non-appealable nature of [small claims cases],
as provided under Section 2322 of the Rule of Procedure on Small because it asks [the court] to supplant the decision of the lower
Claims Cases [c]ourt with another decision directing the private respondent to
pay the petitioner a bigger sum than what has been awarded."28
Issue: WON RTC erred in dismissing petitioner’s recourse under Verily, a petition for certiorari, unlike an appeal, is an original
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assailing the propriety of the MTCC action29 designed to correct only errors of jurisdiction and not of
Decision in the subject small claims case. judgment. Owing to its nature, it is therefore incumbent upon
petitioner to establish that jurisdictional errors tainted the MTCC
RULING: YES. RTC erred in dismissing the said petition on the Decision. The RTC, in turn, could either grant or dismiss the petition
ground that it was an improper remedy based on an evaluation of whether or not the MTCC gravely abused
its discretion by capriciously, whimsically, or arbitrarily disregarding
Section 23 of the Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases states evidence that is material to the controversy.30
that:
In view of the foregoing, the Court thus finds that petitioner
SEC. 23. Decision. — After the hearing, the court shall render its correctly availed of the remedy of certiorari to assail the propriety of
decision on the same day, based on the facts established by the the MTCC Decision in the subject small claims case, contrary to the
evidence (Form 13-SCC). The decision shall immediately be entered RTC’s ruling.
by the Clerk of Court in the court docket for civil cases and a copy
thereof forthwith served on the parties. Likewise, the Court finds that petitioner filed the said petition before
the proper forum (i.e., the RTC).1âwphi1 To be sure, the Court, the
The decision shall be final and unappealable. Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Courts have concurrent
jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari.31 Such concurrence of
Considering the final nature of a small claims case decision under jurisdiction, however, does not give a party unbridled freedom to
the above-stated rule, the remedy of appeal is not allowed, and the choose the venue of his action lest he ran afoul of the doctrine of
prevailing party may, thus, immediately move for its execution.25 hierarchy of courts. Instead, a becoming regard for judicial hierarchy
Nevertheless, the proscription on appeals in small claims cases, dictates that petitions for the issuance of writs of certiorari against
similar to other proceedings where appeal is not an available first level courts should be filed with the Regional Trial Court, and
remedy,26 does not preclude the aggrieved party from filing a those against the latter, with the Court of Appeals, before resort
petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. This may be had before the Court.32 This procedure is also in
general rule has been enunciated in the case of Okada v. Security consonance with Section 4, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.33
Pacific Assurance Corporation,27 wherein it was held that:
Hence, considering that small claims cases are exclusively within the
In a long line of cases, the Court has consistently ruled that "the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts
extraordinary writ of certiorari is always available where there is no in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts,34
appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the certiorari petitions assailing its dispositions should be filed before
ordinary course of law." In Jaca v. Davao Lumber Co., the Court their corresponding Regional Trial Courts. This petitioner complied
ruled: with when it instituted its petition for certiorari before the RTC
which, as previously mentioned, has jurisdiction over the same.
x x x Although Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court provides that
the special civil action of certiorari may only be invoked when "there FIORELLO R. JOSE V. ROBERTO ALFUERTO ET AL
is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the G.R. No. 169380 November 26, 2012
course of law," this rule is not without exception. The availability of In his amended complaint, the petitioner presents the following
the ordinary course of appeal does not constitute sufficient ground allegations in support of his unlawful detainer complaint:
to prevent a party from making use of the extraordinary remedy of

Page 27 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


3. plaintiff leased from lessor, Mr. Rudy Chuasing, that parcel of lot No allegation in the complaint nor any supporting evidence on
owned and registered in the lessor’s name, covering the area record, however, shows when the respondents entered the property
occupied by the defendants. or who had granted them permission to enter. Without these
allegations and evidence, the bare claim regarding "tolerance"
6. Plaintiff’s lessor had acquired the subject property cannot be upheld.

