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REBECCO PANLILIO, ERLINDA PANLILIO and JOSE MARCEL PANLILIO, petitioners, vs. HON. JOSEFINA G.

SALONGA, Presiding Judge of RTC, Makati Branch 149 and FE V. FEDERIS, respondents. G.R. No. 113087 June 27, 1994 FACTS: Michael Lancelot F. Panlilio is said to be the natural child of petitioner Jose Marcel E. Panlilio and private respondent Fe V. Federis while principal petitioners Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio are the natural grandparents of the minor, being the parents of Jose Marcel E. Panlilio. Owing to the so-called cruelty, moral depravity and gross neglect of private respondent, the grandparents felt obliged to exercise substitute parental authority over the minor which apprehension led to the initiation of special proceedings geared towards securing their appointment as guardians ad litem of the ward. RTC of Naic, Cavite: It is to the best interest of the minor Michael Lancelot F. Panlilio, the natural grandson of petitioners, for Spouses Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio who are presently in custody of the minor, to be appointed guardian ad litem pending determination of the merits of this case. A petition for habeas corpus was submitted by private respondent and later assigned to Branch 149 of the RTC in Makati. The Makati court immediately ordered the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus. Petitioners moved to dismiss the habeas corpus petition on the basis of litis pendentia as well as lack of cause of action while herein private respondent filed her own motion to dismiss in the Cavite custody case anchored on improper venue and the existence of a prejudicial question. HELD: Sec. 4. When writ not allowed or discharged authorized. If it appears that the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, and that the court of judge had jurisdiction to issue the process, render judgment, or make the order, the writ shall not be allowed . . .

The doctrine of judicial stability or non-interference in the regular orders or judgments of a co-equal court, as an accepted axiom in adjective law, serves as an insurmountable barrier to the competencia of the Makati court to entertain the habeas corpus case on account of the previous assumption of jurisdiction by the Cavite court, and the designation of petitioners as guardians ad litem of the ward. Verily, the existence of an anterior suit, such as the termination of private respondent's parental authority in the Cavite court, coupled with the order appointing principal petitioners as guardians ad litem of the ward, is sufficient to momentarily stave off private respondent's short-cut and subtle attempt to regain custody of her son at another forum, by reason of the corollary principle that initial acquisition of jurisdiction by a court of concurrent jurisdiction divests another of its own jurisdiction. It has been held that "even in cases of concurrent jurisdiction, it is, also, axiomatic that the court first acquiring jurisdiction excludes the other courts". In addition, it is a familiar principle that when a court of competent jurisdiction acquires jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case, its authority continues, subject only to the appellate authority, until the matter is finally and completely disposed of, and that no court of coordinate authority is at liberty to interfere with its action. This doctrine is applicable to civil cases, to criminal prosecutions, and to courtsmartial. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby granted and the Honorable Josefina G. Salonga, Presiding Judge of Branch 149 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati is hereby directed to dismiss the habeas corpus case.

HON. CARLOS O. FORTICH, PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR OF BUKIDNON, HON. REY B. BAULA, MUNICIPAL MAYOR OF SUMILAO, BUKIDNON, NQSR MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, petitioners, vs. HON. RENATO C. CORONA, DEPUTY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, HON. ERNESTO D. GARILAO, SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, respondents. G.R. No. 131457 April 24, 1998 FACTS: The strikers protested the Decision of the Office of the President (OP), issued which approved the conversion of a one hundred forty-four (144)-hectare land from agricultural to agro-industrial/institutional area. So, OP issued a win-win resolution which modified the approval of the land conversion to agro-industrial area only to the extent of 44 hectares, and ordered the remaining 100 hectares to be distributed to qualified farmer-beneficiaries. Petitioners come to this Court urging us to annul and set aside the "WinWin" Resolution and to enjoin respondent Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao of the Department of Agrarian Reform from implementing the said Resolution. This case involves a 144-hectare land located at San Vicente, Sumilao, Bukidnon, owned by the Norberto Quisumbing, Sr. Management and Development Corporation (NQSRMDC), one of the petitioners. During the existence of the lease, the DAR placed the entire 144-hectare property under compulsory acquisition. NQSRMDC resisted the DAR's action. It filed a writ of prohibition with preliminary injunction with DARAB which was granted. Court of Appeals issued a Resolution ordering the parties to observe status quo pending resolution of the petition. In compliance with the OP decision, NQSRMDC and DECS executed a Memorandum of Agreement whereby the former donated four (4) hectares from the subject land to DECS for the establishment of the NQSR High School. When NQSRMDC was about to transfer the title over the 4-hectare donated to DECS, it discovered that the title over the subject property was no longer in its name. It soon found out that during the pendency of both the Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition, with Preliminary Injunction it filed against DAR in the Court of Appeals and the appeal to the President filed by Governor Carlos O. Fortich, the DAR, without giving just compensation, caused the cancellation of NQSRMDC's title.

