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G.R. No.

157659 Petitioner,

January 25, 2010

ELIGIO P. MALLARI vs. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM and THE PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF PAMPANGA BERSAMIN, J.: CASE: By petition for review on certiorari, the petitioner appeals the decision (March 17, 2003), whereby the CA dismissed his petition for certiorari. Facts: In 1968, the petitioner obtained two loans totaling P34,000.00 from respondent GSIS. To secure the performance of his obligations, he mortgaged two parcels of land registered under his and his wife Marcelina Mallaris names. However, he paid GSIS about ten years after contracting the obligations only P10,000.00 on May 22, 1978 and P20,000.00 on August 11, 1978.1 After reminding the petitioner of his unpaid obligation, GSIS sent on November 2, 1981 a telegraphic demand to him to update his account. On November 10, 1981, he requested a final accounting, but did not do anything more. Nearly three years later, on March 21, 1984, GSIS applied for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage by reason of his failure to settle his account. On November 22, 1984, he requested an updated computation of his outstanding account. On November 29, 1984, he persuaded the sheriff to hold the publication of the foreclosure notice in abeyance, to await action on his pending request for final accounting (that is, taking his payments of P30,000.00 made in 1978 into account). On December 13, 1984, GSIS responded to his request and rendered a detailed explanation of the account. On May 30, 1985, it sent another updated statement of account. On July 21, 1986, it finally commenced extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings against him because he had meanwhile made no further payments. On August 22, 1986, the petitioner sued GSIS and the Provincial Sheriff of Pampanga in the RTC, Br 44, in San Fernando, Pampanga to enjoin them from proceeding against him for injunction (with an application for preliminary injunction). RTC: The RTC ultimately decided in his favor, nullifying the extrajudicial foreclosure and auction sale; cancelling TCT No. 284272-R and TCT No. 284273-R already issued in the name of GSIS; and reinstating TCT No. 61171-R and TCT No. 54835-R in his and his wifes names.3 GSIS appealed the adverse decision to the CA, which reversed the RTC on March 27, 1996.4 The petitioner elevated the CA decision to this Court via petition for review on certiorari (G.R. No. 124468).5 On September 16, 1996, this Court denied his petition for review.6 On January 15, 1997, this Court turned down his motion for reconsideration.7 As a result, the CA decision dated March 27, 1996 became final and executory, rendering unassailable both the extrajudicial foreclosure and auction sale held on September 22, 1986, and the issuance of TCT No. 284272-R and TCT No. 284273-R in the name of GSIS. GSIS thus filed an ex parte motion for execution and for a writ of possession on September 2, 1999.8 Granting the ex parte motion on October 8, 1999,9 the RTC issued a writ of execution cum writ of possession on October 21, 1999,10 ordering the sheriff to place GSIS in possession of the properties.

The sheriff failed to serve the writ, however, partly because of the petitioners request for an extension of time within which to vacate the properties. It is noted that GSIS acceded to the request. Yet, the petitioner did not voluntarily vacate the properties, but instead filed a motion for reconsideration and/or to quash the writ of execution on March 27, 2000. 12 Also, the petitioner commenced a second case against GSIS and the provincial sheriff in the RTC in San Fernando, Pampanga (Civil Case No. 12053), ostensibly for consignation (coupled with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order). However, the RTC dismissed Civil Case No. 12053 on November 10, 2000 on the ground of res judicata, impelling him to appeal the dismissal to the CA (C.A.-G.R. CV No. 70300).13 In the meanwhile, the petitioner filed a motion dated April 5, 2000 in Civil Case No. 7802 to hold GSIS, et al.14 in contempt of court for painting the fence of the properties during the pendency of his motion for reconsideration and/or to quash the writ of execution.15 He filed another motion in the same case, dated April 17, 2000, to hold GSIS and its local manager Arnulfo B. Cardenas in contempt of court for ordering the electric company to cut off the electric services to the properties during the pendency of his motion for reconsideration and/or to quash the writ of execution.16> To prevent the Presiding Judge of Branch 44 of the RTC from resolving the pending incidents in Civil Case No. 7802, GSIS moved to inhibit him for alleged partiality towards the petitioner as borne out by his failure to act on the motion for reconsideration and/or to quash writ of execution, motions for contempt of court, and motion forissuance of break open order for more than a year from their filing, praying that the case be reraffled to another branch of the RTC.17 Consequently, Civil Case No. 7802 was re-assigned to Branch 48, whose Presiding Judge then denied the motions for contempt of court on July 30, 2001, and directed the Branch Clerk of Court to cause the reimplementation of the writ of execution cum writ of possession dated October 21, 1999.18 The petitioner sought reconsideration,19 but the Presiding Judge of Branch 48 denied his motion for reconsideration on February 11, 2002.20 Ruling of the CA By petition for certiorari filed in the CA, the petitioner assailed the orders of February 11, 2002, July 30, 2001, October 21, 1999, and October 8, 1999.21 The CA dismissed the petition for certiorari for lack of merit. Hence, this appeal. Issue: Whether the CA erred in refusing "to accept the nullity of the orders" of the RTC. Held: NO. The petition for review on certiorari absolutely lacks merit. Ratio: Petition for Certiorari in CA was Filed Beyond Reglementary Period

The petition assailed before the CA on certiorari the following orders of the RTC, to wit: 1. The order dated October 8, 1999 (granting the ex parte motion for execution and/or issuance of the writ of execution cum writ of possession of GSIS);25 2. The order dated October 21, 1999 (directing the issuance of the writ of execution cum writ of possession in favor of GSIS);26 3. The order dated July 30, 2001 (requiring the Branch Clerk of Court to cause the re-implementation of the writ of execution cum writ of possession, and dismissing the motions to hold GSIS, et al. in contempt);27 and 4. The order dated February 11, 2002 (denying the motion for reconsideration dated August 17, 2001 seeking the reconsideration of the order dated July 30, 2001).28 The July 30, 2001 order denied the petitioners motion for reconsideration and/or to quash writ of execution, and motion to hold GSIS, Tony Dimatulac, et al. and Arnulfo Cardenas in contempt; and declared GSISs motion for issuance of break open order and for designation of special sheriff from GSIS Legal Services Group as premature. In turn, the motion for reconsideration and/or to quash writ of execution denied by the order of July 30, 2001 had merely challenged the orders of October 8, 1999 and October 21, 1999 (granting the writ of execution cum writ of possession as a matter of course). Considering that the motion for reconsideration dated August 17, 2001 denied by the order dated February 11, 2002 was in reality and effect a prohibited second motion for reconsideration vis--vis the orders dated October 21, 1999 and October 8, 1999, the assailed orders dated July 30, 2001, October 21, 1999, and October 8, 1999 could no longer be subject to attack by certiorari. Thus, the petition for certiorari filed only in March 2002 was already improper and tardy for being made beyond the 60-day limitation defined in Section 4, Rule 65, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended,29 which requires a petition for certiorari to be filed "not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment, order or resolution," or, in case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or not, "the sixty (60) day period shall be counted from notice of the denial of the said motion." It is worth emphasizing that the 60-day limitation is considered inextendible, because the limitation has been prescribed to avoid any unreasonable delay that violates the constitutional rights of parties to a speedy disposition of their cases.30

