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Sunday, November 14, 2010

11:07 PM

Remedial Law Review


University of the Philippines College of Law
Second Semester Yr 2010-2011
Prof. TJ Herbosa

Jurisdiction
Subject matter jurisdiction
Allegations of complaint determine jurisdiction – Hasegawa et al v. Kitamura GR 149177
Nov 23, 2007
Jurisdiction by estoppel – Figueroa v. People, GR 147407, Jul 14, 2008;
Payment of filing fees - Ruby Shelter v. Hon. Formaran GR 174914 Feb 10, 2009
Distinguished from venue – Chavez v. CA GR 125813 Feb 6, 2007
Doctrine of non-interference – Springfield v. RTC Judge GR 142626 Feb 6, 2007
Primary jurisdiction – Sta. Ana v. Carpo GR 164340 Nov 28, 2008

Supreme Court
Philippine Constitution, Article VIII
Power of judicial review – Garcillano v. House GR 170338 Dec 23, 2008
Doctrine of stare decisis – Lazatin v. Desierto GR 147097 June 5, 2009
Hierarchy of courts – Ferdinand Cruz v. Priscilla Mijares et al GR 154404 Sep 11, 2008; First
United v. Poro Point GR 178799 Jan 19, 2009
Appellate jurisdiction – First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc. v. CA, GR 110571, Mar 10, 1994
SC Power of administrative supervision – Sarah Ampong v. CSC GR 167916 Aug 26, 2008

Court of Appeals
BP 129, as amended by RA 7902, Sec. 9 and RA 8246
Question of law , fact or both – CGP Transport v. PU Leasing GR 164547 Mar 28, 2007

Court of Tax Appeals


RA 9282

Sandiganbayan
RA 8249

Regional Trial Courts


BP 129, as amended by RA 7691, Sec. 5
Incapable of pecuniary estimation - Bokingco v. CA, GR No. 161739, May 4, 2006; RCP v.
CA GR 136109 Aug 1, 2002;
Recovery of possession – Honorio Bernardo v. Heirs of Eusebio Villegas GR 183357 Mar 15,
2010;
Encarnacion v. Amigo, GR No. 169793 Sep 15, 2006
Issue of constitutionality – Planters Products v. Fertiphil GR 166006 Mar 14, 2008
Quasi judicial agency – Badillo v. CA GR 131903 June 26, 2008
CIAC – Fort Bonifacio v Domingo GR 180768 Feb 27, 2009
RTC acting as Special Agrarian Court – Land Bank v. Ralla Balista GR 164631 Jun 26, 2009
Default jurisdiction – Mun of Pateros v. CA GR 157714 Jun 16, 2009
HLURB – Tricorp v. CA GR 165742 Jun 30, 2009;Ma. Luisa Dazon v. Kenneth Yap and
People Jan 15, 2010

Family Courts
Sec 5, RA 8369 Family Courts Act of 1997
A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC Rules on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and
Annulment of Voidable Marriages
A.M. No. 02-11-11 Rule on Legal Separation
A.M. No. 02-11-12 Rule on Provisional Orders
A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC Rule on Custody of Minors and Writ of Habeas Corpus in Relation to
Custody of Minors
A.M. No. 03-02-05-SC Rule on Guardianship of Minors
A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC Rule on Adoption

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A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC Rule on Adoption
Summary Proceedings under the Family Code, Title XI, Chapters 1 to 3 on separation in fact
between husband and wife or abandonment by one of the other and incidents involving
parental authority;
Chapter 4 on Art. 41 (declaration of a spouse as presumptively dead),
Art. 51(action of a child for presumptive legitime),
Art. 69 (judicial declaration of family domicile in case of disagreement of the spouses),
Art. 73 (spouse’s objection to the profession of the other spouse),
Arts. 96 and
124 (annulment of husband’s decision in the administration and enjoyment of community or
conjugal property; appointment of spouse as sole administrator except cases of “incompetent”
other spouse which shall be under Rules 93 and 95)
and Art. 217 (entrusting children to homes and orphanages).
Madrinan v. Madrinan GR 159374 Jul 12, 2007
Yu v Yu GR 164915 Mar 10, 2006

Commercial Courts
Sec. 5.2, RA 8799
A.M. No. 01-2-04-SC Interim Rules of Procedure Governing Intra-corporate Controversies
A.M. 00-8-10-SC Interim Rules of Procedure on Corporate Rehabilitation (note FRIA)
Oscar Reyes v. RTC Makati GR 165744 Aug 11, 2008

Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts/Circuit Trial Courts


BP 129, as amended by RA 7691, Secs. 2 to 4
Unlawful detainer v. agrarian dispute – Sps Fajardo v. Anita Flores GR 167891 Jan 15, 2010
Recovery of possession – Vda De Barrera et al v. Heirs of Vicente Legaspi GR 174346 Sept
12, 2008;
Ouano v. PGTT Gr No. 134230 July 7, 2002;

Barangay Lupon
RA 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991) Secs 399-422
Substantial compliance – Leo Wee v. George de Castro et al GR 1764095 Aug 20, 2008;
Aquino v. Aure, GR 153567 Feb 18, 2008

CIVIL PROCEDURE
Ordinary Civil Actions Rules 1 to 39
Rule 1 General Provisions of the Rules of Court
Liberal application – Makati Ins. V. Reyes et al GR 167403 Aug 6, 2008; Rural Bank of
Seven Lakes v. Dan GR 174109 Dec 24, 2008;

Rule 2 Cause of Action


Elements of a cause of action - Ceroferr v. CA 376 SCRA 144; Camarines Sur Electric v.
Aquino GR 167691 Sep 23, 2008
Sufficiency of allegations –Vinzons-Chato v. Fortune GR 141309 Dec 23, 2008
Splitting a cause of action – BPI Family v. De Coscuella, GR No. 167724, Jun 27, 2006
Joinder of causes of action – UCPB v. Sps. Beluso GR 159912 Aug 17, 2007

Rule 3 Parties to Civil Actions


Real party in interest – Carlos v. Sandoval GR 179922 Dec 16, 2008; Estreller v. Ysmael GR
170264 Mar 13, 2009
Indispensable parties – Robert De Galicia v. Mercado, GR No. 146744, Mar 6, 2006;
Lagunilla v. Velasco GR 169276 Jun 16, 2009; Josephine Marmo v Moises Anacay GR
182585 Nov 27 2009; Leonis Navigation v Catalina Villamater GR 179169 Mar 3, 2010
Necessary parties – Relucio v. Lopez 373 SCRA 578; AutoCorp v. Intra Strata GR 166662
Jun 27, 2008
Capacity to sue and be sued - Van ZuiDen v. GTVL Manufacturing 523 SCRA 233; Deutsche
v CA GR 152318 Apr 16, 2009
Misjoinder/non-joinder of parties – Chua v. Torres GR 151900 Aug 30, 2005; Anicia Valdez
Tallorin v Heirs of Juanito Tarona GR 177429 Nov 24, 2009; Littie Sarah Agdeppa v Heirs of
Ignacio Bonete GR 164436 Jan 15 2010
Successors in interest – Sui Man Hui Chan v. CA, GR 147999, Feb 27, 2004
Substitute parties – Carandang vs. Heirs of De Guzman GR 160347 Nov. 29, 2006; Judge
Sumaljag v. Literato GR 149787 Jun 18, 2008; Domingo v Landicho GR 170015 Aug 29,
2007; Napere v. Barbarona GR 160426 Jan 31, 2008
Indigent parties – Sps Algura v. LGU GR 150135 Oct 30, 2006

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Indigent parties – Sps Algura v. LGU GR 150135 Oct 30, 2006

Rule 4 Venue of Actions


Personal action – Uniwide v. Cruz GR 171456 Aug 9, 2007
Real Action – Infante v. Aran Builders, GR 156594 Aug 24, 2007; HiYield v. CA GR 168863
Jun 23, 2009
Principal party ; when to object – Irene Marcos-Araneta v. CA GR 154096 Aug 22, 2008
Stipulated venue not exclusive - Philbanking v. Tensuan, 230 SCRA 413; Spouses Lantin v.
Judge Lantion, GR No. 160053, Aug 28, 2006

Rule 5 Uniform Procedure in Trial Courts


Revised Rules on Summary Procedure
Summary procedure – Estate of Macadangdang v Gaviola GR 156809 Mar 4, 2009; Angelina
Soriente v Estate pf Arsenio Concepcion GR 160239 Nov 25 2009; Sps Edillo v Sps Dulpina
GR 188360 Jan 21 2010

Rule 6 Kinds of Pleadings


Answer – Rosete v. Lim, GR No. 136051, Jun 8, 2006
Compulsory counterclaim – Financial Builders. V. FPA 338 SCRA 346; Reillo v. San Jose
GR 166393 Jun 18, 2009
Permissive counterclaim – Banco de Oro v. CA GR 160354 Aug 25, 2005; Dec 19, 2007
Third party complaint – Asian Construction v. CA 458 SCRA 750; Sy Tiong Shion v Sy Chin
GR 174168/179438 Mar 30, 2009
Cross-claim – Torres v. CA 49 SCRA 67

Rule 7 Parts of a Pleading


Sufficient in form/substance – Sps Munsalado v. NHA GR 167181 Dec 23, 2008
Signature of counsel – Republic v. Kenrich Dev. Do., GR No. 149576, August 8, 2006
Verification/Certification – Madara v. Porillo GR 172449 Aug 20, 2008; Kaunlaran v. Uy GR
154974, Feb 4, 2008; Sps Valmonte v. Alcala GR 168667 Jul 23, 2008
Who can sign w/o sec cert – Mid-Pasig Land v Mario Tablante GR 162924 Feb 4, 2010

Rule 8 Manner of Making Allegations in Pleadings


Ultimate facts – Far East Marble v. CA GR 94093 Aug 10, 1993
Specific denial under oath – Filipinas Textile v. CA 415 SCRA 635
No knowledge – Warner Barnes v. Reyes 103 Phil 602
Modes of specific denial – Gaza et al v. Lim GR 126863 Jan 16, 2003;
Actionable document – Casent Realty v. Philbanking GR 150731 Sep 14, 2007; Malayan v.
Regis Brokerage GR 172156 Nov 23, 2007

Rule 9 Effect of Failure to Plead


No default motu proprio – Santos v PNOC GR 170943 Sep 23, 2008
Failure to appear – Monzon v. Sps Relova GR 171827 Sep 17, 2008
Remedies of party declared in default – Gomez v. Montalban GR 174414 Mar 14, 2008
Default judgment – Gajudo v. Traders Royal GR 151098, Mar 21, 2006

Rule 10 Amended and Supplemental Pleadings


Substantial amendment - PPA v. Gothong and Aboitiz GR 158401 Jan 28, 2008
When amendments allowed - Quirao v. Quirao 414 SCRA 430; Bautista v. Maya-Maya
Cottages, GR 148361, Nov 29, 2005; Marcos -Araneta et al v. CA GR 154096 Aug 22, 2008
Conform to evidence – Cagungun v. Planters Dev Bank GR 158674 Oct 17, 2005

Rule 11 When to File Responsive Pleading


Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday - Alarilla v. Ocampo 417 SCRA 601

Rule 12 Bill of Particulars


When a complaint is vague – Bantillo v. IAC, GR No 75311, Oct. 18, 1988; Republic v. SB
and Marcos, GR 148154, Dec 17, 2007

Rule 13 Filing and Service of Pleadings, Judgments and Other Paper


Personal filing and service – Maceda, et al. v. Macatangay, GR 164947, Jan 31, 2006
Service by registered mail - Andy Quelnan v. VHF Phil GR 138500, Sep16, 2005; Marcelino
Domingo v CA GR 169122 Feb 2 2010; Sps Belen v. Hon. Chavez, GR 175334, Mar 26, 2008
Service upon counsel – GCP Many Transport v. Principe GR 141484, Nov 11, 2005
Notice of lis pendens – Sps Vicente v. Avera GR 169970 Jun 20, 2009

Rule 14 Summons

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Rule 14 Summons
Kinds of actions - Gomez v. CA GR 127692 March 10, 2004; San Pedro v. Ong GR 17758
Oct 17, 2008;
Personal vs. substituted service of summons - Guiguinto Credit Coop v. Torres, GR No.
170926, Sep 15, 2006; Guanzon v Arrandoza Dec 6, 2006 GR 155392; Potenciano v. Barnes
GR 159421 Aug 20, 2008
Substituted service – Clarita Garcia v SB and Republic GR 170122 Oct 12, 2009
Extraterritorial service – Montefalcon et al v. Vasquez GR 165016 Jun 17, 2008; Elmer v.
Dakila Trading GR 172242 Aug 14, 2007;
Temporarily out – PCIB v Alejando GR 175587 Sep 21, 2007; Sps Torres v. Amparo Medina
GR166730 Maar 10 2010
Domestic juridical entity – BPI v. Spouses Santiago Mar 28, 2007; Paramount v. Ordonez GR
175109, Aug 6, 2008
Substantial compliance - Mason v. CA 413 SCRA 303; Millenium v. Tan GR 131724 Feb 28,
2000

Rule 15 Motions
Notice of hearing - KKK Foundation Inc. v. Hon. Bargas, et al GR 163785 Dec 27, 2007;
Camarines Corp v. Aquino GR 167691 Sept 23, 2008;
Motion for extension – Sarmiento v. Zaratan Feb 5, 2007
Proof of service – Romulo et al v. Peralta, GR 165665 Jan 31, 2007

Rule 16 Motion to Dismiss


Jurisdiction over subject matter – DAR v. Hon. Abdulwahid GR 163285 Feb 27, 2008
Jurisdiction over person – Republic v. Glasgow GR 170281, Jan 18, 2008
Failure to state a cause of action - Equitable PCIB v. CA GR 143556 Mar 16, 2004; Goodyear
Phil v. Sy GR 154554 Nov 9, 2005; Aldemita v. Heirs of Silva Nov 2, 2006; PDI v. Alameda
GR 160604 Mar 28, 2008; Heirs of Maramag v. Maramag GR 181132 Jun 5, 2009
Lack of cause of action - Rural Bank of Calinog v. CA GR 146519, Jul 8, 2005; Bayot v. CA
GR 155635 Nov 7, 2008
Litis pendentia - Mid Pasig Land Dev v. CA 413 SCRA 204; Intramuros Administration v.
Contacto 402 SCRA 581
Res judicata – Francisco v. Roque GR 151339 Jan 31, 2006; Cruz v. CA GR 164797 Feb 13,
2006
Prescription – Heirs of Dolleton v. Fil-estate GR 170750 Apr 7, 2009; Lasquite v Victory
Hills GR 175375 Jun 23, 2009;
Paid, waived, etc. – Doña Rosana Realty v. Molave Dev Corp GR 180523 Mar 26, 2010
Forum Non Conveniens – Raytheon Int‘l v. Rouzie GR 162894 Feb 26, 2008
Denial of, unappealable – Malicdem v. Flores Sep 8, 2006; PNB v Estate of De Guzman et al
GR 182507 Jun 16, 2010
Rule 17 Dismissal of Actions
Grounds – Pinga v. Santiago, GR No. 170354, Jun 30, 2006
Failure to prosecute – Filinvest v. CA GR 142439 Dec 6, 2006; RN Dev v. A.I.I GR 166104
Jun 26, 2008; Dismissal without prejudice – Heirs of Gaudiane v. CA, GR 119879, March 11,
2004; Cruz v. CA GR 164797 Feb 13, 2006
Notice of dismissal prevails over motion to dismiss – Dael v. Sps Beltran GR 156470 Apr 30,
2008
Counterclaim – Mendoza v. Paule GR 175885 Feb 31, 2009
Effect – Benedicto v. Lacson GR 141508 May 5, 2010

Rule 18 Pre-Trial
AM No. 03-1-09-SC Rule on Guidelines to be Observed by Trial Court Judges and Clerks of
Court in the Conduct of Pre-Trial and Use of Deposition-Discovery Measures
Effect of failure to appear - Saguid v. CA 403 SCRA 678; Jazmin Espiritu v. Vladimir Lazaro,
GR 181020, Nov 25, 2009
Admissions at pre-trial - Biesterbos v. CA 411 SCRA 396
Other pre-trial requirements - Advance Textile Mills v. Tan GR 154040 Jul 28, 2005; Anatalia
Ramos v. Dominga Dizon, GR No. 137247, Aug. 7, 2006

Rule 19 Intervention
Requirements - Nordic Asia v. CA 403 SCRA 390
When to intervene - Salandanan v Sps Mendoza GR 160280 (2009)
Who may intervene – GSIS v Nocom GR 175989 Feb 4, 2008; Asia‘s Emerging Dragon v
DOTC GR 169914; Rep v CA GR 174166 Mar 24, 2008; Office of Ombudsman v. Maximo
D. Sison GR 185954 Feb 16, 2010

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Rule 20 Calendar of Cases
Rule 21 Subpoena
Macaspac v. Flores AM No. P-05-2072 Aug 13, 2008; Re Subpoena of Dir Amante AM No.
10-1-13-SC Mar 2, 2010

Rule 22 Computati on of Time


Filing on the last day - De Las Alas v. CA 83 SCRA 200

Rule 23 Depositions Pending Action


DFA Guidelines in Taking Depositions before Philippine Consular Officers Abroad
Purpose of rules of discovery – Republic v. Sandiganbayan, 204 SCRA 212.
Manner of taking – Pfeger Dulay v Dulay, GR 158857 Nov 11, 2005
Admissibility – Jowel Sales v. Sabino GR 133154 Dec 9, 2005
Sec 4- San Luis v. Rojas GR 159127 Mar 3, 2008; Dasmarinas v. Reyes, 225 SCRA 622
Deposition (oral examination) in criminal cases – Rosete v. Lim GR 136051 June 8, 2006

Rule 24 Depositions Before Action or Pending Appeal


Availability of deponent as a witness - Hyatt Industrial v. Ley Construction, GR No. 147143,
Mar 10, 2006

Rule 25 Interrogatories to Parties


Rule 26 Admissions by Adverse Party
Purpose – DBP v. CA GR 153034 Sep 20, 2005
Period to answer a request for admission- Po v. CA 164 SCRA 668
To whom served - Briboneria v. CA 216 SCRA 616
Effect of non-compliance – Limos et al v Sps Odones GR 186979 Aug 11, 2010

Rule 27 Production or Inspection of Documents or Things


Solidbank v. Gateway GR 164805 Apr 30, 2008

Rule 28 Physical and Mental Exami nation of Persons


See RA 8054 Sec 17 [a]

Rule 29 Refusal to Comply with Modes of Discovery


Rule 30 Trial
When trial can be dispensed with - Republic v. Vda De Neri GR 139588 Mar 4, 2004
Absence of a party – Spouses Calo v. Spouses Tan, GR 151266 Nov 29, 2005
Rule 31 Consolidation or Severance
Requisites of consolidation - Republic v. CA 403 SCRA 403
What actions can be consolidated - Teston v. DBP GR 144374 Nov 11, 2005; Gregorio
Espinoza v. UOB, GR 175380, Mar 22, 2010

Rule 32 Trial by Commissioner


When proper – Manotok Realty v. CLT Realty GR 123346 Nov 29, 2005

Rule 33 Demurrer to Evi dence


Effects of filing a demurrer - Radiowealth Finance Co v. Sps Del Rosario GR 138739 Jul 6,
2000; Heirs of Santiago v. Heirs of Palma GR 160832 Oct 27, 2006
What evidence – Casent Realty v. Philbanking GR 150731 Sep 14, 2007

Rule 34 Judgment on the Pleadings


Sham or specific denials - Manufacturer‘s Bank v. Diversified 173 SCRA 357; Tan v. De La
Vega, GR No. 168809, Mar 10, 2006
Fails to tender an issue – Pesane Animas Monzao v. Pryce Properties GR 156474 Aug 16,
2005; Sps Ong v. Roban Lending GR 172592 Jul 9, 2008; Reillo v San Jose GR 166393 Jun
18, 2009
Who files – Doris Sunbanun v. Aurora Go GR 163280 Feb 2, 2010
Rule 35 Summary Judgments
Distinguish from Rule 34 – Nocom v. Camerino GR 182984 Feb 10, 2009
Genuine issues of fact – Evangelista v. Mercator Finance 409 SCRA 410; Bitanga v. Pyramid
GR 173526 Aug 28, 2008; Phil Countryside v Toring GR 157862 Apr 16, 2009; BPI v. Sps.
Yu GR 184122 Jan 20, 201; Eland Phil v Garcia GR 173289 Feb 17, 2010
Partial summary judgment - Monterey Foods Corp v. Eserjose 410 SCRA 627; Asian
Construction v. PCI Bank, GR No. 153827, Aug 25, 2006; Jose Feliciano Loy v. SMC GR

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Construction v. PCI Bank, GR No. 153827, Aug 25, 2006; Jose Feliciano Loy v. SMC GR
164886 Nov 24, 2009
Not applicable – Carlos v. Sandoval GR 179922 Dec 16, 2008

Rule 36 Judgments, Final Orders and Entry Thereof


Form of judgment – Velarde v. SJS GR 159357 Apr 28, 2004
Several and separate judgments - Miranda v. CA 71 SCRA 295; De Leon v. CA GR 138884
June 6, 2002; Republic v. Nolasco 457 SCRA 400
Dispositive portion – Obra v. Badua et al GR 149125 Aug 9, 2007

Rule 37 New Trial or Reconsideration


Second MR not allowed – Sps Balanoba v. Madriaga GR 160109 Nov 22, 2005
Requisities of MNT – Bernaldez v. Francia, 398 SCRA 488; Capuz v. CA 233 SCRA 471
Intrinsic fraud v. extrinsic fraud – Libudan v. Gil 45 SCRA 17
Period to file – Delos Santos v. Elizalde Feb 2, 2007

Rule 38 Relief from Judgments, Orders, or Other Proceedings


Propriety of relief from judgment – Spouses Que v. CA GR 150739 Aug 18, 2005; Monzon v.
Sps Relova GR 171827 Sep 17, 2008
Petition for relief before the MTC - Sps Mesina v. Meer GR 146845 Jul 2, 2002
Excusable negligence - Land Bank v. Natividad 458 SCRA 441; Gomez v. Montalban GR
174414 Mar 14, 2008
CA – Redena v. CA Feb 6, 2007
Who may file – De La Cruz v. Quiazon GR 171961 Nov 28, 2008

Rule 39 Execution, Satisfaction and Effect of Judgments


Immutability of final judgment – Roman Catholic Archbishop v. Heir of Manuel Abella GR
143510 Nov 23, 2005; Session Delights Ice Cream v. CA, GR 172149, Feb 8, 2010
Res Judicata – Heirs of Igmedio Maglaque v. CA 524 SCRA 234; PCGG et al v. SB and
Officers GR 124772 Aug 14, 2007; DBP v La Campana GR 137694 Jan 17, 2005
Conclusiveness of judgment - Cayana v. CA GR 125607 18 Mar 2004; Republic of the Phil v.
Ramon Yu GR 157557 March 10, 2006
Execution pending appeal - Stronghold Ins. V. Felix GR 148090 Nov 28, 2006; JP Latex v.
Hon. De Leon GR 177121 Mar 16, 2009; Archinet Intl v Becco GR 183753 Jun 19, 2009;
Rosario T. Florendo vs. Paramount Ins. Co. GR 167976 Jan. 20, 2010
By motion/independent action – Yau v. Silverio Feb 4, 2008 GR 158848/171994
Money judgment– Jerome Solco v. Provido Feb 11, 2008 GR 176533
Redemption period - Hi Yield Realty Inc v. CA GR 138978 Sept 12, 2002
Exempt from execution – Honrado v. CA GR 166333 Nov 25, 2005
Garnishment – Cardinal v. Asset GR 149696
Sheriff‘s duties-Benjamin Sanga vs. Florencio Alcantara AMO-09-2657 Jan. 25, 2010;
Domingo Peña vs. Achilles Regalado AM P-10-2772 Feb. 16, 2010
Third party claimant – Fermin v. Hon Estevez GR 147977 Mar 26, 2008
Foreign judgment – Republic v. Gingoyon GR 166429 Feb 1, 2006; Mijares, et al V. Hon.
Judge GR 139325 , 455 SCRA; 2008 Quasha vs. CA GR 182013 Dec. 4, 2009
Supervening event – Republic v. Antonio et al GR 166866 Mar 27, 2008

Appeals
In General
Payment of docket fee – Camposagrado v. Camposagrado GR 143195 Sept 13, 2005
No appeal period - Republic v. Bermudez-Lorino, GR No. 160258, Jan 19, 2005
Mode of appeal from special courts - Land Bank of the Philippines v. De Leon 399 SCRA 376
Appeal from ―amended‖ judgment – De Grano v. Lacaba GR 158877 Jun 16, 2009

Rule 40
Appeal from Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional Trial Courts
Non-payment of appeal fee - Badillo v. Tayag GR 143976 Apr 3, 2003
AM No. 07-7-12-SC Amendments to Rules 41, 45, 58 and 65 Dec 27, 2007
Filing of appeal memo – Estate of Macadangdang v. Gaviola GR 156809 Mar 4, 2009
Sec 7 (b) – Mejillano v. Lucillo GR 154717 Jun 19, 2009

Rule 41
Appeal from RTC
Sec 1 – Simeon Valdez v. Financiera Manila, GR 183387, Sept 29, 2009; Palma v Galvez GR
165273 Mar 10, 2010
Period of time to appeal - Neypes v. CA GR 141524 Sep 14, 2005; First Aqua Sugar v. BPI

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Period of time to appeal - Neypes v. CA GR 141524 Sep 14, 2005; First Aqua Sugar v. BPI
Feb 5, 2007
Appeal from dismissal - Philexport v. Phil Infrastructures GR 120384 Jan 13, 2004; Lullete S
Ko v. PNB GR 169131-32 Jan 20, 2006
Period to appeal - Eda v. CA, GR No. 155251, Dec 8, 2004
Presence of grave abuse – Benedicta Samson v. Hon. Judge Macaraig, GR 166356, Feb 2,
2010
Record on appeal – Rovia v Heirs of Deleste, et al GR 160825 Mar 26, 2010

Rule 42
Petition for Review from RTC to CA
Form & contents – Sps Lanaria v. Planta GR 172891 Nov 22, 2007; Perez v. Falcatan, GR
139536 Sept 26, 2005; Elsie Ang v. Dr. Grageda GR 166239 Jun 8, 2006
Period to appeal - Balgami v. CA, GR 131287, Dec 9, 2004

Rule 43
Appeals from the Court of Tax Appeals and Quasi-Judicial Agencies to the Court of
Appeals
Formal requirements - Dalton-Reyes v. CA, et al, GR 149580, Mar 16, 2005
Quasi judicial bodies - Jose Luis Angelo Orosa v. Alberto Roa, GR No. 140423, July 14,
2006; Villorente et al v. Aplaya Laiya GR 145013 Mar 13, 2005; Ruvivar v. Ombudsman GR
165012 Sept 16, 2008; Phillips Seafood v BOI GR 175787 Feb 4, 2009
Impleading the lower court or agency - Basmayor v. Atencio GR 160573 Oct 19, 2005
Attaching copy of judgment – CocaCola v. Cabalo, GR 144180 Jan 30, 2006
Supporting papers – BE San Diego Inc. v. Alzul 524 SCRA 402
Appeal from CSC – DECS v Cuanan GR 169013 Dec 16, 2008

Rule 44 Ordinary Appealed Cases


Revised Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals (RIRCA)
Grounds for dismissal of appeal - De Leon v. CA 383 SCRA 217
Contents of appellant‘s brief - De Liano v. CA 370 SCRA 349
Change of theory – Mon v CA GR 118292 Apr 14, 2004

Rule 45 Appeal by Certiorari to the Supreme Court


Question of law - Agote v. Lorenzo, 464 SCRA 60, Jul 22, 2005; BPI v. CA, GR 160890,
Nov. 10, 2004; CGP Transportation v. PCI Leasing Mar 28, 2007
Limited review – Local Superior of the Servants of Charity v. Jody King Construction GR
141715 Oct 12, 2005; Perez – Rosario, et al. v. CA, GR No. 140796, June 30, 2006; Republic
v. Sta Ana- Burgos, 523 SCRA 309, GR 163254 , 1 June 2007
CA not impleaded – Selegna v. UCPB GR 165662 May 3, 2006
Distinguished from Rule 65 – Tagle v. Equitable PCI GR 172299 Apr 22, 2008; International
Corporate Bank v. CA & PNB, Sept 5, 2006; San Miguel Bukid Homeowner v. City of
Mandaluyong, GR 153653, Oct 2, 2009
Assignment of errors – Phil Hawk Corp v. Vivian Tan Lee, GR 166869, Feb 16, 2010

Rule 46 Original Cases


Rule 65 supplements Rule 46 - Republic v. Carmel Dev 377 SCRA 459
Sec. 3 – China Banking Corp v. Padilla Feb 2, 2007

Rule 47 Annulment of Judgments or Final Orders and Resolutions


Extrinsic fraud - Alma Jose v. Intra Strata 464 SCRA 496, Jul 28, 2005; De La Cruz v. Sison,
GR 142464, Sept 26, 2005; Ramos v. Combong, Jr. GR 144273 Oct 20, 2005; Alaban v. CA
GR 156021 Sept 23, 2005
Lack of jurisdiction – Ancheta v. Ancheta GR 145370, Mar 4, 2004; Republic thru APT v.
―G‖ Holdings GR 141241, Nov. 22, 2005; Sps Benatiro et al v. Heirs of Evaristo Cuyo GR
161220 Jul 30, 2008; GAUF v. RTC GR 139672 Mar 14, 2009; DENR v. Technological
Advocates, GR 165333, Feb 9, 2010
SC resolution – Grande v. UP, GR No. 148456, Sep 15, 2006

Rule 48 Preliminary Conference


Rule 49 Oral Argument
Rule 50 Dismissal of Appeal
Discretionary - PNB v. Philippine Milling 26 SCRA 712
Direct appeal to SC- Atlas Consolidated Mining 201 SCRA 51
Non-payment of fee – Cu-Unjieng v. CA, GR No. 139596, Jan 24, 2006
Non-filing of brief – Gov‘t v. CA et al GR 164150 Apr 14, 2008; Bachrach v. PPA GR

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Non-filing of brief – Gov‘t v. CA et al GR 164150 Apr 14, 2008; Bachrach v. PPA GR
159915 Mar12, 2009

Rule 51 Judgment
Multiple proceedings - Crystal vs. CA, 160 SCRA 79

Rule 52 Motion for Reconsideration


Badiola v. Ca GR 170691 Apr 23, 2008
Rule 53 New Trial
Rule 54 Internal Business
Rule 55 Publication of Judgments and Final Resolutions
Rule 56 Procedure in the Supreme Court
Sec 5 – Ericsson v. City of Pasig GR 176667 Nov 22, 2007;
Law of the case/conflicting decisions – Collantes v. CA 517 SCRA 561 (2007)
Prospective effect – Land Bank v. De Leon GR 143275 Mar 20, 2003
A.M. No. 99-8-09 SC Amended Rules on Who Shall Resolve MRs

Provisional Remedies
Rule 57 Preliminary Attachment
Grounds – PCL Industries v. CA GR 147970 March 31, 2006; Magaling v. Peter Ong GR
173333 Aug 13, 2008; Professional Video V Tesda GR 155504 Jun 26, 2009; Metro Inc. et al
v. Lara‘s Gifts, GR 171741, Nov 27, 2009
Ex Parte issuance - Davao Light and Power Co., Inc. vs. CA, 204 SCRA 343; Onate v.
Abrogar, 241 SCRA 659
Provisional/ancillary – Silangan Textile v. Judge Mar 12, 2007
Discharge of an attachment – Security Pacific Assurance v. Hon. Judge Tria-Infante GR
144740 Aug 31, 2005; Insular Savings v. CA 460 SCRA 122; Sofia Torres v. Nicanor
Satsatin, GR 166759, Nov 25, 2009

Rule 58 Preliminary Injunction-


Clear legal right – Filipino Metals v. Secretary of Trade and Industry GR 157498 Jul 15,
2005; Levi Strauss v. Clinton Apparelle, GR No 138900 Sept 20, 2005; Duvaz Corp v. Export
& Industry Bank 523 SCRA 405, Jun 7, 2007; Equitable PCIB v. Hon. Apurillo, GR 168746;
Nov 5, 2009
Injunction should maintain status quo - Rualo v. Pitargue GR 140284 Jan 21, 2005; University
v Ang Wong GR 150280 Apr 26, 2006
Injunction not proper - Tayag v. Lacson GR 134971 25 Mar 2004
Irreparable injury – G.G. Sportswear v. BDO, GR 184434, Feb 8, 2010
Summary hearing necessary/Procedure - Borja v. Salcedo 412 SCRA 110; National
Electrification Adm v Val Villanueva GR 168203 Mar 9, 2010
RA 8975 act to ensure the expeditious implementation and completion of government
infrastructure projects - Phil Ports Authority v. Pier 8 Arrastre GR No. 147861, Nov. 18,
2005; DFA v Falcon GR 176657 Sep 1, 2010
Grave abuse of discretion in grant – Overseas Workers v. Chavez 524 SCRA 451; Power Sites
v United Neon GR 163406 Nov 24, 2009

Rule 59 Receivership
No receivership of property in custodia legis - Dolar v. Sundiam 38 SCRA 616
Vivares v. Jose Reyes GR 155408 Feb 13, 2008

Rule 60 Replevin- -
Applicant must be owner of property - Servicewide Specialists v. CA 318 SCRA 493
No replevin of property in custodia legis - Vda de Danao v. Ginete 395 SCRA 542
Distinguished from labor case – Smart v. Astorga GR 148132 Jan 28 2008 542 SCRA 434
Improperly served – Rivera v. Vargas GR 165895 Jun 5, 2009

Rule 61 Support “Pendente Lite”- -


Judgment for support never final - Lam v. Chua GR 131286 18 Mar 2004
Future support cannot be subject of compromise - De Asis vs. CA, 303 SCRA 176 (1999)

Special Civil Actions


Rule 62 Interpleader- -
Lessee‘s recourse to interpleader - Ocampo v. Tirona GR 147812 Apr 6, 2005
Rule 63 Declaratory Relief and Similar Remedies
Nature; Requisites for declaratory relief - Jumamil v. Café et al, GR 144570, Sep 21, 2005;
Republic v Mangotara, GR 170375 July 7, 2010

REMLAW Page 8
Republic v Mangotara, GR 170375 July 7, 2010
Who may file – SJS v. Lina GR 160031 Dec 18, 2008
When to file – Tambunting v. Spouses Sumabat GR 144101 Sept 16, 2005; Hon. Exec
Secretary v. Southwing Heavy Industries, etc. GR 164171-72, 168741 Feb 20, 2006;
Martelino et al v. NHMFC GR 160208 Jun 30, 2008

Rule 64 Review of Judgments and Final Orders and Resolutions of the Commission on
Elections and the Commission on Audit – Benguet State University v. COA, 524 SCRA 437

Rule 65
Certiorari
Grave abuse of discretion – Phil Rabbit Bus Lines v. Goimco GR 135507 Nov 29, 2005 ;
Preferred Home Specialties, Inc. v. CA, GR No. 163593, Dec 16, 2005, 478 SCRA 387
Plain speedy adequate remedy – Cervantes v. CA GR 166755 Nov 18, 2005 ; Davao Merchant
Marine v. CA GR 144075 April 19, 2006
Service of petition – New Ever Marketing v. CA GR 140555. July 14, 2005
Who are the parties - Flores v. Joven 394 SCRA 339
Where to file – Sps Colmenares v. Vda de Gonzales GR 155454 Dec 10, 2008
Other requirements - Eagle Ridge Golf v. CA, GR 178989, Mar 18, 2010
Constitutional commission – Comoporo v. COMELEC GR 178624 Jun 30, 2009
Distinguished from Rule 45 – Ang Biat Huan Sons v. CA Mar 22, 2007 ; DOLE v. Ruben
Maceda, GR 185112, Jan 18, 2010
Sec 6 – Jimmy Areno v. Skycable, GR 180302, Feb 5, 2010

Prohibition
Holy Spirit Homeowners v. Defensor, GR No. 163980, Aug. 3, 2006 ; Tan v. CA 524 SCRA
306 ; Estandarte v. PP GR 156851 Feb 18, 2008

Mandamus
Calim v. Guerrero Mar 5, 2007
Sec 7 – AM 07-7-12 SC
Uy Kiao Eng v. Nixon Lee, GR 176831, Jan 15, 2010 (mandamus will not lie if no public
interest)

Rule 66 Quo Warranto- -


Against public officers – Calleja v. Panday GR 168696 Feb 28, 2006
Clear legal right - Garces vs. CA, 253 SCRA 99 (1996); Feliciano v. Villasin GR 174929 Jun
27, 2008
Damages – Titus B. Villanueva v. Emma Rosquetta, GR 180764, Jan 19, 2010

Rule 67 Expropriati on
Multiple appeals allowed - NPC v. Aguirre-Paderanga, 464 SCRA 481, Jul 28, 2005
Two stages in action for expropriation - National Housing v. Heirs Guivelondo 404 SCRA
389; Sps Curata v PPA GR 154251 Jun 22, 2009
Public Use – Masikip v. City of Pasig GR 136349 Jan 23, 2006
Reckoning date – City of Iloilo v Contreras-Besama GR 168967 Feb 12, 2010
Commissioners – Napocor v. Purefoods GR 160725 Sep 12, 2008

Rule 68 Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgage- BPI Family v. Coscuella GR 167724 Jun 27,
2006; Teresita Monzon v. Sps Relova GR 171827 Sep 17, 2008

Rule 69 Partition
Object of partition - Sepulveda v. Pelaez GR 152195 Jan 31, 2005; Balo v. CA GR 129704
Sep 30, 2005; Panganiban et al v. Oamil GR 149313 Jan 22, 2008
Two stages – Marasigan v. Marasigan GR 156078 Mar 14, 2008; Figuracion-Gerilla v. Vda de
Figuracion GR 154322 Aug 22, 2006
Publication – Reillo v. San Jose GR 166393 Jun 18, 2009

Rule 70 Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer- -


Distinction between ―forcible entry‖ and ―unlawful detainer‖ - Acaylar v Naraya GR 176995
Jul 30, 2008; Sales v. Barro GR 171678 Dec 10, 2008
Question of ownership – Go Ke Cheng v Chan GR 153791 Aug 24, 2007; Sps. Samonte v.
Century Savings Bank, GR 176413, Nov 25, 2009
Jurisdictional requirements for unlawful detainer - Ross-Rica v. Sps Ong GR 132197 Aug 16,
2005; Abaya v. Merit GR 176324 Apr 16, 2008
Jurisdictional requirements for forcible entry – Leonardo David v. Cordova GR 152992 July

REMLAW Page 9
Jurisdictional requirements for forcible entry – Leonardo David v. Cordova GR 152992 July
27, 2005; Domalsin v. Spouses Valenciano GR 158687 Jan 25, 2006; Bunyi v Factor GR
172547 Jun 30, 2009
Stay of judgment – Bugarin v. Palisoc GR 157985 Dec 2, 2005; PNB v. DKS International
GR 179161, Jan 22, 2010

Rule 71 Contempt
Distinction ―direct‖ and ―indirect‖ contempt - Heirs of Vda De Roxas v. CA GR 138660 5
Feb 2004 ; Nunez v Ibay AM RTJ 06-1984 Jun 30, 2009
Modes of filing (re indirect contempt) Regalado v. Go GR 167988 Feb 6, 2007
Contempt against quasi-judicial entities - LBP v. Listana 408 SCRA 328
Penalty – Canada v. Judge Suerte AM No. RTJ-04-1875

SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Rule 72 Subject Matter and Applicability of General Rules
Distinction between ―civil action‖ and ―special proceeding‖ - Natcher v. CA 366 SCRA 385
Determination of heirship – Portugal v. Portugal-Beltran GR 155555 Aug 16, 2005
Termination of proceeding – Tabuada v. Ruiz GR 168799 Jun 27, 2008
Sec 2 – Hilado v. CA GR 164108 May 8, 2009

Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons


Rule 73 Venue and Process- -
Limited jurisdiction of probate court - Camaya v. Patulandon, GR 144915 23 Feb 2004;
Pacioles v. Chuatoco-Ching GR 127920 Aug 9, 2005; Heirs of Doromio v. Heirs of Doromio
GR 169454; 541 SCRA 479; Reyes v. Sotero, et al., GR No. 167405, Feb 16, 2006
Termination of the special proceeding - Munsayac-De Villa, v. CA 414 SCRA 436
Meaning of residence – San Luis v. San Luis Feb 6, 2007

Rule 74 Summary Settlement of Estates - -


Two year prescriptive period - Pedrosa v. CA, 353 SCRA 620
Extrajudicial partition - Pada-Kilario, et al. vs. CA et al., GR 134329, 19 Jan 2000

Rule 75 Production of Will. Allowance of Will Necessary- -


Probate mandatory - Pascual v. CA, 409 SCRA 105
Probate proceeding in rem – Alaban v. CA GR 156021 Sept 23, 2005
False will – Obando v People GR 138696 July 7, 2010

Rule 76 Allowance or Disallowance of Will - -


Grounds – Azuela v. CA, GR No. 122880, April 12, 2006

Rule 77 Allowance of Will Proved Outside of Philippines and Administration of Estate –


Ancheta v. Guersay-Dalaygon; GR No. 139868, June 8, 2006

Rule 78 Letters Testamentary and of Administrati on, When and to Whom Issued
Failure to attend hearings of applicant - Silverio v. CA, 304 SCRA 541
Intestate estate of Cristina suntay v Isabel Cojuangco GR 183053 June 16, 2010

Rule 79 Opposing Issuance of Letters Testamentary. Petition and Contest for Letters of
Administration
Justification for appointment of an administrator - Avelino v CA, GR 115181, 31 Mar 2000

Rule 80 Special Administrator


Qualifications - Valarao v. Pascual 392 SCRA 695; Vilma Tan et al v. Hon Gedonio GR
166520 Mar 14, 2008
Justification for special administrator - De Guzman vs. Guadiz Jr., et al., L-48585, 31 Mar
1980
Appointment of special administrator discretionary - Jamero v. Melicos, GR 140929, 26 May
2005; Heirs of Castillo v. Gabriel GR 162934 Nov 11, 2005 474 SCRA
Removal – Co v. Rosario et al GR No. 160671 Apr 30, 2008

Rule 81 Bonds of Executors and Administrators


Rule 82- Revocation of Administration, Death, Resignation, and Removal of Executors
and Administrators
Ocampo v Ocampo GR 187879 Jul 2 , 2010
Rule 83 Inventory and Appraisal. Provision for Support of Family
Provisional inclusion in inventory - Heirs of Miguel Franco v. CA, 418 SCRA 60; Chua v.

REMLAW Page 10
Provisional inclusion in inventory - Heirs of Miguel Franco v. CA, 418 SCRA 60; Chua v.
Absolute Management Corp. 413 SCRA 547

Rule 84 General Powers and Duties of Executors and Administrators


Conflict of interest - Mananquil v. Villegas, GR 2430, 30 Aug 1990

Rule 85 Accountability and Compensation of Executors and Administrators


Duty to account - Tumang v. Laguio GR 50277 14 Feb 1980;
Charges and expenses of the administrator – Quasha Pena v. LCN Const GR 174873 Aug 26,
2008

Rule 86 Claims Against Estate


Substitution of heirs - Heirs of Lorilla, et al. v. CA, GR 118655 12 Apr 2000;
Liability of heirs for debts of decedent - Union Bank v. Santibañez, GR 149926, 23 Feb 2005
Atty‘s fees - Salonga Hernandez v. Pascual, GR No. 127165, May 2, 2006
Money claims – Stronghold v. Republic GR 174561 Jun 22, 2006 ; Gutierrez v. Barreto-Datu
GR L-17175 Jul 31, 1962

Rule 87 Actions by and Against Executors and Administrators


Recovery of estate property - Valera v. Inserto GR 56504, 7 May 1987;
Damages arising from crime – ABS CBN v Office of Ombudsman GR 133347 Apr 23, 2010

Rule 88 Payment of the Debts of the Estate


Rule 89 Sales, Mortgages, and other Encumbrances of Property of Decedent
Mortgage of estate property - Pahamatong v. PNB, GR 156403, 31 Mar 2005; Orola v. Rural
Bank of Pontevedra, GR 158566 Sept 20, 2005
Can heir sell estate property - Aggabao v. RTC, GR No. 146006 Feb 23, 2004

Rule 90 Distribution and Partition of the Estate


Distribution, when – Quasha Pena v LCN Const GR 174873 Aug 26, 2008
Joinder – Guy v. CA GR 163707 Sep 15, 2006

Rule 91 Escheats - Republic v. CA & Solano GR 143483, 375 SCRA

Guardians and Guardianshi p


Guardianship over Incompetents
Rule 92 Venue
Parco v. CA, L-33152 30 Jan 1982
Vanal v. Balmes, GR 132223, 19 June 2001
Rule 93 Appointment of Guardians
Rule 94 Bonds of Guardians
Rule 95 Selling and Encumbering Property of Ward
De Pua v. San Agustin, GR L-17402, 25 July 1981
Rule 96 General Powers and Duties of Guardi ans
Rule 97 Termination of Guardianship

Guardianship of Minors
AM 03-02-05 SC Rule on Guardianship of Minors

Rule 98 Trustees
Express trust vs. implied trust – Richard Lopez Trustee v. CA GR 157784 Dec 16, 2008;
Heirs of Lorenzo Yap v. CA 312 SCRA 603;
Saltiga de Romero v. CA 319 SCRA 180 ; Richard Lopez v CA GR 157784 Dec 16, 2008

Other Special Proceedings


Rule 99 Adopti on and Custody of Minors
RA 8551 An act establishing rules and policies on the domestic adoption of Filipino
children and for other purposes
AM No. 02-6-02-SC Rules on Adoption
AM No. 03-04-04 –SC Rules on Custody of Minors and Writ of Habeas Corpus in
relation to Custody of Minors
In the matter of adoption of Stephanie Garcia, GR 148311, 31 Mar 2005;
Republic v. Miller, 306 SCRA 183;
Republic v. Hernandez, GR 117209, 9 Feb 1996
In re petition for adoption of Michelle Lim GR 168992 May 21, 2009

REMLAW Page 11
Special Proceedings Invol vi ng Family Code Provisions
AM 02-11-10-SC Rules on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and
Annulment of Voidable Marriages
AM 02-11-11 SC Rule on Legal Separation
AM 02-11-12 SC Rule on Provisional Orders

Other (Summary) Proceedings under the Family Code:


Title XI, Chapters 1 to 3 on separation in fact between husband and wife or
abandonment by one of the other and incidents involving parental authority
Chapter 4 on Art. 41 (declaration of a spouse as presumpti vely dead) Art. 51(action of a
child for presumpti ve legitime)
Art. 69 (judicial declaration of family domicile in case of disagreement of the spouses)
Art. 73 (spouse’s objection to the profession of the other spouse)
Arts. 96 and 124 (annulment of husband’s decision in the administration and enjoyment
of community or conjugal property appointment of spouse as sole administrator except
cases of “incompetent” other spouse which shall be under Rules 93 and 95)
Art. 217 (entrusting children to homes and orphanages).

Rule 101 Proceedings for Hospitalization of Insane Persons


Chin Ah Foo v. Concepcion, 54 Phil 775

Rule 102 Habeas Corpus


AM No. 03-04-04 SC Rules on Custody of Minors and Writ of Habeas Corpus in
Relation to Custody of Minors
SC Rules on Writs of Amparo and Habeas Data /Writ of Kalikasan
Sec of Defense v Manalo GR 180906 Oct 7, 2009
In Re Writ of Habeas Corpus for Reynaldo De Villa, GR 158802, Nov. 17, 2004
Glenn Caballes v. CA, GR 163108, 23 Feb 2005; Ilusorio v. Bildner, 332 SCRA 169
Pp v. Andal, 307 SCRA 650; Feria v. CA, 325 SCRA 525; Canlas v. Napico GR 182795 Jun
5, 2008; Tapuz v. Del Rosario GR 182484 Jun 19, 2008
P/Supt. Felixberto Castillo v. Dr. Amanda T. Cruz, GR 182165, Nov 25, 2009; Gen Avelino
Razon, Jr. et al. v Mary Jean Tagitis, et al, GR 182498, Feb 16, 2010; Yano et al v Sanchez et
al GR 186640 Feb 11, 2010

Rule 103 Change of Name


RA 9048 Clerical Error Law
RA 9255 An act allowing illegitimate children to use the surname of their father
Republic v. Lim, GR No. 153883 13 Jan 2004
In Re: Petition of Julian Wang, GR 159966, 30 March 2005
Republic v. Capote GR 157043 Feb 2, 2007

Rule 108 Cancellation or Correction of Entries in the Civil Registry


Tan Co v. Civil Register, GR 138496; 23 Feb 2004
Lee v. CA, 367 SCRA 110
Barco v CA 420 SCRA 162
Gerbert Corpuz v Sto Tomas GR 186571 Aug 11, 2010

Rule 109 Appeals in Special Proceedings


Testate of Maria Biascan v. Biascan, 347 SCRA 621; Briones v. Lilia Henson -Cruz GR
159130 Aug 22, 2008; Heirs of Siapian et al v Estate of Mackay GR 184799 Sept 1, 2010

Special Proceedings under Other Laws or SC rules


Sec. 5/2 RA 8799
AM 01-2-04 – SC Interim Rules of Procedure governing Intra-corporate Controversies
2008 Rules on Corporate Rehabilitation (see rules 2 and 4 re: pre-trial)
Pryce Corp v. CA GR 172302 Feb 4, 2008
NB v Equitable PCIBank GR 165571 Jan 20, 2009
Jerry Ong v PDUC GR 175117 aug 18, 2010; China Banking v Cebu Printing GR 172880
Aug 11, 2010

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
Rule 110 Prosecution of Offenses - -
Venue of libel cases - Macasaet v. People, 452 SCRA 255
Venue of BP 22 cases - Rigor v. People, GR No. 144887, Nov. 17, 2004
AM No. 02-2-07, Sec 5

REMLAW Page 12
AM No. 02-2-07, Sec 5
Filing - Del Rosario v. Vda De Mercado 29 SCRA 116; SEC v Interport GR 135808 Oct 6,
2008
Reinvestigation - Crespo v. Mogul 151 SCRA 462; ; Harold Tamargo v. Romulo Awingan
GR 177727, Jan 19, 2010
Amendment – Pp v. Casey 103 SCRA 21; Fronda –Baggao v. Pp GR 151785 Dec 10, 2007;
PP v. Hon Cajigal GR 157472 Sep 20, 2007
Sec 5 (affidavit of desistance) – People v. De la Cerna GR 136899 – 904 Oct 9, 2002
Sec 6 – Lasoy et al v. Zenarosa GR 129472; People v. Puig GR 173654 – 765 Aug 28, 2009
Sec 15 – Isip v. People GR 170298 Jun 26, 2007; Sony Corp v. Supergreen GR 161823 Mar
22, 2007
Relationship – People v. Ceredon GR 167179 Jan 28, 2008
Date/time of commission – People v. Almendral GR 126025 Jul 6, 2004
Qualifying circumstances – Pp v. Buayaban GR No. 112459 Mar 28, 2003 ; Pp v. Masapol
417 SCRA 371; PP v. Coredon GR 167179 Jan 28, 2008
Sec 13 (duplicity of offenses) – People v. Soriano GR 178325 Feb 22, 2008
Complaint-affidavit – Hilario P. Soriano v. People, GR 162336, Feb 1, 2010

Rule 111 Prosecution of Civil Action- -


Sec 1 – Cancio v. Isip GR 133978 Nov 12, 2002; Cheng v. Sy GR 174238 Jul 7, 2009
Sec 3 – Samson v. Daway GR 1600554 Jul 21, 2004
Sec 5 – Ferrer v. SB GR 161067 Mar 14, 2008
Sec 7 – Dreamwork Construction v. Janiola GR 184861 Jun 30, 2009
Implied reservation - Sarmiento v. CA 394 SCRA 315
Express reservation - Hambon v. CA 399 SCRA 255
Civil liability - Salazar v. Pp 411 SCRA 598 ; First Producers Holdings Corp v. Luis Co., GR
139655 July 27, 2000; Corpus v. Siapno AM MTJ-96-1106 Jun 17, 2002; Cruz v. Ca 388
SCRA 72
BP22 – Sps Benito Lo Ban Tiong v. Balboa GR 158177 Jan 28, 2008; Cheng v. Sps Sy GR
174238 Jun 7, 2009
Sec 4 (death of accused) - People v. Abungan GR 136843 Sept 28, 2000; ABS-CBN v.
Ombudsman GR 133347 Oct 15, 2008
Prejudicial question – People v. Consing GR 148193 Jan 16, 2003; Reyes v. Pearlbank GR
171435 Jul 30, 2008; Dreamwork v. Janiola GR 184861 Jun 30, 2009

Rule 112 Preliminary Investigation-


AM No. 05-8-26-SC Amendment of Rules 112 and 114 of the Revised Rules on Criminal
Procedure by Removing the Conduct of Preliminary Investigation from Judges of the First
Level Courts
Probable cause discretion of investigating prosecutor - Hegerty v. CA 409 SCRA 285
Cause of accusation – Miranda v. SB GR 154098 Jul 27, 2005
Contents of the information – People v. Ibanez 523 SCRA 136
Authority of prosecutor – Tolentino v. Paqueo 523 SCRA 377
Sec 3 – Santos-Concio et al v. DOJ Sec GR 175057 Jan 29, 2008; Racho v. Miro GR 168578
Sep 30, 2008; Sps Balaguan v Ca GR 174350 Aug 13, 2008
Non-interference by court – Aguirre v. DOJ GR 170723 Mar 23, 2008; Juanito Chan v. DOJ
Sec GR 147065 Mar 14, 2008
When to question irregularities – Lolita Eugenio v. PP GR 168163 Mar 26, 2008;
Failure to comply with Sec 4 - Cruz v CA 388 SCRA 72
Villaflor v. Vivar 349 SCRA 194; Uy v. SB 354 SCRA 651
Sec 6 – Baltazar v. People GR 174016 Jul 28, 2008; Tabujara III v. People GR 175162 Oct
29, 2008
Sec 7 – GR 158211 Aug 31, 2004 San Agustin v. People; Ladlad v. Velasco 523 SCRA 318
Secs. 8 and 9 – Victorias Milling v. Padilla GR 156962 Oct 6, 2008
Issuance of warrant discretionary on judge - Sesbreno v. Aglugub 452 SCRA 365
Second information – Saludaga v SB GR 184537 Apr 23, 2010

Rule 113 Arrest-


People v. Escordial GR 138934 January 16, 2002
Requirements for issuance of warrant of arrest - Gutierrez v. Hernandez 524 SCRA 1
Probable cause to issue warrant - AAA v. Carbonell GR 171465 Jan 8, 2007;
People v. Laguio GR 128587 March 1, 2007
Inquest – Ladlad v. Velasco 523 SCRA 318
PP v. Molina 352 SCRA 174; PP v. Salanguit 356 SCRA 683
In flagrante delicto – People v. Alunday GR 181548 Sep 3, 2008; People v. Carlos de la Cruz
GR 182348 Nov 20, 2008;

REMLAW Page 13
GR 182348 Nov 20, 2008;
Hot pursuit – People v. Recepcion et al GR 141943-45 Nov 13, 2002

Rule 114 Bail- -


Right to bail – San Miguel v. Hon. Maceda AM RTJ-03-1749 Apr 3, 2007
Esteban v. Alhambra GR No. 135012 Sep 7, 2004
Procedure re grant - Taborite v. Sollesta 408 SCRA 602; Serapio v. SB GR 148468, 148769,
149116 Jan 28, 2003; Yap v. CA 358 SCRA 564; Pp v. Fitzerald GR 140288 Oct 23, 2006
Where to appeal from denial of bail – Chua v. CA GR 140842 Apr 12, 2007
Discretionary bail (Sec 20) – Andres v. Beltran 415 SCRA 598 (2001)
Sec. 26 – Okabe v. Gutierrez GR 150185 May 27, 2004
Meaning of ―reclusion perpetua‖ – Cenzon v. Hon. Abad Santos GR 164337 Jun 27, 2006
Sec 5 – Jose Antonio Leviste v CA GR 189122 Mar 17, 2010
OSG – Heirs of Sarah Burgos v CA GR 169711 Feb 8, 2010

Rule 115 Rights of Accused


Phil. Constitution Art. III
RA 8493 (Speedy Trial Act of 1998) and SC Circular No. 38-98
RA 7438 An act defining certain rights of person arrested, detained or under custodial
investigation as well as the duties of arresting, detaining and investigating officers and
providing penalties for violations thereof – Lumanog v People GR 182555 Sep 7, 2010
Speedy disposition – Cabarles v. Maceda GR 161330 Feb 20, 2007
Speedy trial – Perez v. People GR 164763 Feb 12, 2008; Benares v. Lim GR 173421 Dec 14,
2006; People v. Jose R. Hernandez, GR No. 154218 and 154372, August 28, 2006; Pp v
Baloloy 381 SCRA 31;
Miranda rights – Pp v. Teves 356 SCRA 14
Out of Court Identification – People v. Jojo Musa GR 170472, July 3, 2009
Right to counsel – Aquino v. Paiste GR 147782 Jun 25, 2008; People v. Serzo Jr GR 118435
Jun 20, 1997; PP v Domingo Reyes GR 178300 Mar 17, 2009

Rule 116 Arraignment and Plea-


Change of plea - Pp v Bernas 377 SCRA 391; Pp v. Ulit GR 131799-901 23 Feb 2004;
Sec. 2 - Daan v SB GR 163972-77 Mar 28, 2008

Rule 117 Motion to Quash-


Not a MOD- Antonio Abador v. People GR 186001, Oct 2, 2009
Double jeopardy - Alonto v. People GR No. 140078, Dec 9, 2004; Pp v. Velasco 340 SCRA
207; Castro v. People GR 180832 Jul 23, 2008
Provisional dismissal - Pp v. Lacson GR 149453 Apr 1, 2003 ; Torres v. Sps Aguinaldo GR
164268 Jun 28, 2005
No authority to file - People v. Hon Garfin GR 153176, 29 Mar 2004
Denial not correctible by certiorari – Serana v. SB & PP GR 162059 Jan 22, 2008; Pp v.
Romualdez GR 166510 Jul7 23, 2008
Res judicata – Pacifico Cruz v. SB GR 174599-609 Feb 12, 2010

Rule 118 Pre-Trial-


Stipulation of facts - Bayas v. SB 391 SCRA 415
People v. Sitao, 387 SCRA 701

Rule 119 Trial


RA No. 6981 The Witness Protection Act
Affidavit v. testimony - Angcaco v Pp 378 SCRA 297
Right to counsel - People v. Sunga 399 SCRA 624
Demurrer to evidence - People v. Sandiganbayan GR 137707-11, Dec 17, 2004; Pp v.
Sayaboc GR 147201, 15 Jan 2004 ; Cabarles v. Maceda & Pp GR 161330 Feb 20, 2007; Pp v.
Tolentino et al GR 176385 Feb 26, 2008
Phil Const Art II Secs 12, 14, 16 and 17
Sec 4 – People v. Webb GR 132577 Aug 17, 1999
Sec. 15 – Vda de Manguerra v. Risos GR 152643 Aug 28, 2008
Subpoena – Roco v. Contreras GR 158275 Jun 28, 2005
Role of private prosecutor – Carino v. De Castro GR 176084 Apr 30, 2008

Rule 120 Judgment-


Delay in promulgation - Cea v. Paguio 397 SCRA 494
Failure to appear at promulgation - Tolentino v. People, GR No. 170396, August 31, 2006
Sec 5 – Suero v People GR 156408 Jan 31, 2005

REMLAW Page 14
Sec 5 – Suero v People GR 156408 Jan 31, 2005
Determination of penalty – People v. Temporada GR 173473 Dec 17, 2008
Sec 2 – Lumanog v. People GR 182555 Sep 7, 2010

Rule 121 New Trial or Reconsideration- -


Requisites of MNT - Pp v Judavar 380 SCRA 548
Sec 2, Saludaga v SB GR 184537 Apr 23, 2010

Rule 122 Appeal- -


AM No. 00-5-03-SC – Re: Amendments to the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure to
Govern Death Penalty Cases – Pp v. Mateo GR 147678-87, Jul 7, 2004
Certiorari from grant of bail - Pobre v. CA, 463 SCRA 50, Jul 8, 2005
Failure to file brief - Tamayo v CA GR 147070 Feb 17, 2004
Escape pending appeal - Pp v. Latayada GR 146865 Feb 18, 2004; Vitto v. CA 404 SCRA
307
Hierarchy of courts - Quesada v. DOJ, GR No. 150325, Aug 31, 2006
Pp v. Bayotas 236 SCRA 239

Rule 123 Procedure in the Municipal Trial Courts - -


Rule 124 Procedure in the Court of Appeals - -
Dismissal of appeal - Pp v De La Concha 388 SCRA 280
Sec 8 - Nino Masas v. PP GR 177313 Dec 19, 2007

Rule 125 Procedure in the Supreme Court- -


Post-conviction review – Pp v. Labriaga 250 SCRA 163

Rule 126 Search and Seizure- -


Plain view – People v. Que Ming Kha GR 133265 May 29, 2002
Unannounced entry- People v. Huang Zhen Hua, GR 139301, Sep 29, 2004
Control of property - People v. Del Castillo GR 153254, Sep 30, 2004
Exceptions to warrant requirement - Caballes v. CA 373 SCRA 221
Time of arrest - PP v. Che Cun ting 328 SCRA 592; People v. Zenaida Quebral, GR 185379,
Nov 27, 2009
Determination of probable cause - Sony Music v. Espanol GR 156804 March 14, 2005
People v. Judge Laguio & Wang Mar 16, 2007
Things to be seized – PP v Raul Nunez GR 177168 Jun 30, 2009
Things to be seized – Pp v. Raul Nunez GR 177168 Jun 30, 2009
Sec 13 – Sr. Inspc. Jerry C. Valeroso v. CA & Pp GR 164815, Sept 3, 2009

Rule 127 Provisional Remedies in Criminal Cases - -

EVIDENCE
Rule 128 General Provisions - -
Competence – Ramirez v. CA 248 SCRA 590

Rule 129 What Need Not be Proved- -


Judicial admission - Republic v. Sandiganbayan 406 SCRA 190; BPI Savings v. CTA 330
SCRA 507
Judicial notice – Experttravel v. CA GR 152392

Rule 130 Rules of Admissibility- -


Real Evidence – People v. Bardaje 99 SCRA 388
DNA – read AM No. 06-11-5-SC Oct 15, 2007; Estate of Rogelio Ong v. Minor Diaz GR
171713 Dec 17, 2007; PP v Umamito GR 172607 Oct 26, 2007; Herrera v Alba GR 148220
Jun 15, 2005

Documentary Evi dence: Best/Secondary/Parol Evi dence


Best evidence rule (Rule 130 Secs 2-8 ; Rule 132 Secs. 25 and 27) - Lee v. People Gr 159288
Oct 19, 2004 ; Mallari v. People, GR 153911 Dec 10, 2004; DECS v. Del Rosario GR 146586
Jan 26, 2005; Citibank Mastercard v. Teodoro 411 SCRA 577; Seaoil v Autocorp GR 164326
Oct 17, 2008
Parol evidence – Duvaz Corp v. Export and Industry Bank 523 SCRA 405
Parol evidence rule – Rule 130 Sec. 9 Ortanez v. CA 266 SCRA 561
Falsified document –Pacasum v PP GR 180314 Apr 16, 2009

Electronic Evidence

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Electronic Evidence
RA 8792 Electronic Commerce Act Secs. 5, 6-15
AM 01-7-01-SC New Rules on Electronic Evidence, Rule 2, Sec 1; Rule 3, Rule 4
MCC v Ssangyong GR 170633 Oct 17, 2007
Aznar v. Citibank Mar 28, 2007; NPC v. Codilla GR 170491 Apr 3, 2007
Ang v CA et al GR 182835 Apr 20, 2010

Interpretation of Documents
Testimonial Evidence: Qualification of Witnesses/Testimonial Privilege/Admissions and
Confessions/Previous Conduct as Evi dence
Qualification of witnesses
Mental incapacity Rule 130 Sec 20, 21 - Pp v. Mendoza GR 113791 Feb 2, 1996
Marital disqualification Rule 130 Sec 22 – Pp v. Castaneda 88 SCRA 562
Deadman‘s Statute Rule 130 Sec 23 – Razon v. IAC 207 SCRA 234

Privileged Communications
Marital communications Rule 130 Sec 24 (a) – Pp v. Carlos Mar 1975
Attorney-client Rule 130 Sec. 24 (b) – Pp v. Sandiganbayan 275 SCRA 505; Regala v.
Sandiganbayan 262 SCRA 124
Physician-patient Rule 130 Sec. 24 - Lim v. CA 214 SCRA 273 (1992); Krohn v. CA 233
SCRA 146
State secrets Rule 130 Sec 24 (e) – BF v. Monetary Board 142 SCRA 523 (1986)
Parental and filial privilege Rule 130 Sec 25
Newsman‘s privilege RA 53, as amended by RA 1477

Admissions and Confessions


Admissions against interest Rule 130 Sec 26 & 32 – Keller & Co. v. COB 141 SCRA 86
Compromises Rule 130 Sec 27 – Pp v. Yparriguirre 268 SCRA 35; Pp v. Godoy 250 SCRA
676

Res Inter Alios Acta


Rule 130 Sec 28 - Pp v. Racquel 265 SCRA 248
Exceptions to res inter alios acta rule
Partner‘s agent‘s admissions Rule 130 Sec 28
Coconspirator‘s statements Rule 130 Sec 30 Pp v. Cabrera 57 SCRA 715
Admission by privies Rule 130 Sec 31
Sec 32 - Villanueva v. Balaguer GR 180197 Jun 23, 2009

Confessions
Rule 130 Sec 33 – Pp v. Yip Wai Ming 264 SCRA 224; Pp v. Wong Chuen Ming 256 SCRA
135
Corpus delicti – Pp v. Romulo Tuniaco, GR 185710, Jan 19, 2010

The Hearsay Rule


Testimonial knowledge Rule 130 Sec 36 – Pp v. Gaddi 170 SCRA 649
Hearsay, what is – Phil Free Press v. CA 473 SCRA GR 132864
Dying Declaration Rule 130 Sec 37 - Pp v. Macandog June 6, 2001 GR 129534; Pp v.
Latayada GR 146865 Feb 18, 2004; Pp v Cerilla GR 177147 Nov 28, 2007
Declaration against interest Rule 130 Sec 38 - Estrada v. Disierto GR 146710-15 Apr 3, 2001;
HKO Ah Pao v. Ting GR 153476; Heirs of Franco v. CA 418 SCRA 60
Act or declaration about pedigree / Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree Rule 130
Secs 39, 40, 41 - Rosendo Herrera v. Alba GR 148220 June 15, 2005; Tison v. CA 276 SCRA
582
Res gestae Rule 130 Sec 42 – Pepito Capila v. Pp GR 146161 Jul 17, 2006; PP v. Cudal Oct
31, 2006; DPB Pool v. RMN GR 147039 Jan 27, 2006; Pp v. Tolentino 218 SCRA 337;
Arthur Zarate v. RTC GR 152263, July 3, 2009
Entries in the course of business Rule 130 Sec 42 - Nestle Phil v. FY Sons GR 150780;
Security Bank v. Gan GR 150464 Jun 27, 2006
Entries in official records Rule 130 Sec 44 – Pp v. Aureo Rojo GR 82737 July 5, 1989; Pp v.
Cabuang 217 SCRA 675; Franco Cruz v. CA GR 172238 Sep 17, 2008
Commercial lists and the like Rule 130 Sec 45 – PNOC Shipping v. Ca 299 SCRA 402
Learned Treatises Rule 130 Sec 46

Prior testimony
Rule 130 Sec 47 – Tan v. CA 20 SCRA 54

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Opinion Rule Rule 130 Secs 48 -50
Expert witnesses – Milagors Ilao Quianay v. Mapile GR 154087 Oct 25, 2005; Pp v. Adoviso
309 SCRA 1; Bacalso v. Padigos GR 173192 Apr 18, 2008

Character Evidence
Rule 130 Secs 34-35; Rule 132 Sec 14 – PP v. Soliman 53 OG 8083

Rule 131 Burden of Proof and Presumptions - -


Republic v. Vda De Neri GR 139588 4 Mar 2004
Barcelon Roxas Sec v. CIR GR 157064 GR 157064 Aug 7, 2006
Substantial evidence in adm proc - Republic v. Canastillo 524 SCRA 546; Salvador Pleto v.
PNP GR 169982 Nov 23, 2007
Authenticity of signature – Sanchez v. Mapalad GR 148516 Dec 27 2007 541 SCRA 397

Rule 132 Presentation of Evidence (Examination of Witnesses)


Examination in open court – Galman v. Pamaran 138 SCRA 294
Cross-examination – Dela Paz v. IAS 154 SCRA 65
Impeachment by prior inconsistent statement – Villalon v. IAC 144 SCRA 443
Recalling witnesses – Pp v. Rivera 200 SCRA 786
Pp v. Cadley GR 150735 15 Mar 2004
Zalamea v CA 228 SCRA 23
Heirs of Sabanpan v. Comorposa 408 SCRA 692
Adverse party witness - Gaw v. Suy Ben Chua GR 160855; People v Obnuranis GR 181492
Dec 16, 2008
SC Administrative Memo No. 00-4-07 Rule on Examination of a Child Witness

Authentication and Proof of Documents


Rule 132 Secs 19-33; E-Commerce Act, Secs. 5, 6-15; REE Rules 5, 6, 9 & 11
Heirs of Gubaton v CA GR 150206 Mar 13, 2009
Llemos et al v. Llemos et al GR 150162 Jan 26, 2007; IBM Phil v. NLRC 305 SCRA 592; Pp
v. Lazaro 317 SCRA 435\
Sps De La Rama v Sps Pape GR 142309 Jan 30, 2009

Offer and Objection Rule 132 Secs 34-40


Vda de Onate v. CA 250 SCRA 283; Heirs of Doromio v. Heirs of Doromio 541 SCRA 479;
Deutsche Bank v SEC 481 SCRA 672

Rule 133 Weight and Sufficiency of Evidence- -


Habagat Grill v. DMC-Urban GR 155110 March 31, 2005; Pp v. Hijada GR 123696 11 Mar
2004; Heirs of Conti v. CA 300 SCRA 345

DNA Evi dence


Estate of Ong v Diaz GR 171713 Dec 17, 2007
People v. Umanito GR 172607 Oct 26, 2007
Herrera v Alba GR 148220 Jan 15, 2005
In re Writ of Habeas Corpus for Reynaldo De Villa GR 158802 Nov 17, 2004

Rule 134
Sec. 6 – Go v. Looyuko GR 147923 537 SCRA 445 26 Oct 2007
Chain of custody in drugs cases – Bonifacio Tejada v. Pp GR 180693, Sep 4, 2009

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Hasegawa et al v. Kitamura GR 149177 Nov 23, 2007
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:16 PM

KAZUHIRO HASEGAWA AND NIPPON ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS CO., LTD. VS.


MINORU KITAMURA
[G.R. No. 149177, November 23, 2007] NACHURA

Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court assailing the April 18, 2001 Decision [1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R.
SP No. 60827, and the July 25, 2001 Resolution [2] denying the motion for
reconsideration thereof.

On March 30, 1999, petitioner Nippon Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd. (Nippon), a
Japanese consultancy firm providing technical and management support in the
infrastructure projects of foreign governments, [3] entered into an Independent
Contractor Agreement (ICA) with respondent Minoru Kitamura, a Japanese national
permanently residing in the Philippines. [4] The agreement provides that respondent
was to extend professional services to Nippon for a year starting on April 1, 1999. [5]
Nippon then assigned respondent to work as the project manager of the Southern
Tagalog Access Road (STAR) Project in the Philippines, following the company's
consultancy contract with the Philippine Government. [6]

When the STAR Project was near completion, the Department of Public Works and
Highways (DPWH) engaged the consultancy services of Nippon, on January 28, 2000,
this time for the detailed engineering and construction supervision of the Bongabon-
Baler Road Improvement (BBRI) Project. [7] Respondent was named as the project
manager in the contract's Appendix 3.1. [8]

On February 28, 2000, petitioner Kazuhiro Hasegawa, Nippon's general manager for
its International Division, informed respondent that the company had no more
intention of automatically renewing his ICA. His services would be engaged by the
company only up to the substantial completion of the STAR Project on March 31,
2000, just in time for the ICA's expiry. [9]

Threatened with impending unemployment, respondent, through his lawyer,


requested a negotiation conference and demanded that he be assigned to the BBRI
project. Nippon insisted that respondent’s contract was for a fixed term that had
already expired, and refused to negotiate for the renewal of the ICA. [10]

As he was not able to generate a positive response from the petitioners, respondent
consequently initiated on June 1, 2000 Civil Case No. 00-0264 for specific
performance and damages with the Regional Trial Court of Lipa City. [11]

For their part, petitioners, contending that the ICA had been perfected in Japan and
executed by and between Japanese nationals, moved to dismiss the complaint for
lack of jurisdiction. They asserted that the claim for improper pre -termination of
respondent's ICA could only be heard and ventilated in the proper courts of Japan
following the principles of lex loci celebrationis and lex contractus.[12]

In the meantime, on June 20, 2000, the DPWH approved Nippon's request for the
replacement of Kitamura by a certain Y. Kotake as project manager of the BBRI
Project.[13]

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Project.[13]

On June 29, 2000, the RTC, invoking our ruling in Insular Government v. Frank [14] that
matters connected with the performance of contracts are regulated by the law
prevailing at the place of performance, [15] denied the motion to dismiss. [16] The trial
court subsequently denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration, [17] prompting
them to file with the appellate court, on August 14, 2000, their first Petition for
Certiorari under Rule 65 [docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 60205].[18] On August 23, 2000,
the CA resolved to dismiss the petition on procedural grounds—for lack of
statement of material dates and for insufficient verification and certification against
forum shopping. [19] An Entry of Judgment was later issued by the appellate court on
September 20, 2000.[20]

Aggrieved by this development, petitioners filed with the CA, on September 19,
2000, still within the reglementary period, a second Petition for Certiorari under
Rule 65 already stating therein the material dates and attaching thereto the proper
verification and certification. This second petition, which substantially raised the
same issues as those in the first, was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 60827.[21]

Ruling on the merits of the second petition, the appellate court rendered the
assailed April 18, 2001 Decision [22] finding no grave abuse of discretion in the trial
court's denial of the motion to dismiss. The CA ruled, among others, that the
principle of lex loci celebrationis was not applicable to the case, because nowhere in
the pleadings was the validity of the written agreement put in issue. The CA thus
declared that the trial court was correct in applying instead the principle of lex loci
solutionis.[23]

Petitioners' motion for reconsideration was subsequently denied by the CA in the


assailed July 25, 2001 Resolution. [24]

Remaining steadfast in their stance despite the series of denials, petitioners


instituted the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari [25] imputing the following
errors to the appellate court:
A. The honorable court of appeals gravely erred in finding that the trial court
validly exercised jurisdiction over the instant controversy, despite the fact that
the contract subject matter of the proceedings a quo was entered into by and
between two japanese nationals, written wholly in the japanese language and
executed in tokyo, japan.
B. The honorable court of appeals gravely erred in overlooking the need to
review our adherence to the principle of lex loci solutionis in the light of
recent development[s] in private international laws. [26]
The pivotal question that this Court is called upon to resolve is whether the subject
matter jurisdiction of Philippine courts in civil cases for specific performance and
damages involving contracts executed outside the country by foreign nationals may
be assailed on the principles of lex loci celebrationis, lex contractus, the “state of
the most significant relationship rule,― or forum non conveniens.

However, before ruling on this issue, we must first dispose of the procedural
matters raised by the respondent.

Kitamura contends that the finality of the appellate court's decision in CA-G.R. SP
No. 60205 has already barred the filing of the second petition docketed as CA -G.R.
SP No. 60827 (fundamentally raising the same issues as those in the first one) and

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the instant petition for review thereof.

We do not agree. When the CA dismissed CA-G.R. SP No. 60205 on account of the
petition's defective certification of non-forum shopping, it was a dismissal without
prejudice.[27] The same holds true in the CA's dismissal of the said case due to
defects in the formal requirement of verification [28] and in the other requirement in
Rule 46 of the Rules of Court on the statement of the material dates. [29] The
dismissal being without prejudice, petitioners can re-file the petition, or file a
second petition attaching thereto the appropriate verification and certification—as
they, in fact did—and stating therein the material dates, within the prescribed
period[30] in Section 4, Rule 65 of the said Rules. [31]

The dismissal of a case without prejudice signifies the absence of a decision on the
merits and leaves the parties free to litigate the matter in a subsequent action as
though the dismissed action had not been commenced. In other words, the
termination of a case not on the merits does not bar another action involving the
same parties, on the same subject matter and theory. [32]

Necessarily, because the said dismissal is without prejudice and has no res judicata
effect, and even if petitioners still indicated in the verification and certification of
the second certiorari petition that the first had already been dismissed on
procedural grounds, [33] petitioners are no longer required by the Rules to indicate in
their certification of non-forum shopping in the instant petition for review of the
second certiorari petition, the status of the aforesaid first petition before the CA. In
any case, an omission in the certificate of non-forum shopping about any event that
will not constitute res judicata and litis pendentia, as in the present case, is not a
fatal defect. It will not warrant the dismissal and nullification of the entire
proceedings, considering that the evils sought to be prevented by the said certificate
are no longer present. [34]

The Court also finds no merit in respondent's contention that petitioner Hasegawa is
only authorized to verify and certify, on behalf of Nippon, the certiorari petition filed
with the CA and not the instant petition. True, the Authorization [35] dated
September 4, 2000, which is attached to the second certiorari petition and which is
also attached to the instant petition for review, is limited in scope—its wordings
indicate that Hasegawa is given the authority to sign for and act on behalf of the
company only in the petition filed with the appellate court, and that authority
cannot extend to the instant petition for review. [36] In a plethora of cases, however,
this Court has liberally applied the Rules or even suspended its application whenever
a satisfactory explanation and a subsequent fulfillment of the requirements have
been made.[37] Given that petitioners herein sufficiently explained their misgivings
on this point and appended to their Reply [38] an updated Authorization [39] for
Hasegawa to act on behalf of the company in the instant petition, the Court finds
the same as sufficient compliance with the Rules.

However, the Court cannot extend the same liberal treatment to the defect in the
verification and certification. As respondent pointed out, and to which we agree,
Hasegawa is truly not authorized to act on behalf of Nippon in this case. The
aforesaid September 4, 2000 Authorization and even the subsequent August 17,
2001 Authorization were issued only by Nippon's president and chief executive
officer, not by the company's board of directors. In not a few cases, we have ruled
that corporate powers are exercised by the board of directors; thus, no person, not
even its officers, can bind the corporation, in the absence of authority from the
board.[40] Considering that Hasegawa verified and certified the petition only on his

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board.[40] Considering that Hasegawa verified and certified the petition only on his
behalf and not on behalf of the other petitioner, the petition has to be denied
pursuant to Loquias v. Office of the Ombudsman. [41] Substantial compliance will not
suffice in a matter that demands strict observance of the Rules. [42] While technical
rules of procedure are designed not to frustrate the ends of justice, nonetheless,
they are intended to effect the proper and orderly disposition of cases and
effectively prevent the clogging of court dockets. [43]

Further, the Court has observed that petitioners incorrectly filed a Rule 65 petition
to question the trial court's denial of their motion to dismiss. It is a well -established
rule that an order denying a motion to dismiss is interlocutory, and cannot be the
subject of the extraordinary petition for certiorari or mandamus. The appropriate
recourse is to file an answer and to interpose as defenses the objections raised in
the motion, to proceed to trial, and, in case of an adverse decision, to elevate the
entire case by appeal in due course. [44] While there are recognized exceptions to this
rule,[45] petitioners' case does not fall among them.

This brings us to the discussion of the substantive issue of the case.

Asserting that the RTC of Lipa City is an inconvenient forum, petitioners question its
jurisdiction to hear and resolve the civil case for specific performance and damages filed
by the respondent. The ICA subject of the litigation was entered into and perfected in
Tokyo, Japan, by Japanese nationals, and written wholly in the Japanese language. Thus,
petitioners posit that local courts have no substantial relationship to the parties [46]
following the [state of the] most significant relationship rule in Private International
Law. [47]

The Court notes that petitioners adopted an additional but different theory when they
elevated the case to the appellate court. In the Motion to Dismiss[48] filed with the trial
court, petitioners never contended that the RTC is an inconvenient forum. They merely
argued that the applicable law which will determine the validity or invalidity of
respondent's claim is that of Japan, following the principles of lex loci celebrationis and
lex contractus. [49] While not abandoning this stance in their petition before the appellate
court, petitioners on certiorari significantly invoked the defense of forum non
conveniens. [50] On petition for review before this Court, petitioners dropped their other
arguments, maintained the forum non conveniens defense, and introduced their new
argument that the applicable principle is the [state of the] most significant relationship
rule. [51]

Be that as it may, this Court is not inclined to deny this petition merely on the basis of
the change in theory, as explained in Philippine Ports Authority v. City of Iloilo. [52] We
only pointed out petitioners' inconstancy in their arguments to emphasize their
incorrect assertion of conflict of laws principles.

To elucidate, in the judicial resolution of conflicts problems, three consecutive phases


are involved: jurisdiction, choice of law, and recognition and enforcement of judgments.
Corresponding to these phases are the following questions: (1) Where can or should
litigation be initiated? (2) Which law will the court apply? and (3) Where can the
resulting judgment be enforced?[53]

Analytically, jurisdiction and choice of law are two distinct concepts. [54] Jurisdiction
considers whether it is fair to cause a defendant to travel to this state; choice of law asks
the further question whether the application of a substantive law which will determine
the merits of the case is fair to both parties. The power to exercise jurisdiction does not
automatically give a state constitutional authority to apply forum law. While jurisdiction
and the choice of the lex fori will often coincide, the “minimum contacts― for one

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and the choice of the lex fori will often coincide, the “minimum contacts― for one
do not always provide the necessary “significant contacts― for the other. [55] The
question of whether the law of a state can be applied to a transaction is different from
the question of whether the courts of that state have jurisdiction to enter a judgment. [56]

In this case, only the first phase is at issue—jurisdiction. Jurisdiction, however, has
various aspects. For a court to validly exercise its power to adjudicate a controversy, it
must have jurisdiction over the plaintiff or the petitioner, over the defendant or the
respondent, over the subject matter, over the issues of the case and, in cases involving
property, over the res or the thing which is the subject of the litigation. [57] In assailing
the trial court's jurisdiction herein, petitioners are actually referring to subject matter
jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction over the subject matter in a judicial proceeding is conferred by the sovereign
authority which establishes and organizes the court. It is given only by law and in the
manner prescribed by law. [58] It is further determined by the allegations of the complaint
irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to all or some of the claims asserted
therein. [59] To succeed in its motion for the dismissal of an action for lack of jurisdiction
over the subject matter of the claim, [60] the movant must show that the court or tribunal
cannot act on the matter submitted to it because no law grants it the power to
adjudicate the claims. [61]

In the instant case, petitioners, in their motion to dismiss, do not claim that the trial
court is not properly vested by law with jurisdiction to hear the subject controversy for,
indeed, Civil Case No. 00-0264 for specific performance and damages is one not capable
of pecuniary estimation and is properly cognizable by the RTC of Lipa City. [62] What they
rather raise as grounds to question subject matter jurisdiction are the principles of lex
loci celebrationis and lex contractus, and the “state of the most significant
relationship rule.―

The Court finds the invocation of these grounds unsound.

