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Camarines Sur IV Electric Cooperative, Inc. vs.

Expedita Aquino
G.R. No. 167691, September 23, 2008

Respondent Aquino started a computer gaming business and leased a building


for the same purpose. She was suspected of illegal wiretapping and was
investigated for it. This led to the electric services of her business to be
disconnected. Aquino filed a Complaint for damages for unrealized profits.
Upon petitioner Camarines’ motion, the case was dismissed for lack of cause of
action on 22 December 2003.

Aquino received the order on 23 December 2003 and on 5 January 2004, Aquino
filed a MR (with notice and hearing) and mailed a copy to Camarines’ counsel on
the same date.

In the said Motion with Notice and Hearing, the date of the hearing was 9
January 2004. Camarines filed an opposition thereto, alleging that the motion
should be denied for non-compliance of the 3-day rule. Further, Camarines
alleges that since the motion was defective, the appeal period was not tolled, and
hence, filed out of time.

RTC denied the MR of Aquino on 3 February 2004. Aquino filed an appeal in the
CA on 5 February 2004. Camarines argued that Aquino’s motion was pro forma
for failure to comply with the 3-day notice rule. Thus, it did not stop the running
of the 15-day period for respondent to appeal (which should have been counted
from her receipt of the RTC order on 23 December 2003). Consequently, Aquino’s
appeal on 5 February 2004 (44 days after she received the RTC Order) was
belatedly filed.

SC held that the CA should have denied Aquino’s appeal for being filed out of
time. In its petition with the SC, Camarines alleges that Aquino mailed a copy of
her MR to Camarines only on 5 January 2004, although the motion was already
scheduled for hearing on 9 January 2004. The Court held that Aquino should
have foreseen that the registered mail, which originated from Naga City, would
not be able to reach Camarines’ counsel’s office in Manila, 3 days before the said
date. True enough, Camarines only received it on the day of the hearing itself. SC
held that Aquino’s MR was fatally flawed for failure to comply with the 3-day
rule under Section 4, Rule 15 of the Rules of Court. Consequently, it did not toll
the reglementary period for Aquino to appeal the RTC decision.

The SC held that a motion which fails to comply with said Rule is a mere scrap of
paper. If filed, such motion is not entitled to judicial cognizance. (citing Garcia
vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 167103, August 31, 2006). Further, the SC held that
the fact that the RTC took cognizance of a defective motion, such as requiring the
parties to set it for hearing and denying the same for lack of merit—such as in the
instant case—did not cure the defect of said motion.

Laude vs. Hon. Roline M. Ginez-Jabalde


G.R. No. 217456, November 24, 2015

Marilou Laude filed a complaint for murder against Pemberton before the
Olongapo City Prosecutor’s office for the death of her sister, Jennifer Laude.

The information was filed on 15 December 2014 before the RTC of Olongapo City
and a subsequent warrant of arrest was issued against Pemberton. On 19
December 2014, Pemberton surrendered to Respondent Judge Ginez-Jabalde.
Petitioner Laude filed an Urgent Motion to Compel the Armed Forces of the
Philippines to Surrender Custody of Accused to Olongapo City Jail and a Motion to
Allow Media Coverage. The Motions were set for hearing on 22 December 2014.

On 23 December 2014, Respondent Judge denied the Urgent Motion for failure to
comply with the 3-day rule. Petitioner advances the rationale that the 3-day
notice rule is satisfied when there is an opportunity to be heard, which according
to her, was present in the case since Pemberton’s counsel and the Public
Prosecutor were present in the hearing of the two Motions filed by petitioner
Laude. She also states that given the exigency of the circumstances, as well as the
numerous legal holidays preceding the date, the rule should have been liberally
applied.

The issue was whether or not Judge Ginez-Jabalde committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she dismissed the
two (2) Motions.