HELD: An error of judgment is one which the court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction, and which error is reviewable only by an appeal. On the other hand, an error of jurisdiction is one where the act complained of was issued by the court, officer or a quasi-judicial body without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion which is tantamount to lack or in excess of jurisdiction. This error is correctable only by the extraordinary writ of certiorari. It is true that under Rule 43, appeals from awards, judgments, final orders or resolutions of any quasi-judicial agency exercising quasi-judicial functions, including the Office of the President, may be taken to the Court of Appeals by filing a verified petition for review within fifteen (15) days from notice of the said judgment, final order or resolution, whether the appeal involves questions of fact, of law, or mixed questions of fact and law. However, we hold that, in this particular case, the remedy prescribed in Rule 43 is inapplicable considering that the present petition contains an allegation that the challenged resolution is "patently illegal" and was issued with "grave abuse of discretion" and "beyond his (respondent Secretary Renato C. Corona's) jurisdiction" when said resolution substantially modified the earlier OP Decision which had long become final and executory. In other words, the crucial issue raised here involves an error of jurisdiction, not an error of judgment which is reviewable by an appeal under Rule 43. Thus, the appropriate remedy to annul and set aside the assailed resolution is an original special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65, as what the petitioners have correctly done. Section 4 of Rule 65: SC, Court of Appeals and Regional Trial Court have original concurrent jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus. But the jurisdiction of these three (3) courts are also delineated in that, if the challenged act relates to acts or omissions of a lower court or of a corporation, board, officer or person, the petition must be filed with the Regional Trial Court which exercises jurisdiction over the territorial area as defined by the Supreme Court. And if it involves the act or omission of a quasi-judicial agency, the petition shall be filed only with the Court of Appeals, unless otherwise provided by law or the Rules of Court. But the Supreme Court has the full discretionary power to take cognizance of the petition filed directly to it if compelling reasons, or the nature and importance of the issues raised, warrant. Pursuant to said judicial policy, we

resolve to take primary jurisdiction over the present petition in the interest of speedy justice and to avoid future litigations so as to promptly put an end to the present controversy which, as correctly observed by petitioners, has sparked national interest because of the magnitude of the problem created by the issuance of the assailed resolution. The rule in this jurisdiction is that a real party in interest is a party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment or is the party entitled to the avails of the suit. Real interest means a present substantial interest, as distinguished from a mere expectancy or a future, contingent, subordinate or consequential interest. Undoubtedly, movants' interest over the land in question is a mere expectancy. Ergo, they are not real parties in interest. When the Office of the President issued the Order dated June 23, 1997 declaring the Decision of March 29, 1996 final and executory, as no one has seasonably filed a motion for reconsideration thereto, the said Office had lost its jurisdiction to re-open the case, more so modify its Decision. Having lost its jurisdiction, the Office of the President has no more authority to entertain the second motion for reconsideration filed by respondent DAR Secretary, which second motion became the basis of the assailed "Win-Win" Resolution. Section 7 of Administrative Order No. 18 and Section 4, Rule 43 of the Revised Rules of Court mandate that only one (1) motion for reconsideration is allowed to be taken from the Decision of March 29, 1996. And even if a second motion for reconsideration was permitted to be filed in "exceptionally meritorious cases," as provided in the second paragraph of Section 7 of AO 18, still the said motion should not have been entertained considering that the first motion for reconsideration was not seasonably filed, thereby allowing the Decision of March 29, 1996 to lapse into finality. Thus, the act of the Office of the President in re-opening the case and substantially modifying its March 29, 1996 Decision which had already become final and executory, was in gross disregard of the rules and basic legal precept that accord finality to administrative determinations. WHEREFORE, the present petition is hereby GRANTED. The challenged Resolution issued by the Office of the President is hereby NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE.

VICTORIO ALERIA, JR., petitioner, vs. HON. ALEJANDRO M. VELEZ, in his official capacity as Presiding Judge, RTC-Branch 20, Cagayan de Oro City, and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. G.R. No. 127400 November 16, 1998 FACTS: Victorio Aleria, Jr. stands accused in Criminal Case for Illegal Possession of Firearms, and in another Criminal Case for Murder. Both cases are being tried jointly by respondent Judge. Petitioner filed a Petition to Admit Bail in both cases. Respondent Judge (RJ): This court finds the evidence of the state sufficiently strong to hold the accused criminally liable under the present charges in the absence of convincing evidence to the contrary. Petitioner-accused: Filed a Motion for Reconsideration on the grounds that the aforesaid Order denying bail is not supported by the evidence on record, and that the Order failed to state the grounds for denying bail and the evidence relied upon to show that the evidence of guilt of the accused is strong. RJ: denied the Motion for Reconsideration. Office of the SolGen: Respondent Judge should be directed to issue another order on petitioner's application for bail containing a summary of the evidence for the prosecution followed by its conclusion whether or not the evidence of guilt is strong. HELD: "[A]ll persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. . . .". Petitioner is unquestionably charged with a capital offense, Murder, which at the time of its commission and at the time of the application for bail is punishable by reclusion perpetua to death. The grant or denial of bail in capital offenses hinges on the issue of whether or not the evidence of guilty of the accused is strong. Hence the need for the trial court to conduct bail hearings wherein both the prosecution and defense are afforded sufficient opportunity to present their respective evidence. The determination, however, of whether or not the evidence of guilt is strong, being a matter of judicial discretion, remains with the judge.

