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[G.R. No. 156015.

August 11, 2005]


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, !"!s!#t!$ %& LT. GEN. 'OSE (.
CALI(LI(, )# *)s +,",+)t& ,s -o.! C*)!- o- t*! I#t!//)g!#+!
S!0)+!, A.!$ Fo+!s o- t*! P*)/)"")#!s 1ISAFP2, ,#$ -o.!
Co..,#$)#g G!#!,/, P!s)$!#t),/ S!+u)t& Gou" 1PSG2, ,#$
(A'. 3A4I3 B. 3ICIANO, )# *)s +,",+)t& ,s ,# O--)+! o- ISAFP
,#$ -o.! .!.%! o- t*! PSG, petitioners, vs. HON.
4ICTORINO E4ANGELISTA, )# *)s +,",+)t& ,s P!s)$)#g 'u$g!,
R!g)o#,/ T),/ Cout, B,#+* 225, 6u!7o# C)t&, ,#$ 3ANTE
LEGASPI, !"!s!#t!$ %& *)s ,tto#!&8)#8-,+t, P,u/
Gut)!!7, respondents.
3 E C I S I O N
PUNO, J.9
The case at bar stems from a complaint for damages, with prayer for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction, filed by private respondent Dante
Legaspi, through his attorney-in-fact Paul Gutierrez, against petitioners Gen
!ose " #alimlim, #iriaco $eyes and "aj David Diciano before the $egional
Trial #ourt %$T#& of 'uezon #ity
()*
The #omplaint alleged that private respondent Legaspi is the owner of a
land located in +igte, ,orzagaray, +ulacan -n ,ovember )..., petitioner
#alimlim, representing the $epublic of the Philippines, and as then head of
the -ntelligence /ervice of the 0rmed 1orces of the Philippines and the
Presidential /ecurity Group, entered into a "emorandum of 0greement
%"20& with one #iriaco $eyes The "20 granted $eyes a permit to hunt for
treasure in a land in +igte, ,orzagaray, +ulacan Petitioner Diciano signed
the "20 as a witness
(3*
-t was further alleged that thereafter, $eyes, together
with petitioners, started, digging, tunneling and blasting wor4s on the said land
of Legaspi The complaint also alleged that petitioner #alimlim assigned
about 56 military personnel to guard the area and encamp thereon to
intimidate Legaspi and other occupants of the area from going near the
subject land
2n 1ebruary )7, 3666, Legaspi e8ecuted a special power of attorney
%/P0& appointing his nephew, private respondent Gutierrez, as his attorney-in-
fact Gutierrez was given the power to deal with the treasure hunting activities
on Legaspi9s land and to file charges against those who may enter it without
the latter9s authority
(:*
Legaspi agreed to give Gutierrez ;6< of the treasure
that may be found in the land
2n 1ebruary 3., 3666, Gutierrez filed a case for damages and injunction
against petitioners for illegally entering Legaspi9s land =e hired the legal
services of 0tty =omobono 0daza Their contract provided that as legal fees,
0tty 0daza shall be entitled to :6< of Legaspi9s share in whatever treasure
may be found in the land -n addition, Gutierrez agreed to pay 0tty
0daza P7,66666 as appearance fee per court hearing and defray all
e8penses for the cost of the litigation
(;*
>pon the filing of the complaint, then
?8ecutive !udge Perlita ! Tria Tirona issued a @3-hour temporary restraining
order %T$2& against petitioners
The case
(7*
was subseAuently raffled to the $T# of 'uezon #ity, +ranch
33:, then presided by public respondent !udge Bictorino P ?vangelista 2n
"arch 3, 3666, respondent judge issued another @3-hour T$2 and a
summary hearing for its e8tension was set on "arch @, 3666
2n "arch );, 3666, petitioners filed a "otion to Dismiss
(C*
contendingD
first, there is no real party-in-interest as the /P0 of Gutierrez to bring the suit
was already revo4ed by Legaspi on "arch @, 3666, as evidenced by a Deed
of $evocation,
(@*
and, second, Gutierrez failed to establish that the alleged
armed men guarding the area were acting on orders of petitioners 2n "arch
)@, 3666, petitioners also filed a "otion for -nhibition
(5*
of the respondent judge