The SC held that no, she was correct in dismissing said Motions for failure to
comply with the 3-day rule. While the general rule is that a motion that fails to
comply with the requirements of Rule 15 is a mere scrap of paper, an exception
can be made and the motion may still be acted upon by the Court provided that
doing so will neither cause prejudice to the other party nor violate his/her due
process rights. The adverse party must be given time to study the motion in
order to enable him/her to prepare properly and engage the arguments of the
Movant.

In this case, the general rule must apply since Pemberton was not given sufficient
time to study the Petitioner’s Motion, thereby depriving him of his procedural
due process rights. Further, petitioners admit that they personally furnished
Pemberton a copy of the Motion during the hearing. Even granting that
Pemberton’s counsel was able to comment on the Motion orally during the
hearing, it cannot be said that Pemeberton was able to study and prepare for his
counter-arguments to the issue raised in the Motion.

Bernice Joan Ti vs. Manuel S. Dino


G.R. No. 219260, November 6, 2017

On 19 February 2008, the OCP issued a Resolution recommending the filing of


information against petitioner Joan Ti and Julieta Fernandez for falsification of
public documents, to which petitioner and Fernandez filed an MR. The MeTC
allowed the reinvestigation of the case, and the first Resolution was set aside.
Respondent, through private prosecutor, filed an MR of the MeTC’s order dated
24 June 2008. The MeTC issued an Order on 14 November 2008 granting the
respondent’s MR, finding probable cause against petitioner and Fernandez.

Petitioner and Fernandez filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with
injunction to enjoin MeTC from proceeding with the case, claiming that MeTC
committed GADALEJ when it granted respondent’s MR (on 14 November 2008).

QC RTC issued an Order on 8 March 2010 and ruled that MeTC committed
GADALEJ in reviving the criminal case against petitioner on the basis of
respondent’s MR filed by the private prosecutor without concurrence or
conformity of public prosecutor.

On 5 April 2010, respondents filed their MR.

RTC denied respondent’s MR dated 5 April 2010 because it found that


respondent’s MR was set for hearing on 16 April 2010, and that a copy thereof
was received by petitioner’s counsel on 19 April 2010, or three (3) days after the
hearing.

Respondent filed a petition for certiorari and the CA reversed the RTC ruling
denying the respondent’s notice of appeal.

The present petition for certiorari by petitioner alleges that respondent violated
the 3-day notice rule and that respondent should have resorted to personal
service because of the proximity of the offices (Ortigas and Manila).
The SC held that respondent did violate the 3-day notice rule. The SC held that
nowhere in the rule does it state that the court is obligated to determine whether
a copy of the motion had indeed been served on the opposing party. The court is
not required by the rules to reset the hearing in case the other party fails to
attend the hearing on the motion. In fact, what the rules allow is for the court to
set the hearing on shorter notice for good and not to delay or reset the hearing.
The fault, is therefore with respondent, and not with the RTC.

Concomitant to a liberal application of the rules of procedures should be an


effort on the part of the party invoking liberality to explain his failure to abide by
the rules. (Oasis Park Hotel vs. Leslee V. Navaluna G.R. No. 197191, November
21, 2016)

Further, the SC held that it must be emphasized that procedural rules are
designed to facilitate the adjudication of cases. Courts and litigants alike are
enjoined to abide strictly by the rules. (Rural Banks of Seven Lakes (S.P.C.), Inc.
vs. Belen, A. Dan, 595 Phil. 1061, 1073(2008).) While in certain instances, the
Court allows a relaxation in the application of the rules, it never intends to forge
a weapon for erring litigants to violate the rules with impunity (Rural Banks,
Id.) The liberal interpretation and application of rules apply only in proper cases
of demonstrable merit and under justifiable causes and circumstances. (Id.) While
it is true that litigation is not a game of technicalities, it is equally true that every
case must be prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed procedure to ensure
an orderly and speedy administration of justice. (Id.) Party-litigants and their
counsel are well advised to abide by, rather than flaunt, procedural rules, for
these rules illumine the path of the law and rationalize the pursuit of justice.
(Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Natividad, 497 Phil. 738,745 (2008).)