Judicial discretion is not unbridled but must be supported by a finding of the facts relied upon to form an opinion on the issue before the court. We have repeatedly ruled that the court's order granting or refusing bail must contain a summary of the evidence for the prosecution followed by its conclusion whether or not the evidence of guilty is strong. Indeed, the summary of evidence for the prosecution which contains the judge's evaluation of the evidence may be considered as an aspect of judicial due process for both the prosecution and the defense. A review of the questioned orders would readily show that they are indeed lacking in specificity, and therefore, fatally flawed. Rule 114, Section 17 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Administrative Circular No. 12-94, provides that bail is generally filed in the "court where the case is pending." If the petition to be admitted to bail is denied by the trial court, then the review jurisdiction of this Court can be invoked, but not without first applying to the Court of Appeals if appropriate relief is also available therein. Indeed, while this Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeals to issue the writ of certiorari, such concurrence does not give petitioner unrestricted freedom of choice of a forum on the matter of denial of bail. Petitioner here is not without recourse in the Court of Appeals. "There is after all hierarchy of courts. That hierarchy is determinative of venue of appeals, and should also serve as a general determinant of the appropriate forum for petitions for the issuance of extraordinary writs. A becoming regard for that judicial hierarchy most certainly indicates that petitions for the issuance of extraordinary writs against first level ('inferior') courts should be filed with the Regional Trial Court, and those against the latter, with the Court of Appeals. It is a policy necessary to prevent inordinate demands upon the Court's time and attention which are better devoted to those matters within its exclusive jurisdiction, and to prevent further over-crowding of the Court's docket." WHEREFORE, the Orders dated July 19, 1996 and September 2, 1996 are hereby set aside and respondent court is directed to state in its order denying bail to petitioner a summary of the evidence submitted by the prosecution in support of its opposition to the grant of bail.

GIL RUBIO, petitioner, vs. THE HON. MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, BRANCH 4, CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, CITY SHERIFF OF CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, and SPOUSES LIM LIONG KANG and LIM PUE KING, respondents. G.R. No. 87110 January 24, 1996 FACTS: In the action for ejectment and damages filed by the spouses Lim Liong Kang and Lim Pue King (private respondents herein) against petitioner with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Branch 4, Cagayan de Oro City, said court rendered on September 18, 1985 a decision in favor of private respondents. Before petitioner could perfect his appeal, private respondents moved for the execution of the decision. A writ of execution was issued by the MTCC on May 22, 1986. RTC granted petitioners appeal. RTC and CA affirmed MTCCs decision. Entry of the CA decision was effected on September 14, 1988, after which the records of the case were remanded to the court of origin. On November 13, 1988, counsel for private respondents filed before the MTCC a Motion for the Issuance of an Order of Demolition. Petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the December 19, 1988 Order, alleging mainly that the same was prematurely issued and without procedural basis as the court a quo had not yet issued a writ for the execution of the final judgment of the Court of Appeals. MTCC Judge Edmilao denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration and granted private respondent's second motion for the issuance of a writ of demolition. HELD: This Court took cognizance of the petition not withstanding the disregard by petitioner of the hierarchy of courts, because remanding the legal issues to the Regional Trial Court or the Court of Appeals would only prolong unduly the execution of the ejectment case. Petitioner contends that pursuant to the mandate of the last paragraph of the MTCC decision, the earliest that said decision could be executed was after June 16, 1989 or six months after December 16, 1988 when records of the case were received on remand by the MTCC. Hence, the Orders dated December 19, 1988 and January 27, 1989, the Writ of Demolition dated February 2, 1989 as well as its enforcement on February 20-21, 1989 were all illegal, null and void

