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Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco

A.M. No. P-02-1535

March 28, 2003

FERNANDO FAJARDO, complainant, vs.SHERIFF RODOLFO V. QUITALIG, Municipal Trial


Court in Cities, San Carlos City, Pangasinan, respondent.
FACTS:
Fajardo filed a complaint for ejectment against Maria Datuin. On appeal to the RTC, the court
ruled in favor of Fajardo and the decision became final and executory on November 29, 1999.
Fajardos lawyer filed a Motion for Execution, and on March 7, 2000, the Court issued a Writ of
Execution, which was brought by the respondent Sheriff to the defendant Maria Datuin on
March 9, 2000.
"Complainant claimed that after the Writ of Execution was served, defendant asked for a
period of two (2) weeks for her to remove her personal properties on the land. After two (2)
weeks he went to Sheriff Quitalig so that the Writ of Execution may be implemented but he
was told that a restraining order was issued, but when he asked for it, the respondent told
him that he left it in the office.
However, upon verification on March 24, 2000, they found that there was no restraining order
issued by the court. Fajardo told the respondent to implement the Writ of Execution.
Respondent, accompanied by a policeman and the barangay captain went to the place where
the Writ of Execution is to be implemented at 10:00 that morning but when they reached the
place, respondent did not do anything except to ask the defendant to bring out her personal
properties. His reason is that an employee of the Probation Office, Mr. Leonardo Martinez,
talked to him. At 5:30 p.m., the restraining order was brought to the place, and the
respondent told him that the writ of execution can no longer be implemented.
Complainant asserted that respondent favored, or showed partiality in favor of the defendant
to his prejudice.
The Office of the Court Admistrator (OCA) found the Sherrif to have been negligent in the
performance of his duty as a sheriff.
ISSUE:
Was Sheriff Quitalig guilty of dereliction of his duty as a sheriff?
HELD:
Yes.
As frontline officials of the justice system, sheriffs must always strive to maintain public trust
in the performance of their duties. Having the forsworn duty to uphold the majesty of the law,
they must see to it that the final stage in the litigation process is carried out without
unnecessary delay.
A review of the records of this case reveals that respondent enforced the Writ of Execution
dated March 7, 2000 only on August 24, 2000, as shown by his August 25, 2000 Report of
Service. Within 30 days from receipt thereof and every 30 days thereafter until the judgment
is fully satisfied, a sheriff is required by the Rules of Court to render a report on the action
taken on a writ of execution. Section 14 of Rule 39 of the Rules provides the manner in which
the execution is to be implemented, as follows:
"SEC. 14. Return of Writ of Execution. The writ of execution shall be returnable to the court
issuing it immediately after the judgment has been satisfied in part or in full. If the judgment
cannot be satisfied in full within thirty days (30) days after his receipt of the writ, the officer
shall report to the court and state the reason therefore. Such writ shall continue in effect
during the period within which the judgment may be enforced by motion. The officer shall
make a report to the court every thirty (30) days on the proceedings taken thereon until the
judgment is satisfied in full, or its effectivity expires. The returns or periodic reports shall set
forth the whole of the proceedings taken, and shall be filed with the court and copies thereof

promptly furnished the parties."


Evidently, respondent was not only remiss in his implementation of the Writ, but likewise
derelict in his submission of the returns thereof.
Respondent should have immediately implemented and made a return of the Writ after duly
serving it upon the defendant on March 9, 2000. Nonetheless, because of the request of the
defendant and her promise that she would vacate the premises on March 23, 2000, he
allowed her to remain there. However, when he came back on March 24, 2000, he was
unable to enforce the Writ because of a TRO issued by the RTC of San Carlos, Pangasinan. He
averred that he was finally able to execute the Writ on August 24, 2000 and to submit his
Return thereof on the next day.
We find respondents explanation to be utterly wanting. He is guilty of dereliction of his duty
as a sheriff, because he failed to (1) execute the Writ within 30 days from his receipt thereof,
(2) submit his Report of Service within the same period, (3) make periodic reports to the
MTCC until the judgment was fully satisfied, and (4) furnish the parties with copies of the
Reports.
By his own words, respondent admitted his dereliction of duty.
First, as we have said earlier, he should have immediately executed the Writ when
he served it upon the defendant on March 9, 2000.
Second, he should have immediately reported to the MTCC that he was unable to
enforce the Writ because another court had issued a TRO enjoining him from doing
so.
Third, he should have informed the parties, particularly the plaintiff or his counsel,
about his inability to enforce the Writ.
Fourth, he should have immediately enforced it twenty days after its issuance.
Fifth, he should have made periodic Reports to the MTCC until the judgment was
fully satisfied and the parties furnished a copy thereof.
Sixth, within thirty days from his receipt of the Writ, he should have promptly made
his Return, a copy of which he should have immediately furnished the parties.
Clearly, the actuations of respondent constitute disrespect, if not outright defiance, of the
MTCCs authority. In the absence of instructions to the contrary, a sheriff has the duty to
execute a Writ with reasonable celerity and promptness in accordance with its mandate.
In Lumbre v. Dela Cruz,15 respondent, after being found guilty of an inexcusable seven-month
delay in carrying out a lawful Writ of Execution was fined P5,000. Justifying the penalty, the
Court said:
"When a writ of execution is placed in the hands of a sheriff, it is his duty, in the absence of
contrary instructions, to have it implemented forthwith. The sheriff is primarily responsible
for the speedy and efficient service of all court processes and writs originating from the court
and its branches, including such as may be properly delegated to him by other courts. The
delay of more than seven months, from the time the writ of execution was issued by the
court on 07 August 1998 to the time when respondent sheriff posted the notice of sale or
levy on 23 March 1999, is an inordinately long period for respondent to act thereon. The
importance of the role played by all court personnel in the administration of justice is never
to be taken lightly. It is the sheriffs particularly who are depended on, and who must properly
attend to, the proper implementation of court decrees and orders, and they are expected to
do so with utmost diligence and dispatch." 16
WHEREFORE, Sheriff Rodolfo V. Quitalig is found guilty of dereliction of duty and is ordered to
pay a FINE of five thousand pesos (P5,000). Considering that he has already retired from the
service, this amount is hereby ordered deducted from his retirement benefits.

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


G.R. No. 152878

May 5, 2003

RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION, petitioner, vs.MAGWIN MARKETING


CORPORATION, NELSON TIU, BENITO SY and ANDERSON UY, respondents.
FACTS:
On 4 March 1999 petitioner Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) filed a complaint
for recovery of a sum of money with prayer for a writ of preliminary attachment against
respondents Magwin Marketing Corporation, Nelson Tiu, Benito Sy and Anderson Uy. 1 On 26
April 1999, the trial court issued a writ of attachment. 2 On 4 June 1999 the writ was returned
partially satisfied since only a parcel of land purportedly owned by defendant Benito Sy was
attached.
Petitioner did not cause the case to be set for pre-trial. For about six (6) months thereafter,
discussions between petitioner and respondents were undertaken to restructure the
indebtedness of respondent Magwin Marketing Corporation. On 9 May 2000 petitioner
approved a debt payment scheme for the corporation but only respondent Nelson Tiu affixed
his signature on the letter to signify his agreement to the terms and conditions of the
restructuring.
On 20 July 2000 the RTC of Makati City, on its own initiative, issued an Order dismissing the
case without prejudice for failure of petitioner as plaintiff therein to "prosecute its action for
an unreasonable length of time . . .." But upon RCBCs motion for reconsideration, the RTC of
Makati set aside such dismissal in its decision on September 8, 2000 but with order that:
Plaintiff is directed to submit the compromise agreement within 15 days from
receipt hereof. Failure on the part of plaintiff to submit the said agreement shall
cause the imposition of payment of the required docket fees for re-filing of this
case.
RCBC filed on October 5, 2000 a Supplemental Motion to Plaintiffs Manifestation and Motion
to Set Case for Pre-Trial Conference affirming that petitioner "could not submit a compromise
agreement because only defendant Nelson Tiu had affixed his signature on the May 10, 2000
letter . . ..".
In an undated order (which was later inserted as November 6, 2000), the trial court denied
RCBCs motion to calendar the case for pre-trial.
On 15 November 2000 petitioner filed its Notice of Appeal from the 8 September 2000 Order
of the trial court as well as its undated Order. On 16 November 2000 the trial court denied
due course to the Notice of Appeal on the ground that the "Orders dated 8 September 2000
and 6 November 2000 are interlocutory orders and therefore, no appeal may be taken . . .." 18
On 7 December 2000 petitioner elevated the Orders dated 8 September 2000, 6 November
2000 and 16 November 2000 of the trial court to the Court of Appeals in a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.19 In the main, petitioner argued that
the court a quo had no authority to compel the parties in Civil Case No. 99-518 to enter into
an amicable settlement nor to deny the holding of a pre-trial conference on the ground that
no compromise agreement was turned over to the court a quo.20
On 28 September 2001 the appellate court promulgated its Decision dismissing the
petition for lack of merit and affirming the assailed Orders of the trial court.
ISSUE:
Whether payment of docket fees is required when dismissed cases are re-filed or
reconsidered.
Whether the failing to submit a compromise agreement is valid cause for dismissal of an
action
HELD:
On docket fees
On the task at hand, we see no reason why RTC-Br. 135 of Makati City should stop short of
hearing the civil case on the merits. There is no substantial policy worth pursuing by