Lex loci celebrationis relates to the “law of the place of the ceremony―[63] or the
law of the place where a contract is made. [64] The doctrine of lex contractus or lex loci
contractus means the “law of the place where a contract is executed or to be
performed.―[65] It controls the nature, construction, and validity of the contract [66]
and it may pertain to the law voluntarily agreed upon by the parties or the law intended
by them either expressly or implicitly. [67] Under the “state of the most significant
relationship rule,― to ascertain what state law to apply to a dispute, the court should
determine which state has the most substantial connection to the occurrence and the
parties. In a case involving a contract, the court should consider where the contract was
made, was negotiated, was to be performed, and the domicile, place of business, or
place of incorporation of the parties. [68] This rule takes into account several contacts and
evaluates them according to their relative importance with respect to the particular
issue to be resolved. [69]

Since these three principles in conflict of laws make reference to the law applicable to a
dispute, they are rules proper for the second phase, the choice of law. [70] They
determine which state's law is to be applied in resolving the substantive issues of a
conflicts problem. [71] Necessarily, as the only issue in this case is that of jurisdiction,
choice-of-law rules are not only inapplicable but also not yet called for.

Further, petitioners' premature invocation of choice-of-law rules is exposed by the fact


that they have not yet pointed out any conflict between the laws of Japan and ours.
Before determining which law should apply, first there should exist a conflict of laws
situation requiring the application of the conflict of laws rules. [72] Also, when the law of a

REMLAW Page 22
situation requiring the application of the conflict of laws rules. [72] Also, when the law of a
foreign country is invoked to provide the proper rules for the solution of a case, the
existence of such law must be pleaded and proved. [73]

It should be noted that when a conflicts case, one involving a foreign element, is brought
before a court or administrative agency, there are three alternatives open to the latter
in disposing of it: (1) dismiss the case, either because of lack of jurisdiction or refusal to
assume jurisdiction over the case; (2) assume jurisdiction over the case and apply the
internal law of the forum; or (3) assume jurisdiction over the case and take into account
or apply the law of some other State or States. [74] The court’s power to hear cases
and controversies is derived from the Constitution and the laws. While it may choose to
recognize laws of foreign nations, the court is not limited by foreign sovereign law short
of treaties or other formal agreements, even in matters regarding rights provided by
foreign sovereigns. [75]

Neither can the other ground raised, forum non conveniens, [76] be used to deprive the
trial court of its jurisdiction herein. First, it is not a proper basis for a motion to dismiss
because Section 1, Rule 16 of the Rules of Court does not include it as a ground. [77]
Second, whether a suit should be entertained or dismissed on the basis of the said
doctrine depends largely upon the facts of the particular case and is addressed to the
sound discretion of the trial court. [78] In this case, the RTC decided to assume
jurisdiction. Third, the propriety of dismissing a case based on this principle requires a
factual determination; hence, this conflicts principle is more properly considered a
matter of defense. [79]

Accordingly, since the RTC is vested by law with the power to entertain and hear the civil
case filed by respondent and the grounds raised by petitioners to assail that jurisdiction
are inappropriate, the trial and appellate courts correctly denied the petitioners’
motion to dismiss.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition for review on certiorari is DENIED.

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Figueroa v. People, GR 147407, Jul 14, 2008
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:18 PM

FIGUEROA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


JULY 14, 2008
NACHURA, J.
SUBJECT AREA: Estoppel by laches
NATURE: Petition for review on certiorari

FACTS: Petitioner was charged with the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. The RTC
found him guilty. In his appeal before the CA, the petitioner, for the first time, questioned RTCs
jurisdiction on the case.

The CA in affirming the decision of the RTC, ruled that the principle of estoppel by laches has already
precluded the petitioner from questioning the jurisdiction of the RTC—the trial went on for 4 years with
the petitioner actively participating therein and without him ever raising the jurisdictional infirmity.

The petitioner, for his part, counters that the lack of jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter may
be raised at any time even for the first time on appeal. As undue delay is further absent herein, the
principle of laches will not be applicable. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: WON petitioner’s failure to raise the issue of jurisdiction during the trial of this case,
constitute laches in relation to the doctrine laid down in Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, notwithstanding the
fact that said issue was immediately raised in petitioner’s appeal to the CA

HELD:No .

RATIO: Citing the ruling in Calimlim vs. Ramirez, the Court held that as a general rule, the issue of
jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even on appeal, and is not lost by waiver or
by estoppel. Estoppel by laches may be invoked to bar the issue of lack of jurisdiction only in cases in
which the factual milieu is analogous to that of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy. Laches should be clearly present
for the Sibonghanoy doctrine to be applicable, that is, lack of jurisdiction must have been raised so
belatedly as to warrant the presumption that the party entitled to assert it had abandoned or declined
to assert it.

In Sibonghanoy, the party invoking lack of jurisdiction did so only after fifteen years and at a stage when
the proceedings had already been elevated to the CA. Sibonghanoy is an exceptional case because of the
presence of laches.

In the case at bar, the factual settings attendant in Sibonghanoy are not present. Petitioner Atty.
Regalado, after the receipt of the Court of Appeals resolution finding her guilty of contempt, promptly
filed a Motion for Reconsideration assailing the said court’s jurisdiction based on procedural infirmity in
initiating the action. Her compliance with the appellate court’s directive to show cause why she should
not be cited for contempt and filing a single piece of pleading to that effect could not be considered as
an active participation in the judicial proceedings so as to take the case within the milieu of
Sibonghanoy. Rather, it is the natural fear to disobey the mandate of the court that could lead to dire
consequences that impelled her to comply.

The petitioner is in no way estopped by laches in assailing the jurisdiction of the RTC, considering that he
raised the lack thereof in his appeal before the appellate court. At that time, no considerable period had
yet elapsed for laches to attach.

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yet elapsed for laches to attach.

DISPOSITIVE: Petition for review on certiorari is granted. Criminal case is dismissed

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Ruby Shelter v. Hon. Formaran GR 174914 Feb 10, 2009
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:19 PM

G.R. No. 175914 : February 10, 2009


RUBY SHELTER BUILDERS AND REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,
Petitioner, vs. HON. PABLO C. FORMARAN III, Presiding Judge of Regional
Trial Court Branch 21, Naga City, as Pairing Judge for Regional Trial Court
Branch 22, Formerly Presided By HON. NOVELITA VILLEGAS-LLAGUNO
(Retired 01 May 2006), ROMEO Y. TAN, ROBERTO L. OBIEDO and ATTY.
TOMAS A. REYES, Respondents.

DE C I SI O N

CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

Before this Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court seeking the reversal of the Decision[1 ] dated 22 November 2006 of the Court
of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 94800. The Court of Appeals, in its assailed Decision,
affirmed the Order[2 ] dated 24 March 2006 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch
22, of Naga City, in Civil Case No. RTC-2006-0030, ordering petitioner Ruby Shelter
Builders and Realty Development Corporation to pay additional docket/filing fees,
computed based on Section 7(a) of Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as amended.
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

The present Petition arose from the following facts: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Petitioner obtained a loan[3 ] in the total amount of P95,700,620.00 from


respondents Romeo Y. Tan (Tan) and Roberto L. Obiedo (Obiedo), secured
by real estate mortgages over five parcels of land, all located in Triangulo,
Naga City, covered by Transfer Certificates of Title (TCTs) No. 38376,[4 ] No.
29918,[5 ] No. 38374,[6 ] No. 39232,[7 ] and No. 39225,[8 ] issued by the Registry
of Deeds for Naga City, in the name of petitioner. When petitioner was
unable to pay the loan when it became due and demandable, respondents
Tan and Obiedo agreed to an extension of the same. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

In a Memorandum of Agreement[9 ] dated 17 March 2005, respondents Tan


and Obiedo granted petitioner until 31 December 2005 to settle its
indebtedness, and condoned the interests, penalties and surcharges accruing
thereon from 1 October 2004 to 31 December 2005 which amounted to
P74,678,647.00. The Memorandum of Agreement required, in turn, that
petitioner execute simultaneously with the said Memorandum, by way of
dacion en pago, Deeds of Absolute Sale in favor of respondents Tan and
Obiedo, covering the same parcels of land subject of the mortgages. The
Deeds of Absolute Sale would be uniformly dated 2 January 2006, and state
that petitioner sold to respondents Tan and Obiedo the parcels of land for

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that petitioner sold to respondents Tan and Obiedo the parcels of land for
the following purchase prices: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

TCT No. Purchase Price


38376 P 9,340,000.00
29918 P 28,000,000.00
38374 P 12,000,000.00
39232 P 1,600,000.00
39225 P 1,600,000.00
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Petitioner could choose to pay off its indebtedness with individual or all five
parcels of land; or it could redeem said properties by paying respondents
Tan and Obiedo the following prices for the same, inclusive of interest and
penalties: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

TCT No. Redemption Price


38376 P 25,328,939.00
29918 P 35,660,800.00
38374 P 28,477,600.00
39232 P 6,233,381.00
39225 P 6,233,381.00

In the event that petitioner is able to redeem any of the afore-mentioned


parcels of land, the Deed of Absolute Sale covering the said property shall be
nullified and have no force and effect; and respondents Tan and Obiedo shall
then return the owners duplicate of the corresponding TCT to petitioner and
also execute a Deed of Discharge of Mortgage. However, if petitioner is
unable to redeem the parcels of land within the period agreed upon,
respondents Tan and Obiedo could already present the Deeds of Absolute
Sale covering the same to the Office of the Register of Deeds for Naga City
so respondents Tan and Obiedo could acquire TCTs to the said properties in
their names. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

The Memorandum of Agreement further provided that should petitioner


contest, judicially or otherwise, any act, transaction, or event related to or
necessarily connected with the said Memorandum and the Deeds of Absolute
Sale involving the five parcels of land, it would pay respondents Tan and
Obiedo P10,000,000.00 as liquidated damages inclusive of costs and
attorneys fees. Petitioner would likewise pay respondents Tan and Obiedo
the condoned interests, surcharges and penalties.[10] Finally, should a contest
arise from the Memorandum of Agreement, Mr. Ruben Sia (Sia), President of
petitioner corporation, personally assumes, jointly and severally with
petitioner, the latters monetary obligation to respondent Tan and Obiedo.

REMLAW Page 27
petitioner, the latters monetary obligation to respondent Tan and Obiedo.
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Respondent Atty. Tomas A. Reyes (Reyes) was the Notary Public who
notarized the Memorandum of Agreement dated 17 March 2005 between
respondent Tan and Obiedo, on one hand, and petitioner, on the other.
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement, petitioner, represented by Mr.


Sia, executed separate Deeds of Absolute Sale,[1 1 ] over the five parcels of
land, in favor of respondents Tan and Obiedo. On the blank spaces provided
for in the said Deeds, somebody wrote the 3rd of January 2006 as the date of
their execution. The Deeds were again notarized by respondent Atty. Reyes
also on 3 January 2006. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Without payment having been made by petitioner on 31 December 2005,


respondents Tan and Obiedo presented the Deeds of Absolute Sale dated 3
January 2006 before the Register of Deeds of Naga City on 8 March 2006, as
a result of which, they were able to secure TCTs over the five parcels of land
in their names. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

On 16 March 2006, petitioner filed before the RTC a Complaint[1 2 ] against


respondents Tan, Obiedo, and Atty. Reyes, for declaration of nullity of deeds
of sales and damages, with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction and/or temporary restraining order (TRO). The Complaint was
docketed as Civil Case No. 2006-0030. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

On the basis of the facts already recounted above, petitioner raised two
causes of action in its Complaint. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

As for the first cause of action, petitioner alleged that as early as 27


December 2005, its President already wrote a letter informing respondents
Tan and Obiedo of the intention of petitioner to pay its loan and requesting a
meeting to compute the final amount due. The parties held meetings on 3
and 4 January 2006 but they failed to arrive at a mutually acceptable
computation of the final amount of loan payable. Respondents Tan and
Obiedo then refused the request of petitioner for further dialogues.
Unbeknownst to petitioner, despite the ongoing meetings, respondents Tan
and Obiedo, in evident bad faith, already had the pre-executed Deeds of
Absolute Sale notarized on 3 January 2006 by respondent Atty. Reyes. Atty.
Reyes, in connivance with respondents Tan and Obiedo, falsely made it
appear in the Deeds of Absolute Sale that Mr. Sia had personally
acknowledged/ratified the said Deeds before Atty. Reyes. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Asserting that the Deeds of Absolute Sale over the five parcels of land were
executed merely as security for the payment of its loan to respondents Tan

REMLAW Page 28
executed merely as security for the payment of its loan to respondents Tan
and Obiedo; that the Deeds of Absolute Sale, executed in accordance with
the Memorandum of Agreement, constituted pactum commisorium and as
such, were null and void; and that the acknowledgment in the Deeds of
Absolute Sale were falsified, petitioner averred: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

13.That by reason of the fraudulent actions by the [herein respondents],


[herein petitioner] is prejudiced and is now in danger of being deprived,
physically and legally, of the mortgaged properties without benefit of
legal processes such as the remedy of foreclosure and its attendant
procedures, solemnities and remedies available to a mortgagor, while
[petitioner] is desirous and willing to pay its obligation and have the
mortgaged properties released. [1 3] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

In support of its second cause of action, petitioner narrated in its Complaint


that on 18 January 2006, respondents Tan and Obiedo forcibly took over,
with the use of armed men, possession of the five parcels of land subject of
the falsified Deeds of Absolute Sale and fenced the said properties with
barbed wire. Beginning 3 March 2006, respondents Tan and Obiedo started
demolishing some of the commercial spaces standing on the parcels of land
in question which were being rented out by petitioner. Respondents Tan and
Obiedo were also about to tear down a principal improvement on the
properties consisting of a steel-and-concrete structure housing a motor
vehicle terminal operated by petitioner. The actions of respondents Tan and
Obiedo were to the damage and prejudice of petitioner and its
tenants/lessees. Petitioner, alone, claimed to have suffered at least
P300,000.00 in actual damages by reason of the physical invasion by
respondents Tan and Obiedo and their armed goons of the five parcels of
land. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Ultimately, petitioners prayer in its Complaint reads: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is most respectfully prayed of


this Honorable Court that upon the filing of this complaint, a 72-hour
temporary restraining order be forthwith issued ex parte: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

(a)Restraining [herein respondents] Tan and Obiedo, their agents,


privies or representatives, from committing act/s tending to alienate the
mortgaged properties from the [herein petitioner] pending the
resolution of the case, including but not limited to the acts complained
of in paragraph 14, above; chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

(b)Restraining the Register of Deeds of Naga City from entertaining


moves by the [respondents] to have [petitioners] certificates of title to
the mortgaged properties cancelled and changed/registered in

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the mortgaged properties cancelled and changed/registered in
[respondents] Tans and Obiedos names, and/or released to them;
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

(c)After notice and hearing, that a writ of preliminary injunction be


issued imposing the same restraints indicated in the next preceding two
paragraphs of this prayer; and chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

(d)After trial, judgment be rendered: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

1. Making the injunction permanent; chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

2. Declaring the provision in the Memorandum of Agreement requiring


the [petitioner] to execute deed of sales (sic) in favor of the
[respondents Tan and Obiedo] as dacion en pago in the event of non-
payment of the debt as pactum commissorium; chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

3. Annulling the Deed[s] of Sale for TCT Nos. 29918, 38374, 38376,
39225 and 39232, all dated January 3, 2006, the same being in
contravention of law; chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

4. Ordering the [respondents] jointly and solidarily to pay the


[petitioner] actual damages of at least P300,000.00; attorneys fees in
the amount of P100,000.00 plus P1,000.00 per court attendance of
counsel as appearance fee; litigation expenses in the amount of at least
P10,000.00 and exemplary damages in the amount of P300,000.00,
plus the costs. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

[Petitioner] further prays for such other reliefs as may be proper, just and equitable under the premises. [14]
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Upon filing its C omplaint with the RTC on 16 March 2006, petitioner paid the sum of P13,644.25 for docket and
other legal fees, as assessed by the Office of the Clerk of Court. The Clerk of Court initially considered Civil Case
No. 2006-0030 as an action incapable of pecuniary estimation and computed the docket and other legal fees due
thereon according to Section 7(b)(1), Rule 141 of the Rules of Court. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Only respondent Tan filed an Answer[15] to the C omplaint of petitioner. Respondent Tan did admit that meetings
were held with Mr. Sia, as the representative of petitioner, to thresh out Mr. Sias charge that the computation by
respondents Tan and Obiedo of the interests, surcharges and penalties accruing on the loan of petitioner was
replete with errors and uncertainties. However, Mr. Sia failed to back up his accusation of errors and uncertainties
and to present his own final computation of the amount due. Disappointed and exasperated, respondents Tan and
Obiedo informed Mr. Sia that they had already asked respondent Atty. Reyes to come over to notarize the Deeds of
Absolute Sale. Respondent Atty. Reyes asked Mr. Sia whether it was his signature appearing above his printed

REMLAW Page 30
Absolute Sale. Respondent Atty. Reyes asked Mr. Sia whether it was his signature appearing above his printed
name on the Deeds of Absolute Sale, to which Mr. Sia replied yes. On 4 January 2006, Mr. Sia still failed to
establish his claim of errors and uncertainties in the computation of the total amount which petitioner must pay
respondent Tan and Obiedo. Mr. Sia, instead, sought a nine-month extension for paying the loan obligation of
petitioner and the reduction of the interest rate thereon to only one percent (1%) per month. Respondents Tan and
Obiedo rejected both demands. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Respondent Tan maintained that the Deeds of Absolute Sale were not executed merely as securities for the loan of
petitioner. The Deeds of Absolute Sale over the five parcels of land were the consideration for the payment of the
total indebtedness of petitioner to respondents Tan and Obiedo, and the condonation of the 15-month interest
which already accrued on the loan, while providing petitioner with the golden opportunity to still redeem all or even
portions of the properties covered by said Deeds. Unfortunately, petitioner failed to exercise its right to redeem any
of the said properties. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Belying that they forcibly took possession of the five parcels of land, respondent Tan alleged that it was Mr. Sia
who, with the aid of armed men, on board a Sports Utility Vehicle and a truck, rammed into the personnel of
respondents Tan and Obiedo causing melee and disturbance. Moreover, by the execution of the Deeds of Absolute
Sale, the properties subject thereof were, ipso jure, delivered to respondents Tan and Obiedo. The demolition of
the existing structures on the properties was nothing but an exercise of dominion by respondents Tan and Obiedo.
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Respondent Tan, thus, sought not just the dismissal of the C omplaint of petitioner, but also the grant of his
counterclaim. The prayer in his Answer is faithfully reproduced below: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Wherefore, premises considered, it is most respectfully prayed that, after due hearing, judgment be
rendered dismissing the complaint, and on the counterclaim, [herein petitioner] and Ruben Sia, be ordered
to indemnify, jointly and severally [herein respondents Tan and Obiedo] the amounts of not less than
P10,000,000.00 as liquidated damages and the further sum of not less than P500,000.00 as attorneys fees.
In the alternative, and should it become necessary, it is hereby prayed that [petitioner] be ordered to pay
herein [respondents Tan and Obiedo] the entire principal loan of P95,700,620.00, plus interests, surcharges
and penalties computed from March 17, 2005 until the entire sum is fully paid, including the amount of
P74,678,647.00 foregone interest covering the period from October 1, 2004 to December 31, 2005 or for a
total of fifteen (15) months, plus incidental expenses as may be proved in court, in the event that Annexes
G to L be nullified. Other relief and remedies as are just and equitable under the premises are hereby prayed
for.[1 6] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Thereafter, respondent Tan filed before the RTC an Omnibus Motion in which he contended that Civil Case No.
2006-0030 involved real properties, the docket fees for which should be computed in accordance with Section 7(a),
not Section 7(b)(1), of Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as amended by A.M. No. 04-2-04-SC which took effect on
16 August 2004. Since petitioner did not pay the appropriate docket fees for Civil Case No. 2006-0030, the RTC did
not acquire jurisdiction over the said case. Hence, respondent Tan asked the RTC to issue an order requiring
petitioner to pay the correct and accurate docket fees pursuant to Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as
amended; and should petitioner fail to do so, to deny and dismiss the prayer of petitioner for the annulment of the
Deeds of Absolute Sale for having been executed in contravention of the law or of the Memorandum of Agreement
as pactum commisorium. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

REMLAW Page 31
As required by the RTC, the parties submitted their Position Papers on the matter. On 24 March 2006, the RTC
issued an Order[17] granting respondent Tans Omnibus Motion. In holding that both petitioner and respondent Tan
must pay docket fees in accordance with Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as amended, the RTC
reasoned: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

It must be noted that under paragraph (b) 2. of the said Section 7, it is provided that QUIETING OF
TITLE which is an action classified as beyond pecuniary estimation shall be governed by paragraph (a).
Hence, the filing fee in an action for Declaration of Nullity of Deed which is also classified as beyond
pecuniary estimation, must be computed based on the provision of Section 7(A) herein-above, in part,
quoted. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Since [herein respondent], Romeo Tan in his Answer has a counterclaim against the plaintiff, the former
must likewise pay the necessary filling (sic) fees as provided for under Section 7 (A) of Amended
Administrative Circular No. 35-2004 issued by the Supreme Court.[18] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

C onsequently, the RTC decreed on the matter of docket/filing fees: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the [herein petitioner] is hereby ordered to pay additional filing fee and
the [herein respondent], Romeo Tan is also ordered to pay docket and filing fees on his counterclaim, both
computed based on Section 7(a) of the Supreme C ourt Amended Administrative Circular No. 35-2004 within
fifteen (15) days from receipt of this Order to the C lerk of Court, Regional Trial Court, Naga C ity and for the
latter to compute and to collect the said fees accordingly.[19] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Petitioner moved[20] for the partial reconsideration of the 24 March 2006 Order of the RTC, arguing that C ivil Case
No. 2006-0030 was principally for the annulment of the Deeds of Absolute Sale and, as such, incapable of
pecuniary estimation. Petitioner submitted that the RTC erred in applying Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules of
C ourt, as amended, to petitioners first cause of action in its C omplaint in C ivil Case No. 2006-0030. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

In its Order[21] dated 29 March 2006, the RTC refused to reconsider its 24 March 2006 Order, based on the
following ratiocination: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Analyzing, the action herein pertains to real property, for as admitted by the [herein petitioner], the deeds
of sale in question pertain to real property x x x. The Deeds of Sale subject of the instant case have already
been transferred in the name of the [herein respondents Tan and Obiedo]. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

C ompared with Quieting of Title, the latter action is brought when there is cloud on the title to real property
or any interest therein or to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to the real property (Art. 476, Civil
Code of the Philippines) and the plaintiff must have legal or equitable title to or interest in the real
property which is the subject matter of the action (Art. 447, ibid.), and yet plaintiff in QUIETING OF TITLE
is required to pay the fees in accordance with paragraph (a) of Section 7 of the said Amended Administrative

REMLAW Page 32
is required to pay the fees in accordance with paragraph (a) of Section 7 of the said Amended Administrative
C ircular No. 35-2004, hence, with more reason that the [petitioner] who no longer has title to the real
properties subject of the instant case must be required to pay the required fees in accordance with Section
7(a) of the Amended Administrative Circular No. 35-2004 afore-mentioned. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Furthermore, while [petitioner] claims that the action for declaration of nullity of deed of sale and
memorandum of agreement is one incapable of pecuniary estimation, however, as argued by the
[respondent Tan], the issue as to how much filing and docket fees should be paid was never raised as an
issue in the case of Russell vs. Vestil, 304 SCRA 738. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

xxxx chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

WHEREFORE, the Motion for Partial Reconsideration is hereby DENIED. [22] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

In a letter dated 19 April 2006, the RTC Clerk of C ourt computed, upon the request of counsel for the petitioner,
the additional docket fees petitioner must pay for in Civil Case No. 2006-0030 as directed in the afore-mentioned
RTC Orders. Per the computation of the RTC Clerk of C ourt, after excluding the amount petitioner previously paid
on 16 March 2006, petitioner must still pay the amount of P720,392.60 as docket fees.[23] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Petitioner, however, had not yet conceded, and it filed a Petition for Certiorari with the C ourt of Appeals; the
petition was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 94800. According to petitioner, the RTC[24] acted with grave abuse of
discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, when it issued its Orders dated 24 March 2006 and 29 March
2006 mandating that the docket/filing fees for Civil Case No. 2006-0030, an action for annulment of deeds of sale,
be assessed under Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules of C ourt, as amended. If the Orders would not be revoked,
corrected, or rectified, petitioner would suffer grave injustice and irreparable damage. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

On 22 November 2006, the Court of Appeals promulgated its Decision wherein it held that: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

C learly, the petitioners complaint involves not only the annulment of the deeds of sale, but also the recovery
of the real properties identified in the said documents. In other words, the objectives of the petitioner in
filing the complaint were to cancel the deeds of sale and ultimately, to recover possession of the same. It is
therefore a real action. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

C onsequently, the additional docket fees that must be paid cannot be assessed in accordance with Section
7(b). As a real action, Section 7(a) must be applied in the assessment and payment of the proper docket
fee. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Resultantly, there is no grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of
the court a quo. By grave abuse of discretion is meant capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is
equivalent to lack of jurisdiction, and mere abuse of discretion is not enough it must be grave. The abuse
must be grave and patent, and it must be shown that the discretion was exercised arbitrarily and

REMLAW Page 33
despotically. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Such a situation does not exist in this particular case. The evidence is insufficient to prove that the court a
quo acted despotically in rendering the assailed orders. It acted properly and in accordance with law. Hence,
error cannot be attributed to it. [25] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Hence, the fallo of the Decision of the appellate court reads: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is DENIED. The assailed Orders of the court a quo are
AFFIRMED.[2 6 ] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Without seeking reconsideration of the foregoing Decision with the Court of Appeals, petitioner filed its Petition for
Review on Certiorari before this Court, with a lone assignment of error, to wit: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

18.The herein petitioner most respectfully submits that the C ourt of Appeals committed a grave and serious
reversible error in affirming the assailed Orders of the Regional Trial Court which are clearly contrary to
the pronouncement of this Honorable Court in the case of Spouses De Leon v. Court of Appeals,
G.R. No. 104796, March 6, 1998, not to mention the fact that if the said judgment is allowed to stand and
not rectified, the same would result in grave injustice and irreparable damage to herein petitioner in view of
the prohibitive amount assessed as a consequence of said Orders. [27] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

In Manchester Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals,[28] the Court explicitly pronounced that [t]he court
acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fee. Hence, the payment of
docket fees is not only mandatory, but also jurisdictional. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

In Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. (SIOL) v. Asuncion,[29] the Court laid down guidelines for the implementation of its
previous pronouncement in Manchester under particular circumstances, to wit: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

1. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of the
prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the
action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment of the docket fee, the court
may allow payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or
reglementary period. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

2. The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims, third-party claims and similar pleadings, which shall
not be considered filed until and unless the filing fee prescribed therefor is paid. The court may also allow
payment of said fee within a reasonable time but also in no case beyond its applicable prescriptive or
reglementary period. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

3. Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim by the filing of the appropriate pleading and
payment of the prescribed filing fee but, subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not specified in the

REMLAW Page 34
payment of the prescribed filing fee but, subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not specified in the
pleading, or if specified the same has been left for determination by the court, the additional filing fee
therefor shall constitute a lien on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of C ourt or his duly
authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the additional fee. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

In the Petition at bar, the RTC found, and the Court of Appeals affirmed, that petitioner did not pay the correct
amount of docket fees for C ivil Case No. 2006-0030. According to both the trial and appellate courts, petitioner
should pay docket fees in accordance with Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as amended. Consistent
with the liberal tenor of Sun Insurance, the RTC, instead of dismissing outright petitioners Complaint in Civil C ase
No. 2006-0030, granted petitioner time to pay the additional docket fees. Despite the seeming munificence of the
RTC , petitioner refused to pay the additional docket fees assessed against it, believing that it had already paid the
correct amount before, pursuant to Section 7(b)(1), Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as amended. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Relevant to the present controversy are the following provisions under Rule 141 of the Rules of C ourt, as amended
by A.M. No. 04-2-04-SC [30] and Supreme Court Amended Administrative Circular No. 35-2004[31]: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

SEC . 7. C lerks of Regional Trial Courts. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

(a)For filing an action or a permissive OR COMPULSORY counterclaim, CROSS-CLAIM, or money claim


against an estate not based on judgment, or for filing a third-party, fourth-party, etc. complaint, or a
complaint-in-intervention, if the total sum claimed, INCLUSIVE OF INTERESTS, PENALTIES, SURCHARGES,
DAMAGES OF WHATEVER KIND, AND ATTORNEYS FEES, LITIGATIO NEXPENSES AND COSTS and/or in cases
involving property, the FAIR MARKET value of the REAL property in litigation STATED IN THE CURRENT TAX
DEC LARATION OR CURRENT ZONAL VALUATION OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE, WHICHEVER IS
HIGHER, OR IF THERE IS NONE, THE STATED VALUE OF THE PROPERTY IN LITIGATION OR THE VALUE OF
THE PERSONAL PROPERTY IN LITIGATION OR THE VALUE OF THE PERSONAL PROPERTY IN LITIGATION AS
ALLEGED BY THE CLAIMANT, is: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

[Table of fees omitted.] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

If the action involves both a money claim and relief pertaining to property, then THE fees will be charged on
both the amounts claimed and value of property based on the formula prescribed in this paragraph a.
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

(b)For filing: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

1.Actions where the value of the subject matter cannot be estimated chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

2.Special civil actions, except judicial foreclosure of mortgage, EXPROPRIATION PROCEEDINGS,


PARTITION AND QUIETING OF TITLE which will chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

3. All other actions not involving property chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

REMLAW Page 35
3. All other actions not involving property chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

[Table of fees omitted.] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

The docket fees under Section 7(a), Rule 141, in cases involving real property depend on the fair market value of
the same: the higher the value of the real property, the higher the docket fees due. In contrast, Section 7(b)(1),
Rule 141 imposes a fixed or flat rate of docket fees on actions incapable of pecuniary estimation. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

In order to resolve the issue of whether petitioner paid the correct amount of docket fees, it is necessary to
determine the true nature of its Complaint. The dictum adhered to in this jurisdiction is that the nature of an action
is determined by the allegations in the body of the pleading or Complaint itself, rather than by its title or
heading.[32] However, the Court finds it necessary, in ascertaining the true nature of Civil Case No. 2006-0030, to
take into account significant facts and circumstances beyond the Complaint of petitioner, facts and circumstances
which petitioner failed to state in its C omplaint but were disclosed in the preliminary proceedings before the court a
quo. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Petitioner persistently avers that its C omplaint in Civil Case No. 2006-0030 is primarily for the annulment of the
Deeds of Absolute Sale. Based on the allegations and reliefs in the Complaint alone, one would get the impression
that the titles to the subject real properties still rest with petitioner; and that the interest of respondents Tan and
Obiedo in the same lies only in the Deeds of Absolute Sale sought to be annulled. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

What petitioner failed to mention in its C omplaint was that respondents Tan and Obiedo already had the
Memorandum of Agreement, which clearly provided for the execution of the Deeds of Absolute Sale, registered on
the TC Ts over the five parcels of land, then still in the name of petitioner. After respondents Tan and Obiedo had
the Deeds of Absolute Sale notarized on 3 January 2006 and presented the same to Register of Deeds for Naga
C ity on 8 March 2006, they were already issued TCTs over the real properties in question, in their own names.
Respondents Tan and Obiedo have also acquired possession of the said properties, enabling them, by petitioners
own admission, to demolish the improvements thereon. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

It is, thus, suspect that petitioner kept mum about the afore-mentioned facts and circumstances when they had
already taken place before it filed its C omplaint before the RTC on 16 March 2006. Petitioner never expressed
surprise when such facts and circumstances were established before the RTC, nor moved to amend its C omplaint
accordingly. Even though the Memorandum of Agreement was supposed to have long been registered on its TCTs
over the five parcels of land, petitioner did not pray for the removal of the same as a cloud on its title. In the same
vein, although petitioner alleged that respondents Tan and Obiedo forcibly took physical possession of the subject
real properties, petitioner did not seek the restoration of such possession to itself. And despite learning that
respondents Tan and Obiedo already secured TCTs over the subject properties in their names, petitioner did not
ask for the cancellation of said titles. The only logical and reasonable explanation is that petitioner is reluctant to
bring to the attention of the C ourt certain facts and circumstances, keeping its C omplaint safely worded, so as to
institute only an action for annulment of Deeds of Absolute Sale. Petitioner deliberately avoided raising issues on
the title and possession of the real properties that may lead the Court to classify its case as a real action.
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

No matter how fastidiously petitioner attempts to conceal them, the allegations and reliefs it sought in its

REMLAW Page 36
No matter how fastidiously petitioner attempts to conceal them, the allegations and reliefs it sought in its
C omplaint in C ivil Case No. 2006-0030 appears to be ultimately a real action, involving as they do the recovery by
petitioner of its title to and possession of the five parcels of land from respondents Tan and Obiedo. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

A real action is one in which the plaintiff seeks the recovery of real property; or, as indicated in what is now
Section 1, Rule 4 of the Rules of C ourt, a real action is an action affecting title to or recovery of possession of real
property.[33] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Section 7, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, prior to its amendment by A.M. No. 04-2-04-SC, had a specific
paragraph governing the assessment of the docket fees for real action, to wit: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

In a real action, the assessed value of the property, or if there is none, the estimated value thereof shall be
alleged by the claimant and shall be the basis in computing the fees. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

It was in accordance with the afore-quoted provision that the Court, in Gochan v. Gochan,[34] held that although
the caption of the complaint filed by therein respondents Mercedes Gochan, et al. with the RTC was denominated
as one for specific performance and damages, the relief sought was the conveyance or transfer of real property, or
ultimately, the execution of deeds of conveyance in their favor of the real properties enumerated in the provisional
memorandum of agreement. Under these circumstances, the case before the RTC was actually a real action,
affecting as it did title to or possession of real property. C onsequently, the basis for determining the correct docket
fees shall be the assessed value of the property, or the estimated value thereof as alleged in the complaint. But
since Mercedes Gochan failed to allege in their complaint the value of the real properties, the Court found that the
RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the same for non-payment of the correct docket fees. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Likewise, in Siapno v. Manalo,[35] the C ourt disregarded the title/denomination of therein plaintiff Manalos
amended petition as one for Mandamus with Revocation of Title and Damages; and adjudged the same to be a real
action, the filing fees for which should have been computed based on the assessed value of the subject property
or, if there was none, the estimated value thereof. The Court expounded in Siapno that: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

In his amended petition, respondent Manalo prayed that NTAs sale of the property in dispute to Standford
East Realty Corporation and the title issued to the latter on the basis thereof, be declared null and void. In a
very real sense, albeit the amended petition is styled as one for Mandamus with Revocation of Title and
Damages, it is, at bottom, a suit to recover from Standford the realty in question and to vest in respondent
the ownership and possession thereof. In short, the amended petition is in reality an action in res or a real
action. Our pronouncement in Fortune Motors (Phils.), Inc. vs. Court of Appeals is instructive. There, we
said: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

A prayer for annulment or rescission of contract does not operate to efface the true
objectives and nature of the action which is to recover real property. (Inton, et al., v.
Quintan, 81 Phil. 97, 1948) chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

An action for the annulment or rescission of a sale of real property is a real action. Its
prime objective is to recover said real property. (Gavieres v. Sanchez, 94 Phil. 760, 1954)

REMLAW Page 37
prime objective is to recover said real property. (Gavieres v. Sanchez, 94 Phil. 760, 1954)
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

An action to annul a real estate mortgage foreclosure sale is no different from an action to annul a
private sale of real property. (Muoz v. Llamas, 87 Phil. 737, 1950). chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

While it is true that petitioner does not directly seek the recovery of title or possession of
the property in question, his action for annulment of sale and his claim for damages are
closely intertwined with the issue of ownership of the building which, under the law, is
considered immovable property, the recovery of which is petitioner's primary objective.
The prevalent doctrine is that an action for the annulment or rescission of a sale of real
property does not operate to efface the fundamental and prime objective and nature of the
case, which is to recover said real property. It is a real action.

chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Unfortunately, and evidently to evade payment of the correct amount of filing fee, respondent Manalo never
alleged in the body of his amended petition, much less in the prayer portion thereof, the assessed value of
the subject res, or, if there is none, the estimated value thereof, to serve as basis for the receiving clerk in
computing and arriving at the proper amount of filing fee due thereon, as required under Section 7 of this
C ourts en banc resolution of 04 September 1990 (Re: Proposed Amendments to Rule 141 on Legal Fees).
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Even the amended petition, therefore, should have been expunged from the records. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

In fine, we rule and so hold that the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over its C ivil Case No.
Q-95-24791.[36] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

It was in Serrano v. Delica,[37] however, that the C ourt dealt with a complaint that bore the most similarity to the
one at bar. Therein respondent Delica averred that undue influence, coercion, and intimidation were exerted upon
him by therein petitioners Serrano, et al. to effect transfer of his properties. Thus, Delica filed a complaint before
the RTC against Serrano, et al., praying that the special power of attorney, the affidavit, the new titles issued in
the names of Serrano, et al., and the contracts of sale of the disputed properties be cancelled; that Serrano, et al.
be ordered to pay Delica, jointly and severally, actual, moral and exemplary damages in the amount of
P200,000.00, as well as attorneys fee of P200,000.00 and costs of litigation; that a TRO and a writ of preliminary
injunction be issued ordering Serrano, et al. to immediately restore him to his possession of the parcels of land in
question; and that after trial, the writ of injunction be made permanent. The Court dismissed Delicas complaint for
the following reasons: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

A careful examination of respondents complaint is that it is a real action. In Paderanga vs. Buissan, we
held that in a real action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery of real property, or, as stated in Section 2(a), Rule
4 of the Revised Rules of Court, a real action is one affecting title to real property or for the recovery of
possession of, or for partition or condemnation of, or foreclosure of a mortgage on a real property.
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

REMLAW Page 38
Obviously, respondents complaint is a real action involving not only the recovery of real properties, but
likewise the cancellation of the titles thereto. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

C onsidering that respondents complaint is a real action, the Rule requires that the assessed value of the
property, or if there is none, the estimated value thereof shall be alleged by the claimant and shall be the
basis in computing the fees. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

We note, however, that neither the assessed value nor the estimated value of the questioned parcels of land
were alleged by respondent in both his original and amended complaint. What he stated in his amended
complaint is that the disputed realties have a BIR zonal valuation of P1,200.00 per square meter. However,
the alleged BIR zonal valuation is not the kind of valuation required by the Rule. It is the assessed value of
the realty. Having utterly failed to comply with the requirement of the Rule that he shall allege in his
complaint the assessed value of his real properties in controversy, the correct docket fee cannot be
computed. As such, his complaint should not have been accepted by the trial court. We thus rule that it has
not acquired jurisdiction over the present case for failure of herein respondent to pay the required docket
fee. On this ground alone, respondents complaint is vulnerable to dismissal. [38] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Brushing aside the significance of Serrano, petitioner argues that said decision, rendered by the Third Division of
the C ourt, and not by the Court en banc, cannot modify or reverse the doctrine laid down in Spouses De Leon v.
Court of Appeals.[39] Petitioner relies heavily on the declaration of this C ourt in Spouses De Leon that an action for
annulment or rescission of a contract of sale of real property is incapable of pecuniary estimation. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

The C ourt, however, does not perceive a contradiction between Serrano and the Spouses De Leon. The Court calls
attention to the following statement in Spouses De Leon: A review of the jurisprudence of this C ourt indicates that
in determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation, this
C ourt has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the principal action or remedy sought.
Necessarily, the determination must be done on a case-to-case basis, depending on the facts and circumstances of
each. What petitioner conveniently ignores is that in Spouses De Leon, the action therein that private respondents
instituted before the RTC was solely for annulment or rescission of the contract of sale over a real property.[40]
There appeared to be no transfer of title or possession to the adverse party. Their complaint simply prayed for:
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

1. Ordering the nullification or rescission of the Contract of C onditional Sale (Supplementary Agreement) for
having violated the rights of plaintiffs (private respondents) guaranteed to them under Article 886 of the
C ivil C ode and/or violation of the terms and conditions of the said contract. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

2. Declaring void ab initio the Deed of Absolute Sale for being absolutely simulated; and chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

3. Ordering defendants (petitioners) to pay plaintiffs (private respondents) attorney's fees in the amount of
P100,000.00.[41] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

As this C ourt has previously discussed herein, the nature of Civil Case No. 2006-0030 instituted by petitioner

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As this C ourt has previously discussed herein, the nature of Civil Case No. 2006-0030 instituted by petitioner
before the RTC is closer to that of Serrano, rather than of Spouses De Leon, hence, calling for the application of the
ruling of the C ourt in the former, rather than in the latter. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

It is also important to note that, with the amendments introduced by A.M. No. 04-2-04-SC, which became effective
on 16 August 2004, the paragraph in Section 7, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, pertaining specifically to the basis
for computation of docket fees for real actions was deleted. Instead, Section 7(1) of Rule 141, as amended,
provides that in cases involving real property, the FAIR MARKET value of the REAL property in litigation
STATED IN THE CURRENT TAX DECLARATION OR CURRENT ZONAL VALUATION OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL
REVENUE, WHICH IS HIGHER, OR IF THERE IS NONE, THE STATED VALUE OF THE PROPERTY IN LITIGATION x x x
shall be the basis for the computation of the docket fees. Would such an amendment have an impact on Gochan,
Siapno, and Serrano? The Court rules in the negative. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

A real action indisputably involves real property. The docket fees for a real action would still be determined in
accordance with the value of the real property involved therein; the only difference is in what constitutes the
acceptable value. In computing the docket fees for cases involving real properties, the courts, instead of relying on
the assessed or estimated value, would now be using the fair market value of the real properties (as stated in
the Tax Declaration or the Zonal Valuation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, whichever is higher) or, in the
absence thereof, the stated value of the same. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

In sum, the C ourt finds that the true nature of the action instituted by petitioner against respondents is the
recovery of title to and possession of real property. It is a real action necessarily involving real property, the docket
fees for which must be computed in accordance with Section 7(1), Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as amended. The
C ourt of Appeals, therefore, did not commit any error in affirming the RTC Orders requiring petitioner to pay
additional docket fees for its Complaint in C ivil Case No. 2006-0030. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

The C ourt does not give much credence to the allegation of petitioner that if the judgment of the Court of Appeals
is allowed to stand and not rectified, it would result in grave injustice and irreparable injury to petitioner in view of
the prohibitive amount assessed against it. It is a sweeping assertion which lacks evidentiary support. Undeniably,
before the Court can conclude that the amount of docket fees is indeed prohibitive for a party, it would have to
look into the financial capacity of said party. It baffles this Court that herein petitioner, having the capacity to enter
into multi-million transactions, now stalls at paying P720,392.60 additional docket fees so it could champion before
the courts its rights over the disputed real properties. Moreover, even though the C ourt exempts individuals, as
indigent or pauper litigants, from paying docket fees, it has never extended such an exemption to a corporate
entity. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Petition for Review is hereby DENIED. The Decision, dated 22 November
2006, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 94800, which affirmed the Orders dated 24 March 2006 and 29 March 2006 of
the R TC, Branch 22, of Naga City, in Civil Case No. RTC-2006-0030, ordering petitioner Ruby Shelter Builders and Realty
De ve lopment Corporation to pay additional docket/filing fees, computed based on Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules of
Court, as amended, is hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against the petitioner.

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Chavez v. CA GR 125813 Feb 6, 2007
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:20 PM

G.R. No. 125813 February 6, 2007


FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioners,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, RAFAEL BASKIÑAS and RICARDO MANAPAT, Respondents.
DEC ISIO N
TINGA, J.:
An Information for Libel dated 26 June 1995 was filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Manila against private respondents Rafael Baskinas and Ricardo Manapat, with petitioner
Francisco Chavez as the complainant. The Information reads in part:
"That on or about March 1995, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused [Baskinas and
Manapat] conspiring and confederating with others whose true names, real identities and present
whereabouts are still unknown and helping one another, with malicious intent of impeaching the
honesty, virtue, character and reputation of one FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ, former Solicitor
General of the Philippines, and with the evident purpose of injuring and exposing him to public
ridicule, hatred and contempt, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and maliciously cause to
be published in "Smart File," a magazine of general circulation in Manila, and in their respective
capacity as Editor-in-Chief and Author-Reporter, the following, to wit:
xx x x
with which published articles, the said accused meant and intended to convey, as in fact they did
mean and convey false and malicious imputations of a defect, vice and crime, which insinuations
and imputations as the accused well knew are entirely false and untrue and without the
foundation in fact whatsoever, and tend to impeach, besmirch and destroy the good name,
character and reputation of said FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ, as in fact, he was exposed to
dishonor, discredit, public hatred, contempt and ridicule.
CONTRARY TO LAW.1
Private respondents moved to quash the Information, as well as the corresponding warrants of
arrest subsequently issued. However, these motions were denied by the RTC of Manila, Branch
16, in an Order dated 31 August 1995.2 Private respondents then filed a Petition for Certiorari
with the Court of Appeals, assailing the 31 August 1995 Order. The petition was granted in a
Decision dated 21 December 1995, hence the present petition.
The crux of the matter revolves around whether the above-quoted Information is sufficient to
sustain a charge for libel, considering the following requirement imposed by Article 360 of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended by Rep. Act No. 4363:
Article 360. Persons responsible.—Any person who shall publish, exhibit or cause the
publication or exhibition of any defamation in writing or by similar means, shall be responsible
for the same.
The author or editor of a book or pamphlet, or the editor or business manager of a daily
newspaper, magazine or serial publication, shall be responsible for the defamations contained
therein to the same extent as if he were the author thereof.
The criminal action and civil action for damages in cases of written defamations, as provided for
in this chapter shall be filed simultaneously or separately with the court of first instance of the
province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published or where any of the
offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense: Provided,
however, That where one of the offended parties is a public officer whose office is in the City of
Manila at the time of the commission of the offense, the action shall be filed in the Court of First
Instance of the City of Manila or of the city or province where the libelous article is printed and
first published, and in case such public officer does not hold office in the City of Manila, the
action shall be filed in the Court of First Instance of the province or city where he held office at
the time of the commission of the offense or where the libelous article is printed and first
published and in case one of the offended parties is a private individual, the action shall be filed

REMLAW Page 41
published and in case one of the offended parties is a private individual, the action shall be filed
in the Court of First Instance of the province or city where he actually resides at the time of the
commission of the offense or where the libelous matter is printed and first published x x x.
(Emphasis supplied.)
Referring to the fact that the Information against private respondents states that the libelous
matter was "caused to be published in Smart File, a magazine of general circulation in Manila,"
the Court of Appeals deemed the cases of Agbayani v. Sayo3 and Soriano v. IAC4 as controlling.
Based on the doctrines pronounced in said cases, the appellate court held that the Information
failed to allege where the written defamation was "printed and first published," an allegation sine
qua non "if the circumstances as to where the libel was printed and first published is used as the
basis of the venue of the publication."5 It was observed that "venue of libel cases where the
complainant is a private person is either in any of only two places, namely: (1) where the subject
article was printed and first published; and (2) where complainant of the commission actually
resides at the time of the commission of the offense." The Information, it was noted, did not
indicate that the libelous articles were printed or first published in Manila, or that petitioner
resided in Manila at the time of the publication of the articles.
The Court of Appeals further observed that even during the preliminary investigation, private
respondents had already interposed that Smart File was actually printed and first published in the
City of Makati, and that the address of the publisher Animal Farms Publication as indicated in
the editorial page of the publication itself was a post office box with the Makati Central Post
Office. Even as this observation was disputed by petitioner, who insisted the place of private
respondent‘s printing and publishing business was actually in Manila, the Court of Appeals noted
that he should have been alerted enough by private respondents' adverse insistence and that a due
investigation would have inevitably revealed that private respondents had transferred from their
previous Manila address to Makati by the time the subject articles were published.6
Before this Court, petitioner attacks the reliance placed on Agbayani and Soriano, primarily by
pointing out that in both cases, the complainants were public officers, and not private officials.
Petitioner submits that the 1965 amendments to Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code which
imposed the present venue requisites were introduced in order to preclude the harassment of
members of the press through libel suits filed in remote and distant places by public officers.
Petitioner also assails the conclusion of the Court of Appeals that the place of printing and first
publication of Smart File was in Makati, saying that this was derived out of hearsay evidence.
Does the subject information sufficiently vest jurisdiction in the Manila trial courts to hear the
libel charge, in consonance with Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code? Jurisprudence applying
the provision has established that it does not.
Agbayani supplies a comprehensive restatement of the rules of venue in actions for criminal
libel, following the amendment by Rep. Act No. 4363 of the Revised Penal Code:
Article 360 in its original form provided that the venue of the criminal and civil actions for
written defamations is the province wherein the libel was published, displayed or exhibited,
regardless of the place where the same was written, printed or composed. Article 360 originally
did not specify the public officers and the courts that may conduct the preliminary investigation
of complaints for libel.
Before article 360 was amended, the rule was that a criminal action for libel may be instituted in
any jurisdiction where the libelous article was published or circulated, irrespective of where it
was written or printed (People v. Borja, 43 Phil. 618). Under that rule, the criminal action is
transitory and the injured party has a choice of venue.
Experience had shown that under that old rule the offended party could harass the accused in a
libel case by laying the venue of the criminal action in a remote or distant place.
Thus, in connection with an article published in the Daily Mirror and the Philippine Free Press,
Pio Pedrosa, Manuel V. Villareal and Joaquin Roces were charged with libel in the justice of the
peace court of San Fabian, Pangasinan (Amansec v. De Guzman, 93 Phil. 933).
To forestall such harassment, Republic Act No. 4363 was enacted. It lays down specific rules as
to the venue of the criminal action so as to prevent the offended party in written defamation
cases from inconveniencing the accused by means of out-of-town libel suits, meaning complaints
filed in remote municipal courts (Explanatory Note for the bill which became Republic Act No.

REMLAW Page 42
filed in remote municipal courts (Explanatory Note for the bill which became Republic Act No.
4363, Congressional Record of May 20, 1965, pp. 424-5; Time, Inc. v. Reyes, L-28882, May 31,
1971, 39 SCRA 303, 311).
The rules on venue in article 360 may be restated thus:
1. Whether the offended party is a public official or a private person, the criminal
action may be filed in the Court of First Instance of the province or city where the
libelous article is printed and first published.
2. If the offended party is a private individual, the criminal action may also be filed in the
Court of First Instance of the province where he actually resided at the time of the
commission of the offense.
3. If the offended party is a public officer whose office is in Manila at the time of the
commission of the offense, the action may be filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila.
4. If the offended party is a public officer holding office outside of Manila, the action may
be filed in the Court of First Instance of the province or city where he held office at the
time of the commission of the offense.7 (Emphasis supplied.)
The rules, as restated in Agbayani, do not lay a distinction that only those actions for criminal
libel lodged by public officers need be filed in the place of printing and first publication. In fact,
the rule is quite clear that such place of printing and first publication stands as one of only two
venues where a private person may file the complaint for libel, the other venue being the place of
residence of the offended party at the time the offense was committed. The very language itself
of Article 360, as amended, does not support petitioner's thesis that where the complainant is a
private person, a more liberal interpretation of the phrase "printed and first published" is
warranted than when a public officer is the offended party. To wit:
Article 360. Persons responsible.―x x x The criminal and civil action for damages in cases of
written defamations as provided for in this chapter, shall be filed simultaneously or separately
with the Court of First Instance of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and
first published or where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the
commission of the offense. x x x
Where the law does not distinguish, we should not distinguish.8
Petitioner faults the Court of Appeals for relying on Agbayani and Soriano, two cases wherein
the complainant was a public officer. Yet the Court has since had the opportunity to reiterate the
Agbayani doctrine even in cases where the complainants were private persons.
Most telling of the recent precedents is Agustin v. Pamintuan,9 which involved a criminal action
for libel filed by a private person, the acting general manager of the Baguio Country Club, with
the RTC of Baguio City. The relevant portion of the Information is quoted below:
That on or about the 17th day of March 2000, in the City of Baguio, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, with deliberate intent and malicious intent
and evil motive of attacking, injuring and impeaching the character, honesty, integrity, virtue and
reputation of one Anthony De Leon the acting general manager of the Baguio Country Club, and
as a private citizen of good standing and reputation in the community and with malicious intent
of exposing the (sic) Anthony De Leon to public hatred, contempt, ridicule, discredit and
dishonor, without any justifiable motive, did then and there willfully, maliciously and criminally
prepare or cause to prepare, write in his column "Cocktails" and publish in the Philippine Daily
Inquirer, a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Baguio and in the entire
Philippines x x x.10 (Emphasis supplied.)
The phrase "the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a newspaper of general circulation in the City of
Baguio and in the entire Philippines" bears obvious similarity to the reference in the Information
in this case to the publication involved as "‗Smart File,‘ a magazine of general circulation in
Manila," and both private complainants in Agustin and the case at bar were private citizens at the
time of the filing of the complaint. Yet the Court in Agustin ruled that the failure to allege that
Baguio was the venue of printing and first publication, or that the complainant therein was a
resident of Baguio, constituted a substantial defect that could not even be cured by mere
amendment. The rules on venue as laid down in Agbayani were restated in Agustin,11 retaining
no distinction as to venue whether the offended party is a public official or a private person. In
fact, the Court considered the phrase "a newspaper of general circulation in the city of Baguio"

REMLAW Page 43
fact, the Court considered the phrase "a newspaper of general circulation in the city of Baguio"
as so utterly incapable of establishing Baguio as venue that the bulk of the discussion instead
centered on whether the allegation that the complainant was the acting general manager of the
Baguio Country Club sufficiently established that he was a resident of Baguio City. On that
point, the Court ruled that it did not.
In Macasaet v. People,12 the complainant was again a private person.13 The Information for libel
against a gossip columnist and the editors of the tabloid which published the column was filed
with the RTC of Quezon City, but it failed to state at all where the tabloid was printed and first
published, or where the complainant resided. Even as evidence was presented during trial that
complainant was a resident of Quezon City, the Court ultimately held that the allegations
contained in the Information "[were] utterly insufficient to vest jurisdiction on the RTC of
Quezon City."14 Again, the rules laid down in Agbayani were cited as controlling.15 The Court
further held that the evidence establishing the complainant's place of residence as Quezon City
could not cure the defect of the Information, noting that "it is settled that jurisdiction of a court
over a criminal case is determined by the allegations of the complaint or information."16
Macasaet resolutely stated that since the place of printing and first publication or the place of
residence at the time are "matters deal[ing] with the fundamental issue of the court's jurisdiction,
Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, mandates that either one of these statements
must be alleged in the information itself and the absence of both from the very face of the
information renders the latter fatally defective."17 We affirm that proposition, which is fatal to
this petition. There is no question that the Information fails to allege that the City of Manila was
the place where the offending articles were printed and first published, or that petitioner was a
resident of Manila at the time the articles were published.
Petitioner does submit that there is no need to employ the clause "printed and first published" in
indicating where the crime of libel was committed, as the term "publish" is "generic and within
the general context of the term 'print' in so far as the latter term is utilized to refer to the physical
act of producing the publication."18 Certainly, that argument flies in the face of our holding in
Agustin, which involved a similarly worded Information, and which stands as a precedent we
have no inclination to disturb. Still, a perusal of the Information in this case reveals that the word
"published" is utilized in the precise context of noting that the defendants "cause[d] to be
published in 'Smart File', a magazine of general circulation in Manila." The Information states
that the libelous articles were published in Smart File, and not that they were published in
Manila. The place "Manila" is in turn employed to situate where Smart File was in general
circulation, and not where the libel was published or first printed. The fact that Smart File was in
general circulation in Manila does not necessarily establish that it was published and first printed
in Manila, in the same way that while leading national dailies such as the Philippine Daily
Inquirer or the Philippine Star are in general circulation in Cebu, it does not mean that these
newspapers are published and first printed in Cebu.
Indeed, if we hold that the Information at hand sufficiently vests jurisdiction in Manila courts
since the publication is in general circulation in Manila, there would be no impediment to the
filing of the libel action in other locations where Smart File is in general circulation. Using the
example of the Inquirer or the Star, the granting of this petition would allow a resident of Aparri
to file a criminal case for libel against a reporter or editor in Jolo, simply because these
newspapers are in general circulation in Jolo. Such a consequence is precisely what Rep. Act No.
4363 sought to avoid.
Our ruling in Banal III v. Panganiban19 might tend to support petitioner's argument that the
phrase "printed and first published" need not be necessarily employed in the Information. The
Information in that case filed by private persons before the Makati City RTC read that the
libelous matter was found in a newspaper column "of the Philippine Daily Inquirer which is
published in English in the City of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines and of general circulation
in the Philippines and abroad x x x x."20 The Court did observe that this information was
"sufficient in form"21 as it clearly stated "that the newspaper is published in Makati City but
circulated throughout the country, which allegation accordingly vests jurisdiction over the
offense charged in the RTC of Makati City."22 Yet even notwithstanding the fact that the
information in Banal III did not use the phrase "printed and first published," it still categorically

REMLAW Page 44
information in Banal III did not use the phrase "printed and first published," it still categorically
stated, at the very least, that the libelous matter was "published in English in the City of Makati."
In contrast, what the Information at bar categorically states is that the libelous matter was
"published in Smart File," not "published in Manila."23 The fact that the present Information
further alleges that Smart File was "of general circulation in Manila" does not necessarily mean
that the magazine was printed and first published in Manila. In any event, as the language in the
present information hews closer to that in Agustin rather than Banal III, we find the former as the
appropriate precedent to apply in this case.
For us to grant the present petition, it would be necessary to abandon the Agbayani rule
providing that a private person must file the complaint for libel either in the place of printing and
first publication, or at the complainant's place of residence. We would also have to abandon the
subsequent cases that reiterate this rule in Agbayani, such as Soriano, Agustin, and Macasaet.
There is no convincing reason to resort to such a radical action. These limitations imposed on
libel actions filed by private persons are hardly onerous,
especially as they still allow such persons to file the civil or criminal complaint in their
respective places of residence, in which situation there is no need to embark on a quest to
determine with precision where the libelous matter was printed and first published.1awphi1.net
If this disquisition impresses an unduly formalistic reading of the Information at hand, it should
be reiterated that the flaws in the Information strike at the very heart of the jurisdiction of the
Manila RTC. It is settled that jurisdiction of a court over a criminal case is determined by the
allegations of the complaint or information,24 and the offense must have been committed or any
one of its essential ingredients took place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.25 Article
360 states, in as unequivocal a manner as possible, that the criminal and civil action for libel
shall be filed with the court of the province or city "where the libelous article is printed and first
published, or where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission of
the offense." If the Information for libel does not establish with particularity any of these two
venue requirements, the trial court would have no jurisdiction to hear the criminal case.
Another point bears to be added. We are unable to share petitioner's insistence that since the
protection of members of the mass media from frivolous libel suits filed by public officers in far-
flung
places appears to have been a motivating force behind the amendments to Article 360, a more
liberal interpretation of the provision should obtain if the complainant is a private person.
Without the venue requirements under Article 360, a private person induced by a motive to
harass could, similarly as a public officer, coerce a journalist to defend against a libel suit filed in
the most remote of places. While Rep. Act No. 4363 does attribute value to the right to comment
on the performance of public officials of their duties, it actually extends its protection to the right
of any person to free expression, by assuring a reasonable venue requirement even if the subject
of comment is not a public officer. Libel stands as an exception to one of the most cherished
constitutional rights, that of free expression. While libel laws ensure a modicum of responsibility
in one's own speech or expression, a prescribed legal standard that conveniences the easy
proliferation of libel suits fosters an atmosphere that inhibits the right to speak freely. When such
a prescribed standard is submitted for affirmation before this Court, as is done in this petition, it
must receive the highest possible scrutiny, as it may interfere with the most basic of democratic
rights.
Finally, we decline to resolve the other issues raised in the petition, as the Information by itself is
defective on its face, for the reasons we have stated, that there is no need to evaluate whether
Smart File was actually printed and first published in Manila or Makati City. The plain fact is
that the Information failed to make the sufficient allegation in that regard, and even any
ascertainment that the articles were printed and first published in Manila does not cure the
jurisdictional defect of the Information.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.

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Springfield v. RTC Judge GR 142626 Feb 6, 2007
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:20 PM

G.R. NO. 142628 February 6, 2007


SPRINGFIELD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, INC. and HEIRS OF PETRA
CAPISTRANO PIIT, Petitioners,
vs.
HONORABLE PRESIDING JUDGE OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MISAMIS
ORIENTAL, BRANCH 40, CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN
REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD (DARAB), DAR REGION X DIRECTOR,
ROSALIO GAMULO, FORTUNATO TELEN, EMERITA OLANGO, THERESA
MONTUERTO, DOMINGO H. CLAPERO, JOEL U. LIM, JENEMAIR U. POLLEY,
FIDELA U. POLLEY, JESUS BATUTAY, NICANOR UCAB, EMERIA U. LIM,
EMILITO CLAPERO, ANTONINA RIAS, AURILLIO ROMULO, ERWIN P.
CLAPERO, EVELITO CULANGO, VILMA/CRUISINE ALONG, EFREN EMATA,
GREGORIO CABARIBAN, and SABINA CANTORANA, Respondents.
DEC ISIO N
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:
Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The
principal issue presented for resolution is whether the Regional Trial Court (RTC) has
jurisdiction to annul final judgment of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
(DARAB).
The antecedent facts:
Petra Capistrano Piit previously owned Lot No. 2291 located in Cagayan de Oro City which
measured 123,408 square meters under Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-62623. Springfield
Development Corporation, Inc. (Springfield) bought Lot No. 2291-C with an area of 68,732
square meters, and Lot No. 2291-D with an area of 49,778 square meters.1 Springfield developed
these properties into a subdivision project called Mega Heights Subdivision.2
On May 4, 1990, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), through its Municipal Agrarian
Reform Officer, issued a Notice of Coverage,3 placing the property under the coverage of
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988. There being
an opposition from the heirs of Petra Piit, the case was docketed as DARAB Case No. X-305. On
August 27, 1991, DARAB Provincial Adjudicator Abeto A. Salcedo, Jr. rendered a decision
declaring the nature of the property as residential and not suitable for agriculture.4 The Regional
Director filed a notice of appeal, which the Provincial Adjudicator disallowed for being pro
forma and frivolous.5 The decision became final and executory6 and Springfield proceeded to
develop the property.7
The DAR Regional Director then filed a petition for relief from judgment of the DARAB
Decision, docketed as DARAB Case No. 0555. In its Decision dated October 5, 1995, the
DARAB granted the petition and gave due course to the Notice of Coverage. It also directed the
Municipal Agrarian Reform Office to proceed with the documentation, acquisition, and
distribution of the property to the true and lawful beneficiaries.8
The DARAB also issued an Order dated May 22, 1997, ordering the heirs of Piit and Springfield
to pay the farmer-beneficiaries the amount of Twelve Million, Three Hundred Forty Thousand,
Eight Hundred Pesos (P12,340,800.00), corresponding to the value of the property since the
property has already been developed into a subdivision.
On June 13, 1997, Springfield and the heirs of Piit (petitioners) filed with the RTC of Cagayan
de Oro City, Branch 40, a petition for annulment of the DARAB Decision dated October 5, 1995
and all its subsequent proceedings. Petitioners contend that the DARAB decision was rendered
without affording petitioners any notice and hearing.9
On motion filed by the farmer-beneficiaries, the RTC issued an Order dated June 25, 1997,
dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction.10
On July 2, 1997, petitioners filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) a special civil action for

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On July 2, 1997, petitioners filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) a special civil action for
certiorari, mandamus, and prohibition with prayer for the issuance of writ of preliminary
injunction and/or temporary restraining order, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 44563.11 Petitioners
alleged that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion when it ruled that the annulment of
judgment filed before it is actually an action for certiorari in a different color. According to
petitioners, what it sought before the RTC is an annulment of the DARAB Decision and not
certiorari, as the DARAB Decision is void ab initio for having been rendered without due
process of law.12
In the assailed Decision13 dated July 16, 1998, the CA dismissed the petition for lack of merit,
ruling that the RTC does not have jurisdiction to annul the DARAB Decision because it is a co-
equal body.14
However, on January 12, 1999, the CA ordered the elevation of the DARAB records before it,
declaring that it "overlooked the fact that petitioners likewise applied for a writ of prohibition
against the enforcement of the DARAB decision which they claim to be patently void."15
Forwarded to the CA were the records of the original case filed with the DARAB-Region X, and
it appearing that the petition for relief from judgment and its pertinent records were forwarded to
the DARAB Central Office, the CA issued another Resolution on December 20, 1999,16
requiring the DARAB Central Office to forward the records of the case. But after receipt of the
records, the CA simply denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration per Resolution17 dated
February 23, 2000 without specifically resolving the issues raised concerning the prayer for a
writ of prohibition.
Hence, the present petition on the following grounds:
I
THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A CLEAR ERROR OF LAW IN APPLYING
THE PRINCIPLE OF JUDICIAL STABILITY TO JUSTIFY ITS CONCLUSION
DIVESTING THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF ITS JURISDICTION VESTED BY
LAW OVER CASES WHERE THE EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION WAS NOT
EXPRESSLY GRANTED TO ANY OTHER COURTS [SIC] OR TRIBUNAL, IN
EFFECT, MODIFYING THE APPLICABLE LAW ON THE MATTER.
II
THE COURT OF APPEALS IRREGULARLY DISMISSED PETITIONERS' MOTION
FOR RECONSIDERATION AFTER IT HAD RESOLVED TO ENTERTAIN
PETITIONERS' PETITION FOR PROHIBITION AND TO REVIEW THE DARAB
PROCEEDINGS, THEREBY DEPARTING FROM THE USUAL COURSE OF
JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS.
III
THE HONORABLE SUPREME COURT, BEING THE HIGHEST TEMPLE OF
RIGHTS, AND TO AVOID SERIOUS MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE AND NEEDLESS
DELAYS, IS MOST RESPECTFULLY URGED TO TAKE COGNIZANCE OF THE
PETITION FILED IN CA-G.R. SP No. 44563 IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS
CONCURRENT JURISDICTION, AS IF THE PETITION WAS ORIGINALLY
LODGED BEFORE IT.18
Petitioners argue that under Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 129, there is no provision that vests with
the CA jurisdiction over actions for annulment of DARAB judgments. Petitioners, however,
contend that the RTC may take cognizance of the annulment case since Section 19 of B.P. Blg.
129 vests the RTC with general jurisdiction and an action for annulment is covered under such
general jurisdiction. According to petitioners, "this is but a logical consequence of the fact that
no other courts were expressly given the jurisdiction over such actions."19 Petitioners further
argue that the CA was in error when it summarily ignored their application for a writ of
prohibition, as it was necessary to restrain the DARAB from enforcing its void decision; and
even if the DARAB decision was valid, the writ of prohibition could have enjoined the execution
of the DARAB decision since there have been changes which will make the execution unjust and
inequitable.
In their Joint-Comments, the farmer-beneficiaries and the DARAB (respondents) refute

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petitioners' allegation that they were not afforded due process in the DARAB proceedings,
stating that petitioners were impleaded as a party thereto, and in fact, they attended some of the
hearings although their counsel was absent. Respondents also adopt the CA's ruling that the RTC
is not vested with any jurisdiction to annul the DARAB decision.
As stated at the outset, the main issue in this case is whether the RTC has jurisdiction to annul a
final judgment of the DARAB.
Note must be made that the petition for annulment of the DARAB decision was filed with the
RTC on June 13, 1997, before the advent of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which took effect
on July 1, 1997. Thus, the applicable law is B.P. Blg. 129 or the Judiciary Reorganization Act of
1980, enacted on August 10, 1981.
It is also worthy of note that before the effectivity of B.P. Blg. 129, a court of first instance has
the authority to annul a final and executory judgment rendered by another court of first instance
or by another branch of the same court. This was the Court's ruling in Dulap v. Court of
Appeals.20 Yet, in subsequent cases,21 the Court held that the better policy, as a matter of comity
or courteous interaction between courts of first instance and the branches thereof, is for the
annulment cases to be tried by the same court or branch which heard the main action.
The foregoing doctrines were modified in Ngo Bun Tiong v. Sayo,22 where the Court expressed
that pursuant to the policy of judicial stability, the doctrine of non-interference between
concurrent and coordinate courts should be regarded as highly important in the administration of
justice whereby the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction may not be opened, modified
or vacated by any court of concurrent jurisdiction.
With the introduction of B.P. Blg. 129,23 the rule on annulment of judgments was specifically
provided in Section 9(2), which vested in the then Intermediate Appellate Court (now the CA)
the exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgments of RTCs. Sec. 9(3) of
B.P. Blg. 129 also vested the CA with "exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments,
decisions, resolutions, orders, or awards of Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies,
instrumentalities, boards or commissions, except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of
the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the provisions of this Act, and of sub-
paragraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17
of the Judiciary Act of 1948." As provided in paragraph 16 of the Interim Rules and Guidelines
implementing B.P. Blg. 129, the quasi-judicial bodies whose decisions are exclusively
appealable to the CA are those, which under the law, R.A. No. 5434,24 or its enabling acts, are
specifically appealable to the CA.
Significantly, B.P. Blg. 129 does not specifically provide for any power of the RTC to annul
judgments of quasi-judicial bodies. However, in BF Northwest Homeowners Association, Inc. v.
Intermediate Appellate Court,25 the Court ruled that the RTCs have jurisdiction over actions for
annulment of the decisions of the National Water Resources Council, which is a quasi-judicial
body ranked with inferior courts, pursuant to its original jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari,
prohibition, and mandamus, under Sec. 21(1) of B.P. Blg. 129, in relation to acts or omissions of
an inferior court. This led to the conclusion that despite the absence of any provision in B.P. Blg.
129, the RTC had the power to entertain petitions for annulment of judgments of inferior courts
and administrative or quasi-judicial bodies of equal ranking. This is also in harmony with the
"pre-B.P. Blg. 129" rulings of the Court recognizing the power of a trial court (court of first
instance) to annul final judgments.26 Hence, while it is true, as petitioners contend, that the RTC
had the authority to annul final judgments, such authority pertained only to final judgments
rendered by inferior courts and quasi-judicial bodies of equal ranking with such inferior
courts.
The foregoing statements beg the next question, i.e., whether the DARAB is a quasi-judicial
body with the rank of an inferior court such that the RTC may take cognizance of an action for
the annulments of its judgments. The answer is no.
The DARAB is a quasi-judicial body created by Executive Order Nos. 229 and 129-A. R.A. No.
6657 delineated its adjudicatory powers and functions. The DARAB Revised Rules of Procedure
adopted on December 26, 198827 specifically provides for the manner of judicial review of its
decisions, orders, rulings, or awards. Rule XIV, Section 1 states:
SECTION 1. Certiorari to the Court of Appeals. Any decision, order, award or ruling by the

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SECTION 1. Certiorari to the Court of Appeals. Any decision, order, award or ruling by the
Board or its Adjudicators on any agrarian dispute or on any matter pertaining to the application,
implementation, enforcement or interpretation of agrarian reform laws or rules and regulations
promulgated thereunder, may be brought within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof,
to the Court of Appeals by certiorari, except as provided in the next succeeding section.
Notwithstanding an appeal to the Court of Appeals the decision of the Board or Adjudicator
appealed from, shall be immediately executory.
Further, the prevailing 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, expressly provides for an
appeal from the DARAB decisions to the CA.28
The rule is that where legislation provides for an appeal from decisions of certain administrative
bodies to the CA, it means that such bodies are co-equal with the RTC, in terms of rank and
stature, and logically, beyond the control of the latter.29
Given that DARAB decisions are appealable to the CA, the inevitable conclusion is that the
DARAB is a co-equal body with the RTC and its decisions are beyond the RTC's control.
The CA was therefore correct in sustaining the RTC's dismissal of the petition for annulment of
the DARAB Decision dated October 5, 1995, as the RTC does not have any jurisdiction to
entertain the same.
This brings to fore the issue of whether the petition for annulment of the DARAB judgment
could be brought to the CA. As previously noted, Section 9(2) of B.P. Blg. 129 vested in the CA
the exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgments, but only those
rendered by the RTCs. It does not expressly give the CA the power to annul judgments of quasi-
judicial bodies. Thus, in Elcee Farms, Inc. v. Semillano,30 the Court affirmed the ruling of the
CA that it has no jurisdiction to entertain a petition for annulment of a final and executory
judgment of the NLRC, citing Section 9 of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended, which only vests in the
CA "exclusive jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgments of Regional Trial Courts."
This was reiterated in Galang v. Court of Appeals,31 where the Court ruled that that the CA is
without jurisdiction to entertain a petition for annulment of judgment of a final decision of the
Securities and Exchange Commission.
Recent rulings on similar cases involving annulments of judgments of quasi-judicial bodies are
also quite instructive on this matter.
In Cole v. Court of Appeals,32 involving an annulment of the judgment of the HLURB Arbiter
and the Office of the President (OP), filed with the CA, the Court stated that, "(U)nder Rule 47
of the Rules of Court, the remedy of annulment of judgment is confined to decisions of the
Regional Trial Court on the ground of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction x x x." The Court
further ruled, viz.:
Although the grounds set forth in the petition for annulment of judgment are fraud and lack of
jurisdiction, said petition cannot prosper for the simple reason that the decision sought to be
annulled was not rendered by the Regional Trial Court but by an administrative agency
(HLU Arbiter and Office of the President), hence, not within the jurisdiction of the Court
of Appeals. There is no such remedy as annulment of judgment of the HLURB or the
Office of the President. Assuming arguendo that the annulment petition can be treated as a
petition for review under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the same should have
been dismissed by the Court of Appeals, because no error of judgment was imputed to the
HLURB and the Office of the President. Fraud and lack of jurisdiction are beyond the province
of petitions under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, as it covers only errors of judgment. A petition
for annulment of judgment is an initiatory remedy, hence no error of judgment can be the subject
thereof. Besides, the Arbiter and the Office of the President indisputably have jurisdiction over
the cases brought before them in line with our ruling in Francisco Sycip, Jr. vs. Court of Appeals,
promulgated on March 17, 2000, where the aggrieved townhouse buyers may seek protection
from the HLURB under Presidential Decree No. 957, otherwise known as "Subdivision and
Condominium Buyers' Protective Decree."33 (Emphasis supplied)
In Macalalag v. Ombudsman,34 the Court ruled that Rule 47 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
on annulment of judgments or final orders and resolutions covers "annulment by the Court of
Appeals of judgments or final orders and resolutions in civil actions of Regional Trial Courts for
which the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies

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which the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies
could no longer be availed of through no fault of the petitioner." Thus, the Court concluded that
judgments or final orders and resolutions of the Ombudsman in administrative cases cannot be
annulled by the CA, more so, since The Ombudsman Act specifically deals with the remedy of
an aggrieved party from orders, directives and decisions of the Ombudsman in administrative
disciplinary cases only, and the right to appeal is not to be considered granted to parties
aggrieved by orders and decisions of the Ombudsman in criminal or non-administrative cases.
While these cases involve annulments of judgments under the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as
amended, still, they still find application in the present case, as the provisions of B.P. Blg. 129
and the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, on annulment of judgments are identical.
Consequently, the silence of B.P. Blg. 129 on the jurisdiction of the CA to annul judgments or
final orders and resolutions of quasi-judicial bodies like the DARAB indicates its lack of such
authority.
Further, petitioners are also asking the Court to take cognizance of their prayer for the issuance
of a writ of prohibition, which they claim was not acted upon by the CA, citing the Court's action
in Fortich v. Corona35 where the Court took cognizance of the petition previously filed with the
CA due to compelling reasons. The Court is not persuaded to do so.
Fortich involved a 144-hectare land located at San Vicente, Sumilao, Bukidnon, owned by the
Norberto Quisumbing, Sr. Management and Development Corporation (NQSRMDC), which was
leased as a pineapple plantation to Del Monte Philippines, Inc. for a period of 10 years. During
the existence of the lease, the DAR placed the entire 144-hectare property under compulsory
acquisition and assessed the land value at P2.38 million. When the NQSRMDC/BAIDA
(Bukidnon Agro-Industrial Development Association) filed an application for conversion due to
the passage of Resolution No. 6 by the Provincial Development Council of Bukidnon and
Ordinance No. 24 by the Sangguniang Bayan of Sumilao, Bukidnon, reclassifying the area from
agricultural to industrial/institutional, the same was disapproved by the DAR Secretary and
instead, the property was placed under the compulsory coverage of Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program for distribution to all qualified beneficiaries. This prompted Governor Carlos O.
Fortich of Bukidnon to file an appeal with the OP, while NQSRMDC filed with the CA a petition
for certiorari, and prohibition with preliminary injunction.
The OP then issued a Decision dated March 29, 1996 reversing the DAR Secretary's decision
and approving the application for conversion. Executive Secretary Ruben D. Torres denied the
DAR's motion for reconsideration for having been filed beyond the reglementary period of 15
days, and it was also declared that the OP Decision dated March 29, 1996 had already become
final and executory.
Because of this, the farmer-beneficiaries staged a hunger strike on October 9, 1997, protesting
the OP's decision. In order to resolve the strike, the OP issued a so-called "Win/Win" resolution
on November 7, 1997, modifying the decision in that NQSRMDC's application for conversion is
approved only with respect to the approximately 44-hectare portion of the land adjacent to the
highway, as recommended by the Department of Agriculture, while the remaining approximately
100 hectares traversed by an irrigation canal and found to be suitable for agriculture shall be
distributed to qualified farmer-beneficiaries.1awphi1.net
A petition for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court36 was then
filed with the Court, which was contested by the Office of the Solicitor General on the ground
that the proper remedy should have been to file a petition for review directly with the CA in
accordance with Rule 43 of the Revised Rules of Court.
In resolving the issue, the Court recognized the rule that the Supreme Court, CA and RTC have
original concurrent jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus.
However, due to compelling reasons and in the interest of speedy justice, the Court resolved to
take primary jurisdiction over the petition in the interest of speedy justice, after which the Court
nullified the act of the OP in re-opening the case and substantially modifying its March 29, 1996
Decision which had already become final and executory, as it was in gross disregard of the rules
and basic legal precept that accord finality to administrative determinations.
It must be stressed at this point that the Court, as a rule, will not entertain direct resort to it unless

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the redress desired cannot be obtained in the appropriate courts, and exceptional and compelling
circumstances, such as cases of national interest and of serious implications, justify the availment
of the extraordinary remedy of writ of certiorari, prohibition, or mandamus calling for the
exercise of its primary jurisdiction.37 The Court finds no compelling circumstances in this case to
warrant a relaxation of the foregoing rule. The Fortich case is not analogous with the present
case such that the Court is not bound to abandon all rules, take primary jurisdiction, and resolve
the merits of petitioners' application for a writ of prohibition.
In the present case, the assailed DARAB Decision dated October 5, 1995 granting the petition
for relief from judgment and giving due course to the Notice of Coverage was made pursuant to
a petition for relief from judgment filed by the DAR, albeit petitioners are contesting the validity
of the proceedings held thereon. On the other hand, in Fortich, the OP's "Win/Win" resolution
dated November 7, 1997 was made motu proprio, as a result of the hunger strike staged by the
farmer-beneficiaries.
Further, the OP's "Win/Win" Resolution dated November 7, 1997 in the Fortich case is a patently
void judgment since it was evident that there was already an existing final and executory OP
Decision dated March 29, 1996. In this case, the assailed DARAB Decision dated October 5,
1995 appears to be regular on its face, and for its alleged nullity to be resolved, the Court must
delve into the records of the case in order to determine the validity of petitioners' argument of
lack of due process, absent notice and hearing.
Moreover, the principle of hierarchy of courts applies generally to cases involving factual
questions. As it is not a trier of facts, the Court cannot entertain cases involving factual issues.38
The question of whether the DARAB Decision dated October 5, 1995 is null and void and
enforceable against petitioners for having been rendered without affording petitioners due
process is a factual question which requires a review of the records of this case for it to be
judiciously resolved.
The Court notes that the CA, indeed, failed to resolve petitioners' prayer for the issuance of the
writ of prohibition, which, significantly, focuses on the alleged nullity of the DARAB Decision
dated October 5, 1995. On this score, the CA found that the application for the issuance of the
writ of prohibition was actually a collateral attack on the validity of the DARAB decision. But, a
final and executory judgment may be set aside in three ways;39 and a collateral attack, whereby
in an action to obtain a different relief, an attack on the judgment is nevertheless made as an
incident thereof,40 is one of these. This tenet is based upon a court's inherent authority to
expunge void acts from its records.41 Despite recognizing the need to resolve petitioners'
application for the writ of prohibition in its Resolution dated January 12, 1999, the CA
nonetheless summarily denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration in its Resolution dated
February 23, 2000,42 leaving the matter hanging and unresolved.
At first, the Court considered resolving the merits of petitioners' motion for reconsideration
concerning their application for a writ of prohibition against enforcing the DARAB Decision
dated October 5, 1995. Thus, in a Resolution dated June 5, 2006, the Court directed the CA to
transmit the records of DARAB Case No. 0555, which was previously required by the CA to be
forwarded to it per Resolution dated December 20, 1999.43 However, as of even date, the CA has
not complied with the Court's Resolution. Withal, upon re-examination of the issues involved in
this case, the Court deems it more judicious to remand this case to the CA for immediate
resolution of petitioners' motion for reconsideration, re: their application for the writ of
prohibition.
Moreover, the radical conflict in the findings of the Provincial Adjudicator and the DARAB as
regards the nature of the subject property necessitates a review of the present case. In this regard,
the CA is in a better position to fully adjudicate the case for it can delve into the records to
determine the probative value of the evidence supporting the findings of the Provincial
Adjudicator and of the DARAB. In addition, the CA is empowered by its internal rules to require
parties to submit additional documents, as it may find necessary to promote the ends of
substantial justice, and further order the transmittal of the proper records for it to fully adjudicate
the case. After all, it is an avowed policy of the courts that cases should be determined on the
merits, after full opportunity to all parties for ventilation of their causes and defenses, rather than
on technicality or some procedural imperfections. In that way, the ends of justice would be

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on technicality or some procedural imperfections. In that way, the ends of justice would be
served better.44
WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTLY GRANTED. This case is REMANDED to the Court
of Appeals which is DIRECTED to resolve petitioners' prayer for the issuance of the writ of
prohibition in their Motion for Reconsideration.
Upon finality of this Decision, let the records be remanded forthwith to the Court of Appeals.

