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DEGAYO VS.

MAGBANUA-DINGLASAN

Facts:

The present case involves a property dispute, which gave rise to two civil cases for
ownership and damages between conflicting claimants over a parcel of land located on the
northeastern bank of Jalaud River. The respondents initiated a second civil case which eventually
reached the Supreme Court. Records show that Lot No. 861 isa 36,864 sqm. parcel in the Cadastral
Survey of Dingle, Iloilo, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-2804, registered in the
name of Degayo’s deceased parents, spouses Marcelo Olmo and Rosalia Labana. Lot No. 861 used to
be bounded on the southwest by the Jalaud River that serves to separate Dingle from Pototan Iloilo.

On the other side of Jalaud River, opposite Lot No. 861, lies a 153,028 sqm parcel of land,
designated as Lot No. 7328 of the Cadastre of Pototan, Iloilo, collectively owned by the respondents,
covered under TCT No. T-84829. The Jalaud River, which separates these parcels of land, thus flows
along the northeast side of Lot 861 and the southwest side of Lot No. 7328. Sometime in the 1970’s
the Jalauad River steadily changed its course and moved southwards towards the banks of Pototan,
where Lot No. 7328 lies, leaving its old riverbed dry. Eventually, the course of the Jalaud River
encroached on Lot No. 7328. As a result, Lot No. 7328 progressively decreased in size while the
banks adjacent to Lot No. 861 gradually increased in land area.

Degayo and the tenants believed that the area was an accretion to Lot No. 861. As a result, her
tenants, commenced cultivating and tilling that disputed area with corn and tobacco. The area
allegedly added to Lot No. 861 contains 52,528 sqm.

The respondents, on the other hand, argued that the disputed property was an abandoned riverbed,
which should rightfully belong to them to compensate for the erstwhile portion of Lot No. 7328,
over which the Jalaud River presently runs.

On October 2, 1984, the respondents filed a complaint for ownership and damages against the
tenants, with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Iloilo, Branch 27, entitled Cecilia Magbanua
Dinglasan, et al. v. Nicolas Jarencio, et al., docketed as Civil Case No. 16047. Degayo sought to
intervene in Civil Case No. 16047 but her motion was denied. Notably, Degayo never bothered to
question the interlocutory order denying her motion for intervention by filing a petition for
certiorari. Instead, Degayo initiated the present suit against the respondents for declaration of
ownership with damages, also with the RTC of Iloilo, Branch 22, docketed as Civil Case No. 18328,
involving the disputed parcel of land.

ISSUE: Whether or no case No.16047 is a res judicata

HELD:

The Decision in Civil Case No. 16047 constitutes res judicata.


Res judicata literally means "a matter adjudged; a thing judicially acted upon or decided; a thing or
matter settled by judgment." It also refers to the "rule that a final judgment or decree on the merits
by a court of competent jurisdiction is conclusive of the rights of the parties or their privies in all
later suits on points and matters determined in the former suit. It rests on the principle that parties
should not to be permitted to litigate the same issue more than once; that, when a right or fact has
been judicially tried and determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, or an opportunity for
such trial has been given, the judgment of the court, so long as it remains unreversed, should be
conclusive upon the parties and those in privity with them in law or estate.

This judicially created doctrine exists as an obvious rule of reason, justice, fairness, expediency,
practical necessity, and public tranquillity. Moreover, public policy, judicial orderliness, economy of
judicial time, and the interest of litigants, as well as the peace and order of society, all require that
stability should be accorded judgments, that controversies once decided on their merits shall
remain in repose, that inconsistent judicial decision shall not be made on the same set of facts, and
that there be an end to litigation which, without the doctrine of res judicata, would be endless.

In the present case, it is beyond dispute that the judgment in Civil Case No. 16047 has attained
finality in view of the tenant’s abandonment of their appeal to the CA. Moreover, records show that
that decision was adjudicated on the merits, i.e., it was rendered after a consideration of the
evidence or stipulations submitted by the parties at the trial of the case by a court which had
jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties.