requiring petitioner to pay again the docket fees when it has already discharged this
obligation simultaneously with the filing of the complaint for collection of a sum of money.
The procedure for dismissed cases when re-filed is the same as though it was initially lodged,
i.e., the filing of answer, reply, answer to counter-claim, including other foot-dragging
maneuvers, except for the rigmarole of raffling cases which is dispensed with since the refiled complaint is automatically assigned to the branch to which the original case pertained. 25
A complaint that is re-filed leads to the re-enactment of past proceedings with the
concomitant full attention of the same trial court exercising an immaculate slew of
jurisdiction and control over the case that was previously dismissed, 26 which in the context of
the instant case is a waste of judicial time, capital and energy.
The sentence "[f]ailure on the part of plaintiff to submit the said agreement shall cause the
imposition of payment of the required docket fees for re-filing of this case" is not a directive
to pay docket fees but only a statement of the event that may result in its imposition. The
reason for this is that the trial court could not have possibly made such payment obligatory
in the same civil case, i.e., Civil Case No. 99-518, since docket fees are defrayed only after
the dismissal becomes final and executory and when the civil case is re-filed.
On compromise agreement
There is nothing in the Rules that imposes the sanction of dismissal for failing to submit a
compromise agreement, then it is obvious that the dismissal of the complaint on the basis
thereof amounts no less to a gross procedural infirmity assailable by certiorari. For such
submission could at most be directory and could not result in throwing out the case for failure
to effect a compromise. While a compromise is encouraged, very strongly in fact, failure to
consummate one does not warrant any procedural sanction, much less an authority to
jettison a civil complaint worth P4,000,000.00 . . . Plainly, submission of a compromise
agreement is never mandatory, nor is it required by any rule.
As also explained therein, the proper course of action that should have been taken by the
court a quo, upon manifestation of the parties of their willingness to discuss a settlement,
was to suspend the proceedings and allow them reasonable time to come to terms (a) If
willingness to discuss a possible compromise is expressed by one or both parties; or (b) If it
appears that one of the parties, before the commencement of the action or proceeding,
offered to discuss a possible compromise but the other party refused the offer, pursuant to
Art. 2030 of the Civil Code. If despite efforts exerted by the trial court and the parties the
negotiations still fail, only then should the action continue as if no suspension had taken
place.
In fine, petitioner cannot be said to have lost interest in fighting the civil case to the end. A
court may dismiss a case on the ground of non prosequitur but the real test of the judicious
exercise of such power is whether under the circumstances plaintiff is chargeable with want
of fitting assiduousness in not acting on his complaint with reasonable promptitude. Unless a
party's conduct is so indifferent, irresponsible, contumacious or slothful as to provide
substantial grounds for dismissal, i.e., equivalent to default or non-appearance in the case,
the courts should consider lesser sanctions which would still amount to achieving the desired
end.38 In the absence of a pattern or scheme to delay the disposition of the case or of a
wanton failure to observe the mandatory requirement of the rules on the part of the plaintiff,
as in the case at bar, courts should decide to dispense rather than wield their authority to
dismiss
Dismissing the civil case and compelling petitioner to re-file its complaint is a dangerous,
costly and circuitous route that may end up aggravating, not resolving, the disagreement.
This case management strategy is frighteningly deceptive because it does so at the expense
of petitioner whose cause of action, perhaps, may have already been admitted by its adverse
parties as shown by three (3) of four (4) defendants not willing to contest petitioner's
allegations, and more critically, since this approach promotes the useless and thankless
duplication of hard work already undertaken by the trial court. As we have aptly observed,
"[i]nconsiderate dismissals, even if without prejudice, do not constitute a panacea nor a
solution to the congestion of court dockets. While they lend a deceptive aura of efficiency to
records of individual judges, they merely postpone the ultimate reckoning between the
parties. In the absence of clear lack of merit or intention to delay, justice is better served by
a brief continuance, trial on the merits, and final disposition of the cases before the court." 40
Civil Case No. 99-518 is deemed REINSTATED in, as it was never taken out from, the dockets

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 135, of Makati City. The trial court is ORDERED to exercise
its jurisdiction over Civil Case No. 99-518, to CONDUCT the pre-trial conference therein with
dispatch, and to UNDERTAKE thereafter such other proceedings as may be relevant, without
petitioner being charged anew docket or other legal fees in connection with its
reinstatement.

G.R. No. 136726. September 24, 2003


PANFILO V. VILLARUEL, JR.,, Petitioner, v. REYNALDO D. FERNANDO, MODESTO
ABARCA, JR. and MARILOU M. CLEOFAS, respondents.
FACTS:
Petitioner Panfilo V. Villaruel, Jr., as the former Assistant Secretary of the Air Transportation
Office (ATO), issued a memorandum dated 27 April 1995 addressed to the respondents,
detailing them to the Office of DOTC Undersecretary Primitivo C. Cal effective 2 May 1995.
Respondents wrote to DOTC Secretary Jesus B. Garcia and Undersecretary Josefina T.
Lichauco through petitioner requesting for reconsideration of the detail order, but this was
not acted upon by petitioner.
Meanwhile, Villaruel issued a memorandum on 19 July 1995 addressed to Abarca placing him
under preventive suspension for 90 days without pay pending investigation for alleged grave
misconduct. (The Ombudsman later found Abarca guilty.)
Respondents later requested Secretary Garcia to lift the detail order and to order their return
to their mother unit since more than 90 days had already lapsed. Respondents also sought
the intervention of the Ombudsman in their case. As a result, the Ombudsman inquired from
Secretary Garcia the action taken on respondents request for reconsideration of the detail
order.
On 22 November 1995, Secretary Garcia replied to the Ombudsman that he had issued a
memorandum dated 9 November 1995 directing petitioner to recall respondents to their
mother unit. Secretary Garcia declared that the law does not sanction the continuous detail
of respondents.
Despite repeated demands by respondents, petitioner failed and refused to reinstate
respondents to their mother unit.
On 24 January 1996, respondents filed a Petition for Mandamus and Damages with Prayer for
a Preliminary Mandatory Injunction against petitioner with the Regional Trial Court of Pasay
City.
The RTC issued a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction ordering petitioner to comply with
the 9 November 1995 order of Secretary Garcia directing petitioner to recall respondents to
their mother unit until further orders by the trial court.
For petitioners continued failure to comply with the writ of preliminary injunction,
respondents moved to cite petitioner in contempt, which was granted. Petitioner, through the
Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed a special civil action for certiorari with the Court of
Appeals assailing the trial courts order finding petitioner guilty of indirect contempt.
On 11 July 1996, the trial court rendered a Decision declaring mandamus permanent and
thereby ordering respondent Panfilo V. Villaruel to pay for damages.
Aggrieved, Petitioner, represented by the OSG, appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court
of Appeals granted the OSG a non-extendible extension until 13 December 1996 within which
to file petitioners memorandum. However, the OSG failed to file the memorandum. On 13
March 1997, the Court of Appeals issued a Resolution dismissing petitioners appeal for failure
to file the required memorandum.
Eventually, a Writ of Execution was ordered and the Sheriff issued a Notice of Sheriffs Sale
setting on 23 February 1998 the sale of petitioners real property.
On 17 February 1998, Petitioner, through his new counsel, filed a Motion to Quash the Writ of
Execution and to Suspend Sheriffs Sale. In his motion, petitioner alleged that the trial courts
decision never became final and executory as the trial court deprived him of his right to due
process. Petitioner claimed that the OSG failed to file petitioners memorandum resulting in
the dismissal of his appeal. Furthermore, petitioner alleged that the OSG failed to inform him
of the dismissal of his appeal and of the trial courts order granting respondents motion for
execution. Petitioner further asserted that the Resolution of the Ombudsman in finding
Abarca guiltyin superseded the decision of the trial court.
On 23 February 1998, the trial court issued an Order quashing the Writ of Execution because
the Sheriff failed to follow Section 9, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. The trial court, however,
issued an Alias Writ of Execution. Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration but the trial
court denied the same on 28 April 1998.

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


Dissatisfied with the trial courts orders, petitioner filed a special civil action for certiorari with
the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals denied due course to the petition for certiorari
and dismissed the same.
ISSUES:
Whether petitioner was denied of his right to due process when the appellate court dismissed
his appeal for failure of the OSG to file the memorandum.
Whether the resolution of the Ombudsman finding Modesto Abarca, Jr. guilty of violating
Section 7 of RA 6713 rendered the execution of the trial courts decision unjust and
inequitable.
HELD:
No Denial of Petitioners Right to Due Process
Due process, in essence, is simply an opportunity to be heard and this opportunity was not
denied petitioner. Throughout the proceedings in the trial court as well as in the Court of
Appeals, petitioner had the opportunity to present his side but he failed to do so. Clearly,
petitioners former counsel, the OSG, was negligent. This negligence, however, binds
petitioner. The trial and appellate courts correctly ruled that the negligence of the OSG could
not relieve petitioner of the effects such negligence and prevent the decision of the trial court
from becoming final and executory.
As a general rule, a client is bound by the mistakes of his counsel. Only when the application
of the general rule would result in serious injustice should an exception thereto be called for.
Under the circumstances obtaining in this case, no undue prejudice against the petitioner has
been satisfactorily demonstrated. At most, there is only an unsupported claim that the
petitioner had been prejudiced by the negligence of its counsel, without an explanation to
that effect.
In the present case, there was no proof that petitioner suffered serious injustice to exempt
him from the general rule that the negligence of the counsel binds the client. Petitioner did
not even attempt to refute the respondents allegations in the petition for mandamus and
damages.
Moreover, petitioner is not entirely blameless for the dismissal of his appeal. After the OSGs
failure to file the answer to the petition for mandamus and damages and to have the order
declaring petitioner in default lifted, petitioner should have already replaced the OSG with
another lawyer. However, petitioner still retained the services of the OSG, despite its
apparent lack of interest in petitioners case, until the trial courts decision became final.
The Ombudsmans Resolution Does Not Render the Execution of the Trial Courts Decision
Unjust and Inequitable
Settled is the rule that a judgment that has acquired finality becomes immutable and
unalterable and may no longer be modified in any respect except only to correct clerical
errors or mistakes. True, this rule admits of certain exceptions. One of these exceptions is
whenever circumstances transpire after the finality of the decision rendering its execution
unjust and inequitable. This, however, is not the case here. In the present case, the
Ombudsman issued his Resolution prior to the finality of the trial courts decision.
Furthermore, the resolution of the Ombudsman finding Abarca guilty of violating Section 7(d)
of RA 6713 did not and could not supersede the decision of the trial court holding petitioner
liable for damages. The action filed by the petitioner before the Ombudsman is completely
different from the action instituted by respondents before the trial court. The two actions,
which are clearly separate and distinct from each other, presented two different causes of
action. Petitioners cause of action arose from respondents alleged violation of certain
provisions of RA 6713 whereas respondents cause of action resulted from petitioners refusal
to recall respondents to their mother unit at CATC.
The findings of the Ombudsman did not render the execution of the trial courts decision
unjust and inequitable.