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Sta. Ana v. Carpo GR 164340 Nov 28, 2008
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:20 PM

OTILIA STA. ANA vs. SPOUSES LEON G. CARPO and AURORA CARPO G.R. No. 164340 November
28, 2008
NACHURA, J.:
Before this Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure
seeking the reversal of the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision2 dated March 5, 2004 which reversed and set
aside the Decision3 of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) dated June 24,
1998 and reinstated the Decision4 of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) of Laguna
dated October 12, 1993.
The Facts
Respondent Leon Carpo5 (Leon) and his brother Francisco G. Carpo are the registered co-owners of a
parcel of land designated as Lot No. 2175 of the Santa Rosa Estate Subdivision, situated at Sta. Rosa,
Laguna, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-172726 of the Register of Deeds of Laguna,
with an area of 91,337 square meters, more or less. A portion thereof, consisting of 3.5 hectares,
pertained to Leon and his wife, respondent Aurora Carpo. It was devoted to rice and corn production
(subject land) and was tenanted by one Domingo Pastolero (Domingo), husband of Adoracion Pastolero
(Adoracion).7 When Domingo passed away, Adoracion together with her son Elpidio Pastolero, assumed
the tenancy rights of Domingo over the subject land.
However, on December 29, 1983, Adoracion, by executing a notarized Pinanumpaang Salaysay8 with the
conformity of Leon, and for a consideration of P72,500.00, transferred her rights in favor of petitioner
Otilia Sta. Ana9 (petitioner) who, together with her husband, Marciano de la Cruz (Marciano), became
the new tenants of the subject land.
At the outset, the parties had a harmonious tenancy relationship.10 Unfortunately, circumstances
transpired which abraded the relationship. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) mediated in order
to amicably settle the controversy, but no settlement was reached by the parties. Thus, the instant case.
In their Complaint for Ejectment due to Non-Payment of Lease Rentals11 dated December 1, 1989,
respondents alleged that it was their agreement with petitioner and Marciano to increase the existing
rentals from 36 cavans to 45 cavans, and that, if respondents wanted to repossess the property, they
only had to pay the petitioner the amount of P72,500.00, the same amount paid by the latter to
Adoracion. Respondents further averred that despite repeated demands, petitioner refused to pay the
actual rentals from July 1985 to September 1989, in violation of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 817; and
that the subject land had been declared, upon the recommendation of the Human Settlements
Committee, suitable for commercial and industrial purposes, per Zoning Ordinance of 1981 of the
Municipality of Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Respondents prayed that petitioner be ejected from the subject land
and be directed to pay P75,016.00 as unpaid rentals.
In their Answer12 dated January 26, 1990, petitioner and Marciano denied that there was an agreement
to increase the existing rental which was already fixed at 36 cavans of palay, once or twice a year
depending on the availability of irrigation water; that neither was there an agreement as to the future
surrender of the land in favor of the respondents; that they did not refuse to pay the rentals because
they even sent verbal and written notices to the respondents, advising them to accept the same; and
that in view of the latter’s failure to respond, petitioner and Marciano were compelled to sell the
harvest and to deposit the proceeds thereof in Savings Account No. 9166 with the Universal Savings
Bank at Sta. Rosa, Laguna under the names of Leon and Marciano. As their special affirmative defense,
petitioner and Marciano claimed that Marciano is a farmer-beneficiary of the subject land pursuant to
P.D. 27. Petitioner and Marciano prayed for the outright dismissal of the complaint and for the
declaration of Marciano as full owner of the subject land.
Thereafter, trial on the merits ensued.
The PARAD’s Ruling
On October 12, 1993, the PARAD ruled that petitioner and Marciano deliberately defaulted in the
payment of the rentals due the respondents. The PARAD found that the deposit made with Republic
Planters Bank was actually in the names of petitioner and Marciano, hence, personal to them. The
PARAD also found that it was only during the hearing that petitioner and Marciano deposited the
REMLAW Page 54
PARAD also found that it was only during the hearing that petitioner and Marciano deposited the
amount of P40,000.00 with the Universal Savings Bank for the unpaid rentals. As such the PARAD
considered the deposits as late payments and as implied admission that indeed petitioner and Marciano
did not pay the past rentals when they fell due. The PARAD further held and disposed thus:
The intent of the defendant to subject the said area under PD 27 should pass the criteria set. Foremost
is the determination of the aggregate riceland of plaintiff. He must have more than seven (7) hectares of
land principally devoted to the planting of palay. Area over seven (7) hectares shall be the one to be
covered by PD 27 on Operation Land Transfer (OLT). In the case at bar, defendants failed to prove that
plaintiff has more than the required riceland. In fact the subject 3.5 hectares are jointly owned by two.
Hence, coverage for OLT is remote.
Defendant claimed that plaintiff is covered by LOI 474, and therefore, he is zero retention of area. In
reference to said law, wherein it provides landowner with other agricultural land of more than 7
hectares, or have other industrial lands from where he and his family derived resources, then, the owner
cannot retain any riceland. However, this is not applicable in the instant case, as the defendant failed to
prove that plaintiff has other source of income from where they will derive their sustenance.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, Judgment is hereby rendered:
a) Ordering the ejectment of defendant from the subject landholding for non-payment of lease rentals;
b) Ordering the defendant Marciano de la Cruz to surrender the possession and cultivation of the
subject land to herein plaintiffs;
c) Ordering the defendant to pay as actual damage the amount of P75,016.00 corresponding to the
unpaid rentals from July 18, 1985 up to September 16, 1989[; and]
d) [D]eclaring the subject land not covered by Presidential Decree No. 27, Republic Act [No.] 6657, and
Executive Order No. 228.
SO ORDERED.
Petitioner and Marciano sought relief from the DARAB.13
The DARAB’s Ruling
On June 24, 1998, the DARAB held:
It is a fundamental rule in this jurisdiction that for non-payment of lease rentals to warrant the
dispossession and ejectment of a tenant, the same must be made in a willful and deliberate manner
(Cabero v. Caturna, et al., CA-G.R. 05886-R, March 10, 1977). For a valid ouster or ejectment of a farmer-
tenant, the willful and deliberate intent not to pay lease rentals and/or share can be ascertained when
there is a determination of will not to do a certain act.
Considering the circumstances obtaining in this case, it cannot be concluded that the defendants-
appellants deliberately failed or refused to pay their lease rentals. It was not the fault of defendants-
appellants herein that the rentals did not reach the plaintiffs-appellees because the latter choose to
lend a deaf ear to the notices sent to them. Clearly, therefore plaintiffs-appellees failed to show by
substantial evidence that the defendants-appellants deliberately failed or refused to pay their lease
rentals. It has been held that the mere failure of a tenant to pay the landowner’s share does not
necessarily give the latter the right to eject the former when there is lack of deliberate intent on the part
of the tenant to pay (Roxas y Cia v. Cabatuando, 1 SCRA 1106).
Thus:
WHEREFORE, finding the appeal interposed by the defendants-appellants to be meritorious, the
Decision appealed from is hereby SET ASIDE and another judgment issued as follows:
1. Enjoining plaintiffs-appellees to respect the peaceful possession and cultivation of the land in suit by
the defendants-appellants; and
2. Directing the MARO of Sta. Rosa, Laguna to assist the parties in the proper accounting of lease rentals
to be paid by the defendants-appellants to the plaintiffs-appellees.
No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Aggrieved, respondents appealed to the CA. On April 16, 2003, Marciano passed away.14
The CA’s Ruling
On March 5, 2004, the CA affirmed the factual findings of the PARAD that petitioner and Marciano failed
to pay the rentals and that there was no valid tender of payment. The CA added that this failure to pay
was tainted with bad faith and deliberate intent. Thus, petitioner and Marciano did not legally comply
with their duties as tenants. Moreover, the CA held that the subject land was not covered by P.D. 27,

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with their duties as tenants. Moreover, the CA held that the subject land was not covered by P.D. 27,
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657 and Executive Order (E.O.) No. 228, since the same had become a
residential, commercial and industrial land, to wit:
In the case at bar, We opted to give more weight to the petitioners contention that the "subject
landholding is for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes as declared by zoning ordinance of
1981 of the town of Sta. Rosa, Laguna upon recommendation of the Human Settlement Committee xxx."
The vicinity map of the subject landholding shows that it is almost beside Nissan Motors Technopa[r]k
and surrounded by the South Expressway and several companies such as the Coca-Cola Bottlers
Philippines, Inc. and Toyota Motors Philippines along the Pulong Santa Cruz, National Road. The vicinity
map shows therefore that the subject landholding is a residential, commercial, and industrial area
exempted from the coverage of P.D. No. 27, Republic Act. No. 6657 and Executive Order No. 228.
The CA ruled in favor of the respondents in this wise:
WHEREFORE, premises considered and pursuant to applicable law and jurisprudence on the matter, the
present Petition is hereby GRANTED. Accordingly, the decision of the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board-Central Office, Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City (promulgated on June 24, 1998)
is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one entered- REINSTATING the decision of the
Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board-Region IV, Office of the Provincial Adjudicator, Sta.
Cruz, Laguna (dated October 12, 1993). No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.
Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration15 assailing the aforementioned Decision which the CA,
however, denied in its Resolution16 dated June 28, 2004.
Hence, this Petition based on the following grounds:
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN ARROGATING UPON ITSELF WHAT IS
OTHERWISE DAR’S POWER TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE SUBJECT AGRICULTURAL LAND HAS BECOME
RESIDENTIAL/INDUSTRIAL/COMMERCIAL.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED WHEN IT EQUATED "LAND RECLASSIFICATION"
WITH "LAND CONVERSION" FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING THE PROPRIETY OF EJECTMENT OF AN
AGRICULTURAL LESSEE.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED WHEN IT FAILED TO NOTE THAT AN EJECTMENT
SUIT BASED ON A CLAIM OF NON-PAYMENT OF LEASE RENTAL IS DIAMETRICALLY ANTITHETICAL TO THE
CLAIM THAT THE SUBJECT LAND IS NO LONGER AGRICULTURAL BUT "A RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL AND
INDUSTRIAL AREA EXEMPTED FROM THE COVERAGE OF P.D. NO. 27, REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6657 AND
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 228.
THE DECISION DATED MARCH 5, 2004--INSOFAR AS IT ADOPTED THE FINDING OF DARAB-REGION IV,
OFFICE OF THE PROVINCIAL ADJUDICATOR, STA. CRUZ, LAGUNA INSTEAD OF THAT OF THE DARAB-
CENTRAL--IS VIOLATIVE OF SEC. 14, ART. VIII OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION FOR HAVING DECIDED
WITHOUT EXPRESSING THEREIN CLEARLY AND DISTINCTLY THE FACTS AND THE LAW ON WHICH SAID
DECISION IS BASED.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN RESORTING TO SURMISES AND
CONJECTURES WHEN IT RULED THAT THE FAILURE OF THE HEREIN PETITIONER AND HER DECEASED
HUSBAND TO DELIVER THE LEASE RENTALS TO HEREIN RESPONDENTS, WAS DONE SO IN BAD FAITH AND
WITH DELIBERATE INTENT TO DEPRIVE THE LAND OWNERS THEREOF.
Petitioner asseverates that there is no evidence to support respondents' claim that the failure to pay the
lease rentals was tainted with malevolence, as the records are replete with acts indicative of good faith
on the part of the petitioner and Marciano and bad faith on the part of respondents.
Moreover, petitioner claimed that the power to determine whether or not the subject land is non-
agricultural, hence, exempt from the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), lies
with the DAR, and not with the courts; that mere reclassification by way of a zoning ordinance does not
warrant the dispossession of a tenant but conversion does, and entitles the tenant to payment of
disturbance compensation; the legal concepts of reclassification and conversion are separate and
distinct from each other; that respondents' complaint before the PARAD alleged and established the fact
that the subject land is a riceland, therefore, agricultural; that the CA failed to explain why it upheld the
findings of the PARAD on the issue of non-payment of lease rentals; and that though the issue of non-
payment of lease rentals is a question of fact, due to the conflict of the factual findings of the PARAD
and CA with those of the DARAB, petitioner asks that this Court review the evidence on record, and

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and CA with those of the DARAB, petitioner asks that this Court review the evidence on record, and
pursuant to the CA decision in Cabero v. Caturna, et al.,17 rule on whether petitioner willfully and
deliberately refused to pay lease rentals as to warrant her dispossession from the subject land.18
On the other hand, respondents aver that petitioner and her family are wealthy, as they own numerous
properties in Sta. Rosa, Laguna including a luxurious house;19 that, as such, petitioner cannot be
considered as a landless tenant deserving the protection of agrarian reform laws; that the DARAB
negated the highest degree of respect the factual findings of the PARAD deserved; that petitioner's
claims that Marciano repeatedly made verbal and written notices20 for Leon to accept their lease rentals
were fraudulent designs to disguise the deliberate intent of petitioner not to pay the lease rentals; that
when Leon went to petitioner's residence, petitioner did not pay the P10,000.00 due as lease rentals;
that during the hearing before the PARAD, when respondents' counsel requested that they be furnished
a bank certificate as to the existence of said bank deposits in Republic Planters Bank as of April 20, 1987
and October 1, 1987, petitioner herself commented, "Nagdeposito ho talaga kami sa pangalan
namin";21 that the statement of petitioner is an admission that bank deposits, if any, were made, not in
the name of Leon as contained in the written notices, but rather in the names of petitioner and
Marciano; that such certificate was not introduced in evidence and that upon inquiry, said deposits do
not actually exist; that per recent inquiry, the bank deposit in Universal Savings Bank only contains
P1,020.19 due to previous withdrawals made by Marciano; that the foregoing circumstances indicate a
pattern of fraudulent misrepresentations by the petitioner to mislead the DARAB into believing that
petitioner and Marciano did not deliberately refuse to pay the lease rentals; that from July 18, 1985 up
to the present, petitioner failed to pay the lease rentals showing again, the deliberate refusal to pay;
that this default on the part of the petitioner has been recurring for several years already, thus depriving
the respondents as landowners of their share of the subject land in violation of the principle of social
justice; that as raised in respondents Omnibus Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration22 before the
DARAB and as found by the CA based on its vicinity map,23 the subject land is of a residential,
commercial and industrial character, exempted from agrarian reform coverage; and that the DARAB
erred in not finding the sale of the tenancy rights of Adoracion to petitioner and Marciano for
P72,500.00 violative of P.D. 27 even if the same was with Leon's consent. The sale, respondents contend
was therefore, null and void ab initio, not susceptible of any ratification.24
Our Ruling
Before we resolve this case on the merits, a procedural issue must be disposed of.
Respondents strongly argue that the instant Petition was filed out of time because, while petitioner
originally claimed to have received her copy of the CA Resolution25 dated June 28, 2004, denying her
Motion for Reconsideration,26 on July 12, 2004, petitioner eventually admitted, after respondents
showed proof to the contrary, that she actually received the said Resolution on July 7, 2004.27 Thus,
petitioner had only up to July 22, 2004 to appeal the CA's ruling to this Court. In this case, petitioner
filed her Motion28 for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review on Certiorari (Motion) on July 23,
2004. As such, there was no more period to extend. Further, the instant Petition was filed on August 27,
2004, or three (3) days beyond the thirty-day extended period. Hence, respondents submit that the CA
decision had already become final and executory.29
Petitioner alleges that on July 15, 2004, she met with her counsel to engage the latter's legal services.
During said meeting, counsel asked petitioner about the date of receipt of the assailed CA Resolution.
Petitioner replied that she received her copy on July 12, 2004. On July 20, 2004, counsel filed an Entry of
Appearance with the CA.30 On July 23, 2004, petitioner through counsel filed the Motion for Extension of
Time to File Petition for Review. On August 11, 2004, petitioner received a copy of respondents'
Opposition to the Motion. Thereafter, upon verification, petitioner admitted that she received the copy
of the CA Resolution on July 7, 2004. Thus, her Motion was admittedly filed one day late. Petitioner begs
the indulgence of this Court for her oversight and mistake, attributing the same to her lack of education
and old age.
Rules of procedure are merely tools designed to facilitate the attainment of justice. If the application of
the Rules would tend to frustrate rather than to promote justice, it is always within our power to
suspend the rules or except a particular case from their operation. Law and jurisprudence grant to
courts the prerogative to relax compliance with the procedural rules, even the most mandatory in
character, mindful of the duty to reconcile the need to put an end to litigation speedily and the parties'

REMLAW Page 57
right to an opportunity to be heard.31
Our recent ruling in Tanenglian v. Lorenzo32 is instructive:
We have not been oblivious to or unmindful of the extraordinary situations that merit liberal application
of the Rules, allowing us, depending on the circumstances, to set aside technical infirmities and give due
course to the appeal. In cases where we dispense with the technicalities, we do not mean to undermine
the force and effectivity of the periods set by law. In those rare cases where we did not stringently apply
the procedural rules, there always existed a clear need to prevent the commission of a grave injustice.
Our judicial system and the courts have always tried to maintain a healthy balance between the strict
enforcement of procedural laws and the guarantee that every litigant be given the full opportunity for
the just and proper disposition of his cause.
In this case, petitioner was one day late in filing her Motion for Extension. To deny the Petition on this
ground alone is too harsh a penalty for a day’s delay, taking into consideration the time, resources and
effort spent by petitioner and even by the respondents, in order to pursue this case all the way to this
Court. Thus, we dispense with the apparent procedural defect and resolve this case on the merits. The
ends of justice are better served when cases are determined on the merits – with all parties given full
opportunity to ventilate their causes and defenses – rather than on technicality or some procedural
imperfections.33
The Petition is impressed with merit.
In sum, there are two (2) ultimate issues that require resolution in this case:
1) Whether the CA erred in ruling that the subject land had already become residential, commercial
and/or industrial, thus, excluded from the coverage of our laws on agrarian reform; and
2) Whether the petitioner, as an agricultural tenant, failed to pay her lease rentals when the same fell
due as to warrant her dispossession of the subject land.
On the first issue, we rule in the affirmative.
To recapitulate, the instant case sprang from a Complaint for Ejectment based on Non-Payment of lease
rentals. Though an allegation was made by the respondents that the land had been declared, upon the
recommendation of the Human Settlements Committee, suitable for commercial and industrial
purposes, per Zoning Ordinance of 1981 of the Municipality of Sta. Rosa, no argument was advanced by
respondents to support such allegation, in the same way that no prayer for the ejectment of the tenants
was raised based on that allegation. The PARAD held that petitioner should be ejected for non-payment
of lease rentals. It also ruled that the subject land is not covered by P.D. No. 27, R.A. No. 6657, and E.O.
No. 228, not on the basis of the allegation in the complaint, but on the respondents' right of retention.
On appeal, the DARAB concentrated on the issue of petitioner’s failure to pay lease rentals. When the
DARAB ruled that petitioner and Marciano did not deliberately fail to pay said rentals, respondents
raised a new issue in their Omnibus Motion that the transaction between Adoracion and petitioner was
void in violation of P.D. No. 27, despite the conformity of Leon. This issue was not resolved by the
DARAB.
Finally, when the case reached the CA, the appellate court affirmed the findings of the PARAD that
petitioner and Marciano deliberately and in bad faith did not pay the lease rentals. The CA, however,
also held that the subject land had already become a residential, commercial and industrial area based
on the vicinity map showing that the land was surrounded by commercial and industrial establishments.
Without doubt, the PARAD acted without jurisdiction when it held that the subject land was no longer
covered by our agrarian laws because of the retention rights of the respondents. The CA likewise acted
without jurisdiction when it ruled that the land had become non-agricultural based on a zoning
ordinance of 1981– on the strength of a mere vicinity map. These rulings violated the doctrine of
primary jurisdiction.
The doctrine of primary jurisdiction precludes the courts from resolving a controversy over which
jurisdiction has initially been lodged in an administrative body of special competence. For agrarian
reform cases, jurisdiction is vested in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); more specifically, in the
Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). Executive Order 229 vested the DAR with
(1) quasi-judicial powers to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters; and (2) jurisdiction over
all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the exclusive
original jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources.34
In Department of Agrarian Reform v. Abdulwahid,35 we held:

REMLAW Page 58
In Department of Agrarian Reform v. Abdulwahid,35 we held:
As held by this Court in Centeno v. Centeno [343 SCRA 153], "the DAR is vested with the primary
jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have the exclusive
jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of the agrarian reform program." The DARAB
has primary, original and appellate jurisdiction "to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes, cases,
controversies, and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program under R.A. No. 6657, E.O. Nos. 229, 228 and 129-A, R.A. No. 3844 as amended by R.A.
No. 6389, P.D. No. 27 and other agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations."
Under Section 3 (d) of R.A. No. 6657 (CARP Law), "agrarian dispute" is defined to include "(d) . . . any
controversy relating to tenurial arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise
over lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning farmworkers associations or
representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or
conditions of such tenurial arrangements. It includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands
acquired under this Act and other terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners to
farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the
proximate relation of farm operator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee."
Simply put, agrarian disputes, as defined by law and settled in jurisprudence, are within the primary and
exclusive original jurisdiction of the PARAD and the DARAB, while issues of retention and non-coverage
of a land under agrarian reform, among others, are within the domain of the DAR Secretary.
Thus, Section 3, Rule II of the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure provides:
SECTION 3. Agrarian Law Implementation Cases. – The Adjudicator or the Board shall have no
jurisdiction over matters involving the administrative implementation of RA No. 6657, otherwise known
as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) of 1988 and other agrarian laws as enunciated by
pertinent rules and administrative orders, which shall be under the exclusive prerogative of and
cognizable by the Office of the Secretary of the DAR in accordance with his issuances, to wit:
3.1 Classification and identification of landholdings for coverage under the agrarian reform program and
the initial issuance of CLOAs and EPs, including protests or oppositions thereto and petitions for lifting of
such coverage;
3.2 Classification, identification, inclusion, exclusion, qualification, or disqualification of potential/actual
farmer-beneficiaries;
3.3 Subdivision surveys of land under CARP;
3.4 Recall, or cancellation of provisional lease rentals, Certificates of Land Transfers (CLTs) and CARP
Beneficiary Certificates (CBCs) in cases outside the purview of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 816,
including the issuance, recall, or cancellation of EPs or CLOAs not yet registered with the Register of
Deeds;
3.5 Exercise of the right of retention by the landowner;
3.6 Application for exemption from coverage under Section 10 of RA 6657;
3.7 Application for exemption pursuant to Department of Justice (DOJ) Opinion No. 44 (1990);
3.8 Exclusion from CARP coverage of agricultural land used for livestock, swine, and poultry raising;
3.9 Cases of exemption/exclusion of fish pond and prawn farms from the coverage of CARP pursuant to
RA 7881;
3.10 Issuance of Certificate of Exemption for land subject of Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) and
Compulsory Acquisition (CA) found unsuitable for agricultural purposes;
3.11 Application for conversion of agricultural land to residential, commercial, industrial, or other non-
agricultural uses and purposes including protests or oppositions thereto;
3.12 Determination of the rights of agrarian reform beneficiaries to homelots;
3.13 Disposition of excess area of the tenants/farmer-beneficiary's landholdings;
3.14 Increase in area of tillage of a tenant/farmer-beneficiary;
3.15 Conflict of claims in landed estates administered by DAR and its predecessors; or
3.16 Such other agrarian cases, disputes, matters or concerns referred to it by the Secretary of the DAR.
Verily, there is an established tenancy relationship between petitioner and respondents in this case. An
action for Ejectment for Non-Payment of lease rentals is clearly an agrarian dispute, cognizable at the
initial stage by
the PARAD and thereafter by the DARAB.36 But issues with respect to the retention rights of the
respondents as landowners and the exclusion/exemption of the subject land from the coverage of

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respondents as landowners and the exclusion/exemption of the subject land from the coverage of
agrarian reform are issues not cognizable by the PARAD and the DARAB, but by the DAR Secretary
because, as aforementioned, the same are Agrarian Law Implementation (ALI) Cases.
It has not escaped our notice that, as this case progressed and reached a higher level in the hierarchy of
tribunals, the respondents would, invariably, proffer an additional theory or defense, in order to effect
petitioner’s eviction from the land. As a consequence, the simple issue of ejectment based on non-
payment of rentals has been muddled.
Proof necessary for the resolution of the issue of the land being covered by, or excluded/exempted
from, P.D. No. 27, R.A. No. 6657, and other pertinent agrarian laws, as well as of the issue of the right of
retention of the respondents, was not offered in evidence. Worse, the PARAD resolved the issue of
retention even if it was not raised by the respondents at that level, and even if the PARAD had no
jurisdiction over the same.
Likewise, the CA ruled that the land had ceased being agricultural on the basis of a mere vicinity map, in
open disregard of the Doctrine of Primary Jurisdiction, since the issue was within the province of the
Secretary of DAR.
We take this opportunity to remind the PARAD and the CA that "courts of justice have no power to
decide a question not in issue." A judgment that goes beyond the issues, and purports to adjudicate
something on which the parties were not heard, is extra-judicial, irregular and invalid. This norm applies
not only to courts of justice, but also to quasi-judicial
bodies such as the PARAD. Accordingly, premature and irregular were the PARAD ruling on the retention
rights of the respondents, and the CA decision on the non-agricultural character of the land subject of
this controversy -- these issues not having passed the scrutiny of the DAR Secretary -- are premature and
irregular.37
Thus, we cannot allow ourselves to fall into the same error as that committed by the PARAD and the CA,
and resolve the issue of the non-agricultural nature of the subject land by receiving, at this stage, pieces
of evidence and evaluating the same, without the respondents having first introduced them in the
proper forum. The Office of the DAR Secretary is in a better position to resolve the issues on retention
and exclusion/exemption from agrarian reform coverage, being the agency lodged with such authority
inasmuch it possesses the necessary expertise on the matter.38
Likewise, we refrain from entertaining the issue raised by respondents that petitioner and her family are
not landless tenants and are therefore not deserving of any protection under our laws on agrarian
reform, because fairness and due process dictate that issues not raised in the proceedings below should
not be raised for the first time on appeal.39
On the second issue, we rule in the negative.
Under Section 37 of Republic Act No. 3844,40 as amended, coupled with the fact that the respondents
are the complainants themselves, the burden of proof to show the existence of a lawful cause for the
ejectment of the petitioner as an agricultural lessee rests upon the respondents as agricultural lessors.41
This proceeds from the principle that a tenancy relationship, once established, entitles the tenant to
security of tenure. Petitioner can only be ejected from the agricultural landholding on grounds provided
by law.42 Section 36 of the same law pertinently provides:
Sec. 36. Possession of Landholding; Exceptions. – Notwithstanding any agreement as to the period or
future surrender, of the land, an agricultural lessee shall continue in the enjoyment and possession of
his landholding except when his dispossession has been authorized by the Court in a judgment that is
final and executory if after due hearing it is shown that:
xxx x
(6) The agricultural lessee does not pay the lease rental when it falls due: Provided, That if the non-
payment of the rental shall be due to crop failure to the extent of seventy-five per centum as a result of
a fortuitous event, the non-payment shall not be a ground for dispossession, although the obligation to
pay the rental due that particular crop is not thereby extinguished;
xxx x
Respondents failed to discharge such burden. The agricultural tenant's failure to pay the lease rentals
must be willful and deliberate in order to warrant his dispossession of the land that he tills.
Petitioner's counsel opines that there appears to be no decision by this Court on the matter; he thus
submits that we should use the CA decision in Cabero v. Caturna. This is not correct. In an En Banc
Decision by this Court in Roxas y Cia v. Cabatuando, et al.,43 we held that under our law and

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Decision by this Court in Roxas y Cia v. Cabatuando, et al.,43 we held that under our law and
jurisprudence, mere failure of a tenant to pay the landholder's share does not necessarily give the latter
the right to eject the former when there is lack of deliberate intent on the part of the tenant to pay. This
ruling has not been overturned.
The term "deliberate" is characterized by or results from slow, careful, thorough calculation and
consideration of effects and consequences.44 The term "willful," on the other hand, is defined as one
governed by will without yielding to reason or without regard to reason.45
We agree with the findings of the DARAB that it was not the fault of petitioner that the lease rentals did
not reach the respondents because the latter chose to ignore the notices sent to them. To note, as early
as November 10, 1986, Marciano executed an Affidavit46 stating that Leon refused to receive the
respective lease rentals consisting of 37 cavans for November 1985 and July 1986. For 1987, Marciano
wrote Leon two letters47 informing him of the availability of the lease rentals for April and October of
the same year. On April 27, 1988, Marciano sought DAR intervention and mediation with respect to the
execution of a leasehold contract and the fixing of the leasehold rentals.48 Meetings were set but
respondents failed to attend.49 The dispute was referred to the barangay but the parties failed to
amicably settle.50
These factual circumstances negate the PARAD findings of Marciano’s and petitioner's deliberate and
willful intent not to pay lease rentals. Good faith was clearly demonstrated by Marciano and petitioner
when, because respondents refused to accept the proffered payment, they even went to the point of
seeking government intervention in order to address their problems with respondents. Absent such
deliberate and willful refusal to pay lease rentals, petitioner's ejectment from the subject land is not
justified.

WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is GRANTED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
SP No. 60640 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision of the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board (DARAB) dated June 24, 1998 in DARAB Case No. 2203 is REINSTATED without
prejudice to the rights of respondent-spouses Leon and Aurora Carpo to seek recourse from the Office
of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary on the other issues they raised. No costs.

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Garcillano v. House GR 170338 Dec 23, 2008
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:20 PM

G.R. No. 170338 December 23, 2008


Virgilio O. Garcillano vs. The House Of Representatives Committees On Public Information, Public Order And
Safety, National Defense And Security, Information And Communications Technology, And Suffrage And Electoral
Reforms
G.R. No. 179275 December 23, 2008
Santiago Javier Ranada And Oswaldo D. Agcaoili, Petitioners,
Vs.
The Senate Of The Republic Of The Philippines, Represented By The Senate President The Honorable Manuel Villar,
Respondents.
Maj. Lindsay Rex Sagge, Petitioner-In-Intervention
Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., Benigno Noynoy C. Aquino, Rodolfo G. Biazon, Panfilo M. Lacson, Loren B. Legarda, M.A.
Jamby A.S. Madrigal, And Antonio F. Trillanes, Respondents-Intervenors
NACHURA, J.:
More than three years ago, tapes ostensibly containing a wiretapped conversation purportedly between
the President of the Philippines and a high-ranking official of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
surfaced. They captured unprecedented public attention and thrust the country into a controversy that
placed the legitimacy of the present administration on the line, and resulted in the near-collapse of the
Arroyo government. The tapes, notoriously referred to as the "Hello Garci" tapes, allegedly contained
the President’s instructions to COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano to manipulate in her favor
results of the 2004 presidential elections. These recordings were to become the subject of heated
legislative hearings conducted separately by committees of both Houses of Congress.1
In the House of Representatives (House), on June 8, 2005, then Minority Floor Leader Francis G.
Escudero delivered a privilege speech, "Tale of Two Tapes," and set in motion a congressional
investigation jointly conducted by the Committees on Public Information, Public Order and Safety,
National Defense and Security, Information and Communications Technology, and Suffrage and Electoral
Reforms (respondent House Committees). During the inquiry, several versions of the wiretapped
conversation emerged. But on July 5, 2005, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Reynaldo
Wycoco, Atty. Alan Paguia and the lawyer of former NBI Deputy Director Samuel Ong submitted to the
respondent House Committees seven alleged "original" tape recordings of the supposed three-hour
taped conversation. After prolonged and impassioned debate by the committee members on the
admissibility and authenticity of the recordings, the tapes were eventually played in the chambers of the
House.2
On August 3, 2005, the respondent House Committees decided to suspend the hearings indefinitely.
Nevertheless, they decided to prepare committee reports based on the said recordings and the
testimonies of the resource persons.3
Alarmed by these developments, petitioner Virgilio O. Garcillano (Garcillano) filed with this Court a
Petition for Prohibition and Injunction, with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of
Preliminary Injunction4 docketed as G.R. No. 170338. He prayed that the respondent House Committees
be restrained from using these tape recordings of the "illegally obtained" wiretapped conversations in
their committee reports and for any other purpose. He further implored that the said recordings and
any reference thereto be ordered stricken off the records of the inquiry, and the respondent House
Committees directed to desist from further using the recordings in any of the House proceedings.5
Without reaching its denouement, the House discussion and debates on the "Garci tapes" abruptly
stopped.
After more than two years of quiescence, Senator Panfilo Lacson roused the slumbering issue with a
privilege speech, "The Lighthouse That Brought Darkness." In his discourse, Senator Lacson promised to
provide the public "the whole unvarnished truth – the what’s, when’s, where’s, who’s and why’s" of the
alleged wiretap, and sought an inquiry into the perceived willingness of telecommunications providers
to participate in nefarious wiretapping activities.
On motion of Senator Francis Pangilinan, Senator Lacson’s speech was referred to the Senate
Committee on National Defense and Security, chaired by Senator Rodolfo Biazon, who had previously

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Committee on National Defense and Security, chaired by Senator Rodolfo Biazon, who had previously
filed two bills6 seeking to regulate the sale, purchase and use of wiretapping equipment and to prohibit
the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from performing electoral duties. 7
In the Senate’s plenary session the following day, a lengthy debate ensued when Senator Richard
Gordon aired his concern on the possible transgression of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 42008 if the body were
to conduct a legislative inquiry on the matter. On August 28, 2007, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago
delivered a privilege speech, articulating her considered view that the Constitution absolutely bans the
use, possession, replay or communication of the contents of the "Hello Garci" tapes. However, she
recommended a legislative investigation into the role of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP), the
Philippine National Police or other government entities in the alleged illegal wiretapping of public
officials.9
On September 6, 2007, petitioners Santiago Ranada and Oswaldo Agcaoili, retired justices of the Court
of Appeals, filed before this Court a Petition for Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary
Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction,10 docketed as G.R. No. 179275, seeking to bar
the Senate from conducting its scheduled legislative inquiry. They argued in the main that the intended
legislative inquiry violates R.A. No. 4200 and Section 3, Article III of the Constitution.11
As the Court did not issue an injunctive writ, the Senate proceeded with its public hearings on the "Hello
Garci" tapes on September 7,12 1713 and October 1,14 2007.
Intervening as respondents,15 Senators Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., Benigno Noynoy C. Aquino, Rodolfo G.
Biazon, Panfilo M. Lacson, Loren B. Legarda, M.A. Jamby A.S. Madrigal and Antonio F. Trillanes filed their
Comment16 on the petition on September 25, 2007.
The Court subsequently heard the case on oral argument.17
On October 26, 2007, Maj. Lindsay Rex Sagge, a member of the ISAFP and one of the resource persons
summoned by the Senate to appear and testify at its hearings, moved to intervene as petitioner in G.R.
No. 179275.18
On November 20, 2007, the Court resolved to consolidate G.R. Nos. 170338 and 179275.19
It may be noted that while both petitions involve the "Hello Garci" recordings, they have different
objectives–the first is poised at preventing the playing of the tapes in the House and their subsequent
inclusion in the committee reports, and the second seeks to prohibit and stop the conduct of the Senate
inquiry on the wiretapped conversation.
The Court dismisses the first petition, G.R. No. 170338, and grants the second, G.R. No. 179275.
-I -
Before delving into the merits of the case, the Court shall first resolve the issue on the parties’ standing,
argued at length in their pleadings.
In Tolentino v. COMELEC,20 we explained that "‘*l+egal standing’ or locus standi refers to a personal and
substantial interest in a case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury because of the
challenged governmental act x x x," thus,
generally, a party will be allowed to litigate only when (1) he can show that he has personally suffered
some actual or threatened injury because of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; (2) the
injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by a
favorable action.21
The gist of the question of standing is whether a party has "alleged such a personal stake in the outcome
of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues
upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions."22
However, considering that locus standi is a mere procedural technicality, the Court, in recent cases, has
relaxed the stringent direct injury test. David v. Macapagal-Arroyo23 articulates that a "liberal policy has
been observed, allowing ordinary citizens, members of Congress, and civic organizations to prosecute
actions involving the constitutionality or validity of laws, regulations and rulings."24 The fairly recent
Chavez v. Gonzales25 even permitted a non-member of the broadcast media, who failed to allege a
personal stake in the outcome of the controversy, to challenge the acts of the Secretary of Justice and
the National Telecommunications Commission. The majority, in the said case, echoed the current policy
that "this Court has repeatedly and consistently refused to wield procedural barriers as impediments to
its addressing and resolving serious legal questions that greatly impact on public interest, in keeping
with the Court’s duty under the 1987 Constitution to determine whether or not other branches of
government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws, and that they have

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government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws, and that they have
not abused the discretion given to them."26
In G.R. No. 170338, petitioner Garcillano justifies his standing to initiate the petition by alleging that he
is the person alluded to in the "Hello Garci" tapes. Further, his was publicly identified by the members of
the respondent committees as one of the voices in the recordings.27 Obviously, therefore, petitioner
Garcillano stands to be directly injured by the House committees’ actions and charges of electoral fraud.
The Court recognizes his standing to institute the petition for prohibition.
In G.R. No. 179275, petitioners Ranada and Agcaoili justify their standing by alleging that they are
concerned citizens, taxpayers, and members of the IBP. They are of the firm conviction that any attempt
to use the "Hello Garci" tapes will further divide the country. They wish to see the legal and proper use
of public funds that will necessarily be defrayed in the ensuing public hearings. They are worried by the
continuous violation of the laws and individual rights, and the blatant attempt to abuse constitutional
processes through the conduct of legislative inquiries purportedly in aid of legislation.28
Intervenor Sagge alleges violation of his right to due process considering that he is summoned to attend
the Senate hearings without being apprised not only of his rights therein through the publication of the
Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation, but also of the intended legislation
which underpins the investigation. He further intervenes as a taxpayer bewailing the useless and
wasteful expenditure of public funds involved in the conduct of the questioned hearings.29
Given that petitioners Ranada and Agcaoili allege an interest in the execution of the laws and that
intervenor Sagge asserts his constitutional right to due process,30 they satisfy the requisite personal
stake in the outcome of the controversy by merely being citizens of the Republic.
Following the Court’s ruling in Francisco, Jr. v. The House of Representatives,31 we find sufficient
petitioners Ranada’s and Agcaoili’s and intervenor Sagge’s allegation that the continuous conduct by the
Senate of the questioned legislative inquiry will necessarily involve the expenditure of public funds.32 It
should be noted that in Francisco, rights personal to then Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. had been
injured by the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives, yet the Court granted
standing to the petitioners therein for, as in this case, they invariably invoked the vindication of their
own rights–as taxpayers, members of Congress, citizens, individually or in a class suit, and members of
the bar and of the legal profession–which were also supposedly violated by the therein assailed
unconstitutional acts.33
Likewise, a reading of the petition in G.R. No. 179275 shows that the petitioners and intervenor Sagge
advance constitutional issues which deserve the attention of this Court in view of their seriousness,
novelty and weight as precedents. The issues are of transcendental and paramount importance not only
to the public but also to the Bench and the Bar, and should be resolved for the guidance of all.34
Thus, in the exercise of its sound discretion and given the liberal attitude it has shown in prior cases
climaxing in the more recent case of Chavez, the Court recognizes the legal standing of petitioners
Ranada and Agcaoili and intervenor Sagge.
- II -
The Court, however, dismisses G.R. No. 170338 for being moot and academic. Repeatedly stressed in
our prior decisions is the principle that the exercise by this Court of judicial power is limited to the
determination and resolution of actual cases and controversies.35 By actual cases, we mean existing
conflicts appropriate or ripe for judicial determination, not conjectural or anticipatory, for otherwise the
decision of the Court will amount to an advisory opinion. The power of judicial inquiry does not extend
to hypothetical questions because any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren
legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities.36 Neither will the Court determine a
moot question in a case in which no practical relief can be granted. A case becomes moot when its
purpose has become stale.37 It is unnecessary to indulge in academic discussion of a case presenting a
moot question as a judgment thereon cannot have any practical legal effect or, in the nature of things,
cannot be enforced.38
In G.R. No. 170338, petitioner Garcillano implores from the Court, as aforementioned, the issuance of an
injunctive writ to prohibit the respondent House Committees from playing the tape recordings and from
including the same in their committee report. He likewise prays that the said tapes be stricken off the
records of the House proceedings. But the Court notes that the recordings were already played in the
House and heard by its members.39 There is also the widely publicized fact that the committee reports

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on the "Hello Garci" inquiry were completed and submitted to the House in plenary by the respondent
committees.40 Having been overtaken by these events, the Garcillano petition has to be dismissed for
being moot and academic. After all, prohibition is a preventive remedy to restrain the doing of an act
about to be done, and not intended to provide a remedy for an act already accomplished.41
- III -
As to the petition in G.R. No. 179275, the Court grants the same. The Senate cannot be allowed to
continue with the conduct of the questioned legislative inquiry without duly published rules of
procedure, in clear derogation of the constitutional requirement.
Section 21, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that "[t]he Senate or the House of
Representatives, or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in
accordance with its duly published rules of procedure." The requisite of publication of the rules is
intended to satisfy the basic requirements of due process.42 Publication is indeed imperative, for it will
be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law or rule of
which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one.43 What constitutes publication is set
forth in Article 2 of the Civil Code, which provides that "[l]aws shall take effect after 15 days following
the completion of their publication either in the Official Gazette, or in a newspaper of general circulation
in the Philippines."44
The respondents in G.R. No. 179275 admit in their pleadings and even on oral argument that the Senate
Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation had been published in newspapers of
general circulation only in 1995 and in 2006.45 With respect to the present Senate of the 14th Congress,
however, of which the term of half of its members commenced on June 30, 2007, no effort was
undertaken for the publication of these rules when they first opened their session.
Recently, the Court had occasion to rule on this very same question. In Neri v. Senate Committee on
Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations,46 we said:
Fourth, we find merit in the argument of the OSG that respondent Committees likewise violated Section
21 of Article VI of the Constitution, requiring that the inquiry be in accordance with the "duly published
rules of procedure." We quote the OSG’s explanation:
The phrase "duly published rules of procedure" requires the Senate of every Congress to publish its rules
of procedure governing inquiries in aid of legislation because every Senate is distinct from the one
before it or after it. Since Senatorial elections are held every three (3) years for one-half of the Senate’s
membership, the composition of the Senate also changes by the end of each term. Each Senate may
thus enact a different set of rules as it may deem fit. Not having published its Rules of Procedure, the
subject hearings in aid of legislation conducted by the 14th Senate, are therefore, procedurally infirm.
Justice Antonio T. Carpio, in his Dissenting and Concurring Opinion, reinforces this ruling with the
following rationalization:
The present Senate under the 1987 Constitution is no longer a continuing legislative body. The present
Senate has twenty-four members, twelve of whom are elected every three years for a term of six years
each. Thus, the term of twelve Senators expires every three years, leaving less than a majority of
Senators to continue into the next Congress. The 1987 Constitution, like the 1935 Constitution, requires
a majority of Senators to "constitute a quorum to do business." Applying the same reasoning in Arnault
v. Nazareno, the Senate under the 1987 Constitution is not a continuing body because less than majority
of the Senators continue into the next Congress. The consequence is that the Rules of Procedure must
be republished by the Senate after every expiry of the term of twelve Senators.47
The subject was explained with greater lucidity in our Resolution48 (On the Motion for Reconsideration)
in the same case, viz.:
On the nature of the Senate as a "continuing body," this Court sees fit to issue a clarification. Certainly,
there is no debate that the Senate as an institution is "continuing," as it is not dissolved as an entity
with each national election or change in the composition of its members. However, in the conduct of its
day-to-day business the Senate of each Congress acts separately and independently of the Senate of the
Congress before it. The Rules of the Senate itself confirms this when it states:
RULE XLIV UNFINISHED BUSINESS
SEC. 123. Unfinished business at the end of the session shall be taken up at the next session in the same
status.
All pending matters and proceedings shall terminate upon the expiration of one (1) Congress, but may
be taken by the succeeding Congress as if present for the first time.

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be taken by the succeeding Congress as if present for the first time.
Undeniably from the foregoing, all pending matters and proceedings, i.e., unpassed bills and even
legislative investigations, of the Senate of a particular Congress are considered terminated upon the
expiration of that Congress and it is merely optional on the Senate of the succeeding Congress to take
up such unfinished matters, not in the same status, but as if presented for the first time. The logic and
practicality of such a rule is readily apparent considering that the Senate of the succeeding Congress
(which will typically have a different composition as that of the previous Congress) should not be bound
by the acts and deliberations of the Senate of which they had no part. If the Senate is a continuing body
even with respect to the conduct of its business, then pending matters will not be deemed terminated
with the expiration of one Congress but will, as a matter of course, continue into the next Congress with
the same status.
This dichotomy of the continuity of the Senate as an institution and of the opposite nature of the
conduct of its business is reflected in its Rules. The Rules of the Senate (i.e. the Senate’s main rules of
procedure) states:
RULE LI AMENDMENTS TO, OR REVISIONS OF, THE RULES
SEC. 136. At the start of each session in which the Senators elected in the preceding elections shall begin
their term of office, the President may endorse the Rules to the appropriate committee for amendment
or revision.
The Rules may also be amended by means of a motion which should be presented at least one day
before its consideration, and the vote of the majority of the Senators present in the session shall be
required for its approval.
RULE LII DATE OF TAKING EFFECT
SEC. 137. These Rules shall take effect on the date of their adoption and shall remain in force until they
are amended or repealed.
Section 136 of the Senate Rules quoted above takes into account the new composition of the Senate
after an election and the possibility of the amendment or revision of the Rules at the start of each
session in which the newly elected Senators shall begin their term.
However, it is evident that the Senate has determined that its main rules are intended to be valid from
the date of their adoption until they are amended or repealed. Such language is conspicuously absent
from the Rules. The Rules simply state "(t)hese Rules shall take effect seven (7) days after publication in
two (2) newspapers of general circulation." The latter does not explicitly provide for the continued
effectivity of such rules until they are amended or repealed. In view of the difference in the language of
the two sets of Senate rules, it cannot be presumed that the Rules (on legislative inquiries) would
continue into the next Congress. The Senate of the next Congress may easily adopt different rules for its
legislative inquiries which come within the rule on unfinished business.
The language of Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution requiring that the inquiry be conducted in
accordance with the duly published rules of procedure is categorical. It is incumbent upon the Senate to
publish the rules for its legislative inquiries in each Congress or otherwise make the published rules
clearly state that the same shall be effective in subsequent Congresses or until they are amended or
repealed to sufficiently put public on notice.
If it was the intention of the Senate for its present rules on legislative inquiries to be effective even in
the next Congress, it could have easily adopted the same language it had used in its main rules regarding
effectivity.
Respondents justify their non-observance of the constitutionally mandated publication by arguing that
the rules have never been amended since 1995 and, despite that, they are published in booklet form
available to anyone for free, and accessible to the public at the Senate’s internet web page.49
The Court does not agree. The absence of any amendment to the rules cannot justify the Senate’s
defiance of the clear and unambiguous language of Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution. The organic
law instructs, without more, that the Senate or its committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation
only in accordance with duly published rules of procedure, and does not make any distinction whether or
not these rules have undergone amendments or revision. The constitutional mandate to publish the said
rules prevails over any custom, practice or tradition followed by the Senate.
Justice Carpio’s response to the same argument raised by the respondents is illuminating:
The publication of the Rules of Procedure in the website of the Senate, or in pamphlet form available at
the Senate, is not sufficient under the Tañada v. Tuvera ruling which requires publication either in the

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the Senate, is not sufficient under the Tañada v. Tuvera ruling which requires publication either in the
Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation. The Rules of Procedure even provide that the
rules "shall take effect seven (7) days after publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation,"
precluding any other form of publication. Publication in accordance with Tañada is mandatory to comply
with the due process requirement because the Rules of Procedure put a person’s liberty at risk. A person
who violates the Rules of Procedure could be arrested and detained by the Senate.
The invocation by the respondents of the provisions of R.A. No. 8792,50 otherwise known as the
Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, to support their claim of valid publication through the internet is all
the more incorrect. R.A. 8792 considers an electronic data message or an electronic document as the
functional equivalent of a written document only for evidentiary purposes.51 In other words, the law
merely recognizes the admissibility in evidence (for their being the original) of electronic data messages
and/or electronic documents.52 It does not make the internet a medium for publishing laws, rules and
regulations.
Given this discussion, the respondent Senate Committees, therefore, could not, in violation of the
Constitution, use its unpublished rules in the legislative inquiry subject of these consolidated cases. The
conduct of inquiries in aid of legislation by the Senate has to be deferred until it shall have caused the
publication of the rules, because it can do so only "in accordance with its duly published rules of
procedure."
Very recently, the Senate caused the publication of the Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in
Aid of Legislation in the October 31, 2008 issues of Manila Bulletin and Malaya. While we take judicial
notice of this fact, the recent publication does not cure the infirmity of the inquiry sought to be
prohibited by the instant petitions. Insofar as the consolidated cases are concerned, the legislative
investigation subject thereof still could not be undertaken by the respondent Senate Committees,
because no published rules governed it, in clear contravention of the Constitution.
With the foregoing disquisition, the Court finds it unnecessary to discuss the other issues raised in the
consolidated petitions.
WHEREFORE, the petition in G.R. No. 170338 is DISMISSED, and the petition in G.R. No. 179275 is
GRANTED. Let a writ of prohibition be issued enjoining the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines
and/or any of its committees from conducting any inquiry in aid of legislation centered on the "Hello
Garci" tapes.

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Lazatin v. Desierto GR 147097 June 5, 2009
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:20 PM

G.R. No. 147097 June 5, 2009


CARMELO F. LAZATIN, MARINO A. MORALES, TEODORO L. DAVID and ANGELITO A.
PELAYO, Petitioner,
vs.
HON. ANIANO A. DESIERTO as OMBUDSMAN, and SANDIGANBAYAN, THIRD DIVISION,
Respondents.
DEC I SI O N
PERALTA, J.:
This resolves the petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, praying that the
Ombudsman's disapproval of the Office of the Special Prosecutor's (OSP) Resolution 1 dated
September 18, 2000, recommending dismissal of the criminal cases filed against herein petitioners,
be reversed and set aside.
The antecedent facts are as follows.
On July 22, 1998, the Fact-Finding and Intelligence Bureau of the Office of the Ombudsman filed a
Complaint-Affidavit docketed as OMB-0-98-1500, charging herein petitioners with Illegal Use of
Public Funds as defined and penalized under Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code and violation of
Section 3, paragraphs (a) and (e) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019, as amended.
The complaint alleged that there were irregularities in the use by then Congressman Carmello F.
Lazatin of his Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) for the calendar year 1996, i.e., he was both
proponent and implementer of the projects funded from his CDF; he signed vouchers and supporting
papers pertinent to the disbursement as Disbursing Officer; and he received, as claimant, eighteen
(18) checks amounting to P4,868,277.08. Thus, petitioner Lazatin, with the help of petitioners Marino
A. Morales, Angelito A. Pelayo and Teodoro L. David, was allegedly able to convert his CDF into
cash.
A preliminary investigation was conducted and, thereafter, the Evaluation and Preliminary
Investigation Bureau (EPIB) issued a Resolution 2 dated May 29, 2000 recommending the filing
against herein petitioners of fourteen (14) counts each of Malversation of Public Funds and violation
of Section 3 (e) of R.A. No. 3019. Said Resolution was approved by the Ombudsman; hence,
twenty-eight (28) Informations docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 26087 to 26114 were filed against
herein petitioners before the Sandiganbayan.
Petitioner Lazatin and his co-petitioners then filed their respective Motions for
Reconsideration/Reinvestigation, which motions were granted by the Sandiganbayan (Third
Division). The Sandiganbayan also ordered the prosecution to re-evaluate the cases against
petitioners.
Subsequently, the OSP submitted to the Ombudsman its Resolution 3 dated September 18, 2000. It
recommended the dismissal of the cases against petitioners for lack or insufficiency of evidence.
The Ombudsman, however, ordered the Office of the Legal Affairs (OLA) to review the OSP
Resolution. In a Memorandum4 dated October 24, 2000, the OLA recommended that the OSP
Resolution be disapproved and the OSP be directed to proceed with the trial of the cases against
petitioners. On October 27, 2000, the Ombudsman adopted the OLA Memorandum, thereby
disapproving the OSP Resolution dated September 18, 2000 and ordering the aggressive
prosecution of the subject cases. The cases were then returned to the Sandiganbayan for
continuation of criminal proceedings.
Thus, petitioners filed the instant petition.
Petitioners allege that:
I.
THE OMBUDSMAN ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION OR ACTED WITHOUT OR IN
EXCESS OF HIS JURISDICTION.
II.
THE QUESTIONED RESOLUTION WAS BASED ON MISAPPREHENSION OF FACTS,
SPECULATIONS, SURMISES AND CONJECTURES. 5
Amplifying their arguments, petitioners asseverate that the Ombudsman had no authority to overturn
the OSP's Resolution dismissing the cases against petitioners because, under Section 13, Article XI
of the 1987 Constitution, the Ombudsman is clothed only with the power to watch, investigate and
recommend the filing of proper cases against erring officials, but it was not granted the power to
prosecute. They point out that under the Constitution, the power to prosecute belongs to the OSP
(formerly the Tanodbayan), which was intended by the framers to be a separate and distinct entity

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(formerly the Tanodbayan), which was intended by the framers to be a separate and distinct entity
from the Office of the Ombudsman. Petitioners conclude that, as provided by the Constitution, the
OSP being a separate and distinct entity, the Ombudsman should have no power and authority over
the OSP. Thus, petitioners maintain that R.A. No. 6770 (The Ombudsman Act of 1989), which made
the OSP an organic component of the Office of the Ombudsman, should be struck down for being
unconstitutional.
Next, petitioners insist that they should be absolved from any liability because the checks were
issued to petitioner Lazatin allegedly as reimbursement for the advances he made from his personal
funds for expenses incurred to ensure the immediate implementation of projects that are badly
needed by the Pinatubo victims.
The Court finds the petition unmeritorious.
Petitioners' attack against the constitutionality of R.A. No. 6770 is stale. It has long been settled that
the provisions of R.A. No. 6770 granting the Office of the Ombudsman prosecutorial powers and
placing the OSP under said office have no constitutional infirmity. The issue of whether said
provisions of R.A. No. 6770 violated the Constitution had been fully dissected as far back as 1995 in
Acop v. Office of the Ombudsman.6
Therein, the Court held that giving prosecutorial powers to the Ombudsman is in accordance with
the Constitution as paragraph 8, Section 13, Article XI provides that the Ombudsman shall "exercise
such other functions or duties as may be provided by law." Elucidating on this matter, the Court
stated:
x x x While the intention to withhold prosecutorial powers from the Ombudsman was indeed present,
the Commission [referring to the Constitutional Commission of 1986] did not hesitate to recommend
that the Legislature could, through statute, prescribe such other powers, functions, and duties to the
Ombudsman. x x x As finally approved by the Commission after several amendments, this is now
embodied in paragraph 8, Section 13, Article XI (Accountability of Public Officers) of the Constitution,
which provides:
Sec.13. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions, and duties:
xx x x
Promulgate its rules and procedure and exercise such other functions or duties as may be provided
by law.
Expounding on this power of Congress to prescribe other powers, functions, and duties to the
Ombudsman, we quote Commissioners Colayco and Monsod during interpellation by Commissioner
Rodrigo:
xx x x
MR. RODRIGO:
Precisely, I am coming to that. The last of the enumerated functions of the Ombudsman is: "to
exercise such powers or perform such functions or duties as may be provided by law." So, the
legislature may vest him with powers taken away from the Tanodbayan, may it not?
MR. COLAYCO:
Yes.
MR. MONSOD:
Yes.
xx x x
MR. RODRIGO:
Madam President. Section 5 reads: "The Tanodbayan shall continue to function and exercise
its powers as provided by law."
MR. COLAYCO:
That is correct, because it is under P.D. No. 1630.
MR. RODRIGO:
So, if it is provided by law, it can be taken away by law, I suppose.
MR. COLAYCO:
That is correct.
MR. RODRIGO:
And precisely, Section 12(6) says that among the functions that can be performed by the
Ombudsman are "such functions or duties as may be provided by law." The sponsors admitted
that the legislature later on might remove some powers from the Tanodbayan and transfer
these to the Ombudsman.
MR. COLAYCO:
Madam President, that is correct.
xx x x
MR. RODRIGO:
Madam President, what I am worried about is, if we create a constitutional body which has
neither punitive nor prosecutory powers but only persuasive powers, we might be raising the

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neither punitive nor prosecutory powers but only persuasive powers, we might be raising the
hopes of our people too much and then disappoint them.
MR. MONSOD:
I agree with the Commissioner.
MR. RODRIGO:
Anyway, since we state that the powers of the Ombudsman can later on be implemented by
the legislature, why not leave this to the legislature?
xx x x
MR. MONSOD: (reacting to statements of Commissioner Blas Ople):
xx x x
With respect to the argument that he is a toothless animal, we would like to say that we are
promoting the concept in its form at the present, but we are also saying that he can exercise such
powers and functions as may be provided by law in accordance with the direction of the thinking of
Commissioner Rodrigo. We do not think that at this time we should prescribe this, but we leave it up
to Congress at some future time if it feels that it may need to designate what powers the
Ombudsman need in order that he be more effective. This is not foreclosed.
1awphi 1

So, this is a reversible disability, unlike that of a eunuch; it is not an irreversible disability. 7
The constitutionality of Section 3 of R.A. No. 6770, which subsumed the OSP under the Office of the
Ombudsman, was likewise upheld by the Court in Acop. It was explained, thus:
x x x the petitioners conclude that the inclusion of the Office of the Special Prosecutor as among the
offices under the Office of the Ombudsman in Section 3 of R.A. No. 6770 ("An Act Providing for the
Functional and Structural Organization of the Office of the Ombudsman and for Other Purposes") is
unconstitutional and void.
The contention is not impressed with merit. x x x
xx x x
x x x Section 7 of Article XI expressly provides that the then existing Tanodbayan, to be henceforth
known as the Office of the Special Prosecutor, "shall continue to function and exercise its powers as
now or hereafter may be provided by law, except those conferred on the Office of the Ombudsman
created under this Constitution." The underscored phrase evidently refers to the Tanodbayan's
powers under P.D. No. 1630 or subsequent amendatory legislation. It follows then that Congress
may remove any of the Tanodbayan's/Special Prosecutor's powers under P.D. No. 1630 or grant it
other powers, except those powers conferred by the Constitution on the Office of the Ombudsman.
Pursuing the present line of reasoning, when one considers that by express mandate of paragraph
8, Section 13, Article XI of the Constitution, the Ombudsman may "exercise such other powers or
perform functions or duties as may be provided by law," it is indubitable then that Congress has the
power to place the Office of the Special Prosecutor under the Office of the Ombudsman. In the same
vein, Congress may remove some of the powers granted to the Tanodbayan by P.D. No. 1630 and
transfer them to the Ombudsman; or grant the Office of the Special Prosecutor such other powers
and functions and duties as Congress may deem fit and wise. This Congress did through the
passage of R.A. No. 6770.8
The foregoing ruling of the Court has been reiterated in Camanag v. Guerrero.9 More recently, in
Office of the Ombudsman v. Valera,10 the Court, basing its ratio decidendi on its ruling in Acop and
Camanag, declared that the OSP is "merely a component of the Office of the Ombudsman and may
only act under the supervision and control, and upon authority of the Ombudsman" and ruled that
under R.A. No. 6770, the power to preventively suspend is lodged only with the Ombudsman and
Deputy Ombudsman.11 The Court's ruling in Acop that the authority of the Ombudsman to prosecute
based on R.A. No. 6770 was authorized by the Constitution was also made the foundation for the
decision in Perez v. Sandiganbayan,12 where it was held that the power to prosecute carries with it
the power to authorize the filing of informations, which power had not been delegated to the OSP. It
is, therefore, beyond cavil that under the Constitution, Congress was not proscribed from legislating
the grant of additional powers to the Ombudsman or placing the OSP under the Office of the
Ombudsman.
Petitioners now assert that the Court's ruling on the constitutionality of the provisions of R.A. No.
6770 should be revisited and the principle of stare decisis set aside. Again, this contention deserves
scant consideration.
The doctrine of stare decisis et non quieta movere (to adhere to precedents and not to unsettle
things which are established) is embodied in Article 8 of the Civil Code of the Philippines which
provides, thus:
ART. 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the
legal system of the Philippines.
It was further explained in Fermin v. People13 as follows:
The doctrine of stare decisis enjoins adherence to judicial precedents. It requires courts in a
country to follow the rule established in a decision of the Supreme Court thereof. That

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country to follow the rule established in a decision of the Supreme Court thereof. That
decision becomes a judicial precedent to be followed in subsequent cases by all courts in the land.
The doctrine of stare decisis 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. 14 1avvphi 1

In Chinese Young Men's Christian Association of the Philippine Islands v. Remington Steel
Corporation,15 the Court expounded on the importance of the foregoing doctrine, stating that:
The doctrine of stare decisis is one of policy grounded on the necessity for securing certainty and
stability of judicial decisions, thus:
Time and again, the court has held that it is a very desirable and necessary judicial practice that
when a court has laid down a principle of law as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will adhere to
that principle and apply it to all future cases in which the facts are substantially the same. Stare
decisis et non quieta movere. Stand by the decisions and disturb not what is settled. Stare decisis
simply means that for the sake of certainty, a conclusion reached in one case should be
applied to those that follow if the facts are substantially the same , even though the parties may
be different. It proceeds from the first principle of justice that, absent any powerful countervailing
considerations, like cases ought to be decided alike. Thus, where the same questions relating to
the same event have been put forward by the parties similarly situated as in a previous case litigated
and decided by a competent court, the rule of stare decisis is a bar to any attempt to relitigate
the same issue.16
The doctrine has assumed such value in our judicial system that the Court has ruled that "[a]
bandonment thereof must be based only on strong and compelling reasons, otherwise, the
becoming virtue of predictability which is expected from this Court would be immeasurably affected
and the public's confidence in the stability of the solemn pronouncements diminished." 17 Verily, only
upon showing that circumstances attendant in a particular case override the great benefits derived
by our judicial system from the doctrine of stare decisis, can the courts be justified in setting aside
the same.
In this case, petitioners have not shown any strong, compelling reason to convince the Court that the
doctrine of stare decisis should not be applied to this case. They have not successfully
demonstrated how or why it would be grave abuse of discretion for the Ombudsman, who has been
validly conferred by law with the power of control and supervision over the OSP, to disapprove or
overturn any resolution issued by the latter.
The second issue advanced by petitioners is that the Ombudsman's disapproval of the OSP
Resolution recommending dismissal of the cases is based on misapprehension of facts,
speculations, surmises and conjectures. The question is really whether the Ombudsman correctly
ruled that there was enough evidence to support a finding of probable cause. That issue, however,
pertains to a mere error of judgment. It must be stressed that certiorari is a remedy meant to correct
only errors of jurisdiction, not errors of judgment. This has been emphasized in First Corporation v.
Former Sixth Division of the Court of Appeals, 18 to wit:
It is a fundamental aphorism in law that a review of facts and evidence is not the province of the
extraordinary remedy of certiorari, which is extra ordinem - beyond the ambit of appeal. In certiorari
proceedings, judicial review does not go as far as to examine and assess the evidence of the
parties and to weigh the probative value thereof. It does not include an inquiry as to the
correctness of the evaluation of evidence. Any error committed in the evaluation of evidence
is merely an error of judgment that cannot be remedied by certiorari. An error of judgment is
one which the court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction. An error of jurisdiction is one
where the act complained of was issued by the court without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with
grave abuse of discretion, which is tantamount to lack or in excess of jurisdiction and which error is
correctible only by the extraordinary writ of certiorari. Certiorari will not be issued to cure errors
of the trial court in its appreciation of the evidence of the parties, or its conclusions anchored
on the said findings and its conclusions of law. It is not for this Court to re -examine
conflicting evidence, re-evaluate the credibility of the witnesses or substitute the findings of
fact of the court a quo.19
Evidently, the issue of whether the evidence indeed supports a finding of probable cause would
necessitate an examination and re-evaluation of the evidence upon which the Ombudsman based its
disapproval of the OSP Resolution. Hence, the Petition for Certiorari should not be given due
course.
Likewise noteworthy is the holding of the Court in Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee on
Behest Loans v. Desierto,20 imparting the value of the Ombudsman's independence, stating thus:
Under Sections 12 and 13, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution and RA 6770 (The Ombudsman Act of
1989), the Ombudsman has the power to investigate and prosecute any act or omission of a public
officer or employee when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. It
has been the consistent ruling of the Court not to interfere with the Ombudsman's exercise of
his investigatory and prosecutory powers as long as his rulings are supported by substantial

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his investigatory and prosecutory powers as long as his rulings are supported by substantial
evidence. Envisioned as the champion of the people and preserver of the integrity of public service,
he has wide latitude in exercising his powers and is free from intervention from the three
branches of government. This is to ensure that his Office is insulated from any outside
pressure and improper influence.21
Indeed, for the Court to overturn the Ombudsman's finding of probable cause, it is imperative for
petitioners to clearly prove that said public official acted with grave abuse of discretion. In
Presidential Commission on Good Government v. Desierto,22 the Court elaborated on what
constitutes such abuse, to wit:
Grave abuse of discretion implies a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment tantamount to
lack of jurisdiction. The Ombudsman's exercise of power must have been done in an arbitrary or
despotic manner which must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or
a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. x x x23
In this case, petitioners failed to demonstrate that the Ombudsman acted in a manner described
above. Clearly, the Ombudsman was acting in accordance with R.A. No. 6770 and properly
exercised its power of control and supervision over the OSP when it disapproved the Resolution
dated September 18, 2000.
It should also be noted that the petition does not question any order or action of the Sandiganbayan
Third Division; hence, it should not have been included as a respondent in this petition.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.

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Ferdinand Cruz v. Priscilla Mijares et al GR 154404 Sep 11, 2008
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:20 PM

[G.R. NO. 154464, September 11, 2008]

FERDINAND A. CRUZ, VS. JUDGE PRISCILLA MIJARES, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 108,
PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA, PUBLIC RESPONDENT
BENJAMIN MINA, PRIVATE RESPONDENT.

NACHURA, J.:

This is a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus, with prayer for the issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. It was directly filed with this Court assailing
the Resolutions dated May 10, 2002[1] and July 31, 2002[2] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 108,
Pasay City, which denied the appearance of the plaintiff Ferdinand A. Cruz, herein petitioner, as party
litigant, and the refusal of the public respondent, Judge Priscilla Mijares, to voluntarily inhibit herself
from trying the case. No writ of preliminary injunction was issued by this Court.

The antecedents:

On March 5, 2002, Ferdinand A. Cruz (petitioner) sought permission to enter his appearance for and on
his behalf, before the RTC, Branch 108, Pasay City, as the plaintiff in Civil Case No. 01-0410, for
Abatement of Nuisance. Petitioner, a fourth year law student, anchors his claim on Section 34 of Rule
138 of the Rules of Court[3] that a non-lawyer may appear before any court and conduct his litigation
personally.

During the pre-trial, Judge Priscilla Mijares required the petitioner to secure a written permission from
the Court Administrator before he could be allowed to appear as counsel for himself, a party-litigant.
Atty. Stanley Cabrera, counsel for Benjamin Mina, Jr., filed a Motion to Dismiss instead of a pre-trial
brief to which petitioner Cruz vehemently objected alleging that a Motion to Dismiss is not allowed after
the Answer had been filed. Judge Mijares then remarked, "Hay naku, masama `yung marunong pa sa
Huwes. Ok?" and proceeded to hear the pending Motion to Dismiss and calendared the next hearing on
May 2, 2002.

On March 6, 2002, petitioner Cruz filed a Manifestation and Motion to Inhibit,[4] praying for the
voluntary inhibition of Judge Mijares. The Motion alleged that expected partiality on the part of the
respondent judge in the conduct of the trial could be inferred from the contumacious remarks of Judge
Mijares during the pre-trial. It asserts that the judge, in uttering an uncalled for remark, reflects a
negative frame of mind, which engenders the belief that justice will not be served.[5]

In an Order[6] dated April 19, 2002, Judge Mijares denied the motion for inhibition stating that throwing
tenuous allegations of partiality based on the said remark is not enough to warrant her voluntary
inhibition, considering that it was said even prior to the start of pre-trial. Petitioner filed a motion for
reconsideration[7] of the said order.

On May 10, 2002, Judge Mijares denied the motion with finality.[8] In the same Order, the trial court held
that for the failure of petitioner Cruz to submit the promised document and jurisprudence, and for his
failure to satisfy the requirements or conditions under Rule 138-A of the Rules of Court, his appearance
was denied.

In a motion for reconsideration,[9] petitioner reiterated that the basis of his appearance was not Rule
138-A, but Section 34 of Rule 138. He contended that the two Rules were distinct and are applicable to
different circumstances, but the respondent judge denied the same, still invoking Rule 138-A, in an

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different circumstances, but the respondent judge denied the same, still invoking Rule 138-A, in an
Order[10] dated July 31, 2002.

On August 16, 2002, the petitioner directly filed with this Court, the instant petition and assigns the
following errors:
I.

The respondent regional trial court gravely erred and abused its discretion when it denied the
appearance of the petitioner, for and in the latter's behalf, in civil case no. 01-0401 [sic] contrary to rule
138, section 34 of the rules of court, providing for the appearance of non-lawyers as a party litigant;
II.

the respondent court gravely erred and abused its discretion when it did not voluntarily inhibit despite
the advent of jurisprudence [sic] that such an inhibition is proper to preserve the people's faith and
confidence to the courts.

The core issues raised before the Court are: (1) whether the extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition
and mandamus under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Court may issue; and (2) whether the respondent
court acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it denied the
appearance of the petitioner as party litigant and when the judge refused to inhibit herself from trying
the case.

This Court's jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus and injunction is not
exclusive; it has concurrent jurisdiction with the RTCs and the Court of Appeals. This concurrence of
jurisdiction is not, however, to be taken as an absolute, unrestrained freedom to choose the court
where the application therefor will be directed.[11] A becoming regard of the judicial hierarchy most
certainly indicates that petitions for the issuance of extraordinary writs against the RTCs should be filed
with the Court of Appeals.[12] The hierarchy of courts is determinative of the appropriate forum for
petitions for the extraordinary writs; and only in exceptional cases and for compelling reasons, or if
warranted by the nature of the issues reviewed, may this Court take cognizance of petitions filed directly
before it.[13]

Considering, however, that this case involves the interpretation of Section 34, Rule 138 and Rule 138-A
of the Rules of Court, the Court takes cognizance of herein petition. Nonetheless, the petitioner is
cautioned not to continue his practice of filing directly before this Court petitions under Rule 65 when
the issue raised can be resolved with dispatch by the Court of Appeals. We will not tolerate litigants who
make a mockery of the judicial hierarchy as it necessarily delays more important concerns before us.

In resolving the second issue, a comparative reading of Rule 138, Section 34 and Rule 138-A is necessary.

Rule 138-A, or the Law Student Practice Rule, provides:


RULE 138-A

LAW STUDENT PRACTICE RULE

Section 1. Conditions for Student Practice. - A law student who has successfully completed his 3rd year
of the regular four-year prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical
legal education program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in any
civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent
indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of the law school.

Sec. 2. Appearance. - The appearance of the law student authorized by this rule, shall be under the
direct supervision and control of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines duly accredited by
the law school. Any and all pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other papers to be filed, must be
signed by the supervising attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic.

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signed by the supervising attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic.
The respondent court held that the petitioner could not appear for himself and on his behalf because of
his failure to comply with Rule 138-A. In denying petitioner's appearance, the court a quo tersely finds
refuge in the fact that, on December 18, 1986, this Court issued Circular No. 19, which eventually
became Rule 138-A, and the failure of Cruz to prove on record that he is enrolled in a recognized
school's clinical legal education program and is under supervision of an attorney duly accredited by the
law school.

However, the petitioner insisted that the basis of his appearance was Section 34 of Rule 138, which
provides:
Sec. 34. By whom litigation is conducted. - In the court of a justice of the peace, a party may conduct his
litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid
of an attorney. In any other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an
attorney, and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar.
and is a rule distinct from Rule 138-A.

From the clear language of this provision of the Rules, it will have to be conceded that the contention of
the petitioner has merit. It recognizes the right of an individual to represent himself in any case to which
he is a party. The Rules state that a party may conduct his litigation personally or with the aid of an
attorney, and that his appearance must either be personal or by a duly authorized member of the Bar.
The individual litigant may personally do everything in the course of proceedings from commencement
to the termination of the litigation.[14] Considering that a party personally conducting his litigation is
restricted to the same rules of evidence and procedure as those qualified to practice law,[15] petitioner,
not being a lawyer himself, runs the risk of falling into the snares and hazards of his own ignorance.
Therefore, Cruz as plaintiff, at his own instance, can personally conduct the litigation of Civil Case No.
01-0410. He would then be acting not as a counsel or lawyer, but as a party exercising his right to
represent himself.

The trial court must have been misled by the fact that the petitioner is a law student and must,
therefore, be subject to the conditions of the Law Student Practice Rule. It erred in applying Rule 138-A,
when the basis of the petitioner's claim is Section 34 of Rule 138. The former rule provides for
conditions when a law student may appear in courts, while the latter rule allows the appearance of a
non-lawyer as a party representing himself.

The conclusion of the trial court that Rule 138-A superseded Rule 138 by virtue of Circular No. 19 is
misplaced. The Court never intended to repeal Rule 138 when it released the guidelines for limited law
student practice. In fact, it was intended as an addendum to the instances when a non-lawyer may
appear in courts and was incorporated to the Rules of Court through Rule 138-A.

It may be relevant to recall that, in respect to the constitutional right of an accused to be heard by
himself and counsel,[16] this Court has held that during the trial, the right to counsel cannot be
waived.[17] The rationale for this ruling was articulated in People v. Holgado,[18] where we declared that
"even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the science of law, particularly in the
rules of procedure, and without counsel, he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because he
does not know how to establish his innocence."

The case at bar involves a civil case, with the petitioner as plaintiff therein. The solicitous concern that
the Constitution accords the accused in a criminal prosecution obviously does not obtain in a civil case.
Thus, a party litigant in a civil case, who insists that he can, without a lawyer's assistance, effectively
undertake the successful pursuit of his claim, may be given the chance to do so. In this case, petitioner
alleges that he is a law student and impliedly asserts that he has the competence to litigate the case
himself. Evidently, he is aware of the perils incident to this decision.

In addition, it was subsequently clarified in Bar Matter 730, that by virtue of Section 34, Rule 138, a law
student may appear as an agent or a friend of a party litigant, without need of the supervision of a

REMLAW Page 75
student may appear as an agent or a friend of a party litigant, without need of the supervision of a
lawyer, before inferior courts. Here, we have a law student who, as party litigant, wishes to represent
himself in court. We should grant his wish.

Additionally, however, petitioner contends that the respondent judge committed manifest bias and
partiality by ruling that there is no valid ground for her voluntary inhibition despite her alleged negative
demeanor during the pre-trial when she said: "Hay naku, masama `yung marunong pa sa Huwes. Ok?"
Petitioner avers that by denying his motion, the respondent judge already manifested conduct indicative
of arbitrariness and prejudice, causing petitioner's and his co-plaintiff's loss of faith and confidence in
the respondent's impartiality.

We do not agree.

It must be noted that because of this incident, the petitioner filed an administrative case [19] against the
respondent for violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, which we dismissed for lack of merit on
September 15, 2002. We now adopt the Court's findings of fact in the administrative case and rule that
there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of Judge Mijares when she did not inhibit herself
from the trial of the case.

In a Motion for Inhibition, the movant must prove the ground for bias and prejudice by clear and
convincing evidence to disqualify a judge from participating in a particular trial,[20] as voluntary inhibition
is primarily a matter of conscience and addressed to the sound discretion of the judge. The decision on
whether she should inhibit herself must be based on her rational and logical assessment of the
circumstances prevailing in the case before her.[21] Absent clear and convincing proof of grave abuse of
discretion on the part of the judge, this Court will rule in favor of the presumption that official duty has
been regularly performed.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The assailed Resolution and Order of the Regional
Trial Court, Branch 108, Pasay City are MODIFIED. Regional Trial Court, Branch 108, Pasay City is
DIRECTED to ADMIT the Entry of Appearance of petitioner in Civil Case No. 01-0410 as a party litigant.

No pronouncement as to costs.

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First United v. Poro Point GR 178799 Jan 19, 2009
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:20 PM

G.R. No. 178799 January 19, 2009


FIRST UNITED CONSTRUCTORS CORPORATION, vs. PORO POINT MANAGEMENT CORPORATION
(PPMC), THE SPECIAL BIDS & AWARDS COMMITTEE (SBAC) of PPMC, ATTY. FELIX S. RACADIO, and
SATRAP CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC.,
NACHURA, J.:
First United Constructors Corporation (FUCC) filed this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition
with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order, seeking to annul (i) the re-bidding of the
contract for the Upgrading of the San Fernando Airport Project, Phase I, held on May 8, 2007; (ii) the
Notice of Award1 dated May 23, 2007 to Satrap Construction Company, Inc. (SCCI); and (iii) Notice to
Proceed2 dated May 29, 2007 also to SCCI. FUCC also seeks to permanently enjoin the Special Bids and
Awards Committee (SBAC) and Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC) from implementing the
Contract3 in favor of SCCI.
The factual antecedents are as follows:
On January 26, 2007, PPMC approved the Contract for the Upgrading of the San Fernando Airport Phase
I. The SBAC then issued invitations to reputable contractors to pre-qualify for the project.
FUCC and two (2) other contractors - C.M. Pancho Construction, Inc. (C.M. Pancho) and EEI-New Kanlaon
Construction, Inc. Joint Venture (EEI-New Kanlaon JV) responded to the invitation and were pre-qualified
to bid for the project. However, upon evaluation, none of the pre-qualified bidders was chosen. C.M.
Pancho was disqualified because it did not possess the required minimum years of experience in airport
projects, while EEI New Kanlaon JV was disqualified because it did not submit a special license to bid as
joint venture. FUCC’s technical proposal, on the other hand, obtained a failing mark because it failed to
submit the automated weather observation system (AWOS) and its authorized representative did not
sign some pages of the narrative construction method and the tax returns. FUCC sought reconsideration
of the SBAC decision, but it was denied.4
FUCC then filed a protest5 with the PPMC. On March 26, 2007, Atty. Felix S. Racadio, PPMC Head,
resolved FUCC’s protest, viz.:
In sum, based on the issues raised and [the] arguments presented by FUCC, this OFFICE finds NO
REVERSIBLE ERROR committed by SBAC, both on its findings of 06 March 2007 (giving FUCC the FAILED
rating) and 12 March 2007 (denial of FUCC’s Motion for Reconsideration).
In addition to the "NO REVERSIBLE ERROR FINDING," there exists a PRESUMPTION OF REGULARITY OF
OFFICIAL ACTION OF A PUBLIC OFFICER. In the case at bar, such presumption applies. The burden of
proof lies with the FUCC. On this score, FUCC failed to even just scratch the surface of the same.
The proceedings and findings of SBAC, in the Pre-Qualification stage not having been put into issue by
the PROTEST, then, FUCC had opted to leave them as they were, thus, let them remain UNDISTURBED.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the PROTEST filed by FUCC which is under consideration is
hereby DISMISSEDfor lack of merit.
The FILING FEE paid by FUCC, the protestant, via Metro Bank Cashier’s Check No. 0600018513, dated
March 19, 2007, in the amount of Four Million Seven Hundred Twenty-One Thousand Pesos
(P4,721,000.00), Philippine Currency, which is equivalent to one [percent] (%) of the ABC being NON-
REFUNDABLE (Sec. 55.1, IRR-A, RA 1984), the same is hereby ordered FORFEITED in favor of PPMC.
SO ORDERED.6
SBAC then scheduled a re-bidding and issued new invitations to bid for the project. To enjoin the re-
bidding set on May 8, 2007, FUCC filed a petition for injunction with prayer for the issuance of a
preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order (TRO) with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of La
Union, docketed as Civil Case No. 7274.
On May 2, 2007, the RTC issued a TRO which, however, was lifted on May 4, 2007 because under Section
3 of Republic Act No. 8975,7 no court, except the Supreme Court, shall issue a TRO or injunction or
prohibit the bidding or award of a government infrastructure project. SBAC thus proceeded with the re-
bidding of the project on May 8, 2007 and awarded the project to SCCI as the lowest qualified bidder.8

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bidding of the project on May 8, 2007 and awarded the project to SCCI as the lowest qualified bidder.8
The Contract9 for the project was signed, and a notice to proceed10 was served on SCCI on May 29, 2007.
FUCC filed an amended petition with the RTC to enjoin the implementation of the project. The Office of
the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) moved to dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction.
Pending resolution of OGCC’s motion to dismiss, FUCC moved for the dismissal of its amended petition,
which was granted by the RTC on July 4, 2007, to wit:
Acting on the above-stated notice of dismissal, this Court hereby confirms the dismissal of the amended
petition, in effect the dismissal of the whole action, without prejudice, pursuant to Sec. 1, Rule 17 of the
Rules of Court.
WHEREFORE, this case is hereby DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED.11
Claiming that there is no appeal, or any speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law,
FUCC comes to us via this petition. It also asks for the issuance of a TRO to enjoin the implementation of
the project, asserting that SCCI is not qualified to undertake the project and the award clearly poses a
real threat to the public welfare and safety. In its November 12, 2007 Resolution, this Court denied
FUCC’s application for the issuance of a TRO for lack of merit.
FUCC filed this petition praying for the following relief, viz.:
(a) That upon receipt of this Petition, a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) be issued enjoining the
implementation of the contract for the Upgrading of the San Fernando Airport Project, Phase I
with respondent [SCCI] as the contractor;
(b) That after proper proceeding, judgment be rendered: (1) permanently enjoining the
implementation of the contract for the Upgrading of the San Fernando Airport Project, Phase I
with respondent [SCCI] as the contractor; (2) declaring the re-bidding of the contract for the
Upgrading of the San Fernando Airport Project, Phase I on 08 May 2007 illegal and nullifying the
results thereof; (3) annulling the Notice of Award dated 23 May 2007, the Contract for the
Upgrading of the San Fernando Airport, Phase I entered into, by and between respondent PPMC
and respondent [SCCI] on 29 May 2007, and the Notice to Proceed dated 29 May 2007; and (4)
directing respondent SBAC and/or respondent PPMC and/or respondent Atty. Recadio to
reconsider the "Failed" rating of the bid of FUCC, open the Financial Proposal Envelope submitted
by FUCC during the original bidding, declare FUCC as the winning bidder, and forthwith award the
contract to FUCC, as the winning bidder and being the only qualified contractor for the project. 12
It asserts that SBAC and PPMC committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying its bid, in denying its
protest, in conducting a re-bidding and in awarding the project to SCCI. It insists that it is the only
qualified contractor for the project and prays that it be declared the winning bidder.
We dismiss the petition.
Republic Act (RA) No. 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, outlines the procedure to
assail decisions of the SBAC in this wise:
SEC. 55. Protests on Decisions of the BAC. – Decisions of BAC in all stages of procurement may be
protested to the head of the procuring entity and shall be in writing. Decisions of the BAC may be
protested by filing a verified position paper and paying a nonrefundable protest fee. The amount of
protest fee and the periods during which the protests may be filed and resolved shall be specified in the
IRR.
SEC. 56. Resolution of Protests. - The protests shall be resolved strictly on the basis of records of the
BAC. Up to a certain amount specified in the IRR, the decisions of the Head of the Procuring Entity shall
be final.
SEC. 57. Non-interruption of the Bidding Process. – In no case shall any protest taken from any decision
treated in this Article stay or delay the bidding process. Protests must first be resolved before any award
is made.
SEC. 58. Resort to Regular Courts; Certiorari. – Court action may be resorted only after the protest
contemplated in this Article shall have been completed. Cases that are filed in violation of the process
specified in this Article shall be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The regional trial court shall have
jurisdiction over final decisions of the head of the procuring entity. Court actions shall be governed by
Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
This provision is without prejudice to any law conferring on the Supreme Court the sole jurisdiction to
issue temporary restraining orders and injunctions relating to Infrastructure Projects of Government.
FUCC challenged the decision of SBAC in a protest filed with Atty. Racadio of the PPMC who affirmed the

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issue temporary restraining orders and injunctions relating to Infrastructure Projects of Government.
FUCC challenged the decision of SBAC in a protest filed with Atty. Racadio of the PPMC who affirmed the
SBAC decision. Instead of filing a petition for certiorari, as provided in Section 58, FUCC filed a petition
for injunction with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary
injunction with the RTC. FUCC, however, later moved for its dismissal theorizing that the RTC had no
jurisdiction over petitions for injunction. Thereafter, it filed this petition for certiorari with this Court.
Section 4, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a special civil action for certiorari
shall be filed not later than sixty (60) days from the notice of the judgment, order or resolution.13 FUCC
admitted that it received the PPMC decision on March 27, 2007.14 However, it filed this petition assailing
the said decision only on July 30, 2007. It is, therefore, too late in the day for FUCC, via this petition, to
assail the PPMC decision which rated its bid as failed.
Besides, FUCC violated the doctrine of judicial hierarchy in filing this petition for certiorari directly with
this Court. Section 58 is clear that petitions for the issuance of a writ of certiorari against the decision of
the head of the procuring agency, like PPMC, should be filed with the Regional Trial Court. Indeed, the
jurisdiction of the RTC over petitions for certiorari is concurrent with this Court. However, such
concurrence does not allow unrestricted freedom of choice of the court forum. A direct invocation of
the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction to issue this writ should be allowed only when there are special
and important reasons, clearly and specifically set out in the petition.15
In the present case, FUCC adduced no special and important reason why direct recourse to this Court
should be allowed. Thus, we reaffirm the judicial policy that this Court will not entertain a direct
invocation of its jurisdiction unless the redress desired cannot be obtained in the appropriate lower
courts, and exceptional and compelling circumstances justify the resort to the extraordinary remedy of a
writ of certiorari.
Similarly, the RTC is the proper venue to hear FUCC’s prayer for permanent injunction. Unquestionably,
RA No. 897516 enjoins all courts, except the Supreme Court, from issuing any temporary restraining
order, preliminary injunction, or preliminary mandatory injunction against the government, or any of its
subdivisions, officials or any person or entity to restrain, prohibit or compel the bidding or awarding of a
contract or project of the national government. The proscription, however, covers only temporary
restraining orders or writs but not decisions on the merits granting permanent injunction. Therefore,
while courts below are prohibited by RA No. 8795 from issuing TROs or preliminary restraining orders
pending the adjudication of the case, said statute, however, does not explicitly proscribe the issuance of
a permanent injunction granted by a court of law arising from an adjudication of a case on the merits.17
As we explained in Alvarez v. PICOP Resources, Inc.:18
x x x Republic Act No. 8975 merely proscribes the issuance of temporary restraining orders and writs of
preliminary injunction and preliminary mandatory injunction. [It] cannot, under pain of violating the
Constitution, deprive the courts of authority to take cognizance of the issues raised in the principal
action, as long as such action and the relief sought are within their jurisdiction.
Clearly, except for the prayer for the issuance of a TRO or preliminary injunction, the issues raised by
FUCC and the relief it sought are within the jurisdiction of the RTC. It is a procedural faux pas for FUCC to
invoke the original jurisdiction of this Court over the issuance of a writ of certiorari and permanent
injunction.
In any event, the invitation to bid contains a reservation for PPMC to reject any bid. It has been held that
where the right to reject is so reserved, the lowest bid, or any bid for that matter, may be rejected on a
mere technicality.19 The discretion to accept or reject bid and award contracts is vested in the
government agencies entrusted with that function. This discretion is of such wide latitude that the
Courts will not interfere therewith or direct the committee on bids to do a particular act or to enjoin
such act within its prerogatives unless it is apparent that it is used as a shield to a fraudulent award;20 or
an unfairness or injustice is shown;21 or when in the exercise of its authority, it gravely abuses or
exceeds its jurisdiction. Thus, where PPMC as advertiser, availing itself of that right, opts to reject any or
all bids, the losing bidder has no cause to complain or right to dispute that choice, unless fraudulent
acts, injustice, unfairness or grave abuse of discretion is shown.
FUCC alleges that SBAC and PPMC, along with the SCCI and five (5) other bidders, colluded to rig the
results of the re-bidding so that SCCI would emerge as the so-called lowest bidder. The record, however,
is bereft of any proof to substantiate the allegation. Neither is there any evidence offered to establish
unfairness, injustice, caprice or arbitrariness on the part of the SBAC or the PPMC in awarding the
contract to SCCI, the lowest bidder. The presumption of regularity of the bidding must thus be upheld.