We likewise find that there is an identity of parties in Civil Case No. 16047 and the present case.
There is identity of parties where the parties in both actions are the same, or there is privity
between them, or they are "successors-in-interest by title subsequent to the commencement of the
action, litigating for the same thing and under the same title and in the same capacity. Absolute
identity of parties is not required, shared identity of interest is sufficient to invoke the coverage of
this principle. Thus, it is enough that there is a community of interest between a party in the first
case and a party in the second case even if the latter was not impleaded in the first case.
GSIS and Garcia Vs. Carreon G.R. No. 189529 AUGUST 10, 2012

Ponente: Perez, J.

(Stare Decisis)

Facts:
Respondent was holding the position of Social Insurance Specialist of the Claims
Department of Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) when she was administratively
charged with Grave Misconduct and/or Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service.

The GSIS Investigation Unit issued a Memorandum dated 31 May 2005 concerning the alleged
unauthorized concerted activity and requiring respondent to explain in writing why she should not
be administratively dealt with.3

In the Formal Charge dated 4 June 2005 signed by the GSIS President and General Manager
Winston F. Garcia (Garcia), respondent was directed to submit her written answer and was placed
under preventive suspension for ninety (90) days. Instead of answering the Formal Charge,
respondent, together with eight (8) other charged employees,chose to respond to the 31 May 2005
Memorandum. Respondent essentially admitted that her presence outside the office of the
Investigation Unit was to show support for Atty. Velasco, the Union President and to witness the
case hearing of Atty. Velasco and Atty. Molina.

In a Decision dated 29 June 2005 for Administrative Case No. 05-004, respondent was
found guilty of the charges against her and penalized. The GSIS noted that respondent has not
filed any Answer nor submitted any responsive pleading to the Formal Charge. Respondent was
found to have participated in a concerted mass action prohibited by law and staged on 27 May 2005
at the Investigation Unit Office to show support for Atty. Molina who had a scheduled hearing
during that time.8

On appeal, the respondent asserted that her right to due process was violated when GSIS
proceeded to render judgment on the case after she failed to submit her answer to the Formal
Charge. Moreover, she averred that Garcia acted as the complainant, prosecutor and judge at the
same time in the GSIS resolution. She insisted that no substantial evidence exist to hold her guilty of
Grave Misconduct and/or Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service.

On 18 July 2007, the CSC rendered judgment partially granting the appeal. GSIS filed a motion for
reconsideration of the CSC Resolution but it was denied by the CSC on 31 March 2008.

GSIS elevated the case to the Court of Appeals via Petition for Certiorari. On 20 February 2009,
the Court of Appeals denied the petition and adopted the ruling of the Court of Appeals Seventh
Division dated 31 August 2007 in the case entitled GSIS v. Dinna Villariza, which according to the
appellate court, has substantially the same facts and issues raised with the instant case.

Issue:
Whether or not stare decisis or facts in GSIS v. Viilariza is applicable in the present case.

Held:

The issues raised in both cases are substantially the same. The rule of stare decisis is
applicable.

The principle of stare decisis enjoins adherence to judicial precedents. It requires courts in a
country to follow the rule established in a decision of its Supreme Court. That decision becomes a
judicial precedent to be followed in subsequent cases by all courts in the land. The doctrine is based
on the principle that once a question of law has been examined and decided, it should be deemed
settled and closed to further argument.

Thus, where the same question relating to the same event is brought by parties similarly situated
as in a previous case already litigated and decided by a competent court, the rule of stare decisis is a
bar to any attempt to relitigate the same issue.

