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2/26/2019 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 486

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G.R. No. 154282. April 7, 2006.

VANGIE BARRAZONA, petitioner, vs. REGIONAL TRIAL


COURT, BRANCH 61, BAGUIO CITY and SAN-AN
REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, herein
represented by RODRIGO CHUA TIU, respondents.

Actions; Jurisdictions; Jurisdiction of the court over the


subject matter of the action is determined by the allegations of the
complaint

_______________

* SECOND DIVISION.

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556 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Barrazona vs. Regional Trial Court, Br. 61, Baguio City

at the time of its filing, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff


is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted
therein.—In Herrera, et al. v. Bollos, et al., 374 SCRA 107 (2002),
we emphasized the basic rule that jurisdiction of the court over
the subject matter of the action is determined by the allegations of
the complaint at the time of its filing, irrespective of whether or
not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the
claims asserted therein. What determines the jurisdiction of the
court is the nature of the action pleaded as appearing from the
allegations in the complaint. The averments therein and the
character of the relief sought are the ones to be consulted.
Same; Same; Ejectment; All ejectment cases are within the
jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court.—This allegation clearly
shows that respondent made several demands upon petitioner to
pay her overdue rentals and to vacate the premises; and that the
last demand to pay and vacate in writing was on March 27, 2002.
Respondent thus complied with Section 2, Rule 70 of the 1997

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Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, which provides: Sec. 2.


Lessor to proceed against lessee only after demand.—Unless
otherwise stipulated, such action by the lessor shall be
commenced only after demand to pay or comply with the
conditions of the lease and to vacate is made upon the lessee, or
by serving written notice of such demand upon the person found
on the premises, or by posting such notice on the premises if no
person be found thereon, and the lessee fails to comply therewith
after fifteen (15) days in the case of land or five (5) days in the
case of buildings. (2a) Indeed, while the complaint is captioned
“Collection of Sum of Money with Damages,” the allegations
therein show that respondent’s action is for ejectment. All
ejectment cases are within the jurisdiction of the MTC.
Courts; Judgments; Orders; A trial court should state in its
order the reasons for dismissal of the complaint so that when the
order is appealed, the appellate court can readily determine from a
casual perusal thereof whether there is a prima facie justification
for the dismissal; Section 3, Rule 16 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure proscribes the common practice of perfunctorily
dismissing a motion to dismiss for “lack of merit,” a cavalier
disposition can often pose difficulty and misunderstanding on the
part of the aggrieved party in taking recourse therefrom and
likewise on the higher court called upon to resolve the same,
usually on certiorari.—We have admon-

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VOL. 486, APRIL 7, 2006 557

Barrazona vs. Regional Trial Court, Br. 61, Baguio City

ished the trial courts not to issue a minute order or resolution like
the one specified above. A trial court should state in its order the
reasons for the dismissal of the complaint so that when the order
is appealed, the appellate court can readily determine from a
casual perusal thereof whether there is a prima facie justification
for the dismissal. Under Section 3, Rule 16 of the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure, as amended, we require that resolutions
disposing of a motion to dismiss shall state clearly and distinctly
the reasons therefor, thus: Sec. 3. Resolution of motion.—After the
hearing, the court may dismiss the action or claim, deny the
motion, or order the amendment of the pleading. The court shall
not defer the resolution of the motion for the reason that the
ground relied upon is not indubitable. In every case, the
resolution shall state clearly and distinctly the reasons therefor.
This requirement proscribes the common practice of perfunctorily
dismissing a motion to dismiss for “lack of merit.” Such cavalier
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dispositions can often pose difficulty and misunderstanding on the