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contract to SCCI, the lowest bidder. The presumption of regularity of the bidding must thus be upheld.
As we explained in JG Summit Holdings, Inc. v. Court of Appeals:22
The discretion to accept or reject a bid and award contracts is vested in the Government agencies
entrusted with that function. The discretion given to the authorities on this matter is of such wide
latitude that the Courts will not interfere therewith, unless it is apparent that it is used as a shield to a
fraudulent award (Jalandoni v. NARRA, 108 Phil. 486 [1960]). x x x The exercise of this discretion is a
policy decision that necessitates prior inquiry, investigation, comparison, evaluation, and deliberation.
This task can best be discharged by the Government agencies concerned, not by the Courts. The role of
the Courts is to ascertain whether a branch or instrumentality of the Government has transgressed its
constitutional boundaries. But the Courts will not interfere with executive or legislative discretion
exercised within those boundaries. Otherwise, it strays into the realm of policy decision-making.
It is only upon a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion that the Courts will set aside the award of a
contract made by a government entity. Grave abuse of discretion implies a capricious, arbitrary and
whimsical exercise of power (Filinvest Credit Corp. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, No. 65935, 30
September 1988, 166 SCRA 155). The abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to
an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, as to act at all in
contemplation of law, where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of
passion or hostility (Litton Mills, Inc. v. Galleon Trader, Inc., et al[.], L-40867, 26 July 1988, 163 SCRA
489).
Accordingly, there being no showing of grave abuse of discretion, FUCC has no valid ground to demand
annulment of the contract between PPMC and SCCI.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. The assailed Decision of the PPMC is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.

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First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc. v. CA, GR 110571, Mar 10, 1994
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:21 PM

G.R. No. 110571 March 10, 1994


FIRST LEPANTO CERAMICS, INC vs. CA
and MARIWASA MANUFACTURING, INC.,
NOCON, J.:
Brought to fore in this petition for certiorari and prohibition with application for preliminary injunction is
the novel question of where and in what manner appeals from decisions of the Board of Investments
(BOI) should be filed. A thorough scrutiny of the conflicting provisions of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129,
otherwise known as the "Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980," Executive Order No. 226, also known as
the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987 and Supreme Court Circular No. 1-91 is, thus, called for.
Briefly, this question of law arose when BOI, in its decision dated December 10, 1992 in BOI Case No.
92-005 granted petitioner First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc.'s application to amend its BOI certificate of
registration by changing the scope of its registered product from "glazed floor tiles" to "ceramic tiles."
Eventually, oppositor Mariwasa filed a motion for reconsideration of the said BOI decision while
oppositor Fil-Hispano Ceramics, Inc. did not move to reconsider the same nor appeal therefrom. Soon
rebuffed in its bid for reconsideration, Mariwasa filed a petition for review with respondent Court of
Appeals pursuant to Circular 1-91.
Acting on the petition, respondent court required the BOI and petitioner to comment on Mariwasa's
petition and to show cause why no injunction should issue. On February 17, 1993, respondent court
temporarily restrained the BOI from implementing its decision. This temporary restraining order lapsed
by its own terms on March 9, 1993, twenty (20) days after its issuance, without respondent court issuing
any preliminary injunction.
On February 24, 1993, petitioner filed a "Motion to Dismiss Petition and to Lift Restraining Order" on the
ground that respondent court has no appellate jurisdiction over BOI Case No. 92-005, the same being
exclusively vested with the Supreme Court pursuant to Article 82 of the Omnibus Investments Code of
1987.
On May 25, 1993, respondent court denied petitioner's motion to dismiss, the dispositive portion of
which reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, private respondent's motion to dismiss the petition is hereby DENIED, for lack of merit.
Private respondent is hereby given an inextendible period of ten (10) days from receipt hereof within
which to file its comment to the petition. 1
Upon receipt of a copy of the above resolution on June 4, 1993, petitioner decided not to file any
motion for reconsideration as the question involved is essentially legal in nature and immediately filed a
petition for certiorari and prohibition before this Court.
Petitioner posits the view that respondent court acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in issuing
the questioned resolution of May 25, 1993, for the following reasons:
I. Respondent court has no jurisdiction to entertain Mariwasa's appeal from the BOI's decision in BOI
Case No. 92-005, which has become final.
II. The appellate jurisdiction conferred by statute upon this Honorable Court cannot be amended or
superseded by Circular No. 1-91. 2
Petitioner then concludes that:
III. Mariwasa has lost it right to appeal . . . in this case. 3
Petitioner argues that the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 or Batas Pambansa Bilang 129 and
Circular 1-91, "Prescribing the Rules Governing Appeals to the Court of Appeals from a Final Order or
Decision of the Court of Tax Appeals and Quasi-Judicial Agencies" cannot be the basis of Mariwasa's
appeal to respondent court because the procedure for appeal laid down therein runs contrary to Article
82 of E.O. 226, which provides that appeals from decisions or orders of the BOI shall be filed directly
with this Court, to wit:
Judicial relief. — All orders or decisions of the Board
(of Investments) in cases involving the provisions of this Code shall immediately be executory. No appeal
from the order or decision of the Board by the party adversely affected shall stay such an order or
decision; Provided, that all appeals shall be filed directly with the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days
REMLAW Page 81
decision; Provided, that all appeals shall be filed directly with the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days
from receipt of the order or decision.
On the other hand, Mariwasa maintains that whatever "obvious inconsistency" or "irreconcilable
repugnancy" there may have been between B.P. 129 and Article 82 of E.O. 226 on the question of venue
for appeal has already been resolved by Circular 1-91 of the Supreme Court, which was promulgated on
February 27, 1991 or four (4) years after E.O. 226 was enacted.
Sections 1, 2 and 3 of Circular 1-91, is herein quoted below:
1. Scope. — These rules shall apply to appeals from final orders or decisions of the Court of Tax Appeals.
They shall also apply to appeals from final orders or decisions of any quasi-judicial agency from which an
appeal is now allowed by statute to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court. Among these agencies
are the Securities and Exchange Commission, Land Registration Authority, Social Security Commission,
Civil Aeronautics Board, Bureau of Patents, Trademarks and Technology Transfer, National Electrification
Administration, Energy Regulatory Board, National Telecommunications Commission, Secretary of
Agrarian Reform and Special Agrarian Courts under RA 6657, Government Service Insurance System,
Employees Compensation Commission, Agricultural Inventions Board, Insurance Commission and
Philippine Atomic Energy Commission.
2. Cases not covered. — These rules shall not apply to decisions and interlocutory orders of the National
Labor Relations Commission or the Secretary of Labor and Employment under the Labor Code of the
Philippines, the Central Board of Assessment Appeals, and other quasi-judicial agencies from which no
appeal to the courts is prescribed or allowed by statute.
3. Who may appeal and where to appeal. — The appeal of a party affected by a final order, decision, or
judgment of the Court of Tax Appeals or of a quasi-judicial agency shall be taken to the Court of Appeals
within the period and in the manner herein provided, whether the appeal involves questions of fact or
of law or mixed questions of fact and law. From final judgments or decisions of the Court of Appeals, the
aggrieved party may appeal by certiorari to the Supreme Court as provided in Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court.
It may be called that Section 9(3) of B.P. 129 vests appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments,
decisions, resolutions, orders or awards of quasi-judicial agencies on the Court of Appeals, to wit:
(3) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders, awards of
Regional Trial Courts and
quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, except those falling within the
appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the provisions of this
Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of
Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.
The Intermediate Appellate Court shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive
evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its
original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or further
proceedings.
These provisions shall not apply to decisions and interlocutory orders issued under the Labor Code of
the Philippines and by the Central Board of Assessment Appeals.
Clearly evident in the aforequoted provision of B.P. 129 is the laudable objective of providing a uniform
procedure of appeal from decisions of all quasi-judicial agencies for the benefit of the bench and the
bar. Equally laudable is the twin objective of B.P. 129 of unclogging the docket of this Court to enable it
to attend to more important tasks, which in the words of Dean Vicente G. Sinco, as quoted in our
decision in Conde v. Intermediate Appellate Court 4 is "less concerned with the decisions of cases that
begin and end with the transient rights and obligations of particular individuals but is more intertwined
with the direction of national policies, momentous economic and social problems, the delimitation of
governmental authority and its impact upon fundamental rights.
In Development Bank of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals, 5 this Court noted that B.P. 129 did not deal
only with "changes in the rules on procedures" and that not only was the Court of Appeals reorganized,
but its jurisdiction and powers were also broadened by Section 9 thereof. Explaining the changes, this
Court said:
. . . Its original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari and habeas corpus, which
theretofore could be exercised only in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, was expanded by (1) extending it
so as to include the writ of quo warranto, and also (2) empowering it to issue all said extraordinary writs

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so as to include the writ of quo warranto, and also (2) empowering it to issue all said extraordinary writs
"whether or not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction." Its appellate jurisdiction was also extended to cover
not only final judgments of Regional Trial Courts, but also "all final judgments, decisions, resolutions,
orders or awards of . . . quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, except those
falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the
provisions of this Act, and of sub-paragraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4) of the
fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948," it being noteworthy in this connection that
the text of the law is broad and comprehensive, and the explicitly stated exceptions have no reference
whatever to the Court of Tax Appeals. Indeed, the intention to expand the original and appellate
jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals over quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards, or
commissions, is further stressed by the last paragraph of Section 9 which excludes from its provisions,
only the "decisions and interlocutory orders issued under the Labor Code of the Philippines and by the
Central Board of Assessment Appeals." 6
However, it cannot be denied that the lawmaking system of the country is far from perfect. During the
transitional period after the country emerged from the Marcos regime, the lawmaking power was
lodged on the Executive Department. The obvious lack of deliberation in the drafting of our laws could
perhaps explain the deviation of some of our laws from the goal of uniform procedure which B.P. 129
sought to promote.
In exempli gratia, Executive Order No. 226 or the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987 provides that all
appeals shall be filed directly with the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from receipt of the order or
decision.
Noteworthy is the fact that presently, the Supreme Court entertains ordinary appeals only from
decisions of the Regional Trial Courts in criminal cases where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua
or higher. Judgments of regional trial courts may be appealed to the Supreme Court only by petition for
review on certiorari within fifteen (15) days from notice of judgment in accordance with Rule 45 of the
Rules of Court in relation to Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended, this being the clear
intendment of the provision of the Interim Rules that "(a)ppeals to the Supreme Court shall be taken by
petition for certiorari which shall be governed by Rule 45 of the Rules of Court." Thus, the right of appeal
provided in E.O. 226 within thirty (30) days from receipt of the order or decision is clearly not in
consonance with the present procedure before this Court. Only decisions, orders or rulings of a
Constitutional Commission (Civil Service Commission, Commission on Elections or Commission on Audit),
may be brought to the Supreme Court on original petitions for certiorari under Rule 65 by the aggrieved
party within thirty (30) days form receipt of a copy thereof. 7
Under this contextual backdrop, this Court, pursuant to its Constitutional power under Section 5(5),
Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in
all courts, and by way of implementation of B.P. 129, issued Circular 1-91 prescribing the rules governing
appeals to the Court of Appeals from final orders or decisions of the Court of Tax Appeals and quasi-
judicial agencies to eliminate unnecessary contradictions and confusing rules of procedure.
Contrary to petitioner's contention, although a circular is not strictly a statute or law, it has, however,
the force and effect of law according to settled jurisprudence. 8 In Inciong v. de Guia, 9 a circular of this
Court was treated as law. In adopting the recommendation of the Investigating Judge to impose a
sanction on a judge who violated Circular No. 7 of this Court dated
September 23, 1974, as amended by Circular No. 3 dated April 24, 1975 and Circular No. 20 dated
October 4, 1979, requiring raffling of cases, this Court quoted the ratiocination of the Investigating
Judge, brushing aside the contention of respondent judge that assigning cases instead of raffling is a
common practice and holding that respondent could not go against the circular of this Court until it is
repealed or otherwise modified, as "(L)aws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or
non-observance shall not be excused by disuse, or customs or practice to the contrary." 10
The argument that Article 82 of E.O. 226 cannot be validly repealed by Circular 1-91 because the former
grants a substantive right which, under the Constitution cannot be modified, diminished or increased by
this Court in the exercise of its rule-making powers is not entirely defensible as it seems. Respondent
correctly argued that Article 82 of E.O. 226 grants the right of appeal from decisions or final orders of
the BOI and in granting such right, it also provided where and in what manner such appeal can be
brought. These latter portions simply deal with procedural aspects which this Court has the power to
regulate by virtue of its constitutional rule-making powers.

REMLAW Page 83
regulate by virtue of its constitutional rule-making powers.
The case of Bustos v. Lucero 11 distinguished between rights created by a substantive law and those
arising from procedural law:
Substantive law creates substantive rights . . . . Substantive rights is a term which includes those rights
which one enjoys under the legal system prior to the disturbance of normal relations (60 C.J., 980).
Substantive law is that part of the law which creates, defines and regulates rights, or which regulates
rights and duties which give rise to a cause of action, as oppossed to adjective or remedial law, which
prescribes the method of enforcing rights or obtains a redress for their invasion. 12
Indeed, the question of where and in what manner appeals from decisions of the BOI should be brought
pertains only to procedure or the method of enforcing the substantive right to appeal granted by E.O.
226. In other words, the right to appeal from decisions or final orders of the BOI under E.O. 226 remains
and continues to be respected. Circular 1-91 simply transferred the venue of appeals from decisions of
this agency to respondent Court of Appeals and provided a different period of appeal, i.e., fifteen (15)
days from notice. It did not make an incursion into the substantive right to appeal.
The fact that BOI is not expressly included in the list of quasi-judicial agencies found in the third
sentence of Section 1 of Circular 1-91 does not mean that said circular does not apply to appeals from
final orders or decision of the BOI. The second sentence of Section 1 thereof expressly states that "(T)
hey shall also apply to appeals from final orders or decisions of any quasi-judicial agency from which an
appeal is now allowed by statute to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court." E.O. 266 is one such
statute. Besides, the enumeration is preceded by the words "(A)mong these agencies are . . . ," strongly
implying that there are other quasi-judicial agencies which are covered by the Circular but which have
not been expressly listed therein. More importantly, BOI does not fall within the purview of the
exclusions listed in Section 2 of the circular. Only the following final decisions and interlocutory orders
are expressly excluded from the circular, namely, those of: (1) the National Labor Relations Commission;
(2) the Secretary of Labor and Employment; (3) the Central Board of Assessment Appeals and (4) other
quasi-judicial agencies from which no appeal to the courts is prescribed or allowed by statute. Since in
DBP v. CA 13 we upheld the appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals over the Court of Tax Appeals
despite the fact that the same is not among the agencies reorganized by B.P. 129, on the ground that
B.P. 129 is broad and comprehensive, there is no reason why BOI should be excluded from
Circular 1-91, which is but implementary of said law.
Clearly, Circular 1-91 effectively repealed or superseded Article 82 of E.O. 226 insofar as the manner and
method of enforcing the right to appeal from decisions of the BOI are concerned. Appeals from
decisions of the BOI, which by statute was previously allowed to be filed directly with the Supreme
Court, should now be brought to the Court of Appeals.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing reasons, the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition with
application for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction is hereby DISMISSED for lack of
merit. The Temporary Restraining Order issued on July 19, 1993 is hereby LIFTED.

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Sarah Ampong v. CSC GR 167916 Aug 26, 2008
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:21 PM

[G.R. No. 167916, August 26, 2008]

SARAH P. AMPONG VS. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, CSC-REGIONAL OFFICE NO. 11, RESPONDENT.

REYES, R.T., J.:

CAN the Civil Service Commission (CSC) properly assume jurisdiction over administrative proceedings
against a judicial employee involving acts of dishonesty as a teacher, committed prior to her
appointment to the judiciary?

Before Us is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA)
affirming the CSC's exercise of administrative jurisdiction over petitioner.
The Facts
The following facts are uncontroverted:

On November 10, 1991, a Professional Board Examination for Teachers (PBET)[2] was held in Davao
City. A certain Evelyn Junio-Decir[3] applied for and took the examination at Room 16, Kapitan Tomas
Monteverde Elementary School. She passed with a rating of 74.27%.[4]

At the time of the PBET examinations, petitioner Sarah P. Ampong (nee Navarra) and Decir were public
school teachers under the supervision of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports
(DECS).[5] Later, on August 3, 1993, Ampong transferred to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Alabel,
Sarangani Province, where she was appointed as Court Interpreter III.

On July 5, 1994, a woman representing herself as Evelyn Decir went to the Civil Service Regional Office
(CSRO) No. XI, Davao City, to claim a copy of her PBET Certificate of Eligibility. During the course of the
transaction, the CSRO personnel noticed that the woman did not resemble the picture of the examinee
in the Picture Seat Plan (PSP). Upon further probing, it was confirmed that the person claiming the
eligibility was different from the one who took the examinations. It was petitioner Ampong who took
and passed the examinations under the name Evelyn Decir.

The CSRO conducted a preliminary investigation and determined the existence of a prima facie case
against Decir and Ampong for Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best
Interest of the Service. On August 23, 1994, they were formally charged and required to file answers
under oath. The formal charge reads:
That sometime before the conduct of the November 10, 1991 Professional Board Examination for
Teachers (PBET), a certain Ms. Evelyn B. Junio (now Decir) took the said examination at Rm. 16 Kapitan
Tomas Monteverde Elementary School, Davao City, with a passing rate of 74.27%; That on July 5, 1994
she appeared before the CSC Region XI Office to get her Guro Certificate; That upon verification, it was
found out that the picture attached in the Picture Seat Plan, marked as Annex "A" and "A-1,"
respectively, were not the same compared to the picture attached in the CSC Form 212 of Evelyn Junio-
Decir marked herein as annex "B," "B-1," respectively. There was also a marked difference in the
signatures affixed in the said annexes; That further investigations revealed that it was the pictures of Ms.
Sarah Navarra, wife of her husband's first cousin, who took the said examination in behalf of Ms. Evelyn
Junio-Decir, a provisional teacher; That the said act of Mesdames Decir and Navarra are acts of
dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service; that in (sic) taking the CS
examination for and in behalf of another undermines the sanctity of the CS examinations; All these
contrary to existing civil service laws and regulations. (Emphasis supplied)
In her sworn statement dated November 3, 1994, Decir denied the charges against her. She reasoned
out that it must have been the examination proctor who pasted the wrong picture on the PSP and that
her signatures were different because she was still signing her maiden name at the time of the
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her signatures were different because she was still signing her maiden name at the time of the
examination. In her Answer, Decir contended that:
2. The same accusation is denied, the truth being:
a. When I took the Professional Board Examination for Teachers (PBET) in the year 1991, I
handed my 1x1 I.D. picture to the proctor assigned in the examination room who might
have inadvertently pasted in the Seat Plan [the] wrong picture instead [of] my own picture;
b. With respect to the marked difference in my signature both appearing in the aforesaid Seat
Plan and also with the Form 212, the disparity lies in that in the year 1991, when I took the
afroresaid examination, I was still sporting my maiden name Evelyn B. Junio in order to
coincide with all my pertinent supporting papers, like the special order (s.o.), appointment
and among others, purposely to take said communications. However, immediately after
taking the PBET Examination in 1991, I started using the full name of Evelyn Junio-Decir.[6]
Even before filing an Answer, petitioner Ampong voluntarily appeared at the CSRO on February 2, 1995
and admitted to the wrongdoing. When reminded that she may avail herself of the services of counsel,
petitioner voluntarily waived said right.

On March 13, 1995, petitioner gave another admission in the following tenor:
Q: Now, what is then your intention in coming to this Region inasmuch as you are still intending
to file an answer to the formal charge?
A: I came here because I want to admit personally. So that I will not be coming here anymore. I
will submit my case for Resolution.

Q: So, you intend to waive your right for the formal hearing and you also admit orally on the guilt
of the charge on the Formal Charge dated August 24, 1994?
A: Yes, Ma'am.

Q: What else do you want to tell the Commission?


A: x x x Inasmuch as I am already remorseful, I am repenting of the wrong that I have done. I am
hoping that the Commission can help x x x so that I will be given or granted another chance to
serve the government.

xxx x

Q: Now inasmuch as you have declared that you have admitted the guilt that you took the
examination for and in behalf of Evelyn Junio Decir, are you telling this to the Commission
without the assistance of the counsel or waiver of your right to be assisted by counsel.
A: Yes, Ma'am. I am waiving my right. [7] (Emphasis supplied)
Petitioner reiterated her admission in her sworn Answer dated March 16, 1995:
3. That, during the commission of the act, I was still under the Department of Education, Culture and
Sports, as Teacher in-charge of San Miguel Primary School, Malungon North District, way back in
1991, when the husband of Evelyn Junio-Decir, my husband's cousin came to me and persuaded
me to take the examination in behalf of his wife to which I disagreed but he earnestly begged so
that I was convinced to agree because I pity his wife considering that she is an immediate relative,
and there was no monetary consideration involved in this neither a compensatory reward for me,
as I was overcome by their persuasion;
4. That, despite the fact that I was a teacher, I was not aware that the acts I was charged, is a ground
for disciplinary action and punishable by dismissal;
5. That I should not have conformed to this anomalous transaction considering that I was born in a
Christian family, and was brought up in the fear of Lord, and had been a consistent officer of the
Church Board, had been a religious leader for so many years, and had been the organizer of the

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Church Board, had been a religious leader for so many years, and had been the organizer of the
Music Festival of the Association of Evangelical Churches of Malungon, Sarangani Province, thus I
was devoted to church work and was known to be of good conduct; and that my friends and
acquaintances can vouch to that, but I was just forced by circumstances to agree to the spouses
Godfre and Evelyn Decir.[8] (Emphasis added)
CSC Finding and Penalty

On March 21, 1996, the CSC found petitioner Ampong and Decir guilty of dishonesty, dismissing them
from the service. The dispositive part of the CSC resolution states:
WHEREFORE, the Commission hereby finds Evelyn J. Decir and Sarah P. Navarra guilty of
Dishonesty. Accordingly, they are meted the penalty of dismissal with all its accessory penalties. The
PBET rating of Decir is revoked.[9]
Petitioner moved for reconsideration, raising for the first time the issue of jurisdiction.[10] She argued
that the exclusive authority to discipline employees of the judiciary lies with the Supreme Court; that
the CSC acted with abuse of discretion when it continued to exercise jurisdiction despite her assumption
of duty as a judicial employee. She contended that at the time the case was instituted on August 23,
1994, the CSC already lost jurisdiction over her. She was appointed as Interpreter III of the RTC, Branch
38, Alabel, Sarangani Province on August 3, 1993.

The CSC denied the motion for reconsideration.[11] According to the Commission, to allow petitioner to
evade administrative liability would be a mockery of the country's administrative disciplinary system. It
will open the floodgates for others to escape prosecution by the mere expedient of joining another
branch of government. In upholding its jurisdiction over petitioner, the CSC differentiated between
administrative supervision exercised by the Supreme Court and administrative jurisdiction granted to
the Commission over all civil service employees:
Moreover, it must be pointed out that administrative supervision is distinct from administrative
jurisdiction. While it is true that this Commission does not have administrative supervision over
employees in the judiciary, it definitely has concurrent jurisdiction over them. Such jurisdiction was
conferred upon the Civil Service Commission pursuant to existing law specifically Section 12(11), Chapter
3, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. 292) which provides as follows:
"(11) Hear and decide administrative cases instituted by or through it directly or on appeal, including
contested appointment, and review decisions and actions of its offices and of the agencies attached to it
x x x."
The fact that court personnel are under the administrative supervision of the Supreme Court does not
totally isolate them from the operations of the Civil Service Law. Appointments of all officials and
employees in the judiciary is governed by the Civil Service Law (Section 5(6), Article VIII, 1987
Constitution). (Emphasis supplied)
CA Disposition
Via petition for review under Rule 43, petitioner elevated the matter to the CA.[12] She insisted that as a
judicial employee, it is the Supreme Court and not the CSC that has disciplinary jurisdiction over her.

In a Decision dated November 30, 2004,[13] the CA denied the petition for lack of merit.

The CA noted that petitioner never raised the issue of jurisdiction until after the CSC ruled against
her. Rather, she willingly appeared before the commission, freely admitted her wrongdoing, and even
requested for clemency. Thus, she was estopped from questioning the Commission's jurisdiction. The
appellate court opined that while lack of jurisdiction may be assailed at any stage, a party's active
participation in the proceedings before a court, tribunal or body will estop such party from assailing its
jurisdiction.

The CA further ruled that a member of the judiciary may be under the jurisdiction of two different
bodies. As a public school teacher or a court interpreter, petitioner was part of the civil service, subject
to its rules and regulations. When she committed acts in violation of the Civil Service Law, the CSC was
clothed with administrative jurisdiction over her.
Issue

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clothed with administrative jurisdiction over her.
Issue

Petitioner, through this petition, assigns the lone error that:


The Honorable Court of Appeals-First Division decided a question of substance in a way not in accord
with law and jurisprudence, gravely erred in facts and in law, and has sanctioned such departure and
grave error because it ignored or was not aware of Garcia v. De la Peña, 229 SCRA 766 (1994) and
Adm. Matter No. OCA I.P.I. 97-329-P (CSC v. Ampong) dated January 31, 2001, which reiterate the rule
that exclusive authority to discipline employees of the judiciary lies with the Supreme Court, in issuing
the questioned decision and resolution; which grave error warrant reversal of the questioned decision
and resolution.[14]
Put simply, the issue boils down to whether the CSC has administrative jurisdiction over an employee of
the Judiciary for acts committed while said employee was still with the Executive or Education
Department.
Our Ruling

The answer to the question at the outset is in the negative but We rule against the petition on the
ground of estoppel.

It is true that the CSC has administrative jurisdiction over the civil service. As defined under the
Constitution and the Administrative Code, the civil service embraces every branch, agency, subdivision,
and instrumentality of the government, and government-owned or controlled corporations.[15] Pursuant
to its administrative authority, the CSC is granted the power to "control, supervise, and coordinate the
Civil Service examinations."[16] This authority grants to the CSC the right to take cognizance of any
irregularity or anomaly connected with the examinations.[17]

However, the Constitution provides that the Supreme Court is given exclusive administrative
supervision over all courts and judicial personnel.[18] By virtue of this power, it is only the Supreme
Court that can oversee the judges' and court personnel's compliance with all laws, rules and
regulations. It may take the proper administrative action against them if they commit any violation. No
other branch of government may intrude into this power, without running afoul of the doctrine of
separation of powers.[19] Thus, this Court ruled that the Ombudsman cannot justify its investigation of a
judge on the powers granted to it by the Constitution. It violates the specific mandate of the
Constitution granting to the Supreme Court supervisory powers over all courts and their personnel; it
undermines the independence of the judiciary.[20]

In Civil Service Commission v. Sta. Ana,[21] this Court held that impersonating an examinee of a civil
service examination is an act of dishonesty. But because the offender involved a judicial employee
under the administrative supervision of the Supreme Court, the CSC filed the necessary charges before
the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), a procedure which this Court validated.

A similar fate befell judicial personnel in Bartolata v. Julaton,[22] involving judicial employees who also
impersonated civil service examinees. As in Sta. Ana, the CSC likewise filed the necessary charges
before the OCA because respondents were judicial employees. Finding respondents guilty of dishonesty
and meting the penalty of dismissal, this Court held that "respondents' machinations reflect their
dishonesty and lack of integrity, rendering them unfit to maintain their positions as public servants and
employees of the judiciary."[23]

Compared to Sta. Ana and Bartolata, the present case involves a similar violation of the Civil Service Law
by a judicial employee. But this case is slightly different in that petitioner committed the offense before
her appointment to the judicial branch. At the time of commission, petitioner was a public school
teacher under the administrative supervision of the DECS and, in taking the civil service examinations,
under the CSC. Petitioner surreptitiously took the CSC-supervised PBET exam in place of another
person. When she did that, she became a party to cheating or dishonesty in a civil service-supervised
examination.

REMLAW Page 88
It is well settled that the jurisdiction to try a case is to be determined by the law in force at the time of
the institution of the action, not at the time of the commission of the offense.[24] Consonant with this
principle, the time of commission is not material to determining which court has jurisdiction. It stands
to reason that administrative jurisdiction over petitioner belongs to the Supreme Court, the action
having been instituted by the CSC at the time when petitioner was already a judicial employee.

Indeed, the standard procedure is for the CSC to bring its complaint against petitioner, a judicial
employee, before the OCA. Records show that the CSC did not adhere to this procedure in the present
case.

However, we are constrained to uphold the ruling of the CSC based on the principle of estoppel. The
previous actions of petitioner have estopped her from attacking the jurisdiction of the CSC. A party who
has affirmed and invoked the jurisdiction of a court or tribunal exercising quasi-judicial functions to
secure an affirmative relief may not afterwards deny that same jurisdiction to escape a penalty.[25] As
this Court declared in Aquino v. Court of Appeals:[26]
In the interest of sound administration of justice, such practice cannot be tolerated. If we are to sanction
this argument, then all the proceedings had before the lower court and the Court of Appeals while valid
in all other respects would simply become useless.[27]
Under the principle of estoppel, a party may not be permitted to adopt a different theory on appeal to
impugn the court's jurisdiction.[28] In Emin v. De Leon,[29] this Court sustained the exercise of jurisdiction
by the CSC, while recognizing at the same time that original disciplinary jurisdiction over public school
teachers belongs to the appropriate committee created for the purpose as provided for under the
Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.[30] It was there held that a party who fully participated in the
proceedings before the CSC and was accorded due process is estopped from subsequently attacking its
jurisdiction.

Petitioner was given ample opportunity to present her side and adduce evidence in her defense before
the CSC. She filed with it her answer to the charges leveled against her. When the CSC found her guilty,
she moved for a reconsideration of the ruling. These circumstances all too clearly show that due
process was accorded to petitioner.

Petitioner's admission of guilt stands. Apart from her full participation in the proceedings before the
CSC, petitioner admitted to the offense charged - that she impersonated Decir and took the PBET exam
in the latter's place. We note that even before petitioner filed a written answer, she voluntarily went to
the CSC Regional Office and admitted to the charges against her. In the same breath, she waived her
right to the assistance of counsel. Her admission, among others, led the CSC to find her guilty of
dishonesty, meting out to her the penalty of dismissal.

Now, she assails said confession, arguing that it was given without aid of counsel. In police custodial
investigations, the assistance of counsel is necessary in order for an extra-judicial confession to be made
admissible in evidence against the accused in a criminal complaint. If assistance was waived, the waiver
should have been made with the assistance of counsel.[31]

But while a party's right to the assistance of counsel is sacred in proceedings criminal in nature, there is
no such requirement in administrative proceedings. In Lumiqued v. Exevea,[32] this Court ruled that a
party in an administrative inquiry may or may not be assisted by counsel. Moreover, the administrative
body is under no duty to provide the person with counsel because assistance of counsel is not an
absolute requirement.[33]

Petitioner's admission was given freely. There was no compulsion, threat or intimidation. As found by
the CSC, petitioner's admission was substantial enough to support a finding of guilt.

The CSC found petitioner guilty of dishonesty. It is categorized as "an act which includes the
procurement and/or use of fake/spurious civil service eligibility, the giving of assistance to ensure the

REMLAW Page 89
procurement and/or use of fake/spurious civil service eligibility, the giving of assistance to ensure the
commission or procurement of the same, cheating, collusion, impersonation, or any other anomalous
act which amounts to any violation of the Civil Service examination."[34] Petitioner impersonated Decir
in the PBET exam, to ensure that the latter would obtain a passing mark. By intentionally practicing a
deception to secure a passing mark, their acts undeniably involve dishonesty.[35]

This Court has defined dishonesty as the "(d)isposition to lie, cheat, deceive, or defraud;
untrustworthiness; lack of integrity; lack of honesty, probity or integrity in principle; lack of fairness and
straightforwardness; disposition to defraud, deceive or betray."[36] Petitioner's dishonest act as a civil
servant renders her unfit to be a judicial employee. Indeed, We take note that petitioner should not
have been appointed as a judicial employee had this Court been made aware of the cheating that she
committed in the civil service examinations. Be that as it may, petitioner's present status as a judicial
employee is not a hindrance to her getting the penalty she deserves.

The conduct and behavior of everyone connected with an office charged with the dispensation of justice
is circumscribed with a heavy burden or responsibility. The image of a court, as a true temple of justice,
is mirrored in the conduct, official or otherwise, of the men and women who work thereat, from the
judge to the least and lowest of its personnel.[37] As the Court held in another administrative case for
dishonesty:
x x x Any act which diminishes or tends to diminish the faith of the people in the judiciary shall not be
countenanced. We have not hesitated to impose the utmost penalty of dismissal for even the slightest
breach of duty by, and the slightest irregularity in the conduct of, said officers and employees, if so
warranted. Such breach and irregularity detract from the dignity of the highest court of the land and
erode the faith of the people in the judiciary.
xxx x

As a final point, we take this opportunity to emphasize that no quibbling, much less hesitation or
circumvention, on the part of any employee to follow and conform to the rules and regulations
enunciated by this Court and the Commission on Civil Service, should be tolerated. The Court, therefore,
will not hesitate to rid its ranks of undesirables who undermine its efforts toward an effective and
efficient system of justice.[38] (Emphasis added)
We will not tolerate dishonesty for the Judiciary expects the best from all its employees.[39] Hindi namin
papayagan ang pandaraya sapagkat inaasahan ng Hudikatura ang pinakamabuti sa lahat nitong
kawani.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit.

Pasted from <file:///C:\Users\Charisse\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI74.740\ampong.docx>

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BP 129, as amended by RA 7902
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:21 PM

REMLAW Page 91
RA 8246
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:21 PM

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8246 AN ACT CREATING ADDITIONAL DIVISIONS IN THE COURT OF APPEALS, INCREASING
THE NUMBER OF COURT OF APPEALS JUSTICES FROM FIFTY-ONE (51) TO SIXTY-NINE (69), AMENDING FOR THE
PURPOSE BATAS PAMBANSA BILANG 129, AS AMENDED OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE JUDICIARY
REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1980, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

Section 1. Sec. 3, Chapter 1 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as
follows:

"Sec. 3. Organization. - There is hereby created a Court of Appeals which shall consist of a Presiding
Justice and sixty-eight (68) Associate Justices who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines.
The Presiding Justice shall be so designated in his appointment, and the Associate Justices shall have
precedence according to the dates of their respective appointments, or when the appointments of two
or more of them shall bear the same date, according to the order in which their appointments were
issued by the President. Any member who is reappointed to the Court after rendering service in any other
position in the government shall retain the precedence to which he was entitled under his original
appointment, and his service in the court shall, for all intents and purposes, be considered as continuous
and uninterrupted."

Sec. 2. Sec. 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 4. Exercise of Powers and Functions. - The Court of Appeals shall exercise its powers, functions, and
duties through twenty-three (23) divisions, each composed of three (3) members. The Court may sit en
banc for the purpose of exercising administrative, ceremonial or other non-adjudicatory functions."

Sec. 3. Sec. 10 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 10. Place of Holding Sessions. - The Court of Appeals shall have its permanent stations as follows:
the first seventeen (17) divisions shall be stationed in the City of Manila for cases coming from the First to
the Fifth Judicial Regions; the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Divisions shall be in Cebu City for
cases coming from the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Judicial Regions; the Twenty-first, Twenty-second and
Twenty-third Divisions shall be in Cagayan de Oro City for cases coming from the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh,
and Twelfth Judicial Regions. Whenever demanded by public interest, or whenever justified by an
increase in case load, the Supreme Court, upon its own initiative or upon recommendation of the
Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals, may authorize any division of the Court to hold sessions
periodically, or for such periods and at such places as the Supreme Court may determine, for the purpose
of hearing and deciding cases. Trials or hearings in the Court of Appeals must be continuous and must be
completed within three (3) months unless extended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court."

Sec. 4. The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be included in the General
Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law and thereafter.

Sec. 5. Upon the effectivity of this Act, all pending cases, except those which have been submitted for
resolution, shall be referred to the proper division of the Court of Appeals.

Sec. 6. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow the transfer, except in cases of temporary assignment, of
any member of the Court of Appeals to any place or station without his or her written consent, or to undermine
the security of tenure of its members as provided in the Constitution, or alter the seniority in said Court in
accordance with existing laws.

Sec. 7. The Supreme Court is hereby authorized and empowered to constitute a Study Committee composed of a
member of the Judiciary, the prosecution, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), a representative of the

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member of the Judiciary, the prosecution, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), a representative of the
association of law colleges and law professors, and a member of the public at large.

The Committee shall undertake a serious study as to the feasibility and desirability of setting up a Regional
Circuit Courts of Appeals in lieu and in place of the present Court of Appeals System.

The Supreme Court shall submit the findings and recommendations of this Committee to Congress one (1) year
after the effectivity of this Act.

Sec. 8. Separability Clause. - If any portion or provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional, the remainder of
this Act or any provision not affected thereby shall remain in force and effect.

Sec. 9. Repealing Clause. - All laws, presidential decrees, letters of instruction, executive orders, rules
and regulations, or any part thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified
accordingly.

Sec. 10. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its publication in two (2)
newspapers of general circulation.

Approved: 30 December 1996

Pasted from <http://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno8246.htm>

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CGP Transport v. PU Leasing GR 164547 Mar 28, 2007
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:21 PM

G.R. No. 164547 March 28, 2007


CGP TRANSPORTATION AND SERVICES CORPORATION, Petitioner,
vs.
PCI LEASING AND FINANCE, INCORPORATED, Respondent.
DE C I S I O N
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court seeking to
annul and set aside the 26 March 2004 Decision1 and 13 July 2004 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals in
CA G.R. SP No. 68528 entitled "PCI Leasing and Finance, Inc. v. Hon. Alberto L. Lerma in His Capacity as
Presiding Judge of Branch 256 of the Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa City and CGP Transportation
and Services Corporation." In the assailed decision, the Court of Appeals set aside the 27 March 20013
and 30 August 20014 Orders of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 256, of the City of Muntinlupa in
LRC Case No. 99-020 entitled "In re: Petition for Issuance of Writ of Possession for Real Properties
Covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 172319 and 180241 of the Register of Deeds for Makati
City (CGP Transportation & Services Corporation Properties)." Herein respondent PCI Leasing and
Finance, Incorporated (PCI) was originally the petitioner in the aforequoted case, while herein petitioner
CGP Transportation and Services Corporation (CGP) was the oppositor therein.
This case stemmed from the extra-judicial foreclosure proceedings instituted by herein respondent PCI
against the Real Estate Mortgage5 and the Amendment of Real Estate Mortgage 6 executed by herein
petitioner CGP.
The facts are as follows:
Petitioner CGP obtained two loans from respondent PCI, the collective principal sum of which amounted
to Sixteen Million (P16,000,000.00) pesos. Both loans were secured by real estate mortgages over two
parcels of land7 located in Bo. Cupang, Muntinlupa City, and covered by Transfer Certificates of Title
Nos. 172319 and 180241 issued by the Registry of Deeds of Makati City.
Petitioner CGP failed to pay its indebtedness to respondent PCI pursuant to the terms and conditions
extant on the face of the Promissory Notes covering the two loans aforementioned. Accordingly, the
latter filed a petition for extra-judicial foreclosure of the real properties subject of the Real Estate
Mortgage and the Amendment of Real Estate Mortgage, pursuant to Act No. 3135,8 as amended.
During the public auction held thereafter, respondent PCI was the highest bidder of the subject real
properties. Consequently, the corresponding Certificates of Sale were issued in the name of respondent
PCI.
On 19 November 1997, the above-mentioned Certificates of Sale were registered with the Registry of
Deeds of Makati City.
Petitioner CGP, however, failed to redeem the real properties during the redemption period; thus,
respondent PCI insisted that actual possession thereof be turned over to it. Expectedly, petitioner CGP
balked at the idea and refused the demand. On 12 April 1999, respondent PCI9 filed before the Regional
Trial Court of Muntinlupa City, Branch 256, and docketed as LRC Case No. 99-020, a petition for an ex-
parte issuance of a Writ of Possession. Petitioner CGP opposed the subject petition.
On 15 November 2000, the RTC issued an Order ruling against oppositor (herein petitioner) CGP’s
stance. The Order, in part, reads:
The petitioner is correct, the law expressly authorized the purchaser to petition for a writ of possession
during the redemption period by filing an Ex-parte Motion under oath for that purpose and that the
pendency of any separate civil action can be no obstacle to the issuance of the writ of possession which
is a ministerial act of the trial court after a title on the property has been consolidated in the mortgage.
Accordingly, Ex-parte reception of evidence is scheduled on December 1, 2000, at 2:00 o’clock in the
afternoon.10
In its Motion for Reconsideration, petitioner CGP averred that the scheduled hearing was violative of the
writ of preliminary injunction issued in its favor by the same trial court, albeit in a different case
involving the same parties – particularly Civil Case No. 99-234, respecting a complaint for the annulment
of the foreclosure proceedings earlier mentioned. It argued that notwithstanding the fact that the
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of the foreclosure proceedings earlier mentioned. It argued that notwithstanding the fact that the
complaint for annulment of foreclosure proceedings had already been dismissed by the trial court, such
order had not yet become final and executory inasmuch as it was appealed to the Court of Appeals. That
being the case, the writ should still be considered in effect and subsisting.
On 27 March 2001, the RTC reconsidered its Order, viz:
[F]inding the grounds relied upon by the oppositor to be meritorious and considering further that there
are several motions to be resolved yet by the court, the Motion for Reconsideration is GRANTED, the
order of this court dated October 20, 2000 is set aside and the ex-parte proceedings is hereby nullified
and set aside. The Preliminary Injunction previously issued is reinstated.11
Consequently, it was respondent PCI’s turn to file a Motion for Reconsideration.
In an Order dated 30 August 2001, the RTC stood pat on its position that the Opposition filed by herein
petitioner CGP raised issues that needed to be heard in the presence of both parties. Said Order stated:
This resolves the Motion for Reconsideration filed by petitioner on the order of this court dated March
27, 2001, which granted the motion for reconsideration filed by Oppositor to the Order dated November
15, 2000.
There is basis to the pending motion of petitioner insofar as the reinstatement of preliminary injunction
earlier issued by this court and submission for resolution of motions are concerned, as they all refer to
Civil Case No. 99-234. This Court recognizes the snafu brought about by the several pleadings and
pending incidents both in the instant case and Civil Case No. 99-234 which involved the same parties
and the same subject matter.
Be that as it may, this court, after a careful review of the verified opposition of the oppositor, including
it annexes, is not inclined to grant the ex-parte proceedings as asserted by the petitioner. This court
reviewed the grounds of oppositor in its motion for reconsideration of the order dated November 15,
2000, which allowed ex-parte presentation of evidence in this case. These grounds are: (a) Presence on
record of a verified opposition to the petition and (b) there was an injunction earlier issued by this court
on September 3, 1999 on the complaint for annulment of foreclosure proceedings of the subject
properties filed by oppositor in Civil Case No. 99-234 also before this court.
It is the considered view of this court that the verified opposition on record joined issues that need to be
heard in the presence of both parties, a basic requirement of due process. The general rule frowns [on]
ex-parte proceedings. When this court issued a writ of injunction in Civil Case No. 99-234, taking into
consideration the allegations in the complaint it was convinced that there was a need for a status quo
between the parties until all the issues joined therein are heard and disposed. On technical ground, the
complaint in Civil Case No. 99-234 was dismissed by this court. Although it may be too late for this court
to say, there were indeed pending incidents that needed to be resolved in Civil Case No. 99-234.
Precisely, when this court mentioned of pending motions, it was actually referring to the pending
incidents in Civil Case No. 99-234, as correctly pointed out by the Oppositor, petitioner at the time of the
dismissal of the complaint in Civil Case No. 99-234, it has not filed yet its answer to the complaint in
intervention of the plaintiff-intervenor. Petitioner, apparently, took advantage of the inadvertence in
the issuance of the order of dismissal in Civil Case No. 99-234 when it kept silent of the fact that it has
not filed yet an answer to the complaint in intervention.
This court is cognizant of the rule that the dismissal of the complaint on the merits automatically
dissolves the injunction issued therein even if the decision or order of dismissal is on appeal. The
dismissal of this court however, of the complaint in Civil Case No. 99-234 was not the result of trial on
the merits but rather on mere technicality. It is in this light that this court believes that considering that
the dissolution of the injunction was the consequence of the order of dismissal of the complaint in Civil
Case No. 99-234, which was not the result of a trial on the merits, and the said order of dismissal is now
the subject of appeal, there is a need to suspend the proceedings in this case until the said appeal is
disposed.12
Aggrieved, respondent PCI filed before this Court, a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised
Rules of Court, premised on the following grounds:
1. THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION, AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION, WHEN IT NULLIFIED AND SET ASIDE THE EX PARTE PROCEEDINGS IN THE CASE
A QUO.
2. THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION, AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION, WHEN IT REINSTATED IN THE CASE A QUO THE PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

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EXCESS OF JURISDICTION, WHEN IT REINSTATED IN THE CASE A QUO THE PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
WHICH WAS ISSUED IN ANOTHER CASE (CIVIL CASE NO. 99-234).
3. THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION, AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION, WHEN IT SET ASIDE IN THE CASE A QUO THE ORDER DATED 20 OCTOBER 2000
WHICH WAS ISSUED IN CIVIL CASE NO. 99-234.
4. THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION, AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION, WHEN IT SUSPENDED THE PROCEEDINGS A QUO UNTIL THE APPEAL IN CIVIL
CASE NO. 99-234 IS RESOLVED.13
The petition (G.R. No. 150483) was, however, referred to the Court of Appeals by this Court for
appropriate action in a Resolution,14 dated 3 December 2001, pursuant to Section 6, Rule 56 of the 1997
Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, factual issues being involved.
In response to the referral, the Court of Appeals docketed the petition as CA G.R. SP No. 68528.
In its Decision promulgated on 26 March 2004, the Court of Appeals granted herein respondent PCI’s
petition and set aside the RTC Order dated 30 August 2001. The dispositive portion reads:
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby GRANTED. The orders dated March 27, 2001 and August 28
(sic), 2001 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 256, Muntinlupa City, in LRC Case No. 99-020 are SET
ASIDE. Further, the public respondent judge is ordered to continue with the proceedings and to decide
the case with dispatch.15
The appellate court found public respondent RTC Judge to have gravely abused his discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction in suspending the proceedings in LRC Case No. 99-020 relating to the writ
of possession asked for by herein respondent PCI. The Court of Appeals did not favor the RTC Judge
who, "in effect took cognizance of the proceedings in Civil Case No. 99-234, an action for annulment of
foreclosure proceedings filed by"16 herein petitioner CGP – one that is entirely separate from the case
earlier filed. Moreover, "[w]ith the dismissal of the main case, (an) injunction (issued therein) is
automatically lifted and the dissolution thereof is not appealable." The Court of Appeals then clarified
that though the preceding principle is the general rule, the circumstances surrounding the
reinstatement of the subject writ of preliminary injunction do not necessarily entitle the application of
the exception stated in Section 4, Rule 39 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, which states:
SEC. 4. Judgments not stayed by appeal. – Judgments in actions for injunction, receivership, accounting
and support, and such other judgments as are now or may hereafter be declared to be immediately
executory, shall be enforceable after their rendition and shall not be stayed by an appeal taken
therefrom, unless otherwise ordered by the trial court. On appeal therefrom, the appellate court in its
discretion may make an order suspending, modifying, restoring or granting the injunction, receivership,
accounting, or award of support.
The stay of execution shall be upon such terms as to bond or otherwise as may be considered proper for
the security or protection of the rights of the adverse party.
It likewise noted that the fact that there was no dispute vis-à-vis herein petitioner CGP’s failure to
redeem the foreclosed real properties within the period, herein respondent PCI’s right to possession
thereof is quite patent and absolute; and that "any question regarding the validity of the mortgage or its
foreclosure cannot be a legal ground for refusing the issuance of a writ of possession xxx."17
On 13 July 2004, the Court of Appeals denied the motion for reconsideration filed by herein petitioner
CGP.
Hence, this Petition for Review on Certiorari filed under Rule 45 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil
Procedure. Petitioner CGP does not question at all the substantive aspect of the decision of the Court of
Appeals. It’s petition is predicated solelyon the issue of "whether or not the Honorable Court of Appeals
gravely erred in giving due course to the petition for certiorari of respondent, there being already a final
finding by this Honorable Court in its Resolution dated December 3, 2001, in G.R. No. 150483, that the
said petition raised questions of facts and therefore not proper for petition for certiorari."18
In its one page argument, Petitioner CGP contends, in whole, that:
It is undisputed that this Honorable Court in its resolution dated December 3, 2001 in G.R. No. 150483
has found that issues of facts are raised in the petition filed therein. That these conclusion and finding of
this Honorable Court are final and therefore no court for that matter, including the Court of Appeals, can
disturb the same. [In fact and in truth, the factual issues are pending for resolution in the case before
the Court of Appeals, in the case entitled CGP TRANSPORTATION AND SERVICES CORPORATION,

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Plaintiff-appellant versus PCI LEASING AND FINANCE CORPORATION, defendant-appellee docketed as
C.A. G.R. No. 69466.] With this factual backdrop, petitioner honestly believes, that there can be no other
fate on the said petition [of respondent] but the dismissal, it being a settled jurisprudence that in a
petition for review, only questions of law can be raised. Even the Honorable Court of Appeals agree on
this point when it says in its aforequoted decision, citing the doctrine laid down by this Honorable Court
in BCI Employees & Workers Union v. Marcos, 39 SCRA 178, that "It is however basic that when facts are
disputed, certiorari is not an appropriate remedy".19
Respondent PCI, in contrast, maintains that in rendering its assailed Decision, the "… Honorable Court of
Appeals simply discharged the duty assigned to it by this Honorable Court," apropos the latter’s 3
December 2001 Resolution.
We sustain respondent PCI’s importunings and dismiss petitioner CGP’s petition.
Although the form or mode of the original petition filed by herein respondent PCI from the Order of the
RTC was a special civil action for certiorari, an incorrect mode of appeal there being questions of fact as
assigned errors, i.e., the existence and relevancy of specific surrounding circumstance, their relation to
each other and to the whole situation,20 this Court, in order to serve the demands of substantial justice,
considers and disposes of the case as an appeal by certiorari instead.
In an appeal by certiorari under Rule 45, only questions of law may be raised.21 In petitions such as the
one filed in G.R. No. 150483, questions of fact may not be the proper subject of appeal under Rule 45 as
this mode of appeal is generally confined to questions of law.22 Well entrenched is the rule that this
Court is not a trier of facts.23 The resolution of factual issues is the function of lower courts, whose
findings on these matters are received with respect and are in fact binding on us subject to certain
exceptions.24 Cases where an appeal involved questions of fact, of law, or both fall within the exclusive
appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals.25 This is attested to by Section 15, Rule 44 of the 1997
Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. The section reads:
SEC. 15. Questions that may be raised on appeal. – x x x he may include in his assignment of errors any
question of law or fact that has been raised in the court below and which is within the issues framed by
the parties.
It was on this score that we referred the subject petition to the appellate court.
Under Section 5(f) of Rule 56 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, an appeal may be dismissed
on the ground of erroneous choice or mode of appeal. Said section reads:
SEC. 5. Grounds for dismissal of appeal. – The appeal MAY be dismissed motu proprio or on motion of
the respondent on the following grounds:
xxx x
(f) Error in the choice or mode of appeal.
This notwithstanding, the Court may refer the case to the Court of Appeals under par. 2, Section 6 of the
same rule. Said section states:
SEC. 6. Disposition of improper appeal. – x x x
An appeal by certiorari taken to the Supreme Court from the Regional Trial Court submitting issues of
fact may be referred to the Court of Appeals for decision or appropriate action. The determination of
the Supreme Court on whether or not issues of fact are involved shall be final. [Emphasis supplied.]
This Court’s discretion to refer the case to the Court of Appeals is by reason of the term "may" in both
sections. Such term denotes discretion on our part in dismissing an appeal or referring one to the Court
of Appeals.
Besides, it must be borne in mind that procedural rules are intended to ensure proper administration of
law and justice. The rules of procedure ought not to be applied in a very rigid, technical sense, for they
are adopted to help secure, not override, substantial justice.26 A deviation from its rigid enforcement
may thus be allowed to attain its prime objective, for after all, the dispensation of justice is the core
reason for the existence of the courts.
In the case at bar, substantial ends of justice warranted the referral of the case to the appellate court for
further appropriate proceedings.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is hereby DENIED. The assailed 26 March 2004
Decision and 13 July 2004 Resolution, both of the Court of Appeals, in CA G.R. SP No. 68528 entitled "PCI
Leasing and Finances, Inc. v. Hon. Alberto L. Lerma, In His Capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 256 of
the Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa City and CGP Transportation and Services Corporation," are
AFFIRMED.

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AFFIRMED.
No costs.

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RA 9282
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:21 PM

Republic of the Philippines


Congress of the Philippines
Metro Manila
Twelfth Congress
Third Regular Session
Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-eight day of July, two thousand three.
Republic Act No. 9282 March 30 2004
AN ACT EXPANDING THE JURISDICTION OF THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS (CTA), ELEVATING ITS RANK
TO THE LEVEL OF A COLLEGIATE COURT WITH SPECIAL JURISDICTION AND ENLARGING ITS
MEMBERSHIP, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE CERTAIN SECTIONS OR REPUBLIC ACT NO. 1125, AS
AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE LAW CREATING THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS, AND FOR
OTHER PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
Section 1. Section 1 of Republic Act No. 1125, as amended is hereby further amended to read as follows:
"SECTION 1. Court; Justices; Qualifications; Salary; Tenure. - There is hereby created a Court of Tax
Appeals (CTA) which shall be of the same level as the Court of Appeals, possessing all the inherent
powers of a Court of Justice, and shall consist of a Presiding Justice and five (5) Associate Justices. The
incumbent Presiding Judge and Associate Judges shall continue in office and bear the new titles of
Presiding Justice and Associate Justices. The Presiding Justice and the most Senior Associate Justice shall
serve as chairmen of the two (2) Divisions. The additional three (3) Justices and succeeding members of
the Court shall be appointed by the President upon nomination by the Judicial and Bar Council. The
Presiding Justice shall be so designated in his appointment, and the Associate Justices shall have
precedence according to the date of their respective appointments, or when the appointments of two
(2) or more of them shall bear the same date, according to the order in which their appointments were
issued by the President. They shall have the same qualifications, rank, category, salary, emoluments and
other privileges, be subject to the same inhibitions and disqualifications, and enjoy the same
retirements and other benefits as those provided for under existing laws for the Presiding Justice and
Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals.
"Whenever the salaries of the Presiding Justice and the Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals are
increased, such increases in salaries shall be deemed correspondingly extended to and enjoyed by the
Presiding Justice and Associate Justices of the CTA.
"The Presiding Justice and Associate Justices shall hold office during good behavior, until they reach the
age of seventy (70), or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office, unless sooner
removed for the same causes and in the same manner provided by law for members of the judiciary of
equivalent rank."
Section 2. Section 2 of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 2. Sitting En Banc or Division; Quorum; Proceedings. - The CTA may sit en banc or in two (2)
Divisions, each Division consisting of three (3) Justices.
"Four (4) Justices shall constitute a quorum for sessions en banc and two (2) Justices for sessions of a
Division: Provided, That when the required quorum cannot be constituted due to any vacancy,
disqualification, inhibition, disability, or any other lawful cause, the Presiding Justice shall designate any
Justice of other Divisions of the Court to sit temporarily therein.
"The affirmative votes of four (4) members of the Court en banc or two (2) members of a Division, as the
case may be, shall be necessary for the rendition of a decision or resolution."
Section 3. Section 3 of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 3. Clerk of Court; Division Clerks of Court; Appointment; Qualification; Compensation. - The CTA
shall have a Clerk of Court and three (3) Division Clerks of Court who shall be appointed by the Supreme
Court. No person shall be appointed Clerk of Court or Division Clerk of Court unless he is duly authorized
to practice law in the Philippines. The Clerk of Court and Division Clerks of Court shall exercise the same
powers and perform the same duties in regard to all matters within the Court's jurisdiction, as are

REMLAW Page 99
exercised and performed by the Clerk of Court and Division Clerks of Court of the Court of Appeals, in so
far as the same may be applicable or analogous; and in the exercise of those powers and the
performance of those duties they shall be under the direction of the Court. The Clerk of Court and the
Division Clerks of Court shall have the same rank, privileges, salary, emoluments, retirement and other
benefits as those provided for the Clerk of Court and Division Clerks of Court of the Court of Appeals,
respectively.'
Section 4. Section 4 of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 4. Other Subordinate Employees. - The Supreme Court shall appoint all officials and employees of
the CTA, in accordance with the Civil Service Law. The Supreme Court shall fix their salaries and
prescribe their duties."
Section 5. Section 5 of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 5. Disqualifications. - No Justice or other officer or employee of the CTA shall intervene, directly or
indirectly, in the management or control of any private enterprise which in any way may be affected by
the functions of the Court. Justices of the Court shall be disqualified from sitting in any case on the same
grounds provided under Rule one hundred thirty-seven of the Rules of Court for the disqualification of
judicial officers. No person who has once served in the Court in a permanent capacity, either as
Presiding Justice or as Associate Justice thereof, shall be qualified to practice as counsel before the Court
for a period of one (1) year from his retirement or resignation."
Section 6. Section 6 of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 6. Place of Office. - The CTA shall have its principal office in Metro Manila and shall hold hearings
at such time and place as it may, by order in writing, designate."
Section 7. Section 7 of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:
"Sec. 7. Jurisdiction. - The CTA shall exercise:
"a. Exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review by appeal, as herein provided:
"1. Decisions of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in cases involving disputed assessments, refunds
of internal revenue taxes, fees or other charges, penalties in relation thereto, or other matters arising
under the National Internal Revenue or other laws administered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue;
"2. Inaction by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in cases involving disputed assessments, refunds
of internal revenue taxes, fees or other charges, penalties in relations thereto, or other matters arising
under the National Internal Revenue Code or other laws administered by the Bureau of Internal
Revenue, where the National Internal Revenue Code provides a specific period of action, in which case
the inaction shall be deemed a denial;
"3. Decisions, orders or resolutions of the Regional Trial Courts in local tax cases originally decided or
resolved by them in the exercise of their original or appellate jurisdiction;
"4. Decisions of the Commissioner of Customs in cases involving liability for customs duties, fees or
other money charges, seizure, detention or release of property affected, fines, forfeitures or other
penalties in relation thereto, or other matters arising under the Customs Law or other laws administered
by the Bureau of Customs;
"5. Decisions of the Central Board of Assessment Appeals in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction over
cases involving the assessment and taxation of real property originally decided by the provincial or city
board of assessment appeals;
"6. Decisions of the Secretary of Finance on customs cases elevated to him automatically for review
from decisions of the Commissioner of Customs which are adverse to the Government under Section
2315 of the Tariff and Customs Code;
"7. Decisions of the Secretary of Trade and Industry, in the case of nonagricultural product, commodity
or article, and the Secretary of Agriculture in the case of agricultural product, commodity or article,
involving dumping and countervailing duties under Section 301 and 302, respectively, of the Tariff and
Customs Code, and safeguard measures under Republic Act No. 8800, where either party may appeal
the decision to impose or not to impose said duties.
"b. Jurisdiction over cases involving criminal offenses as herein provided:
"1. Exclusive original jurisdiction over all criminal offenses arising from violations of the National Internal
Revenue Code or Tariff and Customs Code and other laws administered by the Bureau of Internal
Revenue or the Bureau of Customs: Provided, however, That offenses or felonies mentioned in this
paragraph where the principal amount o taxes and fees, exclusive of charges and penalties, claimed is
less than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) or where there is no specified amount claimed shall be tried

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less than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) or where there is no specified amount claimed shall be tried
by the regular Courts and the jurisdiction of the CTA shall be appellate. Any provision of law or the Rules
of Court to the contrary notwithstanding, the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the
recovery of civil liability for taxes and penalties shall at all times be simultaneously instituted with, and
jointly determined in the same proceeding by the CTA, the filing of the criminal action being deemed to
necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action, and no right to reserve the filling of such civil action
separately from the criminal action will be recognized.
"2. Exclusive appellate jurisdiction in criminal offenses:
"a. Over appeals from the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in tax cases
originally decided by them, in their respected territorial jurisdiction.
"b. Over petitions for review of the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in the
exercise of their appellate jurisdiction over tax cases originally decided by the Metropolitan Trial Courts,
Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in their respective jurisdiction.
"c. Jurisdiction over tax collection cases as herein provided:
"1. Exclusive original jurisdiction in tax collection cases involving final and executory assessments for
taxes, fees, charges and penalties: Provided, however, That collection cases where the principal amount
of taxes and fees, exclusive of charges and penalties, claimed is less than One million pesos
(P1,000,000.00) shall be tried by the proper Municipal Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court and Regional
Trial Court.
"2. Exclusive appellate jurisdiction in tax collection cases:
"a. Over appeals from the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in tax collection
cases originally decided by them, in their respective territorial jurisdiction.
"b. Over petitions for review of the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in the
Exercise of their appellate jurisdiction over tax collection cases originally decided by the Metropolitan
Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, in their respective jurisdiction."
Section 8. Section 10 of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 10. Power to Administer Oaths; Issue Subpoena; Punish for Contempt. - The Court shall have the
power to administer oaths, receive evidence, summon witnesses by subpoena duces tecum, subject in
all respects to the same restrictions and qualifications as applied in judicial proceedings of a similar
nature. The Court shall, in accordance with Rule seventy-one of the Rules of Court, have the power to
punish for contempt for the same causes, under the same procedure and with the same penalties
provided therein."
Section 9. Section 11 of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 11. Who May Appeal; Mode of Appeal; Effect of Appeal. - Any party adversely affected by a
decision, ruling or inaction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Commissioner of Customs, the
Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of Trade and Industry or the Secretary of Agriculture or the Central
Board of Assessment Appeals or the Regional Trial Courts may file an appeal with the CTA within thirty
(30) days after the receipt of such decision or ruling or after the expiration of the period fixed by law for
action as referred to in Section 7(a)(2) herein.
"Appeal shall be made by filing a petition for review under a procedure analogous to that provided for
under Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure with the CTA within thirty (30) days from the receipt
of the decision or ruling or in the case of inaction as herein provided, from the expiration of the period
fixed by law to act thereon. A Division of the CTA shall hear the appeal: Provided, however, That with
respect to decisions or rulings of the Central Board of Assessment Appeals and the Regional Trial Court
in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction appeal shall be made by filing a petition for review under a
procedure analogous to that provided for under rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure with the
CTA, which shall hear the case en banc.
"All other cases involving rulings, orders or decisions filed with the CTA as provided for in Section 7 shall
be raffled to its Divisions. A party adversely affected by a ruling, order or decision of a Division of the
CTA may file a motion for reconsideration of new trial before the same Division of the CTA within
fifteens (15) days from notice thereof: Provide, however, That in criminal cases, the general rule
applicable in regular Courts on matters of prosecution and appeal shall likewise apply.
"No appeal taken to the CTA from the decision of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue or the
Commissioner of Customs or the Regional Trial Court, provincial, city or municipal treasurer or the
Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of Trade and Industry and Secretary of Agriculture, as the case may

REMLAW Page 101


Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of Trade and Industry and Secretary of Agriculture, as the case may
be shall suspend the payment, levy, distraint, and/or sale of any property of the taxpayer for the
satisfaction of his tax liability as provided by existing law: Provided, however, That when in the opinion
of the Court the collection by the aforementioned government agencies may jeopardize the interest of
the Government and/or the taxpayer the Court any stage of the proceeding may suspend the said
collection and require the taxpayer either to deposit the amount claimed or to file a surety bond for not
more than double the amount with the Court.
"In criminal and collection cases covered respectively by Section 7(b) and (c) of this Act, the Government
may directly file the said cases with the CTA covering amounts within its exclusive and original
jurisdiction."
Section 10. Section 13 of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 13. Decision, Maximum Period for Termination of Cases. - Cases brought before the Court shall be
decided in accordance with Section 15, paragraph (1), Article VIII (Judicial Department) of the 1987
Constitution. Decisions of the Court shall be in writing, stating clearly and distinctly the facts and the law
on which they are based, and signed by the Justices concurring therein. The Court shall provide for the
publication of its decision in the Official Gazette in such form and manner as may best be adopted for
public information and use.
"The Justices of the Court shall each certify on their applications for leave, and upon salary vouchers
presented by them for payment, or upon the payrolls under which their salaries are paid, that all
proceedings, petitions and motions which have been submitted to the Court for determination or
decision for a period required by the law or the Constitution, as the case may be, have been determined
or decided by the Court on or before the date of making the certificate, and no leave shall be granted
and no salary shall be paid without such certificate."
Section 11. Section 18 of the same Act is hereby amended as follows:
"SEC. 18. Appeal to the Court of Tax Appeals En Banc. - No civil proceeding involving matter arising
under the National Internal Revenue Code, the Tariff and Customs Code or the Local Government Code
shall be maintained, except as herein provided, until and unless an appeal has been previously filed with
the CTA and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
"A party adversely affected by a resolution of a Division of the CTA on a motion for reconsideration or
new trial, may file a petition for review with the CTA en banc."
"SEC. 19. Review by Certiorari. - A party adversely affected by a decision or ruling of the CTA en banc
may file with the Supreme Court a verified petition for review on certiorari pursuant to Rule 45 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure."
Section 13. Distraint of Personal Property and/or Levy on Real Property. - Upon the issuance of any
ruling, order or decision by the CTA favorable to the national government, the CTA shall issue an order
authorizing the Bureau of Internal Revenue, through the Commissioner to seize and distraint any goods,
chattels, or effects, and the personal property, including stocks and other securities, debts, credits, bank
accounts, and interests in and rights to personal property and/or levy the real property of such persons
in sufficient quantity to satisfy the tax or charge together with any increment thereto incident to
delinquency. This remedy shall not be exclusive and shall not preclude the Court from availing of other
means under the Rules of Court.
Section 14. Retention of Personnel; Security of Tenure; Upgrading of Positions and Salaries. - All existing
permanent personnel of the CTA shall not be adversely affected by this Act. They shall continue in office
and shall not be removed or separated from the service except for cause as provided for by existing
laws. Further, the present positions and salaries of personnel shall be upgraded to the level of their
counterparts in the Court of Appeals.
Section 15. Transitory Provisions. - In consonance with the above provision, the incumbent Presiding
Judge and Associate Judges shall comprise a Division pending the constitution of the entire Court.
Section 16. Appropriations. - The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be
included in the General Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law and thereafter.
Section 17. Repealing Clause. - All laws, executive orders, executive issuances or letter of instructions, or
any part thereof, inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of this Act are hereby deemed repealed,
amended or modified accordingly.
Section 18. Separability Clause. - If for any reason, any section or provision of this Act shall be declared
unconstitutional or invalid, the other parts thereof not affected thereby shall remain valid.

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unconstitutional or invalid, the other parts thereof not affected thereby shall remain valid.
Section 19. Effectivity Clause - This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its publication in
at least (2) newspapers of general circulation.
Approved,

FRANKLIN DRILON JOSE DE VENECIA JR.


President of the Senate Speaker of the House of Representatives
This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2712 and House Bill No. 6673 was finally passed by
the Senate and the House of Representatives on December 8, 2003 and February 2, 2004, respectively.

OSCAR G. YABES ROBERTO P. NAZARENO


Secretary of Senate Secretary General
House of Represenatives
Approved: March 30 2004
GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
President of the Philippines

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RA 8249
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:21 PM

Republic Act No. 8249 February 5, 1997


AN ACT FURTHER DEFINING THE JURISDICTION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN, AMENDING FOR THE
PURPOSE PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1606, AS AMENDED, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR
OTHER PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled::
Section 1. The first paragraph of Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 1606, as amended, is hereby
further amended to read as follows:
"SECTION 1. Sandiganbayan; Composition, Qualifications; Tenure; Removal and Compensation. - A
special court, of the same level as the Court of Appeals and possessing all the inherent powers of a court
ofjustice, to be known as the Sandiganbayan is hereby created composed of a presiding justice and
fourteen associate justices who shall be appointed by the President."
Section 2. Section 2 of the same decree is hereby further amended to read as follows:
"SECTION 2. Official Station; Place of Holding Sessions. - The Sandiganbayan shall have its principal office
in the Metro Manila area and shall hold sessions thereat for the trial and determination of cases filed
with it: Provided, however, That cases originating from the principal geographical regions of the country,
that is, from Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao, shall be heard in their respective regions of origin except only
when the greater convenience of the accused and of the witnesses, or other compelling considerations
require the contrary, in which instance a case originating from one geographical region may be heard in
another geographical region: Provided, further, That for this purpose the presiding justice shall authorize
any divisions of the court to hold sessions at any time and place outside Metro Manila and, where the
interest of justice so requires, outside the territorial boundaries of the Philippines. The Sandiganbayan
may require the services of the personnel and the use of facilities of the courts or other government
offices where any of the divisions is holding sessions and the personnel of such courts or offices shall be
subject to the orders of the Sandiganbayan."
Section 3. The second paragraph of Section 3 of the same decree is hereby deleted.
Section 4. Section 4 of the same decree is hereby further amended to read as follows:
"a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-graft and Corrupt
Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal
Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the
government whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the
offense:
"(1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise
classified as Grade '27' and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic
Act No. 6758), specifically including:
"(a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan and provincial
treasurers, assessors, engineers and other provincial department heads;
"(b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors
engineers and other city department heads;
"(c) Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher;
"(d) Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank;
"(e) Officers of the Philippine National Police while occupying the position of provincial director and
those holding the rank of senior superintendent or higher;
"(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the
Ombudsman and special prosecutor;
"(g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or -controlled corporations,
state universities or educational institutions or foundations;
"(2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade'27'and up under the Compensation
and Position Classification Act of 1989;
"(3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;

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"(3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;
"(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the
Constitution; and
"(5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade'27'and higher under the Compensation and
Position Classification Act of 1989.
"b. Other offenses orfelonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public
officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to their office.
"c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-
A, issued in 1986.
"In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade '27' or
higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or military or PNP officers mentioned above,
exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial
court, municipal trial court and municipal circuit trial court ' as the case may be, pursuant to their
respective jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended.
"The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over final judgments, resolutions or
orders or regional trial courts whether in the exercise of their own original jurisdiction orof their
appellate jurisdiction as herein provided.
"The Sandiganbayan shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions for the issuance of the writs
of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, injunctions, and other ancillary writs and processes
in aid of its appellate jurisdiction and over petitions of similar nature, including quo warranto, arising or
that may arise in cases filed or which may be filed under Executive Order Nos. 1,2,14 and 14-A, issued in
1986: Provided, That the jurisdiction over these petitions shall not be exclusive of the Supreme Court.
The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as well as the implementing rules that the
Supreme Court has promulgated and may hereafter promulgate, relative to appeals/petitions for review
to the Court of Appeals, shall apply to appeals and petitions for review filed with the Sandiganbayan. In
all cases elevated to the Sandiganbayan and from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court, the Office
of the Ombudsman, through its special prosecutor, shall represent the People of the Philippines, except
in cases filed pursuant to Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986.
"In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the public
officers or employees, including those employed in govemment-owned or controlled corporations, they
shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees in the proper courts which shall exercise
exclusive jurisdiction over them.
"Any provisions of law or Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding, the criminal action and the
corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability shall at all times be simultaneously instituted
with, and jointly determined in, the same proceeding by the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts,
the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action, and
no right to reserve the filing of such civil action separately from the criminal action shall be recognized:
Provided, however, That where the civil action had therefore been filed separately but judgment therein
has not yet been rendered, and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the Sandiganbayan or the
appropriate court, said civil action shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court, as
the case may be, for consolidation and joint determination with the criminal action, otherwise the
separate civil action shall be deemed abandoned."
Section 5. Section 7 of the same decree is hereby further amended to read as follows:
'SECTION 7. Form, Finality and Enforcement of Decisions. - All decisions and final orders determining the
merits of a case or finally disposing of the action or proceedings of the Sandijanbayan shall contain
complete findings of the facts and the law on which they are based, on all issues properly raised before
it and necessary in deciding the case.
"A petition for reconsideration of any final order or decision may be filed within fifteen (15) days from
promulgation or notice of the final order on judgment, and such motion for reconsideration shall be
decided within thirty (30) days from submission thereon.
"Decisions and final orders ofthe Sandiganbyan shall be appealable to the Supreme Court by petition for
review on certiorari raising pure questions of law in accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
Whenever, in any case decided by the Sandiganbayan, the penalty of reclusion perpetua, life
imprisonment or death is imposed, the decision shall be appealable to the Supreme Court in the manner
prescribed in the Rules of Court.

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prescribed in the Rules of Court.
"Judgments and orders of the Sandiganbayan shall be executed and enforced in the manner provided by
law.
"Decisions and final orders of other courts in cases cognizable by said courts under this decree as well as
those rendered by them in the exercise of their appellate jurisdiction shall be appealable to, or be
reviewable by, the Sandiganbayan in the manner provided by Rule 122 of the Rules of the Court.
"In case, however, the imposed penalty by the Sandiganbayan or the regional trial court in the proper
exercise of their respective jurisdictions, is death, review by the Supreme Court shall be automatic,
whether or not accused files an appeal."
Section 6. Appropriations. - The amount necessary to carry out the initial implementation of this Act
shall be charged against the current fiscal year appropriations of the Sandiganbayan. Thereafter, such
sums as may be needed for its continued implementation shall be included in the annual General
Appropriations Act.
Section 7. Transitory Provision. - This Act shall apply to all cases pending in any court over which trial
has not begun as of the approval hereof
Section 8. Separability of Provisions. - If for any reason any provision of this Act is declared
unconstitutional or invalid, such parts or portions not affected thereby shall remain in full force and
effect.
Section 9. Repealing Clause. - All acts, decrees, general orders and circulars, or parts thereof
inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
Section 10. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in at
least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
Approved:

(Sgd.) ERNESTO M. MACEDA (Sgd.) JOSE DE VENECIA, JR.


President of the Senate Speaker of the House of Representatives
This Act which is a consolidation of House Bill No. 5323 and Senate Bill No. 844 was finally passed by the
House of Representatives and the Senate on January 28,1997 and January 29, 1997, respectively.