the 2004 election of Board members. That drew him to file a complaint before the RTC Muntinlupa City (Civil Case No. 04122-Ramon C. Gonzalez v. Alabang Country Club, Inc., for damages)-(the civil case). Complainant was later disqualified as a candidate and ousted as a member of the ACCI. He thus amended his complaint in the civil case by impleading the members of the Board at the time material to his expulsion, the newly elected members, and the members of the Nomination and Election Committee. And he added, as cause of action, the nullification of his disqualification and expulsion in the reliefs prayed for. RTC: Br 256 of the Muntinlupa RTC decided the civil case in complainants favor, and issued a writ of execution allowing him to resume his rights as a member of ACCI. The defendants in the civil case assailed the trial courts decision before the CA via petition for review with application for temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or writ of preliminary injunction (CA-G.R. SP. No. 89358). This case was consolidated with related cases in which herein complainant was the respondent. CA: The appellate court issued a TRO against the execution of the decision in the civil case, drawing complainant to move for its lifting, alleging that ACCI had already voluntarily executed the decision in the civil case. His motion was, however, denied. When the TRO expired, the 9th Division of the CA issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction. Complainant challenged the appellate courts issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction via petition for certiorari filed before the Supreme Court. In the meantime, complainant, through counsel, filed before the appellate court a Motion for Inhibition of respondent because, by his claim, the issuance of the writ was against the law. SC on the petition for certiorari: By Resolution(April 11, 2007), the Court dismissed complainants petition for certiorari4 "for failure to sufficiently show that the questioned [appellate courts] Resolution is tainted with grave abuse of discretion." More than a year later or on August 20, 2008, complainant filed a letter-complaint before the SC, alleging that: (1) On September 29, 2005, or almost three (3) years ago to date, he asked his lawyer to file a Motion for Inhibition against the ponente, Justice Amelita G. Tolentino because the issuance of the injunction was obviously against the law. Up to the present, the [motion for] inhibition has not been acted upon. (2) I also understand that cases involving intracorporate controversy must be resolved as soon as possible because of [their] nature. The affairs of corporations cannot be suspended or left undecided longer than is necessary. In my case, I ran x x x for the term June 2004-June 2006 and a decision was rendered on April 4, 2005. The decision was raised to the Court of Appeals in May 2005. At that time, if the Decision was not restrained, or the case acted upon quickly as should have been the case, there was still an opportunity for me to have been duly elected and to have served as director. Because of the inaction of Justice Tolentino which is against the rule governing intra-corporate dispute, this opportunity was forever lost to me.

RAMON C. GONZALES vs. COURT OF APPEALS ASSOCIATE JUSTICE AMELITA G. TOLENTINO, A.M. No. CA-10-49-J CARPIO MORALES, J.: Facts: Ramon C. Gonzales (complainant), then a member of Alabang Country Club, Incorporated (ACCI) who was vying for a seat in its Board of Directors (the Board), was charged by the Board with having falsified proxy forms for January 28, 2010

(3) As can be seen in the Resolutions issued in the cases, they were also furnished to a certain Atty. Felisberto Verano [Atty. Verano] who is not even a counsel of record in the case nor has he entered formally his appearance. Atty. Verano is the brother of then Congresswoman Lorna Verano-Yap of Paraaque and she was instrumental in having Justice Tolentino appointed to her present post. In fact, the Writ of Preliminary Injunction was even addressed to Atty. Verano and not to any of the two (2) counsels of record for the Club. This is highly suspicious and anomalous. x x x (4) x x x I am bringing this matter to your attention because I have reason to believe that Justice Tolentino is not innocent when she granted the Writ of Injunction and totally failed to act on the petitions. This is a favor to Atty. Verano to whose sister Justice Tolentino owes a debt of gratitude for her position. In view of the scandal now besetting the CA, and recalling the removal of another associate justice last year, the taint of dishonesty and corruption may not be isolated, and in this case, the questionable inclusion of Atty. Verano should be immediately investigated, especially when there exists a link between Justice Tolentino and the Veranos. The inclusion of his name may be there to remind Justice Tolentino about his interest in the case. In a parallel move, complainant filed on August 21, 2008 before the appellate court an Urgent Verified MotionReiterating Motion for Inhibition (of Ponenteherein respondent Justice Amelita G. Tolentino). This Court referred the letter-complaint to CA Presiding Justice Conrado Vasquez for appropriate action. Respondent's Comment: By Order of October 8, 2008, respondent inhibited herself from CA-G.R. SP No. 89788.8 On October 14, 2008, she filed her Comment9 on the lettercomplaint. She claimed that there was nothing anomalous in furnishing Atty. Verano with a copy of the resolutions of the Court of Appeals, since he signed as collaborating counsel in the petition in CA-G.R. SP No. 89788. She added that she did not know Atty. Verano and "former Paraaque Congresswoman Lorna Verano Yap" (Lorna) who she claimed was never a congresswoman of Paraaque. Respecting the delay in resolving the Motion for Inhibition, respondent claimed that in view of complainants filing of the petition for certiorari before the SC, she deemed it appropriate to defer any action on the motion in deference to the authority of this Court to resolve the issues raised before it. Issues: In sum, the present administrative case complains against: 1) the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction, 2) the delay in the resolution by respondent of the Motion for Inhibition, 3) the furnishing of copies of Resolutions of the appellate court to Atty. Verano, and 4) the delay in the resolution by respondent of the cases on the merits. Ruling: (1) Since the Court has, as reflected above, found in herein complainants petition for certiorari that the issuance by the appellate court of a writ of preliminary injunction was not

attended with grave abuse of discretion, the Court shall dwell on the other specified complaints against respondent. The records show that indeed Atty. Verano signed the Petition for Review as collaborating counsel. He was, therefore, entitled to receive a copy of the appellate courts resolutions including that which directed the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction. In any event, the order to issue the writ of preliminary injunction was the collective act of the members of the 9th Division of the Court. Bautista v. Abdulwahid enlightens: x x x The Court of Appeals is a collegiate court whose members reach their conclusions in consultation and accordingly render their collective judgment after due deliberation. Thus, we have held that a charge of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act on the ground that a collective decision is "unjust" cannot prosper. Consequently, the filing of charges against a single member of a division of the appellate court is inappropriate.14 (2) Respecting the complaint about the delay in resolving complainants Motion for Inhibition, the Court notes that the motion was filed on September 29, 2005 after complainant filed before this Court on September 8, 2005 a petition for certiorari to assail the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction. As earlier stated, the Court resolved the petition for certiorari on April 11, 2007. It was only on October 8, 2008, however, or only after complainant filed on August 20, 2008 the letter-complaint which this Court referred to the Court of Appeals, and after complainant also filed on Augsut 21, 2008 a reiterative motion for inhibition, that respondent resolved the motion by granting it. Article VIII, Section 15 (1) of the Constitution directs: All cases or matters filed after the effectivity of this Constitution must be decided or resolved within twenty-four months from the date of submission for the Supreme Court, and, unless reduced by the Supreme Court, twelve months for all lower collegiate courts, and three months for all other lower courts. Respondents justification for the delay in resolving the motion for inhibition in deference to the authority of this Court to resolve the issues raised in the petition for certiorari does not impress. Section 7 of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court provides that a petition for certiorari shall not interrupt the course of the principal case unless a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction has been issued against the public respondent from further proceeding with the case. This rule must be strictly adhered to by appellate and lower courts notwithstanding the possibility that the proceedings undertaken by them tend to or would render nugatory the pending petition before this Court. But even gratuitously crediting respondents justification for the delay, since the Court resolved complainants petition for certiorari on April 11, 2007, still, given the nature and history of the cases, respondent unduly delayed the resolution of a mere motion for inhibition only on October 8, 2008, after the Court referred the present complaint to the appellate court and after complainant filed a reiterative motion. Under Section 9 (1) of Rule 14016 of the Rules of Court, undue delay in rendering a decision or order is a less serious charge. Under Section 11 (B) of the same rule, the following sanctions may be imposed on judges of regular and

special courts and justices of the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan who commit less serious offenses: 1. Suspension from office without salary and other benefits for not less than one (1) nor more than three (3) months; or 2. A fine of more exceeding P20,000.00. than P10,000.00 but not