ASSAILED MTCC DECISION: Execution shall issue immediately except on the order to vacate the premises which shall issue after six (6) months from and after receipt by defendant of this decision, unless an appeal has been perfected and defendant to stay execution file a supersedeas bond . There are actually two periods provided in the above-quoted paragraph: a) the period of six months from and after receipt by the defendant of the MTCC decision; and, b) the period covered by the pendency of an appeal. The first period contemplates a situation where the decision becomes executory by the defendant's (herein petitioner's) failure to appeal or to file a supersedeas bond and deposit the rentals that may become due from time to time. By providing that the order to vacate could only be executed six months from and after the defendant's receipt of the decision, what the MTCC actually intended to do was to give petitioner a grace period of six months. Execution of the portion of the MTCC decision dealing with the order to vacate was suspended, so that the earliest that said portion of the decision could be executed was six months from and after receipt thereof by therein defendant, notwithstanding that it may have earlier attained finality. Another objection of petitioner to the execution of the decision is that no writ of execution was ever issued by the MTCC to enforce the judgment of the CA. While the writ was denominated as one for demolition, it nonetheless substantially complied with the form and contents of a writ of execution as provided for under Section 8, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. Thus, the writ was issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines by the court in which the judgment or order was entered. It clearly referred to such judgment, stating the court, province and municipality where it is of record, the amount actually due thereon and requiring the sheriff to deliver possession of the premises to plaintiffs. This, to our mind, is sufficient to constitute a writ of execution of the CA judgment under the oft-repeated rule that the Rules of Court shall be liberally construed in order to promote its object and to assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding The form of the writ was in substantial compliance with the Rules. Petitioner was duly notified and heard on the motion for issuance of the writ of demolition and was given reasonable time to remove his houses,

in accordance with the procedure laid down in Section 14, Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court. He was even heard on a motion for reconsideration of the order of December 19, 1988. The third objection to the execution of the judgment against petitioner is that the demolition of his houses was allegedly carried out before the expiration of the thirty-day period granted in the December 19, 1988 Order. Suffice it to say that the period subject to interruption by a motion for reconsideration is the period to appeal. The order of December 19, 1988 is an interlocutory order because it required the parties to perform certain acts for final adjudication of certain incidents in the case Being an interlocutory order, it was not appealable and, therefore, there was no period to suspend or interrupt. Verily, the rule that once a judgment has become final and executory, it is the ministerial duty of the courts to order its execution, is not absolute but admits of certain exceptions, as in cases of special and exceptional nature where it becomes imperative in the higher interest of justice to suspend its execution; or whenever it is necessary to accomplish the aims of justice or when certain facts and circumstances transpired after the judgment became final which render the execution of the judgment impossible or unjust. This Court has held in numerous cases that a change in the situation of the parties was considered a circumstance that would render execution inequitable and unjust. Petitioner contends that the decision in Civil Case No. 8983 has changed the situation of the parties in the instant case, as would justify a suspension of the final and executory judgment of the Court of Appeals, as Maura So had undertaken to allow him to continue occupying the lot under consideration. It must be stated, however, that at the time respondent court issued the order to vacate in the ejectment case, the RTC decision in Civil Case No. 8983 had not yet become final and executory, it being on appeal before the Court of Appeals. In fact, the Writ of Demolition had been fully enforced months before the appellate court promulgated its decision in the appealed case, which decision was further appealed to this Court. On these facts alone, it is evident that the RTC decision in Civil Case No. 8983 could not serve to stay the execution of the final and executory

judgment in the ejectment case, the right of Maura So to the land in question being still undetermined by final judgment. To say that the RTC decision in Civil Case No. 8983 has changed the situation of the parties in the ejectment case is incorrect because petitioner is not a party to Civil Case No. 8983.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.

ROBIN M. CANO, petitioner, vs. THE CHIEF, PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE, EDGAR C. GALVANTE, as Police Director for Personnel and Records Management, PNP, and the DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, respondents. G.R. No. 139368 November 21, 2002 FACTS: For the alleged bungled investigation of the Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez rape-slay, a complaint for grave misconduct was filed with the National Police Commission under the DILG against petitioner, then Police Chief Inspector of the Calauan Police Station. The Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) found petitioner guilty and ordered his summary dismissal from the service. Petitioner appealed his dismissal to the National Appellate Board of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM). The latter reversed the decision of the PNP Chief. NAPOLCOM: CANO was administratively culpable for Simple Misconduct and hereby orders (sic) his suspension for a period of three (3) months. Considering, however, that said respondent had been under suspension since August 7, 1995, the penalty imposed is considered deemed served. Petitioner was restored to full duty status effective May 15, 1997. Petitioner filed a claim for payment of back salaries and other allowances corresponding to the period he was allegedly unjustly discharged from service until he was restored to full duty status. However, this claim was denied by respondent Police Director Edgar C. Galvante of the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM). Petitioner filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City for the recovery of his back salaries and other allowances for the said period. The court a quo dismissed the complaint. RTC: Plaintiff has not shown any clear and legal right which would entitle him to back salaries, allowances and other benefits and besides, plaintiff has failed to exhaust administrative remedies no[t discounting the fact that his claim against defendants is actually a suit against the state. ISSUE: WON the petitioner is entitled to his claim for back salaries and allowances under the terms of the decision of the NAPOLCOM Appellate Board.