(Sgd.) LORENZO E. LEYNES, JR. (Sgd.) ROBERTO P. NAZARENO


Secretary of Senate Secretary General
House of Represenatives
Approved: February 5, 1997
(Sgd.) FIDEL V. RAMOS
President of the Philippines

Pasted from <http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra1997/ra_8249_1997.html>

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BP 129, as amended by RA 7691, Sec. 5
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:21 PM

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Bokingco v. CA, GR No. 161739, May 4, 2006
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:22 PM

G.R. No. 161739 May 4, 2006


ALFREDO BOKINGO vs. CA, HEIRS OF CELESTINO BUSA, represented by FELICIDAD BUSA-PANAL and
ERNESTO M. CAMPOS
CALLEJO, SR., J.:
Before the Court is the petition for review on certiorari filed by Alfredo Bokingo seeking to reverse and
set aside the Decision1 dated December 17, 2003 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 71510
which dismissed his petition for certiorari filed therewith.
The factual and procedural antecedents are as follows:
Petitioner Alfredo Bokingo is one of the defendants in the complaint for injunction and damages filed by
Ernesto Campos, the Heirs of Celestino Busa,2 the Heirs of Felicidad Busa-Panal 3 and the Heirs of
Concordia Busa.4 The complaint was filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Butuan City, Branch 3
thereof, and docketed as Civil Case No. 1003. The complaint alleged as follows:
CAUSE OF ACTION
3. Plaintiffs [herein respondents] are co-owners of the land subject matter. By virtue of the right of
representation, the heirs of FELICIDAD BUSA-PANAL and CONCORDIA S. BUSA and REYNALDO S.
BUSA, respectively;
4. Defendants in this case are heirs of MIGUEL BOKINGO;
5. Defendants ALFREDO BOKINGO [herein petitioner], WENCESLAO B. AMBRAY, JR., ROSA B.
AMBRAY, CELIA A. ALMORA and JOSELITO B. AMBRAY, filed an application for titling of a parcel of
land before the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Office of the CENRO, Ochoa
Avenue, Butuan City;
6. The land subject matter of the application of defendants is a parcel of land located at Baan
(Buhangin), Butuan City, containing an area of 2.1600 hectares, more or less;
7. The land subject matter of the application for titling of defendants is a parcel of land inherited
by plaintiffs from their father, the late CELESTINO BUSA. This parcel of land is described
particularly as:
TAX DECLARATION NO. GR.-10-002-0189-A
"A parcel of land covered by Tax Declaration No. GR-10-002-0189-A, situated in Buhangin, Butuan
City, containing an area of 2.1600 HAS., more or less. Bounded on the North – Elisa Busa, South -
Pastor Ago, East – Ho. Miguel Bokingo and on the West – Baan River."
8. When plaintiffs knew of defendants’ application, plaintiffs filed a protest against defendants’
application on February 5, 1996. Attached as Annex A is the Protest;
9. On November 24, 1998, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer, HUGO I.
BAÑOSIA, resolved the Protest in favor of Plaintiffs-the protestant in the DENR case. Attached as
Annex B is the order;
10. On January 6, 1999, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer, HUGO T.
BAÑOSIA, issued a certification stating that the order dated November 24, 1998 has become final
and executory. Attached as Annex C is the machine copy of the Certification;
11. On September 9, 1999, the same DENR Officer HUGO T. BAÑOSIA issued an Order of Execution
which states that:
In complying herewith, the Land Management Officer III concerned should be instructed to set forth the
whole proceeding in writing signed by the parties and witnesses, if possible, submit and return to this
Office within sixty (60) days from receipt hereof, to be used as evidence should it be necessary to
institute any action, criminal or otherwise, against any party who may refuse to obey the same.
SO ORDERED, Butuan City, September 9, 1999.
12. Plaintiffs requested on June 23, 1999, for a Survey Authority to survey the land subject matter
of this case before the CENRO Office of Butuan City. Attached as Annex D is the Survey
Application;
13. On July 30, 1999, A Survey Authority was issued by the CENRO of Butuan City, authorizing
plaintiff ENGR. ERNESTO M. CAMPOS, JR., to survey the land subject matter of the DENR case and
the case at bar. Attached as Annex E is the Survey Authority;
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the case at bar. Attached as Annex E is the Survey Authority;
14. On November 18, 1999 at 11:00 A.M., FELICIDAD BUSA-PANAL, MILAGROS BUSA SIMOGAN,
TERESITA BUSA LINAO, JIMMY BUSA-PANAL, son of Felicidad Busa-Panal, ALFREDO BUSA-PANAL,
son-in-law of Concordia S. Busa, personnel of the Butuan PNP and the personnel of ENGR.
ERNESTO M. CAMPOS went to the area subject matter of this case to survey the land.
Unfortunately, Defendant SPO3 FERDINAND B. DACILLO and Defendant ALFREDO BOKINGO,
representatives of defendants, told the survey group to stop and not to enter the area subject
matter of this case. Attached as Annex F is the report of CENRO Officer who [was] present during
the November 18, 1999 survey which was stopped by SPO3 FERDINAND B. DACILLO and ALFREDO
BOKINGO;
15. Plaintiff[s] availed of the Barangay Justice System to resolve the controversy regarding the
survey but to no avail, defendants still refused to allow plaintiffs to survey the area. Thus, a
Certificate to File Action was issued by the Lupong Tagapamayapa. Copy of the same is hereto
attached as Annex G;
16. The defendants did not exercise honesty and good faith in their acts which is a violation of
Article 19 of the New Civil Code, and which entitles the plaintiffs for damages;
17. The acts of defendants constrained the plaintiff*s+ to litigate and to incur attorney’s fees in the
amount of PhP10,000.00 plus litigation expenses estimated at PhP10,000.00.
PRAYER
Wherefore, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that after hearing, this Honorable Court:
1) Enjoin permanently the illegal acts of defendants of preventing the survey of the land subject
matter of this case by ENGR. ERNESTO M. CAMPOS;
2) Order defendants to pay plaintiffs the sum of P10,000.00 as attorney’s fees, P10,000.00 as
litigation expenses;
3) Order defendants to pay damages to plaintiff;
4) Such other reliefs just and reasonable under the circumstances. 5
Petitioner Bokingo, as one of the defendants in the above complaint, filed with the court a quo a motion
to dismiss alleging that the latter has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim. Specifically,
petitioner Bokingo contended that it could be gleaned from the complaint that the issue between the
parties involved the possession of the land. As such, the assessed value of the land was crucial to
determine the court’s jurisdiction over the subject matter in accordance with either Section 19(2) 6 or
Section 33(3) 7 of Batasang Pambansa Blg. 1298 as amended by Republic Act No. 7691. If the assessed
value thereof is P20,000.00 or less, then the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) has jurisdiction over the subject
matter. Otherwise, jurisdiction is with the RTC.
Petitioner Bokingo pointed out in his Motion to Dismiss that the assessed value of the land subject
matter of the complaint was not indicated. Nonetheless, he proffered that based on his father’s tax
declaration covering the subject land, its assessed value was only P14,410.00. Consequently, it was
allegedly clear that the court a quo, a Regional Trial Court, had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of
the complaint filed by the respondents. Rather, in view of the assessed value of the subject land which
was allegedly less than the P15,000.00, jurisdiction properly belonged to the MTC.
Petitioner Bokingo thus urged the court a quo to dismiss the complaint filed by the respondents for lack
of jurisdiction over the subject matter thereof.
Acting thereon, the court a quo issued the Order dated March 13, 2002 denying the motion to dismiss. It
pointed out that the complaint’s allegation is that the respondents, as plaintiffs, are entitled to have the
subject land surveyed after petitioner Bokingo’s and his co-claimants’ application for the titling of the
subject land was dismissed by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) and
the respondents were declared to have a better right to file a public land application covering the same.
Further, the relief being sought in the complaint is injunction in order that the respondents’ right to
survey the subject land would not be defeated.
Based on these allegations, the court a quo held that it had jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
claim under Section 2 of Rule 58 of the Rules of Court which provides in part that "[a] preliminary
injunction may be granted by the court where the action or proceeding is pending." It accordingly
denied petitioner Bokingo’s motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction.1avvphil.net
Petitioner Bokingo forthwith filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari alleging grave abuse
of discretion on the part of the court a quo in denying his motion to dismiss.

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of discretion on the part of the court a quo in denying his motion to dismiss.
On December 17, 2003, the CA rendered the assailed Decision dismissing the said petition for lack of
merit, in fact and in law. It ruled that the remedy of certiorari is unavailing to petitioner Bokingo
because "an order denying a motion to dismiss is interlocutory and cannot be the subject of the
extraordinary petition for certiorari or mandamus."9
It was noted that the records fail to disclose that petitioner Bokingo filed a motion for reconsideration of
the order of the court a quo. According to the CA, such omission warranted the outright dismissal of the
petition for certiorari. Finally, it was not shown or even alleged in the petition that the court a quo, in
issuing the assailed order, acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. The
issue raised by petitioner Bokingo, the CA held, was proper for an appeal but not a petition for
certiorari.
Aggrieved, petitioner Bokingo now comes to the Court seeking the reversal of the said decision of the CA
which dismissed his petition for certiorari filed therewith. He insists that the complaint filed by the
respondents with the court a quo is a possessory action. To determine which court, the RTC or MTC, has
primary jurisdiction, petitioner Bokingo theorizes that it is necessary that the assessed value of the land
be alleged in the initiatory complaint. Absent such allegation, the court where the case was filed should
allegedly preliminarily determine the assessed value of the subject property to determine whether or
not it has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim. In the present case, according to petitioner
Bokingo, the assessed value of the subject land is only P14,410.00; hence, jurisdiction thereof properly
belongs to the MTC in accordance with Section 19(2) or 33(3) of BP Blg. 129 as amended by RA 7691.
The petition is bereft of merit.
Preliminarily, the Court finds no reversible error in the dismissal by the CA of petitioner Bokingo’s
petition for certiorari filed therewith. As correctly held by the CA, the mere fact that he failed to move
for the reconsideration of the court a quo’s order denying his motion to dismiss was sufficient cause for
the outright dismissal of the said petition. Certiorari as a special civil action will not lie unless a motion
for reconsideration is first filed before the respondent court to allow it an opportunity to correct its
errors, if any.10 Petitioner Bokingo did not proffer any compelling reason to warrant deviation by the CA
from this salutary rule. As further observed by the CA, petitioner Bokingo failed to even allege grave
abuse of discretion on the part of the court a quo in rendering the order denying his motion to dismiss.
In any case, the present petition lacks substantive merit. It is axiomatic that the nature of the action and
which court has original and exclusive jurisdiction over the same is determined by the material
allegations of the complaint, the type of relief prayed for by the plaintiff, and the law in effect when the
action is filed, irrespective of whether the plaintiffs are entitled to some or all of the claims asserted
therein.11 The caption of the complaint is not determinative of the nature of the action. Nor does the
jurisdiction of the court depend upon the answer of the defendant or agreement of the parties, or to the
waiver or acquiescence of the parties.12
A careful perusal of the respondents’ complaint, quoted earlier, shows that it alleges that per the Order
dated November 24, 1998 of PENRO of Butuan City, petitioner Bokingo’s and his co-claimants’
application for titling of the subject land was rejected. On the other hand, in the same order it was
declared that the respondents, if qualified, may file an appropriate public land application covering the
same land. It was further alleged that the said order became final and executory, and in connection
therewith, the respondents were authorized by the City Environment and Natural Resources Officer
(CENRO) of Butuan City to conduct a survey on the subject land. However, petitioner Bokingo, through
his representatives, unjustly prevented the conduct of the said survey. Even when the matter regarding
the survey was submitted to the Lupong Tagapamayapa, petitioner Bokingo still allegedly refused to
allow the respondents to survey the subject land. Hence, the Complaint for Injunction filed by the
respondents where the principal relief sought is to enjoin permanently the illegal acts of the defendants
therein, including petitioner Bokingo, of preventing the survey of the land subject matter of the case.
In this connection, it is well to note that the Court had the occasion to explain that "in determining
whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation, the nature
of the principal action, or remedy sought must first be ascertained. If it is primarily for the recovery of a
sum of money, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and jurisdiction over the action
will 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, the action is one where the subject of litigation may not be estimated in

REMLAW Page 110


the principal relief sought, the action is one where the subject of litigation may not be estimated in
terms of money, which is cognizable exclusively by Regional Trial Courts."13
As gleaned from the complaint, the principal relief sought by the respondents in their complaint is for
the court a quo to issue an injunction against petitioner Bokingo and his representatives to permanently
enjoin them from preventing the survey of the subject land. For clarity, the prayer of the complaint
reads:
Wherefore, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that after hearing, this Honorable Court:
1) Enjoin permanently the illegal acts of defendants of preventing the survey of the land subject
matter of this case by ENGR. ERNESTO M. CAMPOS;
2) Order defendants to pay plaintiffs the sum of P10,000.00 as attorney’s fees, P10,000.00 as
litigation expenses;
3) Order defendants to pay damages to plaintiff;
4) Such other reliefs just and reasonable under the circumstances. 14
Contrary to the view posited by petitioner Bokingo, the cause of action of the respondents’ complaint is
not, as yet, to recover the possession of the subject land. There are three kinds of actions to judicially
recover possession of real property and these are distinguished in this wise:
What really distinguishes an action for unlawful detainer from a possessory action (accion publiciana)
and from a reinvindicatory action (accion reinvindicatoria) is that the first is limited to the question of
possession de facto. An unlawful detainer suit (accion interdictal) together with forcible entry are the
two forms of an ejectment suit that may be filed to recover possession of real property. Aside from the
summary action of ejectment, accion publiciana or the plenary action to recover the right of possession
and accion reinvindicatoria or the action to recover ownership which includes recovery of possession,
make up the three kinds of actions to judicially recover possession.15
Significantly, the respondents’ complaint has not sought to recover the possession or ownership of the
subject land. Rather, it is principally an action to enjoin petitioner Bokingo and his representatives from
committing acts that would tend to prevent the survey of the subject land. It cannot be said therefore
that it is one of a possessory action. The respondents, as plaintiffs in the court a quo, to be entitled to
the injunctive relief sought, need to establish the following requirements: (1) the existence of a right to
be protected; and (2) that the acts against which the injunction is to be directed are violative of the said
right. As such, the subject matter of litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation and properly
cognizable exclusively by the court a quo, a Regional Trial Court under Section 19 (1) of BP Blg. 129, as
amended by RA 7691:
SEC. 19. Jurisdiction in Civil Cases. – Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:
(1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation;
xxx
Hence, the court a quo did not err in denying petitioner Bokingo’s motion to dismiss.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision dated December 17,
2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 71510 is AFFIRMED in toto.

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RCP v. CA GR 136109 Aug 1, 2002;
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:22 PM

[G.R. No. 136109. August 1, 2002]


RADIO COMMUNICATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., vs. COURT OF APPEALS and MANUEL DULAWON
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
This is a petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 45987 dated April
30, 1998 and its resolution dated October 15, 1998 denying the motion for reconsideration.
On June 18, 1997, private respondent Manuel Dulawon filed with the Regional Trial Court of Tabuk,
Kalinga, Branch 25, a complaint for breach of contract of lease with damages against petitioner Radio
Communications of the Philippines, Inc. (RCPI). Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for
lack of jurisdiction contending that it is the Municipal Trial Court which has jurisdiction as the complaint
is basically one for collection of unpaid rentals in the sum of P84,000.00, which does not exceed the
jurisdictional amount of P100,000.00 for Regional Trial Courts. The trial court denied the motion to
dismiss, as well as petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. Hence, petitioner went to the Court of
Appeals on a petition for certiorari. On April 30, 1998, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition. The
dispositive portion thereof reads:
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED DUE COURSE and is DISMISSED. Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
The motion for reconsideration of the foregoing decision was denied on October 15, 1998. Hence, this
petition.
The issue for resolution in this petition is whether or not the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction over
the complaint filed by private respondent.
Pertinent portion of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by Republic Act No. 7691, provides:
SEC. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. – Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:
(1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation;
xxx xx x xxx
(8) In all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney’s
fees, litigation expenses, and costs or the value of the property in controversy exceeds One hundred
thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in such other cases in Metro Manila, where the demand, exclusive of
the abovementioned items exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00).
Corollary thereto, Administrative Circular No. 09-94, states:
xxx xx x xxx
2. The exclusion of the term “damages of whatever kind” in determining the jurisdictional amount
under Section 19 (8) and Section 33 (1) of B.P. 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691, applies to cases where
the damages are merely incidental to or a consequence of the main cause of action. However, in cases
where the claim for damages is the main cause of action, or one of the causes of action, the amount of
such claim shall be considered in determining the jurisdiction of the court.
xxx xx x x x x.
In Russell, et al., v. Vestil, et al., the Court held that in determining whether an action is one the subject
matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation, the nature of the principal action or remedy
sought must first be ascertained. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is
considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and jurisdiction over the action will 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,
the action is one where the subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, which is
cognizable exclusively by Regional Trial Courts.
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.
In the case at bar, the allegations in the complaint plainly show that private respondent’s cause of action
is breach of contract. The pertinent portion of the complaint recites:
xxx xx x xxx

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is breach of contract. The pertinent portion of the complaint recites:
xxx xx x xxx
2. That sometime during the end of the year 1995, defendant through its appropriate officials
negotiated with plaintiff the lease of a portion of the latter’s building x x x
3. That the lease contract was effective for a period of three (3) years of from January 1, 1996 to
January 1, 1998 with advance payment for the year 1996. The advance was not however given in lump
sum but on installment. One check that was given in payment of one month’s rental for 1996 was even
stale and had to be changed only after demand;
4. That as per contract the monthly rental for 1997 was P3,300.00 while for 1998, it is P3,700.00;
5. That the defendant surreptitiously removed its equipments and other personalities from the
leased premises and failed to pay rentals due for the months of January to March 1997 to the damage
and prejudice of plaintiff; that this failure and refusal on the part of plaintiff accelerated the payment of
all rentals for each month for the years 1997 and 1998;
6. That the acts of defendant amounts to a breach of contract which is unlawful and malicious, as in
fact, it caused plaintiff serious anxiety, emotional stress, and sleepless nights for which he is entitled to
moral damages;
7. That plaintiff conveyed his feelings to Mr. Ronald C. Manalastas as evidenced by a letter dated
January 7, 1997 a copy of which is hereto attached to form part hereof as Annex “B”. This was later
followed by a letter of plaintiff’s counsel a machine copy of which is hereto attached to form part hereof
and marked as Annex “C”. Both these letters landed on deaf ears thereby aggravating the
worries/anxieties of plaintiff;
8. That the period agreed is for the benefit of both parties and any unilateral termination constitutes
breach of contract;
9. That defendant actually used the leased premises during the year 1996; that had it not been for
the contract, plaintiff could have leased the premises to other persons for business purposes; that this
unlawful and malicious breach of contract cannot be lawfully countenanced hence defendant must be
taught a lesson by being ordered to pay exemplary damages;
xxx xx x x x x.
It is settled that a breach of contract is a cause of action either for specific performance or rescission of
contracts. In Manufacturer’s Distributors, Inc. v. Siu Liong, the Court held that actions for specific
performance are incapable of pecuniary estimation and therefore fall under the jurisdiction of the
Regional Trial Court. Here, the averments in the complaint reveal that the suit filed by private
respondent was primarily one for specific performance as it was aimed to enforce their three-year lease
contract which would incidentally entitle him to monetary awards if the court should find that the
subject contract of lease was breached. As alleged therein, petitioner’s failure to pay rentals due for the
period from January to March 1997, constituted a violation of their contract which had the effect of
accelerating the payment of monthly rentals for the years 1997 and 1998. The same complaint likewise
implied a premature and unilateral termination of the term of the lease with the closure of and removal
all communication equipment in the leased premises. Under the circumstances, the court has to
scrutinize the facts and the applicable laws in order to determine whether there was indeed a violation
of their lease agreement that would justify the award of rentals and damages. The prayer, therefore, for
the payment of unpaid rentals in the amount of P84,000.00 plus damages consequent to the breach is
merely incidental to the main action for specific performance. Similarly, in Manufacturer’s Distributor’s
Inc., the Court explained –
xxx xx x xxx
That plaintiff’s complaint also sought the payment by the defendant of P3,376.00, plus interest and
attorney’s fees, does not give a pecuniary estimation to the litigation, for the payment of such amounts
can only be ordered as a consequence of the specific performance primarily sought. In other words,
such payment would be but an incident or consequence of defendant's liability for specific performance.
If no such liability is judicially declared, the payment can not be awarded. Hence, the amounts sought
do not represent the value of the subject of litigation.
“Subject matter over which jurisdiction can not be conferred by consent, has reference, not to the res or
property involved in the litigation nor to a particular case, but to the class of cases, the purported
subject of litigation, the nature of the action and of the relief sought (Appeal of Maclain, 176 NW. 817).”
Specifically, it has been held that:
“The Court has no jurisdiction of a suit for specific performance of a contract, although the damages

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“The Court has no jurisdiction of a suit for specific performance of a contract, although the damages
alleged for its breach, if permitted, are within the amount of which that court has jurisdiction.” (Mebane
Cotton Breeding Station. vs. Sides, 257 SW. 302; 21 C.J.S. 59, note).
xxx xx x xxx
Clearly, the action for specific performance case, irrespective of the amount of rentals and damages
sought to be recovered, is incapable of pecuniary estimation, hence cognizable exclusively by the
Regional Trial Court. The trial court, therefore, did not err in denying petitioner’s motion to dismiss.
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the petition is DENIED and the assailed decision of the Court
of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 45987 is AFFIRMED.

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Honorio Bernardo v. Heirs of Eusebio Villegas GR 183357 Mar 15,
2010;
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:22 PM

HONORIO BERNARDO, Petitioner,


vs.
HEIRS OF EUSEBIO VILLEGAS, Respondents.
DE C I S I O N
PEREZ, J.:
This petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeks to assail the validity of
the Decision1 dated 21 April 2008 of the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the judgment of the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Binangonan, Rizal in Civil Case No. R-00-035.
This controversy stemmed from a Complaint dated 14 November 2000 for accion publiciana filed by
respondent Heirs of Eusebio Villegas against petitioner Honorio Bernardo, Romeo Gaza (Gaza) and
Monina Francisco (Francisco). Respondents had earlier filed an ejectment case against the trio, docketed
as Civil Case No. 99-065 with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Binangonan, Rizal, which case was
dismissed on the ground of lack of jurisdiction for having been filed beyond the one-year prescriptive
period for filing a forcible entry case.2
Respondents alleged in the Complaint that their father, Eusebio Villegas, is the registered owner of a
parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 46891 with an area of 18,369 square
meters and situated in Barangay Pag-asa, Binangonan, Rizal; that petitioner, by stealth and in the guise
of merely grazing his cattle, surreptitiously entered into possession of a portion of respondents’ land;
that petitioner conspired and confederated with Gaza and Francisco by illegally constructing their own
houses on the subject land; that the issue of possession was brought to the barangay for conciliation but
no settlement was reached by the parties; and that petitioner, Gaza and Francisco had forcibly,
unlawfully and unjustly possessed and continue to possess the subject property and had refused to
vacate the same.
In his Answer, petitioner denied taking possession of any portion of the property of respondents. He
argued that the cause of action is barred by the judgment in the ejectment case. He claimed that he had
been in possession of his land since the early 1950s.3 As he did before the MTC, petitioner also alleged
lack of jurisdiction on the part of the RTC.
Gaza alleged that he has been occupying an abandoned river bed adjacent to the property allegedly
owned by respondents.4 Gaza averred that he entered into a written agreement with petitioner, who
claimed to own the land and allowed him to build a nipa hut thereon.5
An ocular inspection was conducted by the trial court judge. On 5 March 2007, the trial court rendered
judgment in favor of respondents and ordered petitioner, Gaza and Francisco to vacate the subject land
covered by TCT No. 46891 and to pay jointly and severally respondents the amount of P30,000.00 as
attorney’s fees and the cost of suit.6
The trial court held that the suit, being an accion publiciana, falls within its jurisdiction. It found that the
houses of petitioner and Gaza were inside the titled property of respondents. Its findings were based on
the testimony of one of the respondents, Estelito Villegas; the relocation plan prepared by Engineer Rico
J. Rasay; and the Technical Report on Verification Survey submitted by Engineer Robert C. Pangyarihan,
petitioner’s own witness.7 The trial court noted that petitioner failed to present any title or tax
declaration to prove ownership or possessory right.8
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the trial court.
In his appeal, petitioner questioned the jurisdiction of the trial court over the subject matter and argued
that in their complaint, the respondents failed to state the assessed value of the property in dispute.
The appellate court ruled that petitioner is estopped from raising the issue of jurisdiction because he
failed to file a motion to dismiss on such ground and, instead, actively participated in the proceedings
before the trial court.
With respect to the argument that being indispensable parties, all of the heirs of Eusebio Villegas should
have been impleaded as parties, the appellate court disagreed and invoked Article 487 of the Civil Code,

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have been impleaded as parties, the appellate court disagreed and invoked Article 487 of the Civil Code,
which provides that any one of the co-owners may bring an action for ejectment. The appellate court
construed said provision to cover all kinds of actions for recovery of possession.9
The appellate court sustained the trial court’s finding that the portions of the land occupied by
petitioner and Gaza are owned by respondents. The appellate court likewise ruled that respondents
could not be guilty of laches considering that Estelito Villegas, upon seeing for the first time in 1996 that
petitioner was already building his house on the premises, verbally asked him to discontinue the
construction.10
His motion for reconsideration having been denied, petitioner filed the instant petition.
Petitioner insists that the trial court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action for failure
of respondents to allege the assessed value of the property involved in their complaint. Petitioner belies
the ruling of the appellate court that he failed to raise objections before the trial court. Petitioner
reiterates that he raised the defense of lack of jurisdiction as early as in his Answer filed before the trial
court. Moreover, he argues that even if he did not raise the defense of lack of jurisdiction, the trial court
should have dismissed the complaint motu proprio. Petitioner disputes the application to him of the
doctrine of estoppel by laches in Tijam v. Sibonghanoy.11 Petitioner avers that unlike in Tijam, he raised
the issue of jurisdiction, not only in his answer, but also in his appeal. 12
Respondents defend the ruling of the Court of Appeals and maintain that petitioner is estopped from
challenging the jurisdiction of the trial court.13
The issue presented before this Court is simple: Whether or not estoppel bars petitioner from raising the
issue of lack of jurisdiction.
Under Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, the plenary action of accion publiciana must be brought before the
regional trial courts. With the modifications introduced by Republic Act No. 769114 in 1994, the
jurisdiction of the regional trial courts was limited to real actions where the assessed value exceeds
P20,000.00, and P50,000.00 where the action is filed in Metro Manila, thus:
SEC. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. — Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:
xxx x
(2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein,
where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or, for
civil actions in Metro Manila, where such value exceeds Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) except
actions for forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction over which
is conferred upon the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial
Courts.
Under the law as modified, jurisdiction is determined by the assessed value of the property.
A reading of the complaint shows that respondents failed to state the assessed value of the disputed
land. The averments read:
xxx x
3. EUSEBIO VILLEGAS, deceased father of hte plaintiffs, is the registered owner of a parcel of land
situated in Barangay Pag-asa (formerly Barangay Tayuman), Binangonan, Rizal with a land area of 18,369
square meters. The same is covered by and embraced in Transfer Certificate of Title No. 46891 of the
Registry of Deeds for the Province of Rizal. x x x.
4. Plaintiffs are the legal heirs of EUSEBIO VILLEGAS and succeeded to the subject parcel of land by
virtue of their inheritance rights as compulsory heirs of said deceased Eusebio Villegas and upon his
death, immediately took over and were enjoying the peaceful possession of the said parcel of land and
exercising said rights of possession and ownership thereof;
5. That sometime in 1996, defendant Honorio Bernardo, by stealth and in guise of merely grazing his
cattle, without the consent of the plaintiffs, surreptitiously entered into the possession of a portion of
the subject parcel of land. Employing threats and intimidations, he claimed later that the area he
illegally occupied is purportedly not part and parcel of the land owned by the plaintiff’s predecessor,
Eusebio Villegas, and forcibly fenced and built his house on the portion of land he illegally occupied;
6. Not being content with his own forcible and unlawful invasion, usurpation and incursion into the
plaintiffs’ parcel of land, and in furtherance of his desire to forcibly exclude the plaintiffs of their lawful
and for possession of the subject portion of plaintiffs’ parcel of land, defendant Bernardo, conspired and
confederated with defendants Romeo Gaza and Monina Francisco by surreptitiously and illegally
constructing their own houses on the subject parcel of land through stealth and intimidation;

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constructing their own houses on the subject parcel of land through stealth and intimidation;
7. That the issue of the possession of the subject parcel of land was brought under the Barangay Justice
System in 1996 for conciliation but, no settlement was reached by the parties. Copies of the
Certifications issued by the Barangay for that matter is hereto attached and marked as Annex "B";
8. That the defendants have forcibly, unlawfully, and unjustly dispossessed and still continues to forcibly,
unlawfully, and unjustly dispossesses the plaintiffs of their lawful rights of possession and ownership on
a portion of the subject property since 1966 up to the present;
9. Because of the unjust refusal of the defendants to vacate the premises, plaintiffs were constrained to
engage the services of counsel to protect their interest on the property for an agreed attorney’s fee of
P50,000.00, and have incurred litigation expenses[;]
10. By reason of the unlawful and forcible invasion by the defendants of the property of the plaintiffs
which was accompanied by threats and intimidation, the plaintiffs have suffered and continue to suffer
anxiety and sleepless nights for which the defendants should be made to indemnify by way of moral
damages in the amount of at least P100,000.00;
11. To serve as an example to others who might be minded to commit similar wanton and unlawful acts,
defendants should be held answerable for exemplary damages of not less than P50,000.00.15
This fact was noted by the Court of Appeals in its Decision but it proceeded to rule in this wise:
Records show that at the time plaintiffs-appellees filed their complaint below, R.A. No. 7691 which
amended Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 was already in effect. However, the complaint failed to allege the
assessed value of the real property involved. Although appellant indeed raised the issue of jurisdiction in
his answer, he had not filed a motion to dismiss on this ground nor reiterated the matter thereafter but
actively participated in the proceedings after the denial of his demurrer to evidence anchored on the
failure of the plaintiffs to identify in their complaint all the heirs of the registered owner and supposed
lack of technical description of the property in the certificate of title. Indeed, appellant is now estopped
to question the trial court’s jurisdiction over the subject matter and nature of the case having actively
pursued throughout the trial, by filing various pleadings and presenting all relevant documentary and
testimonial evidence, his theory that the portion occupied by him is not covered by the torrens title of
Eusebio Villegas.16
We agree.
As already shown, nowhere in the complaint was the assessed value of the subject property ever
mentioned. There is no showing on the face of the complaint that the RTC has jurisdiction exclusive of
the MTC. Indeed, absent any allegation in the complaint of the assessed value of the property, it cannot
readily be determined which of the two trial courts had original and exclusive jurisdiction over the
case.17
The general rule is that the jurisdiction of a court may be questioned at any stage of the proceedings.18
Lack of jurisdiction is one of those excepted grounds where the court may dismiss a claim or a case at
any time when it appears from the pleadings or the evidence on record that any of those grounds exists,
even if they were not raised in the answer or in a motion to dismiss. 19 The reason is that jurisdiction is
conferred by law, and lack of it affects the very authority of the court to take cognizance of and to
render judgment on the action.20
However, estoppel sets in when a party participates in all stages of a case before challenging the
jurisdiction of the lower court. One cannot belatedly reject or repudiate its decision after voluntarily
submitting to its jurisdiction, just to secure affirmative relief against one's opponent or after failing to
obtain such relief. The Court has, time and again, frowned upon the undesirable practice of a party
submitting a case for decision and then accepting the judgment, only if favorable, and attacking it for
lack of jurisdiction when adverse.21
In Tijam, the Court held that it is iniquitous and unfair to void the trial court’s decision for lack of
jurisdiction considering that it was raised only after fifteen (15) years of tedious litigation, thus:
The facts of this case show that from the time the Surety became a quasi-party on July 31, 1948, it could
have raised the question of the lack of jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Cebu to take
cognizance of the present action by reason of the sum of money involved which, according to the law
then in force, was within the original exclusive jurisdiction of inferior courts. It failed to do so. Instead, at
several stages of the proceedings in the court a quo as well as in the Court of Appeals, it invoked the
jurisdiction of said courts to obtain affirmative relief and submitted its case for a final adjudication on
the merits. It was only after an adverse decision was rendered by the Court of Appeals that it finally

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the merits. It was only after an adverse decision was rendered by the Court of Appeals that it finally
woke up to raise the question of jurisdiction. Were we to sanction such conduct on its part, We would in
effect be declaring as useless all the proceedings had in the present case since it was commenced on
July 19, 1948 and compel the judgment creditors to go up their Calvary once more. The inequity and
unfairness of this is not only patent but revolting.22
The principle of justice and equity as espoused in Tijam should be applied in this case. The MTC
dismissed the ejectment case upon its ruling that the case is for accion publiciana. It did not assert
jurisdiction over the case even if it could have done so based on the assessed value of the property
subject of the accion publiciana. And there was no showing, indeed, not even an allegation, that the
MTC was not aware of its jurisdictional authority over an accion publiciana involving property in the
amount stated in the law. Moreover, petitioner did not bring up the issue of jurisdictional amount that
would have led the MTC to proceed with the trial of the case. Petitioner obviously considered the
dismissal to be in his favor. When, as a result of such dismissal, respondents brought the case as accion
publiciana before the RTC, petitioner never brought up the issue of jurisdictional amount. What
petitioner mentioned in his Answer before the RTC was the generally phrased allegation that "the
Honorable Court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter and the nature of the action in the above-
entitled case."23
This general assertion, which lacks any basis, is not sufficient. Clearly, petitioner failed to point out the
omission of the assessed value in the complaint. Petitioner actively participated during the trial by
adducing evidence and filing numerous pleadings, none of which mentioned any defect in the
jurisdiction of the RTC. It was only on appeal before the Court of Appeals, after he obtained an adverse
judgment in the trial court, that petitioner, for the first time, came up with the argument that the
decision is void because there was no allegation in the complaint about the value of the property.
Clearly, petitioner is estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the RTC.
We note that the decisions of the RTC and of the Court of Appeals discussed extensively the merits of
the case, which has been pending for nearly ten (10) years. It was handled by two (2) judges and its
records had to be reconstituted after the fire that gutted the courthouse. 24 If we were to accede to
petitioner’s prayer, all the effort, time and expenses of parties who participated in the litigation would
be wasted. Quite obviously, petitioner wants a repetition of the process hoping for the possibility of a
reversal of the decision. The Court will not countenance such practice.
Significantly, the Technical Report on Verification Survey25 by Engineer Robert C. Pangyarihan, which
was attached to and formed part of the records, contained a tax declaration26 indicating that the subject
property has an assessed value of P110,220.00. It is basic that the tax declaration indicating the assessed
value of the property enjoys the presumption of regularity as it has been issued by the proper
government agency.27 Under Republic Act No. 7691, the RTC in fact has jurisdiction over the subject
matter of the action.1avvphi1>
Taking into consideration the decision of the MTC proclaiming that the case is one for accion publiciana
and the assessed value of the property as evidenced by the case records, jurisdiction pertains, rightfully
so, with the RTC. Perforce, the petition should be denied.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals dated 21 April 2008, affirming the judgment of the
Regional Trial Court of Binangonan, Rizal dated 5 March 2007, is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.

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Encarnacion v. Amigo, GR No. 169793 Sep 15, 2006
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:22 PM

G.R. No. 169793 September 15, 2006


VICTORIANO M. ENCARNACION vs. NIEVES AMIGO
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
This petition for review assails the June 30, 2005 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
73857, ordering the remand of Civil Case No. Br. 20-1194 to the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela,
Branch 20, for further proceedings.
The antecedent facts are as follows:
Petitioner Victoriano M. Encarnacion is the registered owner of Lot No. 2121-B-1, consisting of 100
square meters and covered by TCT No. T-256650; and Lot No. 2121-B-2 consisting of 607 square meters
with TCT No. T-256651, located at District 1, National Hi-way, Cauayan, Isabela. Said two lots originally
form part of Lot No. 2121, a single 707 square meter track of land owned by Rogelio Valiente who sold
the same to Nicasio Mallapitan on January 18, 1982. On March 21, 1985, Mallapitan sold the land to
Victoriano Magpantay. After the death of the latter in 1992, his widow, Anita N. Magpantay executed an
Affidavit of Waiver2 on April 11, 1995 waving her right over the property in favor of her son-in-law,
herein petitioner, Victoriano Encarnacion. Thereafter, the latter caused the subdivision of the land into
two lots3 and the issuance of titles in his name on July 18, 1996.4
Respondent Nieves Amigo allegedly entered the premises and took possession of a portion of the
property sometime in 1985 without the permission of the then owner, Victoriano Magpantay. Said
occupation by respondent continued even after TCT Nos. T-256650 and T-256651 were issue to
petitioner.
Consequently, petitioner, through his lawyer sent a letter5 dated Febuary 1, 2001 demanding that the
respondent vacate the subject property. As evidenced by the registry return receipt, the demand letter
was delivered by registered mail to the respondent on February 12, 2001. Notwithstanding receipt of
the demand letter, respondent still refused to vacate the subject property. Thereafter, on March 2,
2001, petitioner filed a complaint6 for ejectment, damages with injunction and prayer for restraining
order with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities of Isabela which was docketed as CV-01-030. In his Answer,
respondent alleged that he has been in actual possession and occupation of a portion of the subject land
since 1968 and that the issuance of Free Patent and titles in the name of petitioner was tainted with
irregularities.7
On October 24, 2001, the Municipal Trial Court in Cities rendered judgment, which reads:
WHERE[FO]RE, there being a preponderance of evidence, a JUDGMENT is hereby rendered in
favor of the plaintiff VICTORIANO M. ENCARNACION and against the defendant NIEVES AMIGOE
(sic) as follows:
a) ORDERING the defendant to vacate the portion of the parcels of land described in Transfer
Certificates of Title Nos. T-256650 and T-256651 he is now occupying and surrender it to the
plaintiff;
b) ORDERING the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (P5,000) as
attorney's fees, and
c) ORDERING the defendant to pay rentals equivalent [to] P500.00 per month from February, 2001
until the portion of the land occupied by him is surrendered to the plaintiff.
COSTS against the defendant.
SO ORDERED.8
On appeal, the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20, ruled as follows:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered dismissing the case on the ground that as the
Municipal Court had no jurisdiction over the case, this Court acquired no appellate jurisdiction
thereof. Costs against plaintiff-appellee.
SO ORDERED.9
Aggrieved, petitioner filed a petition for review10 under Rule 42 of the Rules of Court before the Court of
Appeals which promulgated the assailed Decision remanding the case to the Regional Trial Court. The

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Appeals which promulgated the assailed Decision remanding the case to the Regional Trial Court. The
dispositive portion thereof reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, this case is hereby REMANDED to Branch 20, Regional Trial
Court of Cauayan, Isabela for further proceedings.
No costs.
SO ORDERED.11
Hence the present petition raising the sole issue:
[WHETHER] THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE PROPER ACTION IN THIS CASE
IS ACCION PUBLICIANA AND NOT UNLAWFUL DETAINER AS DETERMINED BY THE ALLEGATIONS IN
THE COMPLAINT FILED BY PETITIONER. 12
The petition lacks merit.
In this jurisdiction, the three kinds of actions for the recovery of possession of real property are:
1. Accion interdictal, or an ejectment proceeding which may be either that for forcible entry
(detentacion) or unlawful detainer (desahucio), which is a summary action for recovery of physical
possession where the dispossession has not lasted for more than one year, and should be brought
in the proper inferior court;
2. Accion publiciana or the plenary action for the recovery of the real right of possession, which
should be brought in the proper Regional Trial Court when the dispossession has lasted for more
than one year; and
3. Accion reinvindicatoria or accion de reivindicacion, which is an action for the recovery of
ownership which must be brought in the proper Regional Trial Court. 13
Based on the foregoing distinctions, the material element that determines the proper action to be filed
for the recovery of the possession of the property in this case is the length of time of dispossession.
Under the Rules of Court, the remedies of forcible entry and unlawful detainer are granted to a person
deprived of the possession of any land or building by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth, or a
lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person against whom the possession of any land or building is
unlawfully withheld after the expiration or termination of the right to hold possession by virtue of any
contract, express or implied, or the legal representatives or assigns of any such lessor, vendor, vendee,
or other person. These remedies afford the person deprived of the possession to file at any time within
one year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession, an action in the proper Municipal
Trial Court against the person or persons unlawfully withholding or depriving of possession, or any
person or persons claiming under them, for the restitution of such possession, together with damages
and costs.14 Thus, if the dispossession has not lasted for more than one year, an ejectment proceeding is
proper and the inferior court acquires jurisdiction. On the other hand, if the dispossession lasted for
more than one year, the proper action to be filed is an accion publiciana which should be brought to the
proper Regional Trial Court.
After a careful evaluation of the evidence on record of this case, we find that the Court of Appeals
committed no reversible error in holding that the proper action in this case is accion publiciana; and in
ordering the remand of the case to the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20, for further
proceedings.
Well settled is the 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.15 On its face, the
complaint must show enough ground for the court to assume jurisdiction without resort to parol
testimony.16
From the allegations in the complaint, it appears that the petitioner became the owner of the property
on April 11, 1995 by virtue of the waiver of rights executed by his mother-in-law. He filed the complaint
for ejectment on March 2, 2001 after his February 1, 2001 letter to the respondent demanding that the
latter vacate the premises remained unheeded. While it is true that the demand letter was received by
the respondent on February 12, 2001, thereby making the filing of the complaint for ejectment fall
within the requisite one year from last demand for complaints for unlawful detainer, it is also equally
true that petitioner became the owner of the subject lot in 1995 and has been since that time deprived
possession of a portion thereof. From the date of the petitioner's dispossession in 1995 up to his filing of
his complaint for ejectment in 2001, almost 6 years have elapsed. The length of time that the petitioner

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his complaint for ejectment in 2001, almost 6 years have elapsed. The length of time that the petitioner
was dispossessed of his property made his cause of action beyond the ambit of an accion interdictal and
effectively made it one for accion publiciana. After the lapse of the one-year period, the suit must be
commenced in the Regional Trial Court via an accion publiciana which is a suit for recovery of the right
to possess. It is an ordinary civil proceeding to determine the better right of possession of realty
independently of title. It also refers to an ejectment suit filed after the expiration of one year from the
accrual of the cause of action or from the unlawful withholding of possession of the realty. 17
Previously, we have held that if the owner of the land knew that another person was occupying his
property way back in 1977 but the said owner only filed the complaint for ejectment in 1995, the proper
action would be one for accion publiciana and not one under the summary procedure on ejectment. As
explained by the Court:
We agree with the Court of Appeals that if petitioners are indeed the owners of the subject lot
and were unlawfully deprived of their right of possession, they should present their claim before
the regional trial court in an accion publiciana or an accion reivindicatoria, and not before the
metropolitan trial court in a summary proceeding for unlawful detainer or forcible entry. For even
if one is the owner of the property, the possession thereof cannot be wrested from another who
had been in physical or material possession of the same for more than one year by resorting to a
summary action for ejectment. 18
Hence, we agree with the Court of Appeals when it declared that:
The respondent's actual entry on the land of the petitioner was in 1985 but it was only on March
2, 2001 or sixteen years after, when petitioner filed his ejectment case. The respondent should
have filed an accion publiciana case which is under the jurisdiction of the RTC.
However, the RTC should have not dismissed the case.
Section 8, Rule 40 of the Rules of Court provides:
SECTION 8. Appeal from orders dismissing case without trial; lack of jurisdiction. — If an
appeal is taken from an order of the lower court dismissing the case without a trial on the
merits, the Regional Trial Court may affirm or reverse it, as the case may be. In case of
affirmance and the ground of dismissal is lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, the
Regional Trial Court, if it has jurisdiction thereover, shall try the case on the merits as if the
case was originally filed with it. In case of reversal, the case shall be remanded for further
proceedings.
If the case was tried on the merits by the lower court without jurisdiction over the subject
matter, the Regional Trial Court on appeal shall not dismiss the case if it has original
jurisdiction thereof, but shall decide the case in accordance with the preceding section,
without prejudice to the admission of amended pleadings and additional evidence in the
interest of justice.
The RTC should have taken cognizance of the case. If the case is tried on the merits by the
Municipal Court without jurisdiction over the subject matter, the RTC on appeal may no longer
dismiss the case if it has original jurisdiction thereof. Moreover, the RTC shall no longer try the
case on the merits, but shall decide the case on the basis of the evidence presented in the lower
court, without prejudice to the admission of the amended pleadings and additional evidence in
the interest of justice.19
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 30, 2005 in CA-
G.R. SP No. 73857 ordering the remand of Civil Case No. Br. 20-1194 to the Regional Trial Court of
Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20, for further proceedings, is AFFIRMED.

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Planters Products v. Fertiphil GR 166006 Mar 14, 2008
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:28 PM

[G.R. No. 166006, March 14, 2008] PLANTERS PRODUCTS, INC. vs. FERTIPHIL CORPORATION,

FACTS:

Petitioner PPI and private respondent Fertiphil are private corporations incorporated under Philippine
laws.[3] They are both engaged in the importation and distribution of fertilizers, pesticides and agricultural
chemicals.

On June 3, 1985, then President Ferdinand Marcos, exercising his legislative powers, issued LOI No. 1465
which provided, among others, for the imposition of a capital recovery component (CRC) on the domestic
sale of all grades of fertilizers in the Philippines.[4] The LOI provides:

3. The Administrator of the Fertilizer Pesticide Authority to include in its fertilizer pricing formula a capital
contribution component of not less than P10 per bag. This capital contribution shall be collected until
adequate capital is raised to make PPI viable. Such capital contribution shall be applied by FPA to all domestic
sales of fertilizers in the Philippines.[5]

Pursuant to the LOI, Fertiphil paid P10 for every bag of fertilizer it sold in the domestic market to the
Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA). FPA then remitted the amount collected to the Far East Bank and
Trust Company, the depositary bank of PPI. Fertiphil paid P6,689,144 to FPA from July 8, 1985 to January 24,
1986.

After the 1986 Edsa Revolution, FPA voluntarily stopped the imposition of the P10 levy. With the return of
democracy, Fertiphil demanded from PPI a refund of the amounts it paid under LOI No. 1465, but PPI refused
to accede to the demand.[7]

Fertiphil filed a complaint for collection and damages[8] against FPA and PPI with the RTC in Makati. It
questioned the constitutionality of LOI No. 1465 for being unjust, unreasonable, oppressive, invalid and an
unlawful imposition that amounted to a denial of due process of law.[9] Fertiphil alleged that the LOI solely
favored PPI, a privately owned corporation, which used the proceeds to maintain its monopoly of the
fertilizer industry.

In its Answer,[10] FPA, through the Solicitor General, countered that the issuance of LOI No. 1465 was a valid
exercise of the police power of the State in ensuring the stability of the fertilizer industry in the country. It
also averred that Fertiphil did not sustain any damage from the LOI because the burden imposed by the levy
fell on the ultimate consumer, not the seller.

HELD:
On Locus Standi

Whether or not the complaint for collection is characterized as a private or public suit, Fertiphil has locus
standi to file it. Fertiphil suffered a direct injury from the enforcement of LOI No. 1465. It was required, and it
did pay, the P10 levy imposed for every bag of fertilizer sold on the domestic market. It may be true that
Fertiphil has passed some or all of the levy to the ultimate consumer, but that does not disqualify it from
attacking the constitutionality of the LOI or from seeking a refund. As seller, it bore the ultimate burden of
paying the levy. It faced the possibility of severe sanctions for failure to pay the levy. The fact of payment is
sufficient injury to Fertiphil.

On theJurisdiction of the RTC


It is settled that the RTC has jurisdiction to resolve the constitutionality of a statute, presidential decree or an
executive order. This is clear from Section 5, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution, which provides:
SECTION 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:

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SECTION 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal orcert i o ra ri, as the law or the Rules of
Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courtsin:

(a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law,
presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question.
The P10 levy under LOI No. 1465 is
an exercise of the power of taxation.

We agree with the RTC that the imposition of the levy was an exercise by the State of its taxation power.
While it is true that the power of taxation can be used as an implement of police power,[41] the primary
purpose of the levy is revenue generation. If the purpose is primarily revenue, or if revenue is, at least, one of
the real and substantial purposes, then the exaction is properly called a tax.

The P10 levy under LOI No. 1465 is too excessive to serve a mere regulatory purpose. The levy, no doubt, was
a big burden on the seller or the ultimate consumer. It increased the price of a bag of fertilizer by as much as
five percent.[45] A plain reading of the LOI also supports the conclusion that the levy was for revenue
generation. The LOI expressly provided that the levy was imposed â¼ until adequate capital is raised to make
PPI viable.

Taxes are exacted only for a public purpose. The P10 levy is unconstitutional because it was not for a public
purpose. The levy was imposed to give undue benefit to PPI.

The purpose of a law is evident from its text or inferable from other secondary sources. Here, We agree with
the RTC and that CA that the levy imposed under LOI No. 1465 was not for a public purpose.
First, the LOI expressly provided that the levy be imposed to benefit PPI, a private company.
The purpose is explicit from Clause 3 of the law, thus: The Administrator of the Fertilizer Pesticide Authority
to include in its fertilizer pricing formula a capital contribution component of not less than P10 per bag. This
capital contribution shall be collected until adequate capital is raised to make PPI viable. Such capital
contribution shall be applied by FPA to all domestic sales of fertilizers in the Philippines. It is clear from the
Letter of Understanding that the levy was imposed precisely to pay the corporate debts of PPI. We cannot
agree with PPI that the levy was imposed to ensure the stability of the fertilizer industry in the country. The
letter of understanding and the plain text of the LOI clearly indicate that the levy was exacted for the benefit
of a private corporation.

The LOI is still unconstitutional even if enacted under the police power; it did not promote public interest.

Even if We consider LOI No. 1695 enacted under the police power of the State, it would still be invalid for
failing to comply with the test of â¼ lawful subjectsâ¼ and â¼ lawful means.â¼ Jurisprudence states the
test as follows: (1) the interest of the public generally, as distinguished from those of particular class, requires
its exercise; and (2) the means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose
and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.

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REMLAW Page 124
REYES, R.T., J.:

THE Regional Trial Courts (RTC) have the authority and jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of statutes,
executive orders, presidential decrees and other issuances. The Constitution vests that power not only in the
Supreme Court but in all Regional Trial Courts.

The principle is relevant in this petition for review on certiorari of the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA)
affirming with modification that of the RTC in Makati City,[2] finding petitioner Planters Products, Inc. (PPI) liable
to private respondent Fertiphil Corporation (Fertiphil) for the levies it paid under Letter of Instruction (LOI) No.
1465.

The Facts

Petitioner PPI and private respondent Fertiphil are private corporations incorporated under Philippine laws.[3]
They are both engaged in the importation and distribution of fertilizers, pesticides and agricultural chemicals.

On June 3, 1985, then President Ferdinand Marcos, exercising his legislative powers, issued LOI No. 1465 which
provided, among others, for the imposition of a capital recovery component (CRC) on the domestic sale of all
grades of fertilizers in the Philippines.[4] The LOI provides:

3. The Administrator of the Fertilizer Pesticide Authority to include in its fertilizer pricing formula a capital
contribution component of not less than P10 per bag. This capital contribution shall be collected until adequate
capital is raised to make PPI viable. Such capital contribution shall be applied by FPA to all domestic sales of
fertilizers in the Philippines.[5] (Underscoring supplied)

Pursuant to the LOI, Fertiphil paid P10 for every bag of fertilizer it sold in the domestic market to the Fertilizer and
Pesticide Authority (FPA). FPA then remitted the amount collected to the Far East Bank and Trust Company, the
depositary bank of PPI. Fertiphil paid P6,689,144 to FPA from July 8, 1985 to January 24, 1986.[6]

After the 1986 Edsa Revolution, FPA voluntarily stopped the imposition of the P10 levy. With the return of
democracy, Fertiphil demanded from PPI a refund of the amounts it paid under LOI No. 1465, but PPI refused to
accede to the demand.[7]

Fertiphil filed a complaint for collection and damages[8] against FPA and PPI with the RTC in Makati. It questioned
the constitutionality of LOI No. 1465 for being unjust, unreasonable, oppressive, invalid and an unlawful imposition
that amounted to a denial of due process of law.[9] Fertiphil alleged that the LOI solely favored PPI, a privately
owned corporation, which used the proceeds to maintain its monopoly of the fertilizer industry.

In its Answer,[10] FPA, through the Solicitor General, countered that the issuance of LOI No. 1465 was a valid
exercise of the police power of the State in ensuring the stability of the fertilizer industry in the country. It also
averred that Fertiphil did not sustain any damage from the LOI because the burden imposed by the levy fell on the
ultimate consumer, not the seller.

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RTC Disposition

On November 20, 1991, the RTC rendered judgment in favor of Fertiphil, disposing as follows:

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Court hereby renders judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against the
defendant Planters Product, Inc., ordering the latter to pay the former:

1) the sum of P6,698,144.00 with interest at 12% from the time of judicial demand;

2) the sum of P100,000 as attorney’s fees;

3) the cost of suit.

SO ORDERED.[11]

Ruling that the imposition of the P10 CRC was an exercise of the State’s inherent power of taxation, the RTC
invalidated the levy for violating the basic principle that taxes can only be levied for public purpose, viz.:

It is apparent that the imposition of P10 per fertilizer bag sold in the country by LOI 1465 is purportedly in the
exercise of the power of taxation. It is a settled principle that the power of taxation by the state is plenary.
Comprehensive and supreme, the principal check upon its abuse resting in the responsibility of the members of
the legislature to their constituents. However, there are two kinds of limitations on the power of taxation: the
inherent limitations and the constitutional limitations.

One of the inherent limitations is that a tax may be levied only for public purposes:

The power to tax can be resorted to only for a constitutionally valid public purpose. By the same token, taxes may
not be levied for purely private purposes, for building up of private fortunes, or for the redress of private wrongs.
They cannot be levied for the improvement of private property, or for the benefit, and promotion of private
enterprises, except where the aid is incident to the public benefit. It is well-settled principle of constitutional law
that no general tax can be levied except for the purpose of raising money which is to be expended for public use.
Funds cannot be exacted under the guise of taxation to promote a purpose that is not of public interest. Without
such limitation, the power to tax could be exercised or employed as an authority to destroy the economy of the
people. A tax, however, is not held void on the ground of want of public interest unless the want of such interest is
clear. (71 Am. Jur. pp. 371-372)

In the case at bar, the plaintiff paid the amount of P6,698,144.00 to the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority pursuant
to the P10 per bag of fertilizer sold imposition under LOI 1465 which, in turn, remitted the amount to the
defendant Planters Products, Inc. thru the latter’s depository bank, Far East Bank and Trust Co. Thus, by virtue
of LOI 1465 the plaintiff, Fertiphil Corporation, which is a private domestic corporation, became poorer by the
amount of P6,698,144.00 and the defendant, Planters Product, Inc., another private domestic corporation, became
richer by the amount of P6,698,144.00.

Tested by the standards of constitutionality as set forth in the afore-quoted jurisprudence, it is quite evident that
LOI 1465 insofar as it imposes the amount of P10 per fertilizer bag sold in the country and orders that the said
amount should go to the defendant Planters Product, Inc. is unlawful because it violates the mandate that a tax
can be levied only for a public purpose and not to benefit, aid and promote a private enterprise such as Planters
Product, Inc.[12]

PPI moved for reconsideration but its motion was denied.[13] PPI then filed a notice of appeal with the RTC but it
failed to pay the requisite appeal docket fee. In a separate but related proceeding, this Court[14] allowed the
appeal of PPI and remanded the case to the CA for proper disposition.

CA Decision

On November 28, 2003, the CA handed down its decision affirming with modification that of the RTC, with the
following fallo:

IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED, subject to the MODIFICATION

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IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED, subject to the MODIFICATION
that the award of attorney’s fees is hereby DELETED.[15]

In affirming the RTC decision, the CA ruled that the lis mota of the complaint for collection was the
constitutionality of LOI No. 1465, thus:

The question then is whether it was proper for the trial court to exercise its power to judicially determine the
constitutionality of the subject statute in the instant case.

As a rule, where the controversy can be settled on other grounds, the courts will not resolve the constitutionality
of a law (Lim v. Pacquing, 240 SCRA 649 [1995]). The policy of the courts is to avoid ruling on constitutional
questions and to presume that the acts of political departments are valid, absent a clear and unmistakable
showing to the contrary.

However, the courts are not precluded from exercising such power when the following requisites are obtaining in a
controversy before it: First, there must be before the court an actual case calling for the exercise of judicial review.
Second, the question must be ripe for adjudication. Third, the person challenging the validity of the act must have
standing to challenge. Fourth, the question of constitutionality must have been raised at the earliest opportunity;
and lastly, the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case (Integrated Bar of the Philippines v.
Zamora, 338 SCRA 81 [2000]).

Indisputably, the present case was primarily instituted for collection and damages. However, a perusal of the
complaint also reveals that the instant action is founded on the claim that the levy imposed was an unlawful and
unconstitutional special assessment. Consequently, the requisite that the constitutionality of the law in question
be the very lis mota of the case is present, making it proper for the trial court to rule on the constitutionality of LOI
1465.[16]

The CA held that even on the assumption that LOI No. 1465 was issued under the police power of the state, it is
still unconstitutional because it did not promote public welfare. The CA explained:

In declaring LOI 1465 unconstitutional, the trial court held that the levy imposed under the said law was an invalid
exercise of the State’s power of taxation inasmuch as it violated the inherent and constitutional prescription
that taxes be levied only for public purposes. It reasoned out that the amount collected under the levy was
remitted to the depository bank of PPI, which the latter used to advance its private interest.

On the other hand, appellant submits that the subject statute’s passage was a valid exercise of police power. In
addition, it disputes the court a quo’s findings arguing that the collections under LOI 1465 was for the benefit
of Planters Foundation, Incorporated (PFI), a foundation created by law to hold in trust for millions of farmers, the
stock ownership of PPI.

Of the three fundamental powers of the State, the exercise of police power has been characterized as the most
essential, insistent and the least limitable of powers, extending as it does to all the great public needs. It may be
exercised as long as the activity or the property sought to be regulated has some relevance to public welfare
(Constitutional Law, by Isagani A. Cruz, p. 38, 1995 Edition).

Vast as the power is, however, it must be exercised within the limits set by the Constitution, which requires the
concurrence of a lawful subject and a lawful method. Thus, our courts have laid down the test to determine the
validity of a police measure as follows: (1) the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a
particular class, requires its exercise; and (2) the means employed are reasonably necessary for the
accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals (National Development Company v.
Philippine Veterans Bank, 192 SCRA 257 [1990]).

It is upon applying this established tests that We sustain the trial court’s holding LOI 1465 unconstitutional. To
be sure, ensuring the continued supply and distribution of fertilizer in the country is an undertaking imbued with
public interest. However, the method by which LOI 1465 sought to achieve this is by no means a measure that will
promote the public welfare. The government’s commitment to support the successful rehabilitation and
continued viability of PPI, a private corporation, is an unmistakable attempt to mask the subject statute’s
impartiality. There is no way to treat the self-interest of a favored entity, like PPI, as identical with the general
interest of the country’s farmers or even the Filipino people in general. Well to stress, substantive due process
exacts fairness and equal protection disallows distinction where none is needed. When a statute’s public

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exacts fairness and equal protection disallows distinction where none is needed. When a statute’s public
purpose is spoiled by private interest, the use of police power becomes a travesty which must be struck down for
being an arbitrary exercise of government power. To rule in favor of appellant would contravene the general
principle that revenues derived from taxes cannot be used for purely private purposes or for the exclusive benefit
of private individuals.[17]

The CA did not accept PPI’s claim that the levy imposed under LOI No. 1465 was for the benefit of Planters
Foundation, Inc., a foundation created to hold in trust the stock ownership of PPI. The CA stated:

Appellant next claims that the collections under LOI 1465 was for the benefit of Planters Foundation, Incorporated
(PFI), a foundation created by law to hold in trust for millions of farmers, the stock ownership of PFI on the
strength of Letter of Undertaking (LOU) issued by then Prime Minister Cesar Virata on April 18, 1985 and affirmed
by the Secretary of Justice in an Opinion dated October 12, 1987, to wit:

“2. Upon the effective date of this Letter of Undertaking, the Republic shall cause FPA to include in its fertilizer
pricing formula a capital recovery component, the proceeds of which will be used initially for the purpose of
funding the unpaid portion of the outstanding capital stock of Planters presently held in trust by Planters
Foundation, Inc. (Planters Foundation), which unpaid capital is estimated at approximately P206 million (subject to
validation by Planters and Planters Foundation) (such unpaid portion of the outstanding capital stock of Planters
being hereafter referred to as the ‘Unpaid Capital’), and subsequently for such capital increases as may be
required for the continuing viability of Planters.

The capital recovery component shall be in the minimum amount of P10 per bag, which will be added to the price
of all domestic sales of fertilizer in the Philippines by any importer and/or fertilizer mother company. In this
connection, the Republic hereby acknowledges that the advances by Planters to Planters Foundation which were
applied to the payment of the Planters shares now held in trust by Planters Foundation, have been assigned to,
among others, the Creditors. Accordingly, the Republic, through FPA, hereby agrees to deposit the proceeds of the
capital recovery component in the special trust account designated in the notice dated April 2, 1985, addressed by
counsel for the Creditors to Planters Foundation. Such proceeds shall be deposited by FPA on or before the 15th
day of each month.

The capital recovery component shall continue to be charged and collected until payment in full of (a) the Unpaid
Capital and/or (b) any shortfall in the payment of the Subsidy Receivables, (c) any carrying cost accruing from the
date hereof on the amounts which may be outstanding from time to time of the Unpaid Capital and/or the Subsidy
Receivables and (d) the capital increases contemplated in paragraph 2 hereof. For the purpose of the foregoing
clause (c), the ‘carrying cost’ shall be at such rate as will represent the full and reasonable cost to Planters of
servicing its debts, taking into account both its peso and foreign currency-denominated obligations.” (Records,
pp. 42-43)

Appellant’s proposition is open to question, to say the least. The LOU issued by then Prime Minister Virata
taken together with the Justice Secretary’s Opinion does not preponderantly demonstrate that the collections
made were held in trust in favor of millions of farmers. Unfortunately for appellant, in the absence of sufficient
evidence to establish its claims, this Court is constrained to rely on what is explicitly provided in LOI 1465 – that
one of the primary aims in imposing the levy is to support the successful rehabilitation and continued viability of
PPI.[18]

PPI moved for reconsideration but its motion was denied.[19] It then filed the present petition with this Court.

Issues

Petitioner PPI raises four issues for Our consideration, viz.:

THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF LOI 1465 CANNOT BE COLLATERALLY ATTACKED AND BE DECREED VIA A DEFAULT
JUDGMENT IN A CASE FILED FOR COLLECTION AND DAMAGES WHERE THE ISSUE OF CONSTITUTIONALITY IS NOT
THE VERY LIS MOTA OF THE CASE. NEITHER CAN LOI 1465 BE CHALLENGED BY ANY PERSON OR ENTITY WHICH HAS
NO STANDING TO DO SO.

II

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II

LOI 1465, BEING A LAW IMPLEMENTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSURING THE FERTILIZER SUPPLY AND
DISTRIBUTION IN THE COUNTRY, AND FOR BENEFITING A FOUNDATION CREATED BY LAW TO HOLD IN TRUST FOR
MILLIONS OF FARMERS THEIR STOCK OWNERSHIP IN PPI CONSTITUTES A VALID LEGISLATION PURSUANT TO THE
EXERCISE OF TAXATION AND POLICE POWER FOR PUBLIC PURPOSES.

III

THE AMOUNT COLLECTED UNDER THE CAPITAL RECOVERY COMPONENT WAS REMITTED TO THE GOVERNMENT,
AND BECAME GOVERNMENT FUNDS PURSUANT TO AN EFFECTIVE AND VALIDLY ENACTED LAW WHICH IMPOSED
DUTIES AND CONFERRED RIGHTS BY VIRTUE OF THE PRINCIPLE OF “OPERATIVE FACT”PRIOR TO ANY
DECLARATION OF UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF LOI 1465.

IV

THE PRINCIPLE OF UNJUST VEXATION (SHOULD BE ENRICHMENT) FINDS NO APPLICATION IN THE INSTANT
CASE.[20] (Underscoring supplied)

Our Ruling

We shall first tackle the procedural issues of locus standi and the jurisdiction of the RTC to resolve constitutional
issues.

Fertiphil has locus standi because it


suffered direct injury; doctrine of
standing is a mere procedural
technicality which may be waived.

PPI argues that Fertiphil has no locus standi to question the constitutionality of LOI No. 1465 because it does not
have a “personal and substantial interest in the case or will sustain direct injury as a result of its enforcement.â
€*21+ It asserts that Fertiphil did not suffer any damage from the CRC imposition because †œincidence of the
levy fell on the ultimate consumer or the farmers themselves, not on the seller fertilizer company.”*22+

We cannot agree. The doctrine of locus standi or the right of appearance in a court of justice has been adequately
discussed by this Court in a catena of cases. Succinctly put, the doctrine requires a litigant to have a material
interest in the outcome of a case. In private suits, locus standi requires a litigant to be a “real party in interest,â
€ which is defined as †œthe party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party
entitled to the avails of the suit.”*23+

In public suits, this Court recognizes the difficulty of applying the doctrine especially when plaintiff asserts a public
right on behalf of the general public because of conflicting public policy issues. [24] On one end, there is the right
of the ordinary citizen to petition the courts to be freed from unlawful government intrusion and illegal official
action. At the other end, there is the public policy precluding excessive judicial interference in official acts, which
may unnecessarily hinder the delivery of basic public services.

In this jurisdiction, We have adopted the “direct injury test”to determine locus standi in public suits. In
People v. Vera,*25+ it was held that a person who impugns the validity of a statute must have “a personal and
substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain direct injury as a result.” The â
€œdirect injury test”in public suits is similar to the “real party in interest”rule for private suits under
Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.[26]

Recognizing that a strict application of the “direct injury”test may hamper public interest, this Court relaxed
the requirement in cases of “transcendental importance”or with “far reaching implications.” Being a
mere procedural technicality, it has also been held that locus standi may be waived in the public interest.[27]

Whether or not the complaint for collection is characterized as a private or public suit, Fertiphil has locus standi to
file it. Fertiphil suffered a direct injury from the enforcement of LOI No. 1465. It was required, and it did pay, the

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file it. Fertiphil suffered a direct injury from the enforcement of LOI No. 1465. It was required, and it did pay, the
P10 levy imposed for every bag of fertilizer sold on the domestic market. It may be true that Fertiphil has passed
some or all of the levy to the ultimate consumer, but that does not disqualify it from attacking the constitutionality
of the LOI or from seeking a refund. As seller, it bore the ultimate burden of paying the levy. It faced the possibility
of severe sanctions for failure to pay the levy. The fact of payment is sufficient injury to Fertiphil.

Moreover, Fertiphil suffered harm from the enforcement of the LOI because it was compelled to factor in its
product the levy. The levy certainly rendered the fertilizer products of Fertiphil and other domestic sellers much
more expensive. The harm to their business consists not only in fewer clients because of the increased price, but
also in adopting alternative corporate strategies to meet the demands of LOI No. 1465. Fertiphil and other fertilizer
sellers may have shouldered all or part of the levy just to be competitive in the market. The harm occasioned on
the business of Fertiphil is sufficient injury for purposes of locus standi.

Even assuming arguendo that there is no direct injury, We find that the liberal policy consistently adopted by this
Court on locus standi must apply. The issues raised by Fertiphil are of paramount public importance. It involves not
only the constitutionality of a tax law but, more importantly, the use of taxes for public purpose. Former President
Marcos issued LOI No. 1465 with the intention of rehabilitating an ailing private company. This is clear from the
text of the LOI. PPI is expressly named in the LOI as the direct beneficiary of the levy. Worse, the levy was made
dependent and conditional upon PPI becoming financially viable. The LOI provided that “the capital
contribution shall be collected until adequate capital is raised to make PPI viable.”

The constitutionality of the levy is already in doubt on a plain reading of the statute. It is Our constitutional duty to
squarely resolve the issue as the final arbiter of all justiciable controversies. The doctrine of standing, being a mere
procedural technicality, should be waived, if at all, to adequately thresh out an important constitutional issue.

RTC may resolve constitutional


issues; the constitutional issue was
adequately raised in the complaint; it
is the lis mota of the case.

PPI insists that the RTC and the CA erred in ruling on the constitutionality of the LOI. It asserts that the
constitutionality of the LOI cannot be collaterally attacked in a complaint for collection.[28] Alternatively, the
resolution of the constitutional issue is not necessary for a determination of the complaint for collection.[29]

Fertiphil counters that the constitutionality of the LOI was adequately pleaded in its complaint. It claims that the
constitutionality of LOI No. 1465 is the very lis mota of the case because the trial court cannot determine its claim
without resolving the issue.[30]

It is settled that the RTC has jurisdiction to resolve the constitutionality of a statute, presidential decree or an
executive order. This is clear from Section 5, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution, which provides:

SECTION 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:

xx xx

(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide,
final judgments and orders of lower courts in:

(a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law,
presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question. (Underscoring
supplied)

In Mirasol v. Court of Appeals,[31] this Court recognized the power of the RTC to resolve constitutional issues,
thus:

On the first issue. It is settled that Regional Trial Courts have the authority and jurisdiction to consider the
constitutionality of a statute, presidential decree, or executive order. The Constitution vests the power of judicial
review or the power to declare a law, treaty, international or executive agreement, presidential decree, order,
instruction, ordinance, or regulation not only in this Court, but in all Regional Trial Courts.[32]

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In the recent case of Equi-Asia Placement, Inc. v. Department of Foreign Affairs,[33] this Court reiterated:

There is no denying that regular courts have jurisdiction over cases involving the validity or constitutionality of a
rule or regulation issued by administrative agencies. Such jurisdiction, however, is not limited to the Court of
Appeals or to this Court alone for even the regional trial courts can take cognizance of actions assailing a specific
rule or set of rules promulgated by administrative bodies. Indeed, the Constitution vests the power of judicial
review or the power to declare a law, treaty, international or executive agreement, presidential decree, order,
instruction, ordinance, or regulation in the courts, including the regional trial courts.[34]

Judicial review of official acts on the ground of unconstitutionality may be sought or availed of through any of the
actions cognizable by courts of justice, not necessarily in a suit for declaratory relief. Such review may be had in
criminal actions, as in People v. Ferrer[35] involving the constitutionality of the now defunct Anti-Subversion law,
or in ordinary actions, as in Krivenko v. Register of Deeds[36] involving the constitutionality of laws prohibiting
aliens from acquiring public lands. The constitutional issue, however, (a) must be properly raised and presented in
the case, and (b) its resolution is necessary to a determination of the case, i.e., the issue of constitutionality must
be the very lis mota presented.[37]

Contrary to PPI’s claim, the constitutionality of LOI No. 1465 was properly and adequately raised in the
complaint for collection filed with the RTC. The pertinent portions of the complaint allege:

6. The CRC of P10 per bag levied under LOI 1465 on domestic sales of all grades of fertilizer in the Philippines, is
unlawful, unjust, uncalled for, unreasonable, inequitable and oppressive because:

xx xx

(c) It favors only one private domestic corporation, i.e., defendant PPPI, and imposed at the expense and
disadvantage of the other fertilizer importers/distributors who were themselves in tight business situation and
were then exerting all efforts and maximizing management and marketing skills to remain viable;

xx xx

(e) It was a glaring example of crony capitalism, a forced program through which the PPI, having been
presumptuously masqueraded as “the”fertilizer industry itself, was the sole and anointed beneficiary;

7. The CRC was an unlawful; and unconstitutional special assessment and its imposition is tantamount to illegal
exaction amounting to a denial of due process since the persons of entities which had to bear the burden of paying
the CRC derived no benefit therefrom; that on the contrary it was used by PPI in trying to regain its former
despicable monopoly of the fertilizer industry to the detriment of other distributors and importers.[38]
(Underscoring supplied)

The constitutionality of LOI No. 1465 is also the very lis mota of the complaint for collection. Fertiphil filed the
complaint to compel PPI to refund the levies paid under the statute on the ground that the law imposing the levy is
unconstitutional. The thesis is that an unconstitutional law is void. It has no legal effect. Being void, Fertiphil had
no legal obligation to pay the levy. Necessarily, all levies duly paid pursuant to an unconstitutional law should be
refunded under the civil code principle against unjust enrichment. The refund is a mere consequence of the law
being declared unconstitutional. The RTC surely cannot order PPI to refund Fertiphil if it does not declare the LOI
unconstitutional. It is the unconstitutionality of the LOI which triggers the refund. The issue of constitutionality is
the very lis mota of the complaint with the RTC.

The P10 levy under LOI No. 1465 is


an exercise of the power of taxation.

At any rate, the Court holds that the RTC and the CA did not err in ruling against the constitutionality of the LOI.

PPI insists that LOI No. 1465 is a valid exercise either of the police power or the power of taxation. It claims that
the LOI was implemented for the purpose of assuring the fertilizer supply and distribution in the country and for
benefiting a foundation created by law to hold in trust for millions of farmers their stock ownership in PPI.

Fertiphil counters that the LOI is unconstitutional because it was enacted to give benefit to a private company. The

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Fertiphil counters that the LOI is unconstitutional because it was enacted to give benefit to a private company. The
levy was imposed to pay the corporate debt of PPI. Fertiphil also argues that, even if the LOI is enacted under the
police power, it is still unconstitutional because it did not promote the general welfare of the people or public
interest.

Police power and the power of taxation are inherent powers of the State. These powers are distinct and have
different tests for validity. Police power is the power of the State to enact legislation that may interfere with
personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare,[39] while the power of taxation is the power
to levy taxes to be used for public purpose. The main purpose of police power is the regulation of a behavior or
conduct, while taxation is revenue generation. The “lawful subjects”and “lawful means”tests are used
to determine the validity of a law enacted under the police power.[40] The power of taxation, on the other hand, is
circumscribed by inherent and constitutional limitations.

We agree with the RTC that the imposition of the levy was an exercise by the State of its taxation power. While it is
true that the power of taxation can be used as an implement of police power,[41] the primary purpose of the levy
is revenue generation. If the purpose is primarily revenue, or if revenue is, at least, one of the real and substantial
purposes, then the exaction is properly called a tax.[42]

In Philippine Airlines, Inc. v. Edu,[43] it was held that the imposition of a vehicle registration fee is not an exercise
by the State of its police power, but of its taxation power, thus:

It is clear from the provisions of Section 73 of Commonwealth Act 123 and Section 61 of the Land Transportation
and Traffic Code that the legislative intent and purpose behind the law requiring owners of vehicles to pay for their
registration is mainly to raise funds for the construction and maintenance of highways and to a much lesser
degree, pay for the operating expenses of the administering agency. x x x Fees may be properly regarded as taxes
even though they also serve as an instrument of regulation.

Taxation may be made the implement of the state's police power (Lutz v. Araneta, 98 Phil. 148). If the purpose is
primarily revenue, or if revenue is, at least, one of the real and substantial purposes, then the exaction is properly
called a tax. Such is the case of motor vehicle registration fees. The same provision appears as Section 59(b) in the
Land Transportation Code. It is patent therefrom that the legislators had in mind a regulatory tax as the law refers
to the imposition on the registration, operation or ownership of a motor vehicle as a “tax or fee.”x x x
Simply put, if the exaction under Rep. Act 4136 were merely a regulatory fee, the imposition in Rep. Act 5448 need
not be an “additional”tax. Rep. Act 4136 also speaks of other “fees”such as the special permit fees for
certain types of motor vehicles (Sec. 10) and additional fees for change of registration (Sec. 11). These are not to
be understood as taxes because such fees are very minimal to be revenue-raising. Thus, they are not mentioned by
Sec. 59(b) of the Code as taxes like the motor vehicle registration fee and chauffeurs’ license fee. Such fees are
to go into the expenditures of the Land Transportation Commission as provided for in the last proviso of Sec.
61.[44] (Underscoring supplied)

The P10 levy under LOI No. 1465 is too excessive to serve a mere regulatory purpose. The levy, no doubt, was a big
burden on the seller or the ultimate consumer. It increased the price of a bag of fertilizer by as much as five
percent.[45] A plain reading of the LOI also supports the conclusion that the levy was for revenue generation. The
LOI expressly provided that the levy was imposed “until adequate capital is raised to make PPI viable.”

Taxes are exacted only for a public


purpose. The P10 levy is
unconstitutional because it was not
for a public purpose. The levy was
imposed to give undue benefit to PPI.

An inherent limitation on the power of taxation is public purpose. Taxes are exacted only for a public purpose.
They cannot be used for purely private purposes or for the exclusive benefit of private persons.[46] The reason for
this is simple. The power to tax exists for the general welfare; hence, implicit in its power is the limitation that it
should be used only for a public purpose. It would be a robbery for the State to tax its citizens and use the funds
generated for a private purpose. As an old United States case bluntly put it: “To lay with one hand, the power
of the government on the property of the citizen, and with the other to bestow it upon favored individuals to aid
private enterprises and build up private fortunes, is nonetheless a robbery because it is done under the forms of
law and is called taxation.”*47+

REMLAW Page 132


The term “public purpose”is not defined. It is an elastic concept that can be hammered to fit modern
standards. Jurisprudence states that “public purpose”should be given a broad interpretation. It does not
only pertain to those purposes which are traditionally viewed as essentially government functions, such as building
roads and delivery of basic services, but also includes those purposes designed to promote social justice. Thus,
public money may now be used for the relocation of illegal settlers, low-cost housing and urban or agrarian
reform.

While the categories of what may constitute a public purpose are continually expanding in light of the expansion of
government functions, the inherent requirement that taxes can only be exacted for a public purpose still stands.
Public purpose is the heart of a tax law. When a tax law is only a mask to exact funds from the public when its true
intent is to give undue benefit and advantage to a private enterprise, that law will not satisfy the requirement of â
€œpublic purpose.”

The purpose of a law is evident from its text or inferable from other secondary sources. Here, We agree with the
RTC and that CA that the levy imposed under LOI No. 1465 was not for a public purpose.

First, the LOI expressly provided that the levy be imposed to benefit PPI, a private company. The purpose is explicit
from Clause 3 of the law, thus:

3. The Administrator of the Fertilizer Pesticide Authority to include in its fertilizer pricing formula a capital
contribution component of not less than P10 per bag. This capital contribution shall be collected until adequate
capital is raised to make PPI viable. Such capital contribution shall be applied by FPA to all domestic sales of
fertilizers in the Philippines.[48] (Underscoring supplied)

It is a basic rule of statutory construction that the text of a statute should be given a literal meaning. In this case,
the text of the LOI is plain that the levy was imposed in order to raise capital for PPI. The framers of the LOI did not
even hide the insidious purpose of the law. They were cavalier enough to name PPI as the ultimate beneficiary of
the taxes levied under the LOI. We find it utterly repulsive that a tax law would expressly name a private company
as the ultimate beneficiary of the taxes to be levied from the public. This is a clear case of crony capitalism.

Second, the LOI provides that the imposition of the P10 levy was conditional and dependent upon PPI becoming
financially “viable.”This suggests that the levy was actually imposed to benefit PPI. The LOI notably does not
fix a maximum amount when PPI is deemed financially “viable.” Worse, the liability of Fertiphil and other
domestic sellers of fertilizer to pay the levy is made indefinite. They are required to continuously pay the levy until
adequate capital is raised for PPI.

Third, the RTC and the CA held that the levies paid under the LOI were directly remitted and deposited by FPA to
Far East Bank and Trust Company, the depositary bank of PPI.[49] This proves that PPI benefited from the LOI. It is
also proves that the main purpose of the law was to give undue benefit and advantage to PPI.

Fourth, the levy was used to pay the corporate debts of PPI. A reading of the Letter of Understanding[50] dated
May 18, 1985 signed by then Prime Minister Cesar Virata reveals that PPI was in deep financial problem because of
its huge corporate debts. There were pending petitions for rehabilitation against PPI before the Securities and
Exchange Commission. The government guaranteed payment of PPI’s debts to its foreign creditors. To fund the
payment, President Marcos issued LOI No. 1465. The pertinent portions of the letter of understanding read:

Republic of the Philippines


Office of the Prime Minister
Manila

LETTER OF UNDERTAKING

May 18, 1985

TO: THE BANKING AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS LISTED IN ANNEX A HERETO WHICH ARE CREDITORS
(COLLECTIVELY, THE “CREDITORS”) OF PLANTERS PRODUCTS, INC. (“PLANTERS”)

Gentlemen:

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This has reference to Planters which is the principal importer and distributor of fertilizer, pesticides and
agricultural chemicals in the Philippines. As regards Planters, the Philippine Government confirms its awareness of
the following: (1) that Planters has outstanding obligations in foreign currency and/or pesos, to the Creditors, (2)
that Planters is currently experiencing financial difficulties, and (3) that there are presently pending with the
Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippines a petition filed at Planters’ own behest for the
suspension of payment of all its obligations, and a separate petition filed by Manufacturers Hanover Trust
Company, Manila Offshore Branch for the appointment of a rehabilitation receiver for Planters.

In connection with the foregoing, the Republic of the Philippines (the “Republic”) confirms that it considers
and continues to consider Planters as a major fertilizer distributor. Accordingly, for and in consideration of your
expressed willingness to consider and participate in the effort to rehabilitate Planters, the Republic hereby
manifests its full and unqualified support of the successful rehabilitation and continuing viability of Planters, and to
that end, hereby binds and obligates itself to the creditors and Planters, as follows:

xx xx

2. Upon the effective date of this Letter of Undertaking, the Republic shall cause FPA to include in its fertilizer
pricing formula a capital recovery component, the proceeds of which will be used initially for the purpose of
funding the unpaid portion of the outstanding capital stock of Planters presently held in trust by Planters
Foundation, Inc. (“Planters Foundation”), which unpaid capital is estimated at approximately P206 million
(subject to validation by Planters and Planters Foundation) such unpaid portion of the outstanding capital stock of
Planters being hereafter referred to as the “Unpaid Capital”), and subsequently for such capital increases as
may be required for the continuing viability of Planters.

xx xx

The capital recovery component shall continue to be charged and collected until payment in full of (a) the Unpaid
Capital and/or (b) any shortfall in the payment of the Subsidy Receivables, (c) any carrying cost accruing from the
date hereof on the amounts which may be outstanding from time to time of the Unpaid Capital and/or the Subsidy
Receivables, and (d) the capital increases contemplated in paragraph 2 hereof. For the purpose of the foregoing
clause (c), the “carrying cost”shall be at such rate as will represent the full and reasonable cost to Planters
of servicing its debts, taking into account both its peso and foreign currency-denominated obligations.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES


By:

(signed)
CESAR E. A. VIRATA
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance[51]

It is clear from the Letter of Understanding that the levy was imposed precisely to pay the corporate debts of PPI.
We cannot agree with PPI that the levy was imposed to ensure the stability of the fertilizer industry in the country.
The letter of understanding and the plain text of the LOI clearly indicate that the levy was exacted for the benefit
of a private corporation.

All told, the RTC and the CA did not err in holding that the levy imposed under LOI No. 1465 was not for a public
purpose. LOI No. 1465 failed to comply with the public purpose requirement for tax laws.

The LOI is still unconstitutional even


if enacted under the police power; it
did not promote public interest.

Even if We consider LOI No. 1695 enacted under the police power of the State, it would still be invalid for failing to
comply with the test of “lawful subjects”and “lawful means.”Jurisprudence states the test as follows:
(1) the interest of the public generally, as distinguished from those of particular class, requires its exercise; and (2)
the means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive
upon individuals.[52]

REMLAW Page 134


upon individuals.[52]

For the same reasons as discussed, LOI No. 1695 is invalid because it did not promote public interest. The law was
enacted to give undue advantage to a private corporation. We quote with approval the CA ratiocination on this
point, thus:

It is upon applying this established tests that We sustain the trial court’s holding LOI 1465 unconstitutional. To
be sure, ensuring the continued supply and distribution of fertilizer in the country is an undertaking imbued with
public interest. However, the method by which LOI 1465 sought to achieve this is by no means a measure that will
promote the public welfare. The government’s commitment to support the successful rehabilitation and
continued viability of PPI, a private corporation, is an unmistakable attempt to mask the subject statute’s
impartiality. There is no way to treat the self-interest of a favored entity, like PPI, as identical with the general
interest of the country’s farmers or even the Filipino people in general. Well to stress, substantive due process
exacts fairness and equal protection disallows distinction where none is needed. When a statute’s public
purpose is spoiled by private interest, the use of police power becomes a travesty which must be struck down for
being an arbitrary exercise of government power. To rule in favor of appellant would contravene the general
principle that revenues derived from taxes cannot be used for purely private purposes or for the exclusive benefit
of private individuals. (Underscoring supplied)

The general rule is that an


unconstitutional law is void; the
doctrine of operative fact is inapplicable.

PPI also argues that Fertiphil cannot seek a refund even if LOI No. 1465 is declared unconstitutional. It banks on the
doctrine of operative fact, which provides that an unconstitutional law has an effect before being declared
unconstitutional. PPI wants to retain the levies paid under LOI No. 1465 even if it is subsequently declared to be
unconstitutional.

We cannot agree. It is settled that no question, issue or argument will be entertained on appeal, unless it has been
raised in the court a quo.[53] PPI did not raise the applicability of the doctrine of operative fact with the RTC and
the CA. It cannot belatedly raise the issue with Us in order to extricate itself from the dire effects of an
unconstitutional law.

At any rate, We find the doctrine inapplicable. The general rule is that an unconstitutional law is void. It produces
no rights, imposes no duties and affords no protection. It has no legal effect. It is, in legal contemplation,
inoperative as if it has not been passed.[54] Being void, Fertiphil is not required to pay the levy. All levies paid
should be refunded in accordance with the general civil code principle against unjust enrichment. The general rule
is supported by Article 7 of the Civil Code, which provides:

ART. 7. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by
disuse or custom or practice to the contrary.

When the courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall
govern.