on the ground of alleged partiality in favor of private respondent
2n "arch 3:, 3666, the trial court granted private respondent9s application
for a writ of preliminary injunction on the following groundsD %)& the diggings
and blastings appear to have been made on the land of Legaspi, hence, there
is an urgent need to maintain the status quo to prevent serious damage to
Legaspi9s landE and, %3& the /P0 granted to Gutierrez continues to be valid
(.*
The trial court ordered thusD
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the Court hereby resolves to GRANT
plaintiffs appli!ation for a writ of preli"inary in#un!tion$ %pon plaintiffs filing of
an in#un!tion bon& in the a"ount of ONE H%N'RE' THO%(AN' )E(O(
*)+,,,,,,$,,-, let a Writ of )reli"inary .n#un!tion issue en#oining the &efen&ants as
well as their asso!iates, agents or representatives fro" !ontinuing to o!!upy an&
en!a"p on the lan& of the plaintiff /EGA(). as well as the vi!inity thereof0 fro"
&igging, tunneling an& blasting the sai& lan& of plaintiff /EGA().0 fro" re"oving
whatever treasure "ay be foun& on the sai& lan&0 fro" preventing an& threatening the
plaintiffs an& their representatives fro" entering the sai& lan& an& perfor"ing a!ts of
ownership0 fro" threatening the plaintiffs an& their representatives as well as
plaintiffs lawyer$
2n even date, the trial court issued another 2rder
()6*
denying petitioners9
motion to dismiss and reAuiring petitioners to answer the complaint 2n 0pril
;, 3666, it li4ewise denied petitioners9 motion for inhibition
())*
2n appeal, the #ourt of 0ppeals affirmed the decision of the trial court
()3*
=ence this petition, with the following assigned errorsD
-
WHETHER THE CONTRACT OF AGENC1 2ETWEEN /EGA(). AN' )R.3ATE
RE()ON'ENT G%T.ERRE4 HA( 2EEN EFFECT.3E/1 RE3O5E' 21
/EGA().$
--
WHETHER THE CO6)/A.NT AGA.N(T )ET.T.ONER( (HO%/' 2E
'.(6.((E'$
---
WHETHER RE()ON'ENT 7%'GE O%GHT TO HA3E .NH.2.TE' H.6(E/F
FRO6 F%RTHER )ROCEE'.NG W.TH THE CA(E$
Fe find no merit in the petition
2n the first issue, petitioners claim that the special power of attorney of
Gutierrez to represent Legaspi has already been revo4ed by the latter
Private respondent Gutierrez, however, contends that the unilateral revocation
is invalid as his agency is coupled with interest
Fe agree with private respondent
0rt )5C5 of the #ivil #ode provides that by the contract of agency, an
agent binds himself to render some service or do something in representation
or on behalf of another, 4nown as the principal, with the consent or authority of
the latter
():*
0 contract of agency is generally revocable as it is a personal contract of
representation based on trust and confidence reposed by the principal on his
agent 0s the power of the agent to act depends on the will and license of the
principal he represents, the power of the agent ceases when the will or
permission is withdrawn by the principal Thus, generally, the agency may be
revo4ed by the principal at will
();*
=owever, an e8ception to the revocability of a contract of agency is when it
is coupled with interest, i.e., if a bilateral contract depends upon the agency
()7*
The reason for its irrevocability is because the agency becomes part of
another obligation or agreement -t is not solely the rights of the principal but
also that of the agent and third persons which are affected =ence, the law
provides that in such cases, the agency cannot be revo4ed at the sole will of
the principal
-n the case at bar, we agree with the finding of the trial and appellate
courts that the agency granted by Legaspi to Gutierrez is coupled with interest
as a bilateral contract depends on it -t is clear from the records
that Gut)!!7 :,s g)0!# %& L!g,s"), inter alia, t*! "o:! to .,#,g! t*!