G.R. No. 133883 : December 10, 2003


SPOUSES ARTURO & NICETA SERRANO, vs. CA AND HEIRS OF EMILIO S. GELI
FACTS:
The Spouses Serrano mortgaged a parcel of land as well as the house constructed thereon
located at Road 4, Project 6, Diliman, Quezon City and a parcel of land located in Caloocan
City in favor of GSIS as security for a loan of P50,000. By June 1969, the couple was able to
pay only the amount of P18,000.
On June 23, 1969, the Spouses Serrano and Spouses Geli executed a deed of absolute sale
with partial assumption of mortgage over the parcel of land in Quezon City and the house
thereon for P70,000. The Spouses Geli paid the amount of P38,000 in partial payment, the
balance of P32,000 to be paid by them to the GSIS for the account of the Spouses Serrano.
However, the Gelis failed to settle the amount of P32,000 to the GSIS. The latter forthwith
filed a complaint against Emilio Geli and his children with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
City for the rescission of the deed of absolute sale with partial assumption of mortgage. On
September 6, 1984, the trial court rendered judgment ordering the rescission of the said
deed.
Geli appealed the decision to the CA. During the pendency of the appeal, the GSIS foreclosed
the real estate mortgage over the property for non-payment of the P50,000 loan secured by
the said property. At the sale on public auction, the GSIS was the highest bidder and was
thereafter issued a certificate of sale over the property. On October 30, 1987 and November
3, 1987, Emilio Geli paid the redemption price of P67,701.844 to the GSIS. Accordingly, on
February 22, 1988, the GSIS executed a certificate of redemption 5 and turned over to Emilio
Geli the owners copy of the title in the names of the Spouses Serrano. Emilio Geli did not
inform the Spouses Serrano and the CA that he had paid the redemption price to the GSIS.
On January 8, 1991, the CA dismissed the appeal of Emilio Geli and his children on the
ground that the appellants failed to pay the requisite docket fees despite notices from the
appellate court. No motion for the reconsideration of the resolution was filed. Thus, the said
dismissal of the appeal became final and executory.
After the remand of the records, the Spouses Serrano filed with the RTC a motion for the
execution of the trial courts September 6, 1984 Decision, which was forthwith issued by the
RTC. Because Spouses Serrano were then in the States and due to change of defendants
address, the writ was not implemented. On May 9, 1996, upon Serranos motion, the trial
court issued a second alias writ of execution. On September 6, 1996, the defendants filed a
motion to quash the same claiming, for the first time, that defendant Emilio Geli had already
redeemed the subject property in 1988 from the GSIS. According to the defendants, this
constituted a supervening event that would make the execution of the trial courts decision
unjust and inequitable. On May 19, 1997, the trial court issued an order denying the
aforesaid motion of the defendants. In the meantime, Emilio Geli died intestate.
On October 10, 1997, the heirs of Geli filed with the CA a petition for certiorari and/or
prohibition praying for the nullification of the May 19, 1997 and September 18, 1997 Orders
of the trial court. They alleged inter alia that when their father Emilio Geli paid the
redemption price to the GSIS on October 30, 1987 and November 3, 1987, their appeal of the
September 6, 1984 Decision of the RTC before the CA was still pending resolution. The
petitioners therein further posited that since they acquired ownership of the property before
the CA dismissed their appeal and before the September 6, 1984 Decision of the RTC became
final and executory, the execution of the decision against them was unjust and unfair.
The appellate court ruled that since Emilio Geli paid the redemption price for the property to
the GSIS in 1987 while his appeal was pending in the CA, the said redemption was a
supervening event which rendered the enforcement of the writ of execution issued by the
trial court against them unjust and inequitable.
ISSUES:
Whether the redemption constituted a supervening event, which changed the relations of the
parties, thus rendering execution.

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


Whether the enforcement of the summary decision of the trial court and the writ of execution
against the heirs of Geli is unjust and unreasonable.
HELD:
On the redemption
Generally, the execution upon a final judgment is a matter of right on the part of the
prevailing party. It is the ministerial and mandatory duty of the trial court to enforce its own
judgment once it becomes final and executory. It may happen, however, that new facts and
circumstances may develop or occur after a judgment had been rendered and while an
appeal therefrom is pending; or new matters had developed after the appeal has been
dismissed and the appealed judgment had become final and executory, which the parties
were not aware of and could not have been aware of prior to or during the trial or during the
appeal, as they were not yet in existence at that time. In the first situation, any attempt to
frustrate or put off the enforcement of an executory decision must fail. Once a judgment has
become final and executory, the only remedy left for material attention thereof is that
provided for in Rule 38 of the Rules of Court, as amended. There is no other prerequisite
mode of thwarting the execution of the judgment on equitable grounds predicated on facts
occurring before the finality of judgment.14 In the second situation, the execution may be
stayed, notwithstanding the affirmance of the appealed judgment by this Court. 15 It is
required, however, that the supervening facts and circumstances must either have a direct
effect upon the matter already litigated and settled or create a substantial change in the
rights or relations of the parties therein which would render execution of a final judgment
unjust, impossible or inequitable or when it becomes imperative in the interest of justice. The
interested party may file a motion to quash a writ of execution issued by the trial court, or
ask the court to modify or alter the judgment to harmonize the same with justice and further
supervening facts. Evidence may be adduced by the parties on such supervening facts or
circumstances.18
In this case, the payment by Emilio Geli of the amount of P67,701.84 on October 30 and
November 3, 1987 to the GSIS for the account of the petitioners was made while the appeal
of the private respondents from the summary judgment of the RTC was pending. The
summary judgment of the RTC had not yet become final and executory. It behooved the said
respondents to prosecute their appeal and file their brief, where they should have invoked
the payment of the redemption price as a ground for the reversal of the trial courts summary
judgment in their favor. The respondents failed to do so, and even concealed the payment of
the loan for the account of the petitioners. Worse, the respondents did not pay the requisite
docket fees for their appeal, which resulted in its dismissal. The respondents even opted not
to file any motion for the reconsideration of the resolution of the CA dismissing their appeal.
In sum, the respondents allowed the decision of the trial court to become final and executory.
Consequently, the enforcement of the summary judgment of the trial court can no longer be
frustrated by the respondents payment to the GSIS in 1987. With the rescission of the deed
of sale, the rights of Emilio Geli under the said deed to redeem the property had been
extinguished. The petitioners cannot even be compelled to subrogate the respondents to
their rights under the real estate mortgage over the property since the payment of the
redemption price was made without the knowledge of the petitioners. The respondents,
however, are entitled to be reimbursed by the petitioners to the extent that the latter were
benefited.
On the decision and writ of execution being unjust and unreaasonable
The Spouses Geli and the respondents, as heirs and successors-in-interest of the said
spouses, were obliged under the deed of absolute sale with partial assumption of mortgage
to pay to the GSIS the balance of the petitioners account. The Spouses Geli reneged on their
undertaking. The petitioners were impelled to secure the services of counsel and sue the
Spouses Geli with the RTC for the rescission of the said deed with damages. The respondent
spouses nevertheless remained adamant and refused to pay the petitioners account with the
GSIS, which impelled the latter to foreclose the real estate mortgage and sell the property at
public auction. Emilio Geli and the respondents did not inform the CA and the petitioners that
Emilio Geli had paid the amount of P67,701.84 for the account of the petitioners. The

respondents even allowed their appeal to be dismissed by the CA, and the dismissal to
become final and executory. The petitioners were impelled to spend money for their counsel
and for sheriffs fees for the implementation of the writ of execution and the alias writ of
execution issued by the trial court. In the meantime, the respondents remained in possession
of the property from 1969, when the said deed of absolute sale with partial assumption of
mortgage was executed, up to the present, or for a period of 34 years without paying a single
centavo. For the Court to allow the respondents to benefit from their own wrong would run
counter to the maxim: Ex Dolo Malo Non Oritur Actio (No man can be allowed to found a
claim upon his own wrongdoing).

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


G.R. No. 157616. July 22, 2005
ISIDRO PEREZ and NARCISO A. RAGUA, Petitioners, vs.HON. COURT OF APPEALS,
HON. VIVENCIO S. BACLIG and SPOUSES GAUDENCIO DIGOS, JR. and RHODORA
DIGOS, Respondents.
FACTS:
Spouses Gaudencio Digos, Jr. and Rhodora Digos secured a loan of P5,800,000.00 from the
International Exchange Bank in December 1996, to finance their project for the construction
of townhouses on their property located in Tandang Sora, Quezon City. To secure the payment
of the loan, the spouses Digos executed a Real Estate Mortgage over the said property.
However, the completion of their project was delayed, partly because some homeowners in
the Pillarville Subdivision (which abutted the subject property) refused to allow them to build
an access road through the subdivision to the property.
Because of the spouses Digos failure to pay the amortizations on their loan, the bank caused
the extrajudicial foreclosure of their real estate mortgage. Consequently, the property was
sold at public auction, with the bank as the highest bidder at P4,500,000.00, which appeared
to be the account of the spouses Digos at the time.
The spouses wrote to the bank, pleading for an extension to redeem the property. Such
requrest was initially rejected but eventually, the bank granted the spouses Digos a period of
one month from September 8, 1999 (or until October 8, 1999) within which to redeem the
property. However, the bank consolidated its title over the property, and on September 19,
1999, the Register of Deeds issued TCT No. 206979 in the name of the bank.
Instead of repurchasing the property on or before October 8, 1999, the spouses Digos filed a
Complaint against the bank on October 7, 1999 with the RTC of Quezon City, for the
nullification of the extrajudicial foreclosure of the real estate mortgage and sale at public
auction and/or redemption of the property, with a prayer for a temporary restraining order
and a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin the bank from consolidating its title over the
property. The spouses Digos also sought judgment for damages.
In their complaint, the spouses Digos alleged, inter alia, that they were denied their right to
due process because the foreclosure of the real estate mortgage was extrajudicial; the sale
of their property at public auction was without prior notice to them; the property was sold for
only P4,500,000.00, the balance of their account with the bank, but about 400% lower than
the prevailing price of the property; the bank rejected their plea for a five-month extension to
redeem, and their offer of P1,000,000.00 in partial payment of their loan account to reduce
the same to P3,500,000.00, but the bank granted them an extension of only one month to
redeem the property, designed to divest them of the same and enrich some characters at
their expense; because of the foregoing acts of the bank, they suffered sleepless nights,
nervous tension and the rise in their blood pressure for which they were entitled to moral
damages and exemplary damages.
The spouses Digos caused the annotation of a notice of lis pendens at the dorsal portion of
land. The trial court, however, did not issue a temporary restraining order or writ of
preliminary injunction.
Meanwhile, the bank filed a motion to dismiss the complaint and for the cancellation of the
notice of lis pendens. The RTC granted the motion and dismissed the complaint.
Spouses Digos filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals (CA), assailing the Order
of the RTC. The CA dismissed the petition because it was filed out of time. This became final
and executory. Meanwhile, the bank sold the property to Isidro Perez and Narciso Ragua.
On June 4, 2001, the spouses Digos filed another Complaint with the RTC of Quezon City, this
time, against the bank, Perez and Ragua, for the cancellation and annulment of the
extrajudicial foreclosure of the real estate mortgage executed by them in favor of the bank,
the sale at public auction as well as the certificate of sale executed by the sheriff, and the
Torrens title issued to them. The spouses Digos prayed for a writ of preliminary injunction and
a temporary restraining order.
The spouses Digos reiterated the allegations in their complaint in its first case. They also
admitted their failure to pay their amortization on their loans. However, they alleged this
time that the extrajudicial foreclosure of the real estate mortgage and the sale at public
auction were illegal because the bank charged much more than the amount due on their
loan account, to wit: interest of 26% per annum on the loan account covering January 2,