The doctrine of operative fact, as an exception to the general rule, only applies as a matter of equity and fair
play.[55] It nullifies the effects of an unconstitutional law by recognizing that the existence of a statute prior to a
determination of unconstitutionality is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot always be
ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration.[56]

The doctrine is applicable when a declaration of unconstitutionality will impose an undue burden on those who
have relied on the invalid law. Thus, it was applied to a criminal case when a declaration of unconstitutionality
would put the accused in double jeopardy[57] or would put in limbo the acts done by a municipality in reliance
upon a law creating it.[58]

Here, We do not find anything iniquitous in ordering PPI to refund the amounts paid by Fertiphil under LOI No.
1465. It unduly benefited from the levy. It was proven during the trial that the levies paid were remitted and
deposited to its bank account. Quite the reverse, it would be inequitable and unjust not to order a refund. To do so
would unjustly enrich PPI at the expense of Fertiphil. Article 22 of the Civil Code explicitly provides that “every
person who, through an act of performance by another comes into possession of something at the expense of the

REMLAW Page 135


person who, through an act of performance by another comes into possession of something at the expense of the
latter without just or legal ground shall return the same to him.” We cannot allow PPI to profit from an
unconstitutional law. Justice and equity dictate that PPI must refund the amounts paid by Fertiphil.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Court of Appeals Decision dated November 28, 2003 is AFFIRMED.

Pasted from <file:///C:\Users\Charisse\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI62.918\planters.docx>

REMLAW Page 136


Badillo v. CA GR 131903 June 26, 2008
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:28 PM

[G.R. No. 131903, June 26, 2008]

OSCAR R. BADILLO, GIOVANNI C. ONG, EDGAR A. RAGASA REPRESENTED BY HEIRS CYNTHIA G. RAGASA, AND THEIR
CHILDREN JOSEPH, CATHERINE AND CHARMAINE ALL SURNAMED RAGASA, ROLANDO SANCADA, AND DIONISIO
UMBALIN VS. COURT OF APPEALS, REGISTER OF DEEDS OF QUEZON CITY, GOLDKEY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,
JOSEFA CONEJERO, IGNACIO D. SONORON, PEDRO DEL ROSARIO, AND DOWAL REALTY AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
COMPANY

CARPIO, J.:

The Case

This petition for certiorari[1] assails the 17 September 1997 Decision[2] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 50035.
The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal filed by petitioners Oscar R. Badillo, Giovanni C. Ong, Edgar A. Ragasa,
Rolando Sancada, and Dionisio Umbalin (petitioners) questioning the 5 June 1995 Order[3] of Branch 222 of the Regional
Trial Court of Quezon City in Civil Case No. Q-91-10510 for Annulment of Documents with Prayer for Issuance of
Prohibitory and Mandatory Injunction and Damages.
The Facts

Petitioners alleged that they are the registered owners of several lots adjoining a road lot known as Lot 369-A-29 or
Apollo Street of subdivision plan Psd-37971 (road lot). The road lot is a short access road which connects petitioners'
properties to the main road known as Road 20. The road lot is covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. RT-20895
(22682) and registered in the name of respondent Pedro del Rosario (del Rosario). Annotated at the back of TCT No.
RT-20895 is a court-ordered Entry No. 605/T-22655 which reads as follows: "It is hereby made of record that as per order
of the Court, the street lot covered by this title shall not be closed or disposed of by the registered owner without
previous approval of the court."[4]

Petitioners alleged that in gross violation of the court order, del Rosario sold an unsegregated portion of the road lot to
his co-respondents Josefa Conejero (Conejero) and Ignacio Sonoron (Sonoron) without obtaining prior court approval.
Del Rosario, Conejero, and Sonoron then entered into a partition agreement to divide the road lot into four lots which
resulted in the partial cancellation of TCT No. RT-20895 and the subsequent issuance of TCT Nos. 35899 and 35100 in the
name of Conejero, TCT No. 35101 in the name of del Rosario, and TCT No. 35102 in the name of Sonoron.[5]

Petitioners stated that del Rosario sold TCT No. 35101 to Goldkey Development Corporation (Goldkey).[6]

Petitioners alleged that the Register of Deeds violated the court order when it allowed the registration of the sales and
the subsequent issuance of new titles without first obtaining judicial approval. Petitioners claimed that Goldkey had built
cement fences on the lot, thus blocking the ingress and egress of petitioners.[7]

Petitioners prayed that the sales made in favor of Conejero, Sonoron, and Goldkey and the partition of the road lot be
declared void.[8]

In its Comment, Goldkey alleged that the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) has exclusive jurisdiction over
the cases mentioned in Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. (PD) 1344.[9] Goldkey argued that the Court of Appeals
correctly dismissed petitioners' appeal because petitioners merely assigned an error involving a pure question of
law. Goldkey added that petitioners are using the present petition as a substitute for an already lost appeal since
petitioners' counsel had received the decision on 17 October 1997 and the present petition was posted only on 16
December 1997.[10]

In May 1991, petitioners filed an initial complaint with the Office of the Building Official (building official) of Quezon City,
docketed as Building Case No. R-10-91-006 entitled Giovanni C. Ong, et al. v. Manuel Chua (building case).[11] Petitioners,
who initiated the building case when Goldkey started putting up fences in some portions of the property, claimed that
the parcel of land was a road lot.[12]

On 10 September 1991, the HLURB issued a Development Permit to Goldkey allowing it to develop the land into
residential townhouse units. The permit also mentioned that the project is classified as "Residential Townhouse
Subdivision" and, as evaluated, the same is "in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance of Quezon City."[13]
REMLAW Page 137
Subdivision" and, as evaluated, the same is "in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance of Quezon City."[13]

On 4 November 1991,[14] petitioners filed a case for Annulment of Title and Damages[15] with the Regional Trial Court of
Quezon City.

Subsequently, the building official of Quezon City resolved the building case against petitioners and this decision became
final and executory.[16] The ruling held that the property is not a road lot but a residential lot.[17]

On 5 June 1995, Branch 222 of the Regional Trial Court (trial court) of Quezon City issued an order dismissing the case
for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter.
The Ruling of the Trial Court

The trial court dismissed petitioners' case for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. The trial court pointed out that
there was a decision rendered by the building official of Quezon City declaring the disputed property a residential lot and
not a road lot; hence, the building official issued a building permit. The HLURB also issued a permit for the development
of the land into a townhouse project. Petitioners did not appeal both rulings. The trial court stated that petitioners'
contention that the property is a road lot had been rendered moot by the finding of the building official which made the
contrary declaration. If petitioners had any objection to the ruling, they should have appealed the same to the Secretary
of Public Works and Highways as provided in Section 307 of Executive Order No. (EO) 1096. The findings of
administrative agencies which have expertise are generally accorded not only respect but even finality.

The trial court also stated that the property had been approved by the HLURB for development into a townhouse
project. The subject land was therefore removed from the jurisdiction of the regular courts. The HLURB's decision was
also not appealed to the Office of the President as provided in Section 4 of PD 1344 which gave the HLURB quasi-judicial
powers.
The Ruling of the Appellate Court

On 17 September 1997, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal on the ground that it has no jurisdiction to entertain
the same. The appellate court stated that the original and amended complaints filed by petitioners were both premised
on the claim that the subject parcels of land were subdivision road lots that were illegally converted into residential lots
and thereafter disposed by del Rosario, the subdivision developer. Therefore, petitioners' complaints were filed for the
purpose of enforcing a contractual and statutory obligation of del Rosario to preserve a subdivision road lot for street
purposes. As such, the agency with jurisdiction is the HLURB, pursuant to the provisions of PD 957, 1216, and 1344, EO
648 dated 7 February 1981 and EO 90 dated 17 December 1986.

Further, the appellate court ruled that the error assigned by petitioners involves the issue on what law will apply to
determine the jurisdiction of a tribunal over the subject matter of the complaints. Petitioners' assigned error involves a
pure question of law; hence, petitioners appealed to the wrong forum. Petitioners should have elevated their appeal to
the Supreme Court and not to the Court of Appeals by way of a simple appeal.

Hence, this petition.


The Issues

Petitioners raise three issues in this petition:


1. Whether the appellate court acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion by
dismissing petitioners' appeal on the ground that jurisdiction does not lie with the regular courts but with the
HLURB;
2. Whether the Court of Appeals acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion by dismissing
petitioners' appeal on the ground that petitioners did not assign any error of fact; and
3. Whether a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is the proper remedy for
petitioners.
The Ruling of the Court

The petition lacks merit.

The HLURB is the sole regulatory body for housing and land development.[18] The extent to which an administrative
agency may exercise its powers depends on the provisions of the statute creating such agency.[19] Courts will not
determine a controversy where the issues for resolution demand the exercise of sound administrative discretion.[20]
Jurisdiction Lies with the HLURB

PD 957,[21] otherwise known as "The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers' Protective Decree," granted the National

REMLAW Page 138


PD 957,[21] otherwise known as "The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers' Protective Decree," granted the National
Housing Authority (NHA) the exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the real estate business. The scope of the regulatory
authority lodged in the NHA is indicated in the second whereas clause which states:
"WHEREAS, numerous reports reveal that many real estate subdivision owners, developers, operators, and/or sellers
have reneged on their representations and obligations to provide and maintain properly subdivision roads, drainage,
sewerage, water systems, lighting systems, and other similar basic requirements, thus endangering the health and safety
of home and lot buyers," (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, Section 22 of PD 957 provides:
Sec. 22. Alteration of Plans. - No owner or developer shall change or alter the roads, open spaces, infrastructures,
facilities for public use and/or other form of subdivision development as contained in the approved subdivision plan
and/or represented in its advertisements, without the permission of the Authority and the written conformity or
consent of the duly organized homeowners association, or in the absence of the latter, by the majority of the lot buyers
in the subdivision. (Emphasis supplied)
PD 1344[22] amended PD 957 by empowering the NHA to issue writs of execution in the enforcement of its decisions.
Section 1 of PD 1344 states:
Section 1. In the exercise of its functions to regulate the real estate trade and business and in addition to its powers
provided for in Presidential Decree No. 957, the National Housing Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and
decide cases of the following nature:

a. Unsound real estate business practices;

b. Claims involving refund and any other claims filed by subdivision lot or condominium unit buyer against the project
owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman; and

c. Cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations filed by buyers of subdivision lot or
condominium unit against the owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman.(Emphasis supplied)
Under EO 648,[23] the NHA's functions were transferred to the Human Settlement Regulatory Commission. Section 8 of
EO 648 provides:
Section 8. Transfer of Functions. - The regulatory functions of the National Housing Authority pursuant to Presidential
Decrees No. 957, 1216, 1344 and other related laws are hereby transferred to the Commission, together with such
applicable personnel, appropriation, records, equipment and property necessary for the enforcement and
implementation of such functions. Among these regulatory functions are: (1) Regulation of the real estate trade and
business; (2) Registration of subdivision lots and condominium projects; (3) Issuance of license to sell subdivision lots and
condominium units in the registered units; (4) Approval of performance bond and the suspension of license to sell; (5)
Registration of dealers, brokers and salesmen engaged in the business of selling subdivision lots or condominium units;
(6) Revocation of registration of dealers, brokers and salesmen; (7) Approval or mortgage on any subdivision lot or
condominium unit made by the owner or developer; (8) Granting of permits for the alteration of plans and the extension
of period for completion of subdivision or condominium projects; (9) Approval of the conversion to other purposes of
roads and open spaces found within the project which have been donated to the city or municipality concerned; (10)
Regulation of the relationship between lessors and lessees; and (11) Hear and decide cases on unsound real estate
business practices; claims involving refund filed against project owners, developers, dealers, brokers or salesmen and
cases of specific performance. (Emphasis supplied)
EO 90 [24] renamed the Human Settlement Regulatory Commission the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. The
HLURB retained the regulatory and adjudicatory functions of the NHA.

Clearly, the scope and limitation of the HLURB's jurisdiction are well-defined. The HLURB's jurisdiction to hear and decide
cases is determined by the nature of the cause of action, the subject matter or property involved, and the parties.[25] In
the present case, petitioners are the registered owners of several lots adjoining a subdivision road lot connecting their
properties to the main road. Petitioners allege that the subdivision lot owners sold the road lot to a developer who is
now constructing cement fences, thus blocking the passageway from their lots to the main road. In sum, petitioners are
enforcing their statutory and contractual rights against the subdivision owners. This is a specific performance case which
falls under the HLURB's exclusive jurisdiction.

In Osea v. Ambrosio,[26] the Court held that the provisions of PD 957 were intended to encompass all questions relating
to subdivisions. This intention was aimed to provide for an appropriate government agency, which is the HLURB, to
which all parties aggrieved in the implementation of provisions and the enforcement of contractual rights with respect to
said category of real estate may take recourse.

Petitioners claim that respondents violated the annotation at the back of TCT No. RT-20895 by selling an unsegregated
portion of the lot without obtaining prior court approval. The date of entry of this annotation is 18 August 1953. When
PD 957, PD 1344, and EO 648 were enacted in 1976, 1978, and 1981, respectively, this annotation was impliedly
modified such that the conversion of the road lot in the subdivision plan would fall under the HLURB's jurisdiction
pursuant to these laws.

REMLAW Page 139


pursuant to these laws.

Petitioners argue that they can file a specific performance case to compel respondents to comply with their contractual
and statutory obligation to maintain the road lot. However, petitioners can only be granted complete relief if the subject
sales are declared void and the subsequent partition is declared illegal. Petitioners further contend that the HLURB,
having only the jurisdiction to hear and decide specific performance cases, can only compel petitioners to file a case for
annulment of title and prosecute the action. Petitioners insist that in the final analysis, a case for annulment of title
would still have to be filed with the ordinary courts.[27]

In Peña v. GSIS,[28] the Court ruled that when an administrative agency is conferred quasi-judicial functions, all
controversies relating to the subject matter pertaining to its specialization are deemed to be included within its
jurisdiction. Split jurisdiction is not favored.

As observed in C.T. Torres Enterprises, Inc. v. Hibionada:[29]


The argument that only courts of justice can adjudicate claims resoluble under the provisions of the Civil Code is out of
step with the fast-changing times. There are hundreds of administrative bodies now performing this function by virtue of
a valid authorization from the legislature. This quasi-judicial function, as it is called, is exercised by them as an incident of
the principal power entrusted to them of regulating certain activities falling under their particular expertise.

In the Solid Homes case for example the Court affirmed the competence of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
to award damages although this is an essentially judicial power exercisable ordinarily only by the courts of justice. This
departure from the traditional allocation of governmental powers is justified by expediency, or the need of the
government to respond swiftly and competently to the pressing problems of the modern world.
Finally, in Cristobal v. Court of Appeals,[30] we held that "questions relating to non-compliance with the requisites for
conversion of subdivision lots are properly cognizable by the NHA, now the HLURB, pursuant to Section 22 of PD 957 and
not by the regular courts."
Appeal by Certiorari Involving Questions of Law

Section 2, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court states:


Sec. 2. Mode of appeal.-

(a) Ordinary Appeal. - The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of
its original jurisdiction shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court which rendered the judgment or final
order appealed from and serving a copy thereof upon the adverse party. No record on appeal shall be required except in
special proceedings and other cases of multiple or separate appeals where the law or these Rules so require. In such
cases, the record on appeal shall be filed and served in like manner.

(b) Petition for Review. - The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of
its appellate jurisdiction shall be by petition for review in accordance with Rule 42.

(c) Appeal by certiorari. - In all cases where only questions of law are raised or involved, the appeal shall be to the
Supreme Court by petition for review on certiorari in accordance with Rule 45.(Emphasis supplied)
In Sevilleno v. Carilo,[31] citing Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals, this Court
summarized the rule on appeals:
(1) In all cases decided by the RTC in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, appeal may be made to the Court of Appeals
by mere notice of appeal where the appellant raises questions of fact or mixed questions of fact and law;

(2) In all cases decided by the RTC in the exercise of its original jurisdiction where the appellant raises only questions
of law, the appeal must be taken to the Supreme Court on a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45.

(3) All appeals from judgments rendered by the RTC in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, regardless of whether the
appellant raises questions of fact, questions of law, or mixed questions of fact and law, shall be brought to the Court of
Appeals by filing a petition for review under Rule 42. (Emphasis supplied)
In First Bancorp, Inc. v. Court of Appeals,[32] this Court also explained the two modes of appeal from a final order of the
trial court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction:
(1) by writ of error under Section 2(a), Rule 41 of the Rules of Court if questions of fact or questions of fact and law are
raised or involved; or

(2) appeal by certiorari under Section 2(c), Rule 41, in relation to Rule 45, where only questions of law are raised or
involved. (Emphasis supplied)
In the present case, petitioners raised only one issue in their Appellants' Brief - whether "the Honorable Trial Court a quo
seriously erred in holding that it has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case when in fact it has already

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seriously erred in holding that it has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case when in fact it has already
acquired jurisdiction over the persons of the defendants and the subject matter of the case."

The question on jurisdiction is undoubtedly one of law. We have held that "a question of law exists when the doubt or
controversy concerns the correct application of law or jurisprudence to a certain set of facts; or when the issue does not
call for an examination of the probative value of the evidence presented, the truth or falsehood of facts being
admitted."[33] Consequently, it is not disputed that the issue brought by petitioners to the Court of Appeals involves
solely the trial court's jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case. The appellate court can determine the issue
raised without reviewing or evaluating the evidence.

As petitioners' appeal solely involves a question of law, the appellate court did not err in dismissing the appeal on the
ground of lack of jurisdiction pursuant to Section 2, Rule 50 of the Rules of Court which provides:
Sec. 2. Dismissal of improper appeal to the Court of Appeals. - An appeal under Rule 41 taken from the Regional Trial
Court to the Court of Appeals raising only questions of law shall be dismissed, issues purely of law not being reviewable
by said court. Similarly, an appeal by notice of appeal instead of by petition for review from the appellate judgment of a
Regional Trial Court shall be dismissed.

An appeal erroneously taken to the Court of Appeals shall not be transferred to the appropriate court but shall be
dismissed outright. (Emphasis supplied)
Rule 65 is not a remedy for lost appeal.

Petitioners should have directly taken their appeal to this Court by filing a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45
and not an ordinary appeal with the Court of Appeals under Rule 41 nor a petition for certiorari with this Court under
Rule 65.

As held in Balayan v. Acorda,[34] "the special civil action for certiorari is a limited form of review and is a remedy of last
recourse." It lies only where there is no appeal or plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.

In the present case, petitioners chose the wrong mode of appeal. Hence, the instant petition cannot prevail since a
petition for certiorari is not a substitute for a lost appeal, especially if the loss or lapse was an error in petitioners' choice
of remedy. We have held in David v. Cordova[35] that:
A petition for certiorari cannot be a substitute for an appeal from a lower court decision. Where appeal is available to
the aggrieved party, the action for certiorari will not be entertained. The remedies of appeal (including petitions for
review) and certiorari are mutually exclusive, not alternate or successive. Hence, certiorari is not and cannot be a
substitute for an appeal, especially if one's own negligence or error in one's choice of remedy occasioned such loss or
lapse. One of the requisites of certiorari is that there be no available appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy.
Where an appeal is available, certiorari will not prosper, even if the ground therefore is grave abuse of discretion.
(Emphasis supplied)
There were instances when the Court has relaxed the rule on the special civil action for certiorari as a substitute for
failure to file a timely petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 such as where the application of this rule would
result in a manifest failure or miscarriage of justice.[36] Although the Court has the discretion to treat a petition for
certiorari as having been filed under Rule 45, there is nothing in the present case to warrant a liberal application of the
rules.

WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petition. We AFFIRM the 17 September 1997 Decision of the Court of Appeals. Costs
against petitioners.

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Fort Bonifacio v Domingo GR 180768 Feb 27, 2009
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:29 PM

G.R. No. 180765 February 27, 2009


FORT BONIFACIO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs. MANUEL N. DOMINGO
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
Before this Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court, filed
by petitioner Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation, seeking to reverse and set aside the Decision
dated 19 July 20071 and the Resolution dated 10 December 20072 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP
No. 97731. The appellate court, in its assailed Decision, affirmed the Order3 of the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Pasay City, Branch 109, in Civil Case No. 06-2000-CFM, denying the Motion to Dismiss of
petitioner; and in its assailed Resolution, refused to reconsider its decision.
Petitioner, a domestic corporation duly organized under Philippine laws, is engaged in the real estate
development business. Respondent is the assignee of L and M Maxco Specialist Engineering
Construction (LMM Construction) of its receivables from petitioner.
On 5 July 2000, petitioner entered into a Trade Contract with LMM Construction for partial structural
and architectural works on one of its projects, the Bonifacio Ridge Condominium. According to the said
Contract, petitioner had the right to withhold the retention money equivalent to 5% of the contract
price for a period of one year after the completion of the project. Retention money is a portion of the
contract price, set aside by the project owner, from all approved billings and retained for a certain
period to guarantee the performance by the contractor of all corrective works during the defect-liability
period.4
Due to the defect and delay in the work of LMM Construction on the condominium project, petitioner
unilaterally terminated the Trade Contract5 and hired another contractor to finish the rest of the work
left undone by LMM Construction. Despite the pre-termination of the Trade Contract, petitioner was
liable to pay LMM Construction a fraction of the contract price in proportion to the works already
performed by the latter.6
On 30 July 2004, petitioner received the first Notice of Garnishment against the receivables of LMM
Construction issued by the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC) in connection with CIAC
Case No. 11-2002 filed by Asia-Con Builders against LMM Construction, wherein LMM Construction was
adjudged liable to Asia-Con Builders for the amount of P5,990,927.77.
On 30 April 2005, petitioner received a letter dated 18 April 2005 from respondent inquiring on the
retention money supposedly due to LMM Construction and informing petitioner that a portion of the
amount receivable by LMM Construction therefrom was already assigned to him as evidenced by the
Deed of Assignment executed by LMM Construction in respondent’s favor on 28 February 2005. LMM
Construction assigned its receivables from petitioner to respondent to settle the alleged unpaid
obligation of LMM Construction to respondent amounting to P804,068.21.
Through its letter dated 11 October 2005, addressed to respondent, petitioner acknowledged that LMM
Construction did have receivables still with petitioner, consisting of the retention money; but petitioner
also advised respondent that the retention money was not yet due and demandable and may be
ascertained only after the completion of the corrective works undertaken by the new contractor on the
condominium project. Petitioner also notified respondent that part of the receivables was also being
garnished by the other creditors of LMM Construction.
Unsatisfied with the reply of petitioner, respondent sent another letter dated 14 October 2005 asserting
his ownership over a portion of the retention money assigned to him and maintaining that the amount
thereof pertaining to him can no longer be garnished to satisfy the obligations of LMM Construction to
other persons since it already ceased to be the property of LMM Construction by virtue of the Deed of
Assignment. Attached to respondent’s letter was the endorsement of LMM Construction dated 17
January 2005 approving respondent’s claim upon petitioner in the amount of P804,068.21 chargeable
against the retention money that may be received by LMM Construction from the petitioner.
Before respondent’s claim could be fully addressed, petitioner, on 6 June 2005, received the second
Notice of Garnishment against the receivables of LMM Construction, this time, issued by the National
Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) to satisfy the liability of LMM Construction to Nicolas Consigna in
NLRC Case No. 00-07-05483-2003.
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NLRC Case No. 00-07-05483-2003.
On 13 July 2005, petitioner received an Order of Delivery of Money issued by the Office of the Clerk of
Court and Ex-Officio Sheriff enforcing the first Notice of Garnishment and directing petitioner to deliver
to Asia-Con Builders, through the Sheriff, the amount of P5,990,227.77 belonging to LMM Construction.
In compliance with the said Order, petitioner was able to deliver to Asia-Con Builders on 22 July 2005
and on 11 August 2005 partial payments amounting to P1,170,601.81, covered by the appropriate
Acknowledgement Receipts.
A third Notice of Garnishment against the receivables of LMM Construction, already accompanied by an
Order of Delivery of Money, both issued by the RTC of Makati, Branch 133, was served upon petitioner
on 26 January 2006. The Order enjoined petitioner to deliver the amount of P558,448.27 to the Sheriff
to answer for the favorable judgment obtained by Concrete Masters, Inc. (Concrete Masters) against
LMM Construction in Civil Case No. 05-164.
Petitioner, in a letter dated 31 January 2006, categorically denied respondent’s claim on the retention
money, reasoning that after the completion of the rectification works on the condominium project and
satisfaction of the various garnishment orders, there was no more left of the retention money of LMM
Construction.
It would appear, however, that petitioner fully satisfied the first Notice of Garnishment in the amount of
P5,110,833.44 only on 31 January 2006,7 the very the same date that it expressly denied respondent’s
claim. Also, petitioner complied with the Notice of Garnishment and its accompanying Order of Delivery
of Money in the amount of P558,448.27 on 8 February 2006, a week after its denial of respondent’s
claim.8
The foregoing events prompted respondent to file a Complaint for collection of sum of money, against
both LMM Construction and petitioner, docketed as Civil Case No. 06-0200-CFM before the RTC of Pasay
City, Branch 109.
Instead of filing an Answer, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss Civil Case No. 06-0200-CFM on the
ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. Petitioner argued that since respondent merely
stepped into the shoes of LMM Construction as its assignor, it was the CIAC and not the regular courts
that had jurisdiction over the dispute as provided in the Trade Contract.
On 6 June 2006, the RTC issued an Order denying the Motion to Dismiss of petitioner, ruling that a full-
blown trial was necessary to determine which one between LMM Construction and petitioner should be
made accountable for the sum due to respondent.
Petitioner sought remedy from the Court of Appeals by filing a Petition for Certiorari, docketed as CA-
G.R. SP No. 97731, challenging the RTC Order dated 6 June 2006 for having been rendered by the trial
court with grave abuse of discretion.
In its Decision promulgated on 19 July 2007, the Court of Appeals dismissed the Petition for Certiorari
and affirmed the 6 June 2006 Order of the RTC denying the Motion to Dismiss of petitioner. The
appellate court rejected the argument of petitioner that respondent, as the assignee of LMM
Construction, was bound by the stipulation in the Trade Contract that disputes arising therefrom should
be brought before the CIAC. The Court of Appeals declared that respondent was not privy, but a third
party, to the Trade Contract; and money claims of third persons against the contractor, developer, or
owner of the project are lodged in the regular courts and not in the CIAC.
Similarly ill-fated was petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied by the Court of Appeals
in its Resolution dated 10 December 2007.
Petitioner now comes to this Court via this instant Petition for Review on Certiorari praying for the
reversal of the 19 July 2007 Decision of the Court of Appeals and 6 June 2006 Order of the RTC and,
ultimately, for the dismissal of Civil Case No. 06-0200-CFM pending before the RTC.
For the resolution of this Court is the sole issue of:
WHETHER OR NOT THE RTC HAS JURISDICTION OVER CIVIL CASE NO. 06-0200-CFM.
The jurisdiction of CIAC is defined under Executive Order No. 1008 as follows:
SECTION 4. Jurisdiction.—The CIAC shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over disputes arising
from, or connected with, contracts entered into by parties involved in construction in the Philippines,
whether the disputes arises before or after the completion of the contract, or after the abandonment or
breach thereof. These disputes may involve government or private contracts. For the Board to acquire
jurisdiction, the parties to a dispute must agree to submit the same to voluntary arbitration.
The jurisdiction of the CIAC may include but is not limited to violation of specifications for materials and

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jurisdiction, the parties to a dispute must agree to submit the same to voluntary arbitration.
The jurisdiction of the CIAC may include but is not limited to violation of specifications for materials and
workmanship; violation of the terms of agreement; interpretation and/or application of contractual
provisions; amount of damages and penalties; commencement time and delays; maintenance and
defects; payment default of employer or contractor and changes in contract cost.
Excluded from the coverage of this law are disputes arising from employer-employee relationships
which shall continue to be covered by the Labor Code of the Philippines.
In assailing the 19 July 2007 Decision of the Court of Appeals, petitioner invoked Article 1311 of the Civil
Code on relativity of contracts. According to said provision, all contracts shall only take effect between
the contracting parties, their assigns and heirs except when the rights and obligations arising from the
contract are not transmissible. Petitioner argues that the appellate court, in recognizing the existence of
the Deed of Assignment executed by LMM Construction -- in favor of respondent -- of its receivables
under the Trade Contract, should have considered the concomitant result thereof, i.e., that respondent
became a party to the Trade Contract and, therefore, bound by the arbitral clause therein.
Respondent counters that the CIAC is devoid of jurisdiction over money claims of third persons against
the contractor, developer or owner of the project. The jurisdiction of the CIAC is limited to settling
disputes arising among contractors, developers and/or owners of construction projects. It does not
include the determination of who among the many creditors of the contractor should enjoy preference
in payment of its receivables from the developer/owner.
It is an elementary rule of procedural law that jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter is
determined by the allegations of the complaint, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to
recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein. As a necessary consequence, the jurisdiction of
the court cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the answer or upon the motion to
dismiss; for otherwise, the question of jurisdiction would almost entirely depend upon the defendant.
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.9 Accordingly, the issues in the instant case can only be properly resolved by an
examination and evaluation of respondent’s allegations in his Complaint in Civil Case No. 06-0200-CFM.
The allegations in respondent’s Complaint are clear and simple: That LMM Construction had an
outstanding obligation to respondent in the amount of P804,068.21; that in payment of the said
amount, LMM Construction assigned to respondent its receivables from petitioner, which assignment
was properly made known to petitioner as early as 18 April 2005; that despite due notice of such
assignment, petitioner still refused to deliver the amount assigned to respondent, giving preference,
instead, to the garnishing creditors of LMM Construction; that at the time petitioner was notified of the
assignment, only one notice of garnishment, the first Notice of Garnishment, was received by it; that
had petitioner properly recognized respondent’s right as an assignee of a portion of the receivables of
LMM Construction, there could have been sufficient residual amounts to satisfy respondent’s claim; and
that, uncertain over which one between LMM Construction and petitioner he may resort to for
payment, respondent named them both as defendants in Civil Case No. 06-0200-CFM. A scrupulous
examination of the aforementioned allegations in respondent’s Complaint unveils the fact that his cause
of action springs not from a violation of the provisions of the Trade Contract, but from the non-payment
of the monetary obligation of LMM Construction to him.
A cause of action is a party’s act or omission that violates the rights of the other.10 The right of the
respondent that was violated, prompting him to initiate Civil Case No. 06-0200-CFM, was his right to
receive payment for the financial obligation incurred by LMM Construction and to be preferred over the
other creditors of LMM Construction, a right which pre-existed and, thus, was separate and distinct from
the right to payment of LMM Construction under the Trade Contract.
Petitioner’s unceasing reliance on Article 131111 of the Civil Code on relativity of contracts is unavailing.
It is true that respondent, as the assignee of the receivables of LMM Construction from petitioner under
the Trade Contract, merely stepped into the shoes of LMM Construction. However, it bears to
emphasize that the right of LMM Construction to such receivables from petitioner under the Trade
Contract is not even in dispute in Civil Case No. 06-0200-CFM. What respondent puts in issue before the
RTC is the purportedly arbitrary exercise of discretion by the petitioner in giving preference to the claims
of the other creditors of LMM Construction over the receivables of the latter.
It is encouraged that disputes arising from construction contracts be referred first to the CIAC for their
arbitration and settlement, since such cases would often require expertise and technical knowledge in

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arbitration and settlement, since such cases would often require expertise and technical knowledge in
construction. Hence, some of the matters over which the CIAC may exercise jurisdiction, upon
agreement of the parties to the construction contract, "include but [are] not limited to violation of
specifications for materials and workmanship; violation of the terms of agreement; interpretation
and/or application of contractual provisions; amount of damages and penalties; commencement time
and delays; maintenance and defects; payment default of employer or contractor and changes in
contract cost."12 Although the jurisdiction of the CIAC is not limited to the afore-stated enumeration,
other issues which it could take cognizance of must be of the same or a closely related kind or species
applying the principle of ejusdem generis in statutory construction.
Respondent’s claim is not even construction-related at all. Construction is defined as referring to all on-
site works on buildings or altering structures, from land clearance through completion including
excavation, erection and assembly and installation of components and equipment.13 Petitioner’s
insistence on the application of the arbitration clause of the Trade Contract to respondent is clearly
anchored on an erroneous premise that respondent is seeking to enforce a right under the same. Again,
the right to the receivables of LMM Construction from petitioner under the Trade Contract is not being
impugned herein. In fact, petitioner readily conceded that LMM Construction still had receivables due
from petitioner, and respondent did not even have to refer to a single provision in the Trade Contract to
assert his claim. What respondent is demanding is that a portion of such receivables amounting to
P804,068.21 should have been paid to him first before the other creditors of LMM Construction, which,
clearly, does not require the CIAC’s expertise and technical knowledge of construction.
The adjudication of Civil Case No. 06-0200-CFM necessarily involves the application of pertinent statutes
and jurisprudence to matters such as obligations, contracts of assignment, and, if appropriate, even
preference of credits, a task more suited for a trial court to carry out after a full-blown trial, than an
arbitration body specifically devoted to construction contracts.
This Court recognizes the laudable objective of voluntary arbitration to provide a speedy and
inexpensive method of settling disputes by allowing the parties to avoid the formalities, delay, expense
and aggravation which commonly accompany ordinary litigation, especially litigation which goes through
the entire hierarchy of courts. It cannot, however, altogether surrender to arbitration those cases, such
as the one at bar, the extant facts of which plainly call for the exercise of jurisdiction by the regular
courts for their resolution.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Petition is DENIED. The Decision dated 19 July 2007 and
the Resolution dated 10 December 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 97731 are hereby
AFFIRMED in toto. Costs against the petitioner.

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Land Bank v. Ralla Balista GR 164631 Jun 26, 2009
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:29 PM

G.R. No. 164631 June 26, 2009


LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RENE RALLA BELISTA
PERALTA, J.:
Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court filed by Land Bank
of the Philippines (petitioner), seeking to annul and set aside the May 26, 2004 Decision1 and the July 28,
2004 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 81096.
The antecedent facts and proceedings, as narrated by the CA, are as follows:
It appears that spouses Pablo Ralla and Carmen Munoz Ralla had donated their eight (8) parcels of lot located
in Ligao, Albay to their daughter, Rene Ralla Belista, the herein private respondent.
The eight (8) parcels of lot were placed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR, for brevity) under the
coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Presidential Decree No. 27 and Executive Order
No. 228). Consequently, private respondent claimed payment of just compensation over said agricultural
lands.
It further appears that the DAR's evaluation of the subject farms was only P227,582.58, while petitioner Land
Bank of the Philippines (LBP, for brevity) assessed the same at P317,259.31.
Believing that her lots were grossly underestimated, private respondent, on 11 November 2002, filed a
Petition for Valuation and Payment of Just Compensation against petitioning bank before the DARAB-
Regional Adjudicator for Region V (RARAD-V) docketed as DCN D-05-02-VC-005.
On 07 July 2003, the RARAD-V issued a Decision, in favor of herein private respondent, the fallo of which
reads:
Wherefore, just compensation for the subject areas is hereby preliminarily fixed at TWO MILLION EIGHT
HUNDRED NINETY-SIX THOUSAND and FOUR HUNDRED EIGHT & 91/100 (P2,896,408.91) PESOS. Land Bank of
the Philippines, Legaspi City, is hereby ordered to pay herein petitioner said amount pursuant to existing
rules and guidelines, minus the sum already remitted per Order dated January 2, 2003.
SO ORDERED.
As both parties interposed their respective motions for reconsideration, the RARAD-V eventually issued an
Order dated 8 October 2003, the decretal portion of which reads:
Wherefore, the Decision dated July 7, 2003 is MODIFIED, fixing the valuation claim of petitioner herein with
respect to her due share in the above lots to the tune of Two Million Five Hundred Forty Thousand, Two
Hundred Eleven and 58/100 (P2,540,211.58) Pesos. Land Bank Legaspi City is hereby ordered to pay herein
petitioner said amount pursuant to existing rules and guidelines, minus the sum already paid per Order dated
January 2, 2003.
SO ORDERED.
Aggrieved, petitioner Bank, on 28 October 2003, filed an original Petition for Determination of Just
Compensation at the same sala of the RTC, docketed as Agrarian Case No. 03-06.
The court a quo motu propio dismissed the case when it issued the herein first assailed Order dated 12
November 2003 "for failure to exhaust administrative remedies and/or comply with Sections 5, 6, and 7, Rule
XIX, 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure.
Petitioner LBP lodged a Motion for Reconsideration arguing, inter alia, "that the DARAB 2003 Rules of
Procedure does not apply to SAC nor its precursor DARAB Case and that the ground for dismissal of the case
is not among the instances when a court may dismiss a case on its motion."
As the court a quo denied its Motion for Reconsideration in an Order dated 28 November 2003, petitioner
LBP elevated the case before the Tribunal through the present Petition for Review, theorizing:
I. WHETHER OR NOT THE SAC A QUO ERRED IN DISMISSING THE CASE MOTU PROPIO ON THE GROUND OF
PLAINTIFF'S FAILURE TO EXHAUST ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES.
II. WHETHER OR NOT SECTIONS 5, 6, AND 7, RULE XIX OF THE DARAB 2003 RULES OF PROCEDURE APPLY TO
CASES FILED AND PENDING BEFORE THE DARAB OR ITS ADJUDICATORS PRIOR TO ITS EFFECTIVITY AND TO
CASES FILED AND PENDING WITH THE SPECIAL AGRARIAN COURTS.3
On May 26, 2004, the CA rendered its assailed Decision dismissing the petition.
The CA ruled that under Section 5, Rule XIX of the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure, an appeal from the
adjudicator's resolution shall be filed before the DARAB and not before the RTC; that petitioner's filing of the
case before the RTC without first seeking the intervention of the DARAB is violative of the doctrine of non-

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case before the RTC without first seeking the intervention of the DARAB is violative of the doctrine of non-
exhaustion of administrative remedies. The CA found that petitioner's petition for determination of just
compensation was filed in the RTC on October 28, 2003 when the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure was
already in effect, i.e., on February 8, 2003, and under its transitory provision, it is provided that the 2003
Rules shall govern all cases filed on or after its effectivity; and, since an appeal from the adjudicator's
resolution should first be filed with the DARAB, the RTC, sitting as a Special Agrarian Court (SAC), did not err
in dismissing petitioner's petition.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied in a Resolution dated July 28, 2004.
Petitioner is now before the Court raising the following arguments:
1. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN LAW IN DISMISSING THE PETITION FOR REVIEW CONSIDERING THAT THE
LBP DID NOT VIOLATE THE "DOCTRINE OF NON-EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES" WHEN IT FILED
THE ORIGINAL PETITION FOR DETERMINATION OF JUST COMPENSATION BEFORE THE COURT A QUO
WITHOUT FIRST SEEKING THE INTERVENTION OF THE DARAB.
2. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DECLARING THAT THE APPLICABLE RULE IS THE 2003 DARAB RULES OF
PROCEDURE, DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE PETITION (FOR VALUATION AND PAYMENT OF JUST
COMPENSATION) WAS FILED BEFORE THE RARAD ON NOVEMBER 11, 2002.4
Petitioner contends that the petition for valuation and payment of just compensation was filed with the
DARAB- Regional Adjudicator for Region V (RARAD) on November 11, 2002, long before the effectivity of the
2003 Rules of Procedure; that under the transitory provision of the 2003 DARAB Rules, all cases pending with
the Board and the adjudicators prior to the date of the Rules' effectivity shall be governed by the DARAB
Rules prevailing at the time of their filing; that clear from the transitory provision that it is the proceeding of
the DARAB which is governed by the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure, thus, it is the date of filing of the
petition with the DARAB or any of its adjudicators which is the reckoning date of the applicability of the 2003
DARAB Rules and not the date of filing with the SAC; that under the 1994 DARAB Rules prevailing at the time
of the filing of the respondent's claim for just compensation, the Rules provided that the decision of the
adjudicator on land valuation and preliminary determination of just compensation shall not be appealable to
the Board, but shall be brought
directly to the RTC; that it was in the observance of the 1994 DARAB Rules that petitioner brought the
adjudicator's decision to the RTC sitting as SAC.
In his Comment, respondent claims that petitioner's petition with the RTC is an original action and, since the
case was filed at a time when appeal to the DARAB Central Office was already provided in the 2003 DARAB
Rules before resorting to judicial action, the RTC correctly dismissed the petition, which was correctly
affirmed by the CA.
Petitioner filed a Reply reiterating its arguments in the petition.
The issue for resolution is whether it is necessary that in cases involving claims for just compensation under
Republic Act (RA) No. 6657 that the decision of the Adjudicator must first be appealed to the DARAB before a
party can resort to the RTC sitting as SAC.
The court rules in the negative.
Sections 50 and 57 of RA No. 6657 provide:
Section 50. Quasi-judicial Powers of the DAR. – The DAR is hereby vested with primary jurisdiction to
determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all
matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction
of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) x x
x
Section 57. Special Jurisdiction. – The Special Agrarian Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over
all petitions for the determination of just compensation to landowners, and the prosecution of all criminal
offenses under this Act. x x x
The Special Agrarian Courts shall decide all appropriate cases under their special jurisdiction within thirty (30)
days from submission of the case for decision.
Clearly, under Section 50, DAR has primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters
and exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, except
those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the DA and the DENR. Further exception to the DAR's original
and exclusive jurisdiction are all petitions for the determination of just compensation to landowners and the
prosecution of all criminal offenses under RA No. 6657, which are within the jurisdiction of the RTC sitting as
a Special Agrarian Court. Thus, jurisdiction on just compensation cases for the taking of lands under RA No.
6657 is vested in the courts.
In Republic v. CA,5 the Court explained:

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6657 is vested in the courts.
In Republic v. CA, 5 the Court explained:
Thus, Special Agrarian Courts, which are Regional Trial Courts, are given original and exclusive jurisdiction
over two categories of cases, to wit: (1) "all petitions for the determination of just compensation to
landowners" and (2) "the prosecution of all criminal offenses under *R.A. No. 6657+." The provisions of §50
must be construed in harmony with this provision by considering cases involving the determination of just
compensation and criminal cases for violations of R.A. No. 6657 as excepted from the plenitude of power
conferred on the DAR. Indeed, there is a reason for this distinction. The DAR is an administrative agency
which cannot be granted jurisdiction over cases of eminent domain (for such are takings under R.A. No. 6657)
and over criminal cases. Thus, in EPZA v. Dulay and Sumulong v. Guerrero - we held that the valuation of
property in eminent domain is essentially a judicial function which cannot be vested in administrative
agencies, while in Scoty’s Department Store v. Micaller, we struck down a law granting the then Court of
Industrial Relations jurisdiction to try criminal cases for violations of the Industrial Peace Act.6
In a number of cases, the Court has upheld the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the RTC, sitting as SAC,
over all petitions for determination of just compensation to landowners in accordance with Section 57 of RA
No. 6657.
In Land Bank of the Philippines v. Wycoco,7 the Court upheld the RTC's jurisdiction over Wycoco's petition for
determination of just compensation even where no summary administrative proceedings was held before the
DARAB which has primary jurisdiction over the determination of land valuation. The Court held:
In Land Bank of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals, the landowner filed an action for determination of just
compensation without waiting for the completion of DARAB’s re-evaluation of the land. This,
notwithstanding, the Court held that the trial court properly acquired jurisdiction because of its exclusive and
original jurisdiction over determination of just compensation, thus –
… It is clear from Sec. 57 that the RTC, sitting as a Special Agrarian Court, has "original and exclusive
jurisdiction over all petitions for the determination of just compensation to landowners." This "original and
exclusive" jurisdiction of the RTC would be undermined if the DAR would vest in administrative officials
original jurisdiction in compensation cases and make the RTC an appellate court for the review of
administrative decisions. Thus, although the new rules speak of directly appealing the decision of
adjudicators to the RTCs sitting as Special Agrarian Courts, it is clear from Sec. 57 that the original and
exclusive jurisdiction to determine such cases is in the RTCs. Any effort to transfer such jurisdiction to the
adjudicators and to convert the original jurisdiction of the RTCs into an appellate jurisdiction would be
contrary to Sec. 57 and, therefore, would be void. Thus, direct resort to the SAC [Special Agrarian Court] by
private respondent is valid.
In the case at bar, therefore, the trial court properly acquired jurisdiction over Wycoco’s complaint for
determination of just compensation. It must be stressed that although no summary administrative
proceeding was held before the DARAB, LBP was able to perform its legal mandate of initially determining the
value of Wycoco's land pursuant to Executive Order No. 405, Series of 1990.8 x x x
In Land Bank of the Philippines v. Natividad,9 wherein Land Bank questioned the alleged failure of private
respondents to seek reconsideration of the DAR's valuation, but instead filed a petition to fix just
compensation with the RTC, the Court said:
At any rate, in Philippine Veterans Bank v. CA, we held that there is nothing contradictory between the DAR’s
primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and exclusive original jurisdiction
over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, which includes the determination of
questions of just compensation, and the original and exclusive jurisdiction of regional trial courts over all
petitions for the determination of just compensation. The first refers to administrative proceedings, while the
second refers to judicial proceedings.1avvphi1
In accordance with settled principles of administrative law, primary jurisdiction is vested in the DAR to
determine in a preliminary manner the just compensation for the lands taken under the agrarian reform
program, but such determination is subject to challenge before the courts. The resolution of just
compensation cases for the taking of lands under agrarian reform is, after all, essentially a judicial function.
Thus, the trial court did not err in taking cognizance of the case as the determination of just compensation is
a function addressed to the courts of justice. 10
In Land Bank of the Philippines v. Celada,11 where the issue was whether the SAC erred in assuming
jurisdiction over respondent's petition for determination of just compensation despite the pendency of the
administrative proceedings before the DARAB, the Court stated that:
It would be well to emphasize that the taking of property under RA No. 6657 is an exercise of the power of
eminent domain by the State. The valuation of property or determination of just compensation in eminent
domain proceedings is essentially a judicial function which is vested with the courts and not with
administrative agencies. Consequently, the SAC properly took cognizance of respondent's petition for

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administrative agencies. Consequently, the SAC properly took cognizance of respondent's petition for
determination of just compensation.12
The RTC dismissed petitioner's petition for determination of just compensation relying on Sections 5, 6 and 7
of Article XIX of the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure, to wit:
Section 5. Appeal. A party who disagrees with the resolution of the Adjudicator may bring the matter to the
Board by filing with the Adjudicator concerned a Notice of Appeal within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the
resolution. The filing of a Motion for Reconsideration of said resolution shall interrupt the period herein
fixed. If the motion is denied, the aggrieved party may file the appeal within the remaining period, but in no
case shall it be less than five (5) days.
Section 6. When Resolution Deemed Final. Failure on the part of the aggrieved party to contest the resolution
of the Adjudicator within the aforecited reglementary period provided shall be deemed a concurrence by
such party with the land valuation, hence said valuation shall become final and executory.
Section 7. Filing of Original Action with the Special Agrarian Court for Final Determination. The party who
disagrees with the decision of the Board may contest the same by filing an original action with the Special
Agrarian Court (SAC) having jurisdiction over the subject property within fifteen (15) days from his receipt of
the Board's decision.
Notably, the above-mentioned provisions deviated from Section 11, Rule XIII of the 1994 DARAB Rules of
Procedure which provides:
Section 11. Land Valuation and Preliminary Determination and Payment of Just Compensation – The decision
of the Adjudicator on land valuation and preliminary determination and payment of just compensation shall
not be appealable to the Board, but shall be brought directly to the Regional Trial Courts designated as
Special Agrarian Courts within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the notice thereof. Any party shall be entitled
to only one motion for reconsideration.
where DARAB acknowledges that the decision of just compensation cases for the taking of lands under RA
6657 is a power vested in the courts.13 Although Section 5, Rule XIX of the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure
provides that the land valuation cases decided by the adjudicator are now appealable to the Board, such rule
could not change the clear import of Section 57 of RA No. 6657 that the original and exclusive jurisdiction to
determine just compensation is in the RTC. Thus, Section 57 authorizes direct resort to the SAC in cases
involving petitions for the determination of just compensation.14 In accordance with the said Section 57,
petitioner properly filed the petition before the RTC and, hence, the RTC erred in dismissing the case.
Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law.15 Only a statute can confer jurisdiction on courts and
administrative agencies while rules of procedure cannot.16
WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is GRANTED. The Decision dated May 26, 2004 and the
Resolution dated July 28, 2004, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 81096, are REVERSED and SET
ASIDE. The Regional Trial Court, Branch 3, Legaspi City, sitting as Special Agrarian Court, is directed to hear
without delay petitioner's petition for the determination of just compensation.

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Mun of Pateros v. CA GR 157714 Jun 16, 2009
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:29 PM

G.R. No. 157714 June 16, 2009


MUNICIPALITY OF PATEROS vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THE MUNICIPALITY OF MAKATI, THE
DIRECTOR OF LANDS, and THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
NACHURA, J.:
Before this Court is a Petition1 for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, seeking
the reversal of the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision2 dated January 22, 2003, which denied the appeal of
petitioner Municipality of Pateros (Pateros) for undertaking a wrong mode of appeal. Subject of the appeal
was the Order3 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 139, dated June 14, 1996, which
dismissed petitioner’s complaint for lack of jurisdiction.
The Facts
The property subject of this case consists of portions of then Fort William McKinley, now known as Fort
Bonifacio (subject property), currently comprising Barangays Cembo, South Cembo, West Rembo, East
Rembo, Comembo, Pembo, and Pitogo (entire property). The subject property is allegedly situated within the
territorial jurisdiction of respondent Municipality (now City) of Makati (Makati) per Proclamation No. 24754
issued on January 7, 1986 (Proclamation No. 2475) by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos (President
Marcos). Subsequently, on January 31, 1990, former President Corazon C. Aquino (President Aquino) issued
Proclamation No. 518, 5 amending Proclamation No. 2475. Parenthetically, it may be noted that a similar
boundary dispute over the entire property exists between the Municipality (now City) of Taguig and Makati,
docketed as Civil Case No. 63896 and pending before the RTC of Pasig City, Branch 153.
As Proclamation Nos. 2475 and 518 respectively stated that the entire property is situated in Makati, Pateros,
on January 18, 1991, filed an action6 for Judicial Declaration of the Territorial Boundaries of Pateros against
Makati before the RTC of Pasig City, Branch 154 (Pasig RTC). The case was, however, dismissed for lack of
jurisdiction inasmuch as the subject property is located in Makati and it should have been filed before the
Makati RTC.7 Heeding the directive of the Pasig RTC, Pateros, on December 8, 1993, filed with the RTC of
Makati a Complaint8 against Makati and co-respondents, Director of Lands and the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), for the Judicial Declaration of the Territorial Boundaries of
Pateros with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order
(TRO). Pateros claimed that, based on historical and official records, it had an original area of one thousand
thirty-eight (1,038) hectares, more or less. However, when a cadastral mapping was conducted by the Bureau
of Lands in 1978, Pateros was appalled to learn that its territorial boundaries had been substantially reduced
to merely one hundred sixty-six (166) hectares. Pateros opined that this disparity was brought about by the
issuance of Proclamation Nos. 2475 and 518. Thus, Pateros prayed that the RTC judicially declare the
territorial boundaries of Pateros based on supporting pieces of evidence, and that it nullify Proclamation No.
2475.
Makati filed a Motion to Dismiss,9 contending that the issue was not the nullification of Proclamation No.
2475; that the RTC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action because original jurisdiction to
resolve boundary disputes among municipalities situated in Metro Manila is vested in the Metropolitan
Manila Authority (MMA); that the RTC's jurisdiction is merely appellate; that the complaint failed to state a
cause of action as Pateros failed to exhaust administrative remedies by failing to settle the dispute amicably;
and that Pateros' claims had already been barred by laches because Makati, throughout the years, had
already developed the subject property and had spent millions on such development.
Makati also filed a Motion to Suspend Proceedings,10 arguing that the bill converting Makati into a city was
pending approval before the Senate and portions of the subject property are included in the proposed
charter. Makati, thus, opined that the continuation of the RTC proceedings would create a conflict between
the judicial and the legislative branches. In its Order11 dated October 21, 1994, the RTC granted Makati’s
Motion.
On July 19, 1994, Republic Act No. 785412 was enacted into law, converting Makati into a highly urbanized
city. Pateros then moved for the revival of the proceedings before the RTC,13 which it granted in its Order14
dated March 17, 1995. However, due to the pending Motion to Dismiss earlier filed by Makati, the RTC
required the parties to submit their respective Memoranda.
The RTC's Ruling
On June 14, 1996, the RTC issued an Order, dismissing the case on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. The RTC

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On June 14, 1996, the RTC issued an Order, dismissing the case on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. The RTC
held that Proclamation No. 2475 specifically declared that the subject property is within the territorial
jurisdiction of Makati and, inasmuch as the Proclamation was not declared unconstitutional, the same is a
valid and subsisting law. In the main, citing
Sections 1015 and 11, 16 Article X of the 1987 Constitution, and pursuant to this Court's ruling in Municipality
of Sogod v. Rosal, 17 the RTC held that the modification or substantial alteration of boundaries of
municipalities can be done only through a law enacted by Congress which shall be subject to approval by a
majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. Hence, the RTC opined that it is
without jurisdiction to fix the territorial boundaries of the parties. Pateros filed a Motion for
Reconsideration18 which was, however, denied by the RTC in its Order19 dated August 30, 1996. Aggrieved,
Pateros appealed to the CA. 20
The CA's Ruling
On January 22, 2003, the CA denied Pateros' appeal. The CA held that the RTC did not make any findings of
fact but merely applied various provisions of law and jurisprudence. Thus, the case presented a pure question
of law, which Pateros should have brought directly to the Supreme Court, pursuant to Section 5(2),21 Article
VIII of the 1987 Constitution and Section 2,22 Rule 41 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. The CA also held
that it would amount to grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction if the CA insisted on
resolving the issues raised therein. Thus, by undertaking a wrong mode of appeal and citing Section 2,23 Rule
50 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, the CA denied Pateros' appeal. Pateros filed a Motion for
Reconsideration, 24 which the CA denied in its Resolution25 dated March 27, 2003.
The Issue
Hence, this Petition based on the sole ground that the CA committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing
the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.26
Pateros asseverates that the issues raised before the CA involved mixed questions of fact and law, because
Pateros sought the determination of its territorial boundaries and the nullification of Proclamation No. 2475;
that Pateros does not seek the alteration, modification, or creation of another or a new local government
unit (LGU), but is concerned only with its territorial boundaries which, according to existing records,
consisted of 1,038 hectares; that non-presentation of evidence before the RTC does not make the appeal
purely a question of law, because the parties were prevented from presenting any evidence due to the RTC's
erroneous dismissal of the case based on lack of jurisdiction; that Proclamation Nos. 2475 and 518 suffer
from Constitutional infirmity; that the alteration or modification of the boundaries of municipalities or cities
can only be made by a law enacted by Congress and approved by the majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite
in the political units directly affected; that Proclamation No. 2475, although issued by then President Marcos
during the Marcos era, was not a legislative enactment, pursuant to Section 6 of the 1976 Amendment to the
Constitution; and granting, without admitting, that Proclamation No. 2475 is a law, it should be subject to
approval by the majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. Thus, Pateros
prays that the assailed CA Decision be reversed and set aside, and that the RTC be directed to proceed with
the trial of the instant case.27
On the other hand, Makati claims that the sole issue in Pateros' appeal before the CA is jurisdiction and as
the question of jurisdiction is a question of law and as the CA lacks jurisdiction over pure questions of law,
therefore, Pateros resorted to a wrong mode of appeal. The issues raised by Pateros do not consist of
questions of fact as the RTC rendered the assailed Order based on Makati's Motion to Dismiss and no trial on
the merits was ever conducted. Makati points out that the CA quoted the decision of the RTC's discourse in
order to show that only a question of law was involved in Pateros' appeal. Thus, Makati posits that Pateros
defies the rules on trial, evidence, and jurisdiction in a desperate bid to extricate itself from its mistake in
taking a wrong mode of appeal, i.e., by notice of appeal to the CA rather than a petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure filed before this Court. Makati submits that
the dismissal of Pateros' appeal was proper, as mandated by Section 2, Rule 50 of the said Rules. Due to the
availment of the wrong mode of appeal, the RTC's Order dismissing the case already attained finality.28
The Director of Lands and the DENR, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), share the stand and
arguments of Makati. The OSG stresses that the parties never presented any evidence before the RTC which
resolved the case based on the parties' undisputed factual submissions and the application thereto of the
pertinent laws, Rules of Civil Procedure, and jurisprudence. Hence, the OSG concludes that the appeal before
the CA involved a pure question of law.29
Our Ruling
We agree that Pateros indeed committed a procedural infraction. It is clear that the issue raised by Pateros to
the CA involves the jurisdiction of the RTC over the subject matter of the case. The jurisdiction of a court over
the subject matter of the action is a matter of law; it is conferred by the Constitution or by law.

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the subject matter of the action is a matter of law; it is conferred by the Constitution or by law.
Consequently, issues which deal with the jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter of a case are pure
questions of law. As Pateros' appeal solely involves a question of law, it should have directly taken its appeal
to this Court by filing a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45, not an ordinary appeal with the CA
under Rule 41. The CA did not err in holding that Pateros pursued the wrong mode of appeal.30
However, in the interest of justice and in order to write finis to this controversy, we opt to relax the rules.
Our ruling in Atty. Ernesto A. Tabujara III and Christine S. Dayrit v. People of the Philippines and Daisy Afable31
provides us with ample justification, viz.:
While it is true that rules of procedure are intended to promote rather than frustrate the ends of justice, and
while the swift unclogging of the dockets of the courts is a laudable objective, it nevertheless must not be
met at the expense of substantial justice.
The Court has allowed some meritorious cases to proceed despite inherent procedural defects and lapses.
This is in keeping with the principle that rules of procedure are mere tools designed to facilitate the
attainment of justice, and that strict and rigid application of rules which would result in technicalities that
tend to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice must always be avoided. It is a far better and more
prudent cause of action for the court to excuse a technical lapse and afford the parties a review of the case to
attain the ends of justice, rather than dispose of the case on technicality and cause grave injustice to the
parties, giving a false impression of speedy disposal of cases while actually resulting in more delay, if not a
miscarriage of justice.1avvphi1
In those rare cases to which we did not stringently apply the procedural rules, there always existed a clear
need to prevent the commission of a grave injustice. Our judicial system and the courts have always tried to
maintain a healthy balance between the strict enforcement of procedural laws and the guarantee that every
litigant is given the full opportunity for a just and proper disposition of his cause.
The emerging trend in the rulings of this Court is to afford every party litigant the amplest opportunity for the
proper and just determination of his cause, free from the constraints of technicalities. Time and again, we
have consistently held that rules must not be applied so rigidly as to override substantial justice.
Given the circumstances surrounding the instant case, we find sufficient reason to relax the rules. Thus, we
now resolve the sole issue of whether the RTC has jurisdiction to entertain the boundary dispute between
Pateros and Makati.
Apart from the doctrine that the jurisdiction of a tribunal over the subject matter of an action is conferred by
law, it is also the rule that the court’s exercise of jurisdiction is determined by the material allegations of the
complaint or information and the law applicable at the time the action was commenced. Lack of jurisdiction
of the court over an action or the subject matter of an action cannot be cured by the silence, by
acquiescence, or even by express consent of the parties. Thus, the jurisdiction of a court over the nature of
the action and the subject matter thereof cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in court or
upon a motion to dismiss for, otherwise, the question of jurisdiction would depend almost entirely on the
defendant. Once jurisdiction is vested, the same is retained up to the end of the litigation.32
It is worth stressing that, at the time the instant case was filed, the 1987 Constitution and the Local
Government Code (LGC) of 1991 were already in effect. Thus, the law in point is Section 118 of the LGC,
which provides:
Section. 118. Jurisdictional Responsibility for Settlement of Boundary Disputes. — Boundary disputes
between and among local government units shall, as much as possible, be settled amicably. To this end:
(a) Boundary disputes involving two (2) or more barangays in the same city or municipality shall be
referred for settlement to the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan concerned.
(b) Boundary disputes involving two (2) or more municipalities within the same province shall be
referred for settlement to the sangguniang panlalawigan concerned.
(c) Boundary disputes involving municipalities or component cities of different provinces shall be
jointly referred for settlement to the sanggunians of the province concerned.
(d) Boundary disputes involving a component city or municipality on the one hand and a highly
urbanized city on the other, or two (2) or more highly urbanized cities, shall be jointly referred for
settlement to the respective sanggunians of the parties.
(e) In the event the sanggunian fails to effect an amicable settlement within sixty (60) days from the
date the dispute was referred thereto, it shall issue a certification to that effect. Thereafter, the
dispute shall be formally tried by the sanggunian concerned which shall decide the issue within sixty
(60) days from the date of the certification referred to above. 33
Notably, when Pateros filed its complaint with the RTC of Makati, Makati was still a municipality. We take
judicial notice of the fact that there was no Sangguniang Panlalawigan that could take cognizance of the
boundary dispute, as provided in Section 118(b) of the LGC. Neither was it feasible to apply Section 118(c) or

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boundary dispute, as provided in Section 118(b) of the LGC. Neither was it feasible to apply Section 118(c) or
Section 118(d), because these two provisions clearly refer to situations different from that obtaining in this
case. Also, contrary to Makati's postulation, the former MMA did not also have the authority to take the
place of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan because the MMA's power was limited to the delivery of basic urban
services requiring coordination in Metropolitan Manila. The MMA's governing body, the Metropolitan Manila
Council, although composed of the mayors of the component cities and municipalities, was merely given the
power of: (1) formulation of policies on the delivery of basic services requiring coordination and
consolidation; and (2) promulgation of resolutions and other issuances, approval of a code of basic services,
and exercise of its rule-making power.34 Thus, there is no merit in Makati’s argument that Pateros failed to
exhaust administrative remedies inasmuch as the LGC is silent as to the governing body in charge of
boundary disputes involving municipalities located in the Metropolitan Manila area.
However, now that Makati is already a highly urbanized city, the parties should follow Section 118(d) of the
LGC and should opt to amicably settle this dispute by joint referral to the respective sanggunians of the
parties. This has become imperative because, after all, no attempt had been made earlier to settle the
dispute amicably under the aegis of the LGC. The specific provision of the LGC, now made applicable because
of the altered status of Makati, must be complied with. In the event that no amicable settlement is reached,
as envisioned under Section 118(e) of the LGC, a certification shall be issued to that effect, and the dispute
shall be formally tried by the Sanggunian concerned within sixty (60) days from the date of the
aforementioned certification. In this regard, Rule III of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the LGC shall
govern. 35
Only upon failure of these intermediary steps will resort to the RTC follow, as specifically provided in Section
119 of the LGC:
Section 119. Appeal. — Within the time and manner prescribed by the Rules of Court, any party may elevate
the decision of the sanggunian concerned to the proper Regional Trial Court having jurisdiction over the area
in dispute. The Regional Trial Court shall decide the appeal within one (1) year from the filing thereof.
Pending final resolution of the disputed area prior to the dispute shall be maintained and continued for all
legal purposes.
On this score, the jurisdiction of the RTC over boundary disputes among LGUs was settled in National
Housing Authority v. Commission on the Settlement of Land Problems,36 where this Court recognized the
appellate jurisdiction of the proper RTC. The jurisdiction of the RTC was clarified in Municipality of Kananga v.
Judge Madrona, 37 where this Court held that, even in the absence of any specific provision of law, "RTCs have
general jurisdiction to adjudicate all controversies except those expressly withheld from their plenary powers.
They have the power not only to take judicial cognizance of a case instituted for judicial action for the first
time, but also to do so to the exclusion of all other courts at that stage. Indeed, the power is not only original,
but also exclusive."
Corollarily, we feel obliged to inform Congress of the need to pass a law specifically delineating the metes
and bounds of the disputing LGUs. In Mariano, Jr. v. COMELEC, 38 we held that the existence of a boundary
dispute does not per se present an unsurmountable difficulty which will prevent Congress from defining with
reasonable certitude the territorial jurisdiction of an LGU. Congress, by virtue of the powers vested in it by
the Constitution, could very well put an end to this dispute. We reiterate what we already said about the
importance and sanctity of the territorial jurisdiction of an LGU:
The importance of drawing with precise strokes the territorial boundaries of a local unit of government
cannot be overemphasized. The boundaries must be clear for they define the limits of the territorial
jurisdiction of a local government unit. It can legitimately exercise powers of government only within the
limits of its territorial jurisdiction. Beyond these limits, its acts are ultra vires. Needless to state, any
uncertainty in the boundaries of local government units will sow costly conflicts in the exercise of
governmental powers which ultimately will prejudice the people's welfare. This is the evil sought to be
avoided by the Local Government Unit in requiring that the land area of a local government unit must be
spelled out in metes and bounds, with technical descriptions.39
WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is DENIED, having been mooted by the conversion of respondent
Municipality of Makati into a highly urbanized city. The parties are hereby DIRECTED to comply with Section
118(d) and (e) of the Local Government Code, and Rule III of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the
Local Government Code of 1991 without prejudice to judicial recourse, as provided in the Local Government
Code. No costs.

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Tricorp v. CA GR 165742 Jun 30, 2009
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:29 PM

G.R. No. 165742 June 30, 2009


TRI-CORP LAND & DEVELOPMENT, INC., represented by SOLITA S. JIMENEZ-PAULINO, Petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and GREYSTONE CORPORATION, Respondents.
DE C I S I O N
QUISUMBING, J.:
This petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assails the Decision1 dated June 9, 2004
and Resolution2 dated September 21, 2004 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 71285. The Court
of Appeals affirmed the Orders dated November 15, 20003 and June 11, 20014 of the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 139 in LRC Case No. M-4086 dismissing the complaint filed by
petitioner Tri-Corp Land and Development, Inc. (Tri-Corp) against respondent Greystone Corporation
(Greystone) for lack of jurisdiction.
The facts, culled from the records, are as follows:
On February 12, 1998, Greystone executed in favor of Tri-Corp a Contract to Sell 5 whereby Tri-Corp
agreed to pay the purchase price, exclusive of interest, in the amount of P13,500,000 and payable in
installments, of a unit of Casa Madeira, a residential condominium project located at Fatima Street, San
Miguel Village, Makati City. Said unit, covered by Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT) No. 512326 was
to be used as a family residence of Tri-Corp’s officers and stockholders. However, when Tri-Corp applied
for membership with the San Miguel Village Homeowner’s Association (SMVHA), it was denied and not
given gate passes for its vehicles. The reason cited by SMVHA for Tri-Corp’s denial of application was
that the construction of the Casa Madeira condominium project was in violation of village restrictions
annotated as Entry No. 319767 and inscribed on October 9, 1961 at the back of Transfer Certificates of
Title Nos. 2058278 and 2058289 covering the lots on which the condominium project was constructed.
SMVHA filed a case against Greystone for this violation and prayed for the cancellation of the CCTs of
the Casa Madeira condominium project before the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
The case was docketed as HLURB Case No. REM-10045. Upon learning of the pending case, Tri-Corp filed
a Complaint-in-Intervention10 in said case for suspension of payments until the issue of violation of the
village restriction and validity of the CCT to the condominium unit sold shall have been resolved. Tri-
Corp, likewise, filed a petition11 dated September 28, 2000, against Greystone before the HLURB for
Suspension and Cancellation of Certificate of Registration and License to Sell of Greystone.
Greystone, in turn, filed an ejectment suit against Tri-Corp before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Makati
City, for failure to pay under the Contract to Sell. The complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. 63308.
Tri-Corp was ejected by the Sheriff in the said case for its refusal to pay the supersedeas bond. Civil Case
No. 63308 is still pending on appeal.12
Tri-Corp also filed before the RTC of Makati City, sitting as a Land Registration Court, a Petition for
Correction of Error /Misrepresentation in the Master Deed entered as Memorandum on TCTs Nos.
205827 and 205828 with prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and Injunction.13 The case was
docketed as LRC Case No. M-4086. Tri-Corp alleged in its petition that Greystone used different
descriptions of the condominium project in order to circumvent existing laws, rules and regulations on
registration of real estate projects, to wit:
[1] Thus, to obtain approval of the San Miguel Village Association Construction and Permits
Committee, it styled its project as a "2-Unit Duplex Residence, to conform with association rules.
[2] To obtain approval of Barangay Poblacion, Makati City, and the issuance of Certificate of
Registration and Clearance No. 2758 on the same project, it dubbed the same project as a "3-
storey townhouse", to suit barangay guidelines.
[3] To obtain from the City of Makati Building Permit No. C1096-01259, it called the same project
a "4-unit Residential Bldg." "Two-storey duplex", to comply with zoning ordinances.
[4] To obtain from the HLURB the Preliminary Approval of Condominium Plan, it described Casa
Madeira as a "Condominium Project", for the purpose of complying with PD 957 and its

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Madeira as a "Condominium Project", for the purpose of complying with PD 957 and its
implementing rules.
[5] To obtain from the HLURB the Final Approval, it called the project a Condominium
Plan/Subdivision Townhouse, for the same purpose.
[6] To obtain from the HLURB a development permit, it called the project a condominium for the
same purpose.
[7] To obtain from the HLURB a Certificate of Locational Viability for the same project, it was
designated as a "2 Storey with Attic Residential Condominium", for the same purpose.
[8] To obtain from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Capital
Region an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) it designated the project as "four units,
two storey with attic townhouse project", to comply with the requirement of law.
[9] To obtain from the HLURB Certificate of Registration No. 97-09-3003, it called Casa Madeira a
condominium project, for the purpose of complying with PD 957 and its implementing rules.
[10] These misrepresentations misled the petitioner as buyer and also mis[led] the buying public
as to the real nature of [the] project. 14 [Emphasis supplied.]
During the hearing on Tri-Corp’s application for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction on September 28, 2000,
Greystone raised the issue of jurisdiction. Greystone contended in its Memorandum15 that the RTC had
no jurisdiction to try and decide the case because it involves an unsound real estate practice within the
jurisdiction of the HLURB, Tri-Corp is not a party in interest, and same issues had been raised by Tri-Corp
in the HLURB.
In an Order dated November 15, 2000, the RTC dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. The dispositive
portion of the order states:
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING PREMISES, based on law and jurisprudence, the COURT hereby ORDERS
that:
(a) The prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction is hereby
DENIED for lack of merit.
(b) The Complaint dated 19 September 1990 (sic) is hereby DISMISSED, the same being within the
exclusive jurisdiction of [the] HLURB pursuant to PD[s] 987 and 1344.
SO ORDERED.16
Tri-Corp filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied by the RTC in an Order dated June 11,
2001.
Tri-Corp appealed to the Court of Appeals. In a Decision promulgated on June 9, 2004, the Court of
Appeals affirmed the orders of the RTC. The dispositive portion of the decision states:
UPON THE VIEW WE TAKE OF THIS CASE, THUS, the appealed orders dated November 15, 2000 and
June 11, 2001 must be, as they hereby, are AFFIRMED. Without costs in this instance.
SO ORDERED.17
Tri-Corp filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied by the Court of Appeals in a Resolution
promulgated on September 21, 2004 for being filed out of time and for being without merit.
Alleging that the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in affirming the orders of the
RTC, Tri-Corp filed this original action for certiorari under Rule 65.
Tri-Corp alleges that:
I.
THE APPELLATE COURT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS
OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT DECLARED THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AS HAVING BEEN FILED
OUT OF TIME DESPITE PROOFS OF TRAVEL.
II.
THE APPELLATE COURT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF OR
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN DECLARING THAT HEREIN PETITIONER IS NOT A PARTY IN INTEREST.
III.
THE APPELLATE COURT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF OR
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT RESOLVED THE INSTANT CASE IN FAVOR OF RESPONDENT
GREYSTONE WITHOUT DUE REGARD TO THE PROTECTIVE MANTLE ENSHRINED UNDER PD 957
TOWARDS BUYERS OF CONDOMINIUM UNITS.18
In sum, the issue is, did the Court of Appeals act with grave abuse of discretion in denying Tri-Corp’s
motion for reconsideration for being filed out of time, in declaring Tri-Corp as not a party in interest, and
in affirming the RTC’s Order dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction?

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in affirming the RTC’s Order dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction?
In its Memorandum,19 Tri-Corp asserts that it disagrees with the findings of the appellate court that its
motion for reconsideration was filed out of time since it would be absurd to consider receipt by its
mailbox as receipt by Tri-Corp when its representative, Solita S. Jimenez-Paulino, was not physically
present in the Philippines.20 Tri-Corp further argues that the conclusion that Tri-Corp is not a party in
interest is also absurd since Tri-Corp stands to lose an enormous amount at the instance of Greystone
who stands to gain without giving anything of value.21 Tri-Corp also argues that the Court of Appeals
overlooked the fact that the case is one for cancellation of inscriptions and cancellation of the CCT,
which is within the ambit of the Register of Deeds to perform, and the case is not a simple buyer-seller
of condominium relationship but one which seeks the alteration of annotations and cancellation of titles
with the jurisdiction of the RTC sitting as a Land Registration Court.22
On the other hand, Greystone, in its Memorandum,23 argues that it is clear that since Tri-Corp’s mailbox,
MBE Center, received a copy of the decision of the Court of Appeals on June 16, 2004, it had until July 1,
2004 within which to file a motion for reconsideration. Its motion for reconsideration, which was filed
only on July 13, 200424 was clearly filed out of time.
As defined, grave abuse of discretion means such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is
equivalent to lack or excess of jurisdiction or, where the power is exercised in an arbitrary manner by
reason of passion, prejudice, or personal hostility, and it must be so patent or gross as to amount to an
evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in
contemplation of law.25
After review, we find that the Court of Appeals did not act with grave abuse of discretion because of the
following reasons:
First, the petitioner in this case is Tri-Corp and not Solita Jimenez-Paulino. The reckoning time therefore
to count the period to file Tri-Corp’s motion for reconsideration was the date the decision was received
by Tri-Corp’s mailbox and not the date when it was received by its representative, Solita S. Jimenez-
Paulino.1avvphi1
Second, the Court of Appeals, in ruling that Tri-Corp is not a party in interest, pointed out in its decision
that the contract to sell entered into by both parties contains a stipulation that in case of default or non-
payment of the stipulated amortizations and the rentals, Greystone has the option to rescind the
contract and forfeit all amounts paid as liquidated damages. Greystone rescinded the contract.26 As the
contract to sell has been rescinded, there is legal basis to hold that Tri-Corp is no longer a party in
interest.
Third, the Court of Appeals decision affirming the trial court’s Orders dismissing Tri-Corp’s petition on
the ground that it does not have jurisdiction over the case, has legal basis.
Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 134427 entitled "Empowering the National Housing Authority to
Issue Writ of Execution in the Enforcement of its Decisions under Presidential Decree No. 957" provides:
SECTION 1. In the exercise of its functions to regulate the real estate trade and business and in addition
to its powers provided for in Presidential Decree No. 957, the National Housing Authority shall have
exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases of the following nature:
A. Unsound real estate business practices;
B. Claims involving refund and any other claims filed by subdivision lot or condominium unit buyer
against the project owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman; and
C. Cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations filed by buyers of
subdivision lot or condominium unit against the owner, developer, dealer, or salesman. [Emphasis
supplied.]
In this case, Tri-Corp’s chief quest is the cancellation of Entry No. 31976 from TCTs Nos. 205827 and
205828, and the cancellation of the CCT of the unit sold to it, and it alludes to Greystone’s use of
different descriptions of the condominium project in order to circumvent existing laws, rules and
regulations on registration of real estate projects in its petition. Under these circumstances, Tri-Corp is
alluding to steps allegedly taken by Greystone in consummating an alleged unsound real estate business
practice. The HLURB has the technical expertise to resolve this technical issue. Jurisdiction therefore
properly pertains to the HLURB.
In view of the foregoing, it cannot be said that the Court of Appeals, in affirming the RTC Orders
dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction, acted with grave abuse of discretion that would warrant the
filing of a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 against it.

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filing of a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 against it.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DISMISSEDfor lack of merit. Costs against petitioner.

Pasted from <file:///C:\Users\Charisse\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI92.349\tri-corp.docx>

REMLAW Page 158


?Ma. Luisa Dazon v. Kenneth Yap and People Jan 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:29 PM

REMLAW Page 159


Sec 5, RA 8369 Family Courts Act of 1997
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:29 PM

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8369 AN ACT ESTABLISHING FAMILY COURTS, GRANTING THEM EXCLUSIVE
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OVER CHILD AND FAMILY CASES, AMENDING BATAS PAMBANSA BILANG
129,AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS ACT OF 1980, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND
FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

Section 1. Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Family Courts Act of 1997".

Sec. 2. Statement of National Policies. - The State shall protect the rights and promote the welfare of
children in keeping with the mandate of the Constitution and the precepts of the United Nations
Convention on the rights of the Child. The State shall provide a system of adjudication for youthful
offenders which takes into account their peculiar circumstances.

The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic
autonomous social institution. The courts shall preserve the solidarity of the family, provide
procedures for the reconciliation of spouses and the amicable settlement of family controversy.

Sec. 3. Establishment of Family Courts. - There shall be established a Family Court in every province
and city in the country. In case where the city is the capital of the province, the Family Court shall be
established in the municipality which has the highest population.

Sec. 4. Qualification and Training of Family Court Judges. - Sec. 15 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as
amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:
"Sec. 15. (a) Qualification. - No person shall be appointed Regional Trial Judge or Presiding Judge
of the Family Court unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, at least thirty-five (35)
years of age, and, for at least ten (10) years, has been engaged in the practice of law in the
Philippines or has held a public office in the Philippines requiring admission to the practice of
law as indispensable requisite.
"(b) Training of Family Court Judges. - The Presiding Judge, as well as the court personnel of the
Family Courts, shall undergo training and must have the experience and demonstrated ability in
dealing with child and family cases.

"The Supreme Court shall provide a continuing education program on child and family laws,
procedure and other related disciplines to judges and personnel of such courts."

Sec. 5. Jurisdiction offamily Courts. - The Family Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear
and decide the following cases:

a) Criminal cases where one or more of the accused is below eighteen (18) years of age but not
less than nine (9) years of age but not less than nine (9) years of age or where one or more of
the victims is a minor at the time of the commission of the offense: Provided, That if the minor
is found guilty, the court shall promulgate sentence and ascertain any civil liability which the
accused may have incurred.
The sentence, however, shall be suspended without need of application pursuant to Ptesidential
Decree No. 603, otherwise known as the "Child and Youth Welfare Code";
b) Petitions for guardianship, custody of children, habeas corpus in relation to the latter;
c) Petitions for adoption of children and the revocation thereof;
d) Complaints for annulment of marriage, declaration of nullity of marriage and those relating to
marital status and property relations of husband and wife or those living together under
different status and agreements, and petitions for dissolution of conjugal partnership of gains;
REMLAW Page 160
different status and agreements, and petitions for dissolution of conjugal partnership of gains;
e) Petitions for support and/or acknowledgment;
f) Summary judicial proceedings brought under the provisions of Executive Order No. 209,
otherwise known as the "Family Code of the Philippines";
g) Petitions for declaration of status of children as abandoned, dependent o neglected children,
petitions for voluntary or involuntary commitment of children; the suspension, termination, or
restoration of parental authority and other cases cognizable under Presidential Decree No. 603,
Executive Order No. 56, (Series of 1986), and other related laws;
h) Petitions for the constitution of the family home;
i) Cases against minors cognizable under the Dangerous Drugs Act, as amended;
j) Violations of Republic Act No. 7610, otherwise known as the "Special Protection of Children
Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act," as amended by Republic Act No.
7658; and

k) Cases of domestic violence against:


1) Women - which are acts of gender based violence that results, or are likely to result in
physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women; and other forms of physical
abuse such as battering or threats and coercion which violate a woman's personhood,
integrity and freedom movement; and

2) Children - which include the commission of all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty,
exploitation, violence, and discrimination and all other conditions prejudicial to their
development.
If an act constitutes a criminal offense, the accused or batterer shall be subject to criminal
proceedings and the corresponding penalties.

If any question involving any of the above matters should arise as an incident in any case pending in
the regular courts, said incident shall be determined in that court.

Sec. 6. Use of Income. - All Family Courts shall be allowed the use of ten per cent (10%) of their income
derived from filing and other court fees under Rule 141 of the Rules of Court for research and other
operating expenses including capital outlay: Provided, That this benefit shall likewise be enjoyed by all
courts of justice.

The Supreme Court shall promulgate the necessary guidelines to effectively implement the provisions
of this Sec.

Sec. 7. Special Provisional Remedies. - In cases of violence among immediate family members living in
the same domicile or household, the Family Court may issue a restraining order against the accused of
defendant upon verified application by the complainant or the victim for relief from abuse.

The court may order the temporary custody of children in all civil actions for their custody. The court
may also order support pendente lite, including deduction from the salary and use of conjugal home
and other properties in all civil actions for support.

Sec. 8. Supervision of Youth Detention Homes. - The judge of the Family Court shall have direct
control and supervision of the youth detention home which the local government unit shall establish
to separate the youth offenders from adult criminals: Provided, however, That alternatives to
detention and institutional care shall be made available to the accused including counseling,
recognizance, bail, community continuum, or diversions from the justice system: Provided, further,
That the human rights of the accused are fully respected in a manner appropriate to their well-being.

Sec. 9. Social Services and Counseling Division. - Under the guidance ofthe Department of Social
Welfare and Development (DSWD), a Social Services and Counseling Division (SSCD) shall be
established in each judicial region as the Supreme Court shall deem necessary based on the number of

REMLAW Page 161


established in each judicial region as the Supreme Court shall deem necessary based on the number of
juvenile and family cases existing in such jurisdiction. It shall provide appropriate social services to all
juvenile and family cases filed with the court and recommend the proper social action. It shall also
develop programs, formulate uniform policies and procedures, and provide technical supervision and
monitoring of all SSCD in coordination with the judge.

Sec. 10. Social Services and Counseling Division Staff. - The SSCD shall have a staff composed of
qualified social workers and other personnel with academic preparation in behavioral sciences to
carry out the duties'of conducting intake assessment, social case studies, casework and counseling,
and othersocial services that may be needed in connection with cases filed with the court: Provided,
however, That in adoption cases and in petitions for declaration of abandonment, the case studies
may be prepared by social workers of duly licensed child caring or child placement agencies, or the
DSWD. When warranted, the division shall recommend that the court avail itself of consultative
services of psychiatrists, psychologists, and other qualified specialists presently employed in other
departments of the government in connection with its cases.

The position of Social Work Adviser shall be created under the Office of the Court Administrator, who
shall monitor and supervise the SSCD ofthe Regional Trial Court.

Sec. 11. Alternative Social Services. - In accordance with Sec. 17 of this Act, in areas where no Family
Court has been established or no Regional Trial Court was designated by the Supreme Court due to
the limited number of cases, the DSWD shall designate and assign qualified, trained, and DSWD
accredited social workers of the local government units to handle juvenile and family cases filed in the
designated Regional Trial Court of the place.

Sec. 12. Privacy and Confidentiality of Proceedings. - All hearings and conciliation of the child and
family cases shall be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child's and the family's
dignity and worth, and shall respect their privacy at all stages of the proceedings. Records of the cases
shall be dealt with utmost confidentiality and the identity of parties shall not be divulged unless
necessary and with authority of the judge.

Sec. 13. Special Rules of Procedure. - The Supreme Court shall promulgate special rules of procedure
for the transfer of cases to the new courts during the transition period and for the disposition of
family cases with the best interests of the child and the protection of the family as primary
consideration taking into account the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Sec. 14. Appeals. - Decisions and orders of the court shall be appealed in the same manner and subject
to the same conditions as appeals from the ordinary Regional Trial Courts.

Sec. 15. Appropriations. - The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be
included in the General Appropriations Act of the year following in its enactment into law and
thereafter.

