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G.R. No.

196894 March 3, 2014


JESUS G. CRISOLOGO and NANEE !. CRISOLOGO, Petitioners,
vs.
JE"M AGRO#IN$USRIAL COR%ORAION, Respondent.
&ACS'
This controversy stemmed from various cases of collection for sum of money filed against So
Keng Kok, the owner of various properties including two (2 parcels of land covered !y T"T #os. 2$2%$&
and 2$2'(( (su!)ect properties, which were attached !y various creditors including the petitioners in this
case. *s a result, the levies were annotated on the !ack of the said titles.
Petitioners +esus ,. "risologo and #annette -. "risologo (Spouses "risologo were the plaintiffs in two
(2 collection cases !efore RT", -ranch .%, /avao "ity (RT"0-r. .%, docketed as "ivil "ase #os.
2',1.(0$1 and 2',1..0$1, against Ro!ert 2imso, So Keng Koc, et al. Respondent +345 *gro06ndustrial
"orporation (+345 was the successor0in0interest of one Sy Sen -en, the plaintiff in another collection
case !efore RT", -ranch 1, /avao "ity (RT"0-r. 1, docketed as "ivil "ase #o. 2',%.70$1, against the
same defendants.
8n 8cto!er .$, .$$1, RT"0-r. 1 rendered its decision !ased on a compromise agreement, dated 8cto!er
.%, .$$1, !etween the parties wherein the defendants in said case were directed to transfer the su!)ect
properties in favor of Sy Sen -en. The latter su!se9uently sold the su!)ect properties to one #ilda 2am
who, in turn, sold the same to +345 on +une ., 2(((. Thereafter, T"T #os. 72%'&% and 72%'&' were
eventually issued in the name of +345, !oth of which still !earing the same annotations as well as the
notice of lis pendens in connection with the other pending cases filed against So Keng Kok.
* year thereafter, Spouses "risologo prevailed in the separate collection case filed !efore RT"0-r. .%
against Ro!ert 2im So and So Keng Koc (defendants. Thus, on +uly ., .$$$, the said defendants were
ordered to solidarily pay the Spouses "risologo. 4hen this decision attained finality, they moved for
e:ecution. 8n +une .%, 2(.(, a writ was eventually issued.
*cting on the same, the -ranch Sheriff issued a notice of sale scheduling an auction on *ugust 2', 2(.(.
The notice of sale included, among others, the su!)ect properties covered !y T"T #os. 72%'&% and
72%'&', now, in the name of +345.
6n the same proceedings, +345 immediately filed its *ffidavit of Third Party "laim and the ;rgent 5otion
*d "autelam. 6t prayed for the e:clusion of the su!)ect properties from the notice of sale. 6n an order,
dated *ugust 2', 2(.(, however, the motion was denied. 6n turn, the Spouses "risologo posted a !ond in
order to proceed with the e:ecution.
To protect its interest, +345 filed a separate action for cancellation of lien with prayer for the issuance of
a preliminary in)unction !efore RT"0-r. .<, docketed as "ivil "ase #o. 77,%%.02(.(. 6t prayed for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary in)unction to prevent the pu!lic sale of the su!)ect properties covered in
the writ of e:ecution issued pursuant to the ruling of RT"0-r. .%= the cancellation of all the annotations on
the !ack of the pertinent T"Ts= and the issuance of a permanent in)unction order after trial on the merits.
>The Register of /eeds of /avao "ity, Sheriff Ro!ert 5edialdea, +ohn and +ane /oes and all persons
acting under their direction> were impleaded as defendants.
*t the scheduled hearing !efore RT"0-r. .< on Septem!er 22, 2(.(, Spouses "risologo?s counsel
appeared and filed in open court their @ery ;rgent 5anifestation 9uestioning the authority of the said
court to restrain the e:ecution proceedings in RT"0-r. .%. +345 opposed it on the ground that Spouses
"risologo were not parties in the case.
8n Septem!er 2<, 2(.(, Spouses "risologo filed an 8mni!us 5otion praying for the denial of the
application for writ or preliminary in)uction filed !y +345 and asking for their recognition as parties.