HELD: NO. There is a question of fact when doubt or difference arises as to the truth or falsehood of the alleged facts and there is a question of law where the doubt or difference arises as to what the law is on a certain state of facts. Here, petitioner seeks to recover back salaries and allowances allegedly due when he was unjustly discharged from the service until when he was restored to full duty status. The determination of petitioner's entitlement to said back salaries and allowances is a mixed question as it involves the determination of his duty status for the period of his claim and the resolution of whether the petitioner was acquitted by the NAPOLCOM Appellate Board in its decision finding him liable only for simple misconduct, not gross misconduct. Under Section 1 of Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, an appeal by certiorari to this Court should raise only questions of law which must be distinctly set forth in the petition. It is elementary that a review is not a matter of right, but of sound judicial discretion, and will be granted only when there are special and important reasons therefor. As the error raised herein includes one of fact and law, and not a proper subject for a petition for review on certiorari, we are constrained to decline exercise of our equity jurisdiction in this case. At any rate, petitioner also failed without justifiable cause to observe due regard for the hierarchy of courts. Even on this reason alone, we are constrained to deny the petition. The policy of this Court respecting the hierarchy of courts and, consequently, prohibiting the filing of a petition in this Court in view of the concurrent jurisdiction with the lower courts has been consistently observed in the absence of any compelling reason for departing from such policy. Pursuant to Section 2, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court, petitioner should have taken his appeal to the Court of Appeals. Having ruled for the denial of the petition, we need not tarry on the other issues that may have been raised in the petition. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED

RAOUL B. DEL MAR, petitioner, vs. PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORPORATION, ET. AL., respondent. G.R. No. 138298 June 19, 2001 FACTS: Acting on the motions for reconsideration filed by public respondent Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and private respondents Belle Jai-Alai Corporation, (BELLE) and Filipinas Gaming Entertainment Totalizator Corporation (FILGAME), seeking to reverse the court's Decision dated November 29, 2000, only seven (7) justices, namely, Josue Bellosillo, Jose Melo, Santiago Kapunan, Leonardo Quisumbing, Consuelo Y. Santiago, Sabino de Leon and Angelina Gutierrez voted to grant the motions. For lack of the required number of votes, the said motions for reconsideration are denied. The opinions of Justices Puno, Melo, Vitug and De Leon are herewith made part of this resolution. The twin motions for reconsideration before us concern the issue as to whether the PAGCOR has the requisite franchise to manage and/or operate jai alai or Basque pelota games, by itself or with the infrastructure facilities of co-respondents Belle Jai Alai Corporation (hereinafter called BELLE) and Filipinas Gaming Entertainment Totalizator Corporation (hereinafter called FILGAME). On November 29, 2000, this Court rendered a decision, holding that the management and operation of jai alai games is not covered by the franchise granted to PAGCOR under Presidential Decree No.1869. PAGCOR, as well as BELLE and FILGAME, filed its Motion for Reconsideration dated December, 2000. Petitioners, filed their respective comments/opposition to the motion for reconsideration. o Since there was no mention of the word "Jai alai" in the PAGCOR charter, although the legislative authority could have easily included the same, jai alai is deemed to have been excluded from the activities falling within the scope of PAGCOR 's franchise to operate and manage. o PAGCOR does not have the franchise to operate and manage jai alai games in the absence of specific rules and guidelines given by the legislative authority for the operation of a game played for bets.

HELD: We find merit in the twin motions for reconsideration before us and hold that PAGCOR has the requisite franchise to manage and operate jai alai games and to enter into a joint venture agreement with BELLE and FILGAME. DE LEON, JR., J: I vote to grant the subject twin Motions for Reconsideration filed by respondents PAGCOR, BELLE and FILGAME. 1. Section 10 of P. D. No.1869 defining the extent and nature of PAGCOR's franchise is couched in language so broad that literally all kinds of sports and gaming pools, including jai alai, are covered therein. A sport is defined as "a game or contest especially when involving individual skill or prowess on which money is staked." Gaming, on the other hand, is defined as "the act or practice of playing games for stakes." It may be deduced from the wording of the law that when bets or stakes are made in connection with games of skill, they may be classified as games of chance under the coverage of PAGCOR's franchise. Jai alai while in itself is not per se a game of chance, may be categorized as a game of chance when bets are accepted as a form of gambling. 2. To adopt the petitioners' stance that there should have been an express mention of jai alai as among the games or activities which PAGCOR can operate and manage under its franchise, would limit the scope of PAGCOR's franchise to games or activities which have been expressly mentioned under P.D. No. 1869 and render ineffective the use of the word "etc." in said law. 3. The magnitude of the consideration, political or financial, which may operate upon the legislative mind as an inducement for grants and franchises conferred by statute, do not change the character of the legislation, or vary the rule of construction by which the rights of the grantees must be measured. Given the broad language of P.D. 1869 defining the scope of PAGCOR's franchise, we find no reason why the operations of jai alai cannot be deemed as included in its franchise. 4. The fact that there was an existing jai alai franchise in favor of PJAC the time P.D. No.1869 went into effect does not necessarily mean jai alai can never be the subject of PAGCOR's franchise upon repeal of PJAC's franchise.