7. Defendants, having been fully aware of their unlawful occupancy In Sarona, et al. v. Villegas, et al., the Court cited Prof. Arturo M.
of the subject lot, have defiantly erected their houses thereat Tolentino’s definition and characterizes "tolerance" in the following
without benefit of any contract or law whatsoever, much less any manner:
building permit as sanctioned by law, but by mere tolerance of its
true, lawful and registered owner, plaintiff’s lessor. Professor Arturo M. Tolentino states that acts merely tolerated are
"those which by reason of neighborliness or familiarity, the owner of
8. By reason of defendants’ continued unlawful occupancy of the property allows his neighbor or another person to do on the
subject premises, plaintiff referred the matter to his lawyer who property; they are generally those particular services or benefits
immediately sent a formal demand upon each of the defendants to which one’s property can give to another without material injury or
vacate the premises. prejudice to the owner, who permits them out of friendship or
courtesy." He adds that: "they are acts of little disturbances which a
9. Despite notice, however, defendants failed and refused and person, in the interest of neighborliness or friendly relations,
continues to fail and refuse to vacate the premises without valid or permits others to do on his property, such as passing over the land,
legal justification. tying a horse therein, or getting some water from a well." And,
Tolentino continues, even though "this is continued for a long time,
> MeTC held that the respondents had no right to possess the land no right will be acquired by prescription." Further expounding on the
and that their occupation was merely by the owner’s tolerance concept, Tolentino writes: "There is tacit consent of the possessor to
> RTC affirmed the acts which are merely tolerated. Thus, not every case of
> CA reversed the RTC and MeTC decisions. It ruled that the knowledge and silence on the part of the possessor can be
respondents’ possession of the land was not by the petitioner or his considered mere tolerance. By virtue of tolerance that is considered
lessor’s tolerance. It emphasized that ejectment cases are summary as an authorization, permission or license, acts of possession are
proceedings where the only issue to be resolved is who has a realized or performed. The question reduces itself to the existence
better right to the physical possession of a property. The or non-existence of the permission. [citations omitted; italics
petitioner’s claim, on the other hand, is based on an accion supplied]
publiciana: he asserts his right as a possessor by virtue of a contract
of lease he contracted after the respondents had occupied the land The Court has consistently adopted this position: tolerance or
permission must have been present at the beginning of possession;
Issue: WON an action for unlawful detainer is the proper remedy. if the possession was unlawful from the start, an action for unlawful
detainer would not be the proper remedy and should be dismissed.
RULING: NO. Unlawful detainer is not the proper remedy for the
present case It is not the first time that this Court adjudged contradictory
The allegations in the complaint determine both the nature of the statements in a complaint for unlawful detainer as a basis for
action and the jurisdiction of the court. The complaint must dismissal. In Unida v. Heirs of Urban, the claim that the defendant’s
specifically allege the facts constituting unlawful detainer. In the possession was merely tolerated was contradicted by the
absence of these allegations of facts, an action for unlawful detainer complainant’s allegation that the entry to the subject property was
is not the proper remedy and the municipal trial court or the MeTC unlawful from the very beginning. The Court then ruled that the
does not have jurisdiction over the case.26 unlawful detainer action should fail.

The petitioner’s allegations in the amended complaint (SEE FACTS The contradictory statements in the complaint are further deemed
FOR ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT) run counter to the suspicious when a complaint is silent regarding the factual
requirements for unlawful detainer. In an unlawful detainer action, circumstances surrounding the alleged tolerance. In Ten Forty Realty
the possession of the defendant was originally legal and his Corporation v. Cruz,31 the complaint simply stated that: "(1)
possession was permitted by the owner through an express or defendant immediately occupied the subject property after its sale
implied contract. to her, an action merely tolerated by the plaintiff; and (2) the
respondent’s allegedly illegal occupation of the premises was by
In this case, paragraph makes it clear that the respondents’ mere tolerance." The Court expressed its qualms over these
occupancy was unlawful from the start and was bereft of contractual averments of fact as they did not contain anything substantiating
or legal basis. In an unlawful detainer case, the defendant’s the claim that the plaintiff tolerated or permitted the occupation of
possession becomes illegal only upon the plaintiff’s demand for the the property by the defendant:
defendant to vacate the property and the defendant’s subsequent
refusal. In the present case, paragraph 8 characterizes the These allegations contradict, rather than support, plaintiff’s theory
defendant’s occupancy as unlawful even before the formal demand that its cause of action is for unlawful detainer. First, these
letters were written by the petitioner’s counsel. Under these arguments advance the view that defendant’s occupation of the
allegations, the unlawful withholding of possession should not be property was unlawful at its inception. Second, they counter the
based on the date the demand letters were sent, as the alleged essential requirement in unlawful detainer cases that plaintiff’s
unlawful act had taken place at an earlier unspecified date. supposed act of sufferance or tolerance must be present right from
the start of a possession that is later sought to be recovered.
The petitioner nevertheless insists that he properly alleged that the
respondents occupied the premises by mere tolerance of the owner.

Page 28 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


As the bare allegation of plaintiff’s tolerance of defendant’s but in pursuance of the summary nature of the action.37 (italics
occupation of the premises has not been proven, the possession supplied)
should be deemed illegal from the beginning. Thus, the CA correctly
ruled that the ejectment case should have been for forcible entry — Given these rulings, it would be equally dangerous for us to deprive
an action that had already prescribed, however, when the Complaint the respondents of possession over a property that they have held
was filed on May 12, 1999. The prescriptive period of one year for for at least eight years before the case was filed in 1999, by means
forcible entry cases is reckoned from the date of defendant’s actual of a summary proceeding, simply because the petitioner used the
entry into the land, which in this case was on April 24, 1998.32 word "tolerance" without sufficient allegations or evidence to
support it
Similarly, in Go, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, the Court considered the
owner’s lack of knowledge of the defendant’s entry of the land to be The Court cannot treat an ejectment case as an accion publiciana
inconsistent with the allegation that there had been tolerance. or accion reivindicatoria.