ordered to "cease and desist" from further managing and operating the canteen. DepEd made clear that the management and operation of the canteen should revert to the Home Economics Department of the School.9 This prompted Pineda to file a petition for certiorari with prayer for TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction before the RTC. RTC ordered the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction enjoining the enforcement of Usec. Gascons decision. DepEd, represented by Usec. Gascon, Dr. Quiones and Ms. Olympiada Camilo (Ms. Camilo), who succeeded Dr. Blas as School Principal, sought the dismissal of Pinedas petition before the RTC on the ground that the latter failed to state a cause of action. The trial court denied its motion.11 For said reason, DepEd, this time represented by Assistant Secretary Camilo Miguel Montesa (Asec. Montesa), filed a petition for certiorari before the CA seeking to set aside the orders of the RTC. CA on Petition for certiorari filed by DepEd: The CA affirmed the order of the RTC denying DepEds motion to dismiss but reversed its order granting the issuance of the Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction. According to the CA, DepEds order cancelling the August-MOA had already been partially implemented as Pineda herself recognized such fact in her amended petition before the RTC. In effect, this was the status quo. In addition, the CA held that Pineda appeared to have no clear or unmistakable right to be protected since the MOA that granted her the right to operate the school canteen was, in fact, invalidated by the DepEd for not being sanctioned by its existing rules and regulations. Finally, the CA also held that there was no pressing necessity to avoid injurious consequences which would warrant the issuance of the injunctive writ as the purported damage to Pineda, if she would not able to operate the canteen, was readily quantifiable.12 Hence, Pineda filed this petition for certiorari. Issue (1) Whether CA committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when instead of dismissing the petition filed by DepEd, it gave due course to it, notwithstanding the fact that it was not a party at all and hence, with no locus standi. Pineda argues that the CA gravely abused its discretion in entertaining the petition for certiorari of DepEd considering that Asec. Montesa was not the proper party to file the petition. She adds that, even assuming that DepEd had the locus standi to file said petition before the CA, Asec. Montesa was not duly authorized to do so. Held (1): No. In her petition for certiorari before the RTC, Pineda impleaded Usec. Gascon, Dr. Quiones and Ms. Camilo in their official capacities as Undersecretary of DepEd, Division Superintendent and Principal of Lakandula High School, respectively. Although the petition mentioned that Usec. Gascon was merely a nominal party, it stated therein that Dr. Quiones and Ms. Camilo were being sued for "having been tasked to immediately carry out" his order of February 11, 2005. The Court is of the view that DepEd was the proper party and Usec. Gascon, Dr. Quiones and Ms. Camilo were just its representatives. Thus, they were sued in their official capacities. A review of Usec. Gascons order discloses that the cancellation of Pinedas August-MOA was pursuant to DepEds existing guidelines on the turn over of school canteens to teachers cooperatives, laid out in Department Order No. 95, series of 1998. He was simply applying a DepEd policy when he

Under the circumstances, this Court deems it appropriate to impose a fine of P15,000 on respondent. Respondent is found GUILTY of undue delay in rendering an order, and is FINED P15,000, with WARNING that commission of the same or similar infraction shall be faulted strictly. G.R. No. 181643 November 17, 2010

MICHELLE I. PINEDA vs. COURT OF APPEALS (Former Ninth Division) and the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, represented by Assistant Secretary CAMILO MIGUEL M. MONTESA MENDOZA, J.: CASE: A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 filed by petitioner Michelle I. Pineda (Pineda) seeking to annul and set aside the Decision of the CA, which reversed the Order of the RTC, Br 153, Pasig City (RTC) directing the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction enjoining respondent Department of Education (DepEd) from enforcing its decision to cancel a 5-year lease of the school canteen. Facts: It appears from the records that on May 14, 2004, Pineda entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MayMOA)2with Lakandula High School (LHS) represented by its principal, Dr. Alice B. Blas (Dr. Blas), for a 5-year lease of the school canteen with a monthly rental of P20,000.00 and an additional P4,000.00 monthly for the schools feeding program as well as medicines for the school clinic. Thereafter, Pineda renovated the canteen and equipped it with new utensils, tables, chairs, and electric fans.3 The faculty and personnel of LHS sent a letter to the Division School Superintendent, Dr. Ma. Luisa Quiones (Dr. Quiones), questioning the validity of the May-MOA.4 Dr. Blas sent a letter-reply and an exchange of correspondence followed.5 Meanwhile, Pineda and Dr. Blas executed another MOA (August-MOA)6superseding the May-MOA. This time, the August-MOA followed the standard form under Department Order No. 95, Series of 19987 or the "Revised Implementing Guidelines for the Turnover of School Canteens to Teachers Cooperatives." In this regard, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Isabelita Santos (Ms. Santos)and Administrative Officer Vicente N. Macarubbo (Mr. Macarubbo) wrote a letter to Dr. Quiones relaying their observations on the controversy and recommending that their findings "be submitted to the DepEd Central Office for its final word on the matter."8 Ms. Santos and Mr. Macarubbo were of the view that Dr. Blas did not violate any rule in executing the August-MOA. They even found the lease to Pineda beneficial to the school. Thus, Dr. Quiones wrote the DepEd seeking its decision on the matter. Respondent DepEd, through Undersecretary Jose Luis Martin Gascon (Usec. Gascon),declared the August-MOA "null and void ab initio" and ordered it "cancelled." Pineda was also

ordered the August-MOA cancelled. So, what was actually being assailed by Pineda in her petition before the RTC was the implementation of DepEds existing guidelines with the nullification of the August-MOA entered into by Dr. Blas, then principal of LHS.15 As Asec. Montesa merely took over the functions of Usec. Gascon, he is certainly authorized to institute the petition before the CA in order to advance and pursue the policies of his office DepEd. Applying Rule 3, Section 2 of the Revised Rules of Court, DepEd is the real party in interest for it will surely be affected, favorably or unfavorably, by the final resolution of the case before the RTC. Thus, it would be absurd not to recognize the legal standing of Asec. Montesa, as representative of DepEd, but consider Dr. Quiones and Ms. Camilo as the proper parties when they were merely tasked to implement a directive emanating from a superior official (Asec. Montesa) of the DepEd. Issue (2) Whether CA committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it did not dismiss outright the petition since no motion for reconsideration was filed from the orders of the RTC, in violation of Section 4, Rule 65. Pineda questions DepEds failure to move for reconsideration before going to the CA on certiorari. Held: No. As previously discussed, the present case concerns the implementation or application of a DepEd policy which had been enjoined by the RTC. Certainly, there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interest of the government. Moreover, the subject matter of the case involves the operation of the canteen of a public secondary school. This is of public interest for it affects the welfare of the students, thus, justifying the relaxation of the settled rule. Ratio: The general rule is that a motion for reconsideration is a condition sine qua non before a petition for certiorari may lie, its purpose being to grant an opportunity for the court a quo to correct any error attributed to it by a re-examination of the legal and factual circumstances of the case.16 There are, however, recognized exceptions permitting a resort to the special civil action for certiorari without first filing a motion for reconsideration. In the case of Domdom v. Sandiganbayan,17 it was written: The rule is, however, circumscribed by well-defined exceptions, such as where the order is a patent nullity because the court a quo had no jurisdiction; where the questions raised in the certiorari proceeding have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court; where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question, and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner, or the subject matter of the action is perishable; where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless; where the petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief; where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the grant of such relief by the trial court is improbable; where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; where the proceedings were ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and where the issue raised is one purely of law or where public interest is involved.18 (underscoring supplied)

Still on the second ground, Pineda points out that the March 14, 2005 Order of the RTC was received by the DepEd on March 16, 2005 and the latter filed its petition before the CA on June 28, 2005, which was beyond the sixty (60)-day reglementary period. Going over DepEds petition before the CA, it appears that DepEd reckoned the 60-day period from June 28, 2005, the date of its receipt of the June 7, 2005 Order of the RTC. Pinedas Comment and Memorandum, however, did not raise this procedural lapse as an issue. Instead, Pineda put forth her own arguments in support of the two RTC orders. The rule in pleadings and practice is that that no new issue in a case can be raised in a pleading which by due diligence could have been raised in previous pleadings.19 Thus, it is too late in the day for Pineda to question the procedural lapse. Issue (3) Whether CA committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it dissolved the writ of injunction issued by the RTC, thereby unjustifiably interfering with the lower court's discretion in issuing writ of injunction in favor of petitioner. Held: No. At any rate, the Court finds no cogent reason for the reversal and setting aside by the CA of the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction issued by the RTC. The very writ of preliminary injunction set aside by the CA could no longer lie for the acts sought to be enjoined had already been accomplished or consummated.20 The DepEd already prohibited Pineda from operating the school canteen. As correctly ruled by the CA in its questioned decision, since Pineda had ceased the operation of the school canteen since 2005, the RTCs preliminary writ should be set aside as there was nothing more to enjoin. The Court agrees with the CA when it explained: Ratio: A preliminary injunction is a provisional remedy that a party may resort to in order to preserve and protect certain rights and interests during the pendency of an action. Its sole objective is to preserve the status quo until the merits of the case can be heard fully. Status quo is defined as the last actual, peaceful, and uncontested status that precedes the actual controversy, that which is existing at the time of the filing of the case. Indubitably, the trial court must not make use of its injunctive relief to alter such status. Finally, while the grant or denial of a preliminary injunction is discretionary on the part of the trial court, grave abuse of discretion is committed when it does not maintain the status quo which is the last actual, peaceable and uncontested status which preceded the actual controversy. If there is such a commission, it is correctible through a writ of certiorari.22 In this case, the status quo ante litem or the state of affairs existing at the time of the filing of the case was that Pineda was already prohibited from operating the school canteen. For said reason, the trial court cannot make use of its injunctive power to change said status. The petition is DENIED.