1998, whereas under the promissory note executed in favor of the bank, the new interest
rate should commence only on March 4, 1993; penalty charges of 26% of the account, and
5% penalty charges on top of the 26% interest per annum, as shown by the banks statement
of account. The spouses Digos also averred that although they pleaded for a restructuring of
their loan account and a moratorium on the payment of their account, they were unaware of
the erroneous computation of the balance of their loan account. They maintained that the
banks consolidation of its title over the property on September 19, 1999 was premature
because they were given until October 8, 1999 to redeem the property.
The bank alleged that the spouses Digos admitted in their complaint that, after the
extrajudicial foreclosure of the real estate mortgage and the sale of the property at public
auction, they pleaded to redeem the property but failed to do so and were granted a onemonth extension. The bank averred that, based on the said allegations, the spouses were
estopped from assailing the extrajudicial foreclosure of the real estate mortgage, the sale at
public auction and the Torrens title issued to it; hence, they had no cause of action. It further
alleged that the spouses Digos already assailed the extrajudicial foreclosure of the real estate
mortgage and the sale of the property at public auction on account of lack of due process
and arbitrary abuse in their first complaint; they again sought to do so in this case, this time
grounded on the invalid foreclosure of the real estate mortgage, and the sale at public
auction of the property for an amount in excess of the balance of the loan account. The bank
argued that, in so doing, the spouses Digos were guilty of splitting a single cause of action
which is proscribed by Rule 2, Section 4 of the Rules of Court; they were, likewise, barred by
res judicata from filing the second complaint for the same causes of action, even if additional
defendants were impleaded. Consequently, the spouses Digos were also guilty of forum
shopping. Perez and Ragua filed a motion to dismiss on similar grounds of res judicata,
splitting of a single cause of action and forum shopping.
The trial court issued an Order 19 denying the motion, ruling that there was no identity of issue
in the two actions. The CA rendered judgment dismissing the petition and affirming the
assailed orders. The appellate court declared that there was no identity of causes of action in
the two cases because the first action was one for injunction and redemption of the property,
whereas the second action was for the nullification of the extrajudicial foreclosure of the real
estate mortgage and the sale at public auction due to the erroneous computation of the
balance on the respondents account with the bank; hence, the spouses Digos were not
estopped from filing their second action.
ISSUE:
Whether the judgment in the redemption of mortgage case (1 st case) is res judicata to the
cacellation and annulment of foreclosure case (2nd case)
Whether the private respondents are guilty of splitting their cause of action
HELD:
Splitting a single cause of action consists in dividing a single or indivisible cause of action
into several parts or claims and instituting two or more actions therein. 25 A single cause of
action or entire claim or demand cannot be split up or divided so as to be made the subject
of two or more different actions. 26
A single act or omission may be violative of various rights at the same time, such as when
the act constitutes a violation of separate and distinct legal obligations. 27 The violation of
each of these rights is a cause of action in itself. However, if only one right may be violated
by several acts or omissions, there would only be one cause of action. Otherwise stated, if
two separate and distinct primary rights are violated by one and the same wrong; or if the
single primary right should be violated by two distinct and separate legal wrongs; or when
the two primary rights are each broken by a separate and distinct wrongs; in either case, two
causes of action would result.28 Causes of action which are distinct and independent,
although arising out of the same contract, transaction or state of fact may be sued
separately, recovery on one being no bar to subsequent actions on the others.
The mere fact that the same relief is sought in the subsequent action will not render the
judgment in the prior action as res judicata. Causes of action are not distinguishable for
purposes of res judicata by difference in the claims for relief.

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


Comparing the material averments of the two complaints, it would appear that separate
primary rights of the respondents were violated by the banks institution of a petition for
extrajudicial foreclosure of the real estate mortgage and the sale at public auction; hence,
the respondents had separate and independent causes of action against the bank, to wit: (a)
the first complaint relates to the violation by the bank of the right to a judicial, not
extrajudicial, foreclosure of the real estate mortgage and for an extension of the period for
the respondents to redeem the property with damages; (b) the second complaint relates to
the breach by the bank of its loan contract with the respondents by causing the extrajudicial
foreclosure of the real estate mortgage for P4,500,000.00 which was in excess of their unpaid
account with the bank.
However, we are convinced that the institution by the respondents of their second complaint
anchored on their claim that the bank breached its loan contracts with them by erroneously
computing the actual and correct balance of their account when the petition for extrajudicial
foreclosure of the real estate mortgage was filed by it designed to avert the dismissal of their
complaint due to splitting causes of action and res judicata, following the dismissal of their
first complaint and the dismissal of their appeal through their negligence. The Court is
constrained to conclude that this was a last-ditch attempt to resuscitate their lost cause, a
brazen violation of the principle of res judicata.
There are four (4) essential requisites which must concur for the application of the res
judicata doctrine:
(a) finality of the former judgment;
(b) the court which rendered it had jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties;
(c) it must be a judgment on the merits; and
(d) there must be, between the first and second actions, identity of parties, subject matter
and causes of action.
A judgment or order is on the merits of the case when it determines the rights and liabilities
of the parties based on the ultimate facts as disclosed by the pleadings or issues presented
for trial. It is not necessary that a trial, actual hearing or argument on the facts of the case
ensued. For as long as the parties had the full legal opportunity to be heard on their
respective claims and contentions, the judgment or order is on the merits. 32 An order of the
trial court on the ground that the complaint does not state a cause of action is a
determination of the case on its merits. 33 Such order whether right or wrong bars another
action based upon the same cause of action. 34 The operation of the order as res judicata is
not affected by a mere right of appeal where the appeal has not been taken or by an appeal
which never has been perfected.35
Indeed, absolute identity of parties is not a condition sine qua non for the application of res
judicata. It is sufficient that there is a shared identity of interest. 36 The rule is that, even if
new parties are found in the second action, res judicata still applies if the party against whom
the judgment is offered in evidence was a party in the first action; otherwise, a case can
always be renewed by the mere expedience of joining new parties in the new suit.
The ultimate test to ascertain identity of causes of action is whether or not the same
evidence fully supports and establishes both the first and second cases. The application of
the doctrine of res judicata cannot be excused by merely varying the form of the action or
engaging a different method of presenting the issue.
Section 49(c) of Rule 39 enumerates the concept of conclusiveness of judgment. This is the
second branch, otherwise known as collateral estoppel or estoppel by verdict. This applies
where, between the first case wherein judgment is rendered and the second case wherein
such judgment is involved, there is no identity of causes of action. As explained by this Court:
It has been held that in order that a judgment in one action can be conclusive as to a
particular matter in another action between the same parties or their privies, it is essential
that the issues be identical. If a particular point or question is in issue in the second action,
and the judgment will depend on the determination of that particular point or question, a
former judgment between the same parties will be final and conclusive in the second if that
same point or question was in issue and adjudicated in the first suit; but the adjudication of
an issue in the first case is not conclusive of an entirely different and distinct issue arising in
the second. In order that this rule may be applied, it must clearly and positively appear,
either from the record itself or by the aid of competent extrinsic evidence that the precise
point or question in issue in the second suit was involved and decided in the first. And in
determining whether a given question was an issue in the prior action, it is proper to look