In Padre v. Malabanan,34 the Court not only required allegations The petitioner argues that assuming this case should have been filed
regarding the grant of permission, but proof as well. It noted that as an accion publiciana or accion reivindicatoria, this Court should
the plaintiffs alleged the existence of tolerance, but ordered the still resolve the case, as requiring him to properly refile the case
dismissal of the unlawful detainer case because the evidence was serves no other ends than to comply with technicalities.45
"totally wanting as to when and under what circumstances xxx the
alleged tolerance came about." It stated that: The Court cannot simply take the evidence presented before the
MeTC in an ejectment case and decide it as an accion publiciana or
Judging from the respondent’s Answer, the petitioners were never accion reivindicatoria. These cases are not interchangeable and their
at all in physical possession of the premises from the time he started differences constitute far more than mere technicalities.
occupying it and continuously up to the present. For sure, the
petitioners merely derived their alleged prior physical possession In Regis, Jr. v. Court of Appeals,46 we ruled that an action for
only on the basis of their Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT), arguing forcible entry cannot be treated as an accion publiciana and
that the issuance of said title presupposes their having been in summarized the reasons therefor. We find these same reasons also
possession of the property at one time or another.35 applicable to an unlawful detainer case which bears the same
relevant characteristics:
Thus, the complainants in unlawful detainer cases cannot simply
anchor their claims on the validity of the owner’s title. Possession de On the issue of whether or not an action for forcible entry can be
facto must also be proved. treated as accion publiciana, we rule in the negative. Forcible entry
is distinct from accion publiciana. First, forcible entry should be filed
As early as the 1960s, in Sarona, et al. v. Villegas, et al.,36 we already within one year from the unlawful dispossession of the real
ruled that a complaint which fails to positively aver any overt act on property, while accion publiciana is filed a year after the unlawful
the plaintiff’s part indicative of permission to occupy the land, or any dispossession of the real property. Second, forcible entry is
showing of such fact during the trial is fatal for a case for unlawful concerned with the issue of the right to the physical possession of
detainer. As the Court then explained, a case for unlawful detainer the real property; in accion publiciana, what is subject of litigation is
alleging tolerance must definitely establish its existence from the the better right to possession over the real property. Third, an action
start of possession; otherwise, a case for forcible entry can mask for forcible entry is filed in the municipal trial court and is a
itself as an action for unlawful detainer and permit it to be filed summary action, while accion publiciana is a plenary action in the
beyond the required one-year prescription period from the time of RTC.
forcible entry:
The cause of action in ejectment is different from that in an accion
A close assessment of the law and the concept of the word publiciana or accion reivindicatoria. An ejectment suit is brought
"tolerance" confirms our view heretofore expressed that such before the proper inferior court to recover physical possession only
tolerance must be present right from the start of possession sought or possession de facto, not possession de jure. Unlawful detainer
to be recovered, to categorize a cause of action as one of unlawful and forcible entry cases are not processes to determine actual title
detainer — not of forcible entry. Indeed, to hold otherwise would to property. Any ruling by the MeTC on the issue of ownership is
espouse a dangerous doctrine. And for two reasons: First. Forcible made only to resolve the issue of possession, and is therefore
entry into the land is an open challenge to the right of the possessor. inconclusive.47 Because they only resolve issues of possession de
Violation of that right authorizes the speedy redress — in the facto, ejectment actions are summary in nature, while accion
inferior court — provided for in the rules. If one year from the publiciana (for the recovery of possession) and accion reivindicatoria
forcible entry is allowed to lapse before suit is filed, then the remedy (for the recovery of ownership) are plenary actions.48 The purpose
ceases to be speedy; and the possessor is deemed to have waived of allowing actions for forcible entry and unlawful detainer to be
his right to seek relief in the inferior court. Second. If a forcible entry decided in summary proceedings is to provide for a peaceful, speedy
action in the inferior court is allowed after the lapse of a number of and expeditious means of preventing an alleged illegal possessor of
years, then the result may well be that no action of forcible entry property from unjustly taking and continuing his possession during
can really prescribe. No matter how long such defendant is in the long period it would take to properly resolve the issue of
physical possession, plaintiff will merely make a demand, bring suit possession de jure or ownership, thereby ensuring the maintenance
in the inferior court — upon plea of tolerance to prevent of peace and order in the community; otherwise, the party illegally
prescription to set in — and summarily throw him out of the land. deprived of possession might take the law in his hands and seize the
Such a conclusion is unreasonable. Especially if we bear in mind the property by force and violence.49 An ejectment case cannot be a
postulates that proceedings of forcible entry and unlawful detainer substitute for a full-blown trial for the purpose of determining rights
are summary in nature, and that the one year time-bar to the suit is of possession or ownership. Citing Mediran v. Villanueva, the Court