G.R. No. 110280 October 12, 1993 UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES BOARD OF REGENTS and DR. OLIVIA C. CAOILI in her capacity as Secretary of the Board vs. ELSIE LIGOT-TELAN in her capacity as Presiding Judge of Br 87, RTC Quezon City and RAMON P. NADAL ROMERO, J.: G.R. No. 110280 October 12, 1993 UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES BOARD OF REGENTS and DR. OLIVIA C. CAOILI in her capacity as Secretary of the Board vs. ELSIE LIGOT-TELAN in her capacity as Presiding Judge of Br 87, RTC Quezon City and RAMON P. NADAL ROMERO, J.: The U.P. administration conceptualized and implemented the socialized scheme of tuition fee payments through the Socialized Tuition Fee and Assistance Program (STFAP), popularly known as the "Iskolar ng Bayan" program. Spawned by the public clamor to overcome what was perceived as the sharpening elitist profile of the U.P studentry, the STFAP aspired to expand the coverage of government educational subsidies so as to include the deserving in the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder. After broad consultations with the various university constituencies by U.P. President Abueva, the U.P. Board of Regents issued on April 28, 1988 a Resolution establishing the STFAP. A year later, it was granted official recognition when the Congress of the Philippines allocated a portion of the National Budget for the implementation of the program. In the interest of democratizing admission to the State University, all students are entitled to apply for STFAP benefits which include reduction in fees, living and book subsidies and student assistantships which give undergraduate students the opportunity to earn P12.00 per hour by working for the University. Applicants are required to accomplish a questionnaire where, among others, they state the amount and source of the annual income of the family, their real and personal properties and special circumstances from which the University may evaluate their financial status and need on the basis of which they are categorized into brackets. At the end the application form, the student applicant, as well as his parent, signs a sworn statement. From the early stages of its implementation, measures were adopted to safeguard the integrity of the program. One such precautionary measure was the inclusion as one of the punishable acts under Section 2 (a) of the Rules and Regulations on Student Conduct and Discipline of the University the deliberate falsification or suppression/withholding of any material information required in the application form. To further insure the integrity of the program, a random sampling scheme of verification of data indicated in a student's application form is undertaken. Among those who applied for STFAP benefits for School Year 1989-90 was Ramon P. Nadal, a student enrolled in the College of Law. On March 14, 1991, a team conducted a home investigation at the residence of Nadal at 31 Twinpeaks Drive, Blue Ridge, Quezon City. Ms. Cristeta Packing, Nadal's aunt, was interviewed and the team submitted a home visit report. Consolacion Urbino,

Scholarship Affairs Officer II, found discrepancies between the report and Nadal's application form. Forthwith, she and Bella M. Villanueva, head of the Office of Scholarships and Student Services, presented the matter to the Diliman Committee on Scholarships and Financial Assistance. 2 In compliance with the said Committee's directive, Bella Villanueva wrote Nadal informing him that the investigation showed that he had failed to declare, not only the fact that he had been maintaining a 1977 Corolla car which was owned by his brother but also the income of his mother who was supporting his brothers Antonio and Federico. Nadal was likewise informed that the Diliman Committee had reclassified him to Bracket 9 (from Bracket 4), retroactive to June 1989, unless he could submit "proofs to the contrary." Nadal was required "to pay back the equivalent amount of full school fees" with "interest based on current commercial rates." Failure to settle his account would mean the suspension of his registration privileges and the withholding of clearance and transcript of records. He was also warned that his case might be referred to the Student Disciplinary Tribunal for further investigation. 3 Nadal issued a certification stating, among other things, that his mother migrated to the United States in 1981 but because her residency status had not yet been legalized, she had not been able to find a "stable, regular, well-paying employment." He also stated that his mother, jointly with his brother Virgilio, was shouldering the expenses of the college education of his two younger brothers. 4 Noting further discrepancies between Nadal's application form and the certification, the U.P. charged Nadal before the Student Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) with voluntarily and willfully withholding and not declaring the following: (a) That he has and maintains a car (Toyota Corolla, Model 1977); and (b) The income of his mother (Natividad Packing Nadal) in the U.S.A., in support of the studies of his brothers Antonio and Federico, which acts of willfully withholding information is tantamount to acts of dishonesty in relation to his studies, in violation of paragraph (a), Section 2, of the Rules and Regulations on Student Conduct and Discipline, as amended. (Approved by the B.O.R. at its 876th meeting on 02 September 1976, amended at the 923rd B.O.R. meeting on 31 January 1980, and further amended at its 1017th B.O.R. meeting on 08 December 1988). SDT Ruling: After hearing, the SDT rendered a decision in SDT Case No. 91-026 exculpating Nadal of the charge. As such, the SDT imposed upon Nadal the penalty of expulsion from the University and required him to reimburse all STFAP benefits he had received but if he does not voluntarily make reimbursement, it shall be "effected by the University thru outside legal action." The SDT decision was thereafter automatically elevated to the Executive Committee of U.P. Diliman for review pursuant to Sec. 20 of the U.P. Rules on Student Conduct and Discipline. Exec Committee Ruling: The Executive Committee, affirmed the decision of the SDT; whereupon, Nadal appealed to the Board of Regents (BOR). The appeal was included in the agenda of the BOR meeting on January 25, 1993. 9 On January 18, 1993, upon her assumption to the Chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Education, thereby

making her automatically a member of the BOR, Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani wrote the BOR a letter expressing her view that, after a close review of Nadal s case by her legal staff, "it is only fair and just to find Mr. Nadal's appeal meritorious and his arguments worthy of belief. Consequently, he should be allowed to graduate and take the bar examinations this year." 10 Board of Regents Ruling: At its meeting, the BOR affirmed the decision of the SDT but the penalty was modified "from Expulsion to One Year- Suspension, effective immediately, plus reimbursement of all benefits received from the STFAP, with legal interest." Nadal forthwith filed a motion for reconsideration of the BOR decision. The U.P. filed an opposition to Nadal's motion for reconsideration. Thereafter, the BOR held a special meeting. At the said special meeting, the Board decided to go into executive session where the following transpired: xxx xxx A vote was held by secret ballot on whether Ramon P. Nadal was guilty or not guilty as charged of willful withholding of information in relation to his application for Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) benefits which he filed for Schoolyears 1989-1990 and 1990-1991 which is tantamount to act of dishonesty in relation to his studies, in violation of paragraph (a), Section 2 of the Rules and Regulations on Student Conduct and Discipline, as amended. The Chairman gave the following results of the Board action during the Executive Session: four (4) voted guilty; three (3) voted not guilty; and three (3) gave conditional votes, pending verification with Father Raymond Holscher of Ateneo de Manila University of Ramon P. Nadal's statement in his STFAP application that he was granted scholarship while he was in high school. Should Ateneo confirm that Nadal had not received financial assistance, then the conditional votes would be considered as guilty, and if otherwise, then not guilty. The Chairman requested the President to make the verification as soon as possible the next day. In answer to a query, the Chairman clarified that once the information was received from Ateneo, there would be no need for another meeting to validate the decision. The President reiterated his objections to the casting of conditional votes. The Chairman himself did not vote. 13 In the morning of March 29, 1993, the AdeMU issued a certification to the effect that Nadal was indeed a recipient of a scholarship grant from 1979 to 1983. That evening, the BOR met again at a special meeting at the Westin Philippine Plaza Hotel. According to Regent Carpio, in executive session, the BOR found Nadal "guilty" as the members voted as follows: six members guilty, three members not guilty, and three members abstained. 14Consequently, the BOR imposed on Nadal the penalties of suspension for one (1) year effective March 29, 1993, non-issuance of any certificate of good moral character during the suspension and/or as long as Nadal has not reimbursed the STFAP benefits he had received with 12% interest per annum from march 30, 1993 and non-issuance of his transcript of records until he has settled his financial obligations with the university. 15 On March 30, 1993, Nadal wrote President Abueva a handwritten letter stating that "after learning of the latest