behind the judgment to ascertain whether the evidence necessary to sustain a judgment in
the second action would have authorized a judgment for the same party in the first action. 39
In the present case, before the private respondents filed their first complaint, they already
knew that the balance of their account with the bank was P4,500,000.00. They even offered
to make a P1,000,000.00 partial payment of their loan to reduce their account to
P3,500,000.00.
More telling is the private respondents failure to object to the extrajudicial foreclosure of the
real estate mortgage and the sale at public auction; they even pleaded to be allowed to
redeem the property after it had already been sold at public auction. Patently then, the
respondents were proscribed from claiming that the foreclosure of the real estate mortgage
was for an amount in excess of the balance of their account and that the sale at public
auction was irregular/illegal.
Redemption is inconsistent with the claim of invalidity of the sale. Redemption is an implied
admission of the regularity of the sale and would estop the respondents from later impugning
its validity on that ground. 43 Thus, the private respondents pleas for extensions of time to
redeem the subject property are of the same genre.
If indeed the bank made an erroneous computation of the balance of their account as
claimed by the private respondents in their second complaint, this should have been alleged
in the first complaint as one of their causes of action. They failed to do so. The private
respondents unequivocably admitted in their first complaint that the balance of their account
with the bank was P4,500,000.00 which was the precise amount for which the bank sought
the foreclosure of the real estate mortgage and the sale of the property at public auction;
they even sought judicial recourse to enable them to redeem the property despite the lapse
of the one-year period therefor.
Relying on these admissions on the part of the private respondents, and the fact that the
bank has already consolidated its title over the property, the Court thus dismissed their first
complaint. The Order of the Court dismissing the first complaint is a judgment of the case on
the merits.
The attempt of the respondents in their second complaint to avoid the application of the
principle of res judicata by claiming the nature of their account on the ground therefor and
their legal theory cannot prosper. Case law has it that where a right, question or fact is
distinctly put in issue and directly determined by a court of competent jurisdiction in a first
case, between the same parties or their privies, the former adjudication of that fact, right or
question is binding on the parties or their privies in a second suit irrespective of whether the
causes of action are the same.45 The ruling of the CA that the action of the private
respondents and their legal theory in their second complaint were different from their causes
of action and legal theory in the first complaint is not correct. A different cause of action is
one that proceeds not only on a sufficiently different legal theory, but also on a different
factual footing as not to require the trial of facts material to the former suit; that is, an action
that can be maintained even if all disputed factual issues raised in the plaintiffs original
complaint are concluded in defendants favor.46
The principle of res judicata applies when the opportunity to raise an issue in the first
complaint exists but the plaintiff failed to do so. Indeed, if the pleading of a different legal
theory would have convinced the trial court to decide a particular issue in the first action
which, with the use of diligence the plaintiffs could have raised therein but failed to do so,
they are barred by res judicata.47 Nor do legal theories operate to constitute a cause of
action. New legal theories do not amount to a new cause of action so as to defeat the
application of the principle of res judicata.48
It bears stressing that a party cannot divide the grounds for recovery. 51 A plaintiff is
mandated to place in issue in his pleading, all the issues existing when the suit began. A
lawsuit cannot be tried piecemeal. 52 The plaintiff is bound to set forth in his first action every
ground for relief which he claims to exist and upon which he relied, and cannot be permitted
to rely upon them by piecemeal in successive action to recover for the same wrong or
injury.53
A party seeking to enforce a claim, legal or equitable, must present to the court, either by the
pleadings or proofs, or both, on the grounds upon which to expect a judgment in his favor. He
is not at liberty to split up his demands, and prosecute it by piecemeal or present only a
portion of the grounds upon which a special relief is sought and leave the rest to the

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


presentment in a second suit if the first fails. There would be no end to litigation if such
piecemeal presentation is allowed.

G.R. No. 148090

November 28, 2006

STRONGHOLD INSURANCE COMPANY, INC., Petitioner, vs.HONORABLE NEMESIO S.


FELIX, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 56, Regional Trial Court, Makati
City, RICHARD C. JAMORA, Branch Clerk of Court, and EMERITA GARON, Respondents.
FACTS:
Emerita Garon filed an action for sum of money against Project Movers Realty and
Development Corporation and Stronghold Insurance Company. In an Order 3 dated 19
September 2000, the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, granted Garons motion for
summary judgment. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of Garon and held Project
Movers and Stronghold liable.
On 6 October 2000, Garon filed a motion for execution pending appeal. On 10 October 2000,
Stronghold Insurance moved for the reconsideration of the 19 September 2000 Order of the
trial court, but such was denied for lack of merit.
In an Order dated 8 February 2001, the trial court granted Garons motion for execution
pending appeal. The trial court ordered Garon to post a bond of P20 million to answer for any
damage that Project Movers and Stronghold Insurance may sustain by reason of the
execution pending appeal. On 14 February 2001, Branch Clerk of Court Richard C. Jamora
("Jamora") issued a writ of execution pending appeal.
On 16 February 2001, Stronghold Insurance filed a notice of appeal.
Stronghold Insurance also filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals to assail
the trial courts 8 February 2001 Order and the writ of execution pending appeal. In its
Resolution8 of 23 February 2001, the Court of Appeals enjoined the trial court, Jamora and
Garon from enforcing the 8 February 2001 Order. However, it turned out that notices of
garnishment had been served before the Court of Appeals issued the temporary restraining
order (TRO). In its Order 9 dated 7 March 2001, the trial court denied Stronghold Insurances
Urgent Motion for the recall of the notices of garnishment.
In its 4 May 2001 Decision, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition of Stronghold
Insurance and lifted the TRO it issued. The Court of Appeals sustained the trial court in
issuing the writ of execution pending appeal on the ground of illness of Garons husband.
Stronghold Insurance alleged that its liability is limited only to P12,755,139.85 in accordance
with its surety bond with Project Movers, plus attorneys fees of P200,000 as awarded by the
trial court. However, the amount in the writ of execution pending appeal and notices of
garnishment is P56 million. Nevertheless, the Court of Appeals ruled that Stronghold
Insurance failed to show that more than P12,755,139.85 had been garnished.
Hence, the petition before this Court.
In its Resolution 12 dated 8 August 2001, this Court issued a TRO to restrain and enjoin the
enforcement of the 8 February 2001 Order and the writ of execution pending appeal until
further orders from this Court.
ISSUE:
Whether there are good reasons to justify execution pending appeal.
HELD:
Requisites of Execution Pending Appeal
Execution pending appeal is governed by paragraph (a), Section 2, Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure. ("Rules") which provides:
SEC. 2. Discretionary execution. (a) Execution of a judgment or final order pending appeal. - On motion of the prevailing party
with notice to the adverse party filed in the trial court while it has jurisdiction over the case
and is in possession of either the original record or the record on appeal, as the case may be,

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


at the time of the filing of such motion, said court may, in its discretion, order execution of a
judgment or final order even before the expiration of the period to appeal.
After the trial court has lost jurisdiction, the motion for execution pending appeal may be
filed in the appellate court.
Discretionary execution may only issue upon good reasons to be stated in a special order
after due hearing.
xxxx
Execution pending appeal is an exception to the general rule. Execution pending appeal is an
extraordinary remedy, being more of the exception rather than the rule. This rule is strictly
construed against the movant because courts look with disfavor upon any attempt to execute
a judgment which has not acquired finality. Such execution affects the rights of the parties
which are yet to be ascertained on appeal.
The requisites for the grant of an execution of a judgment pending appeal are the following:
(a) there must be a motion by the prevailing party with notice to the adverse party;
(b) there must be good reasons for execution pending appeal;
(c) the good reasons must be stated in the special order.
As a discretionary execution, execution pending appeal is permissible only when good
reasons exist for immediately executing the judgment before finality or pending appeal or
even before the expiration of the period to appeal. Good reasons, special, important, pressing
reasons must exist to justify execution pending appeal; otherwise, instead of an instrument
of solicitude and justice, it may well become a tool of oppression and inequality. 16 Good
reasons consist of exceptional circumstances of such urgency as to outweigh the injury or
damage that the losing party may suffer should the appealed judgment be reversed later. 17
Existence of Good Grounds to Justify Execution Pending Appeal
It is established that plaintiffs spouse, Mr. Robert Garon, suffers from coronary artery
disease, benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and hyperlipidemia. He is undergoing continuous
treatment for the foregoing ailments and has been constrained to make serious lifestyle
changes, that he can no longer actively earn a living. As shown in plaintiffs verified motion,
she has urgent need of the funds owed to her by defendants in order to answer for her
husbands medical expenses and for the day-to-day support of the family considering her
husbands ill health.
Well-settled is the rule that it is not for the trial court to determine the merit of a decision it
rendered as this is the role of the appellate Court. Hence, it is not within the competence of
the trial court, in resolving the motion for execution pending appeal, to rule that the appeal is
patently dilatory and to rely on the same as the basis for finding good reason to grant the
motion.
We agree with Stronghold Insurance that Garon failed to present good reasons to justify
execution pending appeal. The situations in the cases cited by the trial court are not similar
to this case. In Ma-Ao Sugar Central Co., Inc. v. Caete,24 Caete filed an action for
compensation for his illness. The Workmens Compensation Commission found the illness
compensable. Considering Caetes physical condition and the Courts finding that he was in
constant danger of death, the Court allowed execution pending appeal. In this case, it was
not Garon, but her husband, who was ill.
The posting of a bond, standing alone and absent the good reasons required under Section 2,
Rule 39 of the Rules, is not enough to allow execution pending appeal. The mere filing of a
bond by a successful party is not a good reason to justify execution pending appeal as a
combination of circumstances is the dominant consideration, which impels the grant of
immediate execution. The bond is only an additional factor for the protection of the
defendants creditor.
The exercise of the power to grant or deny a motion for execution pending appeal is
addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court. However, the existence of good reasons
is indispensable to the grant of execution pending appeal. Here, Garon failed to advance
good reasons that would justify the execution pending appeal.
With regard to Strongholds liability, the writ of execution pending appeal issued against
Project Movers and Stronghold Insurance is for P56 million. However, the CA ruled that
Stronghold Insurance failed to show that more than P12,755,139.85 had been garnished. The

ruling of the Court of Appeals unduly burdens Stronghold Insurance because the amount
garnished could exceed its liability. It gives the sheriff the discretion to garnish more than
P12,755,139.85 from the accounts of Stronghold Insurance. The amount for garnishment is
no longer ministerial on the part of the sheriff. This is not allowed.

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


[G.R. No. 132592. January 23, 2002]
AIDA P. BAEZ, petitioner, vs. GABRIEL B. BAEZ, respondent.
[G.R. No. 133628. January 23, 2002]
AIDA P. BAEZ, petitioner, vs. GABRIEL B. BAEZ, respondent.

HELD: Yes

FACTS:

As held in Echaus vs. Court of Appeals, 199 SCRA 381, 386 (1991), execution pending appeal
is allowed when superior circumstances demanding urgency outweigh the damages that may
result from the issuance of the writ. Otherwise, instead of being an instrument of solicitude
and justice, the writ may well become a tool of oppression and inequity.

On September 23, 1996, the Regional Trial Court of Cebu, Branch 20, decided Civil Case No.
CEB-16765, decreeing among others the legal separation between petitioner Aida Baez and
respondent Gabriel Baez on the ground of the latters sexual infidelity; the dissolution of
their conjugal property relations and the division of the net conjugal assets; the forfeiture of
respondents one-half share in the net conjugal assets in favor of the common children; the
payment to petitioners counsel of the sum of P100,000 as attorneys fees to be taken from
petitioners share in the net assets; and the surrender by respondent of the use and
possession of a Mazda motor vehicle and the smaller residential house located at Maria Luisa
Estate Park Subdivision to petitioner and the common children within 15 days from receipt of
the decision.