Page 29 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


in Gonzaga v. Court of Appeals51 describes in detail how these two Issue: WON PD 1508 should be applied
remedies should be used:
RULING: YES.
In giving recognition to the action of forcible entry and detainer the True it is that the Board is a government instrumentality but the
purpose of the law is to protect the person who in fact has actual petitioner and private respondent who are also contending parties
possession; and in case of controverted right, it requires the parties in the case are residents of the same barangay so Section 6 of
to preserve the status quo until one or the other of them sees fit to Presidential Decree No. 1508 should apply to them as it provides---
invoke the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction upon the
question of ownership. It is obviously just that the person who has Section 6. Conciliation, pre-condition to filing of complaint. No
first acquired possession should remain in possession pending the complaint, petition, action or proceeding involving any matter
decision; and the parties cannot be permitted meanwhile to engage within the authority of the Lupon as provided in Section 2 hereof
in a petty warfare over the possession of the property which is the shall be filed or instituted in court or any other government office
subject of dispute. To permit this would be highly dangerous to for adjudication unless there has been a confrontation of the parties
individual security and disturbing to social order.1âwphi1 Therefore, before the Lupon Chairman or the Pangkat and no conciliation or
where a person supposes himself to be the owner of a piece of settlement has been reached as certified by the Lupon Secretary or
property and desires to vindicate his ownership against the party the Pangkat Secretary attested by the Lupon or Pangkat Chairman,
actually in possession, it is incumbent upon him to institute an or unless the settlement has been repudiated.
action to this end in a court of competent jurisdiction; and he cannot
be permitted, by invading the property and excluding the actual The purpose of this confrontation is to enable the parties to settle
possessor, to place upon the latter the burden of instituting an their differences amicably. If the other only contending party is the
action to try the property right. [italics supplied] government or its instrumentality or subdivision the case falls within
the exception but when it is only one of the contending parties, a
Thus, if we allow parties to file ejectment cases and later consider confrontation should still be undertaken among the other parties.
them as an accion publiciana or accion reivindicatoria, we would
encourage parties to simply file ejectment cases instead of plenary CLAUDIA RIVERA SANCHEZ v. HONORABLE MARIANO C. TUPAS
actions. Courts would then decide in summary proceedings cases G.R. No. 76690 February 29, 1988
which the rules intend to be resolved through full-blown trials. Herein petitioner and private respondent are both occupants of a
Because these "summary" proceedings will have to tackle public agricultural land.
complicated issues requiring extensive proof, they would no longer Petitioner claims that the area of 450 square meters, more or less,
be expeditious and would no longer serve the purpose for which has been in her possession since 1947, long before private
they were created. Indeed, we cannot see how the resulting respondent came in and occupied another portion of the lot.
congestion of cases, the hastily and incorrectly decided cases, and On the other hand, private respondent claims that the area being
the utter lack of system would assist the courts in protecting and claimed by petitioner is a part of his ¾ of a hectare parcel, the right
preserving property rights. to which he acquired from its former possessor and owner of the
improvements thereon. Sometime in 1966, out of charity and upon
NAPOLEON GEGARE v. CA AND ARMIE ELMA their agreement that petitioner will vacate the premises upon
G.R. No. 83907. September 13, 1989 demand, he granted petitioner's request to build her house inside
> Both petitioner and private respondent filed an application for this the land occupied by him.
lot in the Board of Liquidators (Board)
>A Resolution was passed by the Board disposing of the lot in favor >private respondent filed an ejectment case against petitioner.
of petitioner. >the City Court of Davao rendered a "Judgment by Compromise."
>Private respondent protested against the application of petitioner. >petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court of Davao a petition to
>After hearings, Mr. Garlit submitted a report to the Manila office annul the aforesaid judgment of the City Court of Davao
recommending division of the lot to the parties.
> Board passed Resolution approving said recommendation by >respondent Judge sustained private respondent's Motion to
dividing the lot equally between the parties Dismiss by dismissing the case for lack of cause of action or
prematurity for not having passed the Barangay Court
>petitioner filed an action for "Annulment and Cancellation of
Partition of Lot 5989, Ts-217, situated at Dadiangas, General Santos ISSUE: WON respondent Judge erred in dismissing petitioner's
City and Annulment of Resolutions No. 272 and 185 and/or to action for annulment of judgment simply because said action did
Declare them Null and Void" against private respondent and the not pass the Barangay Court.
Board.
RULING: YES. The respondent judge erred.
>CA dismissed the case for failure of the plaintiff to comply with the Presidential Decree No. 1508 requires that the parties who actually
provisions of P.D. no. 1508 before filing his complaint in court reside in the same city or municipality should bring their controversy
first to the Barangay Court for possible amicable settlement before
Contention of petitioner: filing a complaint in court. This requirement is compulsory (as ruled
petitioner argues that it was erroneous for the appellate court to in the cited case of Morato vs. Go, 125 SCRA 444), [1983] and non-
hold that the case should be dismissed by the lower court for failure compliance of the same could affect the sufficiency of the cause of
to comply with a provision of Presidential Decree No. 1508 before action and make the complaint vulnerable to dismissal on the
filing the complaint. He alleges that this rule is not applicable in said ground of lack of cause of action or prematurity. It must be borne in
case for one of the parties therein is the government or any mind that the purpose of the conciliation process at the barangay
subdivision or instrumentality thereof which is excepted from this level is to discourage indiscriminate filing of cases in court in order
requirement under Section 2 of said law. to decongest the clogged dockets and in the process enhance the
quality of justice dispensed by courts (Morato, vs. Go, supra).