decision" of the BOR, he had been "intensely concentrating on (his) job so that (he) can earn enough to pay for (his) financial obligations to the University." Alleging that he was "now letting nature take its course," Nadal begged President Abueva not to issue any press release regarding the case. 16 However, on April 22, 1993, Nadal filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a petition for mandamus with preliminary injunction and prayer for a temporary restraining order against President Abueva, the BOR, Oscar M. Alfonso, Cesar A. Buenaventura, Armand V. Fabella and Olivia C. Caoili. The petition prayed: After trial on the merits, judgment be rendered as follows: a. Making permanent; the preliminary injunction

b. Ordering respondents 'to uphold and implement their decision rendered on 28 March 1993, exonerating petitioner from all the charges against him, and accordingly dismissing SDT No. 91-026; c. Ordering respondents jointly and severally to pay petitioner litigation expenses of at least P150,000.00. Other just and equitable reliefs are likewise prayed for. 17 The motion for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and the writ of preliminary injunction was immediately set for hearing. At the May 10, 1993 hearing, the lower court declared that the only issue to be resolved was "whether or not the respondents in Civil Case No. 93-15665 violated (Nadal's) right to due process when it rendered a decision finding Nadal guilty of the charges against him" during the March 29, 1993 meeting. After the respondents had presented their first witness, Dr. Olivia C. Caoili, the lower court asked respondents' counsel whether they were amenable to maintaining the status quo. Said counsel replied in the negative, asserting the University's prerogative to discipline students found guilty of violating its rules of discipline. 18 On the same day, the lower court 19 issued the following Order: The parties were heard on their respective positions on the incident (application for preliminary injunction and prayer for temporary restraining order and opposition thereto). For lack of material time set this for continuation on May 17 and 18, 1993 both at 2:30 p.m. In the meantime, in order that the proceedings of this case may not be rendered moot and academic, the respondents herein, namely: Jose V. Abueva, President of the University of the Philippines and Vice-Chairman of the U.P. Board of Regents, Oscar M. Alfonso, Cesar A. Buenaventura and Armand V. Fabella, members of the U.P. Board of Regents, Olivia C. Caoili, the officers, agents, representatives, and all persons acting in their behalf, are hereby temporarily restrained from implementing their decision rendered on March 29, 1993 in Administrative SDT Case No. 91-026 entitled University of the

Philippines vs. Ramon P. Nadal, as reflected in the Minutes of the 1062nd meeting of the Board of Regents, U.P. held at the Romblon Room, Westin Phil. Plaza, Manila, until further order from this Court. SO ORDERED. Thereafter, Nadal presented as witnesses Regents Emerenciana Y. Arcellana, Ariel P. Tanangonan, Leticia R. Shahani and Antonio T. Carpio. The University, on the other hand, presented Dr. Olivia Caoili and Nadal himself as a hostile witness. On May 29, 1993, the lower court issued the following Order: The petitioner complains that he was not afforded due process when, after the Board Meeting on SDT Case No. 91-026 on March 28, 1993 that resulted in a decision of "NOT GUILTY" in his favor, the Chairman of the U.P. Board of Regents, without notice to the herein petitioner, called another meeting the following day to deliberate on his (the Chairman's) MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION, which this time resulted in a decision of "GUILTY." While he main issue of violation of due process raised in the petition pends trial and resolution, the petitioner prays for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction prohibiting the respondents from further proceeding with SDT Case No. 21-026 and from suspending the petitioner for one year. It is a basic requirement in the issuance of the preliminary injunctive writ that there must be a right to be protected. As the issue in the case at bar is due process in the March 29 Board meeting, there is, indeed, a right to be protected for, in administrative proceedings, a respondent's right to due process exists not only at the early stages but also at the final stage thereof. With the circulation to the members of the Board of Regents, as well as to other UP personnel, of the Minutes of the March 29, 1993 meeting, even after this case had already been filed, the Court is convinced that there now exists a threat to the petitioner (respondent in SDT Case No, 91-026) that the decision of the Board of Regents finally finding him guilty of willfully withholding information material to his application for Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) benefits, will be implemented at any time, especially during the enrollment period, and this implementation would work injustice to the petitioner as it would delay him in finishing his course, and, consequently, in getting a decent and good paying job. The injury thus caused would be irreparable. "Damages are irreparable within the meaning of the rule where there is no standard by which their amount can be measured

with reasonable accuracy. Where the damage is susceptible of mathematical computation, it is not irreparable." (Social Security Commission v. Bayona, et al., G.R. No. L-13555, May 30, 1962). IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, and so as not to render moot the issues in the instant proceedings, let a writ of preliminary injunction be issued restraining the respondents, their officers, agent(s), representatives, and all persons acting in their behalf, from further proceeding with SDT Case No. 91-026, and from suspending petitioner, upon the latter's filing a bond in the amount of P3,000.00. IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 Dispensing with the filing of a motion for reconsideration, the petitioners filed the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for the issuance of an injunction or temporary restraining order, raising the following issues: whether or not Nadal was denied due process in the administrative disciplinary proceedings against him, and, whether or not the respondent judge gravely abused her discretion in issuing the May 29, 1993 writ of preliminary injunction thereby preventing the BOR from implementing the suspension penalty it had imposed on Nadal. Before proceeding with the discussion of the merits of the instant petition, we shall confront a threshold issue raised by private respondent, namely, that Dr. Caoili, not having been authorized by the Board of Regents as a collegial body to file the instant petition, and Dr. Abueva, who verified the petition, not being the "Board of Regents" nor "the University of the Philippines," they are not real parties in interest who should file the same. 21 A real party in interest is one "who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. 'Interest' within the meaning of the rule means material interest, an interest in issue and to be affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental interest."22 Undoubtedly, the U.P. Board of Regents has an interest to protect inasmuch as what is in issue here is its power to impose disciplinary action against a student who violated the Rules and Regulations on Student Conduct and Discipline by withholding information in connection with his application for STFAP benefits, which information, if disclosed, would have sufficed to disqualify him from receiving the financial assistance he sought. Such dishonesty, if left unpunished, would have the effect of subverting a commendable program into which the University officials had devoted much time and expended precious resources, from the conceptualization to the implementation stage, to rationalize the socialized scheme of tuition fee payments in order that more students may benefit from the public funds allocated to the State University. Having specifically named Drs. Abueva and Caoili as respondents in the petition for mandamus that he filed below, Nadal is now estopped from questioning their personality to file the instant petition. 23 Moreover, under Sec. 7 of the U.P. Charter