In this case, considering the reasons cited by petitioner, we are of the view that there is no
superior or urgent circumstance that outweighs the damage which respondent would suffer if
he were ordered to vacate the house. We note that petitioner did not refute respondents
allegations that she did not intend to use said house, and that she has two (2) other houses
in the United States where she is a permanent resident, while he had none at all. Merely
putting up a bond is not sufficient reason to justify her plea for execution pending appeal. To
do so would make execution routinary, the rule rather than the exception.

In another motion to modify the decision, petitioner Aida Baez sought moral and exemplary
damages, as well as litigation expenses. On October 9, 1996, she filed a motion for
execution pending appeal. Respondent Gabriel Baez filed a consolidated written opposition
to the two motions, and also prayed for the reconsideration of the October 1, 1996 order.

Similarly, we are not persuaded that the P100,000 advance payment to petitioners counsel
was properly granted. We see no justification to pre-empt the judgment by the Court of
Appeals concerning said amount of P100,000 at the time that the trial courts judgment was
already on appeal.

On November 22, 1996, the trial court gave due course to the execution pending appeal. In
turn, in a petition for certiorari, Gabriel Baez elevated the case to the Court of Appeals. On
March 21, 1997, the appellate court rendered its decision setting aside the trial courts
decision.

WHEREFORE, the instant petitions are DENIED for lack of merit. The decision and resolution
of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 42663 and CA-G.R. No. CV-56265, respectively, are
hereby AFFIRMED, so that the Order dated October 1, 1996, of the Regional Trial Court
authorizing the release of P100,000 to petitioners counsel; the Omnibus Order dated
November 22, 1996 granting the motion pending appeal; the writ of execution dated
December 2, 1996; and the Order dated December 10, 1996 granting the motion by the
sheriff to make symbolic delivery of the house and vehicle are SET ASIDE.

Petitioner avers that the residential house, being conjugal in nature, justice requires that she
and her children be allowed to occupy and enjoy the house considering that during the entire
proceedings before the trial court, she did not have the chance to occupy it. Further, she
posted a bond of P1,500,000 for the damages which respondent may suffer. For these
reasons, she asked for execution pending appeal. The amount of P100,000 as advance
payment to her counsel was a drop in the bucket compared to the bond she posted,
according to her. She also suggested as an alternative that she simply be required to put up
an additional bond. She also agreed to submit to an accounting as regular administratrix and
the advance attorneys fees be charged to her share in the net conjugal assets.
In his comment, respondent denied petitioners allegation that she did not have the chance
to occupy the residential house. He averred that she could have, had she chosen to.
According to him, as the inventory of the couples properties showed, petitioner owned two
houses and lots and two motor vehicles in the United States, where she is a permanent
resident. Respondent contended that there was no compelling reason for petitioner to have
the judgment executed pending appeal.
ISSUE: Whether execution of judgment pending appeal was justified.

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


G.R. No. 155618

March 26, 2003

EDGAR
Y.
vs.
COMMISSION
ON
ELECTIONS
PANULAYA, respondents.

SANTOS, petitioner,
(FIRST

DIVISION)

and

PEDRO

Q.

FACTS:
Petitioner Edgar Y. Santos and respondent Pedro Q. Panulaya were both candidates for Mayor
of the Municipality of Balingoan, Misamis Oriental in the May 14, 2001 elections. On May 16,
2001, after the votes were counted and canvassed, the Municipal Board of Canvassers
proclaimed respondent Panulaya as the duly elected Mayor.
Petitioner filed an election protest before the Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental, Branch
26, which was docketed as SPL Election Protest No. 1-M(2001). After trial and revision of the
ballots, the trial court found that petitioner garnered 2,181 votes while respondent received
only 2,105.
Petitioner thereafter filed a motion for execution pending appeal. Meanwhile, before the trial
court could act on petitioners motion, respondent filed on April 22, 2002 with the COMELEC a
petition for certiorari, docketed as SPR No. 20-2002, assailing the decision of the trial court.
The COMELEC, in SPR No. 20-2002, issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction, which effectively
enjoined the trial court from acting on petitioners motion for execution pending appeal.
Subsequently, on August 19, 2002, the COMELEC dismissed SPR No. 20-2002 after finding
that the trial court did not commit grave abuse of discretion in rendering the assailed
judgment.
After petitioner posted the required bond, the trial court issued the Writ of
Execution,5 thereby installing petitioner as Municipal Mayor of Balingoan, Misamis Oriental.
Accordingly, petitioner took his oath of office and thereafter assumed the duties and
functions of his office.
On August 21, 2002, respondent filed with the COMELEC a motion for reconsideration of the
dismissal of his petition in SPR No. 20-2002.
While his motion for reconsideration and supplemental petition in SPR No. 20-2002 were
pending, respondent filed another petition with the COMELEC, docketed as SPR No. 37-2002.
The petition contained the same prayer as that in the supplemental petition filed in SPR 202002.
On October 14, 2002, the COMELEC issued a Resolution in SPR No. 37-2002, the dispositive
portion of which states: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition is hereby GRANTED.
Accordingly, the August 20, 2002 Resolution of the respondent judge granting the Motion for
Execution Pending Appeal as well as his Order also dated August 20, 2002 directing the
issuance of the Writ of Execution and his Writ of Execution dated August 21, 2002 are hereby
set aside. Private Respondent Edgar Y. Santos is enjoined from assuming the function of
mayor of Balingoan, Misamis Oriental until the final determination of the election appeal
case.
ISSUE:
1.

Whether or not there is grave abuse of discretion by the trial court in ordering the
execution pending appeal.

2.

Whether shortness of term alone is a good reason for execution of a judgment


pending appeal.

HELD:
1.

No

The petition for certiorari in SPR No. 37-2002 assailed the trial courts orders for the
execution of its decision pending appeal. The grant of execution pending appeal was well
within the discretionary powers of the trial court. In order to obtain the annulment of said

orders in a petition for certiorari, it must first be proved that the trial court gravely abused its
discretion. He should show not merely a reversible error committed by the trial court, but a
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
We find that no grave abuse of discretion was committed by the trial court. In its order
granting execution pending appeal, it held: It is of judicial notice that for the public official
elected last May 14, 2001 elections only a short period is left. Relative to this Courts
jurisdiction over the instant case, the settled rule that the mere filing of the notice of appeal
does not divest the trial court of its jurisdiction over the case and to resolve pending
incidents, i.e., motion for execution pending appeal.
2.

Yes

However, the COMELEC set aside the aforesaid order, saying that shortness of term alone is
not a good reason for execution of a judgment pending appeal. WE DISAGREE.
While it was indeed held that shortness of the remaining term of office and posting a bond
are not good reasons, we clearly stated in Fermo v. COMELEC that: A valid exercise of the
discretion to allow execution pending appeal requires that it should be based "upon good
reasons to be stated in a special order." The following constitute "good reasons" and a
combination of two or more of them will suffice to grant execution pending appeal: (1.) public
interest involved or will of the electorate; (2.) the shortness of the remaining portion of the
term of the contested office; and (3.) the length of time that the election contest has been
pending .
The decision of the trial court in Election Protest No. 1-M(2001) was rendered on April 2,
2002, or after almost one year of trial and revision of the questioned ballots. It found
petitioner as the candidate with the plurality of votes. Respondent appealed the said decision
to the COMELEC. In the meantime, the three-year term of the Office of the Mayor continued
to run. The will of the electorate, as determined by the trial court in the election protest, had
to be respected and given meaning. The Municipality of Balingoan, Misamis Oriental, needed
the services of a mayor even while the election protest was pending, and it had to be the
candidate judicially determined to have been chosen by the people.

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


G.R. No. 145260

July 31, 2003

CITY OF ILIGAN, Represented by Hon. FRANKLIN M. QUIJANO in His Capacity as City


Mayor, Petitioner,
vs.
PRINCIPAL MANAGEMENT GROUP, INC. (PMGI), Represented by Its President &
Chief Executive Officer, FERNANDO M. SOPOT, Respondent.
The ascertainment of good reasons for execution pending appeal lies within the sound
discretion of the trial court. Normally, its finding will not be disturbed by a reviewing court, in
the absence of grave abuse of discretion.
FACTS:
On October 19, 1998, Mayor Franklin M. Quijano, acting for and in behalf of [petitioner] City
of Iligan, requested from the Sangguniang Panlungsod for: (a) Resolution authorizing him to
open a domestic Standby Letter of Credit (SLC) in the amount of P14,000,000.00 in favor of
the Land Bank Realty Development Corporation and/or PNCC with the Principal Management
Group, Inc. (herein private respondent) as the funder/financial managers in connection with
the development of a project on a turn-key basis
The City Council approved Mayor Quijanos requests and passed Resolutions Nos. 1050 and
1051 series of 1998 on October 20, 1998.
On December 29, 1998, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on a turn-key arrangement
was drawn by Mayor Quijano, representing the City of Iligan, with Land Bank Realty
Development Corporation (LBRDC) as General Contractor and Principal Management Group,
Inc. (PMGI) as Developer - Financing Manager. The project to be undertaken was the
construction of a Sports Complex which upon completion shall be turned over to Iligan City
for acceptance and the issuance of Certificate of Acceptance and Authority to Pay to enable
Land Bank Realty-PMGI to call on the SLC.
The project started on November 26, 1998 despite the fact that some drawings had not yet
been completed, since the MOA provides for a construction period of one hundred twenty
days from the date of the signing.
The construction site of the Sports Complex was donated by San Miguel (Iligan) Enterprises,
Inc. wherein the City of Iligan as donee was bound to provide for all expenses for the transfer
of the occupants therein.
On or about January 1999, the work on the project stopped due to the refusal of some of the
occupants to vacate the premises claiming that they have not been paid x x x their
disturbance compensation. By then, PMGI had already accomplished 78.27% of the
contracted project equivalent to P10,957,800.00 of the total project cost of P14,000,000.00.
On February 24, 1999, PMGI requested from the City of Iligan for a deductive change order to
enable it to collect the above-stated amount based on the 78.27% accomplishment of the
project. The City of Iligan, however, claimed that PMGIs accomplishment was only 52.89% or
equivalent only to P6,958,861.59 based on the Accomplishment Report as of February 9,
1999.
The City of Iligan refused to pay for the reason that the mutually agreed price of P14 Million
shall only be paid after the completion of the project and acceptance by it and since the
project is not yet complete, no payment can be paid.
On November 8, 1999, PMGI filed a complaint against the City of Iligan for rescission of the
MOA and damages. After the filing of City of Iligans Answer, a Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment was filed by PMGI which claimed that there was no genuine issue as to the fact of
the obligation of the City of Iligan since it admitted the accomplishment of 52.89% or
equivalent to P6,958,861.59 of PMGI and that the City of Iligan had not specifically denied
under oath the genuineness of the Letter of Credit and Memorandum of Agreement.
Partial summary judgment is hereby issued in favor of [respondent] in the amount of Six
Million Nine Hundred Fifty-eight Thousand Eight Hundred Sixty one & 59/100 (P6,958,861.59)
Pesos Only.
A Notice of Appeal was filed by the City of Iligan on January 26, 2000.
A Motion for Execution Pending Appeal x x x filed on January 18, 2000 by PMGI which alleged
that when the appeal is clearly dilatory, order for execution upon good reasons may be