5. Considering that the intent of the law is to regulate and centralize all games of chance thru an appropriate institution which would enable the government to identify potential sources of additional revenue, it would be impracticable for the law to provide in detail for the manner in which each possible game covered by the franchise is to be maintained and operated by PAGCOR. If we use the presence or absence of a set of guidelines in the law as to how each possible game should be managed and operated by PAGCOR, as a standard for their inclusion in the scope of PAGCOR's franchise, then we render ineffective the object of the law to maximize potential sources of revenue by integrating all games of chance into just one entity since all games of chance which might have otherwise been covered by the all encompassing word "etc." also do not have a set of guidelines regarding their operation and management by PAGCOR. 6. As regards the issue that jai alai, as a form of gambling, is "universally regarded to be a threat to the moral fiber of the society," we need only reiterate the oft quoted principle that courts do not pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation, for it is not within their province to supervise legislation and keep it within the bounds of propriety or common sense. Whether or not a given law is the best that could have been enacted on the subject; whether or not it is calculated to accomplish its avowed object; whether or not it accords with what is understood to be the general policy of legislation in the particular jurisdiction -these are questions which do not fall within the province of the courts. A court exceeds its proper office and authority if it attempts, under the guise of construction, to mould the expression of the legislative will into the shape which the court thinks it ought to bear. 7. The powers granted to PAGCOR are broad enough to include the power to enter into a joint venture agreement with private corporations like BELLE and FILGAME relating to the operation, management and conduct not only of gambling casinos but also of those relating to jai alai as legalized gambling. 8. The joint venture agreement entered into by PAGCOR with FILGAME and BELLE was made pursuant to the powers granted under P.D. No. 1869 to PAGCOR to "enter into, make, perform, and carry out contracts of every kind and for any purpose pertaining to the business of the corporation x x x

with any person, firm or corporation." Under the joint venture agreement, BELLE and FILGAME will provide financial requirements and technical assistance to PAGCOR in connection with the use of their operational facilities. PAGCOR however shall still manage, regulate and control all aspects of jai alai operations. PAGCOR has entered into a joint venture agreement with the two (2) corporations for the simple reason that without the collaboration of the private sector, it is not financially capable of undertaking the resumption of the operation of jai alai games which will require massive financial outlay. Hence, the joint venture agreement is in consonance with the powers granted to PAGCOR that it may "do anything and everything necessary, proper, desirable, convenient or suitable for the accomplishment of any of the purposes or the attainment of any of the objects or the furtherance of any of the powers herein stated, either alone or in association with other corporations, firms or individuals. 9. For a taxpayer's suit to prosper, the petitioners therein must have locus standi. In these instant petitions, it is undisputed that the spending powers of Congress are not involved. There is no allegation of illegal disbursement of public funds. Hence, petitioners' right to sue as taxpayers or concerned citizens cannot be sustained. Neither is there any showing that the assailed official acts of PAGCOR affect the rights and prerogatives of petitioners as members of Congress. PUNO, J: I vote to deny the motions for reconsideration. As correctly observed by petitioners, P.D. 1869 was passed at a time when "jai-alai was already very popular and it was no secret that the franchise holder at that time, PJAC, was raking huge profits out of its operation. Its omission can only mean a deliberate intention to exclude "jai-alai" from the PAGCOR charter. With the repeal of P.D. 810, it is necessary, before PAGCOR can conduct jai-alai, that a law be passed allowing the same. Respondents have not shown that such a law exists. In contending that jai-alai is impliedly included in Section 10 of the law, the respondents are suggesting that an illegal act may be legalized by mere implication of law. MELO, J: I vote to grant the motion for reconsideration filed by respondents.

The majority opinion concluded that right from the beginning, PAGCOR was simply granted a franchise to maintain gambling casinos and that Section 10 of Presidential Decree No.1869 never meant to confer PAGCOR a franchise to operate jai-alai. To hew to such an interpretation would, however, disregard several provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1869. To consider the franchise granted to PAGCOR as allowing only the operation of casinos would, I respectfully submit, render nugatory the provisions of Presidential Decree No.1869 allowing the PAGCOR to operate and maintain other recreation or amusement places, sports, gaming pools, i.e. basketball, football, lotteries, etc. Considering the inclusion of games of skill like basketball, football, etc. in Sections 1 (b) and 10 of Presidential Decree No.1869, it is incontrovertible that the franchise granted to PAGCOR is broad enough for it to operate jai-alai, a game of skill not unlike basketball and football. In the instant case, it is undisputed that the spending powers of Congress are not involved. Nor is there an allegation of illegal disbursement of public funds. Hence, petitioners' right to sue as taxpayers or concerned citizens cannot be sustained.