(Act 1870) and Sec. 11 of the University Code "all process" against the BOR shall be served on "the president or secretary thereof'." It is in accordance with these legal provisions that Dr. Caoili is named as a petitioner. Necessarily, Dr. Abueva, the University President and member of the BOR, has to verify the petition. It is not mandatory, however, that each and every member of the BOR be named petitioners. As the Court has time and again held, an action may be entertained, notwithstanding the failure to include an indispensable party where it appears that the naming of the party would be but a formality. 24 No longer novel, as this is not a case of first impression, is the issue on the right of an academic institution to refuse admission to a student arising from the imposition upon him of an administrative disciplinary sanction. In our recent decision in Ateneo de Manila University v. Hon. Ignacio M. Capulong, 25 wherein certain law students were dismissed for hazing resulting in the death of another, we held that the matter of admission of students is within the ambit of academic freedom and therefore, beyond the province of the courts to decide. Certain fundamental principles bear stressing. One of the arguments of Nadal in his petition for mandamus below was that he was denied due process. To clarify, the so-called lack of due process referred only to the March 29, 1993 meeting of the BOR. As stated by respondent's counsel: "What was conceded by undersigned counsel was that Nadal was afforded due process from the start of the administrative proceeding up to the meeting of the Board of Regents on March 28, 1993." 26 With respect to the March 29, 1993 meeting, respondent considers the same as "unquestionably void for lack of due process" inasmuch as he was not sent a notice of said meeting. Counsel cites the ruling in Non v. Dames II 27that imposition of sanctions on students requires "observance of procedural due process," 28 the phrase obviously referring to the sending of notice of the meeting. Attention is drawn to the disparate factual environments obtaining in Non v. Dames II and in the instant case. In the former case, the students were refused admission for having led or participated in student mass actions against the school, thereby posing a collision between constitutionally cherished rights freedom of expression and academic freedom. In the case at bar, Nadal was suspended for having breached the University's disciplinary rules. In the Non case, the Court ruled that the students were not afforded due process for even the refusal to re-enroll them appeared to have been a mere afterthought on part of the school administrators. Here, Nadal does not dispute the fact that his right to due process was held inviolate until the BOR decided to meet on March 29, 1993 with his case as the sole item on the agenda. In any event it is gross error to equate due process in the instant case with the sending of notice of the March 29, 1993 BOR meeting to respondent. University rules do not require the attendance in BOR meetings of individuals whose cases are included as items on the agenda of the Board. This is not exclusive of students whose disciplinary cases have been appealed to the Board of Regents as the final review body. At no time did respondent complain of lack of notice given to him to attend any of the regular and special BOR meetings where his case was up for deliberation. He would make an exception of the March 29, 1993 meeting for it was "supposed to reconsider the decision made on March 28, 1993 exonerating respondent Nadal from all administrative charges against him." 29

Regent Antonio T. Carpio, in his testimony before the lower court on May 25, 1993 admitted that there was no final verdict at the March 28, 1993 meeting in view of the conditional votes resulting from his assertion that he was "not morally convinced that there was sufficient evidence to make a finding of guilty against Nadal because there was no direct evidence that his mother received income from the United States and this income was sent to the Philippines to support the studies of the children." 30 Two regents shared the view of Regent Carpio, with the following result: four voted guilty, three, not guilty, and three cast conditional votes. The BOR agreed that, upon the suggestion of Regent Carpio, they would still verify from the AdeMU about Nadal's alleged scholarship as a student in said institution. Consequently, no definitive decision was arrived at by the BOR on March 28, 1993, Much less was a verdict of exoneration handed down as averred by respondent. Regent Carpio testified, with respect to the March 29, 1993 meeting where all twelve members of the BOR were present, that all of them participated in the voting held to reconsider the previous day's decision. He stated "I remember Regent Arcellana questioning the voting again on the ground that there was already a final decision, but there was a vote taken on whether a motion for reconsideration can be decided by the board, and a majority of the board ruled that the matter can be reconsidered again upon motion of the chairman." 31 At said meeting, six (6) regents voted to find respondent guilty, three (3) voted that he was not guilty and three (3) abstained. As succinctly announced by Regent Carpio, the final decision was that which was rendered on March 29, 1993 as "no other decision was made by the Board with respect to the same issue." 32 Counsel for Nadal charged before the lower court that his client was "not given due process in the March 29 meeting because the ground upon which he was again convicted was not the same as the original charge." 33Obviously, he was referring to the basis of the conditional votes on March 28, i.e., whether or not Nadal was telling the truth when he claimed that he received a scholarship grant from the AdeMU. However, Regent Carpio himself testified that the charge considered was "exactly the same charge" of withholding information on the income of Nadal's mother. 34 It should be stressed that the reason why Regent Carpio requested a verification of Nadal's claim that he was a scholar at the AdeMU was that Regent Carpio was not "morally convinced" yet as to the guilt of Nadal. In other words, he sought additional insights into the character of Nadal through the information that would be obtained from the AdeMU. In this regard, we find such information to be irrelevant and a mere superfluity. In his July, 12, 1991 certification aforementioned, Nadal admitted, although inconsistently, that his mother was a "TNT" who could not find a "stable, regular, well-paying employment" but that she was supporting the education of his brothers with the help of another son. To our mind, this constitutes sufficient admission that Nadal withheld information on the income, however measly and irregular, of his mother. Unlike in criminal cases which require proof beyond reasonable doubt as basis for a judgment, in administrative or quasi-judicial proceedings, only substantial evidence is required, that which means more than a mere scintilla or relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, even if other minds equally reasonable might conceivably opine otherwise. 35 In light of the

foregoing circumstances, we find that Nadal has been sufficiently proven to have violated his undertaking to divulge all information needed when he applied for the benefits of the STFAP. Let it not be forgotten that respondent aspires to join the ranks of the professionals who would uphold truth at all costs so that justice may prevail. The sentinels who stand guard at the portals leading to the hallowed Temples of Justice cannot be overzealous in admitting only those who are intellectually and morally fit. In those who exhibit duplicity in their student days, one spots the shady character who is bound to sow the seeds of chicanery in the practice of his profession. Having reached his senior year, respondent is presumably aware that the bedrock axiom, Canon I, Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states: "A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct." Further on, Canon 7, Rule 7.01 provides: "A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making a false statement or suppressing a material fact in connection with his application for admission to the bar." (Emphasis supplied for emphasis) Surely, it is not too early to warn entrants to the noble profession of law that honesty and integrity are requirements no less weighty than hurdling the Bar examinations. This is the reason why a certification of good moral character is one of the documents that must be submitted in applying to take said examination. In fact, a charge of immoral or deceitful conduct on the part of an applicant, when proved, is a ground for disqualifying him. To revert to the instant case, inasmuch as it has been shown sufficiently that respondent has committed an act of dishonesty in withholding vital information in connection with his application for STFAP benefits, all in blatant violation of the Rules and Regulations on Student Conduct and Discipline of petitioner University, the latter's inherent power and authority to impose disciplinary sanction may be invoked and rightfully exercised. As a Bohemian proverb puts it: "A school without discipline is like a mill without water." Insofar as the water turns the mill, so does the school's disciplinary power assure its right to survive and continue operating. In more relevant terms, through its power to impose disciplinary sanctions, an educational institution is able to exercise its academic freedom which is, in the case at bar, the right to suspend and refuse admission to a student who has subverted its authority in the implementation of the critically important STFAP. At the risk of being repetitious, the matter of admission to a University is encompassed by the right of academic freedom. In Garcia v. The Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology 36 the Court stated that a school or college which is possessed of the right of academic freedom "decides for itself its aims and objectives and how best to attain them. It is free from outside coercion or interference save possibly when the overriding public welfare calls for some restraint. It has a wide sphere of autonomy certainly extending to the choice of students." Elucidating, in Ateneo de Manila University v. Hon. Ignacio M. Capulong, 37 the Court further expounded: Since Garcia v. Loyola School of Theology, we have consistently upheld the salutary proposition that admission to an institution of higher learning is discretionary upon a school, the same being a privilege on the part of the

student rather than a right. While under the Education Act of 1982, students have a right "to freely choose their field of study, subject to existing curricula and to continue their course therein up to graduation," such right is subject, as all rights are, to the established academic and disciplinary standards laid down by the academic institution. For private schools have the right to establish reasonable rules and regulations for the admission, discipline and promotion of students. This right . . . extends as well to parents . . . as parents are under a social and moral (if not legal) obligation, individually and collectively, to assist and cooperate with the schools. Such rules are "incident to the very object of incorporation and indispensable to the successful management of the college. The rules may include those governing student discipline." Going a step further, the establishment of rules governing universitystudent relations, particularly those pertaining to student discipline, may be regarded as vital, if not merely to the smooth and efficient operation of the institution, but to its very survival. Within memory of the current generation is the eruption of militancy in the academic groves as collectively, the students demanded and plucked for themselves from the panoply of academic freedom their own rights encapsulized under the rubric of "right to education" forgetting that, in Hohfeldian terms, they have a concomitant duty, that is, their duty to learn under the rules laid down by the school. (Emphasis supplied.) On the second issue presented for adjudication, the Court finds that the lower court gravely abused its discretion in issuing the writ of preliminary injunction of May 29, 1993. The issuance of the said writ was based on the lower court's finding that the implementation of the disciplinary sanction of suspension on Nadal "would work injustice to the petitioner as it would delay him in finishing his course, and consequently, in getting a decent and good paying job." Sadly, such a ruling considers only the situation of Nadal without taking into account the circumstances clearly of his own making, which led him into such a predicament. More importantly, it has completely disregarded the overriding issue of academic freedom which provides more than ample justification for the imposition of a disciplinary sanction upon an erring student of an institution of higher learning. From the foregoing arguments, it is clear that the lower court should have restrained itself from assuming jurisdiction over the petition filed by Nadal. Mandamus is never issued in doubtful cases, a showing of a clear and certain right on the part of the petitioner being required. 38 It is of no avail against an official or government agency whose duty requires the exercise of discretion or judgment. 39 Hence, by issuing the writ of preliminary injunction, the lower court dared to tread upon legally forbidden grounds. For, by