Page 30 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


In the case at bar, the letter-demand was dated August 28, 1982,
In the instant case, it will be noted that the ejectment case in the while the complaint for ejectment was filed in court on September
City Court of Davao, Civil Case No. 17-10-D, was filed on September 16, 1982. Between these two dates, less than a month had elapsed,
18, 1980, when Presidential Decree No. 1508 was already enforced. thereby leaving at least eleven (11) full months of the prescriptive
However, the records do not show that there was an opposition to period provided for in Article 1147 of the Civil Code. Under the
the filing of the said ejectment case on the ground that the dispute procedure outlined in Section 4 of PD 1508, 3 the time needed for
had not been submitted to the Barangay Court for possible amicable the conciliation proceeding before the Barangay Chairman and the
settlement under P.D. 1508. The only logical conclusion therefore is Pangkat should take no more than 60 days. Giving private
that either such requirement had already been complied with or had respondent nine (9) months — ample time indeed — within which
been waived. Under either circumstance, there appears to be no to bring his case before the proper court should conciliation efforts
reason, much less a requirement that this case be subjected to the fail. Thus, it cannot be truthfully asserted, as private respondent
provisions of P.D. 1508. In fact, the present controversy is an action would want Us to believe, that his case would be barred by the
for annulment of a compromise judgment which as a general rule is Statute of Limitations if he had to course his action to the Barangay
immediately executor Lupon.

PETRA VDA. DE BORROMEO v. POGOY With certain exceptions, PD 1508 makes the conciliation process at
G.R. No. L-63277. November 29, 1983 the Barangay level a condition precedent for filing of actions in those
instances where said law applies. For this reason, Circular No. 22
>The intestate estate of the late Vito Borromeo is the owner of a addressed to "ALL JUDGES OF THE COURTS OF FIRST INSTANCE,
building bearing the deceased’s name. Said building has been leased CIRCUIT CRIMINAL COURTS, JUVENILE AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS
and occupied by petitioner Petra Vda. de Borromeo. COURT, COURTS OF AGRARIAN RELATIONS, CITY COURTS,
> Atty. Ricardo Reyes, administrator of the estate and a resident of MUNICIPAL COURTS AND THEIR CLERKS OF COURT" was issued by
Cebu City, served upon petitioner a letter demanding that she pay Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando on November 9, 1979. Said
the overdue rentals, and thereafter to vacate the premises. Circular reads:
>As petitioner failed to do so, Atty. Reyes instituted an ejectment
case against the former "Effective upon your receipt of the certification by the Minister of
Local Government and Community Development that all the
>petitioner moved to dismiss the case, advancing, among others, the barangays within your respective jurisdictions have organized their
want of jurisdiction of the trial court. Pointing out that the parties Lupons provided for in Presidential Decree No. 1508, otherwise
are residents of the same city, as alleged in the complaint, petitioner known as the Katarungang Pambarangay Law, in implementation of
contended that the court could not exercise jurisdiction over the the barangay system of settlement of disputes, you are hereby
case for failure of respondent Atty. Reyes to refer the dispute to the directed to desist from receiving complaints, petitions, actions or
Barangay Court, as required by PD No. 1508, otherwise known as proceedings in cases falling within the authority of said
Katarungang Pambarangay Law.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary Lupons."cralaw virtua1aw library

Respondent judge denied the motion to dismiss. While respondent acknowledged said Circular in his order of
December 14, 1982, he nevertheless chose to overlook the failure of
"The Clerk of Court when this case was filed accepted for filing same. the complaint in Civil Case No. R-23915 to allege compliance with
That from the acceptance from (sic) filing, with the plaintiff having the requirement of PD 1508. Neither did he cite any circumstance as
paid the docket fee to show that the case was docketed in the civil would place the suit outside the operation of said law. Instead, he
division of this court could be considered as meeting the insisted on relying upon the pro tanto presumption of regularity in
requirement or precondition for were it not so, the Clerk of Court the performance by the clerk of court of his official duty, which to
would not have accepted the filing of the case especially that there Our mind has been sufficiently overcome by the disclosure by the
is a standing circular from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Clerk of Court that there was no certification to file action from the
without even mentioning the Letter of Instruction of the President Lupon or Pangkat secretary attached to the complaint.
of the Philippines that civil cases and criminal cases with certain
exceptions must not be filed without passing the barangay court." Be that as it may, the instant petition should be dismissed. Under
Section 4(a) of PD No. 1508, referral of a dispute to the Barangay
In both his comment and memorandum, private respondent Lupon is required only where the parties thereto are "individuals."
admitted not having availed himself of the barangay conciliation An "individual" means "a single human being as contrasted with a
process, but justified such omission by citing paragraph 4, section 6 social group or institution." Obviously, the law applies only to cases
of PD 1508 which allows the direct filing of an action in court where involving natural persons, and not where any of the parties is a
the same may otherwise be barred by the Statute of Limitations, as juridical person such as a corporation, partnership, corporation sole,
applying to the case at bar. testate or intestate, estate, etc.

Issue: WON case should be dismissed for not complying with PD In Civil Case No. R-23915, plaintiff Ricardo Reyes is a mere nominal
1508 party who is suing in behalf of the Intestate Estate of Vito Borromeo.
While it is true that Section 3, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court allows the
RULING: NO administrator of an estate to sue or be sued without joining the
The excuse advanced by private respondent is unsatisfactory. Under party for whose benefit the action is presented or defended, it is
Article 1147 of the Civil Code, the period for filing actions for forcible indisputable that the real party in interest in Civil Case No. R-23915
entry and detainer is one year, 1 and this period is counted from is the intestate estate under administration. Since the said estate is
demand to vacate the premises. 2 a juridical person 6 plaintiff administrator may file the complaint
directly in court, without the same being coursed to the Barangay
Lupon for arbitration.