t!,su! *u#t)#g ,+t)0)t)!s )# t*! su%;!+t /,#$< to -)/! ,#& +,s! ,g,)#st
,#&o#! :*o !#t!s t*! /,#$ :)t*out ,ut*o)t& -o. L!g,s")< to !#g,g!
t*! s!0)+!s o- /,:&!s to +,& out t*! ,g!#+&< ,#$, to $)g -o ,#&
t!,su! :)t*)# t*! /,#$ ,#$ !#t! )#to ,g!!.!#ts !/,t)0! t*!!to. -t
was li4ewise agreed upon that Gut)!!7 s*,// %! !#t)t/!$ to =0> o-
:*,t!0! t!,su! .,& %! -ou#$ )# t*! /,#$ Pursuant to this authority and
to protect Legaspi9s land from the alleged illegal entry of petitioners, agent
Gutierrez hired the services of 0tty 0daza to prosecute the case for damages
and injunction against petitioners As ",&.!#t -o /!g,/ s!0)+!s, Gut)!!7
,g!!$ to ,ss)g# to Att&. A$,7, 50> o- L!g,s")?s s*,! )# :*,t!0!
t!,su! .,& %! !+o0!!$ )# t*! su%;!+t /,#$ -t is clear that the treasure
that may be found in the land is the subject matter of the agencyE that under
the /P0, Gutierrez can enter into contract for the legal services of 0tty 0dazaE
and, thus Gutierrez and 0tty 0daza have an interest in the subject matter of
the agency, i.e., in the treasures that may be found in the land This bilateral
contract depends on the agency and thus renders it as one coupled with
interest, irrevocable at the sole will of the principal Legaspi
()C*
Fhen an agency
is constituted as a clause in a bilateral contract, that is, when the agency is
inserted in another agreement, the agency ceases to be revocable at the
pleasure of the principal as the agency shall now follow the condition of the
bilateral agreement
()@*
#onseAuently, the Deed of $evocation e8ecuted by
Legaspi has no effect The authority of Gutierrez to file and continue with the
prosecution of the case at bar is unaffected
2n the second issue, we hold that the issuance of the writ of preliminary
injunction is justified 0 writ of preliminary injunction is an ancilliary or
preventive remedy that is resorted to by a litigant to protect or preserve his
rights or interests and for no other purpose during the pendency of the
principal action
()5*
-t is issued by the court to prevent threatened or continuous
irremediable injury to the applicant before his claim can be thoroughly studied
and adjudicated
().*
-ts aim is to preserve the status quo ante until the merits of
the case can be heard fully, upon the applicant9s showing of two important
conditions, viz.D %)& the right to be protected prima facie e8istsE and, %3& the
acts sought to be enjoined are violative of that right
(36*
/ection :, $ule 75 of the )..@ $ules of #ivil Procedure provides that a
writ of preliminary injunction may be issued when it is establishedD
*a- that the appli!ant is entitle& to the relief &e"an&e&, the whole or part of su!h
relief !onsists in restraining the !o""ission or !ontinuan!e of the a!t or a!ts
!o"plaine& of, or in re8uiring the perfor"an!e of an a!t or a!ts, either for a
li"ite& perio& or perpetually0
*b- that the !o""ission, !ontinuan!e or non9perfor"an!e of the a!t or a!ts
!o"plaine& of &uring the litigation woul& probably wor: in#usti!e to the
appli!ant0 or
*!- that a party, !ourt, agen!y or a person is &oing, threatening, or is atte"pting
to &o, or is pro!uring or suffering to be &one, so"e a!t or a!ts probably in
violation of the rights of the appli!ant respe!ting the sub#e!t of the a!tion or
pro!ee&ing, an& ten&ing to ren&er the #u&g"ent ineffe!tual$
-t is crystal clear that at the hearing for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction, mere prima facie evidence is needed to establish the applicant9s
rights or interests in the subject matter of the main action
(3)*
-t is not reAuired
that the applicant should +o#+/us)0!/& show that there was a violation of his
rights as this issue will still be fully litigated in the main case
(33*
Thus, ,#
,""/)+,#t -o , :)t )s !@u)!$ o#/& to s*o: t*,t *! *,s ,# ost!#s)%/!