part of the aggrieved party in taking recourse therefrom and
likewise on the higher court called upon to resolve the same,
usually on certiorari.
Certiorari; The writ of certiorari is granted to keep an inferior
court within the bounds of its jurisdiction or to prevent it from
committing such a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction.—While an order denying a motion to
dismiss is interlocutory and non-appeallable, however, if the
denial is without or in excess of jurisdiction, certiorari and
prohibition are proper remedies from such order of denial. In
Time, Inc. v. Reyes, 39 SCRA 303 (1971), this Court, speaking
through Justice J.B.L. Reyes, held: The motion to dismiss was
predicated on the respondent court’s lack of jurisdiction to
entertain the action; and the rulings of this Court are that writs
of certiorari or prohibition, or both, may issue in case of a denial
or deferment of an action or on the basis of a motion to dismiss for
lack of jurisdiction. Verily, the writ of certiorari is granted to keep
an inferior court within the bounds of its jurisdiction or to prevent
it from committing such a grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction.
Same; Motions for Reconsideration; The filing of a motion for
reconsideration of a lower court’s ruling can be dispensed with
before resorting to the remedy of certiorari in exceptional cases,
such as where the question is purely of law, when public interest is
involved, where judicial intervention is urgent or its application
may cause

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558 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Barrazona vs. Regional Trial Court, Br. 61, Baguio City

great and irreparable damage, and where the court a quo has no
jurisdiction.—We cannot go along with respondent’s contention
that petitioner should have first filed a motion for reconsideration
before resorting to the remedy of certiorari. While the rule is that
before certiorari may be availed of, petitioner must first file a
motion for reconsideration with the lower court of the act or order
complained of, however, such rule is not without exception. We
have, in several instances, dispensed with the filing of a motion
for reconsideration of a lower court’s ruling, such as: where the
proceedings in which the error occurred is a patent nullity; where
the question is purely of law; when public interest is involved;
where judicial intervention is urgent or its application may cause

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great and irreparable damage; and where the court a quo has no
jurisdiction, as in this case.

SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Curt. Certiorari.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.


     Enrique A. Palsiw, Jr. for petitioner.
     Jose L. Olarte, Jr. for respondent.

SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.:

For our resolution is the instant Petition for Certiorari


under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as
amended, assailing the Order dated June 19, 2002 of the
Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 61, Baguio City,
denying petitioner’s Motion to Dismiss Civil Case No. 5238-
R, entitled “SAN-AN REALTY and DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION, herein represented by RODRIGO CHUA
TIU, plaintiff, v. VANGIE BARRAZONA, defendant.”
San-an Realty and Development Corporation,
respondent, owns a building located at Naguilian corner
Asin Road, Baguio City. Vangie Barrazona, petitioner, has
been leasing portions of the building identified as Units
203 A and B at the second floor. The period of the lease is
for two (2) years, commencing July 15, 2001 and ending
June 30, 2003. The monthly rental is P400.00 per square
meter for Unit 203 A and P500.00 per square meter for
Unit 203 B.

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Barrazona vs. Regional Trial Court, Br. 61, Baguio City

Starting August 2001, petitioner defaulted in the payment


of the monthly rentals and failed to pay despite demands
by respondent. Thus, on May 14, 2002, respondent filed
with the RTC, Branch 61, Baguio City, a Complaint for
Collection of Sum of Money with Damages, docketed as
Civil Case No. 5238-R.
On June 3, 2002, petitioner filed with the RTC a Motion
to Dismiss on the ground, among others, that the RTC has
no jurisdiction over the complaint considering that the
allegations therein clearly indicate that the action is one
for eject-ment (illegal detainer) which is under the
exclusive jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC).
Petitioner pointed out the following allegations in
paragraphs 4 and 5 of the complaint showing that it is not
for sum of money but for ejectment:
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4. That the defendant has failed to pay the rentals for


the said leased premises for the month of August
2001 up to the present;
5. That the plaintiff has demanded the defendant to
pay her overdue account, now amounting to
P971,838.15, the last demand to vacate and
payment of arrears having been made in writing on
March 27, 2002 x x x.