Page 31 of 34 | Luke 1:37 | ER


Lupon for conciliation proceedings, therefore, was indubitably called
ELMER PEREGRINA V. HON. DOMINGO D. PANIS for.
G.R. No. L-56011 October 31, 1984
The Complaint filed by the SPOUSES Procopio and Carmelita Sanchez LIBRADA M. AQUINO V. ERNEST S. AURE
against PETITIONERS Elmer, Adelaida and Cecilia, all surnamed G.R. No. 153567 February 18, 2008
Peregrina, is a civil action for damages for alleged disrespect for the >Aure and E. Aure Lending filed a Complaint for ejectment against
dignity, privacy and peace of mind of the SPOUSES under Article 26 Aquino before the MeTC.
of the Civil Code, and for alleged defamation under Article 33 of the >In their Complaint, Aure and Aure Lending alleged that they
same Code. acquired the subject property from Aquino and her husband Manuel
(spouses Aquino) by virtue of a Deed of Sale
Admittedly, the parties are actual residents of the same barangay in >Aure claimed that after the spouses Aquino received substantial
Olongapo City. In fact, they are neighbors. consideration for the sale of the subject property, they refused to
>No conciliation proceedings were filed before the Lupon. vacate the same

PETITIONERS, as defendants, moved for the dismissal of the MeTC: in favor of Aquino and dismissed the Complaint for non-
Complaint. Before firing an Opposition, the SPOUSES applied for a compliance with the barangay conciliation process, among other
Writ of Preliminary Attachment. Thereafter, the SPOUSES presented grounds. The MeTC observed that Aure and Aquino are residents of
their Opposition claiming that, under Section 6(3) of P.D. No. 1508, the same barangay but there is no showing that any attempt has
the parties may go directly to the Courts if the action is coupled with been made to settle the case amicably at the barangay level.
a provisional remedy such as preliminary attachment.
Issue: WON non-compliance with the barangay conciliation
ISSUE: WON case should be dimissed for not complying with PD proceedings is a jurisdictional defect that warrants the dismissal of
1508 the complaint.

RULING: YES RULING: NO.


Section 3 of P.D. No. 1508 specifically provides: It is true that the precise technical effect of failure to comply with
the requirement of Section 412 of the Local Government Code on
Disputes between or among persons actually respectively in the barangay conciliation (previously contained in Section 5 of
same barangay shall be brought for amicable settlement before the Presidential Decree No. 1508) is much the same effect produced by
Lupon of said barangay. ... non-exhaustion of administrative remedies -- the complaint
becomes afflicted with the vice of pre-maturity; and the controversy
It is also mandated by Section 6 of the same law: there alleged is not ripe for judicial determination. The complaint
SECTION 6. Conciliation, pre-condition to filing of complaint. — No becomes vulnerable to a motion to dismiss. Nevertheless, the
complaint, petition, action or proceeding involving any matter conciliation process is not a jurisdictional requirement, so that non-
within the authority of the Lupon as provided. in Section 2 hereof compliance therewith cannot affect the jurisdiction which the court
shall be filed or instituted in court or any other government office has otherwise acquired over the subject matter or over the person
for adjudication unless there has been a confrontation of the parties of the defendant.23
before the Lupon Chairman or the Pangkat and no conciliation or
settlement has been reached as certified by the Lupon Secretary or As enunciated in the landmark case of Royales v. Intermediate
the Pangkat Secretary, attested by the Lupon or Pangkat Chairman, Appellate Court:
or unless the settlement has been repudiated. ...
Ordinarily, non-compliance with the condition precedent prescribed
Thus, Morata vs. Go, 125 SCRA 444 (1,,983), and Vda. de Borromeo by P.D. 1508 could affect the sufficiency of the plaintiff's cause of
vs. Pogoy, 126 SCRA 217 (1983) have held that P.D. No. 1508 makes action and make his complaint vulnerable to dismissal on ground of
the conciliation process at the Barangay level a condition precedent lack of cause of action or prematurity; but the same would not
for the filing of a complaint in Court. Non-compliance with that prevent a court of competent jurisdiction from exercising its power
condition precedent could affect the sufficiency of the plaintiff's of adjudication over the case before it, where the defendants, as in
cause of action and make his complaint vulnerable to dismissal on this case, failed to object to such exercise of jurisdiction in their
the ground of lack of cause of action or prematurity. The condition answer and even during the entire proceedings a quo.
is analogous to exhaustion of administrative remedies, or the lack of
earnest efforts to compromise suits between family members, While petitioners could have prevented the trial court from
lacking which the case can be dismissed. exercising jurisdiction over the case by seasonably taking exception
thereto, they instead invoked the very same jurisdiction by filing an
The parties herein fall squarely within the ambit of P.D. No. 1508. answer and seeking affirmative relief from it. What is more, they
They are actual residents in the same barangay and their dispute participated in the trial of the case by cross-examining respondent
does not fall under any of the excepted cases. Planas. Upon this premise, petitioners cannot now be allowed
belatedly to adopt an inconsistent posture by attacking the
It will have to be held, therefore, that respondent Judge erred in jurisdiction of the court to which they had submitted themselves
reconsidering his previous Order of dismissal on the ground that the voluntarily. x x x
provisional remedy of attachment was seasonably filed. Not only
was the application for that remedy merely an afterthought to In the case at bar, we similarly find that Aquino cannot be allowed to
circumvent the law, but also, fundamentally, a Writ of Attachment is attack the jurisdiction of the MeTC over Civil Case No. 17450 after
not available in a suit for damages where the amount, including having submitted herself voluntarily thereto. We have scrupulously
moral damages, is contingent or unliquidated. Prior referral to the examined Aquino’s Answer before the MeTC in Civil Case No. 17450