6n the 8rder, dated Septem!er 2&, 2(.(, RT"0-r. .< denied Spouses "risologo?s 8mni!us and
granted +345?s application for a writ of preliminary in)unction.
8n 8cto!er ., 2(.(, Spouses "risologo filed a @ery ;rgent 8mni!us 5otion !efore RT"0-r. .<
praying for reconsideration and the setting aside of its Septem!er 2&, 2(.( 8rder, however it was denied
on 8cto!er &, 2(.( for lack of legal standing in court considering that their counsel failed to make the
written formal notice of appearance.
8n #ovem!er .2, 2(.(, +345 moved to declare the >defendants> in default which was granted
in an order given in open court on #ovem!er .$, 2(.(. Spouses "risologo then filed their @ery ;rgent
5anifestation, dated #ovem!er 7(, 2(.(, arguing that they could not !e deemed as defaulting parties
!ecause they were not referred to in the pertinent motion and order of default.
8n #ovem!er .$, 2(.(, Spouses "risologo filed with the "* a petition for certiorari
%
under Rule
'% of the Rules of "ourt assailing the RT"0-r. .< orders, dated Septem!er 2&, 2(.(, 8cto!er &, 2(.(
and #ovem!er $, 2(.(, all of which denied their motion to !e recogniAed as parties. They also prayed for
the issuance of a Temporary Restraining 8rder (TR8 andBor a 4rit of Preliminary 6n)unction.
6n its Resolution, dated +anuary ', 2(.., the "* denied the application for a TR8, !ut directed Spouses
"risologo to amend their petition. 8n +anuary .$, 2(.., the Spouses "risologo filed their *mended
Petition
'
with prayers for the issuance of a TR8 andBor writ of preliminary in)unction, the annulment of the
aforementioned orders of RT" -r. .<, and the issuance of an order dissolving the writ of preliminary
in)unction issued in favor of +345.
Pending disposition of the *mended Petition !y the "*, +345 filed a motion on /ecem!er ', 2(.(
!efore RT"0-r. .< asking for the resolution of the case on the merits and on +anuary .(, 2(.., the RT"
-r. .< ruled in favor of +345.
Spouses "risologo then filed their 8mni!us 5otion 3: *!udanti ad "autelam, asking RT"0 -r. .<
to reconsider the a!ove decision. -ecause no motion for intervention was filed prior to the rendition of the
)udgment, a certificate, dated 5arch .&, 2(.., was issued declaring the +anuary .(, 2(.. decision final
and e:ecutory.
8n 5ay ', 2(.., the "* eventually denied the *mended Petition filed !y Spouses "risologo for
lack of merit. 6t ruled that the writ of preliminary in)unction su!)ect of the petition was already fait accompli
and, as such, the issue of grave a!use of discretion attri!uted to RT"0-r. .< in granting the relief had
!ecome moot and academic. 6t further held that the failure of Spouses "risologo to file their motion to
intervene under Rule .$ rendered Rule '% inapplica!le as a vehicle to ventilate their supposed right in the
case.
$
Cence, this petition.
ISSUE'
4hether the "* correctly ruled that RT"0-r. .< acted without grave a!use of discretion in failing
to recogniAe Spouses "risologo as indispensa!le parties in the case for cancellation of lien.
RULING'
6n an action for the cancellation of memorandum annotated at the !ack of a certificate of title, the
persons considered as indispensa!le include those whose liens appear as annotations pursuant to
Section .(1 of P./. #o. .%2$.
6n Southwestern ;niversity v. 2aurente,
.'
the "ourt held that the cancellation of the annotation of
an encum!rance cannot !e ordered without giving notice to the parties annotated in the certificate of title
itself. 6t would, thus, !e an error for a )udge to contend that no notice is re9uired to !e given to all the
persons whose liens were annotated at the !ack of a certificate of title.
Cere, undisputed is the fact that Spouses "risologo?s liens were indeed annotated at the !ack of
T"T #os. 72%'&% and 72%'&'. Thus, as persons with their liens annotated, they stand to !e !enefited or
in)ured !y any order relative to the cancellation of annotations in the pertinent T"Ts. 6n other words, they
are as indispensa!le as +345 itself in the final disposition of the case for cancellation, !eing one of the
many lien holders.