)g*t to t*! -)#,/ !/)!- ",&!$ -o )# *)s +o."/,)#t
(3:*
-n the case at bar, we find that respondent judge had sufficient basis to
issue the writ of preliminary injunction -t was established, prima facie, t*,t
L!g,s") *,s , )g*t to "!,+!-u/ "oss!ss)o# o- *)s /,#$, pendente lite.
Legaspi had title to the subject land -t was li4ewise established that the
diggings were conducted by petitioners in the enclosed area of Legaspi9s
land A*!t*! t*! /,#$ -!#+!$ %& Gut)!!7 ,#$ +/,).!$ to %! )#+/u$!$
)# t*! /,#$ o- L!g,s") +o0!!$ ,# ,!, %!&o#$ t*,t :*)+* )s )#+/u$!$ )#
t*! t)t/! o- L!g,s") )s , -,+tu,/ )ssu! st)// su%;!+t to /)t)g,t)o# ,#$ "oo-
%& t*! ",t)!s )# t*! .,)# +,s! -o $,.,g!s -t was necessary for the trial
court to issue the writ of preliminary injunction during the pendency of the
main case in order to preserve the rights and interests of private respondents
Legaspi and Gutierrez
2n the third issue, petitioners charge that the respondent judge lac4ed the
neutrality of an impartial judge They fault the respondent judge for not giving
credence to the testimony of their surveyor that the diggings were conducted
outside the land of Legaspi They also claim that respondent judge9s rulings
on objections raised by the parties were biased against them
Fe have carefully e8amined the records and we find no sufficient basis to
hold that respondent judge should have recused himself from hearing the
case There is no discernible pattern of bias on the rulings of the respondent
judge +ias and partiality can never be presumed +are allegations of
partiality will not suffice in an absence of a clear showing that will overcome
the presumption that the judge dispensed justice without fear or favor
(3;*
-t
bears to stress again that a judge9s appreciation or misappreciation of the
sufficiency of evidence adduced by the parties, or the correctness of a judge9s
orders or rulings on the objections of counsels during the hearing, without
proof of malice on the part of respondent judge, is not sufficient to show bias
or partiality 0s we held in the case of A!%% 0s. P!o"/!,
(37*
the adverse and
erroneous rulings of a judge on the various motions of a party do not
sufficiently prove bias and prejudice to disAualify him To be disAualifying, it
must be shown that the bias and prejudice stemmed from an e8trajudicial
source and result in an opinion on the merits on some basis other than what
the judge learned from his participation in the case 2pinions formed in the
course of judicial proceedings, although erroneous, as long as based on the
evidence adduced, do not prove bias or prejudice Fe also emphasized that
repeated rulings against a litigant, no matter how erroneously, vigorously and
consistently e8pressed, do not amount to bias and prejudice which can be a
bases for the disAualification of a judge
1inally, the inhibition of respondent judge in hearing the case for damages
has become moot and academic in view of the latter9s death during the
pendency of the case The main case for damages shall now be heard and
tried before another judge
IN 4IEA AHEREOF, the impugned 2rders of the trial court in #ivil #ase
,o '-66-;6))7, dated "arch 3: and 0pril ;, 3666, are 011-$"?D The
presiding judge of the $egional Trial #ourt of 'uezon #ity to whom #ivil #ase
,o '-66-;6))7 was assigned is directed to proceed with dispatch in hearing
the main case for damages ,o pronouncement as to costs
SO OR3ERE3.