issued with the discretion of the court, was granted on January 24, 2000 over the opposition
of the City of Iligan, to justify the same, he dispositive portion of which was earlier quoted.
The trial court further stated that: The Court is convinced that there are good reasons to
allow the immediate execution pending appeal. Its adjudication is based on [petitioners] own
admission hence, any appeal would be unmeritorious and would only serve to delay
execution of the final order subject of the instant motion. The fact that an appeal in this case
if taken by [petitioner] will be a merely dilatory tactic has been declared by the Supreme
Court as a good and sufficient reason upon which to issue execution of the order under
Section 2, Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court.
ISSUE: Whether or not there are good reasons to allow the immediate Order of Execution
pending appeal by the trial court.
HELD: Yes
Executions pending appeal are governed by Section 2 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.
There are three requisites for the execution of a judgment pending appeal: a) a motion must
be filed by the prevailing party with notice to the adverse party; b) there must be good
reasons for execution pending appeal; and c) the good reasons must be stated in a special
order.
Execution pending appeal is, of course, the exception to the general rule. Normally, execution
cannot be obtained until and unless (a) the judgment has become final and executory; (b) the
right of appeal has been renounced or waived; (c) the period for appeal has lapsed without
an appeal having been filed; or (d) having been filed, the appeal has been resolved and the
records of the case have been returned to the court of origin -- in which case, execution shall
issue as a matter of right.
On the other hand, when the period of appeal has not yet expired, the execution of a
judgment should not be allowed except if, in the courts discretion, there are good reasons
therefor.
Since the execution of a judgment pending appeal is an exception to the general rule, the
existence of "good reasons" is essential. These reasons must be stated in a special order,
because unless these are divulged, it will be difficult to determine on appeal whether judicial
discretion has been properly exercised by the lower court.
Good reasons consist of compelling circumstances that justify the immediate execution of a
judgment, lest it become illusory; or the prevailing party be unable to enjoy it after the lapse
of time, considering the tactics of the adverse party who may have no recourse but to delay.
In the present case, the good reason relied upon by both the trial and the appellate courts
was that the partial adjudication of the case was based on petitioners own admission; hence,
any appeal based on that point would be unmeritorious and merely dilatory. Indeed, both
courts ruled that an appeal by petitioner would only serve as "a good and sufficient reason
upon which to issue execution."
In the present case, the good reason relied upon by both the trial and the appellate courts
was that the partial adjudication of the case was based on petitioners own admission; hence,
any appeal based on that point would be unmeritorious and merely dilatory. Indeed, both
courts ruled that an appeal by petitioner would only serve as "a good and sufficient reason
upon which to issue execution."
Like the CA, we find no abuse of discretion in the trial courts grant of execution pending
appeal. Indeed, this Court has held that a good and sufficient reason upon which to authorize
immediate execution is when an appeal is clearly dilatory.

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


A.M. No. MTJ-03-1513

November 12, 2003

Spouses
JAIME
and
PURIFICACION
MORTA, Complainants.
vs.
Judge ANTONIO C. BAGAGAN, Municipal Trial Court, Guinobatan, Albay; and
Sheriff DANILO O. MATIAS, Regional Trial Court, Branch 14, Ligao,
Albay, Respondents.
Unreasonable delay in resolving motions opens a judge to administrative sanctions. Likewise,
a sheriff is administratively liable for delayed implementation of a writ of execution and
failure to render the required reports thereon. These are necessary lessons from the timehonored principle that "justice delayed is justice denied.
FACTS:
In their Administrative Complaint dated July 26, 2001, Spouses Jaime and Purificacion Morta
Sr. charged Judge Antonio C. Bagagan of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Guinobatan,
Albay with gross ignorance of the law, incompetence, bias and delay. They also indicted
Sheriff Danilo O. Matias of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Ligao, Albay (Branch 14) with
gross ignorance of the law, negligence and connivance with the defendants in Civil Case Nos.
481 and 482 (MTC, Guinobatan, Albay).
Complainants, who are the plaintiffs in the aforementioned civil cases, alleged that on March
29, 1994, the Municipal Trial Court of Guinobatan, Albay rendered a decision in their favor.
Thereafter, the First Division of this Court, acting on the petition for review on certiorari filed
by the plaintiffs, rendered its decision dated June 10, 1999 in G.R. No. 123417 affirming the
decision of the Municipal Trial Court.
They now complain that despite the fact that the decision of the Supreme Court in the
aforesaid case had already become final and executory, the respondent Judge still refused to
issue a writ of possession in their favor.
As against the respondent Sheriff, the complainants averred that through his ignorance,
negligence and connivance with the defendants, he failed to execute in full the writ of
execution that had been previously issued by the court in Civil Case Nos. 481 and 482.
Moreover, it took respondent Sheriff a long time before he finally submitted his Sheriff's
Return of Service on the Writ of Execution.
In his Answer/Comment dated April 2, 2002, respondent judge explained that he had denied
complainants Motion for the issuance of a writ of possession because, by the time Civil Case
Nos. 481 and 482 were finally decided by this Court on June 10, 1999, they had already been
ousted from the lots in question pursuant to the Decisions in DARAB Case No. 2413 and Civil
Case No. 1920. In Civil Case No. 1920, respondent judge ordered complainants to vacate the
disputed lots. A Writ of Execution/Demolition was thereafter issued on January 29, 1998. On
the other hand, the DARAB Decision, which became final and executory on October 27, 1998,
directed them to cease and desist from disturbing the peaceful possession of therein
Petitioner Jaime Occidental.
For his part, Respondent Sheriff Matias admitted in his Comment dated April 18, 2002, that
there was delay in the full implementation of the Writ of Execution in Civil Case Nos. 481 and
482. Explaining that the delay was due to his heavy workload and thus unintentional, he
begged for compassion from this Court.
ISSUE:
1.
2.

Whether or not it the judge is justified in not issuing the writ of


execution/possession to the plaintiffs.
Whether or not the delay made by the sheriff is correct by reasons of heave
workload

HELD:
1.

Yes

We agree with the OCA that respondent judge acted correctly in not issuing a writ of
execution/possession. His action was consistent with the Decision of this Court in GR No.

123417 affirming that of the MTC as to damages. Besides, the latters Order directing
defendants not to molest complainants in their peaceful possession was rendered moot when
they were ousted from the disputed lots by virtue of the final and executory judgments in
Civil Case No. 1920 and DARAB Case No. 2413. Indeed, the execution of a final judgment may
be refused, as in this case, when there has been a change in the situation of the parties that
would make its execution inequitable.
2.

No

With respect to the charges against respondent sheriff, we agree with the OCA that he was
remiss in his duty to implement the Writ fully in Civil Case Nos. 481 and 482. Time and time
again, we have impressed upon those tasked to implement court orders and processes to see
to it that the final stage in the litigation process -- the execution of judgment -- be carried out
promptly. They should exert every effort and indeed consider it their bounden duty to do so,
in order to ensure the speedy and efficient administration of justice. A decision that is left
unexecuted or delayed indefinitely because of the sheriffs inefficiency or negligence remains
an empty victory on the part of the prevailing party. For this reason, any inordinate delay in
the execution of judgment is truly deplorable and cannot be countenanced by the Court.
There is no mistaking the mandatory character of the period prescribed under Section 14 of
Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court on the Return of a Writ of Execution, which reads:
"SEC. 14. Return of writ of execution. The writ of execution shall be returnable to the court
issuing it immediately after the judgment has been satisfied in part or in full. If the judgment
cannot be satisfied in full within thirty (30) days after his receipt of the writ, the officer shall
report to the court and state the reason therefor. Such writ shall continue in effect during the
period within which the judgment may be enforced by motion. The officer shall make a report
to the court every thirty (30) days on the proceedings taken thereon until the judgment is
satisfied in full, or its effectivity expires. The returns or periodic reports shall set forth the
whole of the proceedings taken, and shall be filed with the court and copies thereof promptly
furnished the parties..
Per the records of this case, a Writ of Execution was issued on November 22, 1999 in Civil
Case Nos. 481 and 482. Respondent Sheriffs Return of Service of that Writ was filed only on
May 25, 2000, however, or six months thereafter. There is nothing in the records showing
that he submitted before then a periodic report on the actions he had taken on the Writ
"every 30 days from the date of receipt" as required. On the contrary, the Report indicates
that the Writ was partially executed on December 15-28, 1999 and January 11, 2000; and
that the damages adjudged were partly paid in the amount of P3,500 plus one unit of
Karaoke machine. But it was only on May 25, 2000, that this matter was reported to the trial
court.
The excuse proffered by respondent sheriff -- heavy workload -- cannot absolve him from
administrative sanctions. As an officer of the court, he should at all times show a high degree
of professionalism in the performance of his duties. He has failed to observe that degree of
dedication required of him as a sheriff. The charge of connivance is, however, dismissed for
lack of basis.