Considering that the facts, issues, causes of action, evidence and the applicable laws are exactly
the same as those in the decided case of Villaviza, we shall adopt the latter’s ruling. More
pertinently, we reiterate the ratio decidendi in that case ─ respondents’ actuations did not amount
to a prohibited concerted activity or mass action as defined in CSC’s Resolution No. 02-1316.15

Following the principle of stare decisis, the present petition must be denied.
Land Bank of The Philippines Vs. Suntay

G.R. No. 188376 December 14, 2011

Ponente: Bersamin, J.

Facts:
Respondent Federico Suntay (Suntay) owned land situated in Sta. Lucia, Sablayan,
Occidental Mindoro with a total area of 3,682.0285 hectares. In 1972, the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) expropriated 948.1911 hectares of Suntay’s land pursuant to Presidential Decree No.
27.2 Petitioner Land Bank and DAR fixed the value of the expropriated portion at
P4,497.50/hectare, for a total valuation of P4,251,141.68.3 Rejecting the valuation, however,
Suntay filed a petition for determination of just compensation in the Office of the Regional Agrarian
Reform Adjudicator (RARAD) of Region IV, DARAB, docketed as DARAB Case No. V-0405-0001-00;
his petition was assigned to RARAD Conchita Miñas (RARAD Miñas).4

On January 24, 2001, after summary administrative proceeding in DARAB Case No. V-0405-0001-
00, RARAD Miñas rendered a decision fixing the total just compensation for the expropriated
portion at P157,541,951.30. Land Bank moved for a reconsideration, but RARAD Miñas denied its
motion on March 14, 2001. It received the denial on March 26, 2001.5

On April 20, 2001, Land Bank brought a petition for the judicial determination of just
compensation in the RTC (Branch 46) in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro as a Special Agrarian Court,
impleading Suntay and RARAD Miñas. The petition, docketed as Agrarian Case No. R-1241,
essentially prayed that the total just compensation for the expropriated portion be fixed at only
P4,251,141.67.6

On July 18, 2001, RARAD Miñas issued a writ of execution directing the Regional Sheriff of DARAB
Region IV to implement the decision of January 24, 2001.7

On September 12, 2001, Land Bank filed in DARAB a petition for certiorari (with prayer for the
issuance of temporary restraining order (TRO)/preliminary injunction), docketed as DSCA No.
0252, seeking to nullify the following issuances of RARAD Miñas.

On August 22, 2002, the CA promulgated its decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 66710, holding that DARAB,
being a mere formal party, had no personality to file a comment vis-à-vis the petition for
prohibition; and that DARAB had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of DSCA No. 1252, considering
that its exercise of jurisdiction over a special civil action for certiorari had no constitutional or
statutory basis. Accordingly, the CA granted the petition for prohibition and perpetually enjoined
DARAB from proceeding in DSCA No. 1252, which the CA ordered dismissed.

Thence, DARAB appealed the adverse CA decision to this Court via petition for review on
certiorari, docketed as G.R. No. 159145 entitled Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
of the Department of Agrarian Reform, Represented by DAR Secretary Roberto M. Pagdanganan v.
Josefina S. Lubrica, in her capacity as Assignee of the rights and interest of Federico Suntay (DARAB
v. Lubrica), insisting that the CA erred in declaring that DARAB had no personality to file a
comment; in holding that DARAB had no jurisdiction over DSCA No. 0252; and in nullifying the writ
of preliminary injunction issued by DARAB in DSCA No. 0252 for having been issued in violation of
the CA’s TRO.

On April 29, 2005, the Court promulgated its decision in DARAB v. Lubrica (G.R. No. 159145),12
denying the petition for review. The Court opined that DARAB’s limited jurisdiction as a quasi-
judicial body did not include the authority to take cognizance of petitions for certiorari, in the
absence of an express grant in R.A. No. 6657, Executive Order (E.O.) No. 229, and E.O. No. 129-A.

Issue:

Whether or not the pronouncement in Darab v. Lubrica is a mere obiter dicta.