virtue of the writ, the University's exercise of academic freedom was peremptorily curtailed. Moreover, the door was flung wide open for Nadal to do exactly what the decision of the BOR prohibited him from doing and that is, to violate the suspension order by enrolling for the first semester of 1993-1994. It must have been with consternation that the University officials helplessly watching him complete his academic requirements for taking the Bar. 40 In the event that he be allowed to continue with his studies he would, in effect render moot and academic the disciplinary sanction of suspension legally imposed upon him by the BOR's final decision of March 29, 1993. What is to prevent other aspirants for STFAP scholarships from misleading the University authorities by misrepresenting certain facts or as in instant case, withholding vital information and stating downright falsehoods, in their application forms with impunity? Not only would this undermine the authority of the U.P. to discipline its students who violated the rules and regulations of the institution but, more importantly, subvert the very concept and lofty intent to give financial assistance to poor but deserving students through the STFAP which, incidentally, has not ceased refining and modifying it's operations. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED and the lower court is hereby ordered to DISMISS the petition formandamus. SO ORDERED.

title of the Tuasons' vendor, Carmel, which had earlier purchased from the Government the land it had subsequently subdivided into several lots for sale to the public (the Tuasons being among the buyers). The land bought by Carmel was part of the Tala Estate (one of the so-called "Friar Lands"). Carmel had bought the land under Act No. 1120 and C.A. No. 32, as amended. Said PD No. 293 made the finding 2 that Carmel had failed to complete payment of the price. It adjudged that ... according to the records of the Bureau of Lands, neither the original purchasers nor their subsequent transferees have made full payment of all installments of the purchase money and interest on the lots claimed by the Carmel Farms, Inc., including those on which the dwellings of the members of said Association 3 stand. Hence, title to said land has remained with the Government, and the land now occupied by the members of said association has never ceased to form part of the property of the Republic of the Philippines, any and all acts affecting said land and purporting to segregate it from the said property of the Republic of the Philippines being therefore null and void ab initio as against the law and public policy. Upon this adjudgment, Mr. Marcos invalidated the titles of Carmel Farms, Inc. and all those derived therefrom, and declared as aforestated "the members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc. the present bona fide occupants" of the lots which, in consequence, thereby became open to them for "disposition and sale ... pursuant to Commonwealth Act No. 32, as amended." 4 It seems to have completely escaped Mr. Marcos' attention that his decree contained contradictory declarations. While acknowledging on the one hand that the lots in the Carmel Subdivision were occupied by the buyers thereof, and in fact the latter's dwellings stood thereon, he states on the other that the "members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc. (are) the present bona fide occupants" of all said lots. The latter averment is not only essentially inconsistent with the former but is both a physical and legal fallacy. Well known is the rule of physics that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. And the absurdity of the subsumed proposition is self-evident for persons not in possession of land, who probably have not even set foot thereon, cannot be deemed "occupants" thereof, much less "bona fide" occupants. But this notwithstanding, and upon the factual premise already indicated, Mr. Marcos disposed of the land of the petitioner spouses and others similarly situated. The Tuason Spouses thereupon filed with the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari assailing the Marcos decree as an arbitrary measure which deprived them of their property in favor of a selected group, in violation not only of the constitutional provisions on due process and eminent domain 5 but also of the provisions of the Land Registration Act on the indefeasibility of Torrens titles; 6 and they prayed that the Register of Deeds be directed to cancel the derogatory inscription on their title and restore its efficacy, or in the alternative, that they be compensated for the loss from the Assurance Fund. Mr. Marcos' Solicitor General sought to sustain the decree. In his comment on the petition, 7 he questioned the propriety of the remedy of certiorari resorted to by the petitioners, it not appearing that the public respondents were being sued as

G.R. No. 70484 January 29, 1988 ROMAN C. TUASON and REMEDIOS V. TUASON, by attorneyin-fact Trinidad S. Viado vs. REGISTER OF DEEDS, CALOOCAN City, et al. NARVASA, J.: A more despotic, capricious, oppressive and unjustifiable exercise of government power than that manifested in this case can scarcely be found in the sordid annals of the martial law regime. Relief to the victims must be as it is hereby extended by the grant to them of the extraordinary writ of certiorari and prohibition condemning as unconstitutional, and annulling and perpetually enjoining the acts complained of. Facts: Petitioner spouses, the Tuasons, were retired public school teachers. On April 6, 1965, with funds pooled from their retirement benefits and savings, they bought from Carmel Farms, Inc. (hereafter simply, Carmel) a piece of land measuring about 8,756 square meters, in the latter's subdivision in Barrio Makatipo, Caloocan City. In virtue of this sale, Carmel's Torrens title (No. 64007) over the lot was cancelled and a new one (No. 8314) issued in the name of the Tuasons. The Tuasons took possession of their property. Some 8 years thereafter, the Tuasons' travails began. They woke up one morning to discover that by presidential flat, they were no longer the owners of the land they had purchased with their hard-earned money, and that their land and the other lots in the subdivision had been "declared open for disposition and sale to the members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc., the present bona fide occupants thereof." On September 14, 1973-a year almost to the day after the declaration of martial law Mr. Ferdinand Marcos, then president of the country, invoking his emergency powers, issued PD No. 293 with immediate effect. The decree invalidated inter alia the

judicial or quasi-judicial officers who had acted without or in excess of their jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion. Petitions for intervention have of late been filed by sixty-four (64) persons, members of the "Consuelo Heights Homeowners Association" headed by Tomasa Bartolome, on the claim that they, too, had been divested of their lands by the same PD No. 293, adopting as their own the allegations and prayer embodied in the Tuasons' petition. Issue: Whether the remedy of petition for certiorari is proper. Held: Yes. Ratio: (1) It is true that the extraodinary writ of certiorari 9 may properly issue to nullify only judicial or quasi-judicial acts, unlike the writ of prohibition which may be directed against acts either judicial or ministerial. Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court deals with the writ of certiorari in relation to "any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial functions, while Section 2 of the same Rule treats of the writ of prohibition in relation to "proceedings of any tribunal, corporation, board, or person ... exercising functions judicial or ministerial." But the petition will be shown upon analysis to be in reality directed against an unlawful exercise of judicial power. The decree reveals that Mr. Marcos exercised an obviously judicial function. He made a determination of facts, and applied the law to those facts, declaring what the legal rights of the parties were in the premises. These acts essentially constitute a judicial function, 10 or an exercise of jurisdiction which is the power and authority to hear or try and decide or determine a cause. 11 He adjudged it to be an established fact that neither the original purchasers nor their subsequent transferees have made full payment of all installments of the purchase money and interest on the lots claimed by Carmel Farms, Inc., including those on which the dwellings of the members of ... (the) Association (of homeowners) stand." And applying the law to that situation, he made the adjudication that "title to said land has remained with the Government, and the land now occupied by the members of said association has never ceased to form part of the property of the Republic of the Philippines," and that 'any and all acts affecting said land and purporting to segregate it from the said property of the Republic ... (were) null and void ab initio as against the law and public policy. These acts may thus be properly struck down by the writ of certiorari, because done by an officer in the performance of what in essence is a judicial function, if it be shown that the acts were done without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion. Since Mr. Marcos was never vested with judicial power, such power, as everyone knows, being vested in the Supreme Court and such inferior courts as may be established by law 12 the judicial acts done by him were in the circumstances indisputably perpetrated without jurisdiction. The acts were completely alien to his office as chief executive, and utterly beyond the permissible scope of the legislative power that he had assumed as head of the martial law regime. (2) In any event, this Court has it in its power to treat the petition for certiorari as one for prohibition if the averments of the former sufficiently made out a case for the latter. 13 Considered in this wise, it will also appear that an executive officer had acted without jurisdiction exercised judicial power not granted to him by the Constitution or the

