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1. Plaintiff Lapitan purchased from Defendant Scandia, Inc., one ABC Diesel Engine, of 16 horse power worth
P3,735.00 for running a rice and corn mill at Ormoc City, Leyte.

2. As agreed upon by the parties, defendants had warranted and assured him that all spare parts for said engine
are kept in stock in their stores and that defendants would replace any part of the engine that might break within
twelve months after delivery.

3. Two months after the purchased of the engine, its cam rocker arm of the engine broke due to faulty material
and workmanship and it stopped functioning; that the sellers were unable to send a replacement immediately;
that barely six days after replacement the new part broke again due to faulty casting and poor material, so the
plaintiff (Lapitan) notified the sellers and demanded rescission of the contract of sale; that he sought return of the
price and damages but defendants did not pay.

4. As a consequence of the defendants͛ failure to pay, plaintiff initiated an action and prayed (1) for rescission of
the contract; (2) reimbursement of the price; (3) recovery of P4,000.00 actual damages plus P1,000.00 attorney's
fees; (4) recovery of such moral and exemplary damages as the court deems just and equitable; and (5) costs and
other proper relief.

5. Defendant Scandia, Inc., moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the total amount claimed was only
P8,735.00, and was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the municipal court, under Republic Act 3828, amending the
Judiciary Act by increasing the jurisdiction of municipal courts to civil cases involving P10,000.00 or less.

6. Court of First Instance of Cebu dismissed the action for lack of jurisdiction.

7. Unable to obtain reconsideration, Lapitan appealed directly to the Supreme Court, arguing (1) that rescission
was incapable of pecuniary estimation, and (2) that as he claimed moral and exemplary damages, besides the price
of P3,735.00, P4,000.00 actual damages, and P1,000.00 attorneys' fees, the value of his demand exceeded the
jurisdiction of the municipal court.



A review of the jurisprudence of this Court indicates that in 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.  !"#$$"$!" "
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   The rationale of the rule is plainly that the second class cases, besides the determination of damages,
demand an inquiry into other factors which the law has deemed to be more within the competence of courts of
first instance, which were the lowest courts of record at the time that the first organic laws of the Judiciary were
enacted allocating jurisdiction (Act 136 of the Philippine Commission of June 11, 1901).

Actions for specific performance of contracts have been expressly pronounced to be exclusively cognizable by
courts of first instance. And no cogent reason appears, and none is here advanced by the parties, why an action for
rescission (or resolution) should be differently treated, a rescission being a counterpart, so to speak, of "specific
performance". In both cases, the court would certainly have to undertake an investigation into facts that would
justify one act or the other. No award for damages may be had in an action for rescission without first conducting
an inquiry into matters which would justify the setting aside of a contract, in the same manner that courts of first
instance would have to make findings of fact and law in actions not capable of pecuniary estimation.

Of course, where the money claim is prayed for as an Ô Ô relief to specific performance, an equivalence is
implied that permits the jurisdiction to be allocated by the amount of the money claim (Cruz vs. Tan, 87 Phil. 627).
But no such equivalence can be deduced in the case at bar, '#$$#$ "$!'&$"$$"!#$
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Supreme Court ruled that the subject matter of c 


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lack of jurisdiction.

WHEREFORE, the appealed order of dismissal is reversed and set aside, and the case is ordered remanded to the
court of origin for further proceedings conformable to this opinion.

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1. Petitioners filed a complaint against private respondents, denominated "DECLARATION OF NULLITY AND
PARTITION," with the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue City. The complaint alleged that petitioners are co-owners
of that parcel of land in Liloan, Cebu.

2. Assailed 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.

3. 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,". 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
claimed that the document was false and perjurious as the private respondents were not the only heirs and that
no oral partition of the property whatsoever had been made between the heirs. The complaint prayed that the
document be declared null and void and an order be issued to partition the land among all the heirs.

4. Private respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint 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 Batas
Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691, falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Municipal Circuit
Trial Court of Liloan, Compostela.
5. On the other hand, Petitioners filed an Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss saying that the Regional Trial Court
has jurisdiction over the case since the action is one which is incapable of pecuniary estimation within the
contemplation of Section 19(l) of B.P. 129, as amended.

6. Respondent judge issued an Order granting 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 Regional Trial Court. Respondent judge issued another
Order denying the motion for reconsideration. HTP.

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Whether the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction to entertain the present civil case.



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The complaint filed before the Regional Trial Court is doubtless one incapable of pecuniary estimation and
therefore within the jurisdiction of said court.

In 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. 
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