VITUG, J: I still vote (a) to the grant of the petitions insofar as they seek to enjoin respondent PAGCOR from operating jai alai or basque pelota games through respondents Belle Jai Alai Corporation (BELLE) and/or Filipinas Gaming Entertainment Totalizator Corporation (FILGAME), or through any other agency for that matter, but (b) to deny the same petitions to the extent that they further seek to prohibit PAGCOR from itself managing or operating those games. The authority of PAGCOR under its charter "to establish and operate clubs and casinos for amusement and recreation, including games of chance," is broad enough to allow PAGCOR to operate all kinds of sports and gaming pools, inclusive of jai alai, but not in joint venture with Belle Jai Alai Corporation ("BELLE") and Filipinas Gaming Entertainment Totalizator Corporation ("FILGAME") which are not themselves holders of any legislative franchise.

EULALIA RUSSELL, RUPERTO TAUTHO, FRANCISCO TAUTHO, SUSANA T. REALES, APITACIO TAUTHO, DANILO TAUTHO, JUDITHA PROS, GREGORIO TAUTHO, DEODITA T. JUDILLA, AGRIPINO TAUTHO, FELIX TAUTHO, WILLIAM TAUTHO, AND MARILYN PERALES, petitioners, vs. HONORABLE AUGUSTINE A. VESTIL, ADRIANO TAGALOG, MARCELO TAUTHO, JUANITA MENDOZA, DOMINGO BANTILAN, RAUL BATALUNA AND ARTEMIO CABATINGAN, respondents. G.R. No. 119347. March 17, 1999 FACTS: In 1994, petioners filed a complaint against private respondents, denominated "DECLARATION OF NULLITY AND PARTITION," with the RTC. The complaint, in substance, alleged that petitioners are co-owners of that parcel of land. The land was previously owned by the spouses Casimero Tautho and Cesaria Tautho. Upon the death of said spouses, the property was inherited by their legal heirs, herein petitioners and private respondents. Since then, the lot had remained undivided until petitioners discovered a public document denominated "DECLARATION OF HEIRS AND DEED OF CONFIRMATION OF A PREVIOUS ORAL AGREEMENT OF PARTITION," executed in 1990. By virtue of this deed, private respondents divided the property among themselves to the exclusion of petitioners who are also entitled to the said lot as heirs of the late spouses Casimero Tautho and Cesaria Tautho. Petitioners filed a complaint praying that the document be declared null and void and an order be issued to partition the land among all the heirs. PRs MOTION TO DISMISS: on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the nature of the case as the total assessed value of the subject land is P5,000.00 which under section 33 (3) of BP Blg. 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691, falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of MTC. Ps REPLY: RTC has jurisdiction over the case since the action is one which is incapable of pecuniary estimation. Respondent Judge granted the Motion to Dismiss. A Motion for Reconsideration of said order was filed by petitioners alleging that the same is contrary to law because their action is not one for recovery of title to or possession of the land but an action to annul a document or declare it null and void, hence, one incapable of pecuniary estimation failing within the jurisdiction of the RTC. It was denied.

ISSUE: WON RTC has jurisdiction. HELD: YES. The complaint filed before the RTC is doubtless one incapable of pecuniary estimation and therefore within the jurisdiction of said court. Singsong vs. Isabela Sawmill: [I]n determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation this Court has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the principal action or remedy sought. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and whether jurisdiction is in the municipal courts or in the courts of first instance would depend on the amount of the claim. However, where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money, where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal relief sought, this Court has considered such actions as cases where the subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, and are cognizable exclusively by courts of first instance (now Regional Trial Courts). Examples of actions incapable of pecuniary estimation are those for specific performance, support, or foreclosure of mortgage or annulment of judgment; also actions questioning the validity of a mortgage, annulling a deed of sale or conveyance and to recover the price paid and for rescession, which is a counterpart of specific performance. While actions under Sec. 33(3) of B.P. 129 are also incapable of pecuniary estimation, the law specifically mandates that they are cognizable by the MTC, METC, or MCTC where the assessed value of the real property involved does exceed P20,000.00 in Metro Manila, or P50,000.00, if located elsewhere. If the value exceeds P20,000.00 or P50,000.00 as the case may be, it is the Regional Trial Courts which have jurisdiction under Sec. 19(2). However, the subject matter of the complaint in this case is annulment of a document denominated as "DECLARATION OF HEIRS AND DEED OF CONFIRMATION OF PREVIOUS ORAL PARTITION." The main purpose of petitioners in filing the complaint is to declare null and void the document in which private respondents declared themselves as the only heirs of the late spouses Casimero Tautho and Cesaria Tautho and divided his property among themselves to the exclusion of petitioners who also claim to be legal heirs and entitled to the property. While the complaint also prays for the

partition of the property, this is just incidental to the main action, which is the declaration of nullity of the document above-described. It is axiomatic that jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred by law and is determined by the allegations in the complaint and the character of the relief sought, irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to all or some of the claims asserted therein. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby GRANTED.