laws and had furthermore performed the act in violation of the constitutional rights of the parties thereby affected. The Court will grant such relief as may be proper and efficacious in the premises even if not specifically sought or set out in the prayer of the appropriate pleading, the permissible relief being determined after all not by the prayer but by the basic averments of the parties' pleadings. 14 There is no dispute about the fact that title to the land purchased by Carmel was actually issued to it by the Government. This of course gives rise to the strong presumption that official duty has been regularly performed,15 that official duty being in this case the ascertainment by the Chief of the Bureau of Public Lands of the fulfillment of the condition prescribed by law for such issuance, i.e., the payment in full of the price, together with all accrued interest. Against this presumption there is no evidence. It must hence be accorded full sway in these proceedings. Furthermore, the title having been duly issued to Carmel, it became "effective in the manner provided in section one hundred and twenty-two of the Land Registration Act." 16 Ruling: PD No. 293 is declared to be unconstitutional and void ab initio in all its parts. The public respondents are directed to cancel the inscription on the titles of the petitioners and the petitioners in intervention of the memorandum declaring their titles null and void and declaring the property therein respectively described open for disposition and sale to the members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc. to do whatever else is needful to restore the titles to full effect and efficacy; and henceforth to refrain, cease and desist from implementing any provision or part of said Presidential Decree No. 293. No pronouncement as to costs. RE: Material Data Rule G.R. No. 146197 June 27, 2005 SECURITY BANK CORPORATION (formerly Security Bank and Trust Company) vs. INDIANA AEROSPACE UNIVERSITY, THE BRANCH SHERIFF, RTC of Muntinlupa City, Br 256, and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF MAKATI CITY, CARPIO, J.: The Case: Before this Court is a petition for review1 assailing the 2000 Resolutions2 of the CA in CA-G.R. SP No. 56534. The CA denied the petition of Security Bank and Trust Company ("Security Bank") for failure to comply with Section 3, Rule 46 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure as amended by Supreme Court Circular No. 39-98.3 Facts: On 20 September 1996, Security Bank as mortgagee and Innovatech Development and Management Corporation ("Innovatech") as mortgagor entered into a real estate mortgage. Innovatech secured its P25,000,000 loan from Security Bank with a mortgage on fourteen condominium units located at Tito Jovy Tower, Buencamino St., Alabang, Muntinlupa City. In a letter, Innovatechs Vice-President and Treasurer, respectively, informed Security Bank that Innovatech sold the fourteen condominium units to Indiana Aerospace University ("Indiana") of Mactan, Cebu. Innovatech provided Security Bank with copies of the Deed of Sale with Assumption of Mortgage 5 it made with Indiana as well as Indianas loan application with Bank of Southeast Asia for P69,000,000. According to Innovatech, part of the proceeds of Indianas loan with the Bank

of Southeast Asia would be used to pay the loan with Security Bank. The loan with Security Bank matured on 19 September 1997 without payment from either Innovatech or Indiana. Consequently, Security Bank filed a petition for notarial foreclosure of the fourteen condominium units under Act No. 3135,6 as amended by Act No. 4118. The public auction was held on 29 January 1998, at 10:00 a.m., at the City Hall of Muntinlupa City. During the public auction, the condominium units were sold for P32,839,290 to Security Bank as the only and highest bidder. Innovatech filed an action against Security Bank for Annulment of Extrajudicial Foreclosure Sale and Certificate of Sale, Reconveyance of Properties and Damages with Prayer for TRO and Writ of Preliminary Injunction. RTC: On 26 March 1998, the RTC Muntinlupa City, Branch 256 ("trial court") granted the Writ of Preliminary Injunction in favor of Innovatech. The 26 March 1998 Order became the subject of a petition for certiorari (CA-G.R. SP No. 49326) filed by Security Bank before the CA. CA: In its Decision(24 August 1999), the CA dismissed Security Banks petition for lack of merit. However, in an Amended Decision (8 June 2000), the CA set aside its 24 August 1999 Decision and nullified the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the trial court. Innovatech filed a MR of the Amended Decision but the CA denied the motion in its Resolution. Innovatech filed a petition, (G.R. No. 152157), before the Supreme Court. The SC denied the petition and denied with finality Innovatechs MR. Meanwhile, on 22 June 1998, Indiana filed a Complaint-inIntervention with prayer for the issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Prohibitory and Mandatory Injunction. The trial court issued an Order granting the Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction. Security Bank moved for reconsideration of the Order, which the trial court denied for lack of merit. Security Bank went to the Court of Appeals for relief. CA Resolutions: In its assailed Resolution(22 Feb 2000) the CA denied due course to Security Banks petition. The CA ruled that the petition does not indicate the dates when petitioner received a copy of the Order dated 01 February 1999 and when the Motion for Reconsideration was filed in violation of Section 3, Rule 46 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure as amended by Circular 3998. Security Bank filed a MR, which the CA denied. Hence, the recourse to this Court. The Issue: Whether the CA erred in dismissing Security Banks petition on mere technicality despite the banks substantial compliance with Section 3, Rule 46 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure as amended by Circular No. 39-98. Held: Yes. The Rules clearly provide that non-compliance with any of the requirements shall be a sufficient ground for the dismissal of the petition. If we apply the Rules strictly, we cannot fault the Court of Appeals for dismissing Security Banks petition. The CA merely followed the Rules. However, in the exercise of its equity

jurisdiction this Court may disregard procedural lapses so that a case may be resolved on its merits based on the evidence presented by the parties.17 Rules of procedure should promote, not defeat, substantial justice.18 Hence, the Court may opt to apply the Rules liberally to resolve the substantial issues raised by the parties.19 Ratio: The material dates required to be stated in the petition for certiorari under Rule 65 are: (1) the date of receipt of the notice of the judgment or final order or resolution; (2) the date of filing of the motion for new trial or for reconsideration; and (3) the date of receipt of the notice of denial of the motion.20 Contrary to the CAs findings, Security Bank correctly asserted that page 13 of its petition states the date of filing of the motion for reconsideration on 23 February 1999, or thirteen days after the receipt of the Order.21 The petition also states the date of receipt of notice of denial of the motion for reconsideration filed before the trial court. Hence, the petition only lacked the date of receipt of the trial courts Order of 1 February 1999 that was the subject of the motion for reconsideration. The stamped date on the Order of 1 February 1999 annexed to the petition is not clear enough for the Court of Appeals to determine when Security Banks counsel received a copy of the Order.22 However, upon filing its motion for reconsideration before the Court of Appeals, Security Bank attached another copy of the Order of 1 February 1999.23 This time, the stamped date of receipt of the Order shows that the Security Banks counsel received the Order on 10 February 1999. When Security Bank furnished the CA with the copy of the trial courts Order bearing the stamped date of its receipt, it showed its willingness to rectify its omission. Security Bank, in effect, substantially complied with the Rules. The rationale for requiring the statement of material dates is to determine the timeliness of filing of the petition. Clearly, Security Bank filed the motion for reconsideration with the trial court on time. Security Bank also filed the petition before the Court of Appeals within the reglementary period. The Court reiterates that there is ample jurisprudence holding that the subsequent and substantial compliance of a party may call for the relaxation of the rules of procedure.24 In the recent case of Great Southern Maritime Services Corporation v. Acua,25 we held that "the failure to comply with the rule on a statement of material dates in the petition may be excused since the dates are evident from the records." The more material date for purposes of appeal to the Court of Appeals is the date of receipt of the trial courts order denying the motion for reconsideration, which date is admittedly stated in the petition in the present case. The other material dates may be gleaned from the records of the case if reasonably evident. Thus, in this case the Court deems it proper to relax the Rules to give all the parties the chance to argue their causes and defenses.26