*s indispensa!le parties, Spouses "risologo should have !een )oined as defendants in the case
pursuant to Section &, Rule 7 of the Rules of "ourt. The reason !ehind this compulsory )oinder of
indispensa!le parties is the complete determination of all possi!le issues, not only !etween the parties
themselves !ut also as regards other persons who may !e affected !y the )udgment.
.1
6n this case, RT"0-r. .<, despite repeated pleas !y Spouses "risologo to !e recogniAed as
indispensa!le parties, failed to implement the mandatory import of the aforecited rule. 6n fact, in Sps.
"risologo v. +udge ,eorge 3. 8melio,
.$
a related administrative case, the "ourt found the trial )udge guilty
of gross ignorance of the law when it disregarded the claims of Spouses "risologo to participate.
/espite the clear e:istence of grave a!use of discretion on the part of RT"0-r. .<, +345 asserts
technical grounds on why the "* did not err in dismissing the petition via Rule '%.D
The rule is that a petition for certiorari under Rule '% is proper only if there is no appeal, or any
plain speedy, and ade9uate remedy in the ordinary course of law.
6n this case, no ade9uate recourse, at that time, was availa!le to Spouses "risologo, e:cept
resorting to Rule '%.
*lthough 6ntervention under Rule .$ could have !een availed of, failing to use this remedy should
not pre)udice Spouses "risologo. 6t is the duty of RT"0-r. .<, following the rule on )oinder of
indispensa!le parties, to simply recogniAe them, with or without any motion to intervene. Through a
cursory reading of the titles, the "ourt would have noticed the adverse rights of Spouses "risologo over
the cancellation of any annotations in the su!)ect T"Ts.
#either will appeal prove ade9uate as a remedy since only the original parties to an action can
appeal.
2%
Cere, Spouses "risologo were never impleaded. Cence, they could not have utiliAed appeal as
they never possessed the re9uired legal standing in the first place.
*nd even if the "ourt assumes the e:istence of the legal standing to appeal, it must !e
remem!ered that the 9uestioned orders were interlocutory in character and, as such, Spouses "risologo
would have to wait, for the review !y appeal, until the rendition of the )udgment on the merits, which at
that time may not !e coming as speedy as practica!le. 4hile waiting, Spouses "risologo would have to
endure the denial of their right, as indispensa!le parties, to participate in a proceeding in which their
indispensa!ility was o!vious. 6ndeed, appeal cannot constitute an ade9uate, speedy and plain remedy.
The same is also true if recourse to *nnulment of +udgment under Rule <& is made since this
remedy presupposes a final )udgment already rendered !y a trial court.
;nder normal circumstances, +345 would !e correct in their averment that the lack of legal
standing on the part of Spouses "risologo in the case !efore RT"0-r. .< prevents the latter?s recourse
via Rule '%.
This case, however, is an e:ception. 6n many instances, the "ourt has ruled that technical rules of
procedures should !e used to promote, not frustrate the cause of )ustice. Rules of procedure are tools
designed not to thwart !ut to facilitate the attainment of )ustice= thus, their strict and rigid application may,
for good and deserving reasons, have to give way to, and !e su!ordinated !y, the need to aptly dispense
su!stantial )ustice in the normal cause.
21
-e it noted that the effect of their non0participation as indispensa!le parties is to preclude the
)udgment, orders and the proceedings from attaining finality. Time and again, the "ourt has ruled that the
a!sence of an indispensa!le party renders all su!se9uent actions of the court null and void for want of
authority to act, not only as to the a!sent parties !ut even to those present. "onse9uently, the
proceedings !efore RT"0-r. .< were null and void including the assailed orders, which may !e >ignored
wherever and whenever it e:hi!its its head.>
2$
*ll told, the "* erred in dismissing the amended petition filed !efore it and in not finding grave
a!use of discretion on the part of RT"0-r. .<.
4C3R3E8R3, the petition is ,R*#T3/.