Held:

Pronouncement in DARAB v. Lubrica

(G.R. No. 159145) was a mere obiter dictum

In Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) v. Lubrica (G.R. No. 159145), the
DARAB assigned as erroneous in its petition the following rulings of the CA: (a) that DARAB, being a
formal party, should not have filed a comment to the petition, for, instead, the comment should
have been filed by co-respondent Land Bank as the financial intermediary of CARP; (b) that DARAB
had no jurisdiction over DSCA 0252, a special civil action for certiorari; and (c) that the writ of
preliminary injunction DARAB had issued in DSCA 0252 was null and void for having been in
violation of the TRO of the CA.

It is evident that the only issues considered and resolved in DARAB v. Lubrica (G.R. No. 159145)
were: (a) the personality of DARAB to participate and file comment; (b) the jurisdiction of DARAB
over petitions for certiorari; and (c) the validity of the preliminary injunction it issued. It is equally
evident that at no time in DARAB v. Lubrica (G.R. No. 159145) did the finality of RARAD Miñas’
decision become the issue, precisely because the finality of RARAD Miñas’ decision had been put in
issue instead in Land Bank v. Suntay (G.R. No. 157903), a suit filed ahead of DARAB v. Lubrica (G.R.
No. 159145). In short, the question about the finality of RARAD Miñas’ decision was itself the lis
mota in Land Bank v. Suntay (G.R. No. 157903).
In view of the foregoing, Suntay’s invocation of the pronouncement in DARAB v. Lubrica (G.R. No.
159145), to the effect that RARAD Miñas’ decision had attained finality upon the failure of Land
Bank to appeal within the 15-day reglementary period, was unfounded and ineffectual because the
pronouncement was a mere obiter dictum.

An obiter dictum has been defined as an opinion expressed by a court upon some question of law
that is not necessary in the determination of the case before the court. It is a remark made, or
opinion expressed, by a judge, in his decision upon a cause by the way, that is, incidentally or
collaterally, and not directly upon the question before him, or upon a point not necessarily involved
in the determination of the cause, or introduced by way of illustration, or analogy or argument.It
does not embody the resolution or determination of the court, and is made without argument, or
full consideration of the point. It lacks the force of an adjudication, being a mere expression of an
opinion with no binding force for purposes of res judicata.

Suntay vs. Suntay

G.R. No. 132524 December 29, 1998

Ponente: Martinez, J.

(Ratio Decidendi)

Facts:

Petitioner Federico is the oppositor to respondent Isabel’s Petition for Letters of


Administration over the estate of Cristina A. Suntay who had died without leaving a will. The
decedent is the wife of Federico and the grandmother of Isabel. Isabel’s father Emilio, had
predeceased his mother Cristina.
The marriage of Isabel’s parents had previously been decalred by the CFI as “null and void.”
Federico anchors his oppostion on this fact, alleging based on Art. 992 of the CC, that Isabel has no
right to succeed by right of representation as she is an illegitimate child. The trial court had denied
Federico’s Motion to Dismiss, hence this petition for certiorari. Federico contends that, inter alia,
that the dispositive portion of the the decision declaring the marriage of Isabel’s parents “null and
void” be upheld.

Issue:
Which should prevail between the ratio decidendi and the fallo of a decision is the primary issue in
this petition for certiorari under Rule filed by petitioner Federico C. Suntay who opposes
respondent Isabel's petition for appointment as administratrix of her grandmother's estate by
virtue of her right of representation.

Held:

The oppositor's contention that the fallo of the questioned decision (Annex "A" — Motion)
prevails over the body thereof is not without any qualification. It holds true only when the
dispositive portion of a final decision is definite, clear and unequivocal and can be wholly given
effect without need of interpretation or construction. Where there is ambiguity or uncertainty, the
opinion or body of the decision may be referred to for purposes of construing the judgment (78
SCRA 541 citing Morelos v. Go Chin Ling; and Heirs of Juan Presto v. Galang). The reason is that the
dispositive portion must find support from the decision's ratio decidendi.