In an Order dated June 19, 2002, the RTC denied the


Motion to Dismiss for lack of merit.
Forthwith, petitioner filed the instant Petition for
Certiorari alleging that: (1) the RTC committed grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction in denying her Motion to Dismiss; and (2) the
Resolution denying her Motion to Dismiss is
unconstitutional as it does not state its legal basis.
On the other hand, respondent, in praying for the
dismissal of the petition, contends that (1) the complaint is
for the collection of unpaid rentals as there is absolutely no
allegation that its intent is to eject petitioner from the
premises; (2) petitioner should have first filed a motion for
reconsideration before resorting to the extraordinary suit of
certiorari; and (3)

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560 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Barrazona vs. Regional Trial Court, Br. 61, Baguio City

the assailed order denying petitioner’s motion to dismiss is


interlocutory and, therefore, cannot be the subject of a
petition for certiorari.
We hold that in denying petitioner’s motion to dismiss
the complaint, the RTC acted with grave abuse of
discretion.
Petitioner’s motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of
jurisdiction is pursuant to Section 1, Rule 16 of the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, which provides:

Sec. 1. Grounds.—Within the time for but before filing the answer
to the complaint or pleading asserting a claim, a motion to
dismiss may be made on any of the following grounds:
x x x      x x x      x x x
b.) That the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of
the claim.

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As mentioned earlier, petitioner stated in her motion that


respondent’s allegations in its complaint show that it is one
for ejectment cognizable, not by the RTC but, by the MTC
of Baguio City. 1
In Herrera, et al. v. Bollos, et al., we emphasized the
basic rule that jurisdiction of the court over the subject
matter of the action is determined by the allegations of the
complaint at the time of its filing, irrespective of whether
or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of
the claims asserted therein. What determines the
jurisdiction of the court is the nature of the action pleaded
as appearing from the allegations in the complaint. The
averments therein and the character of the relief sought
are the ones to be consulted.
It bears reiterating paragraph 5 of the complaint, thus:

“5. That the plaintiff has demanded the defendant to pay her
overdue account, now amounting to P971,838.15, the last demand
to

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1 G.R. No. 138258, January 18, 2002, 374 SCRA 107; see also R.V.
Marzan Freight, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 128064, March 4, 2004,
424 SCRA 596.

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Barrazona vs. Regional Trial Court, Br. 61, Baguio City

vacate and payment of arrears having been made in writing on


March 27, 2002 x x x.”

This allegation clearly shows that respondent made several


demands upon petitioner to pay her overdue rentals and to
vacate the premises; and that the last demand to pay and
vacate in writing was on March 27, 2002. Respondent thus
complied with Section 2, Rule 70 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, as amended, which provides:

Sec. 2. Lessor to proceed against lessee only after demand.—Unless


otherwise stipulated, such action by the lessor shall be
commenced only after demand to pay or comply with the
conditions of the lease and to vacate is made upon the lessee, or
by serving written notice of such demand upon the person found
on the premises, or by posting such notice on the premises if no
person be found thereon, and the lessee fails to comply therewith

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after fifteen (15) days in the case of land or five (5) days in the
case of buildings. (2a)

Indeed, while the complaint is captioned “Collection of Sum


of Money with Damages,” the allegations therein show that
respondent’s action is for ejectment.
2
All ejectment cases are
within the jurisdiction of the MTC.
Next, petitioner maintains that the Order of the RTC
denying her Motion to Dismiss violates the Constitution as
it does not state the facts and the law on which it is based.
The challenged Order is reproduced as follows:

ORDER

“This Court finds that the grounds stated in the Motion to


Dismiss to be without merit, hence, the same is denied.
SO ORDERED.”

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2 Tala Realty Services Corporation v. Banco Filipino Savings and


Mortgage Bank, G.R. No. 137533, November 22, 2002, 392 SCRA 506.

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Barrazona vs. Regional Trial Court, Br. 61, Baguio City

We have admonished the trial courts not to issue a minute


order or resolution like the one specified above. A trial
court should state in its order the reasons for the dismissal
of the complaint so that when the order is appealed, the
appellate court can readily determine from a casual perusal
thereof whether
3
there is a prima facie justification for the
dismissal.
Under Section 3, Rule 16 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, as amended, we require that resolutions
disposing of a motion to dismiss shall state clearly and
distinctly the reasons therefor, thus:

Sec. 3. Resolution of motion.—After the hearing, the court may


dismiss the action or claim, deny the motion, or order the
amendment of the pleading.
The court shall not defer the resolution of the motion for the
reason that the ground relied upon is not indubitable.
In every case, the resolution shall state clearly and distinctly
the reasons therefor.