Sec. 16. Implementing Rules and Regulations. - The Supreme Court, in coordination with the DSWD,
shall formulate the necessary rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the social
aspects of this Act.

Sec. 17. Transitory Provisions. - Pending the establishment of such Family Courts, the Supreme Court
shall designate from among the branches ofthe Regional Trial Court at least one Family Court in each
of the cities of Manila, Quezon, Pasay, Caloocan, Makati, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Laoag,
Baguio, Santiago, Dagupan, Olongapo, Cabanatuan, San Jose, Angeles, Cavite, Batangas, Lucena, Naga,
Iriga, Legazpi, Roxas, Iloilo, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Tacloban, Cebu, Mandaue, Tagbilaran, Surigao,
Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos, Oroquieta, Ozamis, Dipolog, Zamboanga, Pagadian,
Iligan, and in such other places as the Supreme Court may deem necessary.
Additional cases other than those provided in Sec. 5 may be assigned to the Family Courts when their

REMLAW Page 162


Additional cases other than those provided in Sec. 5 may be assigned to the Family Courts when their
dockets permit: Provided, That such additional cases shall not be heard on the same day family cases
are heard.

In areas where there are no Family Courts, the cases referred to in Sec. 5 of this Act shall be
adjudicated by the Regional Trial Court.

Sec. 18. Separability Clause. - In case any provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional, the other
provisions shall remain in effect.

Sec. 19. Repealing Clause. - All other laws, decrees, executive orders, rules or regulations inconsistent
herewith are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

Sec. 20. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2)
national newspapers of general circulation.

Approved October 28, 1997.

Pasted from <http://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno8369.htm>

REMLAW Page 163


A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC Rules on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of
Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:29 PM

A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC March 4, 2003


RE: PROPOSED RULE ON DECLARATION OF ABSOLUTE NULLITY OF VOID MARRIAGES AND
ANNULMENT OF VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
RESOL UTI ON
Acting on the letter of the Chairman of the Committee on Revision of the Rules of Court submitting
for this Court's consideration and approval the Proposed Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void
Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages, the Court Resolved to APPROVE the same.
The Rule shall take effect on March 15, 2003 following its publication in a newspaper of general
circulation not later than March 7, 2003
March 4, 2003
Davide, C.J. Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio,
Austria-Martinez, Carpio Morales, Callejo, Sr. and Azcuna
Ynares-Santiago, on leave
Corona, on official leave
RULE ON DECLARATION OF ABSOLUTE NULLITY OF VOID MARIAGES AND ANNULMENT OF VOIDABLE
MARRIAGES
Section 1. Scope - This Rule shall govern petitions for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriages
and annulment of voidable marriages under the Family Code of te Philippines.
The Rules of Court shall apply suppletorily.
Section 2. Petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriages.
(a) Who may file. - A petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by
the husband or the wife. (n)
(b) Where to file. - The petition shal be filed in the Family Court.
(c) Imprecriptibility ofaction or defense. - An Action or defense for the declaration of absolute nullity of
void marriage shall not prescribe.
(d) What to allege. - A petition under Article 36 of Family Code shall specially allege te complete facts
showing the either or both parties were psychologically incapacitated from complying with the essential
marital obligations of marriages at the time of the celebration of marriage even if such incapacity
becomes manifest only after its celebration.
The complete facts should allege the physical manifestations, if any, as are indicative of
psychological incapacity at the time of the celebration of the marriage but expert opinion need not be
alleged.
Section 3. Petition for annulment of voidable marriages. -
(a) Who may file. - The following persons may file a petition for annulment of voidable marriage based
on any of the grounds under article 45 of the Family Code and within the period herein indicated:
(1) The contracting party whose parent, or guardian, or person exercising substitute parental authority
did not give his or her consent, within five years after attaining the age of twenty-one unless, after
attaining the age of twenty-one, such party freely cohabitated with the other as husband or wife; or the
parent, guardian or person having legal charge of the contracting party , at any time before such party
has reached the age of twenty-one;
(2) The sane spouse who had no knowledge of the other's insanity; or by any relative, guardian, or
person having legal charge of the insane, at any time before the death of either party; or by the insane
spouse during the a lucid interval or after regaining sanity, provided that the petitioner , after coming to
reason, has not freely cohabited with the other as husband or wife;
(3) The injured party whose consent was obtained by fraud, within five years after the discovery of the
fraud, provided that said party, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, has not freely
cohabited with the other as husband or wife;
(4) The injured party whose consent was obtained by force, intimidation, or undue influence, within five

REMLAW Page 164


cohabited with the other as husband or wife;
(4) The injured party whose consent was obtained by force, intimidation, or undue influence, within five
years from the time the force intimidation, or undue influence disappeared or ceased, provided that the
force, intimidation, or undue influence having disappeared or ceased, said party has not thereafter
freely cohabited with the other as husband or wife;
(5) The injured party where the other spouse is physically incapable of consummating the marriage with
the other and such incapability continues and appears to be incurable, within five years after the
celebration of marriage; and
(6) Te injured party where the other party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be
serious and appears to be incurable, within five years after the celebration of marriage.
(b) Where to file. - The petition shall be filed in the Family Court.
Section 4. Venue. - The Petition shall be filed in the Family Court of the province or city where the
petitioner or the respondent has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing. Or in the
case of non-resident respondent, where he may be found in the Philippines, at the election of the
petitioner.
Section 5. Contents and form of petition. - (1) The petition shall allege the complete facts constituting
the cause of action.
(2) It shall state the names and ages of the common children of the parties and specify the regime
governing their property relations, as well as the properties involved.
If there is no adequate provision in a written agreement between the parties, the petitioner may
apply for a provisional order for spousal support, the custody and support of common children,
visitation rights, administration of community or conjugal property, and other matters similarly
requiringurgent action.
(3) It must be verified and accompanied celebration of marriage. (b) Where to file.-The petition shall be
filed in the Family Court.
Section 4. Venue. - The petition shall be filed in the Family Court of the province or city where the
petitioner or the respondent has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing, or in the
case of a non-resident respondent, where he may be found in the Philippines at the election of the
petitioner.
Section 5. Contents and form of petition. - (1) The petition shall allege the complete facts constituting
the cause of action.
(2) it shall state the names and ages of the common children of the parties and specify the regime
governing their property relations, as well as the properties involved.
If there is no adequate provision in a written agreement between the parties, the petitioner may
apply for a provisional order for spousal support, custody and support of common children, visitation
rights, administration of community or conjugal property, and other matters similarly requiring urgent
action.
(3) it must be verified and accompanied by a certification against forum shopping. The verification and
certification must be signed personally by me petitioner. No petition may be filed solely by counsel or
through an attorney-in-fact.
If the petitioner is in a foreign country, the verification and certification against forum shopping
shall be authenticated by the duly authorized officer of the Philippine embassy or legation, consul
general, consul or vice-consul or consular agent in said country.
(4) it shall be filed in six copies. The petitioner shall serve a copy of the petition on the Office of the
Solicitor General and the Office of the City or Provincial Prosecutor, within five days from the date of its
filing and submit to the court proof of such service within the same period.
Failure to comply with any of the preceding requirements may be a ground for immediate
dismissal of the petition.
Section 6. Summons. - The service of summons shall be governed by Rule 14 of the Rules of Court and by
the following rules:
(1) Where the respondent cannot be located at his given address or his whereabouts are unknown and
cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry, service of summons may, by leave of court, be effected upon
him by publication once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the
Philippines and in such places as the court may order In addition, a copy of the summons shall be served
on the respondent at his last known address by registered mail or any other means the court may deem

REMLAW Page 165


sufficient.
(2) The summons to be published shall be contained in an order of the court with the following data: (a)
title of the case; (b) docket number; (c) nature of the petition; (d) principal grounds of the petition and
the reliefs prayed for; and (e) a directive for the respondent to answer within thirty days from the last
issue of publication.
Section 7. Motion to dismiss. - No motion to dismiss the petition shall be allowed except on the ground
of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter or over the parties; provided, however, that any other
ground that might warrant a dismissal of the case may be raised as an affirmative defense in an answer.
Section 8. Answer. - (1) The respondent shall file his answer within fifteen days from service of
summons, or within thirty days from the last issue of publication in case of service of summons by
publication. The answer must be verified by the respondent himself and not by counsel or attorney-in-
fact.
(2) If the respondent fails to file an answer, the court shall not declare him or her in default.
(3) Where no answer is filed or if the answer does not tender an issue, the court shall order the public
prosecutor to investigate whether collusion exists between the parties.
Section 9. Investigation report of public prosecutor. - (1) Within one month after receipt of the court
order mentioned in paragraph (3) of Section 8 above, the public prosecutor shall submit a report to the
court stating whether the parties are in collusion and serve copies thereof on the parties and their
respective counsels, if any.
(2) If the public prosecutor finds that collusion exists, he shall state the on the finding of collusion within
ten days from receipt of a copy of a report The court shall set the report for hearing and If convinced
that the parties are in collusion, it shall dismiss the petition.
(3) If the public prosecutor reports that no collusion exists, the court shall set the case for pre-trial. It
shall be the duty of the public prosecutor to appear for the State at the pre-trial.
Section 10. Social worker. - The court may require a social worker to conduct a case study and submit
the corresponding report at least three days before the pre-trial. The court may also require a case
study at any stage of the case whenever necessary.
Section 11. Pre-trial. -
(1) Pre-trial mandatory. - A pre-trial is mandatory. On motion or motu proprio, the court shall set the
pre-trial after the last pleading has been served and filed, or upon receipt of the report of the public
prosecutor that no collusion exists between the parties.
(2) Notice of pre-trial. - (a) The notice of pre-trial shall contain:
(1) the date of pre-trial conference; and
(2) an order directing the parties to file and serve their respective pre-trial briefs in such manner as shall
ensure the receipt thereof by the adverse party at least three days before the date of pre-trial.
(b) The notice shall be served separately on the parties and their respective counsels as well as on the
public prosecutor. It shall be their duty to appear personally at the pre-trial.
(c) Notice of pre-trial shall be sent to the respondent even if he fails to file an answer. In case of
summons by publication and the respondent failed to file his answer, notice of pre-trial shall be sent to
respondent at his last known address.
Section 12. Contents of pre-trial brief. - The pre-trial brief shall contain the following:
(a) A statement of the willingness of the parties to enter into agreements as may be allowed by law,
indicating the desired terms thereof;
(b) A concise statement of their respective claims together with the applicable laws and authorities;
(c) Admitted facts and proposed stipulations of facts, as well as the disputed factual and legal issues;
(d) All the evidence to be presented, including expert opinion, if any, briefly stating or describing the
nature and purpose thereof;
(e) The number and names of the witnesses and their respective affidavits; and
(f) Such other matters as the court may require.
Failure to file the pre-trial brief or to comply with its required contents shall have the same effect
as failure to appear at the pre-trial under the succeeding paragraphs.
Section 13. Effect of failure to appear at the pre-trial. - {a) If the petitioner fails to appear personally, the
case shall be dismissed unless his counsel or a duly authorized representative appears in court and
proves a valid excuse for the non-appearance of the petitioner.
(b) If the respondent has filed his answer but fails to appear, the court shall proceed with the pre-trial

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(b) If the respondent has filed his answer but fails to appear, the court shall proceed with the pre-trial
and require the public prosecutor to investigate the non-appearance of the respondent and submit
within fifteen days thereafter a report to the court stating whether his non-appearance is due to any
collusion between the parties. If there Is no collusion, the court shall require the public prosecutor to
intervene for the State during the trial on the merits to prevent suppression or fabrication of evidence.
Section 14. Pre-trial conference. -At the pre-trial conference, the court:
(a) May refer the issues to a mediator who shall assist the parties in reaching an agreement on matters
not prohibited by law.
The mediator shall render a report within one month from referral which, for good reasons, the
court may extend for a period not exceeding one month.
(b) In case mediation is not availed of or where it fails, the court shall proceed with the pre-trial
conference, on which occasion it shall consider the advisability of receiving expert testimony and such
other makers as may aid in the prompt disposition of the petition.
Section 15. Pre-trial order. - {a) The proceedings in the pre-trial shall be recorded. Upon termination of
the pre-trial, the court shall Issue a pre-trial order which shall recite in detail the matters taken up In the
conference, the action taken thereon, the amendments allowed on the pleadings, and except as to the
ground of declaration of nullity or annulment, the agreements or admissions made by the parties on any
of the matters considered, including any provisional order that may be necessary or agreed upon by the
parties.
(b) Should the action proceed to trial, the order shall contain a recital of the following;
(1) Facts undisputed, admitted, and those which need not be proved subject to Section 16 of this Rule;
(2) Factual and legal issues to be litigated;
(3) Evidence, including objects and documents, that have been marked and will be presented;
(4) Names of witnesses who will be presented and their testimonies in the form of affidavits; and
(5) Schedule of the presentation of evidence.
(c) The pre-trial order shall also contain a directive to the public prosecutor to appear for the State and
take steps to prevent collusion between the parties at any stage of the proceedings and fabrication or
suppression of evidence during the trial on the merits.
(d) The parlies shall not be allowed to raise issues or present witnesses and evidence other than those
stated in the pre-trial order.
The order shall control the trial of the case, unless modified by the court to prevent manifest injustice.
(e) The parties shall have five days from receipt of the pre-trial order to propose corrections or
modifications.
Section 16. Prohibited compromise. - The court-shall not allow compromise on prohibited matters, such
as the following:
(a) The civil status of persons;
(b) The validity of a marriage or of a legal separation;
(c) Any ground for legal separation;
(d) Future support;
(e) The jurisdiction of courts; and
(f) Future legitime.
Section 17. Trial. - (1) The presiding judge shall personally conduct the trial of the case. No delegation of
the reception of evidence to a commissioner shall be allowed except as to matters involving property
relations of the spouses.
(2) The grounds for declaration of absolute nullity or annulment of marriage must be proved. No
judgment on the pleadings, summary judgment, or confession of judgment shall be allowed.
(3) The court may order the exclusion from the courtroom of all persons, including members of the
press, who do not have a direct interest in the case. Such an order may be made if the court determines
on the record that requiring a party to testify in open court would not enhance the ascertainment of
truth; would cause to the party psychological harm or inability to effectively communicate due to
embarrassment, fear, or timidity; would violate the right of a party to privacy; or would be offensive to
decency or public morals.
(4) No copy shall be taken nor any examination or perusal of the records of the case or parts thereof be
made by any person other than a party or counsel of a party, except by order of the court.
Section 18. Memoranda. - The court may require the parties and the public prosecutor, in consultation

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Section 18. Memoranda. - The court may require the parties and the public prosecutor, in consultation
with the Office of the Solicitor General, to file their respective memoranda support of their claims within
fifteen days from the date the trial is terminated. It may require the Office of the Solicitor General to file
its own memorandum if the case is of significant interest to the State. No other pleadings or papers may
be submitted without leave of court. After the lapse of the period herein provided, the case will be
considered submitted for decision, with or without the memoranda.
Section 19. Decision. - (1) If the court renders a decision granting the petition, it shall declare therein
that the decree of absolute nullity or decree of annulment shall be issued by the court only after
compliance with Article 50 and 51 of the Family Code as implemented under the Rule on Liquidation,
Partition and Distribution of Properties.
(2) The parties, including the Solicitor General and the public prosecutor, shall be served with copies of
the decision personally or by registered mail. If the respondent summoned by publication failed to
appear in the action, the dispositive part of the decision shall be published once in a newspaper of
general circulation.
(3) The decision becomes final upon the expiration of fifteen days from notice to the parties. Entry of
judgment shall be made if no motion for reconsideration or new trial, or appeal Is filed by any of the
parties the public prosecutor, or the Solicitor General.
(4) Upon the finality of the decision, the court shall forthwith issue the corresponding decree if the
parties have no properties.
If the parties have properties, the court shall observe the procedure prescribed in Section 21 of
this Rule.
The entry of judgment shall be registered in the Civil Registry where the marriage was recorded
and In the Civil Registry where the Family Court'granting the petition for declaration of absolute nullity
or annulment of marriage is located.
Section 20. Appeal. -
(1) Pre-condition. - No appeal from the decision shall be allowed unless the appellant has filed a motion
for reconsideration or new trial within fifteen days from notice of judgment.
(2) Notice of appeal. - An aggrieved party or the Solicitor General may appeal from the decision by filing
a Notice of Appeal within fifteen days from notice of denial of the motion for reconsideration or new
trial. The appellant shall serve a copy of the notice of appeal on the adverse parties.
Section 21. Liquidation, partition and distribution, custody, support of common children and delivery of
their presumptive iegltimes. - Upon entry of the judgment granting the petition, or, in case of appeal,
upon receipt of the entry of judgment of the appellate court granting the petition, the Family Court, on
motion of either party, shall proceed with the liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of
the spouses, including custody, support of common children and delivery of their presumptive legitimes
pursuant to Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code unless such matters had been adjudicated in previous
judicial proceedings.
Section 22. Issuance of Decree of Declaration of Absolute Nullity or Annulment of Marriage." (a) The
court shall issue the Decree after;
(1) Registration of the entry of judgment granting the petition for declaration of nullity or annulment of
marriage in the Civil Registry where the marriage was celebrated and in the Civil Registry of the place
where the Family Court is located;
(2) Registration of the approved partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, in the proper
Register of Deeds where the real properties are located; and
(3) The delivery of the children's presumptive legitimes in cash, property, or sound securities.
(b) The court shall quote in the Decree the dispositive portion of the judgment entered and attach to the
Decree the approved deed of partition.
Except in the case of children under Articles 36 and 53 of the Family Code, the court shall order the
Local Civil Registrar to issue an amended birth certificate indicating the new civil status of the children
affected.
Section 23. Registration and publication of the decree; decree as best evidence. - (a) The prevailing party
shall cause the registration of the Decree in the Civil Registry where the marriage was registered, the
Civil Registry of the place where the Family Court is situated, and in the National Census and Statistics
Office. He shall report td the court compliance with this requirement within thirty days from receipt of
the copy of the Decree.

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the copy of the Decree.
(b) In case service of summons was made by publication, the parties shall cause the publication of the
Decree once in a newspaper of general circulation.
(c) The registered Decree shall be the best evidence to prove the declaration of absolute nullity or
annulment of marriage and shall serve as notice to third persons concerning the properties of petitioner
and respondent as well as the properties or presumptive legitimes delivered to their common children.
Section 24. Effect of death of a party; duty of the Family Court or Appellate Court. - (a) In case a party
dies at any stage of the proceedings before the entry of judgment, the court shall order the case closed
and terminated, without prejudice to the settlement of the estate in proper proceedings in the regular
courts.
(b) If the party dies after the entry of judgment of nullity or annulment, the judgment shall be binding
upon the parties and their successors in interest in the settlement of the estate in the regular courts.
Section 25. Effectlvity. - This Rule shall take effect on March 15, 2003 following its publication in a
newspaper of general circulation not later than March 7, 2003.

Pasted from <http://www.lawphil.net/courts/supreme/am/am_02-11-10-sc_2003.html>

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A.M. No. 02-11-11 Rule on Legal Separation
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:29 PM

A.M. No. 02-11-11-SC March 4, 2003


RE: PROPOSED RULE ON LEGAL SEPARATION
RESOL UTI ON
Acting on the letter of the Chairman of the Committee on Revision of the Rules of Court submitting
for this Court's consideration and approval the Proposed Rule on Legal Separation, the Court Resolved
to APPROVED the same.
The Rule shall take effect on March 15, 2003 following its publication in a newspaper of general
circulation not later than March 7, 2003
March 4, 2003
Davide Jr. C.J., Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Sandoval Gutierrez, Carpio,
Austria-Martinez, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, Sr. and Azcuna, JJ.
Ynares-Santiago, on leave,
Corona, officially on leave.
RULE ON LEGAL SEPARATION
Section 1. Scope. - This Rule shall govern petitions for legal separation under the Family Code of the
Philippines.
The Rules of Court shall apply suppletorily.
Section 2. Petition. - (a) Who may and when to file. - (1) A petition for legal separation may be filed only
by the husband or the wife, as the case may be within five years from the time of the occurrence of any
of the following causes:
(a) Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common
child, or a child of the petitioner;
(b) Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political
affiliation;
(c) Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the
petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or connivance in such corruption or inducement;
(d) Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six years, even if pardoned;
(e) Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent;
(f) Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent;
(g) Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in or outside the
Philippines;
(h) Sexual infidelity or perversion of the respondent;
(i) Attempt on the life of petitioner by the respondent; or
(j) Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year.
(b) Contents and form. - The petition for legal separation shall:
(1) Allege the complete facts constituting the cause of action.
(2) State the names and ages of the common children of the parties, specify the regime governing their
property relations, the properties involved, and creditors, if any. If there is no adequate provision in a
written agreement between the parties, the petitioner may apply for a provisional order for spousal
support, custody and support of common children, visitation rights, administration of community or
conjugal property, and other similar matters requiring urgent action,
(3) Be verified and accompanied by a certification against forum shopping. The verification and
certification must be personally signed by the petitioner. No petition may be filed solely by counsel or
through an attorney-in-fact. If the petitioner is in a foreign country, the verification and certification
against forum shopping shall be authenticated by the duly authorized officer of the Philippine embassy
or legation, consul general, consul or vice-consul or consular agent in said country
(4) Be filed in six copies. The petitioner shall, within five days from such filing, furnish a copy of the
petition to the City or Provincial Prosecutor and the creditors, if any, and submit to the court proof of
such service within the same period.
Failure to comply with the preceding requirements may be a ground for immediate dismissal of

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such service within the same period.
Failure to comply with the preceding requirements may be a ground for immediate dismissal of
the petition.
(c) Venue. - The petition shall be filed in the Family Court of the province or city where the petitioner or
the respondent has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing "or in The case of a
non-resident respondent, where he may be found in the Philippines, at the election of the petitioner.
Section 3. Summons. - The service of summons shall be governed by Rule 14 of the Rules of Court and by
the following rules:
(a) Where the respondent cannot be located at his given address or his whereabouts are unknown and
cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry, service of summons may, by leave of court, be effected upon
him by publication once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the
Philippines and in such place as the court may order. In addition, a copy of the summons shall be served
on respondent at his last known address by registered mail or by any other means the court may deem
sufficient.
(b) The summons to be published shall be contained in an order of the court with the following data; (1)
title of the case; (2) docket number; (3) nature of the petition; (4) principal grounds of the petition and
the reliefs prayed for, and (5) a directive for respondent to answer within thirty days from the last issue
of publication.
Section 4. Motion to Dismiss. - No motion to dismiss the petition shall be allowed except on the ground
of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter or over the parties; provided, however, that any other
ground that might warrant a dismissal of the case may be raised as an affirmative defense in an answer.
Section 5. Answer. - (a) The respondent shall file his answer within fifteen days from receipt of
summons, or within thirty days from the last issue of publication in case of service of summons by
publication. The answer must be verified by respondent himself and not by counsel or attorney-in-fact.
(b) If the respondent fails to file an answer, the court shall not declare him in default.
(c) Where no answer is filed/or if the answer does not tender an issue the court shall order the public
prosecutor to investigate whether collusion exists between the parties.
Section 6. Investigation Report of Public Prosecutor. - (a) Within one one month after receipt of the
court order mentioned in paragraph (c) of the preceeding section, the public prosecutor shall submit a
report to the court on whether the parties are in collusion and serve copies on the parties and their
respective counsels, if any.
(b) If the public prosecutor finds that collusion exists, he shall state the basis thereof in his report. The
parties shall file their respective comments on the finding of collusion within ten days from receipt of
copy of the report. The court shall set the report for hearing and if convinced that parties are in
collusion,-it shall dismiss the petition.
(c) If the public prosecutor reports that no collusion exists, the court shall set the case for pre-trial. It
shall be the duty of the public prosecutor to appear for the State at the pre-trial.
Section 7. Social Worker. - The court may require a social worker to conduct a case study and to submit
the corresponding report at least three days before the pre-trial. The court may also require a case
study at any stage of the case whenever necessary,
Section 8. Pre-trial. -
(a) Pre-trial mandatory.-A pre-trial is mandatory. On motion or motu proprio, the court shall set the pre-
trial after the last pleading has been served and filed, or upon receipt of the report of the public
prosecutor that no collusion exists between the parties on a date not earlier than six months from date
of the filing of the petition.
(b) Notice of Pre-trial.-(1) The notice of pre-trial shall contain:
(a) the date of pre-trial conference; and
(b) an order directing the parties to file and serve their respective pre-trial briefs in such manner as shall
ensure the receipt thereof by the adverse party at least three days before the date of pre-trial.
(2) The notice shall be served separately on the parties and their respective counsels as well as on the
public prosecutor. It shall be their duty to appear personally at the pre-trial.
(3) Notice of pre-trial shall be sent to the respondent even if he fails to file an answer. In case of
summons by publication and the respondent failed to file his answer, notice of pre-trial shall be sent to
respondent at his last known address.
Section 9. Contents of pre-trial brief. - The pre-trial brief shall contain the following:
(1) A statement of the willingness of the parties to enter into agreements as may be allowed by law,

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Section 9. Contents of pre-trial brief. - The pre-trial brief shall contain the following:
(1) A statement of the willingness of the parties to enter into agreements as may be allowed by law,
indicating the desired terms thereof;
(2) A concise statement of their respective claims together with the applicable laws and authorities;
(3) Admitted facts and proposed stipulations of facts, as well as the disputed factual and legal issues;
(4) All the evidence to be presented, including expert opinion, if any, briefly stating or describing the
nature and purpose thereof;
(5) The number and names of the witnesses and their respective affidavits; and
(6) Such other matters as the court may require.
Failure to file the pre-trial brief or to comply with its required contents shall have the same effect
as failure to appear at the pre-trial under the succeeding section.
Section 10. Effect of failure to appear at the pre-trial. - (1) If the petitioner fails to appear personally, the
case shall be dismissed unless his counsel or a duly authorized representative appears in court and
proves a valid excuse for the non-appearance of the petitioner.
(2) If the respondent filed his answer but fails to appear, the court shall proceed with the pre-trial and
require the public prosecutor to investigate the non-appearance of the respondent and submit within
fifteen days a report to the court stating whether his non-appearance is due to any collusion between
the parties/ If there is no collusion the court shall require the public prosecutor to intervene for the
State during the trial on the.merits to prevent suppression or fabrication of evidence.
Section 11. Pre-trial conference. - At the pre-trial conference, the court may refer the issues to a
mediator who shall assist the parties in reaching an agreement on matters not prohibited by law.
The mediator shall render a report within one month from referral which, for good reasons, the
court may extend for a period not exceeding one month.
In case mediation is not availed of or where it fails, the court shall proceed with the pre-trial
conference, on which occasion it shall consider the advisability of receiving expert testimony and such
other matters as may aid in the prompt disposition of the petition.
Section 12. Pre-trial order. - (a) The proceedings in the pre-trial shall be recorded. Upon termination of
the pre-trial, the court shall issue a pre-trial order which shall recite in detail the matters taken up in the
conference, the action taken thereon, the amendments allowed on the pleadings, and, except as to the
ground of legal separation, the agreements or admissions made by the parties on any of the matters
considered, including any provisional order that may be necessary or agreed upon by the parties.
(b) Should the action proceed to trial, the order shall contain a recital of the following:
(1) Facts undisputed, admitted, and those which need not be proved subject to Section 13 of this Rule;
(2) Factual and legal issues to be litigated;
(3) Evidence, including objects and documents, that have been marked and will be presented;
(4) Names of witnesses who will be presented and their testimonies in the form of affidavits; and
(5) Schedule of the presentation of evidence.
The pre-trial order shall also contain a directive to the public prosecutor to appear for the State
and take steps to prevent collusion between the parties at any stage of the proceedings and fabrication
or suppression of evidence during the trial on the merits.
(c) The parties shall not be allowed to raise issues or present witnesses and evidence other than those
stated in the pre-trial order. The order shall control the trial of the case unless modified by the court to
prevent manifest injustice.
(d) The parties shall have five days from receipt of the pre-trial order to propose corrections or
modifications.
Section 13. Prohibited compromise. - The court shall not allow compromise on prohibited matters, such
as the following:
(1) The civil status of persons;
(2) The validity of a marriage or of a legal separation;
(3) Any ground lor legal separation;
(4) Future support;
(5) The jurisdiction of courts; and
(6) Future legitime.
Section 14. Trial. - (a) The presiding judge shall personally conduct the trial of the case. No delegation of
the reception of evidence to a commissioner shall be allowed except as to matters involving property
relations of the spouses.

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relations of the spouses.
(b) The grounds for legal separation must be proved. No judgment on the pleadings, summary
judgment, or confession of judgment shall be allowed.
(c) The court may order the exclusion from the courtroom of all persons, including members of the
press, who do not have a direct interest in the case. Such an order may be made if the court determines
on the record othat requiring a party to testify in open court would not enhance the ascertainment of
truth; would cause to the party psychological harm or inability to effectively communicate due to
embarrassment, fear, or timidity; would violate the party's right to privacy; or would be offensive to
decency
(d) No copy shall be taken nor any examination or perusal of the records of the case or parts thereof be
made by any person other than a party or counsel of a party, except by order of the court.
Section 15. Memoranda. - The court may require the parties and the public prosecutor to file their
respective memoranda in support of their claims within fifteen days from the date the trial is
terminated. No other pleadings or papers may be submitted without leave of court. After the lapse of
the period herein provided, the case will be considered submitted for decision, with or without the
memoranda.
Section 16. Decision. - (a) The court shall deny the petition on any of the following grounds:
(1) The aggrieved party has condoned the offense or act complained of or has consented to the
commission of the offense or act complained of;
(2) There is connivance in the commission of the offense-or act constituting the ground for legal
separation;
(3) Both parties have given ground for legal separation;
(4) There is collusion between the parties to obtain the decree of legal separation; or
(5) The action is barred by prescription.
(b) If the court renders a decision granting the petition, it shall declare therein that the Decree of Legal
Separation shall be issued by the court only after full compliance with liquidation under the Family Code.
However, in the absence of any property of.the parties, the court shall forthwith issue a Decree of
Legal Separation which shall be registered in the Civil Registry where the marriage was recorded and in
the Civil Registry where the Family Court granting the legal separation is located.
(c) The decision shall likewise declare that:
(1) The spouses are entitled to live separately from each other but the marriage bond is not severed;
(2) The obligation of mutual support between the spouses ceases; and
(3) The offending spouse is disqualified from inheriting from the innocent spouse by intestate
succession, and provisions in favor of the offending spouse made in the will of the innocent spouse are
revoked by operation of law.
(d) The parties, including the Solicitor General and the public prosecutor, shall be served with copies of
the decision personally or by registered mail. If the respondent summoned by publication failed to
appear in the action, the dispositive part of the decision shall also be published once in a newspaper of
general circulation.
Section 17. Appeal. -
(a) Pre-condition. - No appeal from the decision shall be allowed unless the appellant has filed a motion
for reconsideration or new trial within fifteen days from notice of judgment.
(b) Notice of Appeal - An aggrieved party or the Solicitor General may appeal from the decision by filing
a Notice of Appeal within fifteen days from notice of denial of the motion for reconsideration or new
trial. The appellant shall serve a copy of the notice of appeal upon the adverse parties.
Section 18. Liquidation, partition and distribution, custody, and support of minor children. - Upon entry
of the judgment granting the petition, or, in case of appeal, upon receipt of the entry of judgment of the
appellate court granting the petition, the Family Court, on motion of either party, shall proceed with the
liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, including custody and support of
common children, under the Family Code unless such matters had been adjudicated in previous judicial
proceedings.
Section 19. Issuance of Decree of Legal Separation. - (a) The court shall issue the Decree of Legal
Separation after:
(1) registration of the entry of judgment granting the petition tor legal separation in the Civil Registry
where the marriage was celebrated and in the Civil Registry where the Family Court is located; and

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where the marriage was celebrated and in the Civil Registry where the Family Court is located; and
(2) registration of the approved partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, in the proper
Register of Deeds where the real properties are located.
(b) The court shall quote in the Decree the dispositive portion of the judgment entered and attach to the
Decree the approved deed of partition.
Section 20. Registration and publication of the Decree of Legal Separation; decree as best evidence. -
(a) Registration of decree.-The prevailing party shall cause the registration of the Decree in the Civil
Registry where the marriage was registered, in the Civil Registry of the place where the Family Court is
situated, and in the National Census and Statistics Office. He shall report to the court compliance with
this requirement within thirty days iron receipt of the copy of the Decree.
(b) Publication of decree.-- In case service of summons was made by publication, the parties shall cause
the publication of the Decree once in a newspaper of general circulation.
(c) Best evidence.-The registered Decree shall be the best evidence to prove the legal separation of the
parties and shall serve as notice to third persons concerning the properties of petitioner and
respondent.
Section 21. Effect of death of a party; duty of the Family Court or Appellate Court. - (a) In case a party
dies at any stage of me proceedings before the entry of judgment, the court shall order the case closed
and terminated without prejudice to the settlement of estate proper proceedings in the regular courts.
(b) If the party dies after the entry of judgment, the same shall be binding upon the parties and their
successors in interest in the settlement of the estate in the regular courts.
Section 22. Petition for revocation of donations. - (a) Within five (5) years from the date the decision
granting the petition for legal separation has become final, the innocent spouse may file a petition
under oath the same proceeding for legal separation to revoke the donations in favor of the offending
spouse.
(b)The revocation of the donations shall be recorded in the Register of Deeds of Deeds in the places
where the properties are located.
(c)Alienations, liens, and encumbrances registered in good faith. before the recording of the petition for
revocation in the registries of property shall be respected.
(d)After the issuance of the Decree of Legal Separation, the innocent spouse may revoke the designation
of the offending spouse as a beneficiary in any insurance policy even if such designation be stipulated as
irrevocable. The revocation or change shall take effect upon written notification thereof to the insurer.
Section 23. Decree of Reconciliation. - (a) If the spouses had reconciled, a joint manifestation under
oath, duly signed by the spouses, may be filed in the same proceeding for legal separation.
(b) If the reconciliation occurred while the proceeding for legal separation is pending, the court shall
immediately issue an order terminating the proceeding.
(c) If the reconciliation occurred after the rendition of the judgment granting the petition for legal
separation but before the issuance of the Decree, the spouses shall express in their manifestation
whether or not they agree to revive the former regime of their property relations or choose a new
regime.
The court shall immediately issue a Decree of Reconciliation declaring that the legal separation
proceeding is set aside and specifying the regime of property relations under which the spouses shall be
covered.
(d) If the spouses reconciled after the issuance of the Decree, the court, upon proper motion, shall issue
a decree of reconciliation declaring therein that the Decree is set aside but the separation of property
and any forfeiture of the share of the guilty spouse already effected subsists, unless the spouses have
agreed to revive their former regime of property relations or adopt a new regime.
(e) In case of paragraphs (b), (c), and (d). if the reconciled spouses choose to adopt a regime of property
relations different from that which they had prior to the filing of the petition for legal separation, the
spouses shall comply with Section 24 hereof.
(f) The decree of reconciliation shall be recorded in the Civil Registries where the marriage and the
Decree had been registered.
Section 24. Revival of property regime or adoption of another. -
(a) In case of reconciliation under Section 23, paragraph (c) above, the parties shall file a verified motion
for revival of regime of property relations or the adoption of another regime of property relations in the
same proceeding for legal separation attaching to said motion their agreement for the approval of the

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same proceeding for legal separation attaching to said motion their agreement for the approval of the
court.
(b) The agreement which shall be verified shall specify the following:
(1) The properties to be contributed to the restored or new regime;
(2) Those to be retained as separate properties of each spouse; and
(3) The names of all their known creditors, their addresses, and the amounts owing to each.
(c) The creditors shall be furnished with copies of the motion and the agreement.
(d) The court shall require the spouses to cause the publication of their verified motion for two
consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.
(e) After due hearing, and the court decides to grant the motion, it shall issue an order directing the
parties to record the order in the proper registries of property within thirty days from receipt of a copy
of the order and submit proof of compliance within the same period.
Section 25. Effectivity. - This Rule shall take effect on March 15,2003 following its publication in a
newspaper of general circulation not later than March 7, 2003.

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A.M. No. 02-11-12 Rule on Provisional Orders
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:29 PM

A.M. No. 02-11-12-SC March 4, 2003


RE: PROPOSED RULE ON PROVISIONAL ORDERS
RESOL UTI ON
Acting on the letter of the Chairman of the Committee on Revision of the Rules of Court submitting
for this Court's consideration and approval the Proposed Rule on Provisional Orders, the Court Resolved
to APPROVED the same.
The Rule shall take effect on March 15, 2003 following its publication in a newspaper of general
circulation not later than March 7, 2003
March 4, 2003
Davide Jr. C.J., Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Sandoval Gutierrez, Carpio,
Austria-Martinez, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, Sr. and Azcuna, JJ.
Ynares-Santiago, on leave,
Corona, officially on leave.
RULE ON PROVISIONAL ORDERS
Section 1. When Issued, - Upon receipt of a verified petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void
marriage or for annulment of voidable marriage, or for legal separation, and at any time during the
proceeding, the court, motu proprio or upon application under oath of any of the parties, guardian or
designated custodian, may issue provisional orders and protection orders with or without a hearing.
These orders may be enforced immediately, with or without a bond, and for such period and under such
terms" and conditions as the court may deem necessary.
Section 2. Spousal Support. - In determining support for the spouses, the court may be guided by the
following rules:
(a) In the absence of adequate provisions in a written agreement between the spouses, the spouses may
be supported from the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership.
(b) The court may award support to either spouse in such amount and for such period of time as the
court may deem just and reasonable based on their standard of living during the marriage.
(c) The court may likewise consider the following factors: (1) whether the spouse seeking support is the
custodian of a child whose circumstances make it appropriate for that spouse not to seek outside
employment; (2) the time necessary to acquire sufficient education and training to enable the spouse
seeking support to find appropriate employment, and that spouse's future earning capacity; (3) the-
duration of the marriage; (4) the comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their
comparative earning abilities in the labor market; (5) the needs and obligations of each spouse; (6) the
contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including services rendered in home-making, child care,
education, and career building of the other spouse; (7) the age and health of the spouses; (8) the
physical and emotional conditions of the spouses; (9) the ability of the supporting spouse to give
support, taking into account that spouse's earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and
standard of living; and (10) any other factor the court may deem just and equitable.
(d) The Family Court may direct the deduction of the provisional support from the salary of the spouse.
Section 3. Child Support. - The common children of the spouses shall be supported from the properties
of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership.
Subject to the sound discretion of the court, either parent or both may be ordered to give an
amount necessary for the support, maintenance, and education of the child. It shall be in proportion to
the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient.
In determining the amount of provisional support, the court may likewise consider the following
factors: (1) the financial resources of the custodial and non-custodial parent and those of the child; (2)
the physical and emotional health of the child and his or her special needs and aptitudes; (3) the
standard of living the child has been accustomed to; (4) the non-monetary contributions that the
parents will make toward the care and well-being of the child.

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parents will make toward the care and well-being of the child.
The Family Court may direct the deduction of the provisional support from the salary of the
parent.
Section 4. Child Custody. - In determining the right party or person to whom the custody of the child of
the parties may be awarded pending the petition, the court shall consider the best interests of the child
and shall give paramount consideration to the material and moral welfare of the child.
The court may likewise consider the following factors: (a) the agreement of the parties; (b) the
desire and ability of each parent to foster an open and loving relationship between the child and the
other parent; (c) the child's health, safety, and welfare; (d) any history of child or spousal abase by the
person seeking custody or who has had any filial relationship with the child, including anyone courting
the parent; (e) the nature and frequency of contact with both parents; (f) habitual use of alcohol or
regulated substances; (g) marital misconduct; (h) the most suitable physical, emotional, spiritual,
psychological and educational environment; and (i) the preference of the child, if over seven years of
age and of sufficient discernment, unless the parent chosen is unfit.
The court may award provisional custody in the following order of preference: (1) to both parents
jointly; (2) to either parent taking into account all relevant considerations under the foregoing
paragraph, especially the choice of the child over seven years of age, unless the parent chosen is unfit;
(3} to the surviving grandparent, or if there are several of them, to the grandparent chosen by the child
over seven years of age and of sufficient discernment, unless the grandparent is unfit or disqualified; (4)
to the eldest brother or sister over twenty-one years of age, unless he or she is unfit or disqualified; (5)
to the child's actual custodian over twenty-one years of age, unless unfit or disqualified; or (6) to any
other person deemed by the court suitable to provide proper care and guidance for the child.
The custodian temporarily designated by the" court shall give the court and the parents five days
notice of any plan to change the residence of the child or take him out of his residence for more than
three days provided it does not prejudice the visitation rights of the parents.
Section 5. Visitation Rights. - Appropriate visitation rights shall be provided to the parent who is not
awarded provisional custody unless found unfit or disqualified by the court. .
Section 6. Hold Departure Order. - Pending resolution of the petition, no child of the parties shall be
brought out of the country without prior order from the court.
The court, motu proprio or upon application under oath, may issue ex-parte a hold departure
order, addressed to the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, directing it not to allow the departure
of the child from the Philippines without the permission of the court.
The Family Court issuing the hold departure order shall furnish the Department of Foreign Affairs
and the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation of the Department of Justice a copy of the hold
departure order issued within twenty-four hours from the time of its issuance and through the fastest
available means of transmittal.
The hold-departure order shall contain the following information:
(a) the complete name (including the middle name), the date and place of birth, and the place of last
residence of the person against whom a hold-departure order has been issued or whose departure from
the country has been enjoined;
(b) the complete title and docket number of the case in which the hold departure was issued;
(c) the specific nature of the case; and
(d) the date of the hold-departure order.
If available, a recent photograph of the person against whom a hold-departure order has been
issued or whose departure from the country has been enjoined should also be included.
The court may recall the order. motu proprio or upon verified motion of any of the parties after
summary hearing, subject to such terms and conditions as may be necessary for the best interests of the
child.
Section 7. Order of Protection. - The court may issue an Order of Protection requiring any person:
(a) to stay away from the home, school, business, or place of employment of the child, other parent or
any other party, and to stay away from any other specific place designated by the court;
(b) to refrain from harassing, intimidating, or threatening such child or the other parent or any person to
whom custody of the child is awarded;
(c) to refrain from acts of commission or omission that create an unreasonable risk to the health, safety,
or welfare of the child;

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or welfare of the child;
(d) to permit a parent, or a person entitled to visitation by a court order or a separation agreement, to
visit the child at stated periods;
(e) to permit a designated party to enter the residence during a specified period of time in order to take
persona! belongings not contested in a proceeding pending with the Family Court;
(f) to comply with such other orders as are necessary for the protection of the child.
Section 8. Administration of Common Property. - If a spouse without just cause abandons the other or-
fails to comply with his or her obligations to the family, the court may, upon application of the aggrieved
party under oath, issue a provisional order appointing the applicant or a third person as receiver or sole
administrator of the common property subject to such precautionary conditions it may impose.
The receiver or administrator may not dispose of or encumber any common property or specific
separate property of either spouse without prior authority of the court.
The provisional order issued by the court shall be registered in the proper Register of Deeds and
annotated in all titles of properties subject of the receivership or administration.
Section 9. Effectivity. - This Rule shall take effect on March 15, 2003 following its publication in a
newspaper of general circulation not later than March 7, 2003.

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A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC Rule on Custody of Minors and Writ of
Habeas Corpus in Relation to Custody of Minors
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:29 PM

A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC April 22, 2003


RE: PROPOSED RULE ON CUSTODY OF MINORS AND WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
IN RELATION TO CUSTODY OF MINORS
RESOLUTION
Acting on the letter of the Chairman of the Committee on Revision of the Rules of Court submitting for
this Court’s consideration and approval the Proposed Rule on custody of Minors and Writ of Habeas
Corpus in Relation to Custody of Minors, the Court Resolved to APPROVE the same.
The Rule shall take effect on May 15, 2003 following its publication in a newspaper of general circulation
not later than April 30, 2003.
April 22, 2003
Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio,
Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, Sr., and Azcuna, JJ., concur.
Quisumbing, J., on official leave.
RULE ON CUSTODY OF MINORS AND WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
IN RELATION TO CUSTODY OF MINORS
SECTION 1. Applicability. - This rule shall apply to petitions for custody of minors and writs of habeas
corpus in relation thereto.
The Rules of Court shall apply suppletorily.
Section 2. Petition for custody of minors; who may file.- A verified petition for the rightful custody of a
minor may be filed by any person claiming such right. The party against whom it may be filed shall be
designated as the respondent.
Section 3. Where to file petition. - The petition for custody of minors shall be filed with the Family Court
of the province or city where the petitioner resides or where the minor may be found.
Section 4. Contents of petition. - The verified petition shall allege the following:
(a) The personal circumstances of the petitioner and of the respondent;
(b) The name, age and present whereabouts of the minor and his or her relationship to the petitioner
and the respondent;
(c) The material operative facts constituting deprivation of custody; and
(d) Such other matters which are relevant to the custody of the minor.
The verified petition shall be accompanied by a certificate against forum shopping, which the petitioner
must sign personally.
Section 5. Summons; personal service on respondent. - If the court is satisfied that the petition is
sufficient in form and substance, it shall direct the clerk of court to issue summons, which shall be
served together with a copy of the petition personally on the respondent.
Section 6. Motion to Dismiss. - A motion to dismiss the petition is not allowed except on the ground of
lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter or over the parties. Any other ground that might warrant the
dismissal of the petition may be raised as an affirmative defense in the answer.
Section 7. Verified Answer. - The respondent shall file an answer to the petition, personally verified by
him, within five days after service of summons and a copy of the petition.
Section 8. Case study; duty of social worker. - Upon the filing of the verified answer or the expiration of
the period to file it, the court may order a social worker to make a case study of the minor and the
parties and to submit a report and recommendation to the court at least three days before the
scheduled pre-trial.
Section 9. Notice of mandatory pre-trial. - Within fifteen days after the filing of the answer or the
expiration of the period to file answer, the court shall issue an order: (1) fixing a date for the pre-trial
conference; (2) directing the parties to file and serve their respective pre-trial briefs in such manner as
shall ensure receipt thereof by the adverse party at least three days before the date of pre-trial; and (3)
requiring the respondent to present the minor before the court.

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requiring the respondent to present the minor before the court.
The notice of its order shall be served separately on both the parties and their respective counsels. The
pre-trial is mandatory.
Section 10. Contents of pre-trial brief. - The pre-trial brief shall contain the following:
(a) A statement of the willingness of the parties to enter into agreements that may be allowed by law,
indicating its terms;
(b) A concise statement of their respective claims together with the applicable laws and authorities;
(c) Admitted facts and proposed stipulations of facts;
(d) The disputed factual and legal issues;
(e) All the evidence to be presented, briefly stating or describing its nature and purpose;
(f) The number and names of the witnesses and their respective affidavits which shall serve as the
affiant's testimony on direct examination; and
(g) Such other matters as the court may require to be included in the pre-trial brief.
Failure to file the pre-trial brief or to comply with its required contents shall have the same effect as
failure to appear at the pre-trial.
Section 11. Effect of failure to appear at the pre-trial.-(a) If the petitioner fails to appear personally at
the pre-trial, the case shall be dismissed, unless his counsel or a duly authorized representative appears
in court and proves a valid excuse for the non-appearance of the petitioner.
(b) If the respondent has filed his answer but fails to appear at the pre-trial, the petitioner shall be
allowed to present his evidence ex parte. The court shall then render judgment on the basis of the
pleadings and the evidence thus presented.
Section 12. What may be done at pre-trial. - At the pre-trial, the parties may agree on the custody of
the minor. If the parties fail to agree, the court may refer the matter to a mediator who shall have five
days to effect an agreement between the parties. If the issue is not settled through mediation, the court
shall proceed with the pre-trial conference, on which occasion it shall consider such other matters as
may aid in the prompt disposition of the petition.
Section 13. Provisional order awarding custody. - After an answer has been filed or after expiration of
the period to file it, the court may issue a provisional order awarding custody of the minor. As far as
practicable, the following order of preference shall be observed in the award of custody:
(a) Both parents jointly;
(b) Either parent, taking into account all relevant considerations, especially the choice of the minor over
seven years of age and of sufficient discernment, unless the parent chosen is unfit;
(c) The grandparent, or if there are several grandparents, the grandparent chosen by the minor over
seven years of age and of sufficient discernment, unless the grandparent chosen is unfit or disqualified;
(d) The eldest brother or sister over twenty-one years of age, unless he or she is unfit or disqualified;
(e) The actual custodian of the minor over twenty-one years of age, unless the former is unfit or
disqualified; or
(f) Any other person or institution the court may deem suitable to provide proper care and guidance for
the minor.
Section 14. Factors to consider in determining custody. - In awarding custody, the court shall consider
the best interests of the minor and shall give paramount consideration to his material and moral
welfare. The best interests of the minor refer to the totality of the circumstances and conditions as are
most congenial to the survival, protection, and feelings of security of the minor encouraging to his
physical, psychological and emotional development. It also means the least detrimental available
alternative for safeguarding the growth and development of the minor.
The court shall also consider the following:
(a) Any extrajudicial agreement which the parties may have bound themselves to comply with
respecting the rights of the minor to maintain direct contact with the non custodial parent on a regular
basis, except when there is an existing threat or danger of physical, mental, sexual or emotional violence
which endangers the safety and best interests of the minor;
(b) The desire and ability of one parent to foster an open and loving relationship between the minor and
the other parent;
(c) The health, safety and welfare of the minor;
(d) Any history of child or spousal abuse by the person seeking custody or who has had any filial
relationship with the minor, including anyone courting the parent;

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relationship with the minor, including anyone courting the parent;
(e) The nature and frequency of contact with both parents;
(f) Habitual use of alcohol, dangerous drugs or regulated substances;
(g) Marital misconduct;
(h) The most suitable physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological and educational environment for the
holistic development and growth of the minor; and
(i) The preference of the minor over seven years of age and of sufficient discernment, unless the parent
chosen is unfit.
Section 15. Temporary visitation rights. - The court shall provide in its order awarding provisional
custody appropriate visitation rights to the non-custodial parent or parents, unless the court finds said
parent or parents unfit or disqualified.
The temporary custodian shall give the court and non custodial parent or parents at least five days'
notice of any plan to change the residence of the minor or take him out of his residence for more than
three days provided it does not prejudice the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent or parents.
Section 16. Hold Departure Order. - The minor child subject of the petition shall not be brought out of
the country without prior order from the court while the petition is pending.
The court, motu proprio or upon application under oath, may issue ex parte a hold departure order,
addressed to the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, directing it not to allow the departure of the
minor from the Philippines without the permission of the court.
The Family Court issuing the hold departure order shall furnish the Department of Foreign Affairs and
the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation of the Department of Justice a copy of the hold departure
order within twenty-four hours from its issuance and through the fastest available means of transmittal.
The hold departure order shall contain the following information:
(a) The complete name (including the middle name), the date and place of birth, the nationality and the
place of last residence of the person against whom a hold departure order has been issued or whose
departure from the country has been enjoined;
(b) The complete title and docket number of the case in which the hold departure order was issued;
(c) The specific nature of the case;
(d) The date of the hold departure order; and
(e) A recent photograph, if available, of the party against whom a hold departure order has been issued
or whose departure from the country has been enjoined.
The court may recall the hold departure order motu proprio, or upon verified motion of any of the
parties after summary hearing, subject to such terms and conditions as may be necessary for the best
interests of the minor.
Section 17. Protection Order. - The court may issue a Protection Order requiring any person:
(a) To stay away from the home, school, business, or place of employment of the minor, other parent or
any other party, or from any other specific place designated by the court;
(b) To cease and desist from harassing, intimidating, or threatening such minor or the other parent or
any person to whom custody of the minor is awarded;
(c) To refrain from acts of commission or omission that create an unreasonable risk to the health, safety,
or welfare of the minor;
(d) To permit a parent, or a party entitled to visitation by a court order or a separation agreement, to
visit the minor at stated periods;
(e) To permit a designated party to enter the residence during a specified period of time in order to take
personal belongings not contested in a proceeding pending with the Family Court; and
(f) To comply with such other orders as are necessary for the protection of the minor.
Section 18. Judgment. - After trial, the court shall render judgment awarding the custody of the minor
to the proper party considering the best interests of the minor.
If it appears that both parties are unfit to have the care and custody of the minor, the court may
designate either the paternal or maternal grandparent of the minor, or his oldest brother or sister, or
any reputable person to take charge of such minor, or commit him to any suitable home for children.
In its judgment, the court may order either or both parents to give an amount necessary for the support,
maintenance and education of the minor, irrespective of who may be its custodian. In determining the
amount of support, the court may consider the following factors: (1) the financial resources of the
custodial and non-custodial parent and those of the minor; (2) the physical and emotional health,

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custodial and non-custodial parent and those of the minor; (2) the physical and emotional health,
special needs, and aptitude of the minor; (3) the standard of living the minor has been accustomed to;
and (4) the non-monetary contributions that the parents would make toward the care and well-being of
the minor.
The court may also issue any order that is just and reasonable permitting the parent who is deprived of
the care and custody of the minor to visit or have temporary custody.
Section 19. Appeal. - No appeal from the decision shall be allowed unless the appellant has filed a
motion for reconsideration or new trial within fifteen days from notice of judgment.
An aggrieved party may appeal from the decision by filing a Notice of Appeal within fifteen days from
notice of the denial of the motion for reconsideration or new trial and serving a copy thereof on the
adverse parties.
Section 20. Petition for writ of habeas corpus. - A verified petition for a writ of habeas corpus involving
custody of minors shall be filed with the Family Court. The writ shall be enforceable within its judicial
region to which the Family Court belongs.
However, the petition may be filed with the regular court in the absence of the presiding judge of the
Family Court, provided, however, that the regular court shall refer the case to the Family Court as soon
as its presiding judge returns to duty.
The petition may also be filed with the appropriate regular courts in places where there are no Family
Courts.
The writ issued by the Family Court or the regular court shall be enforceable in the judicial region where
they belong.
The petition may likewise be filed with the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, or with any of its members
and, if so granted, the writ shall be enforceable anywhere in the Philippines. The writ may be made
returnable to a Family Court or to any regular court within the region where the petitioner resides or
where the minor may be found for hearing and decision on the merits.
Upon return of the writ, the court shall decide the issue on custody of minors. The appellate court, or
the member thereof, issuing the writ shall be furnished a copy of the decision.
Section 21. Confidentiality of proceedings. - The hearings on custody of minors may, at the discretion of
the court, be closed to the public and the records of the case shall not be released to non-parties
without its approval.
Section 22. Effectivity. - This Rule shall take effect on May 15, 2003 following its publication in a
newspaper of general circulation not later than April 30, 2003.

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A.M. No. 03-02-05-SC Rule on Guardianship of Minors
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:29 PM

[A.M. No. 03-02-05-SC 2003-05-01]

RE: PROPOSED RULE ON GUARDIANSHIP OF MINORS


RESOL UTI ON

Acting on the letter of the Chairman of the Committee on Revision of the Rules of Court submitting for
this Court’s consideration and approval the Proposed Rule on Guardianship of Minors, the Court
Resolved to APPROVE the same.

The Rule shall take effect on May 1, 2003 following its publication in a newspaper of general circulation
not later than April 15, 2003.

April 1, 2003.

<>I>Davide, Jr. C.J., Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago,
Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Moralez,Callejo Sr., Azcuna, JJ., concur

RULE ON GUARDIANSHIP OF MINORS

Section 1. Applicability of the Rule. – This Rule shall apply to petitions for guardianship over the person
or property, or both, of a minor.

The father and the mother shall jointly exercise legal guardianship over the person and property of their
unemancipated common child without the necessity of a court appointment. In such case, this Rule shall
be suppletory to the provisions of the Family Code on guardianship.

Sec. 2. Who may petition for appointment of guardian. – On grounds authorized by law, any relative or
other person on behalf of a minor, or the minor himself if fourteen years of age or over, may petition
the Family Court for the appointment of a general guardian over the person or property, or both, of
such minor. The petition may also be filed by the Secretary of Social Welfare and Development and by
the Secretary of Health in the case of an insane minor who needs to be hospitalized.

Sec. 3. Where to file petition. – A petition for guardianship over the person or property, or both, of a
minor may be filed in the Family Court of the province or city where the minor actually resides. If he
resides in a foreign country, the petition shall be flied with the Family Court of the province or city
where his property or any part thereof is situated.

Sec. 4. Grounds of petition.-The grounds for the appointment of a guardian over the person or property,
or both, of a minor are the following:

(a) death, continued absence, or incapacity of his parents;

(b) suspension, deprivation or termination of parental authority;

(c) remarriage of his surviving parent, if the latter Is found unsuitable to exercise parental
authority; or

(d) when the best interests of the minor so require.

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Sec. 5. Qualifications of guardians. – In appointing a guardian, the court shall consider the guardian’s:

(a) moral character;

(b) physical, mental and psychological condition;

(c) financial status;

(d) relationship of trust with the minor;

(e) availability to exercise the powers and duties of a guardian for the full period of the
guardianship;

(f) lack of conflict of interest with the minor; and

(g) ability to manage the property of the minor.

Sec. 6. Who may be appointed guardian of the person or property, or both, of a minor. – In default of
parents or a court-appointed guardian, the court may appoint a guardian of the person or property, or
both, of a minor, observing as far as practicable, the following order of preference:

(a) the surviving grandparent and In case several grandparents survive, the court shall select any
of them taking Into account all relevant considerations;

(b) the oldest brother or sister of the minor over twenty-one years of age, unless unfit or
disqualified;

(c) the actual custodian of the minor over twenty-one years of age, unless unfit or disqualified;
and

(d) any other person, who in the sound discretion of the court, would serve the best interests of
the minor.

Sec. 7. Contents of petition. – A petition for the appointment of a general guardian must allege the
following:

(a) The jurisdictional facts;

(b) The name, age and residence of the prospective ward;

(c) The ground rendering the appointment necessary or convenient;

(d) The death of the parents of the minor or the termination, deprivation or suspension of their
parental authority;

(e) The remarriage of the minor’s surviving parent;

(f) The names, ages, and residences of relatives within the 4th civil degree of the minor, and of
persons having him in their care and custody;

(g) The probable value, character and location of the property of the minor; and

(h) The name, age and residence of the person for whom letters of guardianship are prayed.

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The petition shall be verified and accompanied by a certification against forum shopping. However, no
defect in the petition or verification shall render void the issuance of letters of guardianship.

Sec. 8. Time and notice of hearing. – When a petition for the appointment of a general guardian is filed,
the court shall fix a time and place for its hearing, and shall cause reasonable notice to be given to the
persons mentioned in the petition, including the minor if he is fourteen years of age or over, and may
direct other general or special notice to be given.

Sec. 9. Case study report. – The court shall order a social worker to conduct a case study of the minor
and all the prospective guardians and submit his report and recommendation to the court for its
guidance before the scheduled hearing. The social worker may intervene on behalf of the minor if he
finds that the petition for guardianship should be denied.

Sec. 10. Opposition to petition. – Any interested person may contest the petition by filing a written
opposition based on such grounds as the majority of the minor or the unsuitability of the person for
whom letters are prayed, and pray that the petition be denied, or that letters of guardianship issue to
himself, or to any suitable person named in the opposition.

Sec. 11. Hearing and order for letters to issue. – At the hearing of the petition, it must be shown that the
requirement of notice has been complied with. The prospective ward shall be presented to the court.
The court shall hear the evidence of the parties in support of their respective allegations. If warranted,
the court shall appoint a suitable guardian of the person or property, or both, of the minor.

At the discretion of the court, the hearing on guardianship may be closed to the public and the records
of the case shall not be released without its approval.

Sec. 12. When and how a guardian of the property for non-resident minor is appointed; notice. – When
the minor resides outside the Philippines but has property in the Philippines, any relative or friend of
such minor, or any one interested in his property, in expectancy or otherwise, may petition the Family
Court for the appointment of a guardian over the property.

Notice of hearing of the petition shall be given to the minor by publication or any other means as the
court may deem proper. The court may dispense with the presence of the non-resident minor.

If after hearing the court is satisfied that such non-resident is a minor and a guardian is necessary or
convenient, it may appoint a guardian over his property.

Sec. 13. Service of final and executory judgment or order. – The final and executory judgment or order
shall be served upon the Local Civil Registrar of the municipality or city where the minor resides and the
Register of Deeds of the place where his property or part thereof is situated shall annotate the same in
the corresponding title, and report to the court his compliance within fifteen days from receipt of the
order.

Sec. 14. Bond of guardian; amount; conditions.-Before he enters upon the execution of his trust, or
letters of guardianship issue, an appointed guardian may be required to post a bond in such sum as the
court shall determine and conditioned as follows:

(a) To make and return to the court, within three months after the issuance of his letters of
guardianship, a true and complete Inventory of all the property, real and personal, of his ward which
shall come to his possession or knowledge or to the possession or knowledge of any other person in his
behalf;

(b) To faithfully execute the duties of his trust, to manage and dispose of the property according to this
rule for the best interests of the ward, and to provide for his proper care, custody and education;

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rule for the best interests of the ward, and to provide for his proper care, custody and education;

(c) To render a true and Just account of all the property of the ward in his hands, and of all proceeds or
interest derived therefrom, and of the management and disposition of the same, at the time designated
by this rule and such other times as the court directs; and at the expiration of his trust, to settle his
accounts with the court and deliver and pay over all the property, effects, and monies remaining in his
hands, or due from him on such settlement, to the person lawfully entitled thereto; and

(d) To perform all orders of the court and such other duties as may be required by law.

Sec. 15. Where to file the bond; action thereon. – The bond posted by a guardian shall be filed in the
Family Court and, In case of breach of any of its conditions, the guardian may be prosecuted in the same
proceeding for the benefit of the ward or of any other person legally interested in the property.

Whenever necessary, the court may require the guardian to post a new bond and may discharge from
further liability the sureties on the old bond after due notice to interested persons, if no injury may
result therefrom to those interested in the property.

Sec. 16. Bond of parents as guardians of property of minor. – lf the market value of the property or the
annual Income of the child exceeds P50,000.00, the parent concerned shall furnish a bond In such
amount as the court may determine, but in no case less than ten per centurn of the value of such
property or annual income, to guarantee the performance of the obligations prescribed for general
guardians.

A verified petition for approval of the bond shall be flied in the Family Court of the place where the child
resides or, if the child resides in a foreign country, in the Family Court of the place where the property or
any part thereof is situated.

The petition shall be docketed as a summary special proceeding In which all incidents and issues
regarding the performance of the obligations of a general guardian shall be heard and resolved.

Sec. 17. General duties of guardian. – A guardian shall have the care and custody of the person of his
ward and the management of his property, or only the management of his property. The guardian of the
property of a nonresident minor shall have the management of all his property within the Philippines.

A guardian shall perform the following duties:

(a) To pay the just debts of the ward out of the personal property and the income of the real
property of the ward, If the same is sufficient; otherwise, out of the real property of the ward
upon obtaining an order for its sale or encumbrance;

(b) To settle all accounts of his ward, and demand, sue for, receive all debts due him, or may, with
the approval of the court, compound for the same and give discharges to the debtor on receiving
a fair and just dividend of the property and effects; and to appear for and represent the ward in all
actions and special proceedings, unless another person is appointed for that purpose;

(c) To manage the property of the ward frugally and without waste, and apply the income and
profits thereon, insofar as may be necessary, to the comfortable and suitable maintenance of the
ward; and if such income and profits be insufficient for that purpose, to sell or encumber the real
or personal property, upon being authorized by the court to do so;

(d) To consent to a partition of real or personal property owned by the ward jointly or in common
with others upon authority granted by the court after hearing, notice to relatives of the ward, and
a careful investigation as to the necessity and propriety of the proposed action;

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(e) To submit to the court a verified inventory of the property of his ward within three months
after his appointment, and annually thereafter, the rendition of which may be required upon the
application of an interested person;

(f) To report to the court any property of the ward not included in the inventory which is
discovered, or succeeded to, or acquired by the ward within three months after such discovery,
succession, or acquisition; and

(g) To render to the court for its approval an accounting of the property one year from his
appointment, and every year thereafter or as often as may be required.

Sec. 18. Power and duty of the court – The court may:

(a) Request the assistance of one or more commissioners in the appraisal of the property of the
ward reported in the initial and subsequent inventories;

(b) Authorize reimbursement to the guardian, other than a parent, of reasonable expenses
incurred in the execution of his trust, and allow payment of compensation for his services as the
court may deem just, not exceeding ten per centum of the net income of the ward, if any;
otherwise, in such amount the court determines to be a reasonable compensation for his services;
and

(c) Upon complaint of the guardian or ward, or of any person having actual or prospective interest
in the property at the ward, require any person suspected of having embezzled, concealed, or
disposed of any money, goods or interest, or a written instrument belonging to the ward or his
property to appear for examination concerning any thereof and issue such orders as would secure
the property against such embezzlement, concealment or conveyance.

Sec. 19. Petition to sell or encumber property.-When the income of a property under guardianship is
insufficient to maintain and educate the ward, or when it is for his benefit that his personal or real
property or any part thereof be sold, mortgaged or otherwise encumbered, and the proceeds invested
in safe and productive security, or in the improvement or security of other real property, the guardian
may file a verified petition setting forth such facts, and praying that an order issue authorizing the sale
or encumbrance of the property.

Sec. 20. Order to show cause. – If the sale or encumbrance is necessary or would be beneficial to the
ward, the court shall order his next of kin and all person/s interested in the property to appear at a
reasonable time and place therein specified and show cause why the petition should not be granted.

Sec. 21. Hearing on return of order; costs. – At the time and place designated in the order to show cause,
the court shall hear the allegations and evidence of the petitioner and next of kin, and other persons
interested, together with their witnesses, and grant or deny the petition as the best interests of the
ward may require.

Sec. 22. Contents of order for sale or encumbrance and its duration; bond. – If, after full examination, it is
necessary, or would be beneficial to the ward, to sell or encumber the property, or some portion of it,
the court shall order such sale or encumbrance the proceeds of which shall be expended for the
maintenance or the education of the ward, or invested as the circumstances may require. The order
shall specify the grounds for the sale or encumbrance and may direct that the property ordered sold be
disposed of at public sale, subject to such conditions as to the time and manner of payment, and
security where a part of the payment is deferred. The original bond of the guardian shall stand as
security for the proper appropriation of the proceeds of the sale or encumbrance, but the court may, if
deemed expedient, require an additional bond as a condition for the sale or encumbrance. The authority
to sell or encumber shall not extend beyond one year, unless renewed by the court.

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to sell or encumber shall not extend beyond one year, unless renewed by the court.

Sec. 23. Court may order investment of proceeds and direct management of property. – The court may
authorize and require the guardian to invest the proceeds of sales or encumbrances, and any other
money of his ward in his hands, in real or personal property, for the best interests of the ward, and may
make such other orders for the management, investment, and disposition of the property and effects, as
circumstances may warrant.

Sec. 24. Grounds for removal or resignation of guardian. – When a guardian becomes insane or
otherwise incapable of discharging his trust or is found thereafter to be unsuitable, or has wasted or
mismanaged the property of the ward, or has failed to render an account or make a return for thirty
days after it is due, the court may, upon reasonable notice to the guardian, remove him as such and
require him to surrender the property of the ward to the person found to be lawfully entitled thereto.

The court may allow the guardian to resign for justifiable causes.

Upon the removal or resignation of the guardian, the court shall appoint a new one.

No motion for removal or resignation shall be granted unless the guardian has submitted the proper
accounting of the property of the ward and the court has approved the same.

Sec. 25. Ground for termination of guardianship. – The court motu proprio or upon verified motion of
any person allowed to file a petition for guardianship may terminate the guardianship on the ground
that the ward has come of age or has died. The guardian shall notify the court of such fact within ten
days of its occurrence.

Sec. 26. Service of final and executory judgment or order. – The final and executory judgment or order
shall be served upon the Local Civil Registrar of the municipality or city where the minor resides and the
Register of Deeds of the province or city where his property or any part thereof is situated. Both the
Local Civil Registrar and’ the Register of Deeds shall enter the final and executory judgment or order in
the appropriate books in their offices.

Sec. 27. Effect of the rule. – This Rule amends Rules 92 to 97 inclusive of the Rules of Court on
guardianship of minors. Guardianship of incompetents who are not minors shall continue to be under
the jurisdiction of the regular courts and governed by the Rules of Court.

Sec. 28. Effectivity. - This Rule shall take effect on May 1, 2003 following its publication in a newspaper
of general circulation not later than April 15, 2003.

Pasted from <http://elibrary.judiciary.gov.ph/index6.php?doctype=Amendments%20to%20the%20Rules%20of%


20Court&docid=a45475a11ec72b843d74959b60fd7bd6456477e8a4088>

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A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC Rule on Adoption
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:29 PM

[A.m. No. 02-6-02-SC 2002-08-02]

RULE ON ADOPTION
A. DOMESTIC ADOPTION

Section 1. Applicability of the Rule. – This Rule covers the domestic adoption of Filipino children.

Sec. 2. Objectives. – (a) The best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration in all
matters relating to his care, custody and adoption, in accordance with Philippine laws, the United
Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN Declaration on Social and Legal Principles
Relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children with Special Reference to Foster Placement and
Adoption, Nationally and Internationally, and the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and
Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption.

(b) The State shall provide alternative protection and assistance through foster care or adoption for
every child who is a foundling, neglected, orphaned, or abandoned. To this end, the State shall:

(i) (i) ensure that every child remains under the care and custody of his parents and is provided
with love, care, understanding and security for the full and harmonious development of his
personality. Only when such efforts prove insufficient and no appropriate placement or adoption
within the child’s extended family is available shall adoption by an unrelated person be
considered.

(ii) safeguard the biological parents from making hasty decisions in relinquishing their parental
authority over their child;

(iii) (iii) prevent the child from unnecessary separation from his biological parents;

(iv) conduct public information and educational campaigns to promote a positive environment for
adoption;

(v) ensure that government and private sector agencies have the capacity to handle adoption
inquiries, process domestic adoption applications and offer adoption-related services including,
but not limited to, parent preparation and post-adoption education and counseling;

(vi) encourage domestic adoption so as to preserve the child’s identity and culture in his native
land, and only when this is not available shall inter-country adoption be considered as a last
resort; and

(vii) protect adoptive parents from attempts to disturb their parental authority and custody over
their adopted child.

Any voluntary or involuntary termination of parental authority shall be administratively or judicially


declared so as to establish the status of the child as “legally available for adoption” and his custody
transferred to the Department of Social Welfare and Development or to any duly licensed and
accredited child-placing or child-caring agency, which entity shall be authorized to take steps for the
permanent placement of the child.

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Sec. 3. Definition of Terms. – For purposes of this Rule:

(a) (a) “Child” is a person below eighteen (18) years of age at the time of the filing of the petition
for adoption.

(b) (b) “A child legally available for adoption” refers to a child who has been voluntarily or
involuntarily committed to the Department or to a duly licensed and accredited child-placing or
child-caring agency, freed of the parental authority of his biological parents, or in case of
rescission of adoption, his guardian or adopter(s).

(c) (c) “Voluntarily committed child” is one whose parents knowingly and willingly relinquish
parental authority over him in favor of the Department.

(d) (d) “Involuntarily committed child” is one whose parents, known or unknown, have been
permanently and judicially deprived of parental authority over him due to abandonment;
substantial, continuous or repeated neglect and abuse; or incompetence to discharge parental
responsibilities.

(e) (e) “Foundling” refers to a deserted or abandoned infant or child whose parents, guardian or
relatives are unknown; or a child committed to an orphanage or charitable or similar institution
with unknown facts of birth and parentage and registered in the Civil Register as a “foundling.”

(f) (f) “Abandoned child” refers to one who has no proper parental care or guardianship or whose
parents have deserted him for a period of at least six (6) continuous months and has been
judicially declared as such.

(g) (g) “Dependent child” refers to one who is without a parent, guardian or custodian or one
whose parents, guardian or other custodian for good cause desires to be relieved of his care and
custody and is dependent upon the public for support.

(h) (h) “Neglected child” is one whose basic needs have been deliberately not attended to or
inadequately attended to, physically or emotionally, by his parents or guardian.

(i) (i) “Physical neglect” occurs when the child is malnourished, ill-clad and without proper shelter.

(j) (j) “Emotional neglect” exists when a child is raped, seduced, maltreated, exploited,
overworked or made to work under conditions not conducive to good health or made to beg in
the streets or public places, or placed in moral danger, or exposed to drugs, alcohol, gambling,
prostitution and other vices.

(k) (k) “Child-placement agency” refers to an agency duly licensed and accredited by the
Department to provide comprehensive child welfare services including, but not limited to,
receiving applications for adoption, evaluating the prospective adoptive parents and preparing the
adoption home study report.

(l) (l) “Child-caring agency” refers to an agency duly licensed and accredited by the Department
that provides 24-hour residential care services for abandoned, orphaned, neglected or voluntarily
committed children.

(m) (m) “Department” refers to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

(n) (n) “Deed of Voluntary Commitment” refers to the written and notarized instrument
relinquishing parental authority and committing the child to the care and custody of the

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relinquishing parental authority and committing the child to the care and custody of the
Department executed by the child’s biological parents or in their absence, mental incapacity or
death, by the child’s legal guardian, to be witnessed by an authorized representative of the
Department after counseling and other services have been made available to encourage the
biological parents to keep the child.

(o) (o) “Child Study Report” refers to a study made by the court social worker of the child’s legal
status, placement history, psychological, social, spiritual, medical, ethno-cultural background and
that of his biological family needed in determining the most appropriate placement for him.

(p) (p) “Home Study Report” refers to a study made by the court social worker of the motivation
and capacity of the prospective adoptive parents to provide a home that meets the needs of a
child.

(q) (q) “Supervised trial custody” refers to the period of time during which a social worker
oversees the adjustment and emotional readiness of both adopters and adoptee in stabilizing
their filial relationship.

(r) (r) “Licensed Social Worker” refers to one who possesses a degree in bachelor of science in
social work as a minimum educational requirement and who has passed the government licensure
examination for social workers as required by Republic Act No. 4373.

(s) (s) “Simulation of birth” is the tampering of the civil registry to make it appear in the birth
records that a certain child was born to a person who is not his biological mother, thus causing
such child to lose his true identity and status.

(t) (t) “Biological Parents” refer to the child’s mother and father by nature.

(u) (u) “Pre-Adoption Services” refer to psycho-social services provided by professionally-trained


social workers of the Department, the social services units of local governments, private and
government health facilities, Family Courts, licensed and accredited child-caring and child-
placement agencies and other individuals or entities involved in adoption as authorized by the
Department.

(v) (v) “Residence” means a person’s actual stay in the Philippines for three (3) continuous years
immediately prior to the filing of a petition for adoption and which is maintained until the
adoption decree is entered. Temporary absences for professional, business, health, or emergency
reasons not exceeding sixty (60) days in one (1) year does not break the continuity requirement.

(w) (w) “Alien” refers to any person, not a Filipino citizen, who enters and remains in the
Philippines and is in possession of a valid passport or travel documents and visa.

SEC. 4. Who may adopt. – The following may adopt:

(1) Any Filipino citizen of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and legal rights, of good
moral character, has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude; who is
emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children, at least sixteen (16) years older
than the adoptee, and who is in a position to support and care for his children in keeping with the
means of the family. The requirement of a 16-year difference between the age of the adopter and
adoptee may be waived when the adopter is the biological parent of the adoptee or is the spouse
of the adoptee’s parent;

(2) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above-stated for Filipino nationals: Provided,
That his country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines, that he has been
living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to the filing of the petition for

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living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to the filing of the petition for
adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered, that he has been
certified by his diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency to have the
legal capacity to adopt in his country, and that his government allows the adoptee to enter his
country as his adopted child. Provided, further, That the requirements on residency and
certification of the alien’s qualification to adopt in his country may be waived for the following:

(i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of
consanguinity or affinity; or

(ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his Filipino spouse; or

(iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his spouse a
relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse.

(3) The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and clearance
of his financial accountabilities.

Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following cases:

(i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of one spouse by the other spouse; or

(ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child: Provided, however, That the
other spouse has signified his consent thereto; or

(iii) if the spouses are legally separated from each other.

In case husband and wife jointly adopt or one spouse adopts the illegitimate child of the other, joint
parental authority shall be exercised by the spouses.

SEC. 5. Who may be adopted. – The following may be adopted:

(1) (1) Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been voluntarily committed to the
Department under Articles 154, 155 and 156 of P.D. No. 603 or judicially declared available for
adoption;

(2) (2) The legitimate child of one spouse, by the other spouse;

(3) (3) An illegitimate child, by a qualified adopter to raise the status of the former to that of
legitimacy;

(4) (4) A person of legal age regardless of civil status, if, prior to the adoption, said person has
been consistently considered and treated by the adopters as their own child since minority;

(5) (5) A child whose adoption has been previously rescinded; or

(6) (6) A child whose biological or adoptive parents have died: Provided, That no proceedings shall
be initiated within six (6) months from the time of death of said parents.

(7) (7) A child not otherwise disqualified by law or these rules.

Sec. 6. Venue. – The petition for adoption shall be filed with the Family Court of the province or city

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Sec. 6. Venue. – The petition for adoption shall be filed with the Family Court of the province or city
where the prospective adoptive parents reside.

Sec. 7. Contents of the Petition. – The petition shall be verified and specifically state at the heading of
the initiatory pleading whether the petition contains an application for change of name, rectification of
simulated birth, voluntary or involuntary commitment of children, or declaration of child as abandoned,
dependent or neglected.

1) 1) If the adopter is a Filipino citizen, the petition shall allege the following:

(a) (a) The jurisdictional facts;

(b) (b) That the petitioner is of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and legal rights; is
of good moral character; has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude; is
emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children; is at least sixteen (16) years
older than the adoptee, unless the adopter is the biological parent of the adoptee or is the
spouse of the adoptee’s parent; and is in a position to support and care for his children in
keeping with the means of the family and has undergone pre-adoption services as required
by Section 4 of Republic Act No. 8552.

2) 2) If the adopter is an alien, the petition shall allege the following:

(a) (a) The jurisdictional facts;

(b) (b) Sub-paragraph 1(b) above;

(c) (c) That his country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines;

(d) (d) That he has been certified by his diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate
government agency to have the legal capacity to adopt in his country and his government
allows the adoptee to enter his country as his adopted child and reside there permanently
as an adopted child; and

(e) (e) That he has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior
to the filing of the petition and he maintains such residence until the adoption decree is
entered.

The requirements of certification of the alien’s qualification to adopt in his country and of residency may
be waived if the alien:

(i) is a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth degree of
consanguinity or affinity; or

(ii) seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his Filipino spouse; or

(iii) is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his spouse a relative
within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse.

3) 3) If the adopter is the legal guardian of the adoptee, the petition shall allege that guardianship
had been terminated and the guardian had cleared his financial accountabilities.

4) 4) If the adopter is married, the spouse shall be a co-petitioner for joint adoption except if:

(a) one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other, or

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(a) one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other, or

(b) if one spouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child and the other spouse signified
written consent thereto, or

(c) if the spouses are legally separated from each other.

5) 5) If the adoptee is a foundling, the petition shall allege the entries which should appear in his
birth certificate, such as name of child, date of birth, place of birth, if known; sex, name and
citizenship of adoptive mother and father, and the date and place of their marriage.

6) 6) If the petition prays for a change of name, it shall also state the cause or reason for the
change of name.

In all petitions, it shall be alleged:

(a) The first name, surname or names, age and residence of the adoptee as shown by his record of
birth, baptismal or foundling certificate and school records.

(b) That the adoptee is not disqualified by law to be adopted.

(c) The probable value and character of the estate of the adoptee.

(d) The first name, surname or names by which the adoptee is to be known and registered in the
Civil Registry.

A certification of non-forum shopping shall be included pursuant to Section 5, Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure.

Sec. 8. Rectification of Simulated Birth. – In case the petition also seeks rectification of a simulated of
birth, it shall allege that:

(a) (a) Petitioner is applying for rectification of a simulated birth;

(b) (b) The simulation of birth was made prior to the date of effectivity of Republic Act No. 8552
and the application for rectification of the birth registration and the petition for adoption were
filed within five years from said date;

(c) (c) The petitioner made the simulation of birth for the best interests of the adoptee; and

(d) (d) The adoptee has been consistently considered and treated by petitioner as his own child.

Sec. 9. Adoption of a foundling, an abandoned, dependent or neglected child. – In case the adoptee is a
foundling, an abandoned, dependent or neglected child, the petition shall allege:

(a) (a) The facts showing that the child is a foundling, abandoned, dependent or neglected;

(b) (b) The names of the parents, if known, and their residence. If the child has no known or living
parents, then the name and residence of the guardian, if any;

(c) (c) The name of the duly licensed child-placement agency or individual under whose care the
child is in custody; and

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child is in custody; and

(d) (d) That the Department, child-placement or child-caring agency is authorized to give its
consent.

Sec. 10. Change of name. – In case the petition also prays for change of name, the title or caption must
contain:

(a) (a) The registered name of the child;

(b) (b) Aliases or other names by which the child has been known; and

(c) (c) The full name by which the child is to be known.

Sec. 11. Annexes to the Petition. – The following documents shall be attached to the petition:

A. Birth, baptismal or foundling certificate, as the case may be, and school records showing the
name, age and residence of the adoptee;

B. Affidavit of consent of the following:

1. The adoptee, if ten (10) years of age or over;

2. The biological parents of the child, if known, or the legal guardian, or the child-placement
agency, child-caring agency, or the proper government instrumentality which has legal
custody of the child;

3. The legitimate and adopted children of the adopter and of the adoptee, if any, who are
ten (10) years of age or over;

4. The illegitimate children of the adopter living with him who are ten (10) years of age or
over; and

5. The spouse, if any, of the adopter or adoptee.

C. Child study report on the adoptee and his biological parents;

D. If the petitioner is an alien, certification by his diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate
government agency that he has the legal capacity to adopt in his country and that his government
allows the adoptee to enter his country as his own adopted child unless exempted under Section
4(2);

E. Home study report on the adopters. If the adopter is an alien or residing abroad but qualified to
adopt, the home study report by a foreign adoption agency duly accredited by the Inter-Country
Adoption Board; and

F. Decree of annulment, nullity or legal separation of the adopter as well as that of the biological
parents of the adoptee, if any.

Sec. 12. Order of Hearing. – If the petition and attachments are sufficient in form and substance, the
court shall issue an order which shall contain the following:

(1) the registered name of the adoptee in the birth certificate and the names by which the

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(1) the registered name of the adoptee in the birth certificate and the names by which the
adoptee has been known which shall be stated in the caption;

(2) the purpose of the petition;

(3) the complete name which the adoptee will use if the petition is granted;

(4) the date and place of hearing which shall be set within six (6) months from the date of the
issuance of the order and shall direct that a copy thereof be published before the date of hearing
at least once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the
province or city where the court is situated; Provided, that in case of application for change of
name, the date set for hearing shall not be within four (4) months after the last publication of the
notice nor within thirty (30) days prior to an election.

The newspaper shall be selected by raffle under the supervision of the Executive Judge.

(5) a directive to the social worker of the court, the social service office of the local government
unit or any child-placing or child-caring agency, or the Department to prepare and submit child
and home study reports before the hearing if such reports had not been attached to the petition
due to unavailability at the time of the filing of the latter; and

(6) a directive to the social worker of the court to conduct counseling sessions with the biological
parents on the matter of adoption of the adoptee and submit her report before the date of
hearing.