ARTEMIO INIEGO, Petitioner, vs. The HONORABLE JUDGE GUILLERMO G. PURGANAN, in his official capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 42, City of Manila, and FOKKER C. SANTOS, Respondents. G. R. No. 166876 March 24, 2006 FACTS: PR Fokker Santos filed a complaint for quasi-delict and damages against Pinion, the driver of a truck involved in a traffic accident, and against petitioner Iniego, as owner of the said truck and employer of Pinion. The complaint stemmed from a vehicular accident when a freight truck allegedly being driven by Pinion hit PRs jitney which PR was driving at the time of the accident. PR filed a Motion to Declare defendant in Default allegedly for failure of the latter to file his answer. Petitioner filed a Motion to Admit and a Motion to Dismiss the complaint on the ground, among other things, that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the cause of action of the case. Public respondent Judge Purganan (RTC) denied the Motion to Dismiss of the petitioner and the Motion to Declare Defendant in Default of PR because it gave merit to IEGOwhi alleged that he never received the Order. PR: RTC has exclusive jurisdiction because the cause of action is the claim for damages, which exceeds P400,000.00. The complaint prays for actual damages in the amount of P40,000.00, moral damages in the amount of P300,000.00, and exemplary damages in the amount of P150,000.00. Excluding attorneys fees in the amount of P50,000.00, the total amount of damages being claimed is P490,000.00. RTC: This court is of the view that the main cause of action is not the claim for damages but quasi-delict. But since fault or negligence (quasidelicts) could not be the subject of pecuniary estimation, this court has exclusive jurisdiction. CA: affirmed. PETITIONER: Actions for damages based on quasi-delict are actions that are capable of pecuniary estimation; hence, the jurisdiction in such cases falls upon either the municipal courts or the Regional Trial Courts, depending on the value of the damages claimed. Further, that the moral and exemplary damages claimed by PR be excluded from the computation of the total amount of damages for jurisdictional purposes

because the said moral and exemplary damages arose, not from the quasi-delict, but from the petitioners refusal to pay the actual damages. HELD: Respondent Judge concluded that since fault or negligence in quasi-delicts cannot be the subject of pecuniary estimation, the RTC has jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals affirmed respondent Judge in this respect. Respondent Judges observation is erroneous. It is crystal clear from B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by Republic Act No. 7691, that what must be determined to be capable or incapable of pecuniary estimation is not the cause of action, but the subject matter of the action. A cause of action is "the delict or wrongful act or omission committed by the defendant in violation of the primary rights of the plaintiff." The "subject matter of the action" is "the physical facts, the thing real or personal, the money, lands, chattels, and the like, in relation to which the suit is prosecuted, and not the delict or wrong committed by the defendant." Actions for damages based on quasi-delicts are primarily and effectively actions for the recovery of a sum of money for the damages suffered because of the defendants alleged tortious acts. The damages claimed in such actions represent the monetary equivalent of the injury caused to the plaintiff by the defendant, which are thus sought to be recovered by the plaintiff. This money claim is the principal relief sought, and is not merely incidental thereto or a consequence thereof. We therefore rule that the subject matter of actions for damages based on quasi-delict is capable of pecuniary estimation. Petitioner argues that in actions for damages based on quasi-delict, claims for damages arising from a different cause of action (i.e., other than the fault or negligence of the defendant) should not be included in the computation of the jurisdictional amount. We cannot give credence to petitioners arguments. The distinction he made between damages arising directly from injuries in a quasi-delict and those arising from a refusal to admit liability for a quasi-delict is more apparent than real, as the damages sought by respondent originate from the same cause of action: the quasi-delict.

All claims for damages should be considered in determining the jurisdiction of the court regardless of whether they arose from a single cause of action or several causes of action. Rule 2, Section 5, of the Rules of Court allows a party to assert as many causes of action as he may have against the opposing party. Subsection (d) of said section provides that where the claims in all such joined causes of action are principally for recovery of money, the aggregate amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction. Hence, whether or not the different claims for damages are based on a single cause of action or different causes of action, it is the total amount thereof which shall govern. Jurisdiction in the case at bar remains with the RTC, considering that the total amount claimed, inclusive of the moral and exemplary damages claimed, is P490,000.00.

In sum, actions for damages based on quasi-delicts are actions that are capable of pecuniary estimation. As such, they fall within the jurisdiction of either the RTC or the municipal courts, depending on the amount of damages claimed. In this case, the amount of damages claimed is within the jurisdiction of the RTC, since it is the claim for all kinds of damages that is the basis of determining the jurisdiction of courts, whether the claims for damages arise from the same or from different causes of action. WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is hereby DENIED for lack of merit.