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and there is utter lack of any objection on her part to any deficiency execution by the Barangay Lupon within six (6) months from the
in the complaint which could oust the MeTC of its jurisdcition. date of settlement, or by filing an action to enforce such settlement
in the appropriate city or municipal court, if beyond the six-month
CRISANTA ALCARAZ MIGUEL v. JERRY D. MONTANEZ period.
G.R. No. 191336 January 25, 2012
respondent Montanez secured a loan payable in 1 yearfrom the Under the first remedy, the proceedings are covered by the Local
petitioner. The respondent gave as collateral therefor his house Government Code and the Katarungang Pambarangay Implementing
Rules and Regulations. The Punong Barangay is called upon during
Due to the respondent’s failure to pay the loan, the petitioner filed a the hearing to determine solely the fact of non-compliance of the
complaint against the respondent before the Lupong terms of the settlement and to give the defaulting party another
Tagapamayapa. The parties entered into a Kasunduang Pag-aayos chance at voluntarily complying with his obligation under the
wherein the respondent agreed to pay his loan in installments in the settlement. Under the second remedy, the proceedings are
amount ₱2,000.00 per month, and in the event the house and lot governed by the Rules of Court, as amended. The cause of action is
given as collateral is sold, the respondent would settle the balance the amicable settlement itself, which, by operation of law, has the
of the loan in full. However, the respondent still failed to pay, the force and effect of a final judgment.20
Lupong Tagapamayapa issued a certification to file action in court in
favor of the petitioner. It must be emphasized, however, that enforcement by execution of
the amicable settlement, either under the first or the second
the petitioner filed before MeTC of Makati City for Collection of Sum remedy, is only applicable if the contracting parties have not
of Money repudiated such settlement within ten (10) days from the date
thereof in accordance with Section 416 of the Local Government
>MeTC: in favor of plaintiff Code. If the amicable settlement is repudiated by one party, either
>RTC affirmed expressly or impliedly, the other party has two options, namely, to
>CA: since the parties entered into a Kasunduang Pag-aayos before enforce the compromise in accordance with the Local Government
the Lupon ng Barangay, such settlement has the force and effect of a Code or Rules of Court as the case may be, or to consider it
court judgment, which may be enforced by execution within six (6) rescinded and insist upon his original demand. This is in accord with
months from the date of settlement by the Lupon ng Barangay, or Article 2041 of the Civil Code, which qualifies the broad application
by court action after the lapse of such time. Considering that more of Article 2037, viz:
than six (6) months had elapsed from the date of settlement, the CA
ruled that the remedy of the petitioner was to file an action for the If one of the parties fails or refuses to abide by the compromise, the
execution of the Kasunduang Pag-aayos in court and not for other party may either enforce the compromise or regard it as
collection of sum of money. rescinded and insist upon his original demand.

The petitioner contends that the CA erred in ruling that she should In the case of Leonor v. Sycip,21 the Supreme Court (SC) had the
have followed the procedure for enforcement of the amicable occasion to explain this provision of law. It ruled that Article 2041
settlement as provided in the Revised Katarungang Pambarangay does not require an action for rescission, and the aggrieved party, by
Law, instead of filing a collection case. The petitioner points out that the breach of compromise agreement, may just consider it already
the cause of action did not arise from the Kasunduang Pag-aayos but rescinded, to wit:
on the respondent’s breach of the original loan agreement
It is worthy of notice, in this connection, that, unlike Article 2039 of
ISSUE: WON CA should have decided the case on the merits rather the same Code, which speaks of "a cause of annulment or rescission
than remand the case for the enforcement of the Kasunduang Pag- of the compromise" and provides that "the compromise may be
aayos annulled or rescinded" for the cause therein specified, thus
suggesting an action for annulment or rescission, said Article 2041
RULING: YES confers upon the party concerned, not a "cause" for rescission, or
This Court agrees with the petitioner. the right to "demand" the rescission of a compromise, but the
authority, not only to "regard it as rescinded", but, also, to "insist
It is true that an amicable settlement reached at the barangay upon his original demand". The language of this Article 2041,
conciliation proceedings, like the Kasunduang Pag-aayos in this case, particularly when contrasted with that of Article 2039, denotes that
is binding between the contracting parties and, upon its perfection, no action for rescission is required in said Article 2041, and that the
is immediately executory insofar as it is not contrary to law, good party aggrieved by the breach of a compromise agreement may, if
morals, good customs, public order and public policy.16 This is in he chooses, bring the suit contemplated or involved in his original
accord with the broad precept of Article 2037 of the Civil Code, viz: demand, as if there had never been any compromise agreement,
without bringing an action for rescission thereof. He need not seek a
A compromise has upon the parties the effect and authority of res judicial declaration of rescission, for he may "regard" the
judicata; but there shall be no execution except in compliance with a compromise agreement already "rescinded".22 (emphasis supplied)
judicial compromise.
As so well stated in the case of Chavez v. Court of Appeals,23 a
Being a by-product of mutual concessions and good faith of the party's non-compliance with the amicable settlement paved the way
parties, an amicable settlement has the force and effect of res for the application of Article 2041 under which the other party may
judicata even if not judicially approved.17 It transcends being a mere either enforce the compromise, following the procedure laid out in
contract binding only upon the parties thereto, and is akin to a the Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law, or consider it as
judgment that is subject to execution in accordance with the rescinded and insist upon his original demand. To quote:
Rules.18 Thus, under Section 417 of the Local Government Code,19
such amicable settlement or arbitration award may be enforced by