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2/26/2019 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 486

This requirement proscribes the common practice of


perfunctorily dismissing a motion to dismiss for “lack of
merit.” Such cavalier dispositions can often pose difficulty
and misunderstanding on the part of the aggrieved party in
taking recourse therefrom and likewise on the higher4 court
called upon to resolve the same, usually on certiorari.
While an order denying a motion to dismiss is
interlocutory and non-appealable, however, if the denial is
without or in excess of jurisdiction, certiorari and5
prohibition are proper6 remedies from such order of denial.
In Time, Inc. v. Reyes,

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3 Continental Bank v. Tiangco, G.R. No. 50480, December 14, 1979, 94


SCRA 715.
4Regalado, Volume I, Remedial Law Compendium, p. 260.
5 Ablan, Sr. v. Madarang, No. L-32963, September 30, 1971, 41 SCRA
213; Philippine National Bank v. Florendo, G.R. No. 62082, February 26,
1992, 206 SCRA 582.
6 L-28882, May 31, 1971, 39 SCRA 303, cited in Ablan, Sr. v.
Madarang, supra.

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VOL. 486, APRIL 7, 2006 563


Barrazona vs. Regional Trial Court, Br. 61, Baguio City

this Court, speaking through Justice J.B.L. Reyes, held:


The motion to dismiss was predicated on the respondent
court’s lack of jurisdiction to entertain the action; and the
rulings of this Court are that writs of certiorari or
prohibition, or both, may issue in case of a denial or
deferment of an action or on7 the basis of a motion to
dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. Verily, the writ of certiorari
is granted to keep an inferior court within the bounds of its
jurisdiction or to prevent it from committing such a grave
abuse of discretion
8
amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction.
Lastly, we cannot go along with respondent’s contention
that petitioner should have first filed a motion for
reconsideration before resorting to the remedy of certiorari.
While the rule is that before certiorari may be availed of,
petitioner must first file a motion for reconsideration
9
with
the lower court of the act or order complained of, however,
such rule is not without exception. We have, in several
instances, dispensed with the filing of a motion for
reconsideration of a lower court’s ruling, such as: where the
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proceedings
10
in which the error occurred is a patent
nullity; where the question is purely of law; when public
interest is involved; where judicial intervention is urgent or
its application may cause great and

_______________

7Id.

8 Aguilar v. Tan, L-23600, January 30, 1970, 31 SCRA 205; Bautista, et


al. v. Sarmiento, et al., L-45137, September 23, 1985, 138 SCRA 587.
9 Villa-Rey Transit v. Bello, L-18957, April 23, 1963, 7 SCRA 735; Yao
v. Perello, G.R. No. 153828, October 24, 2003, 414 SCRA 474; Go v. Tong,
G.R. No. 151942, November 27, 2003, 416 SCRA 557.
10 Director of Lands v. Santamaria and Javellana, No. 20151, March 6,
1923, 44 Phil. 594.

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564 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Barrazona vs. Regional Trial Court, Br. 61, Baguio City
11
irreparable 12damage; and where the court a quo has no
jurisdiction, as in this case.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Order
dated June 19, 2002 issued by the RTC, Branch 61, Baguio
City, in Civil Case No. 5238-R, is ANNULLED and SET
ASIDE.
SO ORDERED.

          Puno (Chairperson), Corona, Azcuna and Garcia,


JJ., concur.

Petition granted, order annulled and set aside.

Notes.—It is axiomatic that what determines the nature


of an action and hence, the jurisdiction of the court, are the
allegations of the pleading and the character of the relief
sought. (Del Mar vs. Philippine Amusement and Gaming
Corporation, 346 SCRA 485 [2000])
The elementary rule is that jurisdiction in criminal
cases is determined by the allegations in the Information.
(People vs. Bayeng, 364 SCRA 667 [2001])

——o0o——

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11 Philippine Industrial Trading Corporation v. Commission on Audit,


G.R. No. 152688, November 19, 2003, 416 SCRA 245.
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12 Malayang Manggagawa sa Esso v. Esso Standard Eastern, Inc., L-


24224, July 30, 1965, 14 SCRA 801.

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Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. vs. Sedan

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