At the discretion of the court, copies of the order of hearing shall also be furnished the Office of the
Solicitor General through the provincial or city prosecutor, the Department and the biological parents of
the adoptee, if known.

If a change in the name of the adoptee is prayed for in the petition, notice to the Solicitor General shall
be mandatory.

Sec. 13. Child and Home Study Reports. – In preparing the child study report on the adoptee, the
concerned social worker shall verify with the Civil Registry the real identity and registered name of the
adoptee. If the birth of the adoptee was not registered with the Civil Registry, it shall be the
responsibility of the social worker to register the adoptee and secure a certificate of foundling or late
registration, as the case may be.

The social worker shall establish that the child is legally available for adoption and the documents in
support thereof are valid and authentic, that the adopter has sincere intentions and that the adoption
shall inure to the best interests of the child.

In case the adopter is an alien, the home study report must show the legal capacity to adopt and that his
government allows the adoptee to enter his country as his adopted child in the absence of the
certification required under Section 7(b) of Republic Act No. 8552.

If after the conduct of the case studies, the social worker finds that there are grounds to deny the
petition, he shall make the proper recommendation to the court, furnishing a copy thereof to the
petitioner.

Sec. 14. Hearing. – Upon satisfactory proof that the order of hearing has been published and
jurisdictional requirements have been complied with, the court shall proceed to hear the petition. The
petitioner and the adoptee must personally appear and the former must testify before the presiding

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petitioner and the adoptee must personally appear and the former must testify before the presiding
judge of the court on the date set for hearing.

The court shall verify from the social worker and determine whether the biological parent has been
properly counseled against making hasty decisions caused by strain or anxiety to give up the child;
ensure that all measures to strengthen the family have been exhausted; and ascertain if any prolonged
stay of the child in his own home will be inimical to his welfare and interest.

Sec. 15. Supervised Trial Custody. – Before issuance of the decree of adoption, the court shall give the
adopter trial custody of the adoptee for a period of at least six (6) months within which the parties are
expected to adjust psychologically and emotionally to each other and establish a bonding relationship.
The trial custody shall be monitored by the social worker of the court, the Department, or the social
service of the local government unit, or the child-placement or child-caring agency which submitted and
prepared the case studies. During said period, temporary parental authority shall be vested in the
adopter.

The court may, motu proprio or upon motion of any party, reduce the period or exempt the parties if it
finds that the same shall be for the best interests of the adoptee, stating the reasons therefor.

An alien adopter however must complete the 6-month trial custody except the following:

a) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of
consanguinity or affinity; or

b) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his Filipino spouse; or

c) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his or her spouse the
latter’s relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity.

If the child is below seven (7) years of age and is placed with the prospective adopter through a pre-
adoption placement authority issued by the Department, the court shall order that the prospective
adopter shall enjoy all the benefits to which the biological parent is entitled from the date the adoptee
is placed with him.

The social worker shall submit to the court a report on the result of the trial custody within two weeks
after its termination.

Sec. 16. Decree of Adoption. – If the supervised trial custody is satisfactory to the parties and the court is
convinced from the trial custody report and the evidence adduced that the adoption shall redound to
the best interests of the adoptee, a decree of adoption shall be issued which shall take effect as of the
date the original petition was filed even if the petitioners die before its issuance.

The decree shall:

A. State the name by which the child is to be known and registered;

B. Order:

1) the Clerk of Court to issue to the adopter a certificate of finality upon expiration of the 15-day
reglementary period within which to appeal;

2) the adopter to submit a certified true copy of the decree of adoption and the certificate of
finality to the Civil Registrar where the child was originally registered within thirty (30) days from

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finality to the Civil Registrar where the child was originally registered within thirty (30) days from
receipt of the certificate of finality. In case of change of name, the decree shall be submitted to
the Civil Registrar where the court issuing the same is situated.

3) 3) the Civil Registrar of the place where the adoptee was registered:

a. to annotate on the adoptee’s original certificate of birth the decree of adoption within
thirty (30) days from receipt of the certificate of finality;

b. to issue a certificate of birth which shall not bear any notation that it is a new or amended
certificate and which shall show, among others, the following: registry number, date of
registration, name of child, sex, date of birth, place of birth, name and citizenship of
adoptive mother and father, and the date and place of their marriage, when applicable;

c. to seal the original certificate of birth in the civil registry records which can be opened
only upon order of the court which issued the decree of adoption; and

d. to submit to the court issuing the decree of adoption proof of compliance with all the
foregoing within thirty days from receipt of the decree.

If the adoptee is a foundling, the court shall order the Civil Registrar where the foundling was registered,
to annotate the decree of adoption on the foundling certificate and a new birth certificate shall be
ordered prepared by the Civil Registrar in accordance with the decree.

Sec. 17. Book of Adoptions. – The Clerk of Court shall keep a book of adoptions showing the date of
issuance of the decree in each case, compliance by the Civil Registrar with Section 16(B)(3) and all
incidents arising after the issuance of the decree.

Sec. 18. Confidential Nature of Proceedings and Records. –All hearings in adoption cases, after
compliance with the jurisdictional requirements shall be confidential and shall not be open to the public.
All records, books and papers relating to the adoption cases in the files of the court, the Department, or
any other agency or institution participating in the adoption proceedings shall be kept strictly
confidential.

If the court finds that the disclosure of the information to a third person is necessary for security
reasons or for purposes connected with or arising out of the adoption and will be for the best interests
of the adoptee, the court may, upon proper motion, order the necessary information to be released,
restricting the purposes for which it may be used.

Sec. 19. Rescission of Adoption of the Adoptee. – The petition shall be verified and filed by the adoptee
who is over eighteen (18) years of age, or with the assistance of the Department, if he is a minor, or if he
is over eighteen (18) years of age but is incapacitated, by his guardian or counsel.

The adoption may be rescinded based on any of the following grounds committed by the adopter:

1) repeated physical and verbal maltreatment by the adopter despite having undergone
counseling;

2) attempt on the life of the adoptee;

3) sexual assault or violence; or

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3) sexual assault or violence; or

4) abandonment or failure to comply with parental obligations.

Adoption, being in the best interests of the child, shall not be subject to rescission by the adopter.
However, the adopter may disinherit the adoptee for causes provided in Article 919 of the Civil Code.

Sec. 20. Venue. – The petition shall be filed with the Family Court of the city or province where the
adoptee resides.

Sec. 21. Time within which to file petition. – The adoptee, if incapacitated, must file the petition for
rescission or revocation of adoption within five (5) years after he reaches the age of majority, or if he
was incompetent at the time of the adoption, within five (5) years after recovery from such
incompetency.

Sec. 22. Order to Answer. – The court shall issue an order requiring the adverse party to answer the
petition within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof. The order and copy of the petition shall
be served on the adverse party in such manner as the court may direct.

Sec. 23. Judgment. – If the court finds that the allegations of the petition are true, it shall render
judgment ordering the rescission of adoption, with or without costs, as justice requires.

The court shall order that the parental authority of the biological parent of the adoptee, if known, or the
legal custody of the Department shall be restored if the adoptee is still a minor or incapacitated and
declare that the reciprocal rights and obligations of the adopter and the adoptee to each other shall be
extinguished.

The court shall further declare that successional rights shall revert to its status prior to adoption, as of
the date of judgment of judicial rescission. Vested rights acquired prior to judicial rescission shall be
respected.

It shall also order the adoptee to use the name stated in his original birth or foundling certificate.

The court shall further order the Civil Registrar where the adoption decree was registered to cancel the
new birth certificate of the adoptee and reinstate his original birth or foundling certificate.

Sec. 24. Service of Judgment. – A certified true copy of the judgment together with a certificate of
finality issued by the Branch Clerk of the Court which rendered the decision in accordance with the
preceding Section shall be served by the petitioner upon the Civil Registrar concerned within thirty (30)
days from receipt of the certificate of finality. The Civil Registrar shall forthwith enter the rescission
decree in the register and submit proof of compliance to the court issuing the decree and the Clerk of
Court within thirty (30) days from receipt of the decree.

The Clerk of Court shall enter the compliance in accordance with Section 17 hereof.

SEC. 25. Repeal. - This supersedes Rule 99 on Adoption and Rule 100 of the Rules of Court.

B. Inter-Country Adoption

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B. Inter-Country Adoption

Sec. 26. Applicability. – The following sections apply to inter-country adoption of Filipino children by
foreign nationals and Filipino citizens permanently residing abroad.

SEC. 27. Objectives. – The State shall:

a) a) consider inter-country adoption as an alternative means of child care, if the child cannot be
placed in a foster or an adoptive family or cannot, in any suitable manner, be cared for in the
Philippines;

b) ensure that the child subject of inter-country adoption enjoys the same protection accorded to
children in domestic adoption; and

c) take all measures to ensure that the placement arising therefrom does not result in improper
financial gain for those involved.

Sec. 28. Where to File Petition. – A verified petition to adopt a Filipino child may be filed by a foreign
national or Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad with the Family Court having jurisdiction over
the place where the child resides or may be found.

It may be filed directly with the Inter-Country Adoption Board.

Sec. 29. Who may be adopted. – Only a child legally available for domestic adoption may be the subject
of inter-country adoption.

Sec. 30. Contents of Petition. – The petitioner must allege:

a) a) his age and the age of the child to be adopted, showing that he is at least twenty-seven (27)
years of age and at least sixteen (16) years older than the child to be adopted at the time of
application, unless the petitioner is the parent by nature of the child to be adopted or the spouse
of such parent, in which case the age difference does not apply;

b) b) if married, the name of the spouse who must be joined as co-petitioner except when the
adoptee is a legitimate child of his spouse;

c) c) that he has the capacity to act and assume all rights and responsibilities of parental authority
under his national laws, and has undergone the appropriate counseling from an accredited
counselor in his country;

d) d) that he has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;

e) e) that he is eligible to adopt under his national law;

f) f) that he can provide the proper care and support and instill the necessary moral values and
example to all his children, including the child to be adopted;

g) g) that he agrees to uphold the basic rights of the child, as embodied under Philippine laws and
the U. N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to abide by the rules and regulations issued to
implement the provisions of Republic Act No. 8043;

h) h) that he comes from a country with which the Philippines has diplomatic relations and whose

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h) h) that he comes from a country with which the Philippines has diplomatic relations and whose
government maintains a similarly authorized and accredited agency and that adoption of a Filipino
child is allowed under his national laws; and

i) i) that he possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided in this Rule,
in Republic Act No. 8043 and in all other applicable Philippine laws.

Sec. 31. Annexes. - The petition for adoption shall contain the following annexes written and officially
translated in English:

a) a) Birth certificate of petitioner;

b) b) Marriage contract, if married, and, if applicable, the divorce decree, or judgment dissolving
the marriage;

c) c) Sworn statement of consent of petitioner’s biological or adopted children above ten (10)
years of age;

d) d) Physical, medical and psychological evaluation of the petitioner certified by a duly licensed
physician and psychologist;

e) e) Income tax returns or any authentic document showing the current financial capability of the
petitioner;

f) f) Police clearance of petitioner issued within six (6) months before the filing of the petitioner;

g) g) Character reference from the local church/minister, the petitioner’s employer and a member
of the immediate community who have known the petitioner for at least five (5) years;

h) h) Full body postcard-size pictures of the petitioner and his immediate family taken at least six
(6) months before the filing of the petition.

Sec. 32. Duty of Court. – The court, after finding that the petition is sufficient in form and substance and
a proper case for inter-country adoption, shall immediately transmit the petition to the Inter-Country
Adoption Board for appropriate action.

SEC. 33. Effectivity. - This Rule shall take effect on August 22, 2002 following its publication in a
newspaper of general circulation.

Pasted from <http://elibrary.judiciary.gov.ph/index6.php?doctype=Amendments%20to%20the%20Rules%20of%


20Court&docid=a45475a11ec72b843d74959b60fd7bd64564763672711>

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Summary Proceedings under the Family Code, Title XI, Chapters 1
to 3
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:30 PM

TITLE XI
SUMMARY JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS IN THE FAMILY LAW

Chapter 1. Prefatory Provisions


Art. 238. Until modified by the Supreme Court, the procedural rules provided for in this Title shall apply
as regards separation in fact between husband and wife, abandonment by one of the other, and
incidents involving parental authority. (n)
Chapter 2. Separation in Fact
Art. 239. When a husband and wife are separated in fact, or one has abandoned the other and one of
them seeks judicial authorization for a transaction where the consent of the other spouse is required by
law but such consent is withheld or cannot be obtained, a verified petition may be filed in court alleging
the foregoing facts.
The petition shall attach the proposed deed, if any, embodying the transaction, and, if none, shall
describe in detail the said transaction and state the reason why the required consent thereto cannot be
secured. In any case, the final deed duly executed by the parties shall be submitted to and approved by
the court. (n)
Art. 240. Claims for damages by either spouse, except costs of the proceedings, may be litigated only in
a separate action. (n)
Art. 241. Jurisdiction over the petition shall, upon proof of notice to the other spouse, be exercised by
the proper court authorized to hear family cases, if one exists, or in the regional trial court or its
equivalent sitting in the place where either of the spouses resides. (n)
Art. 242. Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall notify the other spouse, whose consent to the
transaction is required, of said petition, ordering said spouse to show cause why the petition should not
be granted, on or before the date set in said notice for the initial conference. The notice shall be
accompanied by a copy of the petition and shall be served at the last known address of the spouse
concerned. (n)
Art. 243. A preliminary conference shall be conducted by the judge personally without the parties being
assisted by counsel. After the initial conference, if the court deems it useful, the parties may be assisted
by counsel at the succeeding conferences and hearings. (n)
Art. 244. In case of non-appearance of the spouse whose consent is sought, the court shall inquire into
the reasons for his failure to appear, and shall require such appearance, if possible. (n)
Art. 245. If, despite all efforts, the attendance of the non-consenting spouse is not secured, the court
may proceed ex parte and render judgment as the facts and circumstances may warrant. In any case,
the judge shall endeavor to protect the interests of the non-appearing spouse. (n)
Art. 246. If the petition is not resolved at the initial conference, said petition shall be decided in a
summary hearing on the basis of affidavits, documentary evidence or oral testimonies at the sound
discretion of the court. If testimony is needed, the court shall specify the witnesses to be heard and the
subject-matter of their testimonies, directing the parties to present said witnesses. (n)
Art. 247. The judgment of the court shall be immediately final and executory. (n)
Art. 248. The petition for judicial authority to administer or encumber specific separate property of the
abandoning spouse and to use the fruits or proceeds thereof for the support of the family shall also be
governed by these rules. (n)
Chapter 3. Incidents Involving Parental Authority
Art. 249. Petitions filed under Articles 223, 225 and 235 of this Code involving parental authority shall be
verified.. (n)
Art. 250. Such petitions shall be verified and filed in the proper court of the place where the child
resides. (n)
Art. 251. Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall notify the parents or, in their absence or

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Art. 251. Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall notify the parents or, in their absence or
incapacity, the individuals, entities or institutions exercising parental authority over the child. (n)
Art. 252. The rules in Chapter 2 hereof shall also govern summary proceedings under this Chapter
insofar as they are applicable. (n)

Pasted from <http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/u/lawphil?


q=cache:NHZcT8v7bzkJ:www.lawphil.net/executive/execord/eo1987/eo_209_1987.html+summary+procedure+family+code&cd=
10&hl=en&ct=clnk&ie=UTF-8>

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Art. 51(action of a child for presumptive legitime),
Chapter 4 Art. 69 (judicial declaration of family domicile in case of disagreement of the spouses),
Sunday, November 14, 2010 Art. 73 (spouse’s objection to the profession of the other spouse),
11:30 PM Arts. 96 and
124 (annulment of husband’s decision in the administration and enjoyment of community or conjugal property;
appointment of spouse as sole administrator except cases of “incompetent” other spouse which shall be under Rules
93 and 95)
and Art. 217 (entrusting children to homes and orphanages).

Art. 41. A marriage contracted by any person during subsistence of a previous marriage shall be null and
void, unless before the celebration of the subsequent marriage, the prior spouse had been absent for
four consecutive years and the spouse present has a well-founded belief that the absent spouse was
already dead. In case of disappearance where there is danger of death under the circumstances set forth
in the provisions of Article 391 of the Civil Code, an absence of only two years shall be sufficient.
For the purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage under the preceding paragraph the spouse
present must institute a summary proceeding as provided in this Code for the declaration of
presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of reappearance of the absent
spouse. (83a)

Art. 51. In said partition, the value of the presumptive legitimes of all common children, computed as of
the date of the final judgment of the trial court, shall be delivered in cash, property or sound securities,
unless the parties, by mutual agreement judicially approved, had already provided for such matters.
The children or their guardian or the trustee of their property may ask for the enforcement of the
judgment.
The delivery of the presumptive legitimes herein prescribed shall in no way prejudice the ultimate
successional rights of the children accruing upon the death of either of both of the parents; but the
value of the properties already received under the decree of annulment or absolute nullity shall be
considered as advances on their legitime. (n)

Art. 69. The husband and wife shall fix the family domicile. In case of disagreement, the court shall
decide.
The court may exempt one spouse from living with the other if the latter should live abroad or there are
other valid and compelling reasons for the exemption. However, such exemption shall not apply if the
same is not compatible with the solidarity of the family. (110a)

Art. 73. Either spouse may exercise any legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity without
the consent of the other. The latter may object only on valid, serious, and moral grounds.
In case of disagreement, the court shall decide whether or not:
(1) The objection is proper, and
(2) Benefit has occurred to the family prior to the objection or thereafter. If the benefit accrued prior to
the objection, the resulting obligation shall be enforced against the separate property of the spouse who
has not obtained consent.
The foregoing provisions shall not prejudice the rights of creditors who acted in good faith. (117a)

Section 4. Ownership, Administrative, Enjoyment and Disposition of the Community Property


Art. 96. The administration and enjoyment of the community property shall belong to both spouses
jointly. In case of disagreement, the husband's decision shall prevail, subject to recourse to the court by
the wife for proper remedy, which must be availed of within five years from the date of the contract
implementing such decision.
In the event that one spouse is incapacitated or otherwise unable to participate in the administration of
the common properties, the other spouse may assume sole powers of administration. These powers do
not include disposition or encumbrance without authority of the court or the written consent of the
other spouse. In the absence of such authority or consent, the disposition or encumbrance shall be void.
However, the transaction shall be construed as a continuing offer on the part of the consenting spouse
and the third person, and may be perfected as a binding contract upon the acceptance by the other
spouse or authorization by the court before the offer is withdrawn by either or both offerors. (206a)

Section 5. Administration of the Conjugal Partnership Property


Art. 124. The administration and enjoyment of the conjugal partnership shall belong to both spouses
jointly. In case of disagreement, the husband's decision shall prevail, subject to recourse to the court by
the wife for proper remedy, which must be availed of within five years from the date of the contract
implementing such decision.
In the event that one spouse is incapacitated or otherwise unable to participate in the administration of
the conjugal properties, the other spouse may assume sole powers of administration. These powers do
not include disposition or encumbrance without authority of the court or the written consent of the
other spouse. In the absence of such authority or consent, the disposition or encumbrance shall be void.
However, the transaction shall be construed as a continuing offer on the part of the consenting spouse
and the third person, and may be perfected as a binding contract upon the acceptance by the other
spouse or authorization by the court before the offer is withdrawn by either or both offerors. (165a)

Art. 217. In case of foundlings, abandoned neglected or abused children and other children similarly
situated, parental authority shall be entrusted in summary judicial proceedings to heads of children's
homes, orphanages and similar institutions duly accredited by the proper government agency. (314a)

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Madrinan v. Madrinan GR 159374 Jul 12, 2007
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:30 PM

FELIPE N. MADRIÑAN, G.R. No. 159374


Petitioner,
Present:
PUNO, C.J., Chairperson,
SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ,*

- v e r s u s - CORONA,

AZCUNA and

GARCIA,** JJ.
FRANCISCA R. MADRIÑAN,
Respondent. Promulgated:
July 12, 2007
x-- - - - -- - - - -- - - - -- - - - -- - - - -- - - - - -- - - - -- - - - - x
DE C I S I O N
CORONA, J.:
When a family breaks up, the children are always the victims. The ensuing battle for custody of the
minor children is not only a thorny issue but also a highly sensitive and heart-rending affair. Such is the
case here. Even the usually technical subject of jurisdiction became emotionally charged.

Petitioner Felipe N. Madriñan and respondent Francisca R. Madriñan were married on July 7, 1993 in
Parañaque City. They resided in San Agustin Village, Brgy. Moonwalk, Parañaque City.

Their union was blessed with three sons and a daughter: Ronnick, born on January 30, 1994; Phillip, born
on November 19, 1996; Francis Angelo, born on May 12, 1998 and Krizia Ann, born on December 12,
2000.

After a bitter quarrel on May 18, 2002, petitioner allegedly left their conjugal abode and took their three
sons with him to Ligao City, Albay and subsequently to Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Respondent sought the help of
her parents and parents-in-law to patch things up between her and petitioner to no avail. She then
brought the matter to the Lupong Tagapamayapa in their barangay but this too proved futile.

Thus respondent filed a petition for habeas corpus of Ronnick, Phillip and Francis Angelo in the Court of
Appeals, alleging that petitioner’s act of leaving the conjugal dwelling and going to Albay and then to
Laguna disrupted the education of their children and deprived them of their mother’s care. She prayed
that petitioner be ordered to appear and produce their sons before the court and to explain why they
should not be returned to her custody.

Petitioner and respondent appeared at the hearing on September 17, 2002. They initially agreed that
petitioner would return the custody of their three sons to respondent. Petitioner, however, had a
change of heart[1] and decided to file a memorandum.

On September 3, 2002, petitioner filed his memorandum[2] alleging that respondent was unfit to take
custody of their three sons because she was habitually drunk, frequently went home late at night or in
the wee hours of the morning, spent much of her time at a beer house and neglected her duties as a
mother. He claimed that, after their squabble on May 18, 2002, it was respondent who left, taking their
daughter with her. It was only then that he went to Sta. Rosa, Laguna where he worked as a tricycle
driver. He submitted a certification from the principal of the Dila Elementary School in Sta. Rosa, Laguna
that Ronnick and Phillip were enrolled there. He also questioned the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals
claiming that under Section 5(b) of RA 8369 (otherwise known as the “Family Courts Act of 1997”) family
REMLAW Page 205
claiming that under Section 5(b) of RA 8369 (otherwise known as the “Family Courts Act of 1997”) family
courts have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide the petition for habeas corpus filed by
respondent.[3]

For her part, respondent averred that she did not leave their home on May 18, 2002 but was driven out
by petitioner. She alleged that it was petitioner who was an alcoholic, gambler and drug addict.
Petitioner’s alcoholism and drug addiction impaired his mental faculties, causing him to commit acts of
violence against her and their children. The situation was aggravated by the fact that their home was
adjacent to that of her in-laws who frequently meddled in their personal problems.[4]

On October 21, 2002, the Court of Appeals[5] rendered a decision[6] asserting its authority to take
cognizance of the petition and ruling that, under Article 213 of the Family Code, respondent was entitled
to the custody of Phillip and Francis Angelo who were at that time aged six and four, respectively,
subject to the visitation rights of petitioner. With respect to Ronnick who was then eight years old, the
court ruled that his custody should be determined by the proper family court in a special proceeding on
custody of minors under Rule 99 of the Rules of Court.

Petitioner moved for reconsideration of the Court of Appeals decision but it was denied. Hence, this
recourse.

Petitioner challenges the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals over the petition for habeas corpus and
insists that jurisdiction over the case is lodged in the family courts under RA 8369. He invokes Section
5(b) of RA 8369:

Section 5. Jurisdiction of Family Courts. – The Family Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to
hear and decide the following cases:
xxx x xx x xx
b) Petitions for guardianship, custody of children, habeas corpus in relation to the latter;
xxx x xx x xx

Petitioner is wrong.
In Thornton v. Thornton,*7+ this Court resolved the issue of the Court of Appeals’ jurisdiction to issue
writs of habeas corpus in cases involving custody of minors in the light of the provision in RA 8369 giving
family courts exclusive original jurisdiction over such petitions:

The Court of Appeals should take cognizance of the case since there is nothing in RA 8369 that revoked
its jurisdiction to issue writs of habeas corpus involving the custody of minors.
xxx x xx x xx
We rule therefore that RA 8369 did not divest the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of their
jurisdiction over habeas corpus cases involving the custody of minors.
xxx x xx x xx

The provisions of RA 8369 reveal no manifest intent to revoke the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals
and Supreme Court to issue writs of habeas corpus relating to the custody of minors. Further, it cannot
be said that the provisions of RA 8369, RA 7092 [An Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Court of
Appeals] and BP 129 [The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980] are absolutely incompatible since RA
8369 does not prohibit the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court from issuing writs of habeas corpus
in cases involving the custody of minors. Thus, the provisions of RA 8369 must be read in harmony with
RA 7029 and BP 129 – that family courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeals and the
Supreme Court in petitions for habeas corpus where the custody of minors is at issue.[8] (emphases
supplied)

The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals over petitions for habeas corpus was further affirmed by A.M.
No. 03-03-04-SC (April 22, 2004) in Re: Rule on Custody of Minors and Writ of Habeas Corpus in Relation
to Custody of Minors:

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to Custody of Minors:

In any case, whatever uncertainty there was has been settled with the adoption of A.M. No. 03-03-04-SC
Re: Rule on Custody of Minors and Writ of Habeas Corpus in Relation to Custody of Minors. Section 20 of
the rule provides that:

Section 20. Petition for writ of habeas corpus. – A verified petition for a writ of habeas corpus involving
custody of minors shall be filed with the Family Court. The writ shall be enforceable within its judicial
region to which the Family Court belongs.
xxx x xx x xx

The petition may likewise be filed with the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, or with any of its members
and, if so granted, the writ shall be enforceable anywhere in the Philippines. The writ may be made
returnable to a Family Court or to any regular court within the region where the petitioner resides or
where the minor may be found for hearing and decision on the merits.

From the foregoing, there is no doubt that the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court have concurrent
jurisdiction with family courts in habeas corpus cases where the custody of minors is involved.[9]
(emphases supplied)

We note that after petitioner moved out of their Parañaque residence on May 18, 2002, he twice
transferred his sons to provinces covered by different judicial regions. This situation is what the
Thornton interpretation of RA 8369’s provision on jurisdiction precisely addressed:

[The reasoning that by giving family courts exclusive jurisdiction over habeas corpus cases, the
lawmakers intended them to be the sole courts which can issue writs of habeas corpus] will result in an
iniquitous situation, leaving individuals like [respondent] without legal recourse in obtaining custody of
their children. Individuals who do not know the whereabouts of minors they are looking for would be
helpless since they cannot seek redress from family courts whose writs are enforceable only in their
respective territorial jurisdictions. Thus, if a minor is being transferred from one place to another, which
seems to be the case here, the petitioner in a habeas corpus case will be left without legal remedy. This
lack of recourse could not have been the intention of the lawmakers when they passed [RA 8369].[10]

Moreover, a careful reading of Section 5(b) of RA 8369 reveals that family courts are vested with original
exclusive jurisdiction in custody cases, not in habeas corpus cases. Writs of habeas corpus which may be
issued exclusively by family courts under Section 5(b) of RA 8369 pertain to the ancillary remedy that
may be availed of in conjunction with a petition for custody of minors under Rule 99 of the Rules of
Court. In other words, the issuance of the writ is merely ancillary to the custody case pending before the
family court. The writ must be issued by the same court to avoid splitting of jurisdiction, conflicting
decisions, interference by a co-equal court and judicial instability.

The rule therefore is: when by law jurisdiction is conferred on a court or judicial officer, all auxiliary
writs, processes and other means necessary to carry it into effect may be employed by such court or
officer.[11] Once a court acquires jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case, it does so to the
exclusion of all other courts, including related incidents and ancillary matters.

Accordingly, the petition is hereby DENIED.

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Yu v Yu GR 164915 Mar 10, 2006
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:30 PM

G.R. No. 164915 March 10, 2006


ERIC JONATHAN YU, Petitioner,
vs.
CAROLINE T. YU, Respondent.
DE C I S I O N
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
On January 11, 2002, Eric Jonathan Yu (petitioner) filed a petition for habeas corpus before the Court of
Appeals alleging that his estranged wife Caroline Tanchay-Yu (respondent) unlawfully withheld from him
the custody of their minor child Bianca. The petition, which included a prayer for the award to him of
the sole custody of Bianca, was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 68460.
Subsequently or on March 3, 2002, respondent filed a petition against petitioner before the Pasig
Regional Trial Court (RTC) for declaration of nullity of marriage and dissolution of the absolute
community of property. The petition included a prayer for the award to her of the sole custody of Bianca
and for the fixing of schedule of petitioner’s visiting rights "subject only to the final and executory
judgment of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 68460."
In the meantime, the appellate court, by Resolution of March 21, 2002, awarded petitioner full custody
of Bianca during the pendency of the habeas corpus case, with full visitation rights of respondent.
Petitioner and respondent later filed on April 5, 2002 before the appellate court a Joint Motion to
Approve Interim Visitation Agreement which was, by Resolution of April 24, 2002, approved.
On April 18, 2002, respondent filed before the appellate court a Motion for the Modification of her
visiting rights under the Interim Visitation Agreement. To the Motion, petitioner filed an Opposition with
Motion to Cite Respondent for Contempt of Court in light of her filing of the petition for declaration of
nullity of marriage before the Pasig RTC which, so he contended, constituted forum shopping.
By Resolution of July 5, 2002, the appellate court ordered respondent and her counsel to make the
necessary amendment in her petition for declaration of nullity of marriage before the Pasig City RTC in
so far as the custody aspect is concerned, under pain of contempt.
In compliance with the appellate court’s Resolution of July 5, 2002, respondent filed a Motion to Admit
Amended Petition before the Pasig RTC. She, however, later filed in December 2002 a Motion to Dismiss
her petition, without prejudice, on the ground that since she started residing and conducting business at
her new address at Pasay City, constraints on resources and her very busy schedule rendered her unable
to devote the necessary time and attention to the petition. The Pasig RTC granted respondent’s motion
and accordingly dismissed the petition without prejudice, by Order of March 28, 2003.
On June 12, 2003, petitioner filed his own petition for declaration of nullity of marriage and dissolution
of the absolute community of property before the Pasig RTC, docketed as JDRC Case No. 6190, with
prayer for the award to him of the sole custody of Bianca, subject to the final resolution by the appellate
court of his petition for habeas corpus.
The appellate court eventually dismissed the habeas corpus petition, by Resolution of July 3, 2003, for
having become moot and academic, "the restraint on the liberty of the person alleged to be in restraint
[having been] lifted."
In the meantime, respondent filed on July 24, 2003 before the Pasay RTC a petition for habeas corpus,
which she denominated as "Amended Petition," praying for, among other things, the award of the sole
custody to her of Bianca or, in the alternative, pending the hearing of the petition, the issuance of an
order "replicating and reiterating the enforceability of the Interim Visiting Agreement" which was
approved by the appellate court. The petition was docketed as SP Proc. No. 03-0048.
Not to be outdone, petitioner filed on July 25, 2003 before the Pasig RTC in his petition for declaration of
nullity of marriage an urgent motion praying for the custody of Bianca for the duration of the case.
Acting on respondent’s petition, Branch 113 of the Pasay RTC issued a Writ of Habeas Corpus, a Hold
Departure Order and Summons addressed to petitioner, drawing petitioner to file a motion to dismiss
the petition on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, failure to state a cause of action, forum shopping and
litis pendentia, he citing the pending petition for declaration of nullity of marriage which he filed before

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the Pasig RTC.
The Pasay RTC, in the meantime, issued an Order of August 12, 2003 declaring that pending the
disposition of respondent’s petition, Bianca should stay with petitioner from Sunday afternoon to
Saturday morning and "with the company of her mother from Saturday 1:00 in the afternoon up to
Sunday 1:00 in the afternoon." To this Order, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, arguing that
the Pasay RTC did not have jurisdiction to issue the same. He likewise filed a Manifestation of August 14,
2003 stating that he was constrained to submit to the said court’s order but with the reservation that he
was not submitting the issue of custody and himself to its jurisdiction.
Respondent soon filed her Answer with Counter-Petition on the nullity case before the Pasig RTC
wherein she also prayed for the award of the sole custody to her of Bianca, subject to the final
disposition of the habeas corpus petition which she filed before the Pasay RTC.
By Omnibus Order of October 30, 2003, the Pasig RTC asserted its jurisdiction over the custody aspect of
the petition filed by petitioner and directed the parties to comply with the provisions of the Interim
Visitation Agreement, unless they agreed to a new bilateral agreement bearing the approval of the
court; and granted custody of Bianca to petitioner for the duration of the case.
The Pasay RTC in the meantime denied, by Order of November 27, 2003, petitioner’s motion to dismiss.
The court, citing Sombong v. Court of Appeals,1 held that in custody cases involving minors, the question
of illegal and involuntary restraint of liberty is not the underlying rationale for the availability of a writ of
habeas corpus as a remedy; rather, a writ of habeas corpus is prosecuted for the purpose of determining
the right of custody over the child.2 And it further held that the filing before it of the habeas corpus case
by respondent, who is a resident of Pasay, is well within the ambit of the provisions of A.M. No.
03-04-04-SC.3
On the issue of forum shopping, the Pasay RTC held that it is petitioner, not respondent, who committed
forum shopping, he having filed (on June 12, 2003) the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage
before the Pasig RTC while his petition for habeas corpus before the Court of Appeals was still pending.4
The Pasay RTC held that assuming arguendo that petitioner’s filing before the Pasig RTC of the
declaration of nullity of marriage case did not constitute forum shopping, it (the Pasay RTC) acquired
jurisdiction over the custody issue ahead of the Pasig RTC, petitioner not having amended his petition
before the Pasig RTC as soon as the Court of Appeals dismissed his petition for habeas corpus5 (on July 3,
2003).
Finally, the Pasay RTC held that there was no litis pendentia because two elements thereof are lacking,
namely, 1) identity of the rights asserted and reliefs prayed for, the relief being founded on the same
facts, and 2) identity with respect to the two preceding particulars in the two cases such that any
judgment that may be rendered in the pending case, regardless of which party is successful, would
amount to res judicata in the other case.6
Petitioner thereupon assailed the Pasay RTC’s denial of his Motion to Dismiss via Petition for Certiorari,
Prohibition and Mandamus before the appellate court wherein he raised the following issues:
A. RESPONDENT JUDGE COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION BY DENYING PETITIONER’S
MOTION TO DISMISS DESPITE THE EVIDENT LACK OF JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER
OF CUSTODY, LITIS PENDENTIA, AND DELIBERATE AND WILLFUL FORUM-SHOPPING ON THE PART
OF RESPONDENT CAROLINE T. YU. 7
B. RESPONDENT JUDGE ACTED WHIMSICALLY, CAPRICIOUSLY AND ARBITRARILY IN ISSUING THE
AUGUST 12, 2003 ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENT CAROLINE T. YU OVERNIGHT VISITATION
RIGHTS OVER THE MINOR CHILD BIANCA AND DENYING PETITIONER’S URGENT MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION OF THE SAID ORDER. 8 (Underscoring supplied)
By Decision of August 10, 2004,9 the appellate court denied petitioner’s petition, it holding that the
assumption of jurisdiction by the Pasay RTC over the habeas corpus case does not constitute grave
abuse of discretion; the filing by respondent before the Pasay RTC of a petition for habeas corpus could
not be considered forum shopping in the strictest sense of the word as before she filed it after
petitioner’s petition for habeas corpus filed before the appellate court was dismissed; and it was
petitioner who committed forum shopping when he filed the declaration of nullity of marriage case
while his habeas corpus petition was still pending before the appellate court.
In fine, the appellate court held that since respondent filed the petition for declaration of nullity of
marriage before the Pasig RTC during the pendency of the habeas corpus case he filed before the
appellate court, whereas respondent filed the habeas corpus petition before the Pasay RTC on July 24,

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appellate court, whereas respondent filed the habeas corpus petition before the Pasay RTC on July 24,
2003 after the dismissal on July 3, 2003 by the appellate court of petitioner’s habeas corpus case,
jurisdiction over the issue custody of Bianca did not attach to the Pasig RTC.
As for the questioned order of the Pasay RTC which modified the Interim Visiting Agreement, the
appellate court, noting that the proper remedy for the custody of Bianca was filed with the Pasay RTC,
held that said court had the authority to issue the same.
Hence, the present petition filed by petitioner faulting the appellate court for
I. . . . DECLARING THAT PETITIONER ERIC YU COMMITTED FORUM-SHOPPING IN FILLING THE PETITION
FOR DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE WITH PRAYER FOR CUSTODY BEFORE THE PASIG FAMILY
COURT AND THAT THE LATTER COURT WAS BARRED FROM ACQUIRING JURISDICTION OVER THE
CUSTODY ASPECT OF THE NULLITY CASE IN RECKLESS DISREGARD OF THE PRINCIPLE THAT THE FILING OF
A PETITION FOR NULLITY OF MARRIAGE BEFORE THE FAMILY COURTS VESTS THE LATTER WITH
EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION TO DETERMINE THE NECESSARY ISSUE OF CUSTODY.
II. . . . APPL[YING] THE LAW OF THE CASE DOCTRINE BY RULING THAT THE PASIG FAMILY COURT HAS NO
JURISDICTION OVER THE CUSTODY ASPECT OF THE NULLITY CASE ON THE BASIS OF THE JULY 5, 2002
RESOLUTION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS IN CA GR SP NO. 68460 WHEN THE SAID RESOLUTION CLEARLY
APPLIES ONLY TO THE NULLITY CASE FILED BY PRIVATE RESPONDENT ON MARCH 7, 2002 DOCKETED AS
JDRC CASE NO. 5745 AND NOT TO HEREIN PETITIONER’S JUNE 12, 2003 PETITION FOR NULLITY
DOCKETED AS JDRC CASE NO. 6190.
III. . . . DECLARING THAT THE PASIG FAMILY COURT MUST YIELD TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE PASAY
COURT INSOFAR AS THE ISSUE OF CUSTODY IS CONCERNED IN GRAVE VIOLATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF
JUDICIAL STABILITY AND NON-INTERFERENCE.
IV. . . . RULING THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT CAROLINE DID NOT COMMIT FORUM-SHOPING IN FILING
THE HABEAS CORPUS CASE WITH PRAYER FOR CUSTODY BEFORE THE RESPONDENT PASAY COURT
DESPITE THE FACT THAT AN EARLIER FILED PETITION FOR DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE
WITH PRAYER FOR CUSTODY IS STILL PENDING BEFORE THE PASIG FAMILY COURT WHEN THE FORMER
CASE WAS INSTITUTED.
V. . . . RULING THAT RESPONDENT CAROLINE YU DID NOT SUBMIT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE PASIG
FAMILY COURT BASED ON AN ERRONEOUS FACTUAL FINDING THAT SHE FILED ON AUGUST 25, 2003 AN
OMNIBUS OPPOSITION IN PETITIONER’S ACTION FOR NULLITY BEFORE THE PASIG COURT.10
(Underscoring supplied)
The petition is impressed with merit.
The main issue raised in the present petition is whether the question of custody over Bianca should be
litigated before the Pasay RTC or before the Pasig RTC.
Judgment on the issue of custody in the nullity of marriage case before the Pasig RTC, regardless of
which party would prevail, would constitute res judicata on the habeas corpus case before the Pasay
RTC since the former has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter.
There is identity in the causes of action in Pasig and Pasay because there is identity in the facts and
evidence essential to the resolution of the identical issue raised in both actions11 – whether it would
serve the best interest of Bianca to be in the custody of petitioner rather than respondent or vice versa.
Since the ground invoked in the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage before the Pasig RTC is
respondent’s alleged psychological incapacity to perform her essential marital obligations12 as provided
in Article 36 of the Family Code, the evidence to support this cause of action necessarily involves
evidence of respondent’s fitness to take custody of Bianca. Thus, the elements of litis pendentia, to wit:
a) identity of parties, or at least such as representing the same interest in both actions; b) identity of
rights asserted and reliefs prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts; and c) the identity in
the two cases should be such that the judgment that may be rendered in the pending case would,
regardless of which party is successful, amount to res judicata in the other,13 are present.
Respondent argues in her Comment to the petition at bar that the Pasig RTC never acquired jurisdiction
over the custody issue raised therein.
"[T]he subsequent dismissal of the habeas corpus petition by the Court of Appeals on 3 July 2003 could
not have the effect of conferring jurisdiction over the issue on the Pasig court. For the Pasig court to
acquire jurisdiction over the custody issue after the dismissal of the habeas corpus petition before the
Court of Appeals, the rule is that petitioner must furnish the occasion for the acquisition of jurisdiction
by repleading his cause of action for custody and invoking said cause anew."14 (Emphasis and

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by repleading his cause of action for custody and invoking said cause anew."14 (Emphasis and
underscoring supplied)
And respondent cites Caluag v. Pecson,15 wherein this Court held:
Jurisdiction of the subject matter of a particular case is something more than the general power
conferred by law upon a court to take cognizance of cases of the general class to which the particular
case belongs. It is not enough that a court has power in abstract to try and decide the class litigations
[sic] to which a case belongs; it is necessary that said power be properly invoked, or called into activity,
by the filing of a petition, or complaint or other appropriate pleading. (Underscoring supplied by
Caroline.) 16
Specific provisions of law govern the case at bar, however. Thus Articles 49 and 50 of the Family Code
provide:
Art. 49. During the pendency of the action [for annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage] and in
the absence of adequate provisions in a written agreement between the spouses, the Court shall
provide for the support of the spouses and the custody and support of their common children. x x x It
shall also provide for appropriate visitation rights of the other parent. (Emphasis and underscoring
supplied)17
Art. 50. x x x x
The final judgment in such cases [for the annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage] shall provide
for the liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, the custody and support
of the common children, and the delivery of their presumptive legitimes, unless such other matters had
been adjudicated in previous judicial proceedings." (Emphasis and underscoring added)
By petitioner’s filing of the case for declaration of nullity of marriage before the Pasig RTC he
automatically submitted the issue of the custody of Bianca as an incident thereof. After the appellate
court subsequently dismissed the habeas corpus case, there was no need for petitioner to replead his
prayer for custody for, as above-quoted provisions of the Family Code provide, the custody issue in a
declaration of nullity case is deemed pleaded. That that is so gains light from Section 21 of the "Rule on
Declaration Of Absolute Nullity Of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages"18 which
provides:
Sec. 21. Liquidation, partition and distribution, custody, support of common children and delivery of
their presumptive legitimes.–Upon entry of the judgment granting the petition, or, in case of appeal,
upon receipt of the entry of judgment of the appellate court granting the petition, the Family Court, on
motion of either party, shall proceed with the liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties
of the spouses, including custody, support of common children and delivery of their presumptive
legitimes pursuant to Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code unless such matters had been adjudicated in
previous judicial proceedings. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
Since this immediately-quoted provision directs the court taking jurisdiction over a petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage to resolve the custody of common children, by mere motion of either
party, it could only mean that the filing of a new action is not necessary for the court to consider the
issue of custody of a minor.19
The only explicit exception to the earlier-quoted second paragraph of Art. 50 of the Family Code is when
"such matters had been adjudicated in previous judicial proceedings," which is not the case here.
The elements of litis pendentia having been established, the more appropriate action criterion guides
this Court in deciding which of the two pending actions to abate.20
The petition filed by petitioner for the declaration of nullity of marriage before the Pasig RTC is the more
appropriate action to determine the issue of who between the parties should have custody over Bianca
in view of the express provision of the second paragraph of Article 50 of the Family Code. This must be
so in line with the policy of avoiding multiplicity of suits.21
The appellate court thus erroneously applied the law of the case doctrine when it ruled that in its July 5,
2002 Resolution that the pendency of the habeas corpus petition in CA-G.R. SP No. 68460 prevented the
Pasig RTC from acquiring jurisdiction over the custody aspect of petitioner’s petition for declaration of
nullity. The factual circumstances of the case refelected above do not justify the application of the law
of the case doctrine which has been defined as follows:
Law of the case has been defined as the opinion delivered on a former appeal. It is a term applied to an
established rule that when an appellate court passes on a question and remands the case to the lower
court for further proceedings, the question there settled becomes the law of the case upon

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court for further proceedings, the question there settled becomes the law of the case upon
subsequent appeal. It means that whatever is once irrevocably established as the controlling legal rule
or decision between the same parties in the same case continues to be the law of the case, whether
correct on general principles or not, so long as the facts on which such decision was predicated continue
to be the facts of the case before the court." (Emphasis and underscoring supplied, italics in the
original) 22
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The August 10, 2004 decision of the Court of Appeals is
REVERSED and SET ASIDE,and another is entered DISMISSING Pasay City Regional Trial Court Sp. Proc.
No. 03-0048-CFM and ordering Branch 69 of Pasig City Regional Trial Court to continue, with dispatch,
the proceedings in JDRC No. 6190.

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Sec. 5.2, RA 8799
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:30 PM

Section 5. Powers and Functions of the Commission.– 5.2. The Commission’s jurisdiction over all cases
enumerated under section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 902-A is hereby transferred to the Courts of
general jurisdiction or the appropriate Regional Trial Court: Provided, That the Supreme Court in the
exercise of its authority may designate the Regional Trial Court branches that shall exercise jurisdiction
over the cases. The Commission shall retain jurisdiction over pending cases involving intra-corporate
disputes submitted for final resolution which should be resolved within one (1) year from the enactment
of this Code. The Commission shall retain jurisdiction over pending suspension of
payment/rehabilitation cases filed as of 30 June 2000 until finally disposed.

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A.M. No. 01-2-04-SC Interim Rules of Procedure Governing Intra-
corporate Controversies
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:31 PM

The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation


A.M. No. 01-2-04-SC. March 13, 2001

A.M. No. 01-2-04-SC. March 13, 2001


Re: PROPOSED INTERIM RULES OF PROCEDURE GOVERNING INTRA-CORPORATE CONTROVERSIES
UNDER R. A. NO. 8799
RESOLUTION

INTERIM RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR INTRA-CORPORATE CONTROVERSIES

RULE 1
GENERAL PROVISIONS
SECTION 1. (a) Cases covered. – These Rules shall govern the procedure to be observed in civil cases
involving the following:
1. Devices or schemes employed by, or any act of, the board of directors, business associates,
officers or partners, amounting to fraud or misrepresentation which may be detrimental to
the interest of the public and/or of the stockholders, partners, or members of any
corporation, partnership, or association;
2. Controversies arising out of intra-corporate, partnership, or association relations, between
and among stockholders, members, or associates; and between, any or all of them and the
corporation, partnership, or association of which they are stockholders, members, or
associates, respectively;
3. Controversies in the election or appointment of directors, trustees, officers, or managers of
corporations, partnerships, or associations;
4. Derivative suits; and
5. Inspection of corporate books.
(b) prohibition against nuisance and harassment suits. - Nuisance and harassment suits are prohibited.
In determining whether a suit is a nuisance or harassment suit, the court shall consider, among others,
the following:
1. The extent of the shareholding or interest of the initiating stockholder or member;
2. Subject matter of the suit;
3. Legal and factual basis of the complaint;
4. Availability of appraisal rights for the act or acts complained of; and
5. Prejudice or damage to the corporation, partnership, or association in relation to the relief
sought.
In case of nuisance or harassment suits, the court may, moto proprio or upon motion, forthwith dismiss
the case.
SEC. 2. Suppletory application of the Rules of Court. – The Rules of Court, in so far as they may be
applicable and are not inconsistent with these Rules, are hereby adopted to form an integral part of
these Rules.
SEC. 3. Construction. – These Rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objective of
securing a just, summary, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action or proceeding.
SEC. 4. Executory nature of decisions and orders. – All decisions and orders issued under these Rules
shall immediately be executory. No appeal or petition taken therefrom shall stay the enforcement or
implementation of the decision or order, unless restrained by an appellate court. Interlocutory orders
shall not be subject to appeal.

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shall not be subject to appeal.
SEC. 5. Venue. – All actions covered by these Rules shall be commenced and tried in the Regional Trial
Court which has jurisdiction over the principal office of the corporation, partnership, or association
concerned. Where the principal office of the corporation, partnership or association is registered in the
Securities and Exchange Commission as Metro Manila, the action must be filed in the city or municipality
where the head office is located.
SEC. 6. Service of pleadings. – When so authorized by the court, any pleading and/or document
required by these Rules may be filed with the court and/or served upon the other parties by facsimile
transmission (tax) or electronic mail (e-mail. In such cases, the date of transmission shall be deemed to
be prima facie the date of service.
SEC. 7. Signing of pleadings, motions and other papers. – Every pleading, motion, and other paper of a
party represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney’s
individual name, whose address shall be stated. A party who is not represented by an attorney shall sign
the pleading, motion, or other paper and state his address.
The signature of an attorney or party constitutes a certification by the signer that he has read the
pleading, motion, or other paper; that to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief formed after
reasonable inquiry, it is well grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument
for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing jurisprudence; and that it is not interposed for any
improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of
litigation.
If a pleading, motion, or other paper is not signed, it shall be stricken off the record unless it is promptly
signed by the pleader or movant, after he is notified of the omission.
SEC. 8. Prohibited pleadings. – The following pleadings are prohibited:
1. Motion to dismiss;
2. Motion for a bill of particulars;
3. Motion for new trial, or for reconsideration of judgment or order, or for re-opening of trial;
4. Motion for extension of time to file pleadings, affidavits or any other paper, except those
filed due to clearly compelling reasons. Such motion must be verified and under oath; and
5. Motion for postponement and other motions of similar intent, except those filed due to
clearly compelling reasons. Such motion must be verified and under oath.
SEC. 9. Assignment of cases. – All cases filed under these Rules shall be tried by judges designated by
the Supreme Court to hear and decide cases transferred from the Securities and Exchange Commission
to the Regional Trial Courts and filed directly with said courts pursuant to Republic Act No. 8799,
otherwise known as the Securities and Regulation Cod

RULE 2
COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION AND PLEADINGS
SECTION 1. Commencement of action. – An action under these Rules is commenced by the filing of a
verified complaint with the proper Regional Trial Court.
SEC. 2. Pleadings allowed. – The only pleadings allowed to be filed under these Rules are the complaint,
answer, compulsory counterclaims or cross-claims pleaded in the answer, and the answer to the
counterclaims or cross-claims.
SEC. 3. Verification. – The complaint and the answer shall be verified by an affidavit stating that the
affiant has read the pleading and the allegations therein are true and correct based on his own personal
knowledge or on authentic records.
SEC. 4. Complaint. – The complaint shall state or contain:
1. the names, addresses, and other relevant personal or juridical circumstances of the parties;
2. all facts material and relevant to the plaintiff’s cause or causes of action, which shall be
supported by affidavits of the plaintiff or his witnesses and copies of documentary and other
evidence supportive of such cause or causes of action;
3. the law, rule, or regulation relied upon, violated, or sought to be enforced;
4. a certification that (a) the plaintiff has not theretofore commenced any action or filed any
claim involving the same issues in any court, tribunal or quasi-judicial agency, and, to the
best of his knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending therein; (b) if there is such
other action or claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof; and (c) if he

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other action or claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof; and (c) if he
should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending,
he shall report that fact within five (5) days therefrom to the court; and
5. the relief sought.
SEC. 5. Summons. – The summons and the complaint shall be served together not later than five (5)
days from the date of filing of the complaint.
a. Service upon domestic private juridical entities. – If the defendant is a domestic corporation,
service shall be deemed adequate if made upon any of the statutory or corporate officers as
fixed by the by-laws or their respective secretaries. If the defendant is a partnership, service
shall be deemed adequate if made upon any of the managing or general partners or upon
their respective secretaries. If the defendant is an association, service shall be deemed
adequate if made upon any of its officers or their respective secretaries.
b. Service upon foreign private juridical entity. – When the defendant is a foreign private
juridical entity which is transacting or has transacted business in the Philippines, service may
be made on its resident agent designated in accordance with law for that purpose, or, if
there be no such agent, on the government official designated by law to that effect, or on
any of its officers or agents within the Philippines.
SEC. 6. Answer. – The defendant shall file his answer to the complaint, serving a copy thereof on the
plaintiff, within fifteen (15) days from service of summons.
In the answer, the defendant shall:
1. Specify each material allegation of fact the truth of which he admits;
2. Specify each material allegation of fact the truth of which he does not admit. Where the
defendant desires to deny only a part of an averment, he shall specify so much of it as true
and material and shall deny only the remainder;
3. Specify each material allegation of fact as to which truth he has no knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief, and this shall have the effect of a denial;
4. State the defenses, including grounds for a motion to dismiss under the Rules of Court;
5. State the law, rule, or regulation relied upon;
6. Address each of the causes of action stated in the complaint;
7. State the facts upon which he relies for his defense, including affidavits of witnesses and
copies of documentary and other evidence supportive of such cause or causes of action;
8. State any compulsory counterclaim/s and cross-claim/s; and
9. State the relief sought.
The answer to counterclaims or cross-claims shall be filed within ten (10) days from service of the
answer in which they are pleaded.
SEC. 7. Effect of failure to answer. – If the defendant fails to answer within the period above provided,
he shall be considered in default. Upon motion or motu proprio, the court shall render judgment either
dismissing the complaint or granting the relief prayed for as the records may warrant. In no case shall
the court award a relief beyond or different from that prayed for.
SEC. 8. Affidavits, documentary and other evidence. – Affidavits shall be based on personal knowledge,
shall set forth such facts as would be admissible in evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant
is competent to testify on the matters stated therein. The affidavits shall be in question and answer
form, and shall comply with the rules on admissibility of evidence.
Affidavits of witnesses as well as documentary and other evidence shall be attached to the appropriate
pleading; Provided, however, that affidavits, documentary and other evidence not so submitted may be
attached to the pre-trial brief required under these Rules. Affidavits and other evidence not so
submitted shall not be admitted in evidence, except in the following cases:
1. Testimony of unwilling, hostile, or adverse party witnesses. A witness is presumed prima
facie hostile if he fails or refuses to execute an affidavit after a written request therefor;
2. If the failure to submit the evidence is for meritorious and compelling reasons; and
3. Newly discovered evidence.
In case of (2) and (3) above, the affidavit and evidence must be submitted not later than five (5) days
prior to its introduction in evidence.

RULE 3

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RULE 3
MODES OF DISCOVERY
SECTION 1. In general. – A party can only avail of any of the modes of discovery not later than fifteen
(15) days from the joinder of issues.
SEC. 2. Objections. – Any mode of discovery such as interrogatories, request for admission, production
or inspection of documents or things, may be objected to within ten (10) days from receipt of the
discovery device and only on the ground that the matter requested is patently incompetent, immaterial,
irrelevant or privileged in nature.
The court shall rule on the objections not later than fifteen (15) days from the filing thereof.
SEC. 3. Compliance. –Compliance with any mode of discovery shall be made within ten (10) days from
receipt of the discovery device, or if there are objections, from receipt of the ruling of the court.
SEC. 4. Sanctions. – The sanctions prescribed in the Rules of Court for failure to avail of, or refusal to
comply with, the modes of discovery shall apply. In addition, the court may, upon motion, declare a
party non-suited or as in default, as the case may be, if the refusal to comply with a mode of discovery is
patently unjustified.

RULE 4
PRE-TRIAL
SECTION 1. Pre-trial conference; mandatory nature. – Within five (5) days after the period for availment
of, and compliance with, the modes of discovery prescribed in Rule 3 hereof, whichever comes later, the
court shall issue and serve an order immediately setting the case for pre-trial conference and directing
the parties to submit their respective pre-trial briefs. The parties shall file with the court and furnish
each other copies of their respective pre-trial brief in such manner as to ensure its receipt by the court
and the other party at least five (5) days before the date set for the pre-trial.
The parties shall set forth in their pre-trial briefs, among other matters, the following:
1. Brief statement of the nature of the case, which shall summarize the theory or theories of
the party in clear and concise language;
2. Allegations expressly admitted by either or both parties;
3. Allegations deemed admitted by either or both parties;
4. Documents not specifically denied under oath by either or both parties;
5. Amendments to the pleadings;
6. Statement of the issues, which shall separately summarize the factual and legal issues
involved in the case;
7. Names of witnesses to be presented and the summary of their testimony as contained in
their affidavits supporting their positions on each of the issues;
8. All other pieces of evidence, whether documentary or otherwise and their respective
purposes;
9. Specific proposals for an amicable settlement;
10. Possibility of referral to mediation or other alternative modes of dispute resolution;
11. Proposed schedule of hearings; and
12. Such other matters as may aid in the just and speedy disposition of the case.
SEC. 2. Nature and purpose of pre-trial conference. – During the pre-trial conference, the court shall,
with its active participation, ensure that the parties consider in detail all of the following:
1. The possibility of an amicable settlement;
2. Referral of the dispute to mediation or other forms of dispute resolution;
3. Facts that need not be proven, either because they are matters of judicial notice or
expressly or deemed admitted;
4. Amendments to the pleadings;
5. The possibility of obtaining stipulations and admissions of facts and documents;
6. Objections to the admissibility of testimonial, documentary and other evidence;
7. Objections to the form or substance of any affidavit, or part thereof;
8. Simplification of the issues;
9. The possibility of submitting the case for decision on the basis of position papers, affidavits,
documentary and real evidence;
10. A complete schedule of hearing dates; and

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10. A complete schedule of hearing dates; and
11. Such other matters as may aid in the speedy and summary disposition of the case.
SEC. 3. Termination. – The preliminary conference shall be terminated not later than ten (10) days after
its commencement, whether or not the parties have agreed to settle amicably.
SEC. 4. Judgment before pre-trial. – If, after submission of the pre-trial briefs, the court determines that,
upon consideration of the pleadings, the affidavits and other evidence submitted by the parties, a
judgment may be rendered, the court may order the parties to file simultaneously their respective
memoranda within a non-extendible period of twenty (20) days from receipt of the order. Thereafter,
the court shall render judgment, either full or otherwise, not later than ninety (90) days from the
expiration of the period to file the memoranda.
SEC. 5. Pre-trial order; judgment after pre-trial. – The proceedings in the pre-trial shall be recorded.
Within ten (10) days after the termination of the pre-trial, the court shall issue an order which shall
recite in detail the matters taken up in the conference, the actions taken thereon, the amendments
allowed in the pleadings, and the agreements or admissions made by the parties as to any of the
matters considered. The court shall rule on all objections to or comments on the admissibility of any
documentary or other evidence, including any affidavit or any part thereof. Should the action proceed to
trial, the order shall explicitly define and limit the issues to be tried and shall strictly follow the form set
forth in Annex "A" of these Rules.
The contents of the order shall control the subsequent course of the action, unless modified before trial
to prevent manifest injustice.
After the pre-trial, the court may render judgment, either full or partial, as the evidence presented
during the pre-trial may warrant.

RULE 5
TRIAL
SECTION 1. Witnesses. – If the court deems necessary to hold hearings to determine specific factual
matters before rendering judgment, it shall, in the pre-trial order, set the case for trial on the dates
agreed upon by the parties.
Only persons whose affidavits were submitted may be presented as witnesses, except in cases specified
in section 8, Rule 2 of these Rules. The affidavits of the witnesses shall serve as their direct testimonies,
subject to cross-examination in accordance with existing rules on evidence.
SEC. 2. Trial schedule. – Unless judgment is rendered pursuant to Rule 4 of these Rules, the initial
hearing shall be held not later than thirty (30) days from the date of the pre-trial order. The hearings
shall be completed not later than sixty (60) days from the date of the initial hearing, thirty (30) days of
which shall be allotted to the plaintiffs and thirty (30) days to the defendants in the manner prescribed
in the rep-trial order. The failure of a party to present a witness on a scheduled hearing date shall be
deemed a waiver of such hearing date. However, a party may present such witness or witnesses within
his remaining allotted hearing dates.
SEC. 3. Written offer of evidence. – Evidence not otherwise admitted by the parties or ruled upon by the
court during the pre-trial conference shall be offered in writing not later than five (5) days from the
completion of the presentation of evidence of the party concerned. The opposing party shall have five
(5) days from receipt of the offer to file his comments or objections. The court shall make its ruling on
the offer within five (5) days from the expiration of the period to file comments or objections.
SEC. 4. Memoranda. – Immediately after ruling on the last offer of evidence, the court shall order the
parties to simultaneously file, within thirty (30) days from receipt of the order, their respective
memoranda. The memoranda shall contain the following:
1. A "Statement of the Case," which is a clear and concise statement of the nature of the
action and a summary of the proceedings;
2. A "Statement of the Facts," which is a clear and concise statement in narrative form of the
established facts, with reference to the testimonial, documentary or other evidence in
support thereof;
3. A "Statement of the issues," which is a clear and concise statement of the issues presented
to the court for resolution;
4. The "Arguments," which is a clear and concise presentation of the argument in support of
each issue; and

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each issue; and
5. The "Relief," which is a specification of the order or judgment which the party seeks to
obtain.
No reply memorandum shall be allowed.
SEC. 5. Decision after trial. – The court shall render a decision not later than (90) days from the lapse of
the period to file the memoranda, with or without said pleading having been filed.

RULE 6
ELECTION CONTESTS
SECTION 1. Cases covered. – The provisions of this rule shall apply to election contests in stock and non-
stock corporations.
SEC. 2. Definition. – An election contest refers to any controversy or dispute involving title or claim to
any elective office in a stock or non-stock corporation, the validation of proxies, the manner and validity
of elections, and the qualifications of candidates, including the proclamation of winners, to the office of
director, trustee or other officer directly elected by the stockholders in a close corporation or by
members of a non-stock corporation where the articles of incorporation or by-laws so provide.
SEC. 3. Complaint. –In addition to the requirements in section 4, Rule 2 of these Rules, the complaint in
an election contest must state the following:
1. The case was filed within fifteen (15) days from the date of the election if the by-laws of the
corporation do not provide for a procedure for resolution of the controversy, or within
fifteen (15) days from the resolution of the controversy by the corporation as provided in its
by-laws; and
2. The plaintiff has exhausted all intra-corporate remedies in election cases as provided for in
the by-laws of the corporation.
SEC. 4. Duty of the court upon the filing of the complaint. – Within two (2) days from the filing of the
complaint, the court, upon a consideration of the allegations thereof, may dismiss the complaint
outright if it is not sufficient in form and substance, or, if it is sufficient, order the issuance of summons
which shall be served, together with a copy of the complaint, on the defendant within two (2) days from
its issuance.
SEC. 5. Answer. – The defendant shall file his answer to the complaint, serving a copy thereof on the
plaintiff, within ten (10) days from service of summons and the complaint. The answer shall contain the
matters required in section 6, Rule 2 of these Rules.
SEC. 6. Affidavits, documentary and other evidence. – The parties shall attach to the complaint and
answer the affidavits of witnesses, documentary and other evidence in support thereof, if any.

Acting on the Memorandum of the Committee on SEC Cases submitting for this Court’s consideration
and approval the Proposed Interim Rules of Procedure for Intra-Corporate Controversies, the Court
Resolved to APPROVE the same.
The Interim Rules shall take effect on April 1, 2001 following its publication in two (2) newspapers of
general circulation.
March 13, 2001, Manila.
(Sgd.) HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR., Chief Justice
(Sgd.) JOSUE N. BELLOSILLO, Associate Justice
(Sgd.) JOSE A. R. MELO, Associate Justice
(Sgd.) REYNATO S. PUNO, Associate Justice
(Sgd.) JOSE C. VITUG, Associate Justice
(Sgd.) SANTIAGO M. KAPUNAN, Associate Justice
(Sgd.) VICENTE V. MENDOZA, Associate Justice
(Sgd.) ARTEMIO V. PANGANIBAN, Associate Justice
(Sgd.) LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING, Associate Justice

(Sgd.) (Sgd.)
BERNARDO P. PARDO ARTURO B. BUENA
Associate Justice Associate Justice

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(Sgd.) (Sgd.)
MINERVA P. GONZAGA-REYES CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate Justice Associate Justice

(Sgd). (Sgd.)
SABINO R. DE LEON, JR. ANGELINA SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ
Associate Justice Associate Justice
The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation

Pasted from <http://www.lawphil.net/courts/supreme/am/am_2_04_2001.html>

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A.M. 00-8-10-SC Interim Rules of Procedure on Corporate
Rehabilitation (note FRIA)
Sunday, November 14, 2010
11:31 PM

EN BANC
Agenda for December 2, 2008
Item No. 76
EN BANC
A.M. NO. 00-8-10-SC
RULES OF PROCEDURE ON CORPORATE REHABILITATION
RESOLUTION
Acting on the recommendation of The Subcommittee on Special Rules for Special Commercial Courts,
submitting for the consideration and approval of the Court the proposed “Rules of Procedure on
Corporate Rehabilitation (2008),” the Court Resolved to APPROVE the same.
The Rule shall take effect on January 16, 2009 following its publication in two (2) newspapers of general
circulation.
December 2, 2008.
———————
RULES OF PROCEDURE ON CORPORATE REHABILITATION (2008)
RULE 1
COVERAGE
SECTION 1. Scope.—These Rules shall apply to petitions for rehabilitation of corporations, partnerships
and associations pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 902-A, as amended.
SEC. 2. Applicability to Rehabilitation Cases Transferred from the Securities and Exchange
Commission. — Cases for rehabilitation transferred from the Securities and Exchange Commission to the
Regional Trial Courts pursuant to Republic Act No. 8799, otherwise known as The Securities Regulation
Code, shall likewise be governed by these Rules.
RULE 2
DEFINITION OF TERMS AND CONSTRUCTION
SEC. 1. Definition of Terms.—For purposes of these Rules:
“Administrative Expenses” shall refer to (a) reasonable and necessary expenses that are incurred in
connection with the filing of the petition; (b) expenses incurred in the ordinary course of business after
the issuance of the stay order, excluding interest payable to the creditors for loans and credit
accommodations existing at the time of the issuance of the stay order; and (c) other expenses that are
authorized under these Rules.
“Affidavit of General Financial Condition” shall refer to a verified statement on the general financial
condition of the debtor required in Section 2, Rule 4 of these Rules.
“Affiliate” is a corporation that directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, is controlled
by, or is under the common control of another corporation, which thereby becomes its parent
corporation.
“Asset” is anything of value that can be in the form of money, such as cash at the bank or amounts
owed; fixed assets such as property or equipment; or intangibles including intellectual property, the
book value of which is shown in the last three audited financial statements immediately preceding the
filing of the petition. In case the debtor is less than three years in operation, it is sufficient that the book
value is based on the audited financial statement/s for the two years or year immediately preceding the
filing of the petition, as the case may be.
“Board of Directors” shall include the executive committee or the management of a partnership or
association.
“Claim” shall include all claims or demands of whatever nature or character against a debtor or its
property, whether for money or otherwise.
“Control” is the power of a parent corporation to direct or govern the financial and operating policies of
an enterprise so as to obtain benefits from its activities. Control is presumed to exist when the parent

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an enterprise so as to obtain benefits from its activities. Control is presumed to exist when the parent
owns, directly or indirectly through subsidiaries, more than one–half (1/2) of the voting power of an
enterprise unless, in exceptional circumstances, it can clearly be demonstrated that such ownership
does not constitute control. Control also exists even when the parent owns one-half (1/2) or less of the
voting power of an enterprise when there is power:
(a) Over more than one-half (1/2) of the voting rights by virtue of an agreement with investors;
(b) To direct or govern the financial and operating policies of the enterprise under a statute or an
agreement;
(c) To appoint or remove the majority of the members of the board of directors or equivalent governing
body; or
(d) To cast the majority votes at meetings of the board of directors or equivalent governing body.
“Creditor” shall mean any holder of a Claim.
“Court” shall refer to the proper Regional Trial Court designated to hear and decide the cases
contemplated under these Rules.
“Days” shall refer to calendar days unless otherwise provided in these Rules.
“Debtor” shall mean any corporation, partnership or association or a group of companies, whether
supervised or regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission or other government agencies, on
whose behalf a petition for rehabilitation has been filed under these Rules.
“Foreign court” means a judicial or other authority competent to control or supervise a foreign
proceeding.
“Foreign proceeding” means a collective judicial or administrative proceeding in a foreign State,
including an interim proceeding, pursuant to a law relating to insolvency in which proceeding the assets
and affairs of the debtor are subject to control or supervision by a foreign court, for the
purpose of rehabilitation or re-organization.
“Foreign representative” means a person or entity, including one appointed on an interim basis,
authorized in a foreign proceeding to administer the reorganization or rehabilitation of the debtor or to
act as a representative of the foreign proceeding.
“Group of companies” refers to, and can cover only, corporations that are financially related to one
another as parent corporations, subsidiaries and affiliates.
When the petition covers a group of companies, all reference under these Rules to “debtor” shall
include and apply to the group of companies.
“Liabilities” shall refer to monetary claims against the debtor, including stockholder’s advances that
have been recorded in the debtor’s audited financial statements as advances for future subscriptions.
“Parent” is a corporation which has control over another corporation directly or indirectly through one
or more intermediaries.
“Rehabilitation” shall mean the restoration of the debtor to a position of successful operation and
solvency, if it is shown that its continuance of operation is economically feasible and its creditors can
recover by way of the present value of payments projected in the plan, more if the corporation
continues as a going concern than if it is immediately liquidated.
“Secured claim” shall refer to any claim whose payment or fulfillment is secured by contract or by law,
including any claim or credit enumerated under Articles 2241 and 2242 of the Civil Code and Article
110, as amended, of the Labor Code of the Philippines.
“Subsidiary” means a corporation more than fifty percent (50%) of the voting stock of which is owned or
controlled directly or indirectly through one or more intermediaries by another corporation, which
thereby
becomes its parent corporation.
“Unsecured claim” shall mean any claim other than a secured claim.
SEC. 2. Construction. — These Rules shall be liberally construed to carry out the objectives of Sections
5(d), 6(c) and 6(d) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A, as amended, and to assist the parties in obtaining a
just, expeditious and inexpensive determination of cases. Where applicable, the Rules of Court shall
apply suppletorily to proceedings under these Rules.
RULE 3
GENERAL PROVISIONS
SEC. 1. Nature of Proceedings.—Any proceeding initiated under these Rules shall be considered in rem.
Jurisdiction over all persons affected by the proceedings shall be considered as acquired upon

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Jurisdiction over all persons affected by the proceedings shall be considered as acquired upon
publication of the notice of the commencement of the proceedings in any newspaper of general
circulation in the Philippines in the manner prescribed by these Rules.
The proceedings shall also be summary and non-adversarial in nature. The following pleadings are
prohibited:
(a) Motion to dismiss;
(b) Motion for a bill of particulars;
(c) Petition for relief;
(d) Motion for extension;
(e) Motion for postponement;
(f) Third-party complaint;
(g) Intervention;
(h) Motion to hear affirmative defenses; and
(i) Any pleading or motion which is similar to or of like effect as any of the foregoing.
Any pleading, motion, opposition, defense or claim filed by any interested party shall be supported by
verified statements that the affiant has read the same and that the factual allegations therein are true
and correct of his personal knowledge or based on authentic records, and shall contain as annexes such
documents as may be deemed by the party submitting the same as supportive of the allegations in the
affidavits. The court may decide matters on the basis of affidavits and other documentary evidence.
Where necessary, the court shall conduct clarificatory hearings before resolving any matter submitted to
it for resolution.
SEC. 2. Venue. — Petitions for rehabilitation pursuant to these Rules shall be filed in the regional trial
court which has jurisdiction over the principal office of the debtor as specified in its articles of
incorporation or partnership. Where the principal office of the corporation, partnership or association is
registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission as Metro Manila, the action must be filed in the
regional trial court of the city or municipality where the head office is located.
A joint petition by a group of companies shall be filed in the Regional Trial Court which has jurisdiction
over the principal office of the parent company, as specified in its Articles of Incorporation.
SEC. 3. Service of Pleadings and Documents.— When so authorized by the court, any pleading and/or
document required by these Rules may be filed with the court and/or served upon the other parties by
facsimile transmission (fax) or electronic mail (e-mail). In such cases, the date of transmission shall be
deemed to be the date of service. Where the pleading or document is voluminous, the court may, upon
motion, waive the requirement of service; provided that a copy thereof together with all its attachments
is duly filed with the court and is made available for examination and reproduction by any party, and
provided, further, that a notice of such filing and availability is duly served on the parties.
SEC. 4. Trade Secrets and Other Confidential Information. — Upon motion, the court may issue an order
to protect trade secrets or other confidential research, development or commercial information
belonging to the debtor.
SEC. 5. Executory Nature of Orders. — Any order issued by the court under these Rules is immediately
executory. A petition to review the order shall not stay the execution of the order unless restrained or
enjoined by the appellate court. Unless otherwise provided in these Rules, the review of any order or
decision of the court or an appeal therefrom shall be in accordance with the Rules of Court; provided,
however, that the reliefs ordered by the trial or appellate courts shall take into account the need for
resolution of proceedings in a just, equitable and speedy manner.
SEC. 6. Nullification of Illegal Transfers and Preferences. — Upon motion the court may nullify any
transfer of property or any other conveyance, sale, payment or agreement made in violation of its stay
order or in violation of these Rules.
SEC. 7. Stay Order. — If the court finds the petition to be sufficient in form and substance, it shall, not
later than five (5) working days from the filing of the petition, issue an order: (a) appointing a
rehabilitation receiver and fixing his bond; (b) staying enforcement of all claims, whether for
money or otherwise and whether such enforcement is by court action or otherwise, against the debtor,
its guarantors and persons not solidarily liable with the debtor; provided, that the stay order shall not
cover claims against letters of credit and similar security arrangements issued by a third party to secure
the payment of the debtor’s obligations; provided, further, that the stay order shall not cover
foreclosure by a creditor of property not belonging to a debtor under corporate rehabilitation; provided,

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foreclosure by a creditor of property not belonging to a debtor under corporate rehabilitation; provided,
however, that where the owner of such property sought to be foreclosed is also a guarantor or one who
is not solidarily liable, said owner shall be entitled to the benefit of excussion as such guarantor; (c)
prohibiting the debtor from selling, encumbering, transferring, or disposing in any manner any of its
properties except in the ordinary course of business; (d) prohibiting the debtor from making any
payment of its liabilities except as provided in items (e), (f) and (g) of this Section or when ordered by
the court pursuant to Section 10 of Rule 3; (e) prohibiting the debtor’s suppliers of goods or services
from withholding supply of goods and services in the ordinary course of business for as long as the
debtor makes payments for the services and goods supplied after the issuance of the stay order; (f)
directing the payment in full of all administrative expenses incurred after the issuance of the stay order;
(g) directing the payment of new loans or other forms of credit accommodations obtained for the
rehabilitation of the debtor with prior court approval; (h) fixing the dates of the initial hearing on the
petition not earlier than forty-five (45) days but not later than sixty (60) days from the filing thereof; (i)
directing the petitioner to publish the Order in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines
once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks; (j) directing the petitioner to furnish a copy of the petition
and its annexes, as well as the stay order, to the creditors named in the petition and the appropriate
regulatory agencies such as, but not limited to, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Bangko
Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Insurance Commission, the National Telecommunications Commission, the
Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board and the Energy Regulatory Commission; (k) directing the
petitioner that foreign creditors with no known addresses in the Philippines be individually given a copy
of the stay order at their foreign addresses; (l) directing all creditors and all interested parties (including
the regulatory agencies concerned) to file and serve on the debtor a verified comment on or opposition
to the petition, with supporting affidavits and documents, not later than fifteen (15) days before the
date of the first initial hearing and putting them on notice that their failure to do so will bar them from
participating in the proceedings; and (m) directing the creditors and interested parties to secure from
the court copies of the petition and its annexes within such time as to enable themselves to file their
comment on or opposition to the petition and to prepare for the initial hearing of the petition.
The issuance of a stay order does not affect the right to commence actions or proceedings insofar as it is
necessary to preserve a claim against the debtor.
SEC. 8. Service of Stay Order on Rehabilitation Receiver. — The petitioner shall immediately serve a copy
of the stay order on the rehabilitation receiver appointed by the court, who shall manifest his
acceptance or non-acceptance of his appointment not later than ten (10) days from receipt of the order.
SEC. 9. Period of Stay Order. — The stay order shall be effective from the date of its issuance until the
approval of the rehabilitation plan or the dismissal of the petition.
SEC. 10. Relief from, Modification, or Termination of Stay Order. —
(a) The court may, upon motion, terminate, modify, or set conditions for the continuance of the stay
order, or relieve a claim from the coverage thereof upon showing that (1) any of the allegations in the
petition, or any of the contents of any attachment, or the verification thereof has ceased to be true; (2)
a creditor does not have adequate protection over property securing its claim; (3) the debtor’s secured
obligation is more than the fair market value of the property subject of the stay and such property is not
necessary for the rehabilitation of the debtor; or (4) the property covered by the stay order is not
essential or necessary to the rehabilitation and the creditor’s failure to enforce its claim will cause more
damage to the creditor than to the debtor.
(b) For purposes of this Section, the creditor lacks adequate protection if it can be shown that:
(1) The debtor fails or refuses to honor a pre-existing agreement with the creditor to keep the property
insured;
(2) The debtor fails or refuses to take commercially reasonable steps to maintain the property; or
(3) The property has depreciated to an extent that the creditor is undersecured.
(c) Upon showing of the creditor’s lack of adequate protection, the court shall order the rehabilitation
receiver to (1) make arrangements to provide for the insurance or maintenance of the property, or (2) to
make payments or otherwise provide additional or replacement security such that the obligation is fully
secured. If such arrangements are not feasible, the court shall modify the stay order to allow the
secured creditor lacking adequate protection to enforce its claim against the debtor; provided, however,
that the court may deny the creditor the remedies in this paragraph if such remedies would prevent the
continuation of the debtor as a going concern or otherwise prevent the approval and implementation of

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continuation of the debtor as a going concern or otherwise prevent the approval and implementation of
a rehabilitation plan.
SEC. 11. Qualifications of Rehabilitation Receiver. —
(a) In the appointment of the rehabilitation receiver, the following qualifications shall be taken into
consideration by the court:
(1) Expertise and acumen to manage and operate a business similar in size and complexity to that of the
debtor;
(2) Knowledge in management, finance and rehabilitation of distressed companies;
(3) General familiarity with the rights of creditors in suspension of payments or rehabilitation, and
general understanding of the duties and obligations of a rehabilitation receiver;
(4) Good moral character, independence and integrity;
(5) Lack of conflict of interest as defined in this Section; and
(6) Willingness and ability to file a bond in such amount as may be determined by the court.
(b) Without limiting the generality of the following, a rehabilitation receiver may be deemed to have a
conflict of interest if:
(1) He is a creditor or stockholder of the debtor;
(2) He is engaged in a line of business which competes with the debtor;
(3) He is, or was within two (2) years from the filing of the petition, a director, officer, or employee of
the debtor or any of its present creditors, or the auditor or accountant of the debtor;
(4) He is or was within two (2) years from the filing of the petition, an underwriter of the outstanding
securities of the debtor;
(5) He is related by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree to any creditor, stockholder,
director, officer, employee, or underwriter of the debtor; or
(6) He has any other direct or indirect material interest in the debtor or any creditor.
SEC. 12. Powers and Functions of Rehabilitation Receiver. — The rehabilitation receiver shall not take
over the management and control of the debtor but shall closely oversee and monitor the operations of
the debtor during the pendency of the proceedings. For this purpose, the rehabilitation receiver shall
have the powers, duties and functions of a receiver under Presidential Decree No. 902-A, as amended,
and the Rules of Court.
The rehabilitation receiver shall be considered as an officer of the court. He shall be primarily tasked to
study the best way to rehabilitate the debtor and to ensure that the value of the debtor’s property is
reasonably maintained pending the determination of whether or not the debtor should be rehabilitated,
as well as implement the rehabilitation plan after its approval. Accordingly, he shall have the following
powers and functions:
(a) To verify the accuracy of the petition, including its annexes such as the Schedule of Debts and
Liabilities and the Inventory of Assets submitted in support of the petition;
(b) To accept and incorporate, when justified, amendments to the Schedule of Debts and Liabilities;
(c) To recommend to the court the disallowance of claims and rejection of amendments to the Schedule
of Debts and Liabilities that lack sufficient proof and justification;
(d) To submit to the court and make available for review by the creditors, a revised Schedule of Debts
and Liabilities;
(e) To investigate the acts, conduct, properties, liabilities and financial condition of the debtor, the
operation of its business and the desirability of the continuance thereof; and, any other matter relevant
to the proceeding or to the formulation of a rehabilitation plan;
(f) To examine under oath the directors and officers of the debtor and any other witnesses that he may
deem appropriate;
(g) To make available to the creditors documents and notices necessary for them to follow and
participate in the proceedings;
(h) To report to the court any fact ascertained by him pertaining to the causes of the debtor’s problems,
fraud, preferences, dispositions, encumbrances, misconduct, mismanagement and irregularities
committed by the stockholders, directors, management, or any other person against the debtor;
(i) To employ such person or persons such as lawyers, accountants, appraisers and staff as are necessary
in performing his functions and duties as rehabilitation receiver;
(j) To monitor the operations of the debtor and to immediately report to the court any material adverse
change in the debtor’s business;

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change in the debtor’s business;
(k) To evaluate the existing assets and liabilities, earnings and operations of the debtor;
(l) To determine and recommend to the court the best way to salvage and protect the interests of the
creditors, stockholders and the general public;
(m) To study the rehabilitation plan proposed by the debtor or any rehabilitation plan submitted during
the proceedings, together with any comments made thereon;
(n) To prohibit and report to the court any encumbrance, transfer or disposition of the debtor’s property
outside of the ordinary course of business or what is allowed by the court;
(o) To prohibit and report to the court any payments outside of the ordinary course of business;
(p) To have unlimited access to the debtor’s employees, premises, books, records and financial
documents during business hours;
(q) To inspect, copy, photocopy or photograph any document, paper, book, account or letter, whether in
the possession of the debtor or other persons;
(r) To gain entry into any property for the purpose of inspecting, measuring, surveying or photographing
it or any designated relevant object or operation thereon;
(s) To take possession, control and custody of the debtor’s assets;
(t) To notify counterparties and the court as to contracts that the debtor has decided to continue to
perform or breach;
(u) To be notified of and to attend all meetings of the board of directors and stockholders of the debtor;
(v) To recommend any modification of an approved rehabilitation plan as he may deem appropriate;
(w) To bring to the attention of the court any material change affecting the debtor’s ability to meet the
obligations under the rehabilitation plan;
(x) To recommend the appointment of a management committee in the cases provided for under
Presidential Decree No. 902-A, as amended;
(y) To recommend the termination of the proceedings and the dissolution of the debtor if he determines
that the continuance in business of such entity is no longer feasible or profitable or no longer works to
the best interest of the stockholders, parties-litigants, creditors or the general public;
(z) To apply to the court for any order or directive that he may deem necessary or desirable to aid him in
the exercise of his powers and performance of his duties and functions; and
(aa) To exercise such other powers as may from time to time be conferred upon him by the court.
SEC. 13. Oath and Bond. — Before entering upon his powers, duties and functions, the rehabilitation
receiver must be sworn in to perform them faithf