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In the case at bar, the Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law The CA took off on the wrong premise that enforcement of the
provides for a two-tiered mode of enforcement of an amicable Kasunduang Pag-aayos is the proper remedy, and therefore erred in
settlement, to wit: (a) by execution by the Punong Barangay which is its conclusion that the case should be remanded to the trial court.
quasi-judicial and summary in nature on mere motion of the party The fact that the petitioner opted to rescind the Kasunduang Pag-
entitled thereto; and (b) an action in regular form, which remedy is aayos means that she is insisting upon the undertaking of the
judicial. However, the mode of enforcement does not rule out the respondent under the original loan contract. Thus, the CA should
right of rescission under Art. 2041 of the Civil Code. The availability have decided the case on the merits, as an appeal before it, and not
of the right of rescission is apparent from the wording of Sec. 417 prolong the determination of the issues by remanding it to the trial
itself which provides that the amicable settlement "may" be court. Pertinently, evidence abounds that the respondent has failed
enforced by execution by the lupon within six (6) months from its to comply with his loan obligation. In fact, the Kasunduang Pag-
date or by action in the appropriate city or municipal court, if aayos is the well nigh incontrovertible proof of the respondent’s
beyond that period. The use of the word "may" clearly makes the indebtedness with the petitioner as it was executed precisely to give
procedure provided in the Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law the respondent a second chance to make good on his undertaking.
directory or merely optional in nature. And since the respondent still reneged in paying his indebtedness,
justice demands that he must be held answerable therefor.
Thus, although the "Kasunduan" executed by petitioner and
respondent before the Office of the Barangay Captain had the force
and effect of a final judgment of a court, petitioner's non-
compliance paved the way for the application of Art. 2041 under
which respondent may either enforce the compromise, following
the procedure laid out in the Revised Katarungang Pambarangay
Law, or regard it as rescinded and insist upon his original demand.
Respondent chose the latter option when he instituted Civil Case No.
5139-V-97 for recovery of unrealized profits and reimbursement of
advance rentals, moral and exemplary damages, and attorney's fees.
Respondent was not limited to claiming ₱150,000.00 because
although he agreed to the amount in the "Kasunduan," it is
axiomatic that a compromise settlement is not an admission of
liability but merely a recognition that there is a dispute and an
impending litigation which the parties hope to prevent by making
reciprocal concessions, adjusting their respective positions in the
hope of gaining balanced by the danger of losing. Under the
"Kasunduan," respondent was only required to execute a waiver of
all possible claims arising from the lease contract if petitioner fully
complies with his obligations thereunder. It is undisputed that
herein petitioner did not.24 (emphasis supplied and citations
omitted)

In the instant case, the respondent did not comply with the terms
and conditions of the Kasunduang Pag-aayos. Such non-compliance
may be construed as repudiation because it denotes that the
respondent did not intend to be bound by the terms thereof,
thereby negating the very purpose for which it was executed.
Perforce, the petitioner has the option either to enforce the
Kasunduang Pag-aayos, or to regard it as rescinded and insist upon
his original demand, in accordance with the provision of Article 2041
of the Civil Code. Having instituted an action for collection of sum of
money, the petitioner obviously chose to rescind the Kasunduang
Pag-aayos. As such, it is error on the part of the CA to rule that
enforcement by execution of said agreement is the appropriate
remedy under the circumstances.

Considering that the Kasunduang Pag-aayos is deemed rescinded by


the non-compliance of the respondent of the terms thereof,
remanding the case to the trial court for the enforcement of said
agreement is clearly unwarranted.

The petitioner avers that the CA erred in remanding the case to the
trial court for the enforcement of the Kasunduang Pag-aayos as it
prolonged the process, "thereby putting off the case in an indefinite
pendency."25 Thus, the petitioner insists that she should be allowed
to ventilate her rights before this Court and not to repeat the same
proceedings just to comply with the enforcement of the Kasunduang
Pag-aayos, in order to finally enforce her right to payment.26

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