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


G.R. No. 151325

June 27, 2005

D'
ARMOURED
SECURITY
AND
INVESTIGATION
AGENCY,
INC., petitioner,
vs.
ARNULFO ORPIA, LODUVICO ABUCEJO, ROWEL AGURO, EFREN ALMOETE, ROMEO
AMISTA,
WARLITO
BALAGOSA,
ROMEO
BALINGBING,
RAMON
BARROA,
MONTECLARO BATAWIL, ARNEL BON, RICARDO CAPENTES, DANILO DADA, JOEL
DELA CRUZ, HERNANO DELOS REYES, FLORENTINO DELOS TRINO, ROGELIO
DUERME, NONITO ESTRELLADO, JOSEPH FALCESO, ISIDRO FLORES, VICTOR
GUNGON, SONNY JULBA, PATRICIO LACANA, JR., FELIX LASCONA, JUANITO LUNA,
RAUL LUZADAS, ROMMEL MAGBANUA, ROGELIO MARIBUNG, NICOLAS MENDOZA,
EZVENER OGANA, RICKY ORANO, REYNALDO OZARAGA, SAMUEL PADILLA, EDWIN
PARRENO, IRENEO PARTOLAN, JUAN PIGTUAN, GUILLERMO PUSING, RODEL SIBAL,
SILVESTRE SOLEDAD, JOVENAR TEVER, VIRGILIO TIMAJO, ERMILIO TOMARONG, JR.,
VIRGILIO VERDEFLOR and JOEREX VICTORINO,respondents.
FACTS:
On February 9, 1995, the above-named respondents, who were employed as security guards
by DArmoured Security and Investigation Agency, Inc., petitioner, and assigned to Fortune
Tobacco, Inc. (Fortune Tobacco), filed with the Labor Arbiter a complaint for illegal dismissal
and various monetary claims against petitioner and Fortune Tobacco, docketed as NLRC-NCR
Case No. 00-02-01148-95.
On June 11, 1998, the Labor Arbiter rendered a Decision in favor of the respondents.
From the said Decision, Fortune Tobacco interposed an appeal to the National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC). Petitioner did not appeal. On March 26, 1999, the NLRC rendered its
Decision affirming with modification the assailed Arbiters Decision in the sense that the
complaint against Fortune Tobacco was dismissed. This Decision became final and executory.
Thus, the award specified in the Decision of the Arbiter became the sole liability of petitioner.
Upon respondents motion, the Arbiter issued a writ of execution. Eventually, the sheriff
served a writ of garnishment upon the Chief Accountant of Foremost Farms, Inc., a
corporation with whom petitioner has an existing services agreement. Thus, petitioners
receivables with Foremost were garnished.
Petitioner filed with the NLRC a "Motion to Quash/Recall Writ of Execution and Garnishment"
which was opposed by respondents.
On March 10, 2000, the Arbiter issued an Order denying the motion and directing the sheriff
to release the garnished sum of money to respondents pro rata.
Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied, hence, it interposed an appeal to the
NLRC.
In a Resolution dated July 27, 2000, the NLRC dismissed the appeal for petitioners failure to
post a bond within the reglementary period. Its motion for reconsideration was denied in a
Resolution dated September 25, 2000.
Forthwith, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari and prohibition
with prayer for issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.
In a Decision dated December 18, 2001, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition.
Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE:
1.
2.

Whether or not an order of execution of a final and executory judgment is


appealable.
Whether or not the petitioners monthly receivables from the Foremost
Farms, Inc. (garnishee) are exempt from execution.

HELD:
1.

No

The petition lacks merit. We have ruled that an order of execution of a final and
executory judgment, as in this case, is not appealable, otherwise, there would be
no end to litigation. On this ground alone, the instant petition is dismissible.

2.

No

Section 13 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court is plain and clear on what properties are exempt
from execution. Section 13 (i) of the Rules pertinently reads:
SECTION 13. Property exempt from execution. Except as otherwise expressly provided by
law, the following property, and no other, shall be exempt from execution:
(i) So much of the salaries, wages or earnings of the judgment obligor for his personal
services within the four months preceding the levy as are necessary for the support of his
family.
The exemption under this procedural rule should be read in conjunction with the Civil Code,
the substantive law which proscribes the execution of employees wages, thus:
ART. 1708. The laborers wage shall not be subject to execution or attachment, except for
debts incurred for food, shelter, clothing and medical attendance.
Obviously, the exemption under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court and Article 1708 of the New
Civil Code is meant to favor only laboring men or women whose works are manual. Persons
belonging to this class usually look to the reward of a days labor for immediate or present
support, and such persons are more in need of the exemption than any other [Gaa vs. Court
of Appeals, 140 SCRA 304 (1985)].
In this context, exemptions under this rule are confined only to natural persons and not to
juridical entities such as petitioner. Thus, the rule speaks of salaries, wages and earning
from the personal services rendered by the judgment obligor. The rule further requires that
such earnings be intended for the support of the judgment debtors family.
Necessarily, petitioner which is a corporate entity, does not fall under the exemption. If at all,
the exemption refers to petitioners individual employees and not to petitioner as a
corporation.
Parenthetically, in a parallel case where a security agency claimed that the guns it gives to
its guards are tools and implements exempt from execution, the Supreme Court had the
occasion to rule that the exemption pertains only to natural and not to juridical persons, thus:
However, it would appear that the exemption contemplated by the provision involved is
personal, available only to a natural person, such as a dentists dental chair and electric fan
(Belen v. de Leon, G.R. No. L-15612, 30 Nov. 1962). As pointed out by the Solicitor General, if
properties used in business are exempt from execution, there can hardly be an instance when
a judgment claim can be enforced against the business entity [Pentagon Security and
Investigation Agency vs. Jimenez, 192 SCRA 492 (1990)].
It stands to reason that only natural persons whose salaries, wages and earnings are
indispensable for his own and that of his familys support are exempted under Section 13 (i)
of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. Undeniably, a corporate entity such as petitioner security
agency is not covered by the exemption.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED.

Rem1 Case Digests || Rule 39 || Castro Boco


G.R. No. 154739

January 23, 2007

ROGELIO (ROGER) PANOTES (thru ARACELI BUMATAY, as successor-ininterest), Petitioner,


vs.
CITY TOWNHOUSE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondent.
FACTS:
This case stemmed from a complaint filed with the National Housing Authority (NHA) in April
1979 by Rogelio (Roger) Panotes, petitioner, then president of the Provident Village
Homeowners Association, Inc., against Provident Securities Corporation (PROSECOR), ownerdeveloper of the Provident Village in Marikina City. The complaint, docketed as NHA Case No.
4175, alleges that PROSECOR violated Sections 19, 20, 21, 38, and 39 of Presidential Decree
(P.D.) No. 957. One of the violations complained of was its failure to provide an open space in
the said subdivision.
During the proceedings before the NHA, an ocular inspection showed that the subdivision has
no open space. The NHA found, however, that Block 40, with an area of 22,916 square
meters, could be utilized as open space. Thus, in its Resolution dated August 14, 1980, the
NHA directed PROSECOR to provide the Provident Village an open space which is Block 40.
Considering that PROSECOR did not appeal from the NHA Resolution, it became final and
executory.
When Panotes filed a motion for execution of the NHA Resolution, it was found that the
records of the case were "mysteriously missing." Hence, his motion "was provisionally
dismissed" without prejudice.
Meanwhile, PROSECOR sold to City Townhouse Development Corporation (CTDC), respondent,
several lots in the subdivision. Among the lots sold were those comprising Block 40. CTDC
was unaware of the NHA Resolution ordering PROSECOR to have Block 40 utilized as open
space of Provident Village.
Eventually, Panotes was succeeded by Araceli Bumatay as president of the Provident Village
Homeowners Association, Inc. On July 17, 1990, she filed with the Housing and Land Use
Regulatory Board (HLURB) a complaint for revival of the NHA Resolution dated August 14,
1980. Impleaded therein as defendant was CTDC, whom she alleged as successor-in-interest
of PROSECOR.
On October 15, 1991, the HLURB, through Housing and Land Use Arbiter Charito M. Bunagan,
rendered its Decision in favor of Bumatay, reviving the NHA Resolution and declaring Block
40 of the Provident Village as "open space" for the said subdivision.
ISSUE: Whether or not the NHA Resolution dated August 14, 1980 may be enforced
against CTDC.
HELD: No
An action for revival of judgment is no more than a procedural means of securing the
execution of a previous judgment which has become dormant after the passage of five years
without it being executed upon motion of the prevailing party. It is not intended to re-open
any issue affecting the merits of the judgment debtors case nor the propriety or correctness
of the first judgment.
Here, the original judgment or the NHA Resolution sought to be revived was between Rogelio
Panotes and PROSECOR, not between petitioner Araceli Bumatay and respondent CTDC.
In maintaining that CTDC is bound by the NHA Resolution, petitioner claims that CTDC is the
successor-in-interest of PROSECOR and, therefore, assumed the obligations of the latter to
provide an open space for Provident Village.
CTDC purchased from PROSECOR Block 40 in the said village, not as an owner-developer like
PROSECOR, but as an ordinary buyer of lots. Even after the sale, CTDC did not become an
owner-developer. The Deed of Sale executed by CTDC, as buyer, and PROSECOR, as seller,
shows that the subject matter of the sale is the unsold lots comprising Block 40 within the
subdivision to CTDC. The contract does not include the transfer of rights of PROSECOR as
owner-developer of the said subdivision. Clearly, there is no basis to conclude that CTDC is
the successor-in-interest of PROSECOR.

It bears stressing that when CTDC bought Block 40, there was no annotation on PROSECORs
title showing that the property is encumbered. In fact, the NHA Resolution was not annotated
thereon. CTDC is thus a buyer in good faith and for value, and as such, may not be deprived
of the ownership of Block 40. Verily, the NHA Resolution may not be enforced against CTDC.
Clearly, providing an open space within the subdivision remains to be the obligation of
PROSECOR, the owner-developer and the real party-in-interest in the case for revival of
judgment. As aptly held by the Court of Appeals:
Quintessentially, the real party-in-interest in the revival of NHA Case No. 4175 is PROSECOR
and not CTDC. PROSECOR was the lone defendant or respondent in that case against whom
judgment was rendered. To insist that CTDC is a successor-in-interest of PROSECOR may have
some truth if we are talking about the ownership of the lots sold by PROSECOR in favor of
CTDC as a result of a civil action between the two. But then, to hold CTDC as the successorin-interest of PROSECOR as the developer of the subdivision, is far from realty. CTDC is simply
on the same footing as any lot buyer-member of PVHIA.
Furthermore, strangers to a case, like CTDC, are not bound by the judgment rendered by a
court. It will not divest the rights of a party who has not and never been a party to a
litigation. Execution of a judgment can be issued only against a party to the action and not
against